(1) For the purpose of removing doubts it is hereby declared that Sections forty-three and forty-four of the Income Tax Act, 1918 (which grant certain reliefs for any year of assessment as respects which they are respectively continued in force by any Act), were not continued in force for the year 1920–21, and the said Sections are hereby repealed.
(2) If, in any case, any person has been assessed or charged to tax (including Super-tax) or has been allowed relief from tax on the basis that the said Sections were continued in force for the year 1920–21, all such adjustments, amendments of assessments, and payments of tax shall be made as are necessary for securing that that person shall be charged to and pay tax (including Super-tax) on the basis that the said Sections were not continued in force for the said year.
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the word "not" ["were not continued in force"].
It is not often that an Amendment to omit the word "not" is in order in the ordinary way, because such an Amendment would generally be merely a negative of the Clause. In the present case the deletion of the word "not" is not of that nature. The Clause says:
For the purpose of removing doubts it is hereby declared that Sections forty-three and forty-four of the Income Tax Act, 1918,…were not continued in force for the year 1920–21, and the said Sections are hereby repealed.
The object of my Amendment is to make the Clause state that they "were continued in force during the years 1920–21," and the remaining words are, by a subsequent Amendment, struck out. It would be well to remind the Committee of the actual words of Section 43 of the Income Tax Act, 1918. It reads as follows:
Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the commissioners by whom the assessment was made that a person assessed under Schedule D has suffered a diminution of profits or gains due to circumstances attributable directly or indirectly to the present War, whether or not those circumstances are a specific cause within the meaning of the provision relating to relief in respect of deprivation or loss of profits or gains chargeable under that Schedule, the following provisions shall apply, and the diminu-
tion of profits or gains shall not entitle the person to relief under that provision: —
Perhaps the Committee will allow me to paraphrase that in two sentences. It means that any person, firm or company, whose profits are reduced owing to circumstances attributable directly or indirectly to the War, can claim to be charged on the average of three years ending in the year of assessment instead of on the average of the previous three years. For example, a firm's profit amounted in 1917 to £3,000, in 1918 to £3,500, in 1919 to £2,000, and in 1920 to £l,500. For the year 1920–21 it would, in the ordinary way, be assessed on the average of 1917, 1918, and 1919; but under Section 43, if it could show that the diminution in profits was due to the War, the firm would have the right to claim to be assessed on the average of 1918, 1919, and 1920. The assessment, however, would not be reduced below the amount of the 1920 profit. The important points to be noted with regard to Section 43 are, firstly, that the taxpayer must prove that he has suffered a diminution of profits or gains due to circumstances attributable directly or indirectly to the War; and, secondly, that the relief only applies in a year in which Section 43 is continued in force by any Act of Parliament. Section 44 of the Income Tax Act of 1918 is as follows:
If any individual who has been assessed or charged to tax for any year of assessment as respects which this Section is continued in force by any Act claims and proves in manner provided by this Act that his actual income from all sources for that year is less by more than 10 per cent. than the income on which he has been so assessed and charged, he shall be entitled to repayment of such part of any tax paid by him either by way
of deduction or otherwise as is equal to the difference between the amount of the tax so paid and the amount which would have been so paid if he had been assessed or charged on his actual income for the said year.
That, briefly paraphrased, means that if any individual proves that his actual income from all sources is less by 10 per cent. than the income on which he has been assessed on the three years' average, he is entitled to be charged upon his actual income and to obtain repayment of the difference. The important points with regard to this Section are, firstly, that there is no reference to the War, and, secondly, that, as in the case of Section 43, the relief only applies to years in which the Section is specifically continued in force by an Act of Parliament. These two Sections were re-enacted for the year 1919–20 by Section 15 of the Finance Act of 1919. When the Finance Bill of 1920 was introduced, it was found that, not merely were they not re-enacted, but that in the Schedule of that Act there was a provision for their repeal. During the Committee stage of the Bill, this time last year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer accepted an Amendment to withdraw from the Schedule the repeal of those Clauses. The Clauses, therefore, still remain in force in any year if they are specifically re-enacted for that particular year. It is possible to miss them for one year and re-introduce them another year. On the Report stage an Amendment, by way of a new Clause consisting of the exact words used in the Finance Act of 1919, was moved by myself and seconded by the right hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury). It was defeated on a Division by the Chancellor. I say that advisedly, because the Debate took place in a very small House, the Chancellor said that he could not accept the Clause, the Division bells rang, and, by the Whips standing at the door and directing Members in the usual way into the Lobby, the new Clause was defeated. The reason why I say that it was done by the Chancellor and the Whips is that on the Paper to-day are the names of a number of hon. Members who are now opposing the repeal of Sections 43 and 44, but who went into the Lobby last year and voted for their repeal and against the new Clause for which the right hon. Baronet and myself were responsible. I am sure that the House did not then grasp the significance or the importance of the matter. Other-
wise this right of the taxpayer, which is of vital importance to the industry of the country for the next two years, would not have been taken away from him in such a light-hearted way. While it was, undoubtedly, the intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that these Clauses should not be re-enacted for 1920–21, there is grave doubt in law whether he actually succeeded in his object. I mentioned a few moments ago that both Sections 43 and 44 remain in force in any year in which they are specifically re-enacted in the Finance Act or any other Act of Parliament. These two Clauses were specifically re-enacted in the Finance Act of 1919. In the Finance Act, 1920, Section 14 (2) reads as follows:
All such enactments relating to Income Tax as were in force with respect to duties of Income Tax granted for the year 1919–20 shall have full force and effect with respect to and duties of Income Tax granted by thi3 Act.
The general public are not concerned with what takes place in this House. They are concerned with the Act of Parliament that finally emerges from the House of Lords. In the course of my professional business I have often tried to persuade the Inland Revenue officials to accept my interpretation of a Clause in the Finance Bill by quoting the speeches made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury for the time being; but the Inland Revenue officials, no doubt perfectly correctly, have said that they must go by the Act of Parliament, and not by the speeches either of the Chancellor of the Exchequer or of the Financial Secretary in the House. It is the same in this case. The Chancellor of the Exchequer last year intended that Sections 43 and 44 should not be re-enacted, but by Section 14 (2) it is considered that they have been re-enacted. I have had the privilege of reading Counsel's opinion which was obtained by a, well-known firm in the City of London from two of the most eminent Counsel in the country, and their opinion was unanimously and strongly in support of the contention that Sections 43 and 44 were re-enacted. This particular company decided to bring a test case, after they had lodged a claim upon this point, and the Inland Revenue authorities agreed. This test case came before the General Commissioners of Income Tax for the City of London, and the decision of the Commis-
sioners, which was given on the 10th May of this year, was as follows:
The Commissioners, having regard to the provisions of Section 14 (2) of the Finance Act, 1920, and to the absence from the list of enactments repealed contained in the Fourth Schedule of that Act of Section 43 of the Finance Act of 1918 are of the opinion that such last-mentioned Section is continued in force for the year in respect of which the application is made.
The Inspector of Taxes expressed dissatisfaction with this decision, and is requesting that a case be stated. If I understand it rightly, this matter, if not agreed to by the House, will go to the High Court, and, whether the Inland Revenue or the taxpayer wins, the case will go to the House of Lords, so that it will be months before the matter is cleared up. The Inland Revenue are to-day bringing forward this Clause, and really are saying that, so far as the legal decisions up to the present time are concerned, they are against us. Sections 43 and 44 were re-enacted for 1920–21.
Perhaps I used the word "legal" by mistake. At any rate, there have been six decisions by Commissioners, three each way. The decision of the Commissioners of the City of London is by far the most important. Having read the opinion of distinguished counsel who were consulted in the matter, and conducted the case on behalf of the taxpayer in the Court, while, of course, they are sometimes wrong, I believe it is by no means certain that the Inland Revenue will succeed either in the High Court or if they take the matter higher. At any rate, so far as the taxpayer in the City of London is concerned, he is of opinion that Sections 43 and 44 were re-enacted in 1920–21, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is asking the Committee to reverse that and to say that they were not. I do not want to dwell too much on the point, though it is very important, that this will in effect be retrospective legislation, which, I believe, the House has always been reluctant to grant. But, beyond that, I will put it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that if he maintains this Section 18 he is going to cause a large number of the big businesses to pay a tax, not of 6s. in the £, but 10s., 15s., 20s., and even 25s. He is going to make them pay in the current year and next year, not on the profits they are now making, but on the average of the large profits they made three years ago. The country is short of money. Many businesses have had to shut down because they had not money in their banks to pay wages. When industry commences again in order to get their men going again raw materials will have to be bought and wages will have to be paid, and at whatever rate you take money for taxation you prevent businesses buying raw materials and paying wages. The effect must be that if you maintain these Sections 43 and 44 you will retard the recovery of the even flow of industry. If the Government had continued the Revenue Bill and abolished the three years' average from 1922–23, the abolition of these Sections would not have been so serious, for it would only have meant for two years. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not only refused Sections 43 and 44 for last year, and for this year, but he is going to say, "We are still going to continue the three years' average because we have abandoned the Revenue Bill." I put it to the Committee on these various grounds, firstly, that this is retrospective legislation, and, secondly, because you are going to overtax people and so prevent the recovery of industry, that we ought not to allow the Chancellor of the Exchequer to have this Clause, and to prevent Sections 43 and 44 being enforced for 1920–21.
The hon. Member has put the case so clearly that I do not think it is necessary to say much. But there is one point which he has forgotten, namely, that by Section 133 of the Income Tax Act, 1842, the privilege for which we are contending was allowed to the Income Tax payer up to the year 1907, in which year the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Paisley (Mr. Asquith) repealed that Section, and I at that time opposed it. The only argument the right hon. Gentleman could bring forward— and at that time the Income Tax was 1s. or 1s. 6d., or something of that sort, and Super-tax was non-existent—was that people were beginning to be aware of the existence of this Section and were putting it into operation to the detriment of the Exchequer. That was not a very good argument. Either the Clause was right or it was wrong, and the fact that people were availing themselves of it simply showed that profits were decreasing, and therefore they were naturally anxious to avail themselves of a Clause which enacted that they were not to pay Income Tax on a sum greater than they actually received. I never gave up hope after 1907, and on nearly every occasion I endeavoured to get the Clause re-enacted. In 1915 I succeeded in inducing Mr. McKenna to put these Sections 43 and 44 in. Last year an attempt was made by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer to take them out, and in Committee he did what he thought did take them out of the Bill. Then on the Report stage the hon. Gentleman and myself moved an Amendment and we were defeated. I know my right hon. Friend's defence when we talk about retrospective legislation. He says it is not retrospective because it was the intention of the House to take it out. It was the intention of the Government, and it was backed up by a majority of the House, who probably did not know what they were voting about. But supposing that was so. I will give my right hon. Friend every advantage in the argument. Are they then to say that everyone who thought he was entitled to this advantage is to be penalised because the Government made a mistake? That seems to be a quite untenable proposition.
What ought the Government to do so far as regards the retrospective legislation from their point of view? My right hon. Friend pointed out that there had not been a legal decision. The decision was given by the general Commissioners of the City of London. I do not put them upon the plane of the eminent lawyers who sit around me or on that Bench, but still they are more or less common-sense people and they have some practice and some knowledge in these matters, and I do not think they would give a decision unless they were more or less convinced that it was right. But if my right hon. Friend is so convinced that he is right and they are wrong, why does he want to repeal the decision? Let him go to the courts. He has the Attorney-General. You could not have a better man to present a case, especially if it is a bad case, and therefore why not go to the courts and show that the Government did not make a mistake last year, but did the right thing? The only inference that the common-sense man can draw is that the Government know they are wrong, and that if they went to the courts they would be defeated. Therefore they do what has been the prevailing practice in late years, that when they have made a mistake and they want to alter a decision which has been given against them they come to this House to set aside a judgment of the law. In this case it was not the law. In other cases it has been a decision of the law. That is quite wrong. That deals with the retrospective part.
I come to the part of the Amendment which would enact this for the present year. Is it right that a man who has to pay 6s. in the £ Income Tax and possibly 4s. or even more Super-tax should only be asked to pay on what he gets? Why should he be asked to pay on something which he does not get?
If there be nothing in the Amendment to that end, I will see that there is one put on the Paper. Is it just that a man should be asked to pay upon an income which he has never received? It is not just, and it is quite impossible that you should go on doing this sort of thing. On the last Amendment I did not allude to a case that was brought to my notice a few days ago with regard to the effect of Income Tax and Super-tax upon personal property. We had a very interesting Debate upon the last Amendment as to the effect on real property. I will give particulars of figures concerning personal property. I admit at once that the case which I am about to give is an exceptional one. It is a case which has been given to me by a firm in the City, and I am perfectly willing to give the name to my right hon. Friend. Although I believe it is an exceptional case, there are, no doubt, other cases like it. The letter says:
We believe you are opposing the provision in the Finance Bill now before Parliament by which it is proposed to deprive the taxpayer as from the year commencing 5th April, 1920, the relief afforded by Section 44 of the Income Tax Act, 1918.…We have a client, a lady, who will be very hard hit by the proposed change in the law, and the results in her case are such that we venture to send you the actual figures in the
hope that they may be of use to you in opposing legislation which will produce such a cruel injustice on our client, and no doubt also on many other persons
Our client, prior to the War, derived some three-fourths of her income from abroad, and owing to the fall - in the exchange her income is now reduced to less than a tenth of what it U6ed to be. This income is assessed on a three years' average, and for the year ending 5th April, 1921, the assessment figure is £1,734 11s.
Not the income of a millionaire, clearly.
The Income Tax on it is £520 7s. 3d., while her actual income for that year amounted to £263.
So that she was actually called upon to pay Income Tax amounting to £520 7s. 3d. upon an income which amounted to £263.
The following statement shows our client's actual total income for the year ending 5th April, 1921:
|Foreign income, gross income||263||0||0|
|Other income, of which £50 was received free of tax and will be taxed the following year||1,380||13||3|
|making a total of||1,643||13||3|
|Deduct relief granted in respect of personal allowance and differentiation relief||74||5||0|
|Income Tax at 6s. in the £ on the £50 received free of tax||15||0||0|
|making a gross income of||1,643||13||3|
|making a gross income of||1,643||13||3|
out of which £960 15s. 11d. has to be paid in Income Tax and Super-tax…Our client's income is mostly settled. She has very little capital of her own, and taxation of this kind spells ruin. We are aware that 'hard cases make bad law,' but we have no reason to suppose that our client's is an isolated case as many people must be similarly suffering from the fall in the foreign exchanges, not to mention the collapse of trade, and we venture to think that if the House of Commons realise what results the proposals in the present Finance Bill will have if passed into law, they will see to it that the obnoxious provisions are deleted from the Bill."
I give this case just as it has been sent to me. I know from experience that very large numbers of people engaged in business in the City and else where are not able to pay out of their profits the Income Tax and Super-tax which is imposed upon them, and they have to go to the banks and borrow. I do not want to go into a general discussion on that, we had that on the last Amendment. I do ask my right hon. Friends to agree to do a simple act of justice, namely, that where a person receives a certain sum, on that sum and on that sum alone, Income Tax and Super-tax shall be paid.
If you take any period in our Income Tax history, it would be easy to produce cases just as hard as that which the right hon. Gentleman has mentioned. At all times when the Income Tax assessment has been based on a three years' average you will find a large number of people whose income in any particular year was not so much as that upon which they have been assessed. Ai any period during the last 50 years you could have found innumerable cases just as poignant and just as bitter as the case quoted by the right hon. Baronet.
I am coming to that. I have been dealing with the citation of a particular case. I will come in a moment to Section 133 of the Act of 1842. As to the attitude of the Government in this matter, I say at once that the point is not one on which I can give way, and for reasons which I will tell to the Committee. This is not retrospective legislation. It is legislation to make clear what we have done, and it has been brought about because of a certain confusion which has arisen in people's minds. What we anticipate, if nothing is done under such a Clause as I have now put forward, is a course of protracted litigation. As my hon. Friend opposite said, this is a class of case which undoubtedly will be brought not merely to the Court of Appeal, but ultimately to the House of Lords. What we have got to anticipate for the next two years, if nothing is done, is that we shall have continuous litigation going on. Every person who is in any way restricted as to the amount of money that he has at the moment will put forward an application of this kind, all accounts will be held up, and you can imagine the state we shall be in from the revenue point of view with innumerable cases pending before courts, waiting upon a decision which we may not have for the next two years. This is a condition of things which this Committee would not wish to see protracted". It means for one thing—I am not putting this forward on the merits of the case—a loss of £12,000,000 this year and considerably more next year, if this kind of litiga- tion were to be continued. What we desire is to get rid of that confusion.
May I bring back the mind of the Committee to what happened in this House last year? These two particular Clauses were not both in the old Act of 1842. Section 44 did not come from the old Act of 1842, and Section 43 did not provide what the right hon. Baronet seems to think it did, that in having his income assessed a person is entitled to substitute the amount which he actually earned in the year. What Section 43 of the Act of 1918, which was copied from the old Act of 1842, provided was that a person who had not made so much in the year as he had been assessed at, could bring into consideration the actual year in which he was being assessed, but it did not give him the assessment upon the particular year in question. It only gave him the assessment on the average of that year and the two preceding years instead of on the average of the three preceding years, and he might still be assessed at a sum considerably higher than that which he actually earned. It was not until the year 1916 we got the provision which you will find in Section 44 of the Act of 1918 which provides that if a particular individual did not earn within 10 per cent. of the average on which he was being assessed, he could then claim to be assessed upon the actual earnings of that year. Therefore when the right hon. Baronet tells us that all through these years people could be assessed on the actual earnings of the year, he is entirely in error.
Going back to Section 43, that disappeared in the year 1907. A very strong Committee was appointed, including several persons notable at that period, to take into consideration the basis of assessment. That Committee reported that the relief granted by Section 43 should be discontinued because it gave an entirely improper option. It allowed the taxpayer, when he was making large profits, to take the average of the three years and get off with a less assessment of Income Tax than on his earnings for the year, but then if he did not do so well in a particular year he could immediately bring that year into consideration, with a view of escaping the assessment to which he was properly liable. Obviously if we have a uniform system of three years' average injustice is not done. If you give an option to the taxpayer to bring into calculation his bad years when it suits him, you reduce the amount which properly he ought to pay over a space of time. This was seen during the War. We know now that the State has got £100,000,000 less by way of Income Tax out of the taxpayers of the country than it would have got if it had taken the particular year instead of the three years' average. Now the contention is when the taxpayer had the benefit of the three years' average during that period he should be allowed to come forward now in times of depression and pay less than he really ought to pay.
Last year the House had the Report of the Royal Commission on Income Tax, which recommended the abolition of war reliefs. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought forward the Finance Bill there were two points arising out of this matter. First in the schedule there was a definite repeal of Sections 43 and 44 of the Act of 1918. There was also an omission in the general body of the Bill of any suggestion of continuing the two sections 43 and 44. These two Sections contain in the body of them words which show that they can only be carried on if they are specifically continued, so that you have a definite repeal of the Section and the absence of any suggestion of their continuance. On last year's Finance Bill my hon. Friend the Member for Derby came forward and moved that the direction as to repeal should be taken out. The Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed out that that would serve no purpose unless there were Sections in the body of the Bill by which these Sections were continued. He agreed as a matter of form, in order that my hon. Friend might raise the matter on the Report stage, to allow the Section repealing the two Sections to be deleted, but making perfectly clear that he was going to oppose the continuance of these Sections. When the matter came to be discussed upon Report stage, my hon. Friend the Member for Derby specifically moved that Sections 43 and 44 of the 1918 Act should continue in force. There was a discussion upon the matter, in which the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Baronet spoke, and a Division was taken in which 41 votes were given for continuing these two Sections and 196 against. It is no good telling us that all the Members were not present to hear the Debate. All Members are not present to hear the Debate now, and one knows that a great many things are debated in this House when not everybody is present. There is the definite decision of the House on the specific proposition. No one can say in face of it that the House did not decide that these two Sections were repealed.
Some Commissioners have decided one way and some have decided another way. It is not my duty to express views on the law, especially when I am not paid for it. As far as I can understand it, what was done by some Commissioners was to proceed upon a general Clause in the Finance Bill, a Clause which appears in every Finance Bill, re-enacting the ordinary, the routine provisions of the previous Finance Bill. They evidently sought to construe that particular Section as re-enacting provisions which the House had definitely refused to re-enact. That really is the position. Accordingly, I speak with the utmost confidence, in so far as we can say that anything is certain in the law, as to what is the meaning of the Finance Act, 1920. Personally I have no doubt about it, but I do not contemplate with any satisfaction a perpetual series of litigations. If money is to be spent, with every regard for my own profession, I would much rather it was spent to pay taxes to the Exchequer than to pay bills of costs. It was only going to create a confusion which could not be justified if we are to do our duty. Accordingly we have brought forward this Section in order to clear up doubts. It will have the effect of clearing away all the difficulties with which we are confronted at present. Perhaps it is worth while to inform the Committee that there are 1,300 cases in which the taxpayers have not proceeded where they have made application, and 500 claims which are standing over pending this decision. That shows the magnitude of the proposition.
It is said that business is suffering and that it is very difficult for the industries of the country to find the finance they require. Everyone understands the difficulties with which the business people of this country are confronted in finding the necessary facilities for finance. But, after all, the businesses of the country depend upon the State being supported. It is just as difficult for the State to-day to find the money as it is for the various industries. Each depends upon the other, and accordingly it seems to me that when we are confronted, as we are now, with great difficulties in obtaining the necessary revenue for carrying on the ordinary business of the country, that consideration must be present to the minds of all. I am not in a position to accept the Amendment.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made a very able speech, as one naturally expected him to do, but he has put forward what I would describe as a very doubtful case. His argument seems to be that the Government were adopting a benevolent attitude towards the taxpayer and removing all doubts from his mind, and that the object was to prevent the litigation with which the country was threatened. I would point out to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that if he accepted the Amendment he would achieve the same object. There would be no more litigation and that bugbear would be moved from his mind.
The facts are pretty well in the possession of the Committee. The Mover of the Amendment placed the case before the House with great ability and clearness. The facts of the case are that the Government made a mistake: It allowed a Bill to go through and to become an Act which did not carry out its intentions, and the Government now comes to the House and says, "We wish you to help us to deprive the taxpayer of an advantage which we have accidentally given to him." That is really the position, and is it just or right? Is it the position of the taxpayer when the mistake is against him and not in his favour? No leniency is shown then. He is told it is very unfortunate, but that it is the law and the injustice must be suffered.
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer wishes to have it upon the merits and not upon the facts, let us try to look at it from that point of view. He tells us the only proper and reasonable way to tax the people is upon a three-year average, even though in the fourth year they have no money to pay with. Yet the Government, only a few months or weeks ago, introduced a Bill to allow the taxpayer to pay upon the income of the year in question. How can he reconcile the attitude he has taken up to-night with the attitude of the Government a few weeks ago? It is quite impossible. The justice of the case, to my understanding, is that the taxpayer should pay when he has the money to pay, that he should pay each year upon his revenue for that year, and that we should abandon the system of the three-year average, as the Government intended to do in the Revenue Bill which they have now withdrawn. Why have they withdrawn it? On the pretext that there was some objection to the curtailing the powers of the Commissioners. The real objection was that it would relieve the taxpayer.
I am quite aware of that. I was only endeavouring to illustrate the difference between the attitude of the Chancellor when the question arose to-night and the attitude of the Government when they introduced the Bill. However, if it is offensive to the Chancellor, I will not pursue it further. Really, this matter is more or less sub judice. It is very unfortunate that the Government should ask the House of Commons to pass legislation which will be retrospective for a period of twelve months, when it is known that there are innumerable cases waiting for-the decision of the Courts. It is also known that the Commissioners or the most important Commissioners—those in the City of London—have taken a strong and decided view, although other Commissioners have taken a different view from that. The real tribunal to decide what law is applicable to the year in question is the High Court and, if necessary, the House of Lords. I agree it is unfortunate to have to wait for a decision by the Courts, especially as we know the decision of the House of Lords may not be given perhaps for a number of months. But the Amendment would do away with all that difficulty and would, in my judgment, meet the case.
Many people think this is a matter which only affects rich people and people who can afford to take what is called the rough with the smooth. I ask the House not to run away with that idea. Let them think of the tradespeople of this country—the shopkeepers holding dear stocks of goods, who have to face very serious loss in the present year and will have great difficulty in meeting the Income Tax calls that are to be made upon them. I went into a shop the other day and complained because they had not lowered the price of their goods. I said, "When you lower the price, I am willing to buy, but you have not lowered the price although raw material and many things are cheaper," and the tradesman said to me, "Think of the stock I have here. I have thousands of pounds worth of stock in this shop and I cannot afford to lower the price." There is a man who has very great difficulties because he will eventually have to lower the price. A heavy loss is staring him in the face and yet he is asked this year to pay Income Tax on the profits of two or three years back. Therefore, I say it is not a matter which affects only rich people. I daresay they can bear it better than the smaller people can, but I speak here to-night, not for the rich people at all; I speak for my constituents, and I urge the Committee to refuse to give to the Government this power to do an injustice by depriving people of relief which the Act of last year gave.
Lieut. - Commander WILLIAMS:
I think we all agree that in the matter of taxation to-day it is essential that, before anything else, the State should be absolutely just in every detail of its incidence, and, as I understand the position, we have heard of the supposed injustice which may be inflicted on one section of the taxpayers, but we have not heard very much, except something from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, about those individuals having been in many cases through a period of very great prosperity, when, by paying on the three years' average, they were enabled to get out of a certain amount of their taxation. Now the time has come when their profits have lowered and they are called upon to make up the difference which, in their prosperity, they were fortunate enough to escape. I cannot see that over the period of three years, although it may be very hard on them for the minute, and they may have spent the money already, they are going in the long run to be really out of pocket. When I got up I said it was a case of justice all round. There are many people in this country who pay their Income Tax on a fixed income entirely, and they pay on the three years' basis just the same. They have had their fixed income, and throughout the whole period of the War they have been paying on a fixed income, which may have gone back a very long while, at the highest rate of tax, and if you now give relief, or exemption, or help to those people who are now suffering and who have benefited, you are only going to do it at the expense of the people with the fixed rate of income. We ought to consider that point very strongly before we go against the Government in the decision which I am glad they have taken and in which I shall certainly support them.
There are comparatively few points with which I wish to trouble the Committee, but perhaps I might ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be good enough to correct me if I make a mistake, as I do not wish to misrepresent him. At the same time, I cannot think that he has dealt quite fairly with the right hon. Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury); perhaps he misunderstood him. I do not think his interruption of the right hon. Member for Nairn (Sir A. Williamson) was quite fair either. Let me deal with some of the remarks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which, I am bound to say, seemed to me entirely unconvincing. I do not wish to lay stress on hard cases, but I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, in answer to the right hon. Baronet, that throughout the history of the Income Tax, since 1842, there were numerous cases at least as poignant as there are at present. I venture to take issue with him absolutely and definitely upon that statement. I do not believe for one single instant that there were ever cases as numerous and as poignant since 1842 on a par with those occurring in the present year. I venture again to emphasise what has just been said by the right hon. Member for Nairn. It may be that some misunderstanding may be created in the minds of the Committee by a mere reference to City firms. It is not large firms in the City alone; it is a large number of men in business, great and small, throughout the country who are equally affected. Again, I think I am right in quoting the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he said, in answer to my right hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury), that there have been many cases before of men being assessed at a sum higher than that which they earn. That was not the case that was put by my right hon. Friend. He put the case of a man actually paying in Income Tax a larger sum than he had actually earned. I do not believe that, at any rate, more than a quite minute fraction of cases like this have occurred previously, as compared with the cases that have been, and are, occurring at the present time.
The next point which the Chancellor of the Exchequer made was the great delay that would be occasioned if a case were allowed to be taken to the Courts. I would ask him to consider, in his legal capacity, if not as Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether that delay of, I think he mentioned, a period of two years, is really inevitable, and whether, when he talks of 500 cases all being dragged through litigation, that would really be the case. I am not skilled in the law, but I would ask any legal member of the Committee whether a case like this could not, by consent, be expedited; whether, if the Attorney-General applied, it could not be heard quickly before the High Court; whether it could not come before the Court of Appeal in six weeks, and, if need be, heard in the House of Lords in another six weeks; whether a little over three months could not settle the whole business one way or the other; and whether the other cases would not follow the ruling of the test case? Therefore, all this argument about protracted litigation falls entirely to the ground.
Let me take another point which the Chancellor of the Exchequer made, I think by way of correction of my right hon. Friend the Member for Nairn. My right hon. Friend referred to the proposed Section in the proposed Revenue Bill affecting the year 1922, when Income Tax was only going to be assessed on the previous year. Let me ask what that really means. If there is any virtue in it being for the year 1922, and not for the present year, then I ask, do not the Government intend to be just as one-sided as they are making complaint with regard to the taxpayer at the present moment? If that is their defence, surely it means that up to the year 1922, they are claiming to extract Income Tax for a bad year on an average when rich years are brought in, and then, as soon as things are getting better, they are going to have them assessed on the better year. I will take two points in conclusion. This is not merely a question of hard cases—they are extremely hard—but I say again they are not parallel. They are without parallel. It is not merely a case of men well-to-do, but of men in much smaller businesses and poorer. But it is a case of principle as well. There is no question but that this is a case of retrospective legislation—one of which this House of Commons and Committee are always jealous, and very rightly jealous. It involves a principle that has been eschewed by the Exchequer itself and the Inland Revenue in their history up to date. May I give an instance—and I trust the right hon. Gentleman will correct me if I am wrong in these technical details? Up to quite recently the contrary was the case, that even though the Exchequer suffered—as they would suffer in this case—even so, they did not try to make their legislation retrospective. Let me give an instance.
There was a case before the courts not so very long ago, Stevens versus Boustead. The case was that certain companies had excluded from their assessment some of the profits which arise from land which they possessed, and the Exchequer came to the conclusion that under this provision they were getting exemption which they ought not to have. In 1918 they introduced into the Income Tax Act a provision whereby these people could no longer enjoy that exemption. But they did not attempt to make it retrospective. Not only that, but subsequent to 1918 cases were brought, appeals made, because of the rights the taxpayers enjoyed before 1918, and those were allowed and the sums repaid in certain cases. That has been the principle of the Exchequer up till now.
Now let me put a last point. The Chancellor of the Exchequer concluded his defence for the whole of this action of the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year, and for abolishing this right of the taxpayer, by referring to the report of the Committee. His words and those of his predecessor were, quoting the report:
That this Section gave a one-sided option to the taxpayer and did not give a corresponding option to the revenue.
If we are going to be fair let us be fair all round. If there is not to be a one-sided advantage for the taxpayer then there ought not to be a one-sided advantage for the Inland Revenue either. Quite recently another case, I understand, has been decided, Brown v. National Provident Institution. In that, case it was decided that it was true that profits which could be made on discounting Treasury bills could be taxed, but if in a subsequent year a particular person had made no profits from Treasury bills then the profits of the previous year should not be brought in. Although, however, that was then the decision arrived at by the Courts, yet people who would have been entitled to the benefit of that decision had paid under a mistake in law. If I am advised correctly, the Inland Revenue are refusing to give relief when the claim is now made for repayment in accordance with their proper rights. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to get his own mistake in law put right by retrospective legislation. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and that is what I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider. It is quite true that the Government of the country has to be carried on and must have the means to carry on. There is no one in this Committee who does not realise the hardness of the task of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But one thing is quite true, and it is that in matters of taxation there ought to be confidence in the equity and fairness of the Inland Revenue. I wish to say without any offence that a sort of impression generally exists abroad that you cannot expect to be dealt with equitably by the Inland Revenue. Sums of money may have been paid or overpaid by mistake but the taxpayer is not allowed to have them back again. The Treasury stands to gain in the long run by fairness. If there was a real sense of fairness all round it would be easy for taxation to be levied and it would
be more readily and properly paid. It is because I believe there is no case whatsoever for this retrospective legislation, and because of the one sided action of the Inland Revenue, that I ask the House to support this Amendment.
I do not pretend to go into the legal technicalities, nor can I pose as an expert on high finance, but I want to get in a practical point if I am correct. Am I to understand that the present or past practice has been that taxes have been payable on an average of income spread over the three immediately preceding years? If that be so, then, in conjunction with that, I must take the argument used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that during the very prosperous periods the Exchequer has been at a loss by reason of the three years' average to the extent of £100,000,000. Putting those two statements together I take my mind to previous finance Debates as I have read them prior to being a Member of the House, and I do not remember having heard or read of any great outburst for this individual year assessment during the fat periods. If that had been so, then possibly the Exchequer would have been better off by that £100,000,000 which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned as having been lost. Now that we have come upon a very lean year, notwithstanding all the incomes upon which no taxation has been paid, taking a three years' average, we are asked to suddenly say, "Poor taxpayer! You have had seven or eight years of a fat period and now you have fallen upon lean times we will welcome you in and give you all the facilities; we will forgive the past, and you shall take your very worst year now as the basis for your taxation." And then, if in another year or two prosperity comes, the very same interests will be agitating for the re-institution of the three years' average. That is how it appeals to me, and, that being so, I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not give way, One hon. Member opposite said this was not altogether a question of the rich class, that shopkeepers and wholesale traders came into the category, that they had big stocks which they had bought when prices were up. Why did they buy those stocks? Why did they corner those stocks? In the hope that they would be able to make profit from them by holding up the people to ransom. Because conditions over which they have no control have proved they have made a bad bargain, they now want the full advantage of their miscalculation. Unless you are going to review the whole system of our taxation and grant relief all the way round, I see no special reason why you should single out those who have had the advantage when it came their way favourably, and should now give them what one might describe as special consideration because they happen temporarily to be at a disadvantage.
We heard nothing then. That is when they got the benefit. This is how it appeals to me—it will not do unless you are going to grant relief all round. This is only one out of a long series of periods. Are we to have a state of affairs that will permit you at one time, when you fall on a lean time, to claim one year's income as a basis, and when you get into prosperous times to claim the three years' average? Surely this will rectify itself in time? If you had a bad year now, next year may be better, and the next again better still, and you will pay on that fair law of averages that suited you in days gone by, though it does not happen to appeal to you at the moment.
There is one point to my mind which absolutely vitiates the whole argument—a very clever argument, I admit—of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He based his case upon what he stated was the decision of this House upon the point last year. That may be very well for a Chancellor of the Exchequer, but my right hon. Friend is an eminent lawyer, and he knows perfectly well that the courts of law take no notice whatever of what may have been the intentions of Members of the House of Commons, or what they stated in the Debates here. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is on the horns of a dilemma. If he is right in his interpretation of the Act, he has no need for this Clause whatever. If he is wrong, he is doing the thing which he himself condemns; he is going in for retrospective legislation, and not merely retrospective legislation, but retrospective financial legislation and retrospective taxation. The point seems to me so serious that I venture again, in spite of my right hon. Friend's refusal, to implore him to consider this matter very carefully from that point of view. As the right hon. Baronet the Member for Erdington (Sir A. Steel-Maitland) said, just now, this case can be disposed of in a very few weeks, and in that connection it would be interesting to know whether the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown has been taken on what is the effect of the Act last year. I venture, with some amount of confidence, unless I am told that their opinion has been taken and is to the contrary, to say that if the case were submitted to the present Attorney-General he would only give the same decision as was given by the Commissioners for the City of London.
The Government are taking upon themselves a very extraordinary responsibility if, in face of the evidence which there is in favour of the interpretation by the Commissioners of the City of London, instead of resorting to the Courts and getting a decision, as they could do within a couple of months by arrangement, they go in for this particular form of financial retrospective legislation. I am a whole-hearted supporter of the Government, but I want to warn the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it seems to me to be one of the maddest things that I have ever known a Government to attempt to do in recent times. I cannot help thinking that the old classical quotation
Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat.
applies to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As a supporter of the Government I say let it be a warning to him. I commend that to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But as a supporter of the Government I refrain from giving their opponents the benefit of a translation.
I find myself in some difficulty over this Amendment. I am against retrospective legislation, and if the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) had moved the Amendment which stands in his name, which would have had the effect of omitting this Sub-section altogether and of leaving the interpretation of last year's legislation to the Courts, I should have voted with him. I would like to point out to the Committee that' if we pass this Amendment we are enacting retrospective legislation just as much as if we passed the Bill as it stands, because the only effect is that it settles a question which is at present unsettled, and must remain unsettled until it is decided by the Courts; but it settles it in one way instead of, as the Bill would do, in another. Therefore, the argument as to retrospective legislation goes entirely by the board, and the Committee has to decide the question on its merits. On the merits it must at once be admitted that the effect of Sections 43 and 44 is one-sided. They are in favour of the taxpayer. He has the option of helping himself when circumstances suit him, and of leaving the ordinary three years' average to take its course when his profits are high. I suppose that the only justification for the enactment of these Sections was the fact that, as the right hon. Baronet (Sir A. Williamson) pointed out, it is not much consolation for a man who made high profits in previous years to have to pay tax on those profits if his profit in the year under consideration is low; and, just as many landlords have remitted rents to their tenants when times were hard, so that they might preserve their financial position and carry on their farms, and be able to pay their rents in future years, so it may have paid the Treasury to give some remittance of taxation when times were bad, in order not to put people out of business. If that is the justification, one can hardly imagine any circumstances in which there was a greater justification for it than those by which we are now faced, and that is the question before the Committee at the present time. They have to consider whether it is better to allow some remission of taxation now in order to keep people in business, and enable them to carry on their businesses till better times return, or whether it is better to demand the uttermost shilling now, in the belief that after all the traders can stand it. That is a question upon which personally I do not feel able to pass final judgment. Those who have the best information can decide it for themselves. As far as I am concerned, I am prepared to support the Government in whatever course they may decide upon.
I want to draw the attention of the Committee to the position of the worker who is called upon to pay Income Tax during the War years, and to ask them to remember that during the fat years, when wages were high, there was no sort of relief open to the worker with regard to a three-years' average. Every quarter he was called upon, by deductions from his wages, to pay his full share of whatever he had earned during the three months. It would appear that people who took advantage of a three-years' average-probably two years lean and one fat—and got the advantage during the War, now want to swap horses and ask, when the lean year has come, that they should have the full benefit. Whatever is good for one class of the population of this country ought to be good for another. The worker all along the line has paid on whatver income he has earned throughout the years when wages were high, and now you are asking that he shall continue to pay as he paid before,
and that at this very time he should have to pay more because other people are seeking to pay less. In my opinion it is not quite fair that the people who have benefited during the years that have gone should ask to benefit at the expense of other people who have paid all the while. In my opinion, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is quite right in saying that what was good in 1918 and 1919 ought to be good in 1921, and these people ought to pay what they are called upon to pay. We had no chance whatever of any relief in that respect, and therefore I ask that they should pay their fair share when the lean times come.
|Division No. 172.]||AYES.||[11.1 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Larmor, Sir Joseph|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Lawson, John James|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Farquharson, Major A. C.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Fell, Sir Arthur||Lloyd-Greame, Sir P.|
|Amery, Leopold C. M. S.||Finney, Samuel||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Foreman, Sir Henry||Lort-Williams, J.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Forestier-Walker, L.||Loseby, Captain C. E.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Forrest, Walter||Lunn, William|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)|
|Barlow, Sir Montague||Galbraith, Samuel||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Gee, Captain Robert||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C H. (Devizes)||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||McMicking, Major Gilbert|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Gillis, William||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Bennett, Sir Thomas Jewell||Glanville, Harold James||Manville, Edward|
|Bigland, Alfred||Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Matthews, David|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Molson, Major John Elsdale|
|Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.|
|Bird, Sir William B. M. (Chichester)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Grundy, T. W.||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Guest, J. (York, W.R., Hemsworth)||Morgan, Major D. Watts|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Morris, Richard|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Morrison, Hugh|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hartshorn, Vernon||Murray, John (Leeds, West)|
|Bromfield, William||Hayday, Arthur||Murray, William (Dumfries)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Henderson. Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Neal, Arthur|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Newbould, Alfred Ernest|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)|
|Cairns, John||Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Hills, Major John Waller||Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hinds, John||Parker, James|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J A. (Birm. W.)||Hirst, G. H.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Hopkins, John W. W.||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Clough, Robert||Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Inskip, Thomas Walker H.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Pratt, John William|
|Cope, Major William||Jephcott, A. R.||Preston, W. R.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Craig, Capt. C. C. (Antrim, South)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Purchase, H. G.|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Johnstone, Joseph||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Rankin, Captain James Stuart|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Redmond, Captain William Archer|
|Dewhurst, Lieut.-Commander Harry||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Reid, D. D.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Renwick, George|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)||Kenyon, Barnet||Richardson, Alexander (Gravesend)|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Steel, Major S. Strang||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Robertson, John||Stewart, Gershom||White, Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Sturrock, J. Long||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund||Sugden, W. H.||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur||Taylor, J.||Wise, Frederick|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Seddon, J. A.||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John||Thorpe, Captain John Henry||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Sexton, James||Townley, Maximilian G.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)||Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Shaw, Capt. William T. (Forfar)||Tryon, Major George Clement||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Simm, M. T.||Wallace, J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.|
|Spencer, George A.||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)||Dudley Ward.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis D.||Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Lyle, C. E. Leonard|
|Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.||Gretton, Colonel John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W.(Liv'p'l,W.D'by)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Herbert, Col. Hon. A. (Yeovil)||Poison, Sir Thomas A.|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Kiley, James Daniel||Wills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||Locker Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sir F. Banbury and Mr. Holmes.|