Clause 13. — (Income tax and Super-tax, 1928–29.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill. – in the House of Commons on 26th June 1928.

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Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I want to lodge my protest against the manner in which the Chancellor is bringing forward this proposal that we should leave this Clause out until a later period. This Committee is evidently looked upon by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as merely a convenience to suit himself and his friends. We have been asked to wait here all through the night—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]. Oh, yes. We have been asked to wait all through the night because the Government have moved the suspension of the Eleven o'Clock Rule. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It has been exempted business for the rest of us, but not for the Chancellor and his friends. The Chancellor and his friends have not been here all through the evening. They have gone home to bed, and now he wants us to postpone this Clause until they can be here. What guarantee can he give that his friends will be here at the time he is going to bring forward this Clause? Has he any guarantee? It seems to me that it is purely for the convenience of the Member for the City of London (Mr. E. C. Grenfell) or one or two of his friends. When we have Amendments down for discussion, the Committee should not await their convenience but should go ahead with the business. I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to put forward some sounder reason than the one he has given why we should delay the matter, to adjourn the whole question. Until the three members of the Committee who are absent come from their beds to discuss it, is not sufficient. Really, we are going to have three Mussolinis in the House instead of one. So far as we are concerned, we are prepared to go on with it. Why cannot the Chancellor? In the earlier stages of this Debate the Chancellor, in the brilliant way in which he met all objection, and with the energy he displayed, looked as if he was going through with the whole Bill to-day. Now he wants to leave it over to a later period. Is he tired out? If he is, let us all go home. If he is exhausted, we will take pity, and we will all go home together. We shall all come back to-morrow and have a fresh start. We will come back in a fresh state, and the right hon. Gentleman will be able to go forward, and with high dialectical skill he will be able to meet the objections put forward from all parts of the Committee, and dispose of the arguments. I think it is not a question of leaving over this Clause and of allowing the Chancellor to go away, but of postponing the rest of the Bill.