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 have listened to the Chancellor of the Exchequer making several explanations, and he always winds up by informing the Committee that he intends to stick to the proposal he has made, and asks the Committee to postpone this particular proposal. I want to suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he is taking rather an arbitrary attitude at this time in the morning. He himself has been responsible for holding up the business of the Committee for the past hour and a-half. If he had not made that proposal we would in all probability have passed over Clause 13 by this time. He wants the Committee to abandon Clause 13, meantime go right on, and then take Clause 13 up when we resume business later to-day. I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer is expecting too much from members on this side of the Committee. He is asking too much. He has stated that they have not moved the Closure. They have had no reason to move the Closure; no cause has been given by the Opposition to move the Closure. The Opposition has treated the Government in every respect in a way that has enabled them to get through with their business. There have been a great many Amendments down, but every one discussed has been shown to be an important Amendment, in that it has been called upon by the Chairman or Deputy-Chairman of the House of Commons. They have been discussed, and the Government themselves have admitted that they have been discussed rationally, that no obstructive methods have been employed, while the Government have not employed the Closure. All I have to say with regard to the Chancellor of the Exchequer is that he was very ill-advised in making the proposal that he did make. Those of us who have waited through the night carrying on this business are prepared to go right on until relays belonging to this side of the House come back, and are able to carry on a little longer. If the Chancellor does not watch it, we shall overlap into to-day's sitting, and he will lose a whole day's sitting. I say that the attitude taken up by the Chancellor and persisted in by him at this hour in the morning is ill-advised. As far as I am concerned, I have taken very little part in the Debate on this Bill, but now I shall do everything I can and employ all the tactics of which my connection with this House has given me some knowledge, to obstruct this Bill and retard its progress. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has had it practically all his own way. We, on this side, have not employed the Standing Orders to obstruct business, but, if the Chancellor persists in this attitude, we will let him see that we understand, not only the procedure of this House, but all the tactics to retard the Bill. He will see if he gets his Finance Bill through by Friday. I should like the Chancellor to take a thought as we say in Scotland. Second thoughts are best. Let him give a little cool reflection to it and give a sound reason why the House should accept the Motion to postpone the Clause.