Mr Edward Wise: In circulating the figures will the right hon. Gentleman—[Interruption].
Mr Edward Wise: In preparing the figures, will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to give, if possible, the comparative taxation at various incomes so as to get comparable figures rather than a general average?
Mr Edward Wise: 49. asked the Prime Minister whether the Economic Council is still functioning; whether its membership has been changed since the present Government came into office; and, if so, in what respect and for what reasons?
Mr Edward Wise: Will the right hon. Gentleman say who has resigned and why he has resigned?
Mr Edward Wise: As the names have been published in the Votes of this House, is there any reason why an answer should not be given to my question?
Mr Edward Wise: On a point of Order. May I call your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that the Prime Minister was about to reply to my supplementary question?
Mr Edward Wise: I cannot help feeling that the remarks in the latter part of the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall) would have produced more effect if they had been made before certain very expensive credits and contracts were entered into in Paris and New York, to which I referred last night. I want to deal with the more general question of conversion which is raised by this...
Mr Edward Wise: I am perfectly well aware of that; the widows and orphans are always trotted out on these occasions; but, when it is a question of dealing with obligations of this kind, the Government does nothing of that sort, but sticks to the letter of the prospectus and gets the applause of hon. Members opposite; and, far from exercising any kind of pressure, despite the circumstances of the country, it...
Mr Edward Wise: The hon. Member has been attending the Debates on the National Economy Bill, and he will find in the Schedule to that Bill specific power to break contractual and statutory obligations on the part of His Majesty's Government to persons in their employ and to persons entitled to benefit under existing legislation. There is no question about what is being done.
Mr Edward Wise: Yes. I advise the hon. Member to refer to the Bill itself. Obviously he has not been studying it with the same zeal with which he has been studying these conversion terms, but he will have to do so, no doubt, within a few weeks.
Mr Edward Wise: The purpose of this conversion operation is twofold—to take off the country the immense burden which these debts impose upon it, and also to take the opportunity, if it occurs or if it can be made, to reduce the excessive amount that goes to the holders of fixed interest-bearing securities on account of the fall in prices. A few days ago I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he...
Mr Edward Wise: I am giving the case as it is stated; the hon. Member can challenge it in a moment. The result of the calculation is to show that in this typical case—the case of a man with £10,000 a year derived from War Loan—the reduction of taxation and the increase in the purchasing power of money have practically doubled the real income in eight years. That is an authoritative statement of the...
Mr Edward Wise: Will the hon. Member say which applies to the quotation from the Chancellor of the Exchequer?
Mr Edward Wise: Will the hon. Member say how much money was borrowed in the second part of 1917 and onwards? I have quoted from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr Edward Wise: I said, "Put an inquiry on."
Mr Edward Wise: I beg to move, in page 13, line 12, after the word "not," to insert the words "citizens of or." The purpose of this Amendment and of the following Amendment in Subsection (1, b) of Clause 22—in line 18, after the word "in," to insert the words "nor citizens of "—is to take out of the operation of this Clause British subjects resident or partly resident abroad. The purpose of the Clause is...
Mr Edward Wise: I think that is the more convenient course, and that was sug- gested to me by your predecessor in the Chair, Sir, at an earlier stage of the discussion. The present law is that, if you can prove foreign domicile, a very tricky and difficult point of law, you can escape duty on foreign holdings, but you are still liable to duty on property in the United Kingdom, including War Loan. The effect...
Mr Edward Wise: Are you asking me?
Mr Edward Wise: There are various ways of dealing with that. Are you talking of the foreigner or the British subject?
Mr Edward Wise: Does the hon. and gallant. Gentleman read the Clause as being limited to conversion operations? It is perfectly general. You can issue stock under any Act. It says nothing about conversion and nothing about 5 per cent. War Loan.