Section sixteen of the Finance Act, 1919 (which exempts from Income Tax wounds and disability pensions), shall be extended to apply to pensions granted to widows whose husbands wore killed as the result of naval, military, or air force service."—[ Mr. Lawson.]
Brought up, and read the First time.
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."Section 16 of the Finance Act, 1919, exempts from Income Tax the wounds and disability pensions of soldiers. This new Clause proposes to extend the application of that principle to the pensions of widows whose husbands were killed as the result of Naval, Military or Air Force service. On looking at the records I find that it was not necessary to argue the case of the disability pensions during the passage of the Budget of 1919. All that was necessary was to draw the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the fact that those pensions were being taxed. Consequently, that Budget which was introduced by the right hon. Gentleman who immediately preceded the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, very definitely laid it down that those pensions ought to be excused from Income Tax. I want to make it clear that on that occasion the fact had simply to be stated to the House to appeal to its sense of fairness and justice, and to make it impossible that the Pensions Ministry should pay a pension with one hand and that the Exchequer should take part of it away with the other. It seems to me that it must have been a pure oversight at that time that the widows' pensions were not given the same rights as were the disability pensions of the men. I cannot find any reference to the matter in previous Budget discussions. The attention of certain forces and organisations in the country has been called to this matter, and they have at once placed on record their opinion. This is a question which has a very strong body of opinion behind it. The British Legion this year passed a very strong resolution in favour of the exemption of the widows' pension. It was to this effect:
A copy of that was sent to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and every Member of the House. I thought it would have been only necessary to draw the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this matter in order to have the principle applied to these pensions. I did not think it would be necessary to speak at any length on the matter, and I ask the Committee, in view of the probable refusal that will be given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to exhibit the same sense of fairness and justice to the widows receiving pensions as they did, spontaneously, in 1919 in the case of the wounds and disability pensions. It is not a big matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot say that it will only cost £400,000, as he did on a previous Amendment. It is a matter of mere justice to people who, at any rate, have suffered to a degree for which money cannot pay. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to make this pension a real pension, and not to reduce it by taxing it, as is the case at present. I trust, if the right hon. Gentleman does actually refuse this proposal, that the Committee will take this matter very definitely in hand and will agree to this new Clause, which will not be a very heavy item financially, but will he a boon to a large number of people in the country."The British Legion indignantly protests against the action of the Government in depriving the children of soldiers killed in the War of a considerable portion of the allowance obtained for them by their fathers by aggregating for Income Tax purposes this allowance for pensions payable to their mothers."
It is an invidious task to stand at this desk and to refuse time after time Amendments of this type, which appeal to one's sense of human sympathy. Yet it is my plain duty to refuse to accept this Clause. I particularly ask the attention of hon. Members opposite to what I have to say. I wish to submit to them the reasons why we are not in a position to accept this. As to the particular sum which this Clause would cost, I have not, at the moment, any estimate that I can give to the Committee. Some Amendments cost more than others, but it is plain that this Clause would not cost nearly as much as many Amendments. The way in which I want to put the matter is this. We all appreciate that the loss by a woman of her husband, particularly a man killed in the War, which is the case contemplated by this Clause, is an irreparable loss. It cannot be made good by any money payment; we all feel that. So fax as it can be made good, the pension is given for that purpose, not as a compensation for the loss of affection, but as a compensation for the earning power that is gone. That is the only way in which the State can deal with these things. The pension is assessed, after consideration, in accordance with principles laid down in this House, in order that it should be an adequate pension, having regard to the circumstances of the case and to the amount the country can afford to give by way of pension. The pensions bill in this country in respect of the War is, as we know, several hundred millions sterling. If that pension was a right pension to give, well and good; if it was not enough, the pension ought to have been higher, but I feel sure the Committee will agree with me that if the pension is in any case too small, the way to redress that is not through the Income Tax, but by considering the question of the pension on its merits. The Committee, I submit, must approach this question—which is a difficult question upon which we have to exercise a fair judgment rather in spite of our feelings—from the point of view that the pensions that have been given after the War by this House have been as fair as this House was in the circumstances able to make them.That being so, and assuming that the pension is a fair pension, let us consider the position of the widow in receipt of it. She either has some other source of income or she has not. If she has not, probably her pension will not take her income above the taxable limit, and in all probability she escapes Income Tax altogether. Another widow may have some income from other sources, and her income may, by the addition of the pension, be taken above the taxable limit. Is she to get a remission of tax, which will in effect be an addition to her pension, while the widow with no other source of means gets no such indirect addition? Take another comparison. Widow A, whose husband was in the service of a railway company and was killed, comes into, a pension under some scheme of pensioning. Widow B gets exactly an identical pension as a War pension. Their other sources of income are identical. Let us assume that they are both just over the limit of the taxable level, that they have the same number of children, the same responsibilities, and, as I said, the same income, Is one widow to be remitted taxation, simply because of the chance that the original reason why she received her pension was that her husband was killed in the War, and the other widow not to be remitted? You cannot do it. You can only base taxation on income, on the footing of the amount of the individual income. The moment you start considering other matters than the amount of the income, the State at once finds itself in a position of difficulty by reason of the resultant inequalities in individual cases. The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson), who moved the Clause, said the matter had never yet been considered by this House on any Finance Rill. As a matter of fact, though I am not surprised that he did not happen to have found it, it has been considered. It was considered in Committee on the Finance Bill last year, on a Clause moved by the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. Trevelyan Thomson) similar to the Clause now moved. The Chancellor of the Exchequer then expressed regret that he was unable to accept the Amendment, and gave his reasons, which were much more shortly stated than the reasons which I have given, and the Clause was negatived without a Division. The reference is to the OFFICIAL REPORT Of the 21st June, 1921, column 1328, vol. 143. For the reasons that I have given, though I recognise that we are so near the War that our hearts are constrained in sympathy with the Amendment, I am afraid I cannot accept it.
Could the Solicitor-General explain to me, as you are exempting men who are wounded, why you should not exempt women as well? I do not want to make a speech on the subject, but I feel rather keenly that if women and the widows were organised, and could bring the pressure on the House that some other trades do, the Government might give them more consideration. I do not believe for one minute that widows' pensions are ever going to be reconsidered. No one is going to bring them up, and I feel that, if we want to do anything for them, we have get to do it now, because we shall never have another chance. I know the Solicitor-General is in full sympathy. [An HON. MEMBER: "Oh, oh"!] Yes, I do know that. I am not here to do in the Government, but simply to point out that I cannot help thinking that if widows were organised and could bring pressure on the House, all the hon. Members would consider well before voting against the Clause.
No, not the right hon. Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury). I will exempt you. The right hon. Member for the City of London is so contrary that he is like the man of whom it was said that if he ever drowned he would float up-stream. I would like just to say that the women do feel this, and I feel it myself, and I would like to know why they cannot be put on the same footing as men, because many of these women are working women.
As a preliminary remark, may I deprecate earnestly the allegation made by the hon. Member for Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) that any other trade is so organised as to exert more pressure on this House than those to whom she refers, but subject to that special protest, I want to point out the difference between the pension of a man for wounds and the pension of a widow. The pension of a man for wounds is essentially compensation for injuries received in the service of the State. It has a certain analogy to a case under the Workmen s Compensation Act. A pension to a widow is, if I may use an illustration that will appeal to those hon. Members who are lawyers in the House, like a payment under what is known as Lord Campbell's Act, which gives a money compensation for the money loss that the person suffers by reason of the death of somebody who has been supporting him or her. It is a money compensation essentially, whereas the other is different. The difference between the two was one of the reasons why the House took the view which it took last year and the view that has been put forward on previous occasions. But even so, if the Committee think the two are alike, I answer that the mistake—the logical mistake—is not in omitting to give an allowance for taxation to the widow, but in giving it to the man, and if a logical mistake has been made, out of too strong an influence of human sympathy for human disability, that is, I venture to submit, no ground for extending it to a case such as this.
In his first speech the learned Solicitor-General gave some of the reasons against accepting this Amendment, which appeared to me to show, if anything, that it was just as reasonable to subject a man's disability pension to Income Tax as it was to subject a widow's pension to Income Tax. Every argument he used to show that the widow's pension should be subject to Income Tax might with equal force, or equal weakness, have been applied to show that the man's disability pension should be subject to Income Tax. But when he got up, in response to the appeal of the hon. Member for Plymouth (Viscountess Astor), to explain the difference between the man's disability pension and the pension of the woman who had lost her husband, it appeared to me that he contradicted his previous speech. His reason for exempting the man's pension from Income Tax was that it was compensation for money lost, and his explanation, just before, of the woman's pension for the loss of her husband was that she was getting money compensation for money lost. If it be compension for money lost in one case which entitles a man to exemption from Income Tax, why should not a woman who receives compensation for money lost also be exempt? Therefore the learned Solicitor-General, if he proved anything—and I do not think he did—proved that you ought to subject a man's disability pension to Income Tax. But that is a concluded case. It has been conceded, with practically the unanimous consent of this House, that a man's disability pension shall not be subject to Income Tax, and I say, if that be true, we cannot go back on that now. It is no good talking about a logical error or something of that sort. We are not going to accept that view of the man's disability pension in regard to Income Tax. I believe the majority of the Committee will regard it as a matter that is settled by the decision of this House, and we are not going back upon it here or, as I believe, in any future Parliament.What is the real reason, as I think, for exempting a man's disability pension from Income Tax? It is this. It is a source of income of an entirely exceptional kind —a source of income to the man for having fought for his country, and suffered for his country—and the House is practically unanimous in thinking that when the State gave a man a pension—very often no real compensation for the injury he had suffered, but something, at any rate—this House thought it unreasonable to take away with one hand what it gave with the other, and the reason was that this was an exceptional source of income. I say that the same principle precisely applies to the widow's pension. It is an exceptional source. It is something which the State gives to the woman, not for any particular service she has rendered, as in the case of an old pensioner under the Civil Service, but the State comes to the woman, and says, "Your husband has been a gallant servant of the State. He has fought for the State, and he has given up his life for the State. You have lost, not only your husband, but you may have lost even your means of subsistence and livelihood." Therefore, I say, that is an entirely exceptional payment, and it would be as unreasonable in the case of the woman's pension for the State to take away with one hand what it has given with the other, as it would be in the ease of a man's disability pension. I do not believe this is going to cost a great deal. I am not sure that the question of cost enters into this question. It is a question of moral justice. But if it did cost a great deal, I am quite certain the Solicitor-General would have told us. If he had said it was going to cost £20,000,000, should we not have been told? Would not we in this House have been frightened, or the attempt have been made to frighten us into refusing this Amendment on account of the excessive cost? Would not the vigilant watchdog of the Treasury have instructed the learned Solicitor-General that it would cost a great deal?
I told the Committee that. I did not know the figure, but I thought it was a small one.
I am very much obliged to my hon. and learned Friend. I did not catch the phrase "it was a small one." If there were anything necessary to reinforce my argument, surely that statement of the learned Solicitor-General ought to clinch the matter. If it were some enormous sum which the country could not afford this year, I could understand the Government might say, "This is a claim of justice and reason, but we cannot concede it this year." But now my hon. and learned Friend tells us that the cost would be very small. Under those circumstances I do beg of him, and I do beg of the Government, to reconsider this decision, and they will thereby do not only an act of bare justice in itself, but they will remove from the minds of many people in this country the feeling that the Government are not behaving quite fairly in a matter which deeply affects their interest, and, what is even more important, their moral feelings.
The learned Solicitor-General referred to the Debate which took place in Committee last year, when I had the honour to move a similar Clause, and he referred to the reply of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the effect that financial considerations prevented that concession being made. That, surely, cannot apply to-day, seeing that in the earlier part of our proceedings many hundred thousands of pounds, I understand, were given away to those who are pleading the cause of the Super-tax payer. I submit that if it be possible to make those concessions to those who are well able to bear the burden which was cast upon them, it is unfair to plead to this Committee financial need in resisting the claim of the widows. The learned Solicitor-General said that it would lead to anomalies if we made this concession. I submit that the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) has shown that there are existing anomalies to-day, and the mere fact that a concession of this kind might lead to anomalies, surely is no reason why one anomaly should not be swept away. I hope the Government will reconsider the appeals which have been made to them, and as an act of justice, having made these big concessions to large and wealthy financial interests, will not resist this unanimous claim.
The ground has been fairly well covered so far as this House is concerned in respect to this matter. The hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher), I think, thoroughly well dealt with the statement of the Solicitor-General. There is just one point in the speech of the Solicitor-General to which I should like to refer—the analogy between the Workmen's Compensation Act and the compensation given by the State for injuries suffered owing to the War. But the analogy is no analogy. If an employer of labour was called upon to pay compensation for injuries to a worker, it would be impossible for that employer to levy any sort of a tax and, recover the compensation that he had paid. In this case the State has an obligation. The State has employed these men, who were rewarded quite inadequately, as I believe, and also the widows were inadequately rewarded, even from the money standpoint. What the Government are trying to do is to justify the continuation of this Income Tax on the ground that it will apply in a similar way to the case of a man injured at a works. I hope, therefore, notwithstanding the decision which has previously been arrived at on this subject, that hon. Members will see their way to support this very small concession that is asked for.
The Solicitor-General in the course of his speech made an extraordinary statement when he said that this Amendment had really nothing to do with Income Tax. If that was so he would have to bring in a Pensions Bill year by year as he raised or lowered the Income Tax. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"] Certainly. Supposing you have an Income Tax of 10s., you would have to bring in a Pensions Bill to increase the pensions according to that amount. However, I really do not think there is much in that argument after all. The point I want specially to make is this. Here are Clauses one after another. The acceptance of them by the Government, and by the House, very largely depends upon the loss of revenue they bring to the Exchequer. If that be so, in every one of these Clauses we ought to have an estimate.
I could not give figures before, but I have some now. If this Amendment be passed, the cost, so far as can be judged, will be about £100,000 per year. The Amendment which goes with it, the children's allowance paid to widows—it is very difficult to differentiate it from this one—will cost another £50,000.
The right hon. Gentleman said previously the sum would be a small one, but it appears it is a question now of £150,000 per year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer uses the word "expenditure" in connection with these Amendments, but this has nothing whatever to do with expenditure. It means simply that you are taking a tax from certain poor people and spending it on unnecessary officials in Whitehall. Therefore, in the case of these Amendments, you have really to make up your minds whether certain expenditure is absolutely necessary so that you cannot afford not to take taxation from very poor people.
The question seems to me not whether this is going to cost £100,000 or £50,000 or £1,000,000 or £2,000,000. The question is: Is it right or wrong? That is the only question. If you are going to begin to exempt widows because you have exempted men who have been wounded you will have to go on and exempt children.
And when you have exempted these, there will be some other exemption.
Oh, yes. Other exemptions will be brought forward, and it will be said, having exempted these people you should also make other exemptions. There is no end to it. Widowers have told me that if they were not widowers they could claim exemption. Because they are widowers they do not get exemption, but their sons got it and that they thought was unfair. Everybody should pay Income Tax according to their means. There ought not to be any exemptions at all in my opinion. There might have been some argument before people had the vote, but they have the vote now, and I would point out to the hon. Member for Plymouth, and the widows she is so anxious to champion that widows have the vote. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Oh, yes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Not necessarily."] Well, she may have the vote. If she is over 30—and very few of them are! If she has the vote she must bear the responsibility which that vote carries, for with the vote she has the power of imposing taxation, through her Member, upon certain people. She must bear in mind that she, too, may have to pay. Otherwise you at once abandon the correct principle and people would impose taxation upon a smaller class for their own benefit. That is absolutely wrong. But we are tending in that direction. The first speech of the Solicitor-General, if I may say so, was an excellent speech in which he pointed out the true bearings of the case. I sincerely trust that the Government will adhere to their decision which they will, I am sure, carry by a large majority.
May I just point out to the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City (Sir F. Banbury) what his argument really amounts to. He says he is against any exemptions at all. That is an arguable case, but surely it is very hard to insist on that in the case of the widow when you have granted exemptions to a large number of other people. That is not the principle of our legislation. The only question we have to consider is whether a case for exemption has been made out. I think there is a good deal to be said for the principle laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City, but it is not the law, and we cannot rely upon it as an answer to this Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman says that widows have got votes.
Some of them.
At any rate, the younger widows have not got votes. The question is not giving a special exemption to women, but to give the same exemption to them which has been granted to men, and the question of women having votes does not affect the matter at all. I wish to ask the special attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this Amendment, because I think it is one which the Government ought not to resist. Here is a case in which you have laid it down that men with pensions for injuries received in the War are not to be subject to Income Tax, but you have not extended that principle to women who have been injured in the War by the loss of their husbands. What is the distinction you are going to draw between those two cases consonant with justice?The Solicitor-General says that this proposal would create an inequality, but this is a much greater inequality than any which he pointed out. Here is a case where you are distinguishing women as against men who have both suffered injury in the War. The question whether they were actually employed by the State, I am sure the Solicitor-General will see, makes no difference, because they have both been treated right through in our legislation as people who have suffered injury by the loss of their nearest and dearest in the State's service, and you can make no distinction between the women who have become widows and the men who have been wounded. What are we to say about these inequalities? Are there really so great inequalities as the Solicitor-General makes out? He says that women in receipt of an income over the Income Tax level will be entitled to this deduction, but those coming under the Income Tax level will not be entitled to it. I do not think that that is a sound argument. May I suggest that there is really a sound reason why pensions of this kind should be given for the greatest service to the State than we can conceive, and it is that the pension is given, not as compensation, because that is impossible, but as a substitute for the pecuniary loss which has been incurred. If that has been estimated at so many pounds a year, is it reasonable that it should vary according to the varying taxation of each succeeding year? Is there not a good reason for saying in that ease that the amount fixed should always be paid, whatever the taxation may be? The only two ways you can do that is by continually varying the pension, which would be absurd, or by saying that pensions shall not be subject to Income Tax, and therefore not subject to any varying deduction under the Finance Bill. It seems to me that that is a good principle. The Solicitor-General was very anxious to find some good principle on which to oppose these exemptions, but if he exempts men and does not exempt women, he will not be acting on any principle, whereas, if he exempts all those who receive War pensions, he will be on more solid ground.
I think the right hon. Gentleman might make a concession in those cases where the widows are not paying 5s. in the £. Where a widow has no children and has a total income not exceeding £350, then she would not pay any Income Tax on her pension, although she would pay on the other part of her income. A widow at the present time receiving the normal pension does not pay anything, but most of us know cases of widows receiving pensions who are liable, and are even paying the Super-tax. This Amendment does not deal with the very poor widow, but only with the widow who comes just above the line of those that are very poor. If the suggestion could be considered, that what is called the 2s. 6d. Income Tax should be remitted, it would mean that the widow with £350 would receive her pension without deduction, and if she had children they would increase that liability and it would bring it up to £400. I think that would meet the two cases, that is, the case of the widow herself and the children whose pensions are now treated by the Inland Revenue as part of her income. I do not think that this would cost half the total amount which has been mentioned, because the larger proportion of the £150,000 would probably go to the richer section of the widows, because the poor widows come below the Income Tax level.
I would like to draw attention to the fact that where a man has been wounded you give him a pension and there is no Income Tax payable on it, but if he has been killed, then the Income Tax is charged on the widow's pension. I do not think that is either fair or equitable.
I would suggest to the Government a way to deal with this Amendment. I am inclined to agree with the Solicitor-General that this alteration, or this act of justice to the woman, should be done by means of the Pensions Ministry rather than in the way suggested by the Amendment. The strong point which has been made is that the women under the Income Tax limit would obtain no relief, whereas the women above the Income Tax limit would benefit. We ought to have an undertaking that the Pensions Minister will take charge of this matter and increase the allowance of the widow in order that she might be compensated for that amount of the tax which she has to pay to the State. That would throw upon the Pensons Ministry this additional burden of £150,000.On this matter I would like to point out that the Pensions Vote is a decreas- ing amount, and I am perfectly certain that the people of this country would not be averse to allowing that Vote to decrease just a little slower in order that this act of justice might be done to the widows who have lost their husbands during the War. I make that appeal to the Government, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer could give us that undertaking I would appeal to the Mover of this Amendment to withdraw it, and to rely upon the promise of the Government to deal with this matter through the Pensions Ministry rather than by an exemption under the Income Tax.
I would like to remind the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) that these are exceptional cases. In my opinion these pensions should be regarded rather in the light of dividends which are often paid free of Income Tax. Widows ought to have every consideration in view of the circumstances in which they are placed. They have often to work in order to supplement their means of living and to educate their children, and they certainly ought to be helped as much as possible in carrying out the duties which they have to perform in acting both as father and mother to the children.
The only speech made against this Amendment has been that of the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London who used, perhaps, the most extraordinary argument ever put forward by such a financial expert. The right hon. Gentleman started by saying we ought in these matters to do what is right and not what is wrong. Then he went on to suggest that if the Government were to give way here, irrespective presumably of what is right or wrong, there would be other claims for exemption and still more claims would follow. Then the right hon. Gentleman finished up by throwing his original argument overboard and suggesting that the criterion should be the number of exemptions that would be claimed, and he asserted it would therefore be very dangerous for the Government to accept such an Amendment as this.
I said that all these exemptions were wrong, and this was not less wrong because it did not happen to cost very much.
My hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. S. Roberts) made a concrete suggestion to the Government. But those of us who wish to see the Amendment accepted are, I think, on stronger ground, because we wish to put the women in the same position as the men, and if we are going to put them in a different position to the extent suggested by the hon. Gentleman it will be a confession that the claim now put forward on their behalf is not so good a claim as that advanced on behalf of the men and granted in previous legislation. I submit that the further we get away from the 11th November, 1918, the dimmer becomes the memory of the country, and especially of the Government, as regards these ex-service men and women. When we consider their straitened circumstances, and what the men and the women whom the Amendment principally affects have suffered, I contend that the Government might meet us and do for the women what they have already by legislation done for the men.
The last speaker suggested that the country has become less keen in regard to the claims of people who suffered from the War, and that, the further away we get, the more negligent we become of those who served us; but I would remind the Committee that this matter is not now being discussed for the first time. It. has been discussed on every Finance Bill which has been passed since the War, and upon every occasion the House has decided in the same way.
And every time has been wrong.
That may be so, but at least it is a complete answer to what my hon. and gallant Friend has said. At a time when feelings were most stirred, and when the desire to compensate those who had suffered was most keen, the House came to that decision, which has been in the Finance Bill every year since the War, and is repeated in the present year's Finance Bill. I wish to address myself for a moment to a particular consideration. This is not a question which can be dealt with on the basis of balking about the equality of the sexes. My Noble Friend has put it, as one would expect him to put it, on that footing, but in truth the conditions are not at all analogous; and the women whose men went to the War and suffered are the last people who would seek to be put on that footing. The men were put in a special position, because, being disabled and maimed, and having faced all the horrors that War meant, a special dispensation was made with regard to them. But the widow who remained at home, while she endured anxieties, I admit, did not endure any more anxieties than the women whose husbands were fighting alongside and did suffer the same penalty.The provision was made for the men. With regard to the widows, these are not easy matters to talk of, because sentiment naturally arises. We want to look at it from a practical point of view in a practical House, and I venture to put it to the Committee, though my words may seem harsh, that, as the Committee has decided before on the same lines which I am now suggesting, the widows of the men who suffered in the War are, so far as practical conditions are concerned, not in any different position from the woman whose husband, working in a munition factory, was killed in the War. What is her position?
Or on the railway.
Or in any of the great industries of the country. I agree that the man who was kept at home did not endure the horrors that were endured by the man who fought in the trenches, and, therefore, the consideration is not being given to him, if he is maimed, which was given to the man who fought; but so far as the widows of these men are concerned, the position to-day is, I will not say exactly identical, but not very dissimilar, and it is a. very difficult thing to say that, because a woman enjoys a pension which came to her through the fact that her husband was killed in the War, she should have some special advantages over other widows who may have suffered equally in their feelings, and had equal disaster, so far as the people who were near and dear to them were concerned. I confess I find it very difficult to defend the differentiation, which it is suggested by this Amendment that we should make, that one widow should be relieved of Income Tax, as compared with another who should not, though she may have the same troubles in life, the bringing up of children, to which reference has been made, narrowness of means, and difficulty of circumstances. Upon what grounds are you going to make the differentiation? I turn to one difficulty which will be created by this matter. It does not seem to affect the Noble Lord, but it affects my mind very much. This discrimination, in so far even as concerns the widows of men who were engaged in the War, only affects those who have incomes above the Income Tax limit. You are really giving them a special bonus because they are better off. The pension is to them to that extent increased in value because they happen to have more than is required under the Income Tax limit. I think when you come to consider this matter, not upon grounds of sentiment, though of course the sentiments are good, but when you come to consider it from the practical point of view, the consideration's which have moved Members of the House in the past are equally sufficient and efficacious to move us now.
Like the great majority of hon. Members present, I have listened to Debates where there was what you may call a general consensus of opinion, but I do not think I have listened to a Debate which more fulfilled that description than that which has taken place here to-night. It did not seem to make any difference what part of the House you touched, except the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City (Sir F. Banbury), whom I do not accuse of any lack of sympathy, but who maintained an attitude of consistency which is peculiar to himself. There is very remarkable agreement in all sections of the House that this concession may well be made. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has just said that to make this is to make a special differentiation. But this is not the only case where there is differentiation. That we are constantly making differentiations where a case is made and it is proved that it is not beyond the financial capacity of the year is aptly demonstrated here in the proceedings of the Committee to-day, when I state without any Further comment that the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave way to quite legitimate pressure a sum which certainly was not under £300,000.
It does not affect the finances of the present year.
I do not want to argue that closely, but I do not agree with the position the right hon. Gentleman puts. But here is a matter of justice agreed to by practically all sections of the House, and it is going to cost £100,000. It seems to me that in a case like that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should accede to the considered judgment of the House. I hope this matter will go to a Division. I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman has not seen his way to meet the very practical suggestion which was made by the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. S. Roberts). We are not working upon logical principles at all. I quite agree that in logic there is no defence for that compromise, which was suggested because if it just in the case of the £350 it is just in the case of £2,000 a year. We do not work on those principles at all and the real aim of this Amendment is to help the widow of the soldier who has given his life in the War, the widow who is in what you may call straightened circumstances. It was suggested that where you have a widow with children to bring up on £250 or £300 a year, that those are hard conditions. That that is a hard case which the Committee as a whole desires to meet. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will meet it.
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot give way and meet us, I hope that he will take off the Government Whips and leave the Committee to have a free vote. I should be the last to suggest that hon. Members on the other side are any more lacking in sympathy than those who support this Amendment, but they have taken up an attitude that is neither logical nor consistent. For once in my life I agree with the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) when he says that this question ought not to he settled on the matter of cost, but as to whether it is right or wrong. If it were to be settled on the question of cost, I should have to remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the sacrifice that he made of £32,000,000 by a general reduction of Income Tax. As we are not considering the cost, let us consider the principle of the thing. The Chancellor of the Exchequer appeals to us to treat this matter as practical men and from the point of view of common sense. If we agree that the disabled ex-service man who is receiving a pension shall be exempt from Income Tax, we cannot on logical grounds refuse to exempt the widow who has lost her husband in the War, and who is called upon to pay Income Tax out of the pension she receives. I do not want to be unkind, but it seems to me that to penalise the widow who has lost her husband in the War is simply taking blood money from her by refusing to exempt her from the operations of income Tax so far as her pension is concerned. I hope the Government will allow that general consensus of opinion that undoubtedly exists in the Committee in favour of this Amendment to be expressed in the Lobby, by giving their supporters a free vote.
I hope my right hon. Friend will consider the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. S. Roberts) in regard to a line being drawn so as to secure this concession for those widows whose position is such that the difference of income Tax of half the 5s. basis is a matter of real importance. Taking the majority of cases, these are of greater importance than those who are better off. We do not act logically in these matters. If the right hon. Gentleman would consider that, it would relieve the particular place where the shoe pinches most, and it would indicate that there was a way out which, while having due regard for the financial interests of the country, would meet the acute necessities of that type of widow.
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to accept any suggestion, I hope he will accept, not the suggestion of the hon. Member for Hereford, but that of the hon. and gallant Member for East Middlesbrough (Colonel P. Williams). That suggestion was a really good one, for this reason, that it threw the burden upon the particular branch of the administration of this country which ought really to bear it, the Ministry of Pensions. To expect the Exchequer to part with revenue of this sort would be unfair. Therefore, it would be better to accept the recommendation of the hon. Member for Middlesbrough. Hon. Members opposite have talked about justice. I am not going to deliver a Socratic monologue about justice. But when they talk about justice, do they think it justice when a widow's pension has been fixed at a certain figure that it should continue at that figure, though the value of money owing to the decreased price of commodities has gone up considerably? Suppose that a widow's pension was fixed two or three years ago at £150 a year, it is certain that if justice is to be considered—I do not say that it is—the pension ought to be reduced because of the increased value of money now owing to the fall in prices. Therefore, when hon. Members talk about justice, they should at any rate find out what justice is.
The right hon. Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) said that he hoped we should go to a Division. I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not compel us to go to a Division. I hope that he will agree to some modification of the Bill as it stands so as to meet those of his party who feel strongly on this matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the women gladly supported the men in the demand that the men should get their pensions free of tax. I believe that in this respect I can speak for the whole British Army, the whole seven million, and say that they are equally anxious that the women should be free from this tax. Therefore I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not force us to a Division but will undertake to bring in on Report stage some modification of the present Bill so as to meet those of us who feel very keenly on the matter.
I suppose that I have in my constituency as many widows who have lost their husbands in the war as any Member of this Committee. I do not believe that this Amendment will apply to one of them. I doubt whether the widows to whom this Amendment would apply are in straitened circumstances. Let us consider the facts. The income up to £135 is entirely relieved of Income Tax. I wish that the widows in my constituency had got that amount or anything like it. We are told that this Amendment would cost £150,000. To whom is that to he given? Is it to the widows of the private soldiers? Let the straitened Member for Peebles tell us. What right have we to make this exemption? What have the Labour party got for the widows of men who died in industry? Who is going to pay for this exemption? It is to be paid out of general taxation, and it will make the cost of living higher, and the position of the widow who has got no pension more intolerable. That is as clear as clear can be. One of the reasons for the high cost of living to-day is the system of pensions. It costs us an enormous sum of money. Where are we to get it? I do not in the least object to the interruptions of the Labour party. This is a point they will make on their platforms. But do not let them forget to say how much this is to cost the country and who is to get the benefit.I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will stand firm. If he yields to all these ideas and all this sentiment, where are we going? How infinitely better placed are these widows than 90 per cent. of the other widows of the country! I ask the Noble Lady who represents the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) what about the widows in her constituency who have no pensions at all?
I would like to answer now.
No, no. I wonder what the hon. Member says about the widows who are unemployed. Why are they unemployed? Because there is no money to employ them. Let her consider these things and speak straightly to her constituents when explaining how she voted. If she is in any doubt about it, let her ask me to come down and support her. I protest that this Amendment is wholly out of order in regard to a Finance Bill. We are not considering sympathies that appeal to the heart, but the finances of this country. Rightly or wrongly, we have determined that a person with an income of £135 a year shall be free from tax. I think that is right. If there are children there is a further allowance. What we have to consider is, what is justice to all the widows of this country? If a widow had not become a widow as a result of the War, she would have received no pension at all. As a result of the War, a soldier's or sailor's widow has received a pension. Surely that is more than any other widow has got, as a right. Presume the widow is getting £135 a year. She is free of tax, and up to £500 she pays only 2s.6d. in the pound. Let us consider all these facts, and is there a Member of the Committee who, having considered them, will, in the present financial stringency, propose to extend these exemptions? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes!"] Those who would do so, do not consider other members of the public. We have to raise this money front the taxation of the people, and it is pressing intolerably on them, and more particularly on the poorest of the poor. I protest against the notion put forward that this is only a small sum. We have acted generously and rightly by these widows, and I believe they recognise they have been dealt with fairly. I believe this is purely and simply a "stunt" for election purposes by the Labour party, and I trust the Chancellor will stick to his guns. [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide!"]
I was in the Committee when this Debate began and when there were not more than 14 or 15 Members present. I have since listened to the speeches of half-a-dozen Members who were not present during any other part of the Debate. I attempted to catch the Chairman's eye once or twice, but gave it up, thinking I had better wait until the last lap and until every one anxious to speak had finished. It is a singular advantage to have the opportunity of following my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Gillingham (Mr. Hohler) in the speech which has just been delivered. He states this Amendment is put forward by the Labour party as a mere election "stunt" That must be untrue, as my hon. and learned Friend would have seen, if he had considered the terms of the Amendment for a moment or even if he had known what he was speaking about. The Labour party naturally would desire to appeal to the poorest section of the community. The hon. and learned Member himself demonstrated that this proposal was not applicable to the poorest widows. I should think it affects scarcely one per cent. of the widows of private soldiers—I doubt if it affects any of them.In fact, the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London twitted the Labour party on proposing to extract taxes from the poorer citizen and contribute them to the relief of the more wealthy section of the community. The right hon. Baronet went on to give us a cue as to the method of deciding this matter. It is not by pettifogging legal disquisitions from one side or the other that the matter can be arranged, nor is it a question of how much the cost will be. To begin with, it is estimated that the highest figure—even including the proposals in the Amendments ancillary to that which we are discussing—will not represent a cost to the Exchequer of more than £150,000 a year, this year or any year, and it would be a reducing amount for practically every year after this. Why is this claim made, and why, though it does not appeal to the section of the community to which I belong, do I support it? I look upon the widow whose husband lost his life upon the battlefield as being in a distinctly different position, whether rich or poor, from any other class of the community engaged in this great War. Irrespective altogether of the income of the family, this is, as it were, a special recognition at last by the State of the peculiarly tragic circumstances of the case. While I am very anxious that the Committee should be given a chance of dividing upon this question, even if we carried this Clause the Government would not be defeated. I am certain that the common-sense of the Cabinet would admit that, under the circumstances, the House of Commons, as the trustee of those who gave their lives in the service of the State, was entitled to take this particular case into special consideration, and I am sure that the Administration would find ways and means to carry it into effect. The House of Commons, representing the widows of these hundreds and thousands of men who gave their lives in the service of the State, ought not to worry over the Labour, Liberal or Tory parties. We stand for the great name of our own country. We are here to do what we can, and we must continue, lest we forget. An hon. and gallant Gentleman, who spoke just now, said he was afraid that there was a tendency, as we got further away from the 11th November, 1918, to forget the services that these men rendered to us, and I fear that there is such a tendency. Whether or not this Clause is applicable peculiarly to those who are in better circumstances, it is, as a contribution of sympathetic consideration from the representatives of the democracy to those people whose circumstances are most tragic, in that the head of the family has been lost in the War, the least we can do for them.
It is rather unfortunate that I should have to follow the wonder- ful speech of the hon. and gallant Member who has just sat down. His sentiments are very good, but I venture to disagree with him. I have listened to this Debate, and I hope I shall be able to maintain it at the very high level to which the hon. and gallant Member raised it. The right hon. Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) talked of straitened circumstances. I listened to my political opponents, who here talk about the widow, but who, when outside the House, always talk about the labouring class. One hon. Member said that it was the general consensus of opinion in all quarters of the Committee that this Clause should be passed. I am not in agreement with that, for the very simple reason that, though I have many war widows in my division, I am sorry to say I do not think I have one who pays any Income Tax at all. I wish they did so. It is all very well my Labour friends talking about relief from Income Tax. They pay Income Tax themselves; I do not, and I am looking after the poor individual, the widow of Tommy Atkins and the rank and file who have got no Income Tax to pay. If this Amendment is passed, I can see that their burden is not lightened, and therefore, in the name of justice, I oppose the Amendment. I quite admit I can see my opponents bringing out a placard at the next Election of the Member for East Woolwich as the man who voted for taxation of War widows, but I am not going to be led away by that. I am going to do what I believe to be fair and what is right, and as a very humble representative of a very poor constituency I am going to vote against this Amendment, because by doing so I believe I am helping to reduce the already heavy burdens that the War widow has got to bear.
I very much regret the attitude of the hon. and gallant Member for East Woolwich (Captain Gee). Taking this question on broad lines, it seems to me that there is one great difference to bear in mind. We have had many appeals for exemption from taxation, but there is this broad difference in this case. I do not care to what class the people belong or what is their income, those who are dependants or relatives of people who have given their lives for their country in the War deserve, I think, exceptional treatment. It is a great mistake, and I think my hon. Friend the Member for East Woolwich has fallen into it, to say in regard to people who have got obligations as to the education of their families, as to dependants, and so on, that, when they get pensions or allowances for war service made to them, these things ought to be assessed and treated as if they were not derived from the results of a sacrifice of some member of their family. I am quite convinced that, however much we may steel our hearts against the appeals that otherwise would seem just, we must recognise the sacrifices made for the country. After all that was said to every class, that whoever went out and fought and suffered for his country would be put in no worse position than before, we must remember these pledges, and we must remember that the people who gave their lives for their country have put themselves and their families in an entirely different category from anybody else. For this reason, I appeal to the Committee to support the Amendment.
Before we go into the Lobby, I should like to remind some of the hon. Members who were not here that this is a question of justice
Division No 179.]
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Finney, Samuel||Mitchell, Sir William Lane|
|Age-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Foot, Isaac||Mosley, Oswald|
|Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.||Ford, Patrick Johnston||Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Forestier-Walker, L.||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)|
|Banton, George||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Myers, Thomas|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Galbraith, Samuel||Nall, Major Joseph|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Gillis, William||Naylor, Thomas Ellis|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Goff, Sir R. Park||Newbould, Alfred Ernest|
|Barrand, A. R.||Gould, James C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Gretton, Colonel John||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Birchall, J. Dearman||Grundy, T. W.||O'Grady, Captain James|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.|
|Blair, Sir Reginald||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Perring, William George|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Hartshorn, Vernon||Philipps, Gen. Sir I. (Southampton)|
|Briant, Frank||Hayday, Arthur||Picketing, Colonel Emil W.|
|Bromfield, William||Hayward, Evan||Polson, Sir Thomas A.|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)||Rae, Sir Henry N.|
|Cairns, John||Hills, Major John Waller||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Hirst, G. H.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Casey, T. W.||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R, (Hitchin)||Hogge, James Myles||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)|
|Child, Brigadier-General Sir Hill||Holmes, J. Stanley||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Irving, Dan||Rose, Frank H.|
|Cope, Major William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Davies, A. (Lancaster, Ciltheroe)||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Kenyon, Barnet||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Davies, David (Montgomery)||Kiley, James Daniel||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Davies, Sir William H. (Bristol, S.)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Swan, J. E.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.||Lunn, William||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Mallalieu, Frederick William||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Marks. Sir George Croydon||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
between the men and the women. That has been pointed out by far abler speakers than I am. There is no greater suffering in this country than there is among the widows of the officers, and this Amendment affects the widows of the officers. It will cost us very little, but it will really help hundreds of women who are making a gallant struggle, and who are too proud to let the world know what they are suffering. If you do this, you will help people who cannot speak for themselves. It will cost so little that I am amazed the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not see it himself. He gave way on such big things to-day, that really £100,000 is very little for a rich and prosperous Government to give. Some day the House has got to face the question of widows' pensions from the national point of view. I ask hon. Members to stand by the widows, as well as by the men who have been disabled, and not to be put off by the Government.
Question put, "That the Clause be, read a Second time."
The Committee divided: Ayes, 132; Noes, 231.
|Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)||Windsor, Viscount|
TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
|Wignall, James||Wolmer, Viscount||Mrs. Wintringham and Mr. Lawson.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William James||Guthrie, Thomas Maule||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Armstrong, Henry Bruce||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Atkey, A. R.||Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'l,W.D'by)||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Hamilton, Sir George C.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pratt, John William|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Prescott, Major Sir W. H.|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Haslam, Lewis||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Barlow, Sir Montague||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Purchase, H. G.|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Remer, J. R,|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Hinds, John||Renwick, Sir George|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Bartley-Denniss, Sir Edmund Robert||Hood, Sir Joseph||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn, W.)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Bennett, Sir Thomas Jewel(||Hopkins, John W. W.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Blane, T. A.||Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Hurd, Percy A.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Seddon, J. A.|
|Brassey, H. L. C.||Inskip, Thomas Walker H.||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Briggs, Harold||Jameson, John Gordon||Simm, M. T.|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Smith, Sir Harold (Warrington)|
|Brotherton, Colonel Sir Edward A.||Johnstone, Joseph||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. Clifton (Newbury)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Bruton, Sir James||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Starkey, Captain John Ralph|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Kidd, James||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Stewart, Gershom|
|Burgoyne, Lt.-Col. Sir Alan Hughes||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Larmor, Sir Joseph||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Carter, R. A. D. (Man., Withington)||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Lindsay, William Arthur||Sykes, Sir Charles (Huddersfield)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Lloyd, George Butler||Taylor, J.|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Locker-Lampson, Com. D. (H'tingd'n)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Clough, Sir Robert||Lorden, John William||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell-(Maryhill)|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Lort-Williams, J||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Lyle, C. E. Leonard||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Dalzlet, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Vickers, Douglas|
|Davidson,J, C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Wallace, J.|
|Davies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)||McMicking, Major Gilbert||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Macnaghten, Sir Malcolm||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Dewhurst, Lieut.-Commander Harry||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)|
|Edgar, Clifford B.||Manville, Edward||Waring, Major Walter|
|Edge, Captain Sir William||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Evans, Ernest||Martin, A. E.||Watson, Captain John Bertrand|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Matthews, David||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Middlebrook, Sir William||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfrey||Molson, Major John Elsdale||White, Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz||Willey, Lieut.-Colonel F. V.|
|Fildes, Henry||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Foreman, Sir Henry||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn)|
|Forrest, Walter||Morrison, Hugh||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Winterton, Earl|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Murchison, C. K.||Wise, Frederick|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Murray, Rt. Hon. C. D. (Edinburgh)||Wood. Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Gee, Captain Robert||Neal, Arthur||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon, Sir L.|
|Gilbert. James Daniel||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Yes, Sir Alfred William|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)||Younger, Sir George|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John|
TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Sir Hamar||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.|
|Greig, Colonel Sir James William||Parker, James||McCurdy.|
|Grenfell Edward Charles||Pearce, Sir William|