Clause 5. — (Increased customs duties on tea.)

– in the House of Commons am ar 23 Mehefin 1938.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Amendment proposed [22nd June]: In page 5, line 16, to leave out "increased." —(Mr. Barnes.)

Question against proposed, "That the word increased ' stand part of the Clause."

3.59 P.m.

Photo of Mr Thomas Sexton Mr Thomas Sexton , Barnard Castle

I have very great pleasure in supporting this Amendment. I have taken the trouble to analyse the Amendments on yesterday's Order Paper, and I find that there were 115 altogether, of which 19 were proposed by the party to which I belong, 83 by the Government, and 13 by the Liberal party. By far the larger number of the Amendments deal with people like motorists, bondholders, and manufacturers, and only a small number are concerned with the food and the welfare of the workers of this country. The Chancellor cannot complain of Members on these benches when they put down so few Amendments to his Finance Bill. During the Debate yesterday no Government supporter spoke in favour of this Tea Duty. We on the Labour benches have not been silent, and do not intend to be silent on such an important subject. It has been said by hon. Members opposite that the amount of the duty on tea is too insignificant for us to make a fuss about it, yet it is significant enough to cause a display of obstinacy on the part of the Government, who refuse to withdraw it.

Clause 5, to which this Amendment refers, affects the food of the people The first three Amendments discussed yesterday affected the food of the machine; reductions were wanted on food for machines. This Amendment is directed to a reduction of taxation on the food of the human beings of the country, especially those of the poorer classes. Tea is not a luxury. That has been said scores of times, but it needs emphasising. To the workers, especially the lower paid workers, and those with small fixed incomes, and pensioners, tea is an absolute necessity, and indeed it is a form of food. The Amendment will tend to reduce the cost of living and the money so saved will enable the poorer classes to buy more food. A widow with three children in my constituency has the magnificent sum of 19s. a week on which to live. Of that sum 5s. goes in rent, light and coals, she pays 2s. a week to a clothing club, and she is left with 12s. a week, 144 pence, for 112 meals, or less than ¼ a meal. She tells me that she uses about ¾ of tea a week. This increased tax will increase her cost of living by 1½. That may seem a very small sum, but it means that in that family someone has to go one meal short a week, and in most cases of the kind it is the mother who goes short in order that the children may get their full share. As in the case of this widow, so in the case of the old age pensioner. The Government have refused constantly to raise the amount of the pension. It is disgraceful to add to the cost of living by this imposition of an increased Tea Duty.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his Budget speech, referred to the pride and patriotism of these poor people. Pride in what? Pride in the 10s. for a mother or 3s. for a child? What about the patriotism, the love of fatherland without the care of a father, the love of a fatherland which includes the fatherless and the widows, in increasing their cost of living? These poor people must do their duty by paying this duty, I suppose. It is implied that the money will go to assist rearmament. I take it that this duty is not allocated to one specific expenditure. Part of the widow's mite will go towards the Civil List, to pay big pensions to wealthy widows in high places. Part of it will go to children of the Palace, part of the old age pensioners' and ex-service men's pensions will go to pay retiring pensions to Army and Navy officers, not on the scale of old age pensions, but on a far grander scale than that. Part of it will pay judges and Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament. What pride will these oppressed folks feel when they drink tea to the popinjays of the Palace and to statesmen whose statecraft savours more of craftiness than of statesmanship? What patriotism is there in the Flag which has now become practically the shroud of bombed British sailors, and has become a shroud to cover the shame of the nation in dealing so despicably with its poorer subjects by adding to their existing burdens? With pleasure I again voice my opinion that the Government have sunk to very low depths indeed when they try to extract from the poorer section of the community this extra tax.

4.7 p.m.

Photo of Mr Oswald Lewis Mr Oswald Lewis , Colchester

It is a curious thing how mere size will affect some people's standard of morality. For example, a man who would not dream of cheating a poor tradesman will sometimes not hesitate to try to travel first-class with a third-class railway ticket, apparently with the vague idea that the railway company is so big and rich and powerful that his action really does not matter. In the same way some people, whose ordinary standard of commercial morality is beyond suspicion, do not hesitate, if they take a holiday in France, to endeavour on their return to smuggle some small article through the Customs, knowing that duty should be paid upon it. Again, the idea is that the country is so strong and wealthy that their action does not matter. In these attacks on the Tea Duty we see something of the same kind. We see a number of hon. Members who would, I am sure, do anything they could to prevent an individual from seeking means, by some loophole in the law, to evade taxation which this House sought to impose upon him. Those same Members come down here and eagerly endeavour to ensure that whole classes of the community shall evade a reasonable share of taxation.

After all, what is the position with which the Chancellor is faced? We all know that he has to meet some extra expenditure because of the acceleration of our rearmament programme, and that he is obliged to provide extra taxation to cover that expenditure. He has endeavoured to do rough justice in the matter by placing some of the burden on direct taxation and part of it on indirect taxation. In selecting the object for indirect taxation he has deliberately chosen something which is as widely used as possible. To me that seems a very reasonable proposal, and one which we might well accept. I noticed that in the Debate yesterday the hon. Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) threw out the suggestion that, supposing it was desirable to raise part of this money by indirect taxation, there might be other forms of indirect taxation which would be more desirable from the point of view of public policy. That seems to me to be a perfectly arguable proposition, one on which many views might be held; but that is not the attitude taken up by the great majority of those who oppose the duty and support this Amendment.

The speeches of hon. Members opposite show that in essence their objection is to any increase at the present time in any form of indirect taxation. That is the claim they make and that is the purpose of the Amendment. Some of them have used very strong language in support of the Amendment. One hon. Member yesterday referred to the tax as mean and despicable. It is an old dodge, if you feel a little uncertain as to the merits of your case, to devote yourself to abusing the other man's lawyer. When I hear hon. Members opposite use violent language about the tax I cannot help wondering whether it is not because they are a little uneasy as to the arguments they bring forward. In some ways there is a rather striking parallel between this opposition to an increase of the Tea Duty and what occurred in 1931. In 1931 Members of the Labour party went to the country and appealed to all the most selfish instincts of mankind, ignoring all sense of public duty. The country very decisively rejected the arguments they put forward, and as a party they were very badly beaten. I venture to suggest that public opinion has not greatly changed, and that Members of the Labour party are deluding themselves if they suppose that there is any widespread support for the proposal that all the extra burden for rearmament, rearmament in the interests of us all, should be borne by one small section of the community, and that section one which already bears by far the largest share of taxation. I hope that the Chancellor will stand firm in his resistance to the Amendment.

4.14 p.m.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I have been called to my feet by the tone and content of the utterance of the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis). He appealed for indirect taxation to be imposed upon the poor and made a plea for what he calls the already overtaxed small section of the rich. I understand that that was the general conclusion of his oration. He suggested that if any hon. Member here gets up and opposes indirect taxation of the pernicious kind that the tax on tea is, he is committing an act which is comparable with cheating a railway company or the Customs. The Chancellor of the Exchequer comes forward with a series of proposals for raising the necessary revenue of the country, but if I come forward and oppose any one of the suggestions on behalf of a particular section of the community that I think is already overburdened, I am told that I am engaging in something that is immoral and criminal. I am not going to accept that from the hon. Member. I object profoundly to the Tea Duty. At one time there was in this country a very strong and healthy opinion that no article that was an article of dietary of the people should ever bear taxation. I still hold that view.

It is true that a heavy drinker of tea like myself can well afford to pay the taxation and I would never grumble at having to pay it. But what the hon. Member is asking is that a man living on 15s. a week, and possibly a means-tested 15s. at that, should shoulder a burden to relieve the small section of Income Tax and Super-tax payers for whom the hon. Member speaks; and he says that if I stand here and say that this man should not have this imposition put on him and that his interests in the defence of the country are not the same as those of the man who has a stake in the country, I am cheating. Some extraordinary examples of the patriotism of those who have a stake in the country have come to our notice in the last few weeks. My hon. Friend the Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern) had a question down to the Chancellor this week. The hon. Member for Colchester talks about evasion. The manner of the Chancellor in answering that question reached the highest realms of astute evasion. It was a question which brought out the fact that the Duke of Devonshire who, until a week or two ago was a Member of the Government

The Chairman:

The hon. Member must not go into that question at length.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I am replying to the hon. Member on the question of evasion. He talked about Customs evasion, railway cheating and sundry other forms of fraud, and accused the hon. Member who moved the Amendment and those of us who are supporting it of being guilty of a crime comparable to those. I am defending a reduction in the Tea Duty on behalf of the poor sections of the community, and I am saying that in doing that I am doing a decent, clean parliamentary duty. I am pointing out to the hon. Member that he is defending and supporting the real big evasions and cheatings of wealthy people with a real stake in the country who are being maintained by the poor people who are paying the tea tax. Once the law is made—not when it is still a matter for discussion and when Amendments can be proposed—but when it has become the law, these people hire the best legal opinion they can get, and say, "Now this is the law; this is the way taxation is imposed. It is going to bear heavily upon us. Will you please give us the benefit of your brain power to see how we can evade our national responsibilities?" The hon. Member gets up to speak on their behalf and against the poor fellow who is just struggling to live, and no more. Remember that the average Income Tax payer has an income of £5 a week before he starts to pay any tax at all, ten times the income of the fellow for whom I am speaking and on whom the hon. Member is trying to shove the extra tea tax. Above £5 he is asked to return only something like one-quarter of his superfluity.

The Chancellor, when he is up in the realms of £1,000,000,000 a year, when he is thinking in terms of hundreds of millions by taxation from this and hundreds of millions from the next thing, could well have spared the poorest of the poor this imposition. Tea, in general, is the drink of the poorest of the poor. It is a food to them; it is the little something that makes their mean and miserable bread and margarine meals palatable. Day by day they have these meals, for the family income does not allow for the variety in meals which better-paid people can have. To the big mass of the people tea is the one thing that enables them to continue living and to derive a certain amount of satisfaction from their miserable foodstuffs. If the Income Tax payer had been called upon to bear the amount which the extra Tea Duty will produce, it would have meant only an extra penny in the £ It would have been only an act of decency for them to have paid that extra penny in order to relieve the poorest of the poor of this tax.

4.24 p.m.

Photo of Mr Arthur Jenkins Mr Arthur Jenkins , Pontypool

I was very distressed to listen to the speech of the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis), because it totally disregarded the very large section of the people who are poor. There is no reason why this additional tax should he imposed on tea. I consider that there should be no tea tax at all and there is certainly no justification for an increase. I feel sure that the Chancellor does not believe what he said in his Budget Speech about poor people being pleased to make some contribution to the expenses of rearmament. When there is already an insufficiency in the household arid a tax is imposed which takes something out of the household, there can be no joy in paying. This amount could easily be raised by Income Tax, for an extra penny would produce about £4,000,000. The homes which will be taxed by the extra Tea Duty will be the homes of the old age pensioner, the unemployed, the army pensioner and the people of low wages. Tea is the only drink of those poor homes and I could wish that the Chancellor knew them better than he apparently does. There was a time when I believed he understood working-class homes.

What happens in the poorest homes? In the morning for breakfast it is tea, bread and margarine and, maybe, a little jam. When the children come home from school they have the same diet. It is almost the same diet every day. The hon. Member for Oxford University (Sir A. Salter), speaking on this subject last night, spoke of this tax as a sort of inverted graduated Income Tax which is contrary to all practice. That is precisely what it is. It is a tax upon our poorest homes and there is no justification for it. The Chancellor has not advanced one sound argument in favour of it. My hon. Friend the Member for Barnard Castle (Mr. Sexton) carried out some analyses of the cost of meals in the poorest homes. I have worked out hundreds of these family budgets, and in a large percentage of the families on unemployment benefit—the 15s. a week families—the average cost of the meals is from¼. to 2d. per person. The Chancellor says that this tax is a small one and will not have much effect. In the average working-class home, where the breadwinner is unemployed and the income is unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance, it will mean that 30 meals will have to disappear in a year and the family will have to live on something less than they are living on at the present time. Can the Chancellor justify taking certain meals away from these families? The Minister of Labour and the Unemployment Assistance Board have done everything in their power to cut the family income down to the lowest possible level. Then the Chancellor comes along and imposes a tax of 25 per cent. on the tea consumption of the home. It is violation of all the best canons of taxation.

Taxation should be raised on people who can afford to bear it. Income Tax payers, generally speaking, never go short of a meal or of home comforts. They sacrifice very little indeed, and if they sacrifice anything at all it is some kind of luxury. They cannot afford quite as expensive a motor car, or live in quite as big a house, or the grounds attached to the house cannot be as extensive—those are the effects upon the Income Tax and Super-tax payers; but in the poor homes, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is taking away 30 meals every year, and I ask him not to blot his Budget by an act of that kind. In those poor homes tea is the only beverage. In middle-class and upper-class homes tea is a variant of other and more expensive drinks, it is merely taken occasionally, never as a regular beverage, but it is a vital necessity in working class homes. The Chancellor cannot tell us that he has to impose this tax because of need, and therefore he cannot tell us that it is a just tax. I should like to have heard him say, as one would have expected him to say some years ago, "We will do what we can to make the poorest of our homes as free from poverty as we can." On the contrary, the imposition of this tax will make poverty a little more intense in the poorest of our homes. I hope the Chancellor will give heed to what we have said.

4.32 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir William Allen:

I have been wondering whether there is any use in making an appeal to the Chancellor from this side of the Committee. This is one of the few occasions that we from Northern Ireland have of taking any part in the Debates here, because this is a matter which interests us just as much as it interests the working people in this country. I will admit that people over there drink more than tea, but that state of affairs is not confined to my part of the country. While listening to the Debate I could not help thinking of the people whom I represent—after all, I must consider them sometimes. I feel that rearmament was necessary, and I consider that all classes of the community ought to contribute towards the cost of it, but when we are making a collection of £1,000,000,000 this extra contribution from tea seems a miserable item.

I represent a constituency which is largely composed of the working class. I suppose that of all the votes polled at my election 95 per cent. were working-class votes. I come from a little town of 13,000 inhabitants, and I believe that in that town there is more unemployment than in any other town in the Kingdom. There are 3,600 people unemployed out of the 13,000, or between 5o and 6o per cent. of those on the registers. It is for those people that I want to appeal to the Chancellor. At present there is an appalling state of unemployment, but we hope that conditions will eventually improve, because it is largely on account of the war in China and in Spain and of the difficulties in America that our people are suffering. They are employed almost entirely in the linen industry which ordinarily ships millions of yards of linen a year to China and the United States. Those countries are not now in a position to take those goods and to pay. How long that state of affairs will last I do not know, but as long as it does our people will be unemployed.

If the Chancellor of the Exchequer happened to come to the town and tell those unemployed people "Now, you will be glad to make this contribution of 2d. more upon tea for the sake of the rearmament of the country," I wonder what they would say? One of the mysterious things about humanity is how the poor constantly help one another. There are some people in that town who are employed, perhaps 40 per cent., and they are helping the unemployed, but not only do we tax the unemployed: we tax the employed who are helping the unemployed. I cannot help thinking that there is some other way by which this £3,000,000 could be collected than by taking it from the working class. Of course, other people beside the working class drink tea, but 95 per cent. of my constituents are working people, and I suppose there is not a Member in this House who does not depend upon the working class to return him to one side of this House or the other.

Here is an opportunity for the greatness of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make itself manifest. He has listened to a great many speeches. Is there any possibility of him answering the appeal from this—or the other—side of the House? I do not think this is a time for extravagant language, but for plain talking. There are the poor; there is the unemployment; there is the tax. Can those people pay it? It is only robbing them of a little more of what they daily consume, because with them it is tea in the morning, tea at dinner-time, tea in the afternoon and tea at night.

When the Chancellor made his Budget speech and announced this addition to the Tea Duty I said to myself "What a stupendous blunder." I was not at all surprised at the addition to the Income Tax. Three weeks before I had been asked in Belfast "What do you think of the prospects?" and I had said "I have no doubt whatever of another 6d. on the Income Tax," but I never dreamed of such a stupendous blunder as this additional Tea Duty. I believe it is a tax which the Chancellor can very well do without. I believe that the receipts from Income Tax will exceed his Budget estimate by that £3,000,000 because enormous profits are being made at the moment, and if he had faith in the conditions of employment in certain trades in the coming year I believe that he would agree that he would be able to do without this tax.

When I heard of this tax I said to myself—and I have been saying it almost every day since—that it was a tax which was imposed by people who are themselves in safe employment and not by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at all. It was suggested by people who want to make things easy for themselves. I repeat that it is a tax suggested by those who give the Chancellor advice and who have to collect the taxes who are themselves in safe positions and do not want to take any more trouble. It is a lazy permanent officials' tax. That is my opinion. There are dozens of other ways in which the money could be raised. Why will not the Chancellor yield to our appeals? There is no question of politics here, no question of personal aggrandisement, no question of whether this side or that wants to score on this subject. It is a question of humanity and common sense. I hope that in the end the Chancellor will see his way to tell us, after all the appeals which have been made to him, that he has seen his way to collect this money in some other way.

4.42 p.m.

Photo of Reverend George Woods Reverend George Woods , Finsbury

I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he is not moved by the appeals from this side of the Committee, will respond to the very moving and human appeal which we have just heard from the hon. and gallant Member for Armagh (Sir W. Allen). I am sure the whole nation will sympathise with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the stupendous task of raising the money under a Budget of such magnitude, but I am equally certain that this trifling sum of £3,000,000, to be raised by a substantial increase in the tax upon tea, has moved the conscience of the nation more deeply than any other item in the Budget. I am certain that the hon. and gallant Member for Armagh was not speaking merely for himself or his constituents but was voicing the best feelings and thoughts of all his fellow countrymen, not only in Northern Ireland but in England, Scotland and Wales. A very considerable percentage of those who will pay this tax will have no sense of loss at all; it will make not a scrap of difference to them, but we have to remember that there are still 1,750,000 unemployed, and that there are many old people who have given a whole lifetime of service to their country and are now having to perform every week a much more difficult task than the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to perform once a year. They have to perform what is practically a miracle every week of their lives. The conditions of the unfortunate and substantial minority of the population who will have to pay this tax will be made even more hard. I, therefore, hope that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not listen to the appeals which have been made to him, he will listen to the sense of the country and will not harden his heart. If the Chancellor were to forego this £3,000,000 he would not lose in prestige; he would gain considerably in respect in the country, and the country would be no poorer. As has been suggested, there are many ways in which this amount might be found.

The morning after the speech in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced this increase I was in the home of an aged couple, both over 80 years of age, and the subject under discussion between myself and those aged pensioners was naturally the Budget. I was faced with the question from the old lady: "Why have the Government done this?" I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to put himself in my position and try to answer that human and fundamental question. Happily I did not have to apologise for the Government, and I said that I did not know why the Government had done it. I said I did not think it was a sensible tax, but I had the idea that the Chancellor was trying to realise part of the vast sum required for armaments expenditure and, being a good debater, he wanted to be able to reply to those whose Income Tax he had increased by pointing to the tax on tea and saying that he was making everybody pay. The one generous feature of the Budget was the increase from 10 per cent. to 20 per cent. in the allowance for wear and tear of machinery. Industrialists have been treated well by successive Governments and many millions of pounds have been put into their pockets. The doubling of the allowance is a very generous action on the part of the Chancellor. If he had been as generous to the millions of poor people whose major beverage is tea he would have shown a better sense of balance. It is not too late for him to say that the big industrialists will have to be satisfied with a 50 per cent. increase in the allowance for wear and tear, leaving them with an allowance of 15 per cent. The reduction would more than wipe out the £3,000,000 which it is hoped to get from tea.

Only two speeches on this subject have been made from the benches opposite. One was sympathetic to the Amendment and the other was a side-tracking speech which went into the question of abuses and evasions. I noticed that the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis) accused those who spoke from this side of the House of using the words "despicable and mean" to describe this tax, yet the same hon. Member proceeded to abuse the whole of this party and practically the whole population of this country by accusing them of attempting wilfully to deceive and defraud railway companies and the State. I do not think that contribution from the other side gives the Chancellor of the Exchequer much encouragement to persevere with this tax. I am certain that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has no illusions concerning the artificiality of the distinction made between direct and indirect taxation. Anybody who knows business and finance will be aware that a considerable volume of the revenue raised by direct taxation can be passed back to the consuming public. Furthermore, very much of the legislation of this Government has been aimed at giving security to all kinds of industries, especially agriculture, and the effects are filtering back to the consuming public. The consumers have to pay more than their proportion towards the tremendous cost of armaments.

One argument seems to have been omitted. This tax is not merely an injustice to a considerable percentage of the population but it is unsound and unwise, in present circumstances. It is not only directly unjust, but it is a form of legislation which aggravates the major evil of our time—poverty. We all know that there are people who are unable to purchase what they require because they have not the money with which to do so. That position results in widespread unemployment, under-production and under-consumption. The £3,000,000 is a small item; it is the principle of the thing about which I am concerned. Practically the whole of that sum would, in the normal course of events, go in purchasing power, increasing the volume of demand which, in turn, would increase production and distribution and stimulate the circulation of currency. The argument may be used that the prevailing low interest rates indicate that there are vast accumulations, but if this £3,000,000 were not taken from the consuming public it would remain in circulation. The typical old age pensioner, unemployed person and low-wage earner spend, week by week, practically all their earnings in purchasing commodities, mostly of home production. Only by increasing the purchasing power of those people and of the whole population will it be possible to reduce the numbers of the unemployed, increase the effective demand for goods, and increase the wealth of the country. I make my last appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, in view of the effect it would have upon the nation and in view of the principles he has advocated in the past, he should accept this Amendment for the abolition of the proposed increase in the tax on tea.

4.56 p.m.

Photo of Sir Alfred Law Sir Alfred Law , High Peak

When I spoke on this subject before I remember that I was called to order several times and was not able to go on with my points. This Amendment gives me another opportunity of saying what I wanted to say on this point. The Chancellor of the Exchequer thinks that this is quite a proper tax, and it is true that 2d. makes very little difference to a large number of people; but thousands of people will feel even this very small impost. I should not be against the tax on tea if I did not see that there are other means of raising the money. I am rather surprised that the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not find other ways than by taxing the poor people's tea. For example, there has never been any tax upon bicycles, and such a tax, at 2s. 6d., would probably produce £1,000,000. I rather object to the increase in the allowance for wear and tear of machinery. I happen to be a manufacturer myself, and I never looked for this increase in the allowance. If the Chancellor did not proceed with that increase he would have the money, and would not need the proposed increased taxation on tea. It has been suggested to me that a tax upon football coupons would bring in an enormous sum. I hope that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer has considered the whole thing he will find himself able to get the money by other means than by putting this extra 2d. a lb. on tea.

4.58 p.m.

Photo of Mr Arthur Pearson Mr Arthur Pearson , Pontypridd

It appeared inexplicable to the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis), when he intervened in this Debate, that we sometimes use what he termed extravagant language in our condemnation of this tea tax, but if he will think of the millions of people who actually have to live upon money that is not sufficient to keep their bodies properly nourished, as is admitted by all nutritional experts, he will understand why we use extravagant language. The tea tax is admittedly small, but it takes £3,000,000 out of the pockets of the population, and that money would be better spent in other directions. We admit that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has a tremendous task to find all these hundreds of millions of pounds for rearmament, which presently will go up to thousands of millions, but let us remember that that burden percolates down to the people who have exceedingly small incomes. It is the accumulation of little extras that breaks the back of these people. I hope that the conduct of this Committee is not to be measured by the meanness of this tax, because there is no argument for it at all.

We are very glad to have had a couple of speeches from the other side of the Committee appealing to the Chancellor to take off the increase in the Tea Duty. They are like a glimmer of sunshine through the darkness. I hope that the hon. Members who spoke will go into the Division Lobby and support us if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not accede to the very sincere appeals that have been made this afternoon by several speakers. The tea tax is to be condemned because it has no regard at all to the ability of large numbers of people upon whom it falls to pay it. I join with the other appeals which have been made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be big enough to withdraw this increase in the Tea Duty, and not to place a further burden upon people who are unable to bear the burdens which fall upon them at the present time.

5.0 p.m.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

This tax has been condemned, and rightly condemned, because it is a tax of a very peculiar character. It is distinguished from all other taxes by the fact that, the poorer people are, the more they have to pay, and the Chancellor has never yet faced up to that fact. I have been very interested to hear some of the arguments that were served up in connection with this tax, and to note the confusion that exists as to who is paying for the maintenance of the country. I heard the independent Member for Oxford University (Sir A. Salter) say that he was not going to use as an argument the burden that this tax represented, because the Chancellor would point out that by comparison it did not mean a very large burden on those who have to bear it. It is easy enough for an hon. Member representing Oxford University to express the opinion that there is no weight in that argument, because he does not have to bear the burden, nor are those whom he represents bearing any serious burden; but for a considerable time I have been going round addressing meetings of old age pensioners under the auspices of the Scottish Old Age Pensioners' Association —meetings composed almost entirely of old age pensioners. They are demanding an increase of their pension from 10s. £I, because they cannot live on what they are getting at present. Their position in many cases is simply appalling, and for an hon. Member to get up here and say that there is no weight in that argument is simply to represent himself as a philistine with no concern for and no knowledge of what is going on around him in the country.

Another argument which is continually being put forward, and which the Chancellor seems to consider to be in some way a justification for his action, is that, since he is putting on a considerable amount of direct taxation, he is entitled to put on something in the way of indirect taxation. He puts it in this way, that, when he is increasing the Income Tax and other forms of direct taxation, it is necessary to give everybody, even the poorest of the poor, an opportunity to contribute towards the maintenance of the armaments that are necessary to defend the country. Was there ever such a spurious, rubbishy argument as that? Take the case of one person, A, who is living on the bare necessities of life, and beyond that has nothing, and another person, B, who is living well and has £5. The Chancellor says that, if he puts a 50 per cent. tax on B's £5, and takes £2 10s. from him, he is entitled to put a tax of some kind on A, who has nothing. But is he? What does a tax on A mean? It means that he is going to be pushed down into debt, or that he will have to do without some of the necessities of life. It is obvious that there is no justification for putting a tax of any kind on A while B has any surplus at all. Wealth should be taken from those who have it before those who have nothing are forced down further into debt. There is no justification at all for taking this £3,000,000 on tea.

The matter becomes more serious when one considers that the £5 which B has has been taken from A. That is the actual position; the profits on which Income Tax is paid are taken from the people who have to pay the tax on tea. There is no source of profits anywhere but the labour of the masses of the workers, and it is from the workers that all this wealth is taken to which direct taxation is applied. That has been abundantly proven by the analysis of capitalism made by Karl Marx, and, if the Chancellor would give some attention to the study of Marx, he would probably be in a much better position to deal with the questions that confront him. It is clear that the only source of profits is the unpaid labour of the workers, that is to say, the difference between what is paid for the labour power of the workers and the value of that which their labour power can produce. We have to come back to the question of taking this taxation from those who have, and of justifying the taking of it from those who have not. I want to lay down to the Chancellor, in connection with this tax on tea —and it applies also to other indirect taxes—the proposition that the working class has nothing, that the working class is in a condition of potential or chronic bankruptcy, and to suggest taxing the working class, even to the extent of £3,000,000, in these circumstances, cannot be justified at all.

I was talking the other day to a Front Bench Member about the situation that exists among the working class in Scotland, and the same applies in England as well. We have to face the hard and bitter fact that thousands of families are forced to go without adequate food. For instance, what is called an overcrowding and slum clearance scheme is going on. A family, consisting of a man, his wife and three children, are taken from an overcrowded house or a slum house, where the rent is very low, and ordered into a three-roomed house; and the rent which they have to pay is doubled or nearly trebled. The wages are small, and they have to pay this heavy rent. Moreover, when they are in a slum house or an overcrowded house, they have, as anyone who has seen these places can understand, no furniture to speak of; but when they go into the new three-roomed house they have to get some furniture. What happens? The instalment firms are there, and the house is filled up on the instalment plan. The people upon whom this tax is being imposed are simply not in a position to pay it, no matter how small it is. We have a saying in Scotland that "ilka mickle maks a muckle," and one has only to watch what 's happening in these housing schemes when the instalment men are going round to realise that most of these families cannot afford this extra tax. It is a scandal that any tax should be put on people who have nothing.

Of course I know that many hon. Members are in the habit of drawing attention to the fact that the workers have a great amount of savings—that they have so much in the savings bank, so much in the co-operative society, so much here and so much there. I am sure that, if the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) were here, he would be able to tell us without a moment's hesitation how much the workers have in savings. But, when we are given the amount of assets that the workers have, we are not given the amount of their liabilities, and I am certain that, if at any moment you took the assets of the working class and the liabilities of the working class in the form of debts for rent, furniture, clothing, doctors and all the rest, you would find that their debts cancel out their assets, and that the workers are bankrupt. That being the case, the Chancellor can never in any circumstances justify putting any added taxation upon them.

I would ask him to answer two questions. First, is it a fact that this tax, as distinct from other taxes, bears the more heavily on people the poorer they are; and can he justify that? Secondly, I would ask him whether it is not the case at the present time that the people whom he is expecting to pay this tax are in the most urgent need, and that another burden upon them, however small it may be, means that something has to be sacrificed in order that the tax may be paid? From the point of view of equity, before you impose a burden on those who have nothing, who are living right on the poverty line, and in many cases under the poverty line, you should see to it that all the available cash which has been taken from them in the shape of profits is made use of for the purpose of meeting the demand upon you. I ask the Chancellor, as Members on his own side have asked him, to reconsider this additional tax on tea and to withdraw it. There are many other sources from which he can get the £3,000,000, and, if he accedes to this request, he will be refraining from committing a serious injustice against the mass of the people of this country.

The Chairman:

Captain Euan Wallace.

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

On a point of Order. Seeing that some of us have been sitting here for two or three hours awaiting an opportunity to speak, I would like to ask whether this means closing the Debate now?

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

Further on the point of Order, may I point out that, when the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Pearson) resumed his seat, the only hon. Member who rose was the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher)?

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

I rose at the same time, but the hon. Member for West Fife asked me to give him precedence, as he was very anxious to speak, and I sat down immediately.

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

With your permission, Sir Dennis, I am perfectly willing to give way to hon. Members opposite; I rose only because I thought that the hon. Member for West Fife was the only other Member who wanted to speak.

The Chairman:

Hon. Members who know anything of the procedure of the House will know that the Debate cannot be closed in that way.

5.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

I see that it was a misunderstanding, but one feels somewhat aggrieved at sitting here for hours and then being cut out. We have dealt with this matter on a number of occasions, and now we are making a last appeal to the Chancellor to consider it again in the light of what has been said from various parts of the Committee. I was very impressed by the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Armagh (Sir W. Allen). He put it as well as anybody could put it —why the Chancellor should consider this from the point of view of the masses of the people. It is accepted by every Member that the money has to be found, but we say that the burden should be put on the shoulders of those better able to bear it than the ordinary wage-earner, the unemployed person and a number of people who have very small means. The poorer the people, the more they turn to tea as a means of quenching their thirst. In every wage-earning household I know, tea is the chief drink. They have tea at practically every meal. So the burden falls disproportionately on those families. I want the Chancellor to have in mind what this tax means to the ordinary householder. It has been pointed out by hon. Members that it would mean about lid. a week for a household of four. That is out of all proportion.

I take it the Chancellor had it in mind that the amount he required would be evenly distributed over the whole population, but he will find that the £3,000,000 comes in greater proportion from a minority of the people. The hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis) said that about 35,000,000 in the land drink tea. Out of that 35,000,000, 10,000,000 or 12,000,000—what I term, the wage-earning classes—use more tea than the rest; and therefore the taxation falls with greater severity on them than on the rest of the 35,000,000. If the Chancellor really believes what he said in his Budget speech, that everybody desires to contribute to the rearmament of the country, why should he put the burden on a class which cannot meet it out of the income they have? We on this side can visualise various sections of the community: the unemployed, the old age pensioner, the low wage-earners, and what it means to them to have to meet this taxation.

When it is realised that this £3,000,000 means increasing the taxation on tea by 30 per cent.—an increase from £7,000,000 to £10,000,000—it will be seen that the increase is proportionally greater than that in connection with any other tax dealt with in the present financial statement. That is what ought to be borne in mind by the defenders of the tax. Even the increase in the Income Tax is not comparable to this. Income Tax will be increased by about 10 per cent., while this tax will be increased by 30 per cent.; and even then it is not distributed fairly. It is for these reasons that we are so anxious that the Chancellor should once again review the tax in the light of the appeals which have been made, not only from this side but from the other side of the Committee as well. It is not often that we are assisted on matters like this by hon. Members opposite, and it is rather gratifying to hear their pleas. They have used very mild language. The hon. Member for Colchester criticised this side of the Committee because my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman) used strong language last night. The reason for that strong language was not shortage of argument, but strong feeling. I thought my hon. Friend had not gone far enough.

The Chancellor has adopted methods which are mean and almost amount to viciousness in putting this burden on the working classes. It may be that there will not be any response from the people because they will have forgotten it when the time comes to record their votes again, but I shall do all I can to rouse them against the Government which is trying to raise money in this way. Nobody would have missed another penny on the Income Tax. It would have been much better than asking the poor people to meet this burden. Dropping this tax would not mean unbalancing the Budget. I agree with the hon. Member who said that he thought the increased revenue coming from the Income Tax would more than compensate for the loss of this revenue. If the Chancellor would drop the tax his decision would meet with the approval of the great majority in this House. On the other hand, if he stands by the decision the party whip will crack and Members opposite will have to support his point of view. I trust he will not do that, but will listen to the appeal which has been made from all sides and say that he will withdraw the tax, trusting that the revenue will be forthcoming from other sources.

5.25 p.m.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

The hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) has expressed gratification that two appeals have been made from this side to the Chancellor to review the position with regard to the increase of the Tea Duty. I am very glad to be able to add to his satisfaction by joining with those who have already spoken from this side of the Committee in opposition to the tax. I can assure the Chancellor that this is a matter which is causing a great deal of concern to Members of all parties and to people throughout the country, and that if he could see his way to respond to this appeal it would be a relief to a great majority of the Members of this Committee and would give general satisfaction. My attitude towards this duty has been quite clear from the start. I am opposed to it, and I am not afraid to say so and, if necessary, to vote accordingly. I am opposed to it on two grounds. In the first instance, I think it is unnecessary, and, secondly, I think it is undesirable. I regard this increase as unnecessary because I believe the Chancellor has under-estimated the amount of revenue he is going to receive in the coming year from the taxation he has imposed. I think it is wrong to, impose a burden on a great number of poor people who cannot afford to bear it, simply in order that there might be a surplus in the coming year. Also, it is unnecessary because if the Chancellor is not able to accept that view of the likely revenue from the Budget, the money can be obtained in other ways.

Several alternatives have already been suggested. I will add that if the Chancellor had put a duty on cosmetics there would have been no Amendment in this House for its withdrawal, and it would have caused no ill-feeling. That is a better way of raising the small sum required than the method that the Chancellor has proposed. Those who would have to pay for it would be quite content to do so, and if they jibbed at it they would get precious little sympathy. They might also be called upon to bear their fair share of the cost of rearmament. Also, the Chancellor might have looked into the incidence of the tax on patent medicines, in order to see whether the revenue from that source is what it ought to be. I suggest that those two courses of raising money are more desirable than the method chosen by the Chancellor. This is an undesirable tax, because the only argument which I have heard advanced in its favour is that made by the Chancellor, that everybody in this country should be called upon to bear some share of the burden of the cost of rearmament. I say, with all respect, that his argument, so far as the very poor are concerned and so far as this particular tax is concerned, left me unconvinced and did not seem to me to ring true.

I know a great many of the very poor people in my own constituency; I know old age pensioners and low wage earners; and I am not going to give a vote for anything which is likely to add to the burden of their lot, already heavy enough. When I am asked to give a vote in this House I try to visualise how certain individuals I know personally and intimately are likely to be affected, and I say that the burden of this tax, which may seem small to some people, bears very heavily on an old age pensioner living on 10s. a week. Those people are extremely fortunate, in my constituency, if they can get a room to live in at 5s. a week, leaving only 5s. to meet all the other expenses of life. It is not fair to add to the expenses of these people. Therefore, I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reconsider this matter in the light of the observations that have been made from various parts of the Committee. If he could see his way to with draw this tax, or to say that he is prepared to reconsider it, I am sure that A would give general satisfaction, and so far from his position being weakened by an attitude of that kind, it would be very considerably strengthened.

5.31 p.m.

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

I think that anybody who has sat through the Debate upon this Amendment will realise that my right hon. Friend is most anxious to hear all arguments which may be put forward about this tax. I can assure the hon. Gentleman opposite that it was entirely unintentional—because I thought the Debate was finished—that I very nearly cut him out from contributing a speech which, as always happens in his case, was not marred by any over-statement either of fact or of language. The discussion upon the Tea Duty is a hardy annual in the Mother of Parliaments, and it invariably provokes from different parts of the House speeches of great sincerity, obviously inspired by a close and intimate knowledge of the circumstances of the people upon whom indirect taxation of necessity presses most hardly.

Although the Chairman has allowed a general discussion on the Clause, the precise Amendment with which we are dealing is the one moved by the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes). A tribute has been paid to him already for the speech he made, and I should like to endorse it. I do not object to a single word he said last night. I am going to try to deal with this difficult question of the Tea Duty without any appeal to sentiment, passion or prejudice, but simply upon the cold facts—and they are cold facts—of which the Committee ought to be aware before hon. Members decide into which Lobby they will walk in a short time. The hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, South, whose proposal would, in fact, lose to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer £5,500,000 this year, made the point that the sum of 3,000,000, at which he put it down, was not material in a Budget of £1,000,000,000. But even the sum of 3,000,000, much more £5,500,000, is an appreciable element in the £30,000,000 which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to raise by extra taxation this year; and of that £30,000,000 I would remind the Committee that £22,250,000 is being collected from the direct taxpayers.

The Tea Duty, as the Committee will be aware, is a very old tax. I do not know that it derives any particular virtue from antiquity, but the fact is that ever since tea was introduced into this country some 300 years ago it has been a contributor to the revenue except during the halcyon period between the time that my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) took off the tax and the time when the stern necessities of 1932 forced the present Prime Minister to put it on again. During the whole period from 1914 to 1924 the tax on tea was at the rate of 8d. per pound or more. That is the rate which is now proposed, not for all tea but for foreign tea only. During the middle of that period, from 1915 to 1922, the tax upon tea was is. per pound, and up to 1919 no Empire preference was allowed. Let the Committee fully appreciate what this Empire preference means. I ventured to interrupt the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment last night to make the point, and perhaps the Committee will forgive me if I make it again. Ninety per cent. of the tea which is drunk in this country comes from Empire sources, and, therefore, when you have a duty of 8d. on foreign tea and 6d. on Empire tea, it does not mean, as one might suppose, an average incidence of the duty of 7d.; in point of fact the average duty is only about 61¼d.

I fully appreciate that what matters to the consumer is the effect of the duty upon the retail price of tea, which is where the shoe actually pinches. The hon. Gentleman the Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. White) made the point again last night, which was made during the discussion on the Budget Resolution, that any increase in the Tea Duty falls with disproportionate severity on the cheapest teas. That may be assumed to be a very reasonable proposition. I have been at some pains to discover the actual facts as a result of the imposition of this particular duty, which, as the Committee knows, has already been put on pending the consent of this House.

Photo of Mr Henry White Mr Henry White , Birkenhead East

I gave the facts last night.

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

The fact is that the average retail price paid for tea by the working classes, according to the Ministry of Labour cost-of-living index, which was 2s. 2½d. before the Budget, had risen on the 1st June to 2s. 4¼d. In other words it has risen by rather less than the amount of the duty, and I am given to understand by the people who ought to know that there is no reason to suppose that any further rise will take place on account of the duty.

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

Yes, although the average duty has gone up by 2d. from 4¼d. to 6¼d.

Photo of Mr Alfred Barnes Mr Alfred Barnes , East Ham South

Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman ascertained whether the blends remain the same?

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

I shall try to deal with that in a minute. I should like to mention a point which I think has not been brought forward, or certainly has not been emphasised during any speech in our discussions this year upon the Tea Duty; and that is that the vital factor in the price of tea, which is what matters to the consumer, and particularly to the small consumer, is not really the tax but the scheme for regulating exports of tea which the producers in India, Ceylon and the Dutch East Indies started hi 1933 with the support of their Governments. That scheme for regulating exports was originally arranged for five years and it has just been renewed, before it ran out, for another five. These particular countries supply more than 80 per cent. of the tea which enters into international trade, and the object of the scheme is admittedly to maintain the price of tea at a level which is profitable to the industry; I do not think that anybody from any quarter of the Committee would deny the desirability for ensuring to the producer of any primary commodity a price which will enable him to live. The Committee will see that this restriction scheme is a much more potent factor in determining the price of tea to the consumer than any action of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

I will give two illustrations of that very important fact. In the year 1928 the average rate of duty was 3½d. per lb. The average price paid for tea by the working classes at the beginning of June was 2s. 5d. per lb. At the present moment the effective rate of duty is 6¼d. instead of 3½d., and the price of the working-class tea is 2s. 4¾d. instead of 2s. 5d. Take the year just before the restriction scheme began—the year 1932; the average auction price ex-duty of tea sold in London, excluding tea from China and Japan, was in that year 9.45d. per lb. In 1937, after four years of restriction, the average price ex-duty had risen from 9.45d. per lb. to 15.18d. per lb., and between 1933 and 1937 the average retail price of working-class tea rose from 4¾d. although the rate of duty rose by 2d. only.

There was one other question which was raised during the discussion on the Budget Resolution on the Tea Duty, on which I have made some particular inquiry. That was the case of tea which is sold in id., 2d., or 3d. packets. It was represented that an increase of duty such as is proposed in this Clause would bear with disproportionate harshness upon small quantities of that kind. From the information which is available to me—and I think I have correct information—there is no guaranteed weight in the case of id. and 2d. packets. In the case of the 3d. packets, some of them are labelled "2 ozs. net" and some are labeled "under 2 OZS." In any case where there is no specified weight, including the 3d. packets labelled "under 2 ozs.," it is obvious that any change in the duty can fairly be met by any trader who wishes to meet it fairly by altering either the quantity or the quality of the tea in the packet. In the more difficult case of the 3d. packet, when it is marked "2 ozs. net," I understand that, in general, the price of the packet has been put up by a farthing, which is exactly the correct amount. But there may be instances, and if there are no doubt hon. Members will know of them, where the price of the 3d. packets has gone up by a halfpenny. For example, there is one case known where the retailer will not go in for charging in facthings. He charges an extra halfpenny for the 2 oz. packet to casual customers, but to regular customers he alternates the charge of 3½d. with the pre-Budget price on successive purchases, thus averaging out an extra farthing per 2 ozs.

Photo of Mr Gordon Macdonald Mr Gordon Macdonald , Ince

If he does not forget.

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

Even I do not know his name myself. There was another point in regard to the Tea Duty made last night by the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Birkenhead. He put what appeared to me to be a somewhat surprising view, that Imperial Preference is actually detrimental to Empire producers. He suggested that some of the Empire countries would be glad to see Imperial Preference done away with. But we have had no representations from the Indian Government that the preference is detrimental to this trade, and my right hon. Friend's advisers have no reason to think that the views which the hon. Member put forward are generally held amongst tea producers. I know that the hon. Member very seldom makes a remark of that kind or advances any contention without some knowledge which appears to him to be accurate, and we shall always be interested to hear anything more that he says on the subject.

Photo of Mr Henry White Mr Henry White , Birkenhead East

I hoped that what I said would give the Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity of studying the information on which I made my statement, so that he could decide on its value or otherwise.

Photo of Reverend George Woods Reverend George Woods , Finsbury

Has the Financial Secretary finished with the question as to the rise in the price of tea? Are we to understand that the rise in the price of tea is the reason for the additional rise brought about by the imposition of the tax? I did not follow the point of his argument.

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

If the hon. Member will be good enough to read my remarks in the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow, perhaps the point will be made clear to him. I thought that I made it tolerably clear to the rest of the Committee. To come back to the question of Imperial Preference, there is the important fact that a preference of 2d. per lb. was guaranteed to India under the Ottawa Agreement which is still in force, and the question of doing away with that preference does not arise for the moment as a practical proposition.

We have had a long Debate, which has been conducted with great sincerity and good temper, and I am not desirous of splitting hairs with hon. Members opposite about the precise average consumption of tea in this country, or the actual addition to the family budget caused by the new duty. I am prepared to assume that the figures which were advanced on the 3rd May by the right hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) that for a household of four persons the extra cost would be 22S. to 23s. a year, are somewhere near the mark. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman over-estimated the extra cost, but I should not be bold enough to say definitely that he did. I do not pretend that this extra tax on tea is not a burden, nor am I going to contend that it will not bear more hardly, as the junior Member for Oxford University (Sir A. Salter) pointed out last night, upon those whose material resources are the smallest. I am afraid that that is inevitably the case in the taxation of any commodity of practically universal consumption.

We have gone into some larger questions during this Debate. We have gone into the question of raising a larger percentage of revenue by direct as against indirect taxation. One or two hon. Members have advanced the contention, amounting almost to a recommendation to my right hon. Friend, that we should raise the whole of the 900-odd millions required this year, by the process of direct taxation. It may interest hon. Members to know that, if we have not reached what the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) would regard as the millenium in this respect, we have at least in the last two or three years progressed some distance in the direction in which he would like to go. In the year 1936, 59.71 per cent. of tax revenue was raised by direct taxation; last year the figure went up to 60.78 and this year it has reached 63.03.

A number of alternatives have been suggested, but no one, except my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Armagh (Sir William Allen), who suggested that we might take off the extra tea tax altogether and chance it, has suggested that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not to find the money which is represented by the Estimates. Among the suggested alternatives have been taxes on bicycles and cosmetics. I think I am on safe ground in saying that every reasonable proposal for raising revenue, particularly by indirect taxation, is carefully canvassed and examined. I can assure hon. Members that the feelings of my right hon. Friend and the rest of us on this Bench are not very different from the feelings of other hon. Members in other parts of the Committee. Some hon. Members talk as if the Government went out of their way deliberately to raise taxation by methods that are the least efficient and are calculated to attract the maximum amount of disagreement and unpopularity. I assure hon. Members that that is not the case, and, I believe that if and when the time comes that hon. Members opposite sit on this side, they will have as keen an appreciation of the difficulties as my right hon. Friend has now.

A sum of £2,750,000 has to be raised by this extra tax on tea. The tax can be justified, and I think it has been justified, and has been accepted by the country as justified, in relation to the general situation which the country has to face. It is not unfair to remind the Committee that the same people upon whom this additional 2d. on tea lays the heaviest burden will be the greatest beneficiaries from the increase in the social services this year, which is estimated to cost the Exchequer not £2,750,000 but £12,000,000 more than we spent last year.

5.53 P.m.

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

Before we go to a Division upon this matter I hope the Committee will allow me to say, first, that the reply of the Financial Secretary, temperate and in accordance with his usual popular method of address, has entirely failed to meet the case which was put last night and again to-day. I regard it as rather ominous that he referred to this Debate on the Tea Duty as a hardy annual. That statement cannot be applied to this Debate, because we are debating now not a regular annual Motion for a special reduction—although we do include a reduced figure in our Amendment—but we are combating an increase in the duty. I hope it is not to be taken from what the Financial Secretary has said that while the country's expenditure increases we must of necessity have a hardy annual Debate upon a further measure of increase in the tax upon the consumer of tea.

Photo of Captain Euan Wallace Captain Euan Wallace , Hornsey

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not get that impression from what I said. I was dealing with the question generally, because the Chairman ruled that although we were debating this particular Amendment we might also discuss the Tea Tax in general.

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I am glad to have that explanation. We must be expected to take note of the words used, unless we get the explanation. This is not the ordinary kind of annual Debate on the Tea Duty. Our main duty is to combat the imposition by which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to raise a part of the extra money that is required by increasing the burden upon the consumers of tea. The Financial Secretary said that there has been no adequate or definite proposition made for enabling the Chancellor of the Exchequer to get the revenue he needs, by other methods. The Financial Secretary has not correctly interpreted the Debate in that respect. Two or three of my hon. Friends, including the Mover of the Amendment, and the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Woods), pointed out that the Government are giving about £3,000,000 a year in added relief to industrial and profit-making concerns by the wear and tear proposals in regard to Income Tax. May I put the matter from the class of industry which I know best? Upon the movement which I represent in assessment for Income Tax and National Defence Contribution we shall get, on the concession that has been made, additional relief in respect of wear and tear. From that point of view it looks very well for us, but in practice we shall lose more than we gain, because of the tax which is put upon the consuming members of our organisation.

Looking at the question as a matter of justice for the whole country, I do not think that there can be any doubt that there was no real cause for increasing the wear and tear allowance if by so doing it was necessary to increase the impost upon the very poorest section of the community. The Chancellor of the Exchequer could have met the human case put by the hon. and gallant Member for Armagh (Sir W.

Allen) and the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) by simply cancelling the relief that he proposes to give under the wear and tear Schedule in relation to Income Tax. I feel as strongly as any of my hon. Friends in regard to the human plea, but I think our case can be justified also on the business plea.

We have had all kinds of figures given by the Financial Secretary about the condition of the tea trade. The hon. Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. White) was right when he drew attention to the fact that the more you increase duties of this kind upon a specific commodity the more danger you run of so injuring the industry connected with that commodity that you defeat, ultimately, your own objective. If we look at the consumption figures of tea in the last few years and take into account the fact that many of us who are interested in this trade have had to subscribe to great publicity campaigns to keep up the consumption of tea at present prices, I think it will be seen, looking at it as a great human question and also as a business proposition, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot go on indefinitely using tea as a special revenue raiser, without killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. I hope that that side of the matter will not escape his attention.

When we come to a further Amendment on the Order Paper I hope that we shall be allowed to discuss in a wider sense the effect of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's policy in regard to the whole range of imposts affecting food taxation. If the hon. and gallant Member for Armagh and the hon. Member for Cheltenham are right in regard to the Tea Duty, they are right in regard to beef, sugar and all the common necessities. We shall resist at all stages proposals of this kind which, while many grow richer in the course of armament expenditure, further depress the standard of life of the poor.

Question put, "That the word 'increased,' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 241; Noes, 144.

Division No. 246.]AYES[6.0 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.Athell, Duchess ofBeauchamp, Sir B. C.
Albery, Sir IrvingBalfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.Balniel, LordBeechman, N. A.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J.Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M.Belt, Sir A. L.
Assheton, R.Baxter, A. BeverleyBennett, Sir E. N.
Bernays, R. H.Gower, Sir R. V.Rawson, Sir Cooper
Blair, Sir R.Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)Rayner, Major R. H.
Boulton, W. W.Gridley, Sir A. B.Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Boyce, H. LeslieGrigg, Sir E. W. M.Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)
Bracken, B.Grimston, R. V.Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Brass, Sir W.Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Hambro, A. V.Remer, J. R.
Broadbridge, Sir G. T.Hannon, Sir P. J. H.Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.Ropner, Colonel L.
Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)Hely-Hutchinson, M. R.Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Bull, B. B.Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.Rowlands, G.
Bullock, Capt. M.Herbert, Capt. Sir S. (Abbey)Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Burton, Cal. H. W.Higgs, W. F.Russell, Sir Alexander
Butcher, H. W.Holmes, J. S.Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Cartland, J. R. H.Hope, Captain Han. A. O. J.Salt, E. W.
Carver, Major W. H.Hopkinson, A.Samuel, M. R. A.
Cary, R. A.Horsbrugh, FlorenceSandeman, Sir N. S.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)Howitt, Dr. A. B.Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)Sandys, E. D.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)Hulbert, N. J.Shakespeare, G. H.
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)Hunloke, H. P.Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)Hunter, T.Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Channon, H.Jarvis, Sir J. J.Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)Joel, D. J. B.Simmonds, O. E.
Charlton, A. E. L.Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Clarke, Frank (Dartford)Keeling, E. H.Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Clarry, Sir ReginaldKerr, H. W. (Oldham)Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)Latham, Sir P.Smithers, Sir W.
Colfax, Major W. P.Leech, Sir J. W.Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald
Colville, Rt. Hon. JohnLeighton, Major B. E. P.Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Conant, Captain R. J. E.Lewis, O.Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.
Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)Llewellin, Colonel J. J.Spens, W. P.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)Loftus, P. C.Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fyide)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S. G'gs)Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.M'Conneil, Sir J.Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Cox, H. B. TrevorMcCorquodale, M. S.Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Crooke, Sir J. S.McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Cross, R. H.Maclay, Hon. J. P.Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)
Crossley, A. C.Maonamara, Major J. R. J.Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Crowder, J. F. E.Makins, Brigadier-General Sir ErnestSueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Cruddas, Col. B.Manningham-Buller, Sir M.Tate, Mavis C.
Culverwell, C. T.Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil)Markham, S. F.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
De la Bère, R.Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Denman, Hon. R. D.Maxwell, Hon. S. A.Titchfield, Marquess of
Denville, AlfredMayhew, Lt.-Col. J.Touche, G. C.
Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Doland, G. F.Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)Wakefield, W. W.
Donner, P. W.Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Dorman-Smith, Major Sir R. H.Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Dugdale, Captain T. L.Moreing, A. C.Ward, Lieut.-Cot. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Duggan, H. J.Morgan, R. H.Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Dunglass, LordMuirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Eastwood, J. F.Munro, P.Warrender, Sir V.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Nicholson, G. (Farnham)Waterhouse, Captain C.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.O'Connor, Sir Terence J.Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Ellis, Sir G.O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir HughWayland, Sir W. A.
Elliston, Capt. G. S.Palmer, G. E. H.Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Elmley, ViscountPatrick, C. M.Wells, Sir Sydney
Emery, J. F.Peaks, O.Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Entwistle, Sir C. F.Perkins, W. R. D.Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Errington, E.Peters, Dr. S. J.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Findlay, Sir E.Petherick, M.Wise, A. R.
Fleming, E. L.Pickthorn, K. W. M.Withers, Sir J. J.
Fox, Sir G. W. G.Pensonby, Col. C. E.Womersley, Sir W. J.
Fremantle, Sir F. E.Porritt, R. W.Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Furness, S. N.Power, Sir J. C.Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Fyfe, D. P. M.Procter, Major H. A.Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Gibson, Sir C. G. (Pudsey and Otley)Purbrick, R.
Gledhill, G.Radford, E. A.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Gluckstein, L. H.Raikes, H. V. A. M.Major Sir James Edmondson and
Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.Major Herbert.
Goldie, N. B.Rathhone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Adams, D. (Consett)Banfield, J. W.Benson, G.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)Barnes, A. J.Bevan, A.
Adamson, W. M.Barr, J.Buchanan, G.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)Batey, J.Burke, W. A.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)Bellenger, F. J.Cape, T.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.Casseils, T.
Cluse, W. S.John, W.Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)
Cocks, F. S.Jones, A. C. (Shipley)Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Cove, W. G.Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Dagger, G.Kelly, W. T.Rothschild, J. A. de
Dalton, H.Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)Kirby, B. V.Salter, Sir J. Arthur (Oxford U.)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.Seely, Sir H. M.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Lathan, G.Sexton, T. M.
Day, H.Lawson, J. J.Shinwell, E.
Dobbie, W.Leach, W.Silkin, L.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)Lee, F.Silverman, S. S.
Ede, J. C.Leonard, W.Simpson, F. B.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)Leslie, J. R.Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)Lipson, D. L.Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.Logan, D. G.Smith, E. (Stoke)
Foot, D. M.Lunn, W.Smith, T. (Normanton)
Gallacher, W.Macdonald, G. (Ince)Sorensen, R. W.
Gardner, B. W.McEntee, V. La T.Stephen, C.
Garro Jones, G. M.McGhee, H. G.Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Carn'v'n)MacLaren, A.Stokes, R. R.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees)Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Gibson, R. (Greenock)Mander, G. le M.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Green, W. H. (Deptford)Mathers, G.Thurtle, E.
Grenfell, D. R.Maxton, J.Tinker, J. J.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)Messer, F.Tomlinson, G.
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)Milner, Major J.Viant, S. P.
Groves, T. E.Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)Walkden, A. G.
Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Walker, J.
Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)Muff, G.Watkins, F. C.
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)Naylor, T. E.Watson, W. McL.
Hardie, AgnesOliver, G. H.Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Harris, Sir P. A.Owen, Major G.Westwood, J.
Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)Paling, W.White, H. Graham
Hayday, A.Parker, J.Wilkinson, Ellen
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Parkinson, J. A.Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Pearson, A.Williams, E. J (Ogmore)
Henderson, T. (Tradeston)Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Hicks, E. G.Price, M. P.Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Hills, A. (Pontefract)Richards, R. (Wrexham)Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Hollins, A.Ridley, G.
Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)Ritson, J.Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Anderson.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Division No. 247.]AYES.[6.10 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)Cary, R. A.Donner, P. W.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)Dorman-Smith, Major Sir R. H.
Albery, Sir IrvingCayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)Dugdale, Captain T. L.
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)Duggan, H. J.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J.Cazaiet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)Dunglass, Lord
Assheton, R.Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)Eastwood, J. F.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)Channon, H.Eden, Rt. Hon. A.
Atholl, Duchess ofChapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)Cheriton, A. E. L.Ellis, Sir G.
Balniel, LordClarke, Frank (Dartford)Elliston, Capt. G. S.
Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M.Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)Elmiey, Viscount
Baxter, A. BeverleyClarry, Sir ReginaldEmery, J. F.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)Entwistle, Sir C. F.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C.Colfax, Major W. P.Errington, E.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)Colville, Rt. Hon. JohnEvans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)
Beechman, N. A.Conant, Captain R. J. E.Findlay, Sir E.
Belt, Sir A. L.Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)Fleming, E. L.
Bennett, Sir E. N.Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)Fox, Sir G. W. G.
Bernays, R. H.Cooper, Rt. He, A. Duff (W'st'r S. G'gs)Fremantle, Sir F. E.
Blair, Sir R.Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)Furness, S. N.
Boulton, W. W.Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.Fyfe, D. P. M.
Boyce, H. LeslieCox, H. B. TrevorGibson, Sir C. G. (Pudsey and Otley)
Bracken, B.Crooke, Sir J. S.Gledhill, G.
Brass, Sir W.Cross, R. H.Gluckstein, L. H.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Crossley, A. C.Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)Crowder, J. F. E.Goldie, N. B.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)Cruddas, Col. B.Gower, Sir R. V.
Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)Culverwell, C. T.Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)
Bull, B. B.Davies, C. (Montgomery)Gridley, Sir A. B.
Bullock, Capt. M.Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil)Grigg, Sir E. W. M.
Burton, Col. H. W.Denman, Hon. R. D.Grimston, R. V.
Butcher, H. W.Denville, AlfredGunston, Capt. Sir D. W.
Cartland, J. R H.Despencer-Robertson, Major J A. F.Hambre, A. V.
Carver, Major W. H.Doland, G. F.Hannon, Sir P. J. H.

The Committee divided: Ates, 237; Noes, 142.

Harvey, Sir G.Morgan, R. H.Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Haslam, Sir J. (Belton)Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.Munro, P.Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Hely-Hutchinson, M. R.Nicholson, G. (Farnham)Smithers, Sir W.
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.O'Connor, Sir Terence J.Somerveil, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald
Herbert, Capt. Sir S. (Abbey)O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir HughSouthby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Higgs, W. F.Patrick, C. M.Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.
Holmes, J. S.Puke, O.Spens, W. P.
Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.Perkins, W. R. D.Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Hopkinson, A.Peters, Dr. S. J.Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'ld)
Horsbrugh, FlorencePetherick, M.Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Howitt, Dr. A. B.Pickthorn, K. W. M.Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)Ponsonby, Col. C. E.Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Hulbert, N. J.Perritt, R. W.Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-(N'thw'h)
Hunloke, H. P.Power, Sir J. C.Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Hunter, T.Procter, Major H. A.Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Jarvis, Sir J. J.Radford, E. A.Tate, Mavis C.
Joel, D. J. B.Raikes, H. V. A. M.Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Keeling, E. H.Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)Rawson, Sir CooperTitchfield, Marquess of
Latham, Sir P.Rayner, Major R. H.Touche, G. C.
Leech, Sir J. W.Reed, A. C. (Exeter)Wakefield, W. W.
Leighton, Major B. E. P.Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Lewis, O.Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Llewellin, Colonel J. J.Reid, W. Allan (Derby)Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)Remer, J. R.Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
M'Connell, Sir J.Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)Warrender, Sir V.
McCorquodale, M. S.Ropner, Colonel L.Waterhouse, Captain C.
McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Maclay, Hon. J. P.Rowlands, G.Wayland, Sir W. A
Macnamara, Major J. R. J.Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Maitland, A.Russell, Sir AlexanderWells, Sir Sydney
Makins, Brigadier-General Sir ErnestRussell, S. H. M. (Darwen)Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Manningham-Buller, Sir M.Salt, E. W.Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.Samuel, M. R. A.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Markham, S. F.Sandeman, Sir N. S.Wise, A. R.
Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.Sanderson, Sir F. B.Withers, Sir J. J.
Maxwell, Hon. S. A.Sandys, E. D.Womersley, Sir W. J.
Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.Shakespeare, G. H.Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Mellor, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Temworth)Shepperson, Sir E. W.Young, A. S. L. (Patrick)
Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.Simmonds, O. E.TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Moreing, A. C.Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.Major Sir James Edmondson
Major Herbert.
Adams, D. (Consett)Gerro Jones, G. M.Lee, F.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)Leonard, W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)Leslie, J. R.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)Gibson, R. (Greenock)Lipson, D. L.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Green, W. H. (Deptford)Logan, D. G.
Banfield, J. W.Grenfell, D. R.Lunn, W.
Barnes, A. J.Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl sbro, W.)Macdonald, G. (Ince)
Barr, J.Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)McEntee, V. La T.
Betsy, J.Groves, T. E.McGhee, H. G.
Bellenger F. J.Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)MacLaren, A.
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Benson, G.Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)
Bevan, A.Hardie, AgnesMender, G. le M.
Buchanan, G.Harris, Sir P. A.Mathers, G.
Burke, W. A.Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)Maxton, J.
Cape, T.Heyday, A.Messer, F.
Cassells, T.Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Milner, Major J.
Cocks, F. S.Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)
Cove, W. G.Henderson, T. (Tradeston)Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Daggar, G.Hicks, E. G.Muff, G.
Dalton, H.Hills, A. (Pontefract)Naylor, T. E.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)Hollins, A.Noel-Baker, P. J.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Hopkin, D.Oliver, G. H.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)Owen, Major G.
Day, H.John, W.Paling, W.
Debbie, W.Jones, A. C. (Shipley)Parker, J.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Parkinson, J. A.
Ede, J. C.Kelly, W. T.Pearson, A.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)Kirby, B. V.Price, M. P.
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.Richards, R. (Wrexham)
Foot, D. M.Lathan, G.Ridley, G.
Gallagher, W.Lawson, J. J.Riley, B.
Gardner, B. W.Leach, W.Rilson, J.
Roberts, Rt. Hen. F. O. (W. Brom.)Smith, E. (Stoke)Walker, J.
Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)Smith, T. (Normanton)Watkins, F. C.
Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)Sorensen, R. W.Watson, W. McL.
Rothsehild, J. A. deStephen, C.Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)Stewart, W. J. (H'ghtn-le-Sp'ng)Westwood, J.
Salter, Sir J. Arthur (Oxford U.)Stokes, R. R.White, H. Graham
Seely, Sir H. M.Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)Wilkinson, Ellen
Sexton, T. M.Summerskill, Dr. EdithWilliams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Shinwell, E.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Silkin, L.Thurtle, E.Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Silverman, S. S.Tinker, J. J.Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Simpson, F. B.Tomlinson, G.Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)Viant, S. P.
Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)Walkden, A. G.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Adamson

Clauses 6 to 17 ordered to stand part of the Bill.