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The 1909 Hansard Trawl - featuring nicotine washes, Lloyd-George wiping the floor with an opponent and the grateful force fed.

The Finance Bill was prompting a bit of special pleading:

"Any person growing tobacco solely for the purpose of manufacturing nicotine for insecticides and other horticultural or agricultural purposes shall be entitled to an allowance or repayment of the duty paid on tobacco under this Act.  I move this Clause because the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has often assured us that he has the interests of agriculture and horticulture very much at heart. I move the Clause in the interests of agriculture, but more especially in the interests of horticulture, because it has been proved by experiments that all the products of horticulture are more specially liable to insect pests, and of all 1596 insecticides now used, whether as fumigants or washes, none is so generally effective as nicotine......

The nameless MP touting this amendment got this for his pains:

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE I fully sympathise with the object the hon. and gallant Gentleman has in view, but I think he will find the existing law really meets the case....
And rule one when you are in a hole....

Colonel WARDE Am I not right in thinking that all tobacco grown for this purpose is liable to pay 3s. or 4s. per lb. duty?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE No, even under the existing regulations tobacco, whether imported or grown for this purpose, so long as it is properly safeguarded and kept in a proper place, is duty free, and therefore there is no real necessity for putting anything into an Act of Parliament. It is already met under the existing law. 

I make that a KO by the Welsh Wizard.

When you are down, stay down:

Mr. HILLS  I think I am right in saying that at present all tobacco has to go into bond, and that practically excludes all home-grown tobacco. You cannot send that to a bonded warehouse in London.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE  I have no doubt that is a practical difficulty. I will consider the point, and, if necessary, remedy it next year—

Mr. HILLS You may not be here next year; why not now?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE  I am glad of the testimony of confidence the hon. Member has in me. I will do my beat to press upon the next Chancellor the desirability of dealing with this matter.

 And with that the towel went in - 'Clause withdrawn'.

Now that was smoothly done.  I can imagine no Chancellor in living memory having thad he presence of mind, grace and wit to have said that.  He was C of the E until 1915, when he was replaced by Reginald McKenna.  Hands up anyone who has ever heard of the latter.

Plus ca change corner:

NEW CLAUSE.—(Profits of a Married Woman Not to be Deemed Profits of her Husband.)

(Edward Carson - Con, Uni Dublin) The profits of a married woman living with her husband shall, notwithstanding anything contained in Section forty-five of the Income Tax Act, 1842, not be deemed the profits of her husband, neither shall he be chargeable therewith, but every married woman shall be chargeable to Income Tax in respect of her separate property in all respects as though she were a femme sole.

All sounds pretty reasonable to me.

I do not want to waste time on this, but I should just like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his heart has been softened in this case. It is a very hard one indeed that if a man lives with a woman who happens to be his wife they should be in a worse position than if she was not his wife. The short effect of this Section of the Income Tax Act is a penalty upon marriage. There seems to be a new mind in the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I hope he will reconsider this with a view of remedying the grievance. It surely is a monstrous injustice that you should tax a married couple on their joint incomes, but it has been so often argued in this House that I shall not take up any more time.
I'm with him on that.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE This is a very old grievance that comes up every year—indeed, it is a hardy annual—but it is rather a serious alteration of the general law for me to contemplate, and I think it would mean a serious diminution of the revenue, because there are many cases in which, if it is passed, exemptions may be claimed.
It went to a vote, which split 119 for the Governement and 46 for the opposition.  A pretty scandalously low turnout.   Of our old friends, Patrick 'cold feet' Power did not vote, nor Keir Hardie, nor Hillaire Belloc.  The name of one of the other repeat offenders - he of the tiresome jokes - presently eludes me.

And just a quick one on the ongoing issue of the force feeding of suffragettes:

Mr. KEIR HARDIE  asked the Home Secretary whether he has received any report from the medical officer of the Winson Green Gaol, Birmingham, concerning the women suffrage prisoners; and whether any of them, and, if so, how many, are still having food administered by force.

Mr. GLADSTONE I have received several reports from the medical officer. From the report received this morning it appears that seven prisoners still refuse to feed themselves, but only one of the seven now requires to be fed by tube. The others accept food when administered to them from a feeding-cup.

Mr. KEIR HARDIE  asked the Home Secretary...whether the instrument used was Bland-ford's œsophageal instrument, or whose; whether a screw gag was used to prise the teeth apart and keep the jaws open; whether the prisoners were strapped down, or, if not, how many attendants took part in the operation; and whether he can give the names of the women who have been subjected to this treatment?

Mr. GLADSTONE I have received several reports from the medical officer. I find that Blandford's œsophageal tube has not been used; in those cases where a tube was required the ordinary soft rubber feeding tube used in hospitals was employed. No screw gag was used, and the prisoners were not strapped down. The number of attendants present varied from one to five. I do not think it is desirable that I should mention the names of the prisoners. I am satisfied that everything has been done with the utmost gentleness possible in the circumstances; and the prisoners themselves have borne witness to the kindness of the officers.

Sounds a little unlikely, doesn't it?

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Blogger James Higham said... 8:15 pm

but every married woman shall be chargeable to Income Tax in respect of her separate property in all respects as though she were a femme sole

The tax man was egalitarian even back then.  

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