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PARLIAMENTARY. l 0 x DAY. Answering Mr. Dalziel in the House of Com- mons. Mr. Brodrick said no British regiment had received orders to take part in the advance on I Dongola. Mr. Balfour; also replying to v. question put by Mr. Dalziel. said he could not state approxi- mately the monthly cost of the expedition to Dongola. inasmuch as the Egyptian Government were responsible for the conduct of the campaign, and the details of the expenditure had not hitherto been asked for. Lord Cromer had been com- municated with on the subject. Mr. MacNeill asked whether, in the event of a Select Committee being appointed to investigate the affairs of the Chartered Company, the Government, with a view to expedite the inquiry. would initiate legisla- riori for the purpose of enabling the Committee to sit during the recess and prorogation. Mr. Chamberlain said he did not think the course pro- posed would be either convenient or satisfactorv. He had made inquiries, and was informed that there was absolutely no precedent for such legisla- tion. In answer to Mr. Hulse. Mr. Balfour gave the names of the members of the Commission on Old-age Pensions, and stated that Lord Rothschild would act as chairman. Lonl G. Hamilton moved a resolution to the effect that Her Majesty having directed a military expedition of her native forces charged upon the revenues of India to be despatched to Africa in aid of the Egyptian troops, the Honse consented that the ordinary pay of any troops so despatched, as well as the ordinary charges of any vessels belonging to the Government of India that might be employed in this expedition, which would have been charged upon the resources of ludia if such troops or vessels had remained in that country or seas adjacent, should continue to be so chargeable, provided that if it should become necessary to replace the troops or vessels so with- drawn the expense of replacing them should be repaid out of moneys provided by Parliament. Mr. Morley moved as an amendment—" That it is inexpedient that any portion of the charges of the Indian force that is being despatched to Africa in aid of Egyptian troops, whether ordinary charges or extraordinary, should be imposed upon the revenues of India." M. Maclean seconded the amendment, which, in the course of the debate, was supported by several Conservative members. On a division the amendment was rejected by 275 votee to 190. a majority of 85. In the House of Lords Lord Herschell gave notice that on the motion for the third reading of the Diseases of Animals Bill he should move an amendment giving power to her Majesty in Council to exempt from the operation of the Act any particular colony from which it was considered cattle might be imported without danger of in- troducing disease. The bill passed through Com- mittee. The Duke of Devonshire presented a bill to make further provision with respect to London University. He said the object of the measure was to render the University a teaching as well as an examining body. The bill was read a second time. TUESDAY. Replying to lrStephens in theftouse of Commons on Tuesday Mr Ritchie said the relatives or repre- sentatives of passengers lost in the wreck of the Drummond Castle would be allowed to take part in the inquiry and to produce evidence connected with the circumstances of the command and other causes leading to the disaster. Asked by Mr Bryn Roberts whether the Chartered Company had re- voked the power of attorney given to Mr Rhodes, MrC hamberlain said he understood that the Direct ors of the Company had the matter untler consideration. and he expected to hear from them shortly. Mr. Balfour stated, iu reply to Mr W. Redmond and Mr Dillon, that he proposed to allocate four days to the Committee on the Irish Land Bill, beginning on Monday week. Mr Cnrzon, replying to Mr H. Roberts, said the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Crete was not one of the four points demanded by the Powers. In consequence however, of the representations made at Constantinople, orders had been sent to the military authorities in Crete to suspend all military operations unless attacked. The House afterwards went into Committee on the Finance Bill. Mr. Lloyd-George had pre- viously moved an amendment excluding from duty tea grown in any pait of the British Empire, and Mr. H. Lewis, on behalf of Mr Lloyd-George, now asked leave to withdraw it. Mr. J. Lowther objected, and after a discussion the amendment was negatived without a division. Mr. Lough moved that the tea duty should not be levied in Ireland, but after a discussion withdrew his amendment. Mr. H. Lewis moved an amendment to the effect that the duties on higher-priced teas should be raised and the duties upon lower-priced teas lowered. This also was withdrawn. Mr. Lloyd-George moved to reduce the tea duty from fourpence to twopence per pound, but the proposal vas defeated by* 263 vates to 96, and the clause was agreed to by 228 votes to 87. On clause 2 Mr. Lloyd-George proposed that the duty on lager beer should be remitted, but the clause was agreed to. as were also the following ten clauses. On clause 13 Mr. Lloyd-George moved an amend- ment excepting cases from the Operation of the clanse where the property was settled for valuable considerations. After a discussion the amend- ment was withdrawn. and on a division the clause was agreed to by 133 votes to 46. On clause 14, which provides that if one person 'settles property on another and the latter dies and the property returned to the original possessor, he should not pay death duty upon it. Mr. T. G. Bowles moved an amendment to extend the scope of the clause so as to grant the same exemp- tion when the property had been settled on several persons who all died. Sir R. Read thought the effect of this amendment would be to whittle away the Finance Act of 1894. but this was denied Sir R. Webster. The admendment was accepted by the Government. Mr Lloyd-George moved an amendment providing that where property to which the husband was not entitled in his own right passed on his death to his wife she should pay the estate duty on the whole property, but this was rejected by 146 votes to 59. and the clause was carried by 175 votes to 75. "WEDNESDAY. The House of Commons on Wednesday resumed in:Committee the consideration of the financial proposals of the Government as embodied in the Finance Bill. On clause 16, exempting from estate duty under certain conditions articles of national, scientific, and historic interest, Sir W. Harcourt said that in the Act of 1894 exemption was given only to articles dedicated to the public, but this clause the exemption was given to articles which still remained in private hands. Sir M. H. Beach replied that the exemption from duty would only be till thev were sold or came into the possession of a persom com- petent to dispose of them. Sir W. Harcourt said the policy of the Act of 1894 was, as nearly as could be, to make all property pay alike, and if they now selected a particular class of property, and that belonging mainly to rich people, and made special exemptions applicable, they would create a sense of inequality which he thought would be verv unfor- tunate. Sir M. H. Beach said he estimated, when he introduced the Budget, that the proposed exemptions would lead to a loss of £200,000, but he was now of opinion that it would not amount to half that sum. After further discussion the clause was carried by 178 votes to 74. On clause 19. which fixed the income tax at eightpence in the pound, Mr H. Lewis moved an amendment with the object of establishing a graduated income tax. He pro- posed that on incomes under £500 per annum the tax should he at the rate of fourpence, on incomes between £500 and £750 at the rate of sixpence, and Oil incomes between £750 and £1.000 at the rate of eightpence. After discus- sion the amendment was rejected by 168 votes to 84. Mr. Whittaker proposed that the income tax should be reduced from 8d. to 71r.. but the amend- ment was defeated by 221 votes to 58. Another amendment moved bv Mr Whittakcr, providing that the assesment of all kinds of pioperty for in- come tax should be on the same basis, was with- drawn. Mr Strachey proposed that the income arising from the occupation of land and tenon ents chargeable to income tax under Schedule B should be taken a^one-fourth of the annual value, instead of one-thiru as at present. The amendment was rejected by 261 votes to 55. A proposal to exempt a wife's separate income from the income tax was under consideration when the debate was ad journed. THURSDAY. Replying to Mr Warr in the House of Commons, the Attorney General said changes were under con- sideration affecting the present assize system, and as to Lancashire it was hoped that they might go far to meet the suggestion which had recently been made with regard to the assizes in that county. "Mr. Stephens asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether he was aware that the inhabitants of the island of Molene were liable to water famines, and suggested that it would be a graceful thing to pro- vide them with the means of obtaining a better water supply in return for their kindness to the friends and relatives of the people lost in the wreck of the Drummond Castle." Mr. A. 3"£al- four said the Government had no knowledge of the matter referrad to in the first part of the question. The form of acknow- ledgment of the kindness and humanity displayed by the people and the authorities of Molene on the occasion of the recent disaster was being considered, but he could do no more at present than thank the hon. member, for his suggestion. Replying to Sir li. Reid, Mr. G. Curzon said the representatives of the Powers had urged Greece to prevent the importation of arms or ammunition into Crete for the use of the in- surgents. and the Greek Government had replied that measures had already been adopted to that effect. None of the Powers had offered to give a guarantee that the promises of the Sultan would be carried out in the event of the insurgents laying down their arms. Mr. G. Balfour obtained leave to introduce a bill to facilitate the construction of railways and the establishment of other means of communication in Ireland, and the bill was read a first time. In Committee on the Finance Bill the consideration was resumed of the amendment proposed by Mr. Bartley for the exemption of the incomes of wives from income tax. After some further discussion Mr. Bartley with. drew his amendment, and the clause was agreed to. On clause 25, Mr. Strachey proposed to leave out sub-section 1 in order to raise the whole question of the remission of the land tax, but the Chair- man pointed out that if the sub-section was struck out it would render sub-section 2 nonsense. On the motion that the clause should stand part of the bill, a long discussion took place on the question of the remission of the tax. Eventually Sir M. H. Beach moved the closure, but the Chairman declined to accept it. Later on Sir M. H. Beach again moved the closure, which was accepted by the Chairman, and on a division was agreed to by 181 votes to 70. The clause was then carried by 188 votes to 67. On clause 26 Mr Stuart moved that the price to be paid in case of redemption should be 40 years' purchase instead of 30 years' purchase. The amendment was rejected by 191 votes to 76. Mr H. Lewis then proposed that the laud tax should be redeemed bv a single payment. This was defeated by 209 votes to 75, and the clause which enables the owner to redeem the land tax by payment of a capital sum equal to thirty times the sum assessed on such land, such sum to be paid either in a single payment or by such annual instalments as may be agreed upon, was carried by 207 votes to 77. In the House of Lords, Lord Harris moved the second reading of the Agricultural Land Rating Bill. Lord Farrer moved the rejection of the measure. Lord Salisbury defended the action of the Government. The bill was strongly condemned by Lord Rosebery. On a division the motion for the second reading waa carried by 153 votes to 32. On the report of amendments to the Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister Bill, Viscount Halifax moved an amendment the effect of which was to declare invalid marriages with a deceased wife's sister which had been contracted prior to the passing of the Act. The amendment was rejected by 90 votes to 47. Viscount Galway proposed the omission of that part of the second clause which exempted from liabilitv, clergymen of the Church of England for withhold- ing the rights and privileges of Church member- ship from persons living together in marriages made valid by this Act. On a division the amend- ment was carried by a majority of nine. The Bishop of Salisbury moved the insertion of a clause providing that no man who had been divorced for or convicted of adultery with his wife's sister should be permitted to contract a marriage with her, and any such pretended marriage should be void. The amendment was negatived without a division. A new clause providing tha nothing in the Act should affect the law of marriage in any part of the Queen's dominions outside the United Kingdom was agreed to, and the report was then received. ——