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should not hereafter be made, as, for instance, whether like the amount received for old stores, it should not be deducted from the expense of the army only-he had not yet decided. The sum which under this head he had now to apply as Ways and Means, was 90,000l. in consequence of the East India Company having consented to commence their payments from May, 1822. The next item was a surplus of Ways and Means of 469,0477. not called for by the expenses of past years. There was also a surplus on the Consolidated Fund of 8,760,000l. It was a long time since a Chancellor of the Exchequer had had it in his power to include a surplus of the Consolidated Fund in his Ways and Means; and certainly it was very agreeable to him that, in the commencement of his official career, that duty had devolved on him, particularly when the surplus amounted to so large a sum. The circumstance to which it was owing that so large a surplus of the Consolidated Fund now existed, was the arrangement lately made with respect to the Sinking Fund, by which the charge on that fund was reduced to its proper amount. In the early part of the session he had stated, that the annual income of the Consolidated Fund might be taken at 46,000,000l., and the expenses at 38,000,000/-28,000,000l. of the latter sum was for the charge of the Funded Debt, 2,000,000, for the expenses of the Civil list and other charges, 2,800,000l. for the payment of the half-pay and pension annuities, and 5,000,0007. of Sinking Fund, which, with a few small items amounted in the whole to 38,500,000l. A surplus thus remained of about eight millions, and he had the satisfaction to say that, in making this statement, he had not taken as a criterion the receipts either of last year or of this year, but the probable receipts of next year, after deducting the amount of taxes repealed during the present session. The result of the whole was, that the Ways and Means for this year amounted to 17,385,920l., and, by deducting from that sum the total amount of the Supply, which was, 16,976,743., no less a surplus than 409,177. would remain unappropriated, but 244,150%. of which, it was intended to apply to the decrease of the unfunded debt. He thought it a very satisfactory circumstance, that he was enabled to make such a statement to the committee. It appeared to him extremely desirable,

*

that something unappropriated should always remain in hand to meet unforeseen emergencies, and that the revenue should not be paired down exactly to the expenses of the country. He might also observe, that owing to the late alterations in the distillery, he had, in the foregoing statement, calculated on a loss of revenue from spirits; he, however, had no doubt but that deficiency would be soon compensated by the operation of the measures alluded to.-He was happy to say, that besides this a surplus existed to meet the passing contingencies of the country. A large sum of assessed taxes had been lost to the revenue. They were now nearly two quarters in arrear, and three quarters would soon be received and added to the sum now stated, which would leave an additional surplus. He said this for the purpose of shewing the House, that there was no reason to fear a defalcation in the amount of the approaching quarter.

Perhaps it might not be altogether un, satisfactory for him to allude to the present state of the revenue, in order to shew that he was justified in the compari son he had made of the first half of this with the same portion of last year. The account of the receipts in the first part of the present year, began on the 5th of January, and concluded on the 28th of June, while the account for the first part of the year 1822, began on the same day and ended on the 5th of July, by which the whole of the half year came into the account, and it was generally known that the last days of the quarter were by no means the least productive. He should satisfy the House that the revenue, instead of falling short, actually exceeded this year the produce of the same period in 1822. In the Customs the account was as follows:From the 5th of January to 28th June, 1823

......

79,191

In Bills and Cash..
Receipt from June 28 to
July 4, (16,000l. per diem) 80,000

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4,026,661

159,191 4,185,852

4,045,987 139,865

This was independent of the amount of tonnage duties, which produced last year a sum of 66,000l., and which were now

repealed. In the Excise, too, a consi-
derable improvement had taken place in
many articles, while in others the account
was not so satisfactory. However, on the
whole, he trusted, that the improvement
would not appear unimportant. The
difference between the two years would
appear by the following estimate of the
Excise revenue for the half year ending
July 5, 1823, compared with the actual
receipt of the corresponding period of
last year.

Payments to the 5th of
July, 1822...
Actual payments from the
5th of Jan. to the

1st of July, 1823....10,571,081 Estimated payments from

the 1st to the 5th of

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Total redeemed .... £2,399,332 The amount of debt remaining unredeemed was 794,130,8127. It was necessary to observe, that whilst the reduction which he had stated was going on, no 12,125,136 corresponding addition had been made to the debt. The reduction which had been effected was clear reduction. Besides the capital redeemed and transferred as above, there was paid to the Bank, towards the redemption of Exchequer bills, per 3 Geo. 4th. сар. 66

658,000

11,221,081

896,655

Actual loss on the half year upon

articles on which the duties have

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Actual increase••••

....

465,550

1,051,875
155,820

In addition to which the repayment
on account of malt duty previous-
ly accounted for amounted to
270,0301., which is included 'in
the above sum of 450,6371.; and
if no such repayment had been
made, the increase of revenue
would have been
425,820
The result as to the revenue derivable
from Stamps, the Post-office, and the As-
sessed Taxes, appeared to be equally
satisfactory. While the revenue was thus
improving, the ministers had also been
able to effect a gradual reduction of the
debt, and this reduction had been pro-
gressive from the 5th of January, 1823,
on which day, the unredeemed debt
amounted to 796,530,1447. The follow-
ing account would show to what extent
it had been reduced from the 5th of Jan-
uary to the 30th of June, by the com-

missioners for its reduction :

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1,020,000

Thus it appeared, that there had been a clear reduction of debt to the amount of upwards of 3,000,000l. The committee was aware that it was the custom to issue deficiency bills to meet the demands on the consolidated fund. On the 5th of January, 1823, the deficiency bills amounted to 5,920,3541.; but on the 5th of April, the period when the last account was made up, they had been reduced to 3,793,2917. There was a reduction, therefore, of more than 2,000,000l. under that head. Whilst this reduction of debt lrad been in progress, the government had also effected a considerable reduction of taxation. Perhaps the committee would not be unwilling to hear the extent to which the reduction of taxation had been carried during the last two years, for he would confine himself to that period. If the hon. gentlemen opposite chose to attribute the diminution of taxation to their exertions, he would not dispute with them. He would not contend for the merit of the act; it was sufficiently gratifying to him to know, that notwithstanding the government had made great sacrifices of revenue, yet nevertheless the resources of the country were so solid and substantial, that they enabled 172,382 the government to provide amply for the 334,883 public service, and at the same time to 24,000 effect a progressive reduction of the debt. 14,432 Within the last two years reductions had

£ 1,834,535

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Reductions bad also been effected upon minor items of taxation, which, though unimportant in amount, were of great be nefit to the parties by whom those taxes had been paid. He alluded to all the reductions to be found in the bill in progress relative to Customs. One of the most important parts of the bill was that which provided for the reduction of the duty on stone carried coastwise. He might also advert to another circumstance which would diminish the amount of taxation he meant the repeal of the Union duties in Ireland. It could not be denied that the repeal of those duties would be prejudicial to the interests of some persons, but it would enable the people of Ireland to obtain some articles of British produce 10 per cent below the price which they at present paid for them. If the smaller items of reduction to which he had thus briefly alluded were added to the sum which he had before stated, it would make a total of about seven millions and a half. He wished to say a few words with respect to Ireland. No one could look at the manner in which parliament had conducted itself with respect to the taxation of Ireland, without being convinced, that whatever differences of opinion might exist with respect to the moral and political causes which operated in that country to produce misfortunes which it was painful to dwell upon, in a fiscal point of view, at least, it had given a most liberal attention to the wants of that unhappy country. Among other measures connected with the finances, he might advert to some bills which had passed through the House without comment a proof that their principle was approved-for uniting the boards of Customs and Excise, and assimilating their practice in both countries. The effect of those bills would be no less advantageous to merchants, than to the public in general.

He did not know that he had now any thing further to state to the committee. He did not feel justified in saying any thing with respect to the future: but he might be allowed to say, that he considered the revenue in a flourishing condition. He thought, too, that no man could doubt that the finances of the country were in a state of progressive improvement. Under these circumstances, he could not but anticipate that government might be enabled to extend the principle of reduction of taxation still further than it had been already carried. Government would do all that could be done to reduce taxation, provided it was not overpressed. He was not ashamed to avow that in his opinion theories which every body allowed to be unobjectionable, might, when they were attempted to be carried into practice too rapidly, with respect to such an enormous concern as the revenue of this country, be productive of the greatest mischief. If government were allowed to proceed in a moderate course, he had very little doubt that it would find, in consequence of the acts of reduction which had taken place, the means of extending relief from taxation still further. He felt it to be his duty not to say any thing more specific on the subject. He was aware that many honourable members had, during the present session, directed the attention of government to several taxes of great importance, which they desired to obtain the repeal of. Some of the taxes which had thus been alluded to were of very great importance, connected as they were with the necessity of preventing smuggling. He felt that he should be doing wrong if he were at that moment to express any opinion with respect to the repeal of those taxes. He would, therefore, content himself with the declaration of the general principle on which government was desirous of proceeding. He was glad to have received from the House the most liberal support of the views which he and the rest of his majesty's ministers had entertained; and he trusted that the House had no reason to think that their support had been improperly bestowed. He had taken pains to ascertain the feelings of the country, with respect to the course of policy which ministers had pursued; and he had found that the people generally were completely satisfied with it, and as long as that was the case he should also be satisfied.

Mr. Maberly congratulated the House

satisfied with the statement which had been laid before the House. The reduction which had taken place was certainly more than had been thought possible eighteen months since. He wished the right hon. gentleman to bear in mind one thing, and that was, that if he reduced taxation by the amount of one million, he would not lose that million. It would be employed in business, or expended in pleasure, by the people in whose pockets it was suffered to remain, and would produce as much benefit to the revenue at the end of the year as if it had been levied in direct taxation. Let, then, the right hon. gentleman go on with his reductions

on the candid statement which they had just heard from the right hon. gentleman. During the whole time that he had been a member of that House, he had never heard such an open, fair, or candid statement; and, indeed, it appeared to him, that the right hon. gentleman had rather under-rated than over-rated the grounds on which he founded his report of the present increasing and flourishing state of the revenue, and of the hopes he entertained of the future diminution of public taxation. He was happy that the right hon. gentleman had been thus candid; for, by such conduct, he would secure the confidence of the country. He was also gratified at the liberal principles which ministers seemed to have adopted, with regard to public trade; for such liberal views would materially contribute to make commerce increase, and render the nation prosperous and happy. As they had begun some re duction in the public burthens, he trusted they would feel it their duty to proceed as expeditiously as possible; and he perhaps, might suggest that a reduction of the Land tax, and of the 4 and 34 per cents would effect a considerable saving in the public expenditure. There was also the Imperial debt. He believed it was notorious that the right hon. gentleman had entered into some arrangements for a compromise of that debt, and it was said that two and a half or three millions were to be received by this government, as a payment of the debt. If this were true, he thought the Austrian government had acted fairly in the transaction. He expressed his concurrence with the right hon. gentleman as to his views of the future state of the revenue. When the capital of the country could fairly be employed, trade would increase, and the revenue would proportionably be benefitted; and if the reduction of public burthens could be extended to Ireland, the population there would be employed, and the great cause of complaint on that account would

cease.

let him reduce four millions this year, and four millions the next year, and he would find that in the end he would not lose any thing by the reduction. The hon. member condemned the military and naval pensions, by which we had borrowed the sum of 4,800,000l. at the rate of 731. in the hundred of the three per cents, while we were now buying at 821. in the market. By this loan a loss of 61. per cent had arisen, and it should be remarked, that at the time it was thus disadvantageously contracted for, the cabinet had resolved that this country should not enter into a war. The money lost by the contract would have enabled ministers to effect a total repeal of the Leather tax. Neither could he refrain from mentioning the bad effects produced by the continuation of the Sinking Fund. The House could not have acted more unwisely than by suffering that fund to exist. By so doing, five millions had been devoted to a purpose productive of no practical benefit, which might have been applied to the reduction of taxation.

The resolutions were agreed to, and the House resumed.

CONDUCT OF CHIEF BAROn O’GraDY.] Mr. Spring Rice moved the order of the day for going into a committee on the Conduct of the Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. On the question being put, "That the Speaker do now leave the chair,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer merely wished to say, that the loan alluded to was in a course of negotiation which he hoped would prove successful. At present he Mr. Hutchinson said, that whether the could say nothing as to the terms of the proposition he was about to support was negotiation, nor as to the probable result, or was not agreeable to the House, he but should confine himself to the state-alone was responsible for it. He had had ment, that every disposition existed on the part of both the governments to come to an amicable adjustment of the debt.

Mr. Hume said, that he was somewhat

no interview with any member on the subject. He had no connexion whatever with the Chief Baron of Ireland, nor with any of the friends of that learned indivi

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dual: in fact, he did not know that his opposition to the Speaker's leaving the chair would be supported by any member. He, however, thought it would be grossly unjust to proceed to a measure of condemnation, before they had the fullest evidence on the subject. There were, it was true, two reports of the commissioners of inquiry, and also two reports of committees of that House relative to the conduct of the Chief Baron; but it did not follow, when the whole of the evidence should be heard, that he might not differ from those authorities. Indeed, the opinions entertained in that House with reference to this question were so various, that it would be wrong to proceed with it until the fullest evidence should be obtained; and above all, he conceived that he would be a very daring man who should proceed to judgment without hearing the chief baron himself. Those persons who had not heard that learned judge, and heard him fully, on the matter of accusation, could not be competent to act either as jurors or judges,

Mr. S. Rice defended the course which he had taken in this proceeding. It had been said that they could not fairly go on unless the chief baron was heard; but the question was, whether he had not been heard? Allusion had been made by the hon. member for Cork, to two reports of the commissioners, and two reports of the committees of that House, but he had totally forgotten to mention two letters written by the chief baron himself, relative to the conduct which had been complained of.

He

Mr. Wetherell opposed the going into. the committee, as an act that would be useless to the public, and unjust towards the individual accused. The learned gen. tleman then alluded to the case of the earl of Macclesfield, against whom articles of impeachment were carried up to the Lords. In this case, owing to the form of the hon. gentleman's proposition, such a course could not be adopted. thought it a great injustice to the learned judge that it should be proposed to leave his character, for the space of eight or nine months, under such an imputation as the entry of these resolutions would cast upon it. On the grounds he had stated, he was compelled to differ from his right hon. friend as to the steps which the House ought now to take; and, anxious as he was to secure the pure and impar tial administration of justice; and desirous as he felt, that every offender in the way that the lord chief baron was said to have offended in, should be severely punished, he could not consent to that House clothing itself with a criminal jurisdiction, even in such a case, if that was to interfere with the criminal jurisdic. tion, exercised by the courts of law of this country.

Mr. Secretary Canning said, he did not see how they could avoid proceeding on this occasion. The hon. member had alluded to the inconvenience which must result, if this charge were left pending over the chief baron. Now, in some shape or other, charges more or less modified must be understood as having been preferred against him; and if he were to point out the most favourable and the feast culpatory shape in which they could be placed on the Journals, it was by pursuing the course proposed by the hon. member for Limerick. How did the matter stand? The charges came founded on the reports of the commissioners. If the House rested where they now were, the interval between the time of accusation Mr. Wynn would consent to the House and of trial would not be the less long; going into a committee, not for the exer and the inconvenience to which the chief cise of a criminal jurisdiction, but in baron would be subjected must be aggra-order that it might act as a grand inquest vated rather than lessened, because he in the matter. Certain charges, however, would not have the advantage of knowing had been made against the learned indiexactly on what points, growing out of vidual in question; and he (Mr. W.) those reports, he was hereafter to defend would have preferred that those charges himself. On the other hand, if the charge should have been exhibited at their bar, went on, and resolutions of fact were and that the House might then have agreed to in the committee (resolutions either decided such charges to be proved stating that such and such charges or have at once repudiated them. He were made in the reports, but nei- concurred with those who considered that ther negativing nor affirming them), that the learned chief baron had, in fact, been proceeding would not affect the character heard once already, by the course he had of the chief baron, and would afford him adopted of writing letters containing a more ample means for his defence. defence of his conduct, and especially by

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