Sivut kuvina

lower rate than 5l. per oz. (the in England and Wales, had acmaximum having been 5l. 11s. per tually decreased, in the last forty oz.), the average annual taxation, years, although, within the same if valued in gold, was equal only period, there had been an increase to 13,802,045 ozs. of gold, or to of about 40 per cent in the popu53,741,714l. of money exchange- lation. On an average of the ten able into gold at 775. 10 d. per oz.; years from 1785 to 1794, the numwhilst the annual average amount ber of bushels of malt annually conof taxation in the last three years, sumed was 25,751,775; and on the 1823-5, was 52,430,765, conver average of the ten years 1815tible into gold at 778. 104d. per 1824, the annual consumption was OZ., showing a diminution of only only 25,246,940 bushels, show1,310,9491. per annum of money ing an actual decrease exceeding of standard value, instead of 500,000 bushels per annum; whilst, 27,000,000l. Another, and a still if the consumption of malt had insurer method of proving that taxa creased in proportion to the increase tion was higher in the years 1823, of population, the consumption. 1824, and 1825, than in 1817, would have exceeded 35,000,000 of 1818, and 1819, was, to take it bushels per annum. A fair compariat what it would have been, if the son could be made only by taking an amount had been paid in wheat. average of several years ; yet, even Now, the annual money-amount if the consumption of malt in 1825 of taxes, on an average of the three (a year of great excitement) were years 1813–15, was only equal to compared with some other single 15,853,926 quarters of wheat, at years, a greater consumption ap80s. 9d. per quarter, the average peared in the years 1792-7 and 9, price of that period ; whilst the 1803 and 21, than in 1825. Wine, money-amount of taxes, on too, had shared the fate of malt. average of the three years 1823-5, The quantity of foreign wines anwas equal to 17,434,546 quarters of nually charged with Excise duty wheat, at 60s. 2d. per quarter, the in Great Britain, on the average average price of that period. Thus of the three years 1801-3 was taxation, instead of having been 7,661,270 gallons, and the average reduced, had actually increased at quantity charged in the four years the rate of one fifth, an increase 1819–1822 was 5,223,826 galto which much of the recent pric tons, being an actual diminution of vation and distress was attributable. 2,437,944 gallons yearly, or about

The increased productiveness of 30 per cent, notwithstanding the the taxes (to the amount of a increased number of consumers million annually) had been as during that period ; although at cribed by government to the in- least 10 per cent of Cape wines, creased consumption which was of very inferior quality, bad been said to be the natural consequence charged with duty in the aggregate of lowering prices by reducing quantity in the latter period. duties: but Mr. Hume maintained The progress of the consumption that no such increase had taken of sugar, tea, and tobacco, all of piace during the last forty years, them taxable articles of primary notwithstanding the great increase use, led to the same results. The of the consuming population. Thus quantity of sugar consumed in the annual consumption of malt, Great Britain, on an average of


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the nine years 1808-16, was be graciously pleased to take into (after deducting 1,600,000 cwts. his consideration the present alarmused in distillation in the six years ing state of the country, and to 1809-14) 2,406,809 cwts., and in direct an immediate inquiry to be the last nine years 1817-25, on an made into the causes of the existing average, 2,593,540 cwts.; being an distress, and the adoption of meaannual increase of only about 7 sures calculated to bring it to as per cent, whilst the population had speedy a termination as possible, been increasing, during that period, and to prevent its further spreadat the rate of 17 per cent.

.1: ing.” The consumption of tea, on an The chancellor of the Excheaverage of the four years, 1800-3, quer said, that on by far the greater was 21,023,155lbs., and, on an number of the topies which had average of the four years, 1821-4, been discussed by the hon. mover was 23,443,479lbs.; an increase of of the resolution, he should remain scarcely 12 per cent, whilst the silent, for it was impossible for the number of consumers had increased House to give even an intelligible, about 35 per cent.

far less a satisfactory, consideration The annual average consumption to a series of forty-five resolutions, of tobacco in the five years 1800-4, embracing every imaginable quest was 11,855,351 lbs. and in the five tion connected with the finance of years 1820-4, was 13,022,851 lbs. the country in its minutest details, showing an annual increase of con any one of which would furnish sumption at the rate of 10 per cent matter for weighty deliberation, in the latter period; but, if the and terminating, as they did, whatannual average consumption of ever words might be used, in a 14,155,166 lbs. in the five years motion for reduction of taxation: 1 1810-14 were taken, it would ap- But the whole series was founded pear that since that period there on a mis-statement of a simple had been an actual decrease of con matter of fact. The first resolusumption at the rate of 8 per cent tion charged him with having per annum, notwithstanding an misled the country by making false increase of population of 17 per statements regarding the reduction cent.

of the public debt, and the effectual On these statements Mr. Hume operation of the Sinking-fund in : founded his resolution, “that the producing that reduction. Theresot ? continued pressure of taxation has lution clearly implied, that, either greatly increased the privations and from gross ignorance, or deliberate distress of the productive, indus-, intention, he had so framed his trious, and labouring, classes of the statements, and the conclusions community." And, on the whole drawn from them, as to lead the mass of the resolutions-coupled House into error; in short, that his i with the improvidence of the dead- statements were not founded in weight arrangement, and the ex truth. Now this he denied ; and, ini: tent of the naval and military es the very resolution which conveyed tablishments kept up, he averred, the charge, there was a statement i for no other purposes than those of which would bear out a similar, patronage -- he founded his mo- charge against the hon. mover , tion for an address to the Crown, himself. The resolution was praying that his majesty "would “ No. 1. - That the assertions

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made to this House by the chan brought about otherwise than by cellor of the Exchequer, on 3rd of the application of surplus revenue, March, 1823, that a reduction of On the 5th of January, 1816, the 24,766,520ls in the capital of the amount of the funded debt was public debt had been effected by 816,311,446l., and of the unfunded the operation of the Sinking-fund, debt 48,511,000l.; on the 5th of from the termination of the war January, 1823, the funded debt, up to the 5th January, 1823; and was 796,530,0001., and the unagain, on the 13th March, 1826, funded, 43,526,0001., amounting, that a further reduction of the in the funded and unfunded debt, public debt, of 18,401,0001., had to a diminution of 24,685,7961. been effected between 5th January, But it was quite impossible that he 1823, and the 5th January, 1826, could have so far forgotten himself, making together a reduction of orattended so little to facts, as to have 48,167,5207. in the capital of the attributed this to the operation of public debt since the termination the Sinking-fund. The honourable of the war, are not consistent with mover, therefore, was not entitled, the accounts before the House, as by any thing which he had said, appears by the facts contained in to charge him, in this solemn and the following resolution."

formal manner, with having asta + Now the fact was, that, upon the serted what was not true. But, occasion alluded to in the resolu- in another point of view, the protion, he had never once said that ceeding of the hon. gentleman the reduction in the amount of the was of a most extraordinary nature. public debt was owing to the ope- In the first place, the honourable ration of the Sinking-fund. On gentleman charged him with havthe contrary, he had taken care, ing made assertions not consistent plainly and directly, to state, that with the accounts before the House, the reduction of the debt was not and concluded his resolution with to be attributed to the operation the following words," as appears of the Sinking-fund. At the period by the facts contained in the folmentioned, he had proposed cer- lowing resolutions." So that he » tain resolutions to the House, the first called upon them to condemn, object of which was, to simplify without considering what the the operations of the Sinking-fund. following resolutions contained. He had then gone into a detailed Was there ever so clumsy a proaccount of the actual state of the ceeding as this? He first propublic debt, and he could not find nounces à sentence of condemna... that the words “Sinking-fund” tion, then asks the House to conwere at all made use of in that sider the grounds on which that part of the speech referred to by sentence was founded ? A similar the hon. gentleman. It was utterly mode of proceeding was repeated impossible that he could have said, in the 31st resolutionthat the reduction of debt was attri “No. 31.—That the repeated asbutable to the Sinking-fund. What sertions made in this House, that he had stated was, in substance, there has been a diminution of that, during seven years, from Ja- taxation to the extent of 27 milnuary, 1816, an actual diminu- lions, since the termination of the tion of debt had taken place to such war, are delusive and fallacious, an extent as could not have been whether as applied to the amount?

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of money actually collected from a bottle of wine was placed within the people, or the value of the cur the reach of a person who could rency in which the taxes were not have afforded to pay for it at the collected, as will appear by the fact former rate, was he not benefitted stated in the following resolutions." by the reduction ? were not the

So that, here again the hon. gen- trade, and the community at large, tleman called upon the House to gainers by it? Whenever the same condemn him for false statements, amount of revenue was raised on a and false inferences drawn from lower scale of taxation, the tax them, on the ground of resolutions was necessarily less burdensome. not yet considered. He could not Mr. Brougham, Mr. Maberly, see how it was possible for the and Mr. Robertson briefly supportHouse to come to any conclusion, ed the resolutions. A motion for founded

upon such a series of pro- adjourning the debate having been positions as that submitted to them negatived without a division, the by the hon. gentleman.

House divided on the original The statement, which had been motion, which was lost by a maquarrelled with as inaccurate, was, jority of 153 to 52. that the funded debt which, on The state of the finances was the 5th January, 1826, amounted again repeatedly referred to, and to 816,311,4461., had been re the usual motions for reducing pubduced, by the 5th January, 1823, lic expenditure were all reiterated to 796,538,000l. ; and to prove at different stages of voting the that this statement of a reduc- estimates for the year. When it tion from January, 1816, was was moved on the 17th of Feinaccurate, the hon. mover had bruary that the House should go taken a period which excluded into a committee of supply on the 1816, and began with January navy estimates, Mr. Hume, al1817. But, in point of fact, if the though without pressing hisamendstatement was taken in connection ment to a division, resisted the with the period to which it pro- motion, on the ground that no fessedly had reference, not only estimates ought to be voted, till was it in perfect agreement with the proposed expenditure of the

papers laid before the House, year had been laid before the with which it was pretended to be House. That, answered Mr. Caninconsistent, but these very papers ning, is the very object of going into furnished a refutation of the reso a committee. When, on the report lution. To say that taxation had of the committee being brought up, not diminished, because the same the question was put to grant pay sum continued to be raised by and allowances for 30,000 seataxes, was a mere sophism; and to men, and 9,000 marines, Mr. Hume say that taxation had precluded objected to the number as being the people from the enjoyment of extravagant and unnecessary in many comforts, was inconsistent time of peace. Formerly, he said, with fact. For, how did it hap- in time of peace, the navy had pen, that, with taxes reduced only cost about 2,000,0001., while by 8,500,0001., the revenue had the present estimate was above maintained its ground ? clearly by 6,000,000l. ; and, within the last the increased consumption. if, three years, there had been a regular by a reduction of duty on wine, increase, instead of a gradual di


minution: Being convinced that The army estimates, which prosuch a rate of expenditure, and the posed that the military force for taxation necessary to meet it, could the year should be 87,240 men ennot be supported, unless an in- countered similar opposition; Mr. tention were entertained to rob Hume having made an unsuccess the public creditor, he moved an ful attempt to reduce the number amendment to the effect, “That to the establishment of 1792, aş this House cannot take into con if the words a period of peace” sideration the navy estimates for denoted one uniform and invathis, the 11th year of peace, amount- riable set of circumstances, and ing to 6,135,000l. without express- the possessions and relations of the ing its disapprobation of so large an country were at all times the same, expenditure, and without adopting and put forth at all times the same the language of the finance com- demands, provided only that war mittee of 1818, that the strength was absent. The exigencies of and glory of a country do not con

peace vary as well as the necessisist in its ships-its naval and mi- ties of war; and the purposes, to litary force but in the encourage- which national force ought prument of the arts of peace, and the dently to be applied, alone furnish judicious and economical manage- any standard by which the amount ment of its finances."

of national force required can be The proposed number of men ascertained. Mr. Hobhouse did was justified by the necessity of not go so far as Mr. Hume; but maintaining, in existing circum- he wished the military force to be stances, a strong naval force in the reduced by the number of men Mediterranean, and on the East-In- which had been added in 1825; dia station; a station which extended and moved as a resolu non the 7th over one quarter of the globe, from of March “ That it appears to the the coast of Arabia round to the Paci- House that the regular military fie Ocean. Our trade in the Medi- force of this country, exclusive of terranean was equally endangered the troops in the East Indies, conby the Turks and by the insurgent sisted, in the year 1822, of 69,088 Greeks, and the complaints of piracy men; and that now, according to wereinnumerable. On the coast,too, the estimates laid before the House, of South America, free-booters were the number was 86,240, being an swarming; and, although, in India, increase since 1822 of 17,152 men, the Burmese monarch, was not That it appears to the House that possessed of a navy, yet a naval ar no change has taken place since mament on the river of Rangoon 1822, either in our foreign relawas essential to the operations of tions or domestie circumstances, to the army which had marched against justify so large an augmentation; his kingdom. It might be true that and that it is therefore expedient the estimates were higher than those to reduce the regular military of 1817; but no committee of 1817 force to 77,000 men,” could prophesy the exigencies of Lord Palmerston said, that 1826, and no prudent government neither the safety of the colonies, would meet the greater necessities nor the comfort of the men serv

1826 by the lower scale of 1817. ing in the army, could allow of The amendment was lost by a ma- the proposed reduction.

When jority of 43 to 15.

ministers proposed the additional

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