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mons which tended to impair the gene- Gentleman had prepared himself to attempt ral credit of the country, and to prevent a similar course. He had hoped that the growth of that facility of monetary the present Chancellor of the Exchequer transactions which prevailed when the re- might bave been the successful Minister venue was in a prosperous state. He who might hereafter have rested his claim thought that any Chancellor of the Ex- to public approbation on the ground of chequer abandoned his duty if, for the having effected a larger operation for the sake of repealing a particular tax, or of benefit of his country in this respect than acquiring for the moment the applause of had been accomplished by his most disthose who surrounded him, he forgot what tinguished predecessors. In that speech was due to the higher interests of the which the right hon. Chancellor of the State, and did not always bear in mind Exchequer delivered at Aylesbury, ten that there was a large encumbrance of months was the period prescribed as nedebt, which could only be diminished by cessary by the then proposed Sinking the maintenance and due application of a Fund to raise the public debt to par. surplus revenue. In saying this he was within ten months that desirable object far from expressing opinions which were might not be accomplished; but he confined to himself and to hon. Gentle- feared, by the course the Government men near him. He had the authority was taking, by snatching at the paltry of the present Chancellor of the Exche- remission of taxation of 2,500,0001., they quer, who, when discussing at Aylesbury would perhaps for ever lose the opporin 1849 the importance of maintaining a tunity of conferring great and permanent large Sinking Fund for the purpose of benefit on the country. The reduction of creating an impression on the debt, and the public debt would have a beneficial supposing the Chancellor to be in posses- effect on all the burdens of the country. sion of a surplus, said
It would confer still greater benefit on the “Why, in old times we should have had some agricultural, manufacturing, and commerone coming forward and proposing the abolition cial classes, by placing at their disposal of some paltry tax which, while it would be no capital at a low rate of interest, and give scarcely any relict. Is this the means by enabling them to pursue their operations which to regenerate imperilled agriculture with increased activity and enterprise. If Certainly not. What I propose is, that a real he might presume to give an opinion sinking fund shall be maintained, which will, in to the House of Commons—having heard less than ten months, raise Consols above par, from various quarters that the acceptance and thus enable landlords and tenants to borrow money to apply to their land at 3 per cent interest of half the Malt Tax was more a matter instead of four or five."
of feeling than of profit-that it was not The right hon. Gentleman, speaking at expected to derive from it that extent that time to an assembled multitude of of benefit which some would consider comagriculturists, said
pensation for past injury, or to give to "This is your real remedy—cqual taxation and
the consumer that relief which they all cheap capital. If my recommendations be adopt
desired to afford—if he might presume ed, the public credit will be maintained ; it will to give an opinion, he would say, give the farmer independence; it will recover from stead of giving up that 2,500,0001. of their present state of depression the landlords of the country ; they will then obtain capital for the revenue, apply your surplus so as hereimprovement of their estates at a low rate of in- after to render feasible great financial reterest, and if you do not gain that relief which the ductions." His great feeling of regret country has a right to give you, we must consider with respect to the Budget which had what we are next to do."
been announced was that this course had Those were principles in which he (Mr. not been pursued. The right hon. GenGoulburn) cordially concurred, and which tleman opposite seemed to object to dishe regretted that the Chancellor of the cussing the Budget in parts, and in that Exchequer was not now that he had power opinion he had shown that he (Mr. Gouldisposed to carry into effect. The right burn) entirely agreed. If he thought an hon. Gentleman had been pleased, on a attempt was made unwisely to repeal the former night, to speak in favourable terms Malt Tax, he naturally objected to the of the success which attended the mea- particular tax which was proposed as sures that he (Mr. Goulburn) had on two the means of effecting a repeal in itself several occasions brought forward for re-objectionable. IIe did not deny that it ducing the interest of the public debt; and might be proper, under circumstances he wished sincerely that the right hon. which required it, to impose a Houso VOL. CXXIII. (THIRD SERIES.)
Tax, properly distributed and properly mo- reasons which had induced the Government dified. He objected last year to the House to propose alterations in the Income Tax; Tax then proposed, because he thought it and he said, as a noble Lord said early in was not framed upon the principles on the evening, that they had remedied the which a House Tax, if imposed, ought to inequalities of the tax in its present shape. be placed; and he objected equally to the The right hon. Gentleman must have lookHouse Tax now proposed, because, though ed upon the Resolutions on the table with avoiding some of the defects of that of the a very paternal eye if he could consider right hon. Baronet (Sir C. Wood), it had that they remedied any of the grievances fallen into others which he (Mr. Goulburn) | which had been made the subject of comthought essentially fatal to it continuance. plaint. He said, “We have reduced the But it was not necessary for him to discuss number of exemptions.” Yes, by imposthe substitute, when he objected to the re-ing the tax upon a class of persons with peal of the tax the produce of which it was respect to whose capacity to bear it there to replace. The right hon. Gentleman had would be shown to be great doubt when said that this direct tax was necessary to it should come under discussion herecomplete the scheme propounded by the after. He said, “We have applied the Administration of Sir Robert Peel; that tax to the funds in Ireland : exemptSir Robert Peel recommended the imposi- ing every class in Ireland but one, they tion of direct taxation upon principles the had rather added to the exemptions than same as those on which the present House reduced them. With respect to that parTax was to be supported. Not so. Direct ticular class on whom he meant that the taxation was introduced by Sir Robert Peel burden of the tax should fall, the right when indirect taxation had been carried to hon. Gentleman had no foundation for asits full extent and found unproductive. It suming that there was anything in the was introduced to make up for a great and proceeding of 1842 which justified the imaccumulating deficiency; and so far from position of a tax upon the funds in Ireland the tax now proposed being the completion received by residents in Ireland. Thie of the plan which originated with Sir principle in the Act of 1842 was, that perRobert Peel, it was one merely made for sons residing in Great Britain should pay the temporary object of affording a relief the tax upon any income received by which was but partially sought, and was them in Great Britain, though the pronot likely to be generally beneficial. The perty might be in Ireland or any other right hon. Gentleman said the House Tax country ; land, professions, trades, and recommended itself, because there had been funds of persons resident in Ireland were a sacrifice upon the Window Tax, and that equally exempt. Ireland was exempted the burden would not exceed that to which because other taxes were then imposed on the country had been subjected from ten to Ireland, which were to be a compensation to twenty years ago. But it would be well Great Britain for alone bearing the Income for him to remember that if there was a tax Tax. If the Government selected one parwhich at no distant period had excited the ticular class of property in Ireland, and feelings of the country more than any that the funded property, for this tax, they other, and given occasion to petitions for would therefore as clearly violate their conits repeal, it was the House Tax. The tract with the public creditor by making table of the House of Commons was loaded this property alone the subject of taxation, with such petitions in 1832, 1833, and as they would by the imposition of a sepa1834. It was stated to be more odious rate duty on funded property here. Thie than the income tax. If the Government right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the should now succeed in imposing it, not- Exchequer said that the right hon. Memwithstanding the objections to it, and not- ber for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladwithstanding the absence of any necessity stone) had argued without reason that the for imposing it beyond the repeal of half variation of rates in the schedules would the Malt Tax, they must be prepared at be a breach of faith with the public creno distant period for a repetition of attacks ditor. He (Mr. Goulburn) adhered to that upon this duty, which, if imposed in the opinion, and the reasons for it given by the shape proposed by the right hon. Chancellatter right hon. Member; and, when the lor of the Exchequer, would at no very House should arrive at the period for the distant day lead to its repeal and to a discussion of the Income Tax, he thought further deficiency of revenue. The right he should establish beyond a doubt that hon. Gentleman had gone in detail into the there was a contract with the public creditor, confirmed by the uniform decisions it was equally in his power before the of all the Courts to which the question alteration to obtain even a greater reduchad been submitted, preventing the House tion, his gratitude would possibly be diof Commons from placing upon this spe- minished. Then, it was said, there liad cies of property a higher rate of duty been exceeding liberality to the clergy than was imposed upon other property. in making a reduction of duty on those The right hon. Gentleman said, “We have who had less than 1001. a year. It was made a division between precarious and said that the clergyman had a precarious certain property, and taxed them accor- income-an income dependent on his life, dingly." He (Mr. Goulburn) would tell uncertain in its duration--and that at him what he had done. He had made the present he paid the highest rate of duty. funded property of the country, which was But it may be asked why, if his income thought to be the most secure, the most were precarious, take 1001. for the limit? precarious property, for he had made it The man who had 1501. must have an independent on the will of a Minister. If come as precarious as the man who had he could by his own authority, upon the an income of 1001. One could underconstruction which he put upon the con- stand such an arrangement if it were made tract, imagine it lawful to impose one on the score of charity alone ; but when third more duty upon funded property than it was made on the ground that the inupon any other, what might not some come was precarious, how could such a future Chancellor of the Exchequer less remission be taken as a principle of legismoderate than he effect? What were pence lation? He had thus stated the views he now might be shillings to-morrow, and what was disposed to entertain with respect to were shillings to-morrow might be pounds the measures now before the Committee. in subsequent years, if the country should He objected to the repeal of the Malt Tax, be weak enough, or the Minister wicked at a time when a revenue was not in a conenough, to impose different rates upon dition to part with that amount. Ile obfunded and other income. When the jected to the Budget, because the whole question should come on, he thought he surplus was derived from an application could show that, whatever irregularities of money not legitimately made-namely, there might have been, whatever injustice from the application to annual income of any might suppose to operate in carrying the balances of the Exchequer; because into effect the measure of 1842, the there must be a recurrence of that system measure now proposed abounded in ine- of deficiency which it had been the whole qualities ten times worse, and would in- of his ambition to put an end to, and which volve the collection of the tax in ines- of late years had been entirely avoided. tricable difficulty. With respect to the It was on the ground of the ultimate effect mode in which it was proposed to esti- on public credit that he could not but view mate the profit of farms, it would be re- with alarm the proposals which the Governmembered that in 1842 the profit was ment had made. By their proposals they taken at half the rent, and the tenant had were debarring themselves from the legitino right to a reduction, nor the Govenment mate advantages to which, in the present to an increase of that charge ; but since state of the country, they might fairly look. then we had given the tenant-farmer the The Government were gradually weakening right of coming to the Commissioners at the public sense of good faith by spending the end of the year and saying, “My in the year more than they acquired from profit has not amounted to half my rent, the revenue of the year; and, taking and I am entitled to a reduction;" and into consideration those scrious matters the Commissioners, upon examination of which weighed on his mind more than him and his books, were to abate the sum anything relating to a change of the reckoned as his profit, not to one-third of Property and Income Tax, or the Ilouse the rent, but to one fifth or one sixth, or Duty, or the Malt Tax-taking into conany proportion to which he could show sideration those several circumstances, he that his profit had fallen. The proposal, should conclude by humbly imploring the with respect to him, then, was perfectly un-Committee to avoid measures which by necessary. It might go
It might go forth to the coun-impairing the public credit of the country, try that the Government were conferring damaged its best interests, and which, inbenefit on the farmer, by estimating his volving all interests, would in the end be income at so much less than it was esti as injurious to the agriculturist as it would mated at before; but when he knew that be to the manufacturer.
to be “
VISCOUNT JOCELYN moved the ad- from the income tax, it was not true that journment of the debate.
the property of that country did not conThe CHANCELLOR of the EXCHE- tribute to it pretty largely.
pretty largely. The Motion QUER hoped the Committee would re- he was about to propose was for a return member the time of the year, and the day of all suns paid as income tax upon of the month. He trusted they would Irish property by persons residing in this come to an agreement to conclude the country, and, also, of all sums deducted debate to-morrow. It would, he was sure, from the annuities and dividends paid by be satisfactory to all present, if there were the Bank of Ireland to persons having proa general understanding to that effect. perty in those funds and not residing in
Ireland. On the first occasion on which he Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, he did made this Motion, the noble Duke who not think it possible at the present mo- then represented the Government in that ment, so many Members being absent, to House, granted the Motion ; but, knowing come to an understanding of that nature. He for one, should be very happy if it as he (the Earl of Wicklow) did that large
sums were paid by proprietors in this coun. were the disposition of the Committee to conclude the debate to-morrow night. only by them, but by a vast number of
try who had estates in Ireland, and not There were, he understood, many hon. Members absent who wished to express and luxury of this country to a residence
small proprietors who preferred the ease their opinions. He thought, therefore, that
in their own, and being confident there the matter must be left to their discretion ;
must be a considerable amount contributed but he concurred with the right hon. Gen
to the revenue in that way; it was not tleman in expressing the hope that the discussion might be brought to an end
without surprise that he found the return
nil.” It was the same on the to-morrow.
second occasion; and it appeared that the Ilouse resumed; Committee reported reason was that no account was kept by progress.
the Board of Taxes of the amount paid by IIouse adjourned at a quarter before Irish as distinguished from other property. One o'clock.
The difficulties which at that time stood in the way of collecting the information he
required, were now, he believed, completely HOUSE OF LORDS, obviated, and he felt confident that if the
noble Earl agreed to his Motion he should Tuesday, December 14, 1852. have a very different return. Whatever
the amount derived from this source might IRELAND AND THE INCOME TAX.
be, it ought in justice and fairness to be The Earl of WICKLOW rose to move attributed to tho taxation of Ireland. Ho for returns respecting the payment of pro- proposed the Motion exactly upon the same perty and income tax by persons resident grounds as he had done before. When in this country in respect of property in the property and income tax was first proIreland. The noble Earl said that that posed by Sir Robert Peel, Ireland was was not the first or the second occasion he exempted, not on account of her distressed had made a similar Motion upon this subject; condition, but because there was no machiand he had done so for this reason. In
nery fitted for the purpose; and as the tas the first place, they had periodical renewals was only proposed for three years, it seemof the income tax; and as regularly accu-ed not worth while to establish it. They sations were brought against the proprie- were now, however, about to have the intors of Ireland, that they did not contribute come tax renewed, not a temporary their share of the revenue of the country. measure, but as a measure which had all Upon every occasion on which the income the appearance of permanency: a desire to tax had been renewed, complaints were substitute direct for indirect taxation now made of this nature, both in and out of prevailed, and however objectionable such Parliament, and notices were constantly a system might be in a great commercial given in the other House for extending it country like this, or, indeed, in any great to Ireland. He (the Earl of Wicklow) country, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, therefore, been always anxious on has evidently succumbed to it; and whatthese occasions to let their Lordships and ever might be the desire of the Government the country know that, although it might to exempt Ireland from the income tax, he be true that Ireland was nominally exempt believed they would not be able to succeed
in the attempt, because such an exemption paid by Persons residing in Great Britain on would not be based on the principle of jus, commencing April 1851 and April 1853 : and also,
Sums drawn from Ireland, in the Two Years tice for whatever taxation was imposed
“ Return of all Sums charged on Dividends and on one portion of the Empire ought to be Annuities at the Bank of Ireland payable to Perimposed on all. They were now about to sons not resident in Ireland, in the Years comintroduce a tax upon the funded property mencing April 1851 and April 1852.” of that country, and upon the recipients of Ordered to be laid before the House. public salaries there. It was perfectly The Earl of DERBY: I can have no right and just; and he could not see why objection, on the part of Her Majesty's the Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Chancellor, Government, to lay before your Lordships and the holders of places in Ireland, should the papers which have been moved for by be exempted, whilst in this country the the noble Earl, if, indeed, the return will annuitant with only 501. a year, and the afford him the information which he seems tradesman with only 1001. a year, were to to expect it will. I can only regret that be subject to the tax. Now he (the Earl the noble Earl did not give me the precise of Wicklow) should wish, for his part, to object he had in view in making this Mosee the enormous and unjust taxation tion, in order that I might have ascertained which at present prevailed in Ireland under if the mode in wbich the papers are now the name of the Consolidated Annuities made out was calculated to answer that Tax, altogether abolished. There would object. My own impression is that the then be no difficulty whatever in establish-Income-tax papers remain precisely on the ing the income tax in Ireland on all de- same footing as they did when the former scriptions of property, and raising the returns he moved for were made, and that, 400,0001. which Sir Robert Peel estimated consequently, he will not find any distincas the revenue which would be derived tion between incomes derived from Irish from the stamps and spirit duties, and property and those derived from colonial which, in fact, had raelised but 16,0001. property, and the proceeds of the Income The sum now assessed on Ireland for the Tax from Irish property will still be returned consolidated annuities is 250,0001.: that as nil. But I only speak from a vague would be probably the proportion of the recollection of the Income tax papers which 400,0001. which would fall upon the land; have been presented to me for my signabut at present the consolidated annuity tax ture. Not having received a shilling from is so distributed that the amount is larger my Irish property for four or five years— just in proportion as the district is poor on the contrary, the balance being conand unable to bear it; so that, in fact, siderably on the other side—and finding where the largest suns are payable, there myself obliged to make remittances of money is not only no expectation of levying the to that country, I was compelled to return tax, but, as he knew, a bill of indemnity nil. There is no objection, however, to was necessarily brought in, partly to exempt produce the returns, and I shall be glad to the poorer districts of the country from give the information which the noble Earl its payment. He was therefore convinced desires; but I must be excused if I decline that, if it were shown to Parliament, by the entering into the policy of charging the abolition of the consolidated annuity tax, Income Tax on Ireland, or into the financial and the imposition of a property tax, an propositions of the Government now before act of justice would be effected, and the the other House of Parliament. There revenue increased, it would readily accede will be abundant time for the discussion of to it.
He was anxious to see an equal. | all the details arising out of the Income ised system of taxation, similar to that Tax when the measures which have been adopted in England, extended to the sister submitted to the other House of Parliament country; and if that were done in the man- come before your Lordships in detail in the ner he had taken the liberty of suggesting, shape of a Bill
. The noble Earl has corhe had no doubt the result would prove rectly stated the principles which he conhighly beneficial to the interests of that ceives to be involved in the various measures country, and at the same time materially that are now under the consideration of tend to increase the revenue of the Em- Parliament, and that have been brought pire at large, He thought this would be forward by the Chancellor of the Exchethe best opportunity of effecting such an quer. He correctly states, that according object, and that it would be satisfactory to to those measures, it being deemed exthis country and to Ireland. The noble pedient to diminish to a considerable exEarl concluded by moving, for a
tent the amount and pressure of indirect “ Return of the amount of Property Tax taxation, it follows as a necessary conse