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quence, whether it be desirable or not, that , be, cannot be without important and imà considerably increased proportion of the mediate consequences upon the position of revenue of this country should be in future Government itself; but I am speaking in drawn from the sources of direct taxation; relation to the permanent interests of the and the noble Earl also interprets correctly country, with regard to which I hold the the desire entertained on the part of Her decision to which Parliament is about to Majesty's Government, that, as far as it come as a matter of the most vital importcan be practicable, that extension shall take ance. I earnestly hope that, as soon as place, avoiding as far as possible those practicable, Parliament will relieve the exemptions which are undoubtedly not country from the anxiety with which it is founded in strict justice, and which can now awaiting the decision to which the only rest upon the impossibility of collect- House of Commons may arrive upon that ing from a numerous portion of indigent important subject. For undoubtedly, withpersons, who are exempted not so much on out desiring to hurry or accelerate the prothe ground of strict justice as on the im- ceedings of the other House of Parliament, possibility of collecting the amounts which so as to preclude them from a due and full become due from them. Subject to that consideration, not, indeed, of each petty exception I quite agree with the noble Earl and minute detail, but of the great and that it is desirable, in applying direct taxa- broad principle involved in the present tion, that the exemptions should be as few deliberation-I think it is of great importas possible, and that the area of taxation ance that the country should not long be should be as general, as wide, and as equable in suspense as to the course of proceeding as possible. And I confess, that whilst on which Parliament is to adopt, and with the part of the Government we have thought regard also to the hands by whom the that it would be inexpedient, and, looking system now established is likely to be carat the distressed condition of the landed ried out; and I hope that very few days, property in Ireland, that it would be in- or it may be hours, may decide that ques. convenient and impolitic, to subject that tion, so far as the other House of Parliacountry to the payment of a tax from which ment is concerned. I regret that, in conit has hitherto been exempt-I coucur with sequence of these discussions, and the the noble Earl in thinking that the question delay that has taken place—though I do is only a matter of time, and that if the not complain of that—it is necessary that Income Tax be established as a permanent your Lordships should have to meet day source of revenue, it cannot be expected after day, with little or no business to that so large a portion of the Empire as transact, for the purpose of sitting here a Ireland should be exempted for more than few minutes, and then adjourning the House. a temporary period from the operation of I am certainly very anxious that, as soon that tax. With regard to the exemption as the decision of the House of Commons of the land of Ireland, there was a claim shall be pronounced, and the Resolutions made out on its part for temporary exemp- now submitted to them are affirmed-if tion from the Income Tax; and consequently affirmed they are to be---your Lordships we have submitted to Parliament that Ire- should be released from what I consider to land should be so exempted, so far as re- a great extent your unnecessary attendance lates to that particular description of pro- here. But whilst that question, and the perty which has suffered most seriously other questions hinging upon it, still remain from the circumstances of late years. That in abeyance and undecided, I should not question, namely, the extension of direct think I was performing my duty to the taxation, and the extension of that system Crown if I recommended the adjournment of direct taxation subject to as few exemp- of this House for any lengthened period, tions as possible, is the subject which at to deprive the Crown of the possibility of this moment engages the anxious attention securing the attendance of this and the of the House of Commons, and that is a other House of Parliament at a time when question which I trust will be solved in the it might be necessary for the Crown to course of the present week. My Lords, have recourse to their immediate advice that question is one of deep and vital im- and assistance. I again say there is no portance to the permanent interests of the objection on the part of the Government to country. I am not speaking of any per- the production of the returns moved for by sonal consequences attaching to the Go- the noble Earl. vernment, although I am quite sure that Motion agreed to. your Lordships will see that the decision

Papers ordered to be laid before the of the House of Commons, whatever it may | House.

REVENUE AND TAXATION.

class of men, whose judgment and opinion LORD MONTEAGLE moved for certain ought to have had weight with the Governreturvs connected with the Revenue and ment, or been binding on Parliament ? Taxation, and said, that, although he did Half the malt tax was to be repealed-at not believe that they were now entering whose bidding? The measure had not for the first time on a course of peril, yet been demanded by petitions; it had not he thought they were persevering in a been forced on the Administration by an course of great danger to the substantial adverse majority; it was simply the iminterests of the country, and advancing politic and gratuitous act of the Governin that course more rapidly by the sub-ment itself. If so, the substitution of di. stitution of direct for indirect taxation in rect taxation in the odious form of the raising a considerable portion of the re- house and income tax, for the repealed venue of the country. The Ministers oppo- malt duty, should be dealt with not as a site, and his noble Friend the Postmaster necessity, but as the gratuitous act of the General in particular, would remember that Government, and he hoped the proposition this was not the first time he had raised would therefore be successfully resisted by his voice against the adoption of this sys- the representatives of the country. If tem when extended by his own friends in there were any proposition capable of the late Government. At the present mo- being reasoned to demonstration, not only ment there was a current running hard in on.principle but on experience, it was, that favour of the imposition of direct taxation : the present Goverument were sacrificing to this the noble Lords opposite were 2,500,0001. of revenue without any exgiving their sanction; and the question cuse or palliation whatever; the reduction with him was, whether that current were in the price of beer would be so small, that running in the right direction, and if the consumer would get no benefit whatit were likely to lead to safe conse- ever from the proposal, and the benefit quences in a country which was so largely would be felt only by the brewer and indebted that it was obliged to raise great capitalists. This was proved by the 28,000,0001. sterling a year to pay the effects of repealing the war malt tax and dividends due to the public creditor. He beer duties; and it was proved by the condid not mean to argue, where a revenue of clusive evidence given by Mr. Charles Bar52,0000001. had to be raised annually, clay before their Lordships' Committee on that in no instance should direct taxation the Burdens on Land. Why was this fatal be resorted to in aid of the revenue arising sacrifice made ? That the friends of the from indirect taxation. In a time of crisis noble Lord on the other side might indeed an income might frequently be the ef- be able to go to the country constifectual and aggregate remedy, and when tuencies, and say that they had obtained the property and income tax was proposed the repeal of a part of the malt tax for by the late Sir Robert Peel in the year them; when, in truth, neither the barley1842, he felt there was a full justification grower nor the people of England would for the measure in the pressure of a great gain anything by the measure. At the public exigency. At a subsequent period, same time the Government proposed to too, its continuance had a strong motive, for double the house tax and to increase the it was reimposed for an important object, area of its assessment; and also to bring a which it had realised, to the great benefit lower amount of annual income within the of the country: without the income tax the operation of the Income Tax Bill. This he reform of the tariff could not have been thought a dangerous course, for it was achieved; but, in the meantime, the system substituting for an indirect tax, borne with of direct taxation had developed its diffi- facility and collected with ease and ecoculties and dangers. The Government had nomy, direct taxation of the most odious not been able to induce Parliament to character. If the noble Earl had been grant the income tax for more than one a personal enemy, he could not wish year, and at length resort was had to the him a greater evil than that of succeedmost dangerous of all expedients-one-ing in carrying the whole of his measures tenth part of the whole public revenue. through Parliament, and being represented The noble Earl had spoken of the necessity in every taxpaying house as the author of of resorting to direct taxation for the pur- the new property tax and the new house pose of supplying the deficiency created by tax, and as the member of a Government the repeal of indirect taxation. But had that had wasted 2,500,0001. as an act of this reduction been called for by any large delusive concession to a class whom it

would not even relieve. He begged to re- were shown to be analogous, it would be mind their Lordships that the proposals of only fair that Ireland should be compelled the Government would put in jeopardy to bear her share of the impost; but if they 10,000,0001. of permanent revenue, as were not so, it would be futile for any well as above 5,000,0001. of income tax, Government to attenipt the extension. He for that was the produce of the three; and trusted that, in addressing himself to these that even if the Government succeeded questions, he had violated no order of the fully they would only leave the country with House. The truth was, that when a Tax a doubtful surplus of 400,0001. Such was Bill came up before their Lordships, they not the way to keep up the public credit; were usually told that it was needless to and he warned Her Majesty's Government go into a discussion of it, as the House to consider the effect which their measures had no power of suggesting alterations; might eventually have upon the maintenance and, therefore, it was all the more necesof that credit. He was well aware that sary that other opportunities should be the noble Lord would triumphantly appeal taken of considering and discussing these to the price of the funds in proof that our important questions. The noble Lord credit had not been affected. But he de-then moved that there be laid before this nied the force of the argument. In the Housefirst place, was it not just possible that other propositions still more subversive of

“ Detailed Accounts showing the Gross and

Net Amounts received of the Revenue of Excise, public credit had been anticipated justly, Stamps, and Taxes during each of the last Ten but fortunately abandoned, not to say for- Years : tunately averted? Let him take, as an ex- “ Account showing the Amount applied during ample, the state of our terminable an- each of the last Ten Years in reduction of the nuities; 4,425,0001. annual charge, equiva

National Debt :

Account showing the Amount advanced and lent to four-fifths of the property tax, repaid during each of the last Ten Years by the would expire in a few years.

Had it not Loan Commissioners for Public Works : been at one time intended to anticipate “ Account showing the State of the National this saving, or, spendthrift-like, to 'dis- Debt as made up to January 1852, distinguishing

Permanent from Terminable Debt: count our reversion? Was not this aban

“ Account showing the several Duties and Taxes doned? Again, might not consols rise if imposed and repealed during each of the last Ten all power of relieving the interest at a fu- Years, showing the actual or estimated Amount of ture time was sacrificed by a wasteful sa- each, and distinguishing the Duration of such crifice of the income of the country ? Taxes whether temporary or permanent : And

also, From 1846 to the present time reductions

Account of the Average Price of Barley had been made, quietly and unostenta- during each of the last Ten Years." tiously, to the amount of 18,845,0001. from the national debt; and, should any The Earl of DERBY: My Lords, ceremergency arise requiring a loan to that tainly the course pursued by the noble Lord amount, they might go to the country and is not inconsistent with the orders of the justify their demand by the savings they House. I must, however, say, I conceive had already effected. No less a sum than it is a course which, under all circum7,728,000i, had been paid off in 1851, stances, may be generally considered in1852, and 1853. But the measures of convenient_namely, for a noble Lord, after the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) and his having given notice of his intention to move Colleagues would, if carried into practice, for the production of certain papers to which effectually stop any such saving for the there can be no objection, to avail himself future. They proposed an extension of of that opportunity to enter into a full disthe house tax, but they would have to cussion of the whole financial measures withdraw the proposition, as other Go- which are not even yet fully under the convernments had done, for they seemed to sideration of the other House of Parliiament. forget that the strongest Government this If it had been the intention of the noble country had perhaps ever seen--that re- Lord to take that course, I must say that presented by Lord Grey in their Lordships? to have followed the precedent taken by House, and by Lord Spencer in the House Lord Brougham would have been the more of Commons-had been forced to with legitimate mode of proceeding, because draw a similar tax in deference to the then noble Lords would have known what wishes of the country. With regard to they had to expect, and would have come the extension of the income tax to Ireland, down prepared to enter into a discussion if the circumstances of the two countries upon the whole merits of the question. It

In con

would be quite in course for the noble Lord | fecting as large a portion of the community to proceed by resolution, and by antici- | as is capable of bearing it; and next, by a pation to condemn the whole course of large amount of taxation to be raised on policy pursued by the Government. I must those articles which enter into the most say I think that the more regular course, general consumption of the people, and on notwithstanding the opinion expressed by which alone you can raise a large amount the noble Lord, would have been to wait of taxation. Now, the principle commonly until a substantive proposition came before called Free Trade, upon which the country your Lordships' House; and it is not a has decided, I take to be this, that upon sufficient answer to say, that when a Tax those articles on which you have raised a Bill is brought into this House, there is no large amount of very heavy taxationopportunity of amending it. It is true that articles of general consumption by the mass when a Tax Bill is brought up into this of the people—the country will not now House-whether it be one for the repeal or tolerate a large amount of taxation to be imposition of a tax—there is nothing to levied. You have laid down the principle, prevent this House from examining the not as regards any one particular item, but whole merits of the propositions bronght in regard to those articles which necessarily forward by the Government relative to the enter into the consumption of the people. financial affairs of the country, and from You have taken as your proposition that deciding whether you will take all the con- the food of the people must be made cheap. sequences of accepting or rejecting them. Be it so. But if you adopt the principle That, I conceive, is a more legitimate and that food and the necessaries of life are to ordinary mode of proceeding than that be made cheap, and are not to be subjected taken by the noble Lord, of moving for to the amount of taxation which is necesunopposed returns for the purpose of en- sary to raise the required amount of the tering upon the whole financial affairs of year's revenue, the alternative is plain and the country. I hope my noble Friend will obvious—you must have recourse to that not think that I am treating him with any other system of taxation which can be disrespect if I abstain from following him equally diffused over the masses. into the discussion as to what he supposes sistency with the principles of free trade, to be the intention and the consequences I will defy the noble Lord to vindicate the of the financial policy of the Government. imposition on the articles of malt and teaI will not either enter into a discussion two great necessaries of life of the working upon the condemnation which the noble classes—of duties respectively amounting Lord has passed on the proposition to ex- to 1001. and 2001. per cent on the prime tend the system of direct taxation. I do cost. We are driven, therefore, by the pot quarrel with the noble Lord for adhering adoption of the principle which has been to that opinion, nor will I enter into a dis pressed upon us by the other side of the cussion as to how far it would be advisable House, and which the country has sancto proceed upon the principle of direct or tioned—we, acting frankly and honestly indirect taxation. The noble Lord himself upon that principle, have felt it our duty admits it to be a question of degree. He to take that course which, in principle, I does not deny that, to a certain extent, am sure, will not be condemned by the direct taxation must be resorted to, to noble Lord, of reducing the heavy amount make up a deficiency occasioned in the in- of taxation charged on the necessary articles direct taxation of the country; conse- of consumption. I will not enter into any quently, the only question between the discussion as to the probable effects of the noble Lord and the Government is, as to repeal of the Malt tax, though I entertain what extent the increase of direct taxation a different opinion from that of the noble is to be carried, and what proportion it is Lord upon that subject. But I think I to bear in the whole taxation of the country. recollect very bigh authorities, who are I must be permitted to say, I think that looked up to by noble Lords opposite, and the question of direct taxation is immedi- constantly quoted by them, who have deately and necessarily involved in the course clared that after the final repeal of the of policy the country has determined to Corn Laws it would be impossible, if not sanction; and, without any reference to the nnjust, to maintain the existing amount of comparative merits of either direct or in- duty upon malt. Your Lordships liave the direct taxation, there are but two modes very highest authority on such questions-in which a large amount of revenue can be namely, Sir Henry Parnell, who, upon raised-namely, one of direct taxation, af- signing the report of the Commission of Excise Inquiry in 1832, laid it down as a of agitation and excitement raised at that maxim—" If you remove the tax upon time on the question of reform; but from foreign barley, at least one-half of the duty the time that question ceased, the strength upon malt must be taken off as a necessary of that Government palpably and visibly consequence." I think also that Sir James declined ; and, in order to maintain itself, Graham intimated his opinion strongly in it was undoubtedly compelled to yield in regard to the repeal of the malt duties and many things to the demands of those of the corn duties, that you could not with its ultra supporters who had supported it any justice repeal the one without also for the purpose of obtaining reform, but repealing the other. Now we did think, who certainly were desirous of pushing the that in conformity with that principle, and Government further than some of its Memacting upon the views of financial policy bers were disposed to go. I do not admit on which Parliament has entered, and which that Lord Grey's Administration, during the country has sanctioned, that it was just, the latter period of its existence, was right, and expedient-or, if you like it strong. Its weakness was occasioned by better, wise, just, and beneficial-to reduce, the under-currents of its quasi supporters. to a very considerable extent, the amount But the noble Lord has omitted to recolleet of duties on those two great articles of that there was not only then in existence cousumption-namely, malt and tea. But a house tax, but also a window tax; and the noble Lord says we are imposing a during the administration of the late house tax and also a property tax--that is Government, it became a question whether to say, we are continuing a property tax preference was to be given to the repeal of in the most objectionable possible form. the window tax or to a house tax. It was Now, in regard to the continuance of a given to the repeal of the window tax upon property tax, I have nothing to say, be- sanitary considerations; and at the time cause I believe that as long as you persevere of its repeal, the late Chancellor of the in the present system, the continuance of Exchequer was desirous of carrying through such a tax is not a matter of choice but Parliament a house tax, which, in point of of necessity. The question then arises amount, would have been fully equivalent whether we are really continuing it in an to the window tax, and would have exoppressive form. Now, so far from that, we ceeded by about 200,0001. the house tax did think that if the Committee of the which we now propose. If, my Lords, House of Commons which sat last year, there is to be a house tax, I confess I am and which went into great details in regard at a loss to understand on what principle to the income tax, had laid down any one of justice you can stop short at houses of proposition more than another it was this the value of 201. a year, leaving a vast that, although it was impossible accurately majority of houses free from that which to measure the particular circumstances of should touch every one, and yet leaving each individual case, in order to frame an those householders in the possession of all income tax according to the principles of the privileges of the elective franchiseabstract justice, yet there was one broad that franchise which, according to the and palpable distinction to be drawn be opinion of noble Lords opposite, and of the tween permanent and temporary incomes. liberal party in the House of Commons, And, therefore, when the noble Lord says should be co-extensive and conterminous we are imposing this tax in a manner most with taxation. But these measures, which objectionable to the middle classes, I beg may possibly never come under your Lordhim to observe, that for the first time, for ships' consideration, are now under the the relief of those middle classes, we are consideration of the other House of Parliadrawing this distinction between precarious ment; and when they do come before this and fixed incomes ; and, without increasing House I shall be prepared to vindicate the the amount paid by the one, we do afford course which Her Majesty's Government to the other material relief by the reduction have taken, and to defend each separate of the amount of the burden at present laid measure from any attack made upon it by on them. The noble Lord talks of the noble Lords opposite. There is one point, strong Government of Lord Grey having however, to which the noble Baron alluded been obliged to recede from a proposition upon which I wish to make one observation which they had made in regard to the -I mean his remarks upon wliat he called house tax. It is true that Lord Grey's the maintenance of the public credit. My Government was at the beginning a very Lords, if I thought that there was anything strong one, but it was strong by the amount in these measures to shake the public

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