Imatges de pÓgina

So that the contractors agreed to lend their money for a bonus of 10s. 5d. "Let us," faid Mr. Pitt, "look at it in another way. The total amount of the intereft to be permanently paid by the public on each 100l. was 157. of stock at 3 per cent. 4. 145. 24d. So that in the eighth year of the war we have been able to raise the neceffary fupplies at less than four and three-fourths per cent.; a circumftance which, more than a thouíand arguments, would fhow the efficacy of the plan adopted by parliament for raifing fo great a part of the fupplies within the year, fince, by comparing thefe The whole of the fum then to be raised by taxes was To which add one per cent as a fund for paying it off, according to the established fyftem, and for charges of management,

The first tax that he fhould propofe towards the payment of this annual fum, was a duty of 5 per cent. on the higher priced teas, he meant on all above the price of 25.6d. per lb. He was induced to propose

He estimated this tax at

terms with the bargains which were made before the adoption of this new fyftem, "we," faid Mr. Pitt, "may fee the enormous benefit which we reap."

He next came to the permanent charge which was to be impofed on the public by this loan; a circumftance which used always to be contemplated with fuch dread by the public, and which even yet, from prejudices, had its alarm. It was his propofal to charge the tax upon incomewith the intereft of 13,500,000!. and there would then remain only 5,000,000l. for which he was to provide by taxes.

The next article of taxation which he meant to propose
was on British and foreign fpirits. The propofed amount
of the duty on the home-made fpirits was id. on the gal-
lon of wash, or 5d. on the gallon of fpirits; and the fame
proportionate duty to be laid on all foreign spirits. He
eftimated thefe duties to produce,

Home-made fpirits,
Foreign fpirits,

Mr. Tierney faid, he could not obferve, without fome fufpicion, that the right hon. gentleman had confined hi felf to a fimple ftatement of financial details, without thofe embellishments of oratory which he used to employ. He was



this tax from feeing, by the late fales of the Eaft-India company, that the confumption of the higher priced teas had confiderably increased even during the war.




Making together,

Which was more than the fum wanted. He then moved his firft refolution on the taxes.

£. 130,000

100,000 120,000


glad that the matter was left to its own merits; for he had frequently found by experience, that nothing was more difficult to furmount than the impreflion of the right honourable gentleman's eloquence.

With refpect to the exultation which was expreffed by the right honourable gentleman on the re

view of our financial fituation, he could not entirely agree with him. It certainly was a subject of serious confideration, that no lefs a fum than 41,500,000l. was to be raised for the fervice of the current year. Upon the detail of the fupplies, however, he should not at prefent enter, as he hoped an opportunity would occur for doing that, when he brought forward a fecond edition of the financial refolutions he had offered last year. He could not help obferving at the fame time, the very large fum the houfe was called upon to vote without any previous eftimate. This fum, confifting of army extraordinaries and foreign fubfidies, without fpecification, amounted to no less than feven millions and a half. Many of the articles in the army extraordinaries were extremely vague. He obferved, particularly, that 300:7. had been given to a baron Hompefch, as an indemnification for quitting the Pruan service to raise a regiment in the fervice of this country; and the latter he understood to be a tranfaction fufficiently beneficial to have rendered any other bonus unnecollary. There was a fum of 30,000l. to a count de Muron, for fervices, in the ifland of Ceylon; this fum, too, was exclufive of another fum of 50,000l. to the fame perfon. He tho ght that the house should exercife their controul in preventing any expenditure which was extravagant or unneceffary; for, if it was fo, they had no means of getting it back. With refpect to the flourish. ing flate of the revenue, he was extremely glad to find it was fo profperous. It certainly had exceeded his expectations; and the right honourable gentleman proba bly would have the candour to confefs that it had exceeded his own alfo. Into this point, however, he

fhould not enter at prefent, but he begged leave to lay his claim to perfect liberty to examine on a future occafion the grounds of the statement of the right honourable gentleman, notwithstanding the acknowledgment he had made of the apparently flourishing state of the public revenue. With respect to the monies which the right honourable gentleman had calculated upon to arife from the repayment of advances to the merchants of Grenada, &c. he thought that it was not very probable that they would be available immediately. As to the income tax, he was of opinion that the statements of the right honourable gentleman on this fubject gave room for ferious reflection. In the outfet of the meafure, the minifter had taken eight millions as the produce of the affe led tax bill; but, exclufive of the voluntary contributions, an idea which was fuggefted in the progrefs of the business, no more than four millions and a half had been obtained. Afterwards, with the convoy duty it was taken at feven millions. The whole amount then of what was called the folid fyftem of finance, in 1798, was no more than three millions. With respect to the income tax, which was confidered as a farther improvement of the folid fyftem, its amount had fallen greatly fhort of what was expected. The gentlemen of the city, when they met in a fort of parliament of their own at the manfion-houfe, feemed to have contented themselves with merely recommending the adoption of this fyftem. When the affeffed tax bill was under confideration, the country gentlemen were accafed of all fots of frauds to evade its operation. In opening that fcheme, the right bonourable gentle.nan had calculated, that from


courfe to poft-obits as part of his ways and means; he had folicited the bank to purchase the renewal of their charter while it had twelve years to run. As to the loan, he agreed that the terms were extremely favourable to the public; he could not admit, however, that this circumftance was a decifive proof of the profperity of the country; he thought that it was no lefs a proof of the extravagant spirit of fpeculation which prevailed. From the way in which the subject was viewed, indeed, it seemed as if the war was confidered as the greateft of bleffings. Mr. Tierney then proceeded to make fome obfervations on the statements of Mr. Rofe's pamphlet refpecting our peace eftablishment, and repeated his intention to go more into detail on that fubject on a future occafion.

The chancellor of the exchequer in reply to Mr. Tierney obferved, that most of the topics upon which that honourable that honourable gentleman had thought proper to enter, either did not touch immediately upon the bufinefs before the house, or had already been poftponed, for future difcuffion. For that opportunity he would referve what remarks he had to make upon them. The honourable gentleman even admitted, that the fituation in which the country now appeared to be placed, was, and ought to be, matter of exultation and triumph. But he then thought proper to check himself, and obferve that there would be no reafon for this triumph until he faw the amount of the peace establishment. The enemy had been in the habit of holding out threats that they would exhaust the resources of this country, and make Great Britain a bankrupt in credit. It muft, therefore, be now a fubject of difcouragement and difappointment

the commercial part of the community would be obtained no lefs than four milions of the whole amount. The gentlemen of the city were for leaving the investigation of their affairs to choice commiffioners, and fuch, from experience, it appeared they had been. Although many perfons who had the greatest part of their property in land chofe, because they had fome part in commerce, to go before the commercial commiffioners, yet not more than 1,100,000l. had been contributed by commerce. He believed even that it would be found that the proportion of the income tax, arifing from commerce, was not fo much as he had stated. The reft of the produce of it, being upwards of four millions, was obtained from thofe claffes of whofe evafions fo much had formerly been complained. This circumftance, at a time when the country was in a ftate of unexampled profperity, must be admitted to be very extraordinary. But the right honourable gentleman ftated, that he intended to bring forward certain regulations for the better collection of the income tax; what these were he had not hinted. In confidering the probable amount of the income tax, it was to be recollected, that the people would no longer confider, as formerly, the war as juft and neceffary, when minifters had refufed even to hear what the enemy had to fay. Their zeal, in itself liable to wear off, would be much abated by fuch communications as had of late been laid before the house.


In the ways and means which the minifter had brought forward, it was evident that he was poftponing thofe provifions which would be afterwards required; that he was evading, instead of meeting, our difficulties, He had even re


to the enemy, to find that the reve-
nue of that country, which they
threatened to exhauft, far exceeded
the charge of intereft on the loans
during the war, and exceeded it to
a degree beyond all expectation.
The honourable gentleman had
alfo indulged pretty freely in his
obfervations on the fmall produce
of the income and affeffed taxes.
Their produce, moft affuredly, did
not amount to the original eftimate;
but it was nothing unufual that
taxes, when new, fhould not amount
to their full produce. But whatever
might be the profperous ftate of the
revenue, the war, it is faid, muft
fwell our expences beyond the pro-
portion of the increase of the re-
venue. But was it not the war that
protected our refources by guarding
the foundations of that wealth from
which they fpring, and which would
be facrificed and betrayed by an in-
fecure and precarious peace? The
next objection was against the re-
newal of the charter of the bank,
in confideration of a loan of three
millions for fix years. This the
honourable gentleman had been
pleased to fay was "raifing money
upon post-obits; it was a mode of
railing money which nothing but
the utmost difficulties could juftify."
If the honourable gentleman would,
however, confult the ftatute book,
he would fee that this was the ufual
mode adopted tince the bank char-.
ter was first granted; and that even
in one inftance the renewal had
taken place though the charter had
a longer time to run than it had at
prefent. The grounds of all thefe
objections he would leave to the
judgment of the committee, with
the confident hope that there was
nothing in them that could dimi-
nifh the fatisfaction with which
they had that night contemplated
the flourishing and increased pro-

fperity of the revenue, and general refources of the country.

Mr. Burdon entered into a juftifieation of the conduct of the commercial commiffioners, and infifted that they had behaved with the greateft prudence and integrity.

Mr. Tierney replied at confiderable length to the arguments of Mr. Pitt, and entered into an able juftification of his former statements. He faid, with respect to the renewal of the bank charter, there was no inftance in the history of the country of fuch a measure having been adopted fo many years before the expiration of the charter.

Mr. Jolliffe faid, that we were told when the income-tax was impofed, that it would terminate with the war, but we were now employing it to pay the intereft of the debt which we were contracting, and he feared much it would be next to perpetual. The feveral refolutions were put and agreed to.

Nothing more of a financial na ture occurred till a late period of the feffion; but as we have been accuftomed to prefent the whole of thefe tranfactions in a connected view, we fhall conclude in this chapter the detail of thefe regulations. On the 16th of July, Mr. Pitt, in a committee of ways and means, moved, that the account of the produce of the confolidated fund, for the quarter ending the 5th of July, 1800, fhould be referred to the faid committee; which being agreed to, Mr. Pitt opened to the committee the general itate and produce of the confolidated fund. He took his criterion from the account laid on the table (and which had been that evening referred to the committee) of the produce of that fund, ending the 5th of July, 1800, namely, 5,217,000l. This excefs was to furnish the means of providing



providing for the fupply to be granted to his majesty towards the turther expence of the year. Pitt now entered into the ufual cal culations to fhow how the excefs arofe; and, having exhibited the grounds of his ftatements, he proceeded to obferve, that the circumftances of the country, and the fiattering profpects of an abundant harvest, pointed out an obvious increase of the duties on malt for instance, which this year was much diminished, owing to the fcarcity; but the expected increase of the crop of barley naturally led him to truit that his calculations in this place would be found correct. After converfing with the perfons moft acquainted with this fubject, he had estimated the addition to the revenue from this fource at 500,000l. Laft year the produce from the diftilleries in Scotland was neceflarily diminished; but this year, fuppofing the harvest to turn out as he fondly hoped, an increafe would arife in this way of about 100,000l. Besides thefe, the further fums of 300,000l. partly repayments and partly remittances on outstanding accounts, and two fums of 50,000l. and 150,000l. arifing from contingencies, would give an added total of 500,000l. under another head. Mr. Pitt concluded by moving, "That there be iffued 5,200,000l. out of monies to arife from the confolidated fund, towards the fupply to be granted to his majesty."

Mr. Tierney wifhed the estimate had been for the whole four quarters, as had been the custom. He entered into a counter calculation, and appeared to be of opinion, that, either owing to mis-statement, or to a fallacy in the quotations of the chancellor of the exchequer, a tum of about 2,300,000l. would ftili be wanting, allowing all the items of

the right honourable gentlemant to make up the 5,200,000l. He found fault with the calculations about the land tax, and prophefied they would prove erroneous. He allowed that the amount of the taxes this year might be 1,600,000l. greater than it was the laft; but still he could not conceive where the 5,200,000!. mentioned by the right honourable gentleman could poffibly come from. The refolution being put and agreed to, the house was refumed, and the report ordered to be received on the morrow.

On the 18th of July, Mr. Pitt moved, that the house should refolve itself into a committee of fupply. After his majesty's meffage relative to the imperial fubfidy had been read, Mr. Pitt rofe and faid, that having already had occasion to submit a motion to the confideration of the houfe, relative to the treaty between the king of Great Britain and the emperor of Germany, it could not be neceffary for him at prefent to enter very minutely into the fubject. Now, to enable the committee accurately to judge of the propriety of following up by its vote that which the houfe had fan&tioued, it might be neceffary to confider the circumftances under which the treaty was propofed and accepted, previous to the knowledge, or even the fufpicion, of those difafters which had lately taken place in Italy. He concluded by moving the first refolution, "that a further fum, not exceeding 1,500,000/. fhould be granted to his majesty, to enable him to fulfil his engagements with the emperor of Germany."

Mr. Tyrwhytt Jones faid, when he had asked a few weeks ago what would be the amount of any subsidy to the emperor that might have been in contemplation, he little thought a treaty had been entered into call


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