Imatges de pÓgina
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of making income the standard of wealth, these two persons will be made to pay alike. But then the Minister gets over all these as minor objections. He says boldly at once, « There must be some injustice after all, and the only thing that can be done is, to take care that the injustice shall be as little as poflible; that he has brought it as near to justice as he can.”—To which I answer, that may be his best method of bringing measures before us, but it is not such as I ought to vate for; and thereby give up the domestic comfort of the most respectable part of the community-upon the principle therefore, of this measure, I am bound to oppose it. Besides, the event may happen which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has so eloquently anticipated to-night, namely, a choice between this measure and utter destruction; it will then be time enough to affent to this. At present we are in no such state ; and we should, in my opinion, resist such measures until we are in such a state, for nothing but such an alternative can justify such an adoption; at all events I must have it in my power to say to my constituents, before I adopt this, that every other resource has been applied, and exhausted. Now I cannot say that, for there are others yet untouched, which ought to go before this measure is resorted to. There are many valuable things under the church establifhment (not in the smallest degree beneficial to religion, but to swell out the pomp and pride, and imaginary greatness of some inflated individuals) which ought to be brought in aid of the public burdens. The individuals pofTesling these things ought to be made to contribute their full fare. The Corporations also are liable in the same manner, as I con, ceive--[Hear a cry of hear! hear ! hear!] Mr. Tierney proceeded. I do not precisely understand what Gentlemen mean by this sort of vociferation. I, for my own parl, would not 'sake the property of any body of men as a sacrifice to the itate altogeiher, but, when you tell me that violent hands must be laid on the property of the public, then I will tell you, it onght to take another direction, and, I am now pointing out to you that direction. This tax is said to fall nearly equally on all sorts of property. That is not true; I will tell you a property on which it does not fall; on the property of a certain description of Stockholders, or what may be called the leading London Genilemen, a description of perfons extremely well known, whose patriotism is much esteemed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. These Gentlemen can pay off any tax, without burthening themselves,

indeed,

indeed, the greater the taxes are, the richer the v become, and they never fucceed better than when the ininister succeeds in taxes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer fays, that this plan will not cause the funds to fall, but will occasion them to rise, so if any Gentleman pofleffes 20,000l. in the funds, his fortune may improve by this duty. If you rise the Stock I say (as a worthy Alderman by his smile seems to think you will), for instance, two per cent. he will make a large sum of money by his capital ; so that, instead of taxing these Gentlemen, (who by the way are the most able to bear it), you will increase their fortunes, while you ruin others beyond the power of redemption. Whereas your plan, to be worth any thing, should compel the monied men to take, at least, their share of the public burthens. I know that these observations do not apply to the mass of Stockholders, but I do say they apply to those whom the Chancellor of the Exchequer always chufes to favour; I mean those who are called the monied men of the city.

But there is another point to be considered, and it will foon turn oui to be an answer to the declaration of the Chancel, lor of the Exchequer, upon the utility of his plan to the public, and the protection it is to afford to property, which is, that under it, the whole property of England will soon shift hands. I know, that to a dry financier, that is matter of no concern ; it is, to him, of no moment; to whom the property belongs, provided it produces a given fum to the revenue, but, there are others who will fee indefcribeable mit chief arising out of it, and will feel it too. Nor is it difficult to conceive how this may happen for the great mass of - the property of the country may change owners in the course of fix, leven, eight, or nine years. That will make a great difference in the state of the country itself; for, if the rich man in the city buys the small estates of a number of gentlemen (which will be one of the operations of this plan), although the estate will be the same, and the revenue the same, yet, ihe condition of whole distries of inhabitants, will be materially altered. When a gentleman of small fortune fells his estate, let him get ever fo much for it, there are evils arising from that sale to some parts of his family, which are never to be avoided, nor adequately described. This is a point which, although it may be beyond the comprehension of fome monied men, is yet well worthy the attention of this House,

If I had not known the sound of the voice of the Chancel-
VOL. I. 1798.
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lor of the Exchequer, so well as I do, or, if I had not had the pleasure of seeing him opposite to me, I should, from the sense of his discourse, have thought it was somebody who came into the House to reproach the Minister for his eftimates for the last five years. I could hardly have fupposed, from what was said to-night against adding perpetual taxes, and increasing the capital of debt, instead of raising large fupplics within the year to prevent the accumulation of the debt, came from the fame man, who has increased continually, for the last five years, the permanent taxes; who has, in that time also, added 150 millions to the capital of the national debt; I fould have thought also, when I heard him vaunting upon the integrity and proud fpirit of his country, and the desperation and perfidiousness of the enemy, that he was speaking of a minister, who never degraded himfelf so far as to negociate with the French Republic. I am not calling in question his fincerity ; but I am calling in question his recollection, when I hear and see that the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 1798 censures, so unmercifully, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 1796.

The minister has been pleased to tell us in very lofty language, what Europe will think of our proceedings. I am not bound to care fo much what Europe may think, as what the people of England must feel from our proceedings-1 am a representative of the people of England, not a member of the Congress at Radstadt. In my confcience I do believe it is by peace, and by peace only, the British empire can be recure; not such a peace as may be had on any terms, still less on dishonourable terms, but on peace fairly to be understood. I am as anxious as the minister can be for the security, and the prosperity, and the glory of England; but when, as he eloquently says, the people of England pay for the salvage “ of their security ;" I mean that they should pay for that falvage, and for that only, not for the fupposed interest, or the supposed honour of others. There was a time when I could have heard this language with patience, but when the people are told openly, as they are now, that this is not a war for our own honour, our own privileges, our own intereft, or our own safety, but that we are embarking in it, for the suppored honour, the supposed privileges, the supposed intereit, ilie fuppofed safety of Europe, I Thould be unworthy the fituation I am in ; Ishould betray my trust if I did not lift up my voicc (intignificant as I an in this House) against a measure, when such are avowed to be its objects. Whenever any measure whatever is proposed that tends to keep up the dignity of the British empire, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will always find me throwing alide all political differences, and supporting him. On that ground I gave him my support upon the vote of the navy estimates. It was without losing light of that ground that I hesitated about the estimates of the arıny, and I then statel my reasons. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer has nothing in view in this yote which he now proposes, but the security of England, and I can hardly think that any minister will be hardy enough to order a single man to go out of this country for any continental purposes, or ftill more for the supposed interests of other states. They have none of thein any claims upon us that renders that a duty in us; the more especially still when he recollects that such is the state of the British empire, that a party of the land force, constitutionally belonging to Great Britain, is now in Ireland. Until we are in a desperate fituation, I hope we shall not have any visionary expeditions. I am assured that we are not in that itate at present. I thought it my duty to oppose this plan upon its principle. Perliaps when the clauses of the bill, by which the resolutions will of courfe be followed up, come to be laid before us, and the blanks come to be filled up, I shall enter more at large into the subject; but I could not leave the House subject to the suspicion that I was over-powered in my judgment by the mere eloquence of the minister, and still less thould I be willing to have it understood, that I agreed with him on those points by which he endeavoured to maintain his principle.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply to Mr. Tierney, faid, that as far as his calculations and forehgint could enable him to judge, he did not expect that he should be obliged to call on parliament for a greater fupply than had now been laid before them in the enumeration of the ways and means. He wilhed it however to be understood that by this affertion he did not preclude himself from calling for a further fum, fhould unforeseen circumstances or emergencies make it necaílary, neither was it to preclude hin from calling for a vote of credit.

Mr. Tierney said, that he hoped he perfectly understood the right hon. Gentleman, and that the whole of the fupplies, the usual supplies he meant, of the navy, army, &c. were now before the House, and that no further demand would be made

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except the vote of credit, whatever might be the amount of that vote.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer repeated, that he was not aware of any other demand that his present view of circumItances would render necessary. He could not, indeed, pretend to perfect accuracy in the general detail of what he had advanced, but he could say with perfect truth that he had no intention of bringing forward any future demand, except that which he had already stated.

· The resolutions were then read and agreed to, and the report ordered to be received the next day.

On the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the committees of Ways and Means and of Supply were ordered to fit on Wednesday,

Adjourned.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

TUESDAY, DEC. 4. · Mr. Tilliam Dundas moved the second reading of the Scotch small note bill. The bill was then read a second time, and ordered to be committed on Thursday.

Mr. Wilberforce Bird moved ihe second reading of the Englith small note bill, which was read a second time, and ordered to be committed on Friday,

Mr. Rofe moved that there be laid before the House a three quarters' account of the amount of British merchandize exported from the icth of October, 1797, to the 10th of Octuber, 1798, distinguishing the different articles and the places to which they have been exported.-Ordered.

The account was then laid before the House by Mr. Price, froin the Customs.

The bill for allowing a grant to his Majesty upon penfions, sugar, rum, tobacco, &c. &c. was read a second time, and ordered to be committed the next day.

On the motion of Mr. Rofc, the bill for raising a tax upon malt, mum, cyder, and perry, for the year 1799, was read a fecond time, and committed for the next day.

WAYS AND MEANS, On the motion for bringing up the report of the committee of Ways and Means of the preceding day, Sis Fohn Sinclair sofe to observe, that as the subject

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