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don, Westminster, and Southwark, stating, that in confequence of the great advancement in the price of the neceffary articles of life, and above all, the additional duty on salt, it became impossible for them to support themselves and family in comfort by the allowance of profit that was now made to them; praying that the House would take their case into serious consideration, and afford them such relief as to the House in its justice shall seem meet.-Ordered to be laid on the table.
Mr. Secretary Dundas brought up an account of the Corn exported by order of the Privy Council for the last year; and also an account of all persons who are detained under the authority of the Act to enable his Majesty to secure and detain such persons as he may suspect to be conspiring against his Person and Government : commonly called the Bill for Suspending the Habeas Corpus; together with the names of the prisons wherein they have been confined.Ordered to be laid on the table.
Mr. Secretary Dundas then gave notice that he should the next day move for leave to bring in a Bill to continue the above Act for a limited time.
A Meffage from the Lords informed the House, that their Lordihips had agreed to the Bill to empower his Majesty to accept the services of such of the Militia as shall voluntarily offer themselves to serve in Ireland for a time to be limited, without any amendment: and that they had agreed to the Scots Small Note Bill, with several amendments, to which they desired the concurrence of the House.
Mr. Tierney said, that in consequence of a motion of a friend of his, a paper was laid before the House, which did not convey to him all the information 'he wanted upon the subject to which it referred: he meant the return of StaffOfficers. In the return he found the sum of 1scol charged for the Staff of the City of London, a sum which he certainly thought was great. He was not conversant in this matter, and perhaps he was only expofing his own ignorance; however, he should move, that there be laid before the House an account of the General Staff Officers of Great Britain for the last five years, distinguithing each year; specifying the rank of each officer, the date of his appointment, the amount of his
pay, and the division of the Kingdom in which he has been employed. Ordered.
The Report of the Committee on the Neutral Ships Trade Bill was received, and the Bill ordered to engrossed, and read a third time the next day.
LOAN LOAN BILL.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order of the day for the third reading of the Three Millions Loan Bill; which was read a third time and palled.
Mr. Hobart brought up the report of the committee upon the bill for regulating the conveyance of property in neutral thips, and also for regulating trade with the Cape of Good Hope: agreed to, and ordered that the bill be read a third time the next day, if then engrofled.
ARMORIAL BEARINGS. Mr. Long moved, that the 38th of the present king, chap. 1, be read, which being done pra forma, he observed, that this act was to provide that a duty be imposed on certificates to use armorial bearings. His object now was to move for leure to bring in a bill to extend the time limited by that act to take out certificates.. The House would observe, ihat this act passed at a late period in the last session, when many gentlemen were ont of town. He was satisfied that there was a great number of persons who have not taken their certificates, not with any intention of evading the duty, but merely from inadvertency; and that they would take them out now, but that they were afraid of incurring penalties for not having done it sooner; he therefore moved, that leave be given to bring in a bill for allowing further time to persons to take out certificates for the wearing or use of armorial bearings or enligns, in pursuance of the said act.-Granted.
LAND TAX REDEMPTION BILL. On reading the order of the day upon the bill for amending the land tax sale, or redemption act.
Sir John Sinclair asked, whether there was an account of the expence of carrying this act into execution, or if not, whether there was any estimate of the expence likely to be incurred ?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that a motion to that effect was made some time ago; the account was forthcoming, but the House must be aware that the accounts could only be collected from the different persons throughout the country employed to carry the act into execution, and that it was impossible to obtain it yet.
The queition being put, that this bill be now read a third time.
Sir John Sinclair said, that he felt the strongest repugnace to this bill when it was introduced--those objections had not been reinoved; but, however, it was not his intention now tó detain the house with observations on the general policy of the bill; but as there were fome points of confiderable importance, not only in this bill, but also in that which was connected with it, he meant the tax upon income, he could not suffer the opportunity of making some observations to pass, because if the plan for the redemption of the land tax had been established on proper principles, and had been carried properly into effect, there would have been no occafion for the present projected tax upon income. Ever since the plan for the redemption of the land tax had been thought of, he was of opinion that the land tax should be sold for ready money, and it would have produced the ten millions which the Minister proposes to raise hy the tax upon income, and would supersede the necessity of that tax. He could not see any possible objection to the measure of selling the land tax for ready money if it was to be fold at all; and he thought that this bill ought to be suspended for the purpose of considering whether the measure he proposed was practicable or not.
He owned he felt strong obje&ions to the measure now before the House, because the House would, by adopting it, throw away a great resource, which might be employed to the public advantage. His reason for it was this: that this plan was nos new, for he had it in bis mind many years ago, when he attended more to financial subjects than he hai dune of late. He had then thought, and he hill thought, that the land tax mighe be sold for upwards of 30 years purchase, but the object of the Minister was to sacrifice the real and folid interest of this country to the ideal advantages of it, that was to depress the landed property and to raile up the stockholder. There was no nyan who wished more than he did to see the stock high, but he did not with to see that at the expence of the landed interest of this country; he neither wished to fee that interest sacrificed. or retarded for any purpose whatever. That the measure now before the House produced that effect might be seen already. He desired any who doubted it to look into the condition of the country. If they would examine, they would find there were this fellion fewer bills for the improvement of Lad than had been observed in any session for many years past; the neglect of the improvement of the land was the confequence of the ineafure which the House was now pursuing, for if gentlemen were called upon to redeein their land tax, and to defray other. beavy expences, they could not spare money for the improve.
ment of land. The consequence of this measure was to make every gentleman farmer a gentleman stockjobber, and instead of being a proprietor of land, he would become a proprietor of funds. Such was the effect of the bill of last fertion and of this; and gentlemen, inftead of increasing their knowledge of agriculture, they increased their knowledge of stock-jobbing, and he should not be astonished if the Board of Agriculture was to be resnoved to Lloyd's Coffee-house, or to 'Changealley. Perhaps a few ruftic fimpletons would adopt this measure, but, under such a system as the present, for a general cooperation for the improvement of the country, there was no hope. The landed interest, he should have hoped, would have kuown too much to have been taken in this way; they can only gain five per cent. for their capital under this measure, whereas, by the due culture of their land, they might gain from leven to ten per cent. On these grounds he felt it his duty to oppose the bill, for by it the true advantage of this country had been facrificed.
Mr. Ryder commented on the grounds on which the Honourable Baronet opposed the measure now before the House. The Honourable Baronet, he said, seemed to wish that this bill might be delayed until the sale of the land tax for ready money was effected.' This delay would produce a fingular effe&t; it would produce all the evils which were presented to the imagiuations of those gentlemen who opposed this measure last year, without producing any of the advantages expected by its friends to be derived from it. But with what view was this delay proposed? For the sake of finding out some method which was to have the immediate effect of raising 10 millions for the supply of the year-and yet the Honourable Baronet faid that none would purchase the land tax except a few rustic fimpletons, he neverthless expected them to be ready to give 30 years purchase for it with ready money. He should have been happy to hear the Honourable Baronet prove this, instead of letting it Test upon his affertion, respectable as that might be for it certainly seemed odd that persons should be ready to give a double sum in ready money for that which they might purchase upon credit.
The Honourable Baronet had expressed some apprehension, that in consequence of the bill now before the House, farmers would turn stock-jobbers ; he was not apprehensive of any such change ; but if some gentlemen who had paid great attention to agriculture should hereafter turn their minds to the funds and money-matters, they might poffibly be of great service to
the public, since the President of the Board of Controul had become so able a financier.
Sir John Sinclair faid, that he did not expect that ten millions could be raised by the sale of the land tax, under the present system-nothing like 30 years purchase would be given for the land tax; eighteen years was perhaps the highest, but he meant his olservations, upon 30 years purchase to apply to a very different system froin the present. He had seen it stated many years ago, that the land tax might be fold for 30 years purchase, and that would produce ten millions, and supersede the neceflity of the present tax upon income. If a plan was acopted that was sufficiently favourable to the landed Gentlemen, he had no doubt but that they would find the money, but not under the present miserable system of the Minister.
Mr. Shaw Lefevre avowed himself to be one of the rustic fimpletons described by the Honourable Baronet; he was not, however, sorry for it. He then took some notice of the question of expence of carrying this act into execution ; he believed it was considerable; it had been stated at a million, he really thought it would not amount to one fifth of that fum.
Mr. Ellifon said a few words, and Mr. Lefevre explained.
Mr. Buxton observed, that the purpose of this act was merely to extend the benefits of the former one.
The bill was read a third time.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer then produced a great numbei of clauses, which were all read and agreed to.
On the question, “ that the bill do pass,”
Sir W. Geary said, he did not rise to oppose the paffing of this bill, but for a very great and important purpose ; to speak to the order of the proceedings of tbat House. He had observed a vast number of clauses introduced after the third reading of this and many other bills. When first he conceived a wish to become one of the representatives of the people of England in Parliament, his first object was to preserve and to hand down to pofierity the practical excellence of the Constitution of England, as it had been transmitted to us by our ancestors, in doing which he could not forget the importance of the forms of proceeding in the House of Commons; they were all eltablished for the wise purpose of affording time for deliberation, and to enable the House to correct the errors of the Executive Government. It was in the Committee, and in the Committee only, that clauses ought to be considered, for that was the stage allotted to them ; it was highly improper, inasmuch as it was inconßstent with deliberation that a great number of clauses should be added in a few minutes, after the third read ng of a Vol. J. 1798. Kk