Imatges de pàgina

Consumption thé Duties upon it should have occafioned a Anno 9. Geo. II.

1736. vast Increase in his Majesty's Civil Lift Revenue, will any Gentleman pretend, that the Parliament could not make any Regulation for preventing the Abuse of that Poyson, without making good to his Majesty the Increafe in the Civil Lift Revenue, that had been occafioned by that Abuse? Is not this the very Case with respect to Spirituous Liquors ? Therefore I am surprised to hear it said, that we cannot put a Stop to, or prevent the Abuse of such Liquors, without making good to his Majesty the Increase in the Civil Lift Revenue that has been occasioned by that very Abufe ?

· Thus, Sir, I think I have fully fhewn what could not e the Meaning or Intention of the Parliament, when they ranted to his Majesty the whole Produce of those Duties hey appropriated to the Civil Lift; but now let us inquire a ittle what may be presumed to have been their Intention : for my own Part, I believe the only Meaning or Intention hey had, was a good-natured one, to give his Majesty's Ministers a little more Latitude in the Disposal of the Civil ift Revenue, and to prevent their being put to the Trouble f laying the Accounts of that Revenue yearly before Parament. But suppose they meant to grant his Majesty a ight to the whole Produce of those Duties, as it then stood cording to the Calculations they had made, which is the most that can be supposed they meant ; upon this Suppoion, in order to know what his Majesty has a Right to by at Grant, we must examine into the Calculations they may ve been supposed to have made for ascertaining, or at least efsing at, the Value of what they were about to grant. In is Case we are told, that as they were considering what Ities would be sufficient to raise a future Revenue, they uld have under their Confideration only a future Produce. im forry, Sir, to hear fuch a Manner of arguing in a atter of such Confequence : For the raising of a future venue, to be sure a future Produce must be applied, but en People are considering and calculating what the Amount that future Produce may be, and whether it will be sufent to raise such a future Revenue, surely their Calculais must be founded upon their Experience of what is past, a pon their knowledge of what is then present : If it is ew Duty, they found their Calculations on what is then pofed to be the Quantity or the Value of the Goods, le liable to that new Duty ; and if it is an old Duty,

always consider the Produce of that Duty for such a nber of Years past, and from thence calculate what it

produce in Time to come ; therefore we cannot suppose the Parliament which established the Civil Lift, granted, 2 tended to grant, any more than a Share of the Produce


Anno 9. Geo. 11. of the Duties upon Spirituous Liquors, at a Medium calcu1736.

lated for seven or eight Years before his Majesty's Accellion; and for this Reason, fuppofing that we are obliged to make that Grant good to his Majelty, which I am far from think ing, the Sum we are now to give to the Civil List for making that Grant good, ought to be taken from a Medium calculated for seven or eight Years before his Majesty's Accesfion, and not from a Medium since his Majesty's Accession, which has been greatly increased by the very Abuse we are now about to rectify.

• It has likewise been said, Sir, that it seems a little odd, for Gentlemen to propose putting a Value upon the Lofs his Majesty may sustain by taking from him a Revenue which he has enjoyed, by computing the Produce of a Revenue he never enjoyed. Surely every Gentleman must see the Fallacy of this Argument: We do not desire to take

any Revenue from his Majesty, and therefore we are not to compute the Loss he may sustain by the taking of any Revenue from him ; but if any Revenue be taken from him, the Parliament we say is obliged to make it good only according to that Value which was put upon it by the Parliament that granted it, and not according to the increased Value it may since have arisen to, by an Abuse which ought, long before this Time, to have been effectually prevented.

With Respect, Sir, to the great Increase of Foreign Brandies and Spirits, that happened in the Year 1733, by the great Importation of French Brandies under the Name of Flemish, I shall readily grant that they were not imported for immediate Consumption, but in order to remain, and be kept here as a Stock in Hand; nay, I must go farther, I muft suppose, that all or most of them ftill remain here as a Stock in Hand; I cannot suppose that any great Quantity of them has yet been consumed, because the Duties upon Foreign Brandies have been as high in the Year 1734, and 1735, as they were in any two Years before 1733. And the Realon of this may be easily afsigned ; for as the Merchants at Dunkirk were obliged to make their Importations in 1733, in a great Hurry, they had not Time to send to Nantz and other Places of France for old Brandies, there. fore they run in upon us all the new Brandies they had in their Cellars at Dunkirk; but as these new Brandies could not be fit to be drank in the Year 1734, or 1735, our Consumption for the two Years was supplied by new Im. portations of old Brandies from France : From whence we must reckon, that the great Importation in the Year 1733 has no ways lessened the Duties upon Foreign Brandies or Spirits for these last two Years, but may very probably do


In a Committee of the whole House

fo for two or three Years to come; and therefore we must Anno g. Geo. 11. grant, that to include the Increase of those Duties in the Year 1733 in our present Computation, is reckoning all the Advantage, which happened by that cafual Importation, to the Account of the Civil Lift, in order to bring a double Loss upon the Sinking Fund; for that facred Fund is to be charged with near 4000 l. a Year, during his Majesty's Lite, more than it would have been charged with, if no such extraordinary Importation had ever happened ; and by that extraordinary Importation, and the Decrease in the Duties on Foreign Brandies, which muß thereby be occasioned for several Years to come, that Fund to which those Duties are now to be appropriated must lose a very considerable Sum.'

Then the Question being put for filling up the Blank with 70.0001. is Voted, the Sum of 43,000 l. it was apon a Division carried in the for making good Negative, by 211 to 109; and then the Question being put that may happen in for filling up the Blank with the Sum of 70,000 l. it was the Bill relating to carred in the Affirmative without a Division,

Spirituous Liquors. April 12. The Counsel for and against the Quaker's Bill Counsel keard for were called in, and the Bill being then read a second Time, Quaker's Billy and the several Petitions against it being also read, the Counsel for the Petitioners of the Province of Canterbury were heard ; in Answer to whom the Counsel for the Bill were heard ; and then the Counsel for the Petitioners of the Province of York were heard by way of Reply: After which the Counsel being withdrawn, Mr Speaker opened the Bill to the House ; then a Motion being made, that the 14th Section of an Aêt made in the 22d and 23d of King Charles II. intitled, An Ad for the better Settlement of the Maintenance of Parfons, Vicars, and Curates in the Parishes of the City of London, burnt by the dreadful Fire there, might be read, the same was read accordingly. By a Clause in the Bill, even as it then stood, it was proposed to be enacted thus, " That • if the annual Value of such Tythes, Oblations, and other • Ecclefiaftical Dues, Rights, Payments, or Church Rates • before-mentioned, doth not, nor shall not exceed the Sum

in such Case no Quaker or Quakers shall be • fued or prosecuted, for or on Account of the same, in any • other Manner, than as before directed, or in any other · Court; neither shall any fuch Tythes, Oblations, or other * Ecclefiaftical Dues, Rights, Payments, or Church Rates, not exceeding the faid yearly Value of

be rèco• verable against Quakers in any other Court whatsoever, • nor in any other Manner, than as by this A&t is directed, • unless the Title of such Tythes be in Question.' This Clause, in all the Petitions presented by the Clergy against the Bill, was called, ' An Excluding them from the Benefit • of the Laws then in being for the Recovery of Tythes VOL. Iy. вь

i and



Anno 9. Geo. II. • and other Daes, and thereby putting the Clergy of the 1736.

• Established Church upon a worse Foot than the rest of his

Majesty's Subjects ;' therefore the said Section was read; to thew, That the assigning of a proper Method for the Recovery of any Right, and excluding the Persons intitled, from any other Remedy, was not a putcing of such Persons upon a 'worse Foot than the rest of his Majesty's Subjects, nor was it without Precedent ; for by the aforesaid Act of King Charles II. all Suits for the recovering of Church-Rates or Asessments, within the City of London, are to be brought before the Lord Mayor, or upon his Neglect to execute the Powers thereby granted, before the Lord Chancellor, or Keeper of the Great Seal, or two Barons of the Exchequer; and, by the said 14th Section, it is enacted, • That no • Court or Judge Thall hold Plea of Money due by Virtue of

that Aa, other than the Persons thereby authorized ;' and yet the Clergy of London never had complained, nor could complain, that they were excluded from the Benefit of the Laws of their Country, or that they were put upon a worse

Foot than the rest of his Majesty's Subjects.' Which is commit. After reading the above Section, a Motion being made

for committing the Bill; and the Question being put, it was carried in the Affirmative, by 221 to 84 ; after which it was resolved that the Bill be committed to a Committee of

the whole House. Debate upon the April 14. The Amendments made by the Committee to Report of the Rep. the Bill relating to Spirituous Liquors were reported to the mittee for granting House, and read a first Time, after which molt of them were

agreed to by the House, without any Debate ; but upon Reading the Clause for giving 70,000 1. to the Civil List, a Proposition was made for altering that Clause, and for feteling it in such a Manner, that if the whole Hereditary and Temporary Excise should, in any one Year after that Time, fall short of what it had produced upon a Medium to be computed from his Majesty's Accesfion to that Time, that Deficiency should be made good by the very next Section of Parliament.

This occafioned a fresh Debate, in which the Arguments for the above Propofition, and against that Clause, were as follows, viz.

Sir, Arguments against * By the Clause as it stands at present, we are to make thai Resolution.

a new Grant to the Civil List of 70,000 l. a Year during his Majesty's Life : Now there can be but two Reasons for our making this new Grant : It must be either, because we fup. pose that the present Amount of the Civil Lift Revenue will be diminished in a Sum equal to 70,000 l. a Year, by the Regulation we are about to make ; or it must be because

the above Sum of 70,000 1.


we suppose that the present Amount of the Civil Lift Re- Anno 9. Geo. II.

1736. venue, is not sufficient for supporting his Majesty's Houshold and Family, and that therefore we ought to grant an Addition of 70,000 l. a Year to that Revenue. These are the only two Reasons that can be affigned, and if both of them appear to be without any Foundation, we cannot surely agree to this Claufe as it now ftands.

To suppose that the present Amount of the Civil List Revenue, will be diminished in a Sum equal to 70,000 l. by the Regulation we are about to make, is contrary to Fact, and contrary to Experience : For fuppofing the Civil Litt's Share in the Duties on Spirituous Liquors, upon a juft Computation, does amount to 70,000 l. yearly, yet we may be convinced by Experience, that the Consumption of Beer and Ale will always increase in Proportion as the Consumption of Spirituous Liquors decreases; and as the Civil Lift has a much greater Share of the Duties on Beer and Ale, than it has of the Duties on Spirituous Liquors, it is, in my Opinion, certain, chat the Civil Lift will get an Increase of more than 70,000 l. a Year by that Increase in the Duties upon Beer and Ale, which will be occasioned by the Regulation proposed by this Bill.

* To confirm what I have faid, Sir, Let us look into the Accounts that are upon our Table, and from them we shall find, that the Amount of the Duties upon Beer and Ale has conftantly and regularly decreased, as the Amount of the Duties upon Spirituous Liquors has increased for these feveral Years backwards. In the Year ending at Midsummer 1725, the Excise on Beer and Ale produced 1,094,953 1. in the same Year the Duties on home-made Spirits produced but 88,622 1. From that Time to Midsummer 1729, half a Year before the late Gin-Act took place, the Duties on home-made Spirits gradually increased, and accordingly the Excise on Beer and Ale gradually decreased, so that in the Year ending at Midsummer 1729, the former produced 504,373 1. whereas the latter produced but 963,763 1. which was 131,1901. less than it produced in the Year ending at Midsummer 1725.

• In the Year 1729, the late famous Ad against Geneva, and other Compound Spirits, was passed ; and tho' that Act was evaded by the Sale of a new Sort of Spirit call’d Parliament-Brandy, yet, ineffectual as it was, 'it diminished a little the Consumption of Spirituous Liquors, and confe. quently the Produce of the Duties on such Liquors; so that in the Year ending at Midsummer 1732, they produced but 100,025 1. which was 4348 1. less than they produced in 1729. But as to the Excise upon Beer and Ale, what was the Consequence ? As soon as that Act passed, that ExB b 2


« AnteriorContinua »