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Afno 9. Geo. II. cise began to increase, so that in the Year ended at Mid. 1736.

summer 1732, it produced 1,071,240 1. which is 107,477 1. more than it produced in 1729.

Again, Sir, upon the Repeal of the late Gin-Act, the Consumption of Spirituous Liquors began to increase, and consequently the Produce of the Duties on such Liquors, so that in the Year ended at Midsummer laft they produced 154,094 1. and the Consequence with respect to the Excise on Beer and Ale we find to be the fame ; for in the Year ended at Midsummer last, it produced but 1,021,370 1. which is 49,870 1. less than it produced in 1732. From all which, Sir, I think it is as plain as Figures can make it, that the Cortsumption of Beer and Ale has hitherto always decreased or increased, as the Consumption of Spirituous Liquors has increased or decreased ; and as that has been the Case in all Time paft, we must suppose it will be the Case in all Time to come.

· This then being laid down as a Maxim confirmed by Experience, let us confider how greatly, I may almost fay how entirely, the Consumption, not only of home-made Spirits, but of all Spirits, will be diminished by the Bill now before us, and what an Increase that will make in the Consumption of Beer and Ale ; but that I may not be accused of any extravagant Calculations, I shall suppose that the Consumption of Spirituous Liquors may hereafter be but one Third less than it was before ; the natural Inference from thence is, that the Consumption of Beer and Ale will be one Third more than it was, and consequently that the Excise on Beer and Ale will, from the Time this Bill takes place, produce about one Third more yearly, than it produced in the Year ended at Midsummer last, which is 340,456). I shall farther suppose, that upon the Consumption of Spirituous Liquors growing less by one Third, the Consumption of Beer and Ale hould increase but one Sixth more than it was before ; even by this Suppofition there muft be a yearly Increase in the Excise on Beer and Ale, of one Sixth more than it produced in the Year ended at Midsummer lait, which is 170,228 1 yearly; and as very near one Half of the Excise on Beer and Ale, stands appropriated to the Civil Lift, consequently one Half of this Increase in the Excise on Beer and Ale, being 85,1141. yearly, muft accrue to the Civil List, which is 15,141. á Year more than it can be supposed to lose, by taking from it the Share it formerly had in the Duties on Spirituous Liquors.

. From these Calculations, Sir, which are all taken from Accounts lying upon your Table, I think it is evident, even to a Demonstration, that the present Amount of the Civil Liit Revenue will not be diminished ; but on the contrary,

that

that it will be a Gather at least 15,1141. by the Regula- Anno 9. Geo. II. tion we are now about to make. I know it may be said,

1736. that these Calculations are founded upon Facts which are in their Nature uncertain ; and that, tho' they have formerly fallen out in the Manner I have represented, we cannot be fure of their falling out in the fame Manner hereafter ; yet I hope it will be granted, there is a strong Probability of their falling out in the same Manner hereafter, as they have done heretofore : The fame Causes generally produce the fame Effects ; and unless we have really a Mind to grant a new additional Revenue to the Civil Lift, this Probability ought to be a prevailing Argument with us, at least, to agree to the Proposition now made ; for tho’ it has been infinuated, that the Parliament may hereafter call for an Account, and dispose of the Increase that may arise in the Excise on Beer and Ale, we know, and the Case now in hand may convince us, how difficult it is for the Parliament to reassume any Revenue, or any Part of any Revenue, that has been once granted to, and established as a Part of the Civil-Lift. If it should hereafter appear, that the Civil-Lift has got 100,000 1. a Year, or perhaps 200,000 l. a Year, which may probably be the Case, by the Increase of the Excise on Beer and Ale, occafioned by this Bill, I am very certain, if we agree to this Clause as it now stands, the Parliament will never be able to lay hold of any Part of that Increase, in order to apply it to the Aggregate Fund, for making good the 70,000 i. a Year, to be taken from that Fund by this Clause ; nay, I question much if any future Parliament will be able to reassume that 70,000 l. a Year, or to discharge the Aggregate Fund from the future Payment of it, tho' it should then be made appear, that the Excise had actually increased, as plainly as I have now made it appear, that it probably will,

This Difficulty, Sir, may be prevented by our agreeing to the Proposition now made to us ; and by our settling the Clause in the Manner proposed, the Civil Lift may be a Gainer, but it is impossible it can be a Loser, even with respect to the Surplus it may now have above 800,000 l. a Year ; which Surplus, we have been told, the Civil List has as good a Right to, as it has to any Part of the 800,000 l. a Year : But I widely differ from the honourable Gentleman who told us fo [Sir Robert Walpole] ; for if the Duties appropriated to the Civil Lift now produce a Million Yearly, and those Duties should by any Accident produce hereafter but 850,000 l. yearly, the Parliament, according to the preser: Établishment of the Civil List, would not be obliged to make good so much as One Shilling of that Decrease ; whereas if they should hereafter produce but 750,000 l.

yearly,

Anno 9. Ceo. 17. yearly, or any Sum less than 800,000 l. the Parliament stands 1736.

obliged to make good whatever they may produce yearly less than that 800,000 l. so that there is at least this Diffe. rence between the 800,000 l. Establishment, and the 200,000 l. Surplus, that the Parliament now stands obliged to make good the 800,000 l. Establishment, but does not now ftand obliged to make good One Shilling of the 200,000 ). Sur. plus ; therefore it can by no Means at present be said, that the Civil Lift has as good a Right to the Surplus, as it has to the Establishment : But, Sir, if we agree to the Proposition now made, the Civil List will then really have as good a Right to the present Surplas, whatever it may be, as it has to the Establishment of 800,000 l. yearly ; for which Reason, if this Propofition be not agreed to, I muft conclude, that the 70,000 1. appropriated to the Civil Lift by the Clause as it stands at present, is designed as a new additional Revenue to the Civil List, and not as a Compensation for the Loss it may fuftain by the Regulation we are about to make.

• This, Sir, leads me naturally to the next, and the only other Reason that can be assigned or fupposed, for our agreeing to the Clause as it now ttands, which is, because we suppose, that the present Amount of the Civil Lift Revenue is not fufficient for supporting his Majesty's Houfhold and Family, and that therefore we ought to grant an Addition of 70,000 l. a Year to that Revenue, during his Majesty's Life at least, but I may say in all Time to come ; for I do not find an Instance, where less has been granted to a Successor, than had been formerly enjoy'd by his Ancestor.

. Now, Sir, as to this Reason, whatever the Gentlemen, who are immediately concerned in the Disposal of the Civil Lift Revenue, may suppose, I am very certain his Majesty does not suppose any such Thing ; because, if he had, he would certainly have communicated the fame to his Parliament, either by a Speech from the Throne, or by a solemn Message, and would have desired such an Addition, as he thought necessary. There is no other Way by which his Majesty can communicate any such Want to his Parliament ; and until he does it in this Manner, no Gentleman, as a Member of this House, can suppose, nay, as a Trustee for the People he is bound not to suppose, that his Majesty stands in need of any Addition to his Civil Liit Revenue, or to any other Revenue. This therefore can be no Reason for us, as Members of this House, to agree to the Clause as it flands now before us ; and I hope this House will never, without very ftrong and publick Reasons, take such a large Sum of Money from that Fund which is appropriated for the Pay

ment

ment of our Debts, and for freeing the People from that Anno 9. Geo. 11.

1736. heavy Load of Taxes they now groan under.' To this it was answer'd by the Courtiers as follows:

Sir, · The Question now before us, has been already so fully Argument in Fas debated, and set in so clear a Light, that I am surprised to Revolution of the hear any new Difficulties started. The true and the only Committee. Reason for our agreeing to the Clause as it now ftands is, that by the very preceding Clause we are to take from the Civil Lift, and appropriate to the Aggregate Fund, a Revenue, which, upon a Medium since his Majesty's Acceffion, has brought in 70,000 l. a Year: This being the true State of the Case, is it not evident that the Civil Lift will lose, at least, 70,000 l. a Year by the Regulation we are now about to make ? And as we are to take that yearly Sum from the Civil Lift, and appropriate it to the Aggregate Fund, is it not most just and reasonable, that we should charge the Aggregate Fund with the Payment of that Sum yearly to the Civil List ? 'Tis true, as the Produce of the Duties upon Spirituous Liquors will certainly be very much diminished by this new Regulation, the Aggregate Fund may not perhaps receive so much yearly by the Share the Civil List formerly had in those Duties ; but this signifies nothing to the present Question, for if we were to take off any of our Taxes now appropriated to the Civil Lift, or to the Payment of the Interest growing due upon any of our Debts, we should be obliged to charge the Aggregate Fund, or some part of the Sinking Fund, with the Deficiency thereby occafioned, tho' that Fund should get nothing to answer the new Charge laid upon it.

• But we are told, Sir, That if the Civil Lift be a Lofer by taking from it its Share in the Duties on Spirituous Liquors, that Loss will be fully made good by the Increase in the Excise on Beer and Ale, which will naturally be occasioned by the new Regulation we are now about to make. Sir, whatever Increase may happen hereafter in the Excise on Beer and Ale, the Civil List has a Right to its Share of that Increase without any new Grant from us, nor can we take that Right from it without doing a manifest Injustice ; so that it appears to me a little extraordinary to say, that the Loss of that Right the Civil Lift now has to a Share of the Duties on Spirituous Liquors, will be compensed, or made good, by another Right it was before intitled to, and which we neither could give nor take from it.

• But, Sir, to wave this Argument for the present, and to suppose that a Right which we do not give, may be a Compensation for a Right which we actually take away, I cannot think it would be just in us to take from the Civil Lift a

certain

1736.

Anno i Geo. 11. certain Revenue of 70,000 l. a Year, and give nothing in

Return but an uncertain Produce, which may for what we know be worth little or nothing ; for even by the very Calculations that have been mentioned of the other Side, it appears that the Excise on Beer and Ale does not always increase, or decrease, in Proportion as the Duties on Spirituous Liquors decrease or increase. In the Year 1729, the Duties on the latter produced but 104,3731. whereas in the Year 1735, they produced 154,094 1. from whence we ought to conclude, that the Produce of the Excise on Beer and Ale was much higher in the Year 1729, than it was in the Year 1735, yet we find that in 1729, the Excise produced but 963,763 1. and that in the Year ended at Midsummer laft, 1735, it produced 1,021,370 1. which is 57,6071. more than it produced in 1729.

• This shews, Sir, that the Proportion between the Increase or Decrease of the one, and the Decrease or Increase of the other, does not always hold ; and in fact it has certainly always been, and will always be so : The Increase or Decrease of the Excise upon Beer or Ale, as well as the Increase or Decrease of the Duties on Spirituous Liquors, depend upon so many other Accidents, that they cannot depend entirely upon one another, nor can any Man guess at the Increase of the one, from any Knowledge he may have of the Decrease of the other. I shall mention only one Accident, which was, I believe, the chief Reason of the Decrease of the Excise on Beer and Ale in the Year 1729. It happened in that Year, the Price of all Sorts of Corn, especially Malt, was much higher than it was for several Years before or fince, and for this Reason we may suppose none of our Brewers brewed any more Beer or Ale in that Year, than what was absolutely necessary for the immediate Consumption ; none of them brewed any large Quantity for Staling, as they call it ; whereas, in a Year when the Price is losi, they all brew great Quantities, which they keep by them as a Stock in Hand, to be ready to answer any future Demand. This is more particularly the Case with respect to those Sorts of Strong Bcer or Ale, which the Brewer may keep several Years in his Cellars, and is generally the better, the longer it is kept ; and to this Accident, I believe, we ought chiefly to ascribe the great Decrease in the Excise on Beer and Ale in the Year 1729

• Sir, I am so far from thinking, that the Increase or Decrease in the Consumption of Beer and Ale, depends upon the Decrease or Increase in the Consumption of Spirituous Liquors, that I believe they generally increase or decrease together; it is not the Consumption of either of the Liquors, necefiary for the Suprort of Nature, which raises the Excise

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