Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

fary to furnish that force. The refources for our national defence have arifen from the firmnefs and inflexible perfeverance of Parliament; from the zeal, magnanimity and decifion in promoting the public intereft, which have characterized all claffes of British subjects. They have had the fatisfaction of being inftrumental in the falvation of themfelves and the reft of the world, and of vindicating their infulted honour. We have been enabled to do fo by the energy and the determination of the British Parliament, which has called forth the real radical ftrength of the country; which has endeavoured, as far as poffible, to make all men inftrumental in their own fafety; which has fuffered no difficulties to deter us; which has not only contrived that the fervices of the people should be voluntary, but that their zeal fhould accompany them; which has afked from all orders of men that falvage which is due for refcuing them from the greatest danger that ever threatened them. We have feen a mercantile country, actuated by thofe fentiments which the people of all mercantile countries are, from their habits, fuppofed to poffefs, arm themselves for the defence of their country. We have happily feen them, without any diminution of that mercantile fpirit which furnifhics their refources, difplay the nobleft inftances of magnanimity, and perfons from whose fituations and habits it would leaft have been expected, fhew a degree of military zeal and enthusiasm which has given us all the advantages of a military nation, without any diminution of thofe other advantages which are more felt than cherished among us. We now know our pretenfions, and what we may expect from a juft perfeverance; we know, that although fome had doubts whether we could continue the war, that we have continued it with more success than ever, and that we are fill able to continue it, with our means improved. What would have been our fituation, if, inftead of acting the part we have, we had purchased the means of obtaining peace by the facrifice of our commerce or capital, and the induftry of our country? I mat believe there is not a man who would be difpofed to question the policy of the conduct which we have adopted. When we have the fatisfaction of knowing that by performing our duty we have confulted our immediate intereft as much as our permanent fecurity; we can have no hefitation in adhering to the fame line of condut, and of following up that fyftem which has been productive of fo much benefit. I hardly believe that it can be necellary to enter into much detail; it is enough to ftate, that notwithstanding the wealth of the country, it is neceffary we should have recourfe to other means of raifing the fupplies than thofe formerly reforted to. By the meature you have already adopted, you

have convinced the enemy, yourfelves, and the world, that you are equal to continue the ftruggle as long as your fafety requires it. This is enough to reconcile every British mind to the neceffity of repeating and extending a measure, which alone affords a hope of bringing to a termination a conteft, in which every thing dear to Englishmen is at stake. I should feel that in every point of prudence you are called upon, out of regard to your own intereft, the intereft of future times, to fanction and give vigour to fuch a meafure. I fhall not now go over the fame ground as in the preceding feffion of Parliament, as to the ultimate economy of raifing within. the year fo large a portion of the fupplies. It is enough that it is evident that whatever you borrowed under the old fyftem was attended with three-fold the expence more than by the mode now prefented. If, in addition to the great political confequences of fuch a measure, it is alfo peculiarly advantageous to many parts of the community, this will add to the arguments in its favour. It will be advantageous to the stockholder, by preventing the depreciation of the funds-its advantages are common to the landholder, to whofe detriment the depreciation of the funds must neceffarily operate-it applies no lefs in favour of the manufacturer, who of course must be attached to a system by which his income becomes greater and more permanent in confequence of its effect on the general profperity of the kingdom by a juft and well-adminiftered fyftem of finance. But if we were not to confider the general fyf tem of finance, but merely the effect of the meafure of last year, we would be perfuaded of the neceffity of the prefent one, unless we shut our eyes to what paffes in the world at the eventful period in which we live. If we look forward to the termination of the prefent war, or if, from the contemplation of former periods of hiftory, for the laft hundred, fifty, or forty years, we have but too juft reafon to expect a renewal of hoftilities within a fhort period; furely the adoption of a fyftem which held out the only profpect of alleviating the burdens of war, and confequently can only lead to peace for ourselves and pofterity, ought not to admit of hefitation. We have only to look to any future war-to a period of fix years hoftilities, and I think there is not that landed gentleman, or ftockholder, or merchant, or manufacturer who could be able to pay ten per cent. to the profecution of the war, provided the fupplies were to be raised according to the old method. The continuation of a war for fix years, fupported by fuch means, would render a tax equal to the one now propofed permanent for forty years. Having stated, in a political and economical point of view, how this measure must operate to the falvation of Europe, and the permanent advan

tage of England, we may judge what would be the effect of raising the fupplies wholly by loans, without raifing a great portion of them within the year.

In

He then proceeded to expatiate on the advantages we fhould now have enjoyed if our predeceffors had adopted the plan now reforted to, of raifing a confiderable part of the fupplies within the year. fuch event, he faid, we should have found that the annual fum now obliged to be raised would be less by feveral millions; and viewing it in that light, it would be ungenerous to let the burden pass on to pofterity. But it was not neceffary now to enter into nice calculations, to prove the fuperiority of a fituation refulting from the early adoption of fuch a meafurc. If by acting upon it now, we found we were infuring our fafety, and providing for our defence, that we were establishing a wife and useful principle of economy, and laying a foundation for our future glory and the relief of posterity; these would be confiderations fufficient to recommend it to those who, unactuated by felfifh views, carried their ideas beyond their own times, and did not meanly feek to shift the burden they should uphold to the shoulders of those who were to come after them. Thefe arguments would be fufficient, therefore, to direct us. We were not, in the election of the courfe to be purfued, determining for ourselves only: the deliberations of the English Parliament were not more interefting to the people of England than to all the nations of Europe. It was from that House they waited to receive the fignal by which they were to fhape their courfe. It was from England they derived the only hope of fafety and fupport; it was by her aid alone those who had not fallen expected to maintain their independence, or those that had funk beneath the power of France could be restored; in fhort, we were confidered the only people capable of arrefting that torrent which, in the opinion of the wifeft men, endangered the fafety of all other nations, and threatened to overwhelm them in ruin. When, therefore, the interefts of themfelves and their pofterity, of England, and also of all other nations are at stake, he was confident that, after the difficulties they had already encountered, they would not fhrink from the present arduous crifis, or refign thofe titles to pre-eminence, for which they had been already fo celebrated, and which were the pride and glory of all those who had the honour of calling themselves fubjects of Great Britain. On these grounds, therefore, he would propose a set of refolutions on the plan which he had fubmitted to their confideration.

"Refolved,

[ocr errors]

"That it is the opinion of this Committee, that fo much of an act made in the laft feffion of Parliament, intitled, "An A&t for

granting to His Majesty an aid and contribution for the Profecution of the War," as charges any person with an additional duty in proportion to the amount of the rates or duties to which, prior to the 5th day of April, 1798, such person was affeffed according to any affeffment made in purfuance of any act of Parliament in force at the time of paffing the said act of the last session, be repealed.

"Refolved,

"That it is the opinion of this Committee, that towards raising the fupply granted to His Majefty, there be charged annually, during a term to be limited, the several rates and duties following, upon all income arifing from property in Great Britain, belonging to any of His Majefty's fubjects, although not refident in Great Britain; and upon all income of every person refiding in Great Britain, and of every body politic or corporate, or company, fraternity, or fociety of perfons, whether corporate or not corporate, in Great Britain, whether any fuch income fhall arise from lands, tenements, or hereditaments, wherefoever the fame fhall be fituated in Great Britain, or elsewhere; or from any kind of perfonal property, or other property whatever; or from any profeffion, office, employment, trade, or vocation; that is to fay,

One one-hundred-and-twentieth part of such income, if the fame shall amount unto 60l. per annum, and shall be under 651. per

annum.

One ninety-fifth part of fuch income, if the fame shall amount to 651. but shall be under 701.

One feventieth part of fuch income, if the fame shall amount to 701. but shall be under 751.

One fixty-fifth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 751. but fhall be under 801.

One fixtieth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to Sol. but shall be under 851.

One fifty-fifth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 851. but shall be under 901.

One fiftieth part of fuch income, if the fame shall amount to gol. but shall be under 951.

One forty-fifth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 951. but shall be under rool.

One fortieth part of such income, if the fame fhall amount to 100l. but fhall be under 1051.

One thirty-eighth part of fuch income, if the fame shall amount to 1051. but fhall be under IIol.

One thirty-fixth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to IIol. but fhall be under 1151.

One thirty-fourth part of fuch income, if the same shall amount to 1151. but fhall be under 1201..

One thirty-fecond part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1 201. but fhall be under 1251.

One thirtieth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1251. but fhall be under 1301.

One twenty-eighth part of tuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 30l. but fhall be under 1351.

One twenty-fixth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1351. but fhall be under 1401.

One twenty-fourth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1401. but fhall be under 1451.

One twenty-fecond part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1451. but fhall be under 150l.

One twentieth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1501. but fhall be under 1551.

One nineteenth part of fuch income, if the fame shall amount to 1551. but fhall be under 1601.

One eighteenth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 160l. but fhall be under 1651.

One feventeenth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1651. but fhall be under 170l.

One fixteenth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 17ol. but fhall be under 1751.

One fifteenth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1751. but thall be under 1801.

One fourteenth part of fuch income, if the fame shall amount to 18ol. but fhall be under 1851.

One thirteenth part of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1851. but fhall be under 1901.

One twelfth parth of fuch income, if the fame fhall amount to 1901. but fhall be under 1951.

One eleventh part of fuch income, if the fame shall amount to 1951. but fhall be under 2001.

And one tenth part of such income, if the fame shall amount to 2001. or upwards.

Mr. TIERNEY then rofe and faid:-After the very eloquent conclufion of the right honourable gentleman's fpeech, the Committee might well expect that nothing comparatively worthy of their attention could be heard from me; and it is not with any

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »