Imatges de pÓgina

ciple of raifing the fupplies within the year, and therefore the queftion was not whether we fhould raise 100,000l. or 200,0col or 1,000,000l.; but whether we should raife 10,000,000l. This was no ordinary measure, and ordinary objections could not, with any propriety, be urged against it. He thought those gentlemen wrong who fought to lay the tax on property; for the difclofure of property must be more objectionable to every clafs of men, as it would be more indelicate than the disclosure of income. Perhaps it would be a better mode to lay a tax both on capital and income, than on income only; for a tax on capital would reduce the tax on income. Confidering the reception it met with in the country, and the temper of the House, he must approve of the present tax, especially as no other measure was propofed adequate to the object fought for, and seeing that the only point at which we were vulnerable to the anemy is in our finances-for now internal treafon was fuppressed, our navy every where triumphant, protecting our poffeffions abroad, or convoying in fafety our trade with every part of the world. Seeing this, and being perfuaded at the same time that the prefent measure was calculated to afford a strong means of defence on the point which we are most vulnerable, he could not but give it every support in his power. It would be to take up the time of the House unneceffarily were he to prefs upon them any argument to fhew the fettled defign of the enemy to make his moft determined but infidious attack at that point. While France could fancy that fhe faw in our finances the feeds of their own derangement, fhe would carry on the war with all her accustomed malevolence; and we ought by this time to have already discovered, that directing her efforts at times against our finances, on other occafions against our trade, they have endeavoured, by deftroying our trade, to come at our finances. It was no mean confideration to take every practicable step to prevent their fucceeding in these projects. And again, if any body would look at the national debt, fo much increased fince the termination of the American war, and in the prefent war, they must see that the debt cannot be increased illimitably, nor can taxes on confumable articles. It was therefore neceffary to begin at once to reduce the debt, and provide in a different way for the intereft. That the confumable articles cannot bear increased taxation was manifeft, because though the taxes have much increased, they have not grown proportionably productive. Hence would it be seen, that some other fource of revenue must be opened, and the present tax was this fource. Whenever the finances were completely eftablished beyond all poffibility of danger from the infidious defigns of the enemy, national credit would be revived, the means of making

money by putting property in the funds increafed, and profperity and fecurity would every where be found. Under these circumstances, he approved most heartily of the prefent measure.

Mr. MARTIN withed hat the bill might be proceeded in, and he was ready to vote for it; but if in the far.her progress he saw any greater difficulty arise, or a better plan propoled than what was now before them, he thought proper to referve to himself the liberty of voting against the bill altogether.

The queftion was now put and agreed to without a divifion. After the first amendment was read,

Mr. Chancellor PITT faid, that from the latenefs of the hour, and from the nicety of feveral points which ftill remained to be difcuffed, it was his opinion that the farther confideration of the report fhould be poftponed till to-morrow, when gentlemen's minds would be fresher and better able to enter on the difcuffion.

Mr. W. SMITH obferved, that though it was a much later hour when the Houfe were going into the Committee on this bill, yet the right honourable gentleman would not admit the argument which he now employed himself. If there was not great inconvenience to be feared from it, he rather felt with the right honourable gentleman that the business fhould he now continued

Mr. Chancellor PITT replied, that it was not to fuit his own convenience, or that of any particular gentleman, that he was anxious to poftpone the farther confideration of the report, but merely for the benefit of the matter itself. He then concluded by moving, that the report be taken into farther confideration tomorrow; which motion was agreed to.

Mr. Secretary DUNDAS moved the farther confideration of the report on the bill for exempting, under certain conditions, perons ferving in volunteer corps from being balloted into the fupplementary militia. The motion being agreed to, Mr. Dundas propofed the new amendments which he mentioned yesterday, which were adopted; and the bill was then ordered to be engroffed.

Friday, December 28.

The Habeas Corpus Sufpenfion Bill was read a third time and paffed.

On the order of the day being moved for the Houfe to take the report of the Committee on the Income Bill into confideration,

Mr. DENT rofe and complained of the very thin attendance of Members. He was not aware of any mode of enforcing the pre

fence of gentlemen, otherwife than by a call of the Houfe, and he therefore trusted it would be reforted to before the report was confidered. He could not avoid obferving, that when a measure, which was to have the effect of difpofing of twelve millions of the public money, was under difcuffion, the conduct of thofe who did not attend was most difgraceful.

Mr. Chancellor PITT observed, that no perfon entertained the least doubt with respect to the difpofal of the fum of ten millions. When the principle of the bill had been difcuffed on former evenings, the attendance had been generally pretty full; and if in a later ftage of it gentlemen did not think fit to attend, it was because, on the leading points, there was no difference of opinion. He withed the honourable gentleman to confider, whether a call of the House would have the effect of enforcing attendance. It might, it was true, oblige gentlemen to walk into the House, but could not prevent them from walking out again immediately, if they pleased.

The Houfe proceeded to take the report into confideration, when the feveral amendments in the bill were read and agreed to.

Mr. Chancellor PITT faid, a claufe had on a preceding evening been propofed by an honourable gentleman (Mr. Tierney), for preventing the production of the schedule at the request of the furveyor, unless the application was approved of by the majority of the Commiflioners, that motion the Committee had rejected. He, however, now withed to propofe a claufe, which fhould even go beyond the object of the honourable gentleman: it was, that no fchedule fhould be delivered at the requeft of the furveyor, if the application was rejected by even one of the Commiffioners. This, he trufted, would obviare every objection on this fubject.

Mr. Chancellor Pitt faid, that he found it necetiary to propofe feveral alterations in the claufes, as well as amendments in the body of the bill. He fhould therefore with the Houfe to refolve into a Committee on thofe claufes which required alteration.

Mr. W. SMITH wifhed to know what difference there was in subfiance between recon mitting the bill generally, and in the nfanner now propofed ?

Mr. SPEAKER stated, that the object was to afford an opportunity of difcufting the new claufes, leaving the body of the bill, as it ftood before, open to amendments; but that to recommit it generally would have the effect of rendering the labours of the former Committee unavailing.

The question was put on Mr. Chancellor Pitt's motion, and the House refolved itfelf into the faid Committee.

Mr. Chancellor PITT propofed a new claufe, enacting, that. perfons who had children born in wedlock fhould be entitled to a deduction of their affeffments in the following propofitions:

"Perfons poffeffed of 60l. per year and under 400l. per year, to be entitled to a deduction of 51. per cent.

"Ditto poffeffed of 400l. per year and under 1,000l. per year, 41. per cent.

"Dirto poffeffed of 1,000l. per year, and under 5,000l. per for fuch children as were fix years of age, 31. per cent.; for fuch as were under fix years, 21. per cent.


"Ditto poffeffed of 5,000l. per year and upwards, for fuch children as were fix years of age, 21. per cent.; for fuch as were under fix years, 11. per cent."

Such deductions to be made by the Commiffioners on proof of

the circumstances.

Mr. W. SMITH admitted the deductions were confiderable, when compared to thofe under the affeffed taxes. It had been observed, that the exceptions ought not to extend to perfons having large incomes; this objection he confidered unfounded; for perfons of large incomes were not to be confidered as compared with perfons who had small ones, but with perfons of the fame incomes with themfelves. Thus it would be highly unjust that a man of 5,000l. a year, who had a large family, fhould pay precifely the fame fum as a man of 5,000l. a year, who had no family at all. With respect to the alteration for children under fix years, he thought it hardly worth while to introduce.

Mr. Chanceller PITT faid, the alteration he had thought neceffary was, that with regard to persons above 1,000l. a year, there fhould be a distinction as to the ages of their children.. It was evident, that to perfons under a certain income, the expence of children was a material confideration, while to others above that income it was fearce any thing. What he had proposed appeared to be the faireft poffible diftinction; he thought it ought to apply neither to perfons of above 1,000l. a year, nor under that fum.

An amendment was moved and adopted, that the clause should not apply, unless where fuch children were principally maintained by the parent.

Mr. JONES afked whether it applied to manufacturers who employed their children?

To which Mr. Chancellor PITT replied, that the Commiffioners would fettle, whether it was fuch an employment as pre

vented fuch children being confidered as principally maintained by their father.

The claufe thus amended was agreed to.

The claufe for allowing the Surveyor (in cafe he was diffatisfied with a person's statement of income, and required a schedule, and the Commiffioners, upon inquiry, thought it unneceffary) to apply to Commiffioners of Appeal for an order to the firft Commiffioners to re-examine the matter in difpute between the party and the Surveyor, was, after a converfation between Mr. Chancellor Pitt, Mr. Shawe Lefevre, Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor Generals, and Mr. Tierney, agreed to.

Several other claufes were added to the bill.

The claufes being all gone through, the report was brought up, and ordered to be received to-morrow.

Saturday, December 29.

Mr. JOHN SMITH brought up the report of the Committee of yesterday for amendments in the body, and for receiving new claufes to the income bill. The amendments were all read and agreed to, and a number of new claufes were proposed by Mr. Chancellor Pitt, and adopted by the House.

Mr. TIERNEY faid, he was defired by a number of noblemen. and gentlemen of extenfive poffeffions to afk leave of the Houfe to bring up a claufe for allowing them to deduct from their income before it be made chargeable by this bill, the allowance they made to their agents for managing their estates. He did not mean stewards, but perfons who were neceffarily employed in the management of their eftates. These were not to be confidered as perfons employed out of parade, oftentation or indolence of the owners of the land, but were perfons abfolutely neceffary for the management of estates where the poffeffions were extenfive. Suppofing, for instance, a man of fortune who had one estate at Berwick and another at Exeter, it would be impoffible for fuch a perfon to attend to the management of both at once; he was, therefore, under the neceffity of employing an agent. Bankers were allowed to deduct the falaries of clerks under the head of expences of management, and it seemed but reasonable that the neceffary expences of management of land fhould have the fame allowance.

Mr. Chancellor PITT was decidedly of opinion, that the cafes of the banker and the great land owner in the expence of the management of their affairs was not at all parallel; that, generally

« AnteriorContinua »