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had undergone many weeks difcuffion; there was no ftage of it in which its principle or its provifions were not oppofed, he would not fay by trite or frivolous arguments, for many of those that were urged were the refult of calm judgement and cool confideration; yet this is the bill which the honourable gentleman contends was hurried through the Houfe with unbecoming precipitancy. The honourable gentleman is alfo pleafed to ftile it an act of power: and most unquestionably with great propriety, for it was an act of the Legiflature, and he trufted that acts of the Legislative would long prove to be acts of power. Nor did he conceive it fo fevere a reflection upon his conduct as the horpurable gentleman feemed difpofed to infinuate that he should have preferred the general opinion of the Houfe to that of the honourable gentleman and fome few of his friends, and that he was lefs, fwayed by their solicitations than by the well-founded arguments of those who framed and fupported the bill. As to his not forefeting the neceffity of the bill being altered and amended, that was a reflection which he was not anxious to ward off. It was not merely the fault of his forefight, but was also a reflection upon the forefight of the ableft law authorities in the kingdom, who never pretended, much lefs did he pretend, to attain complete perfection at once, efpecially in a meafurc fo various, fo complicated and fo extenfive. He had now been twelve or fourteen years endeavouring to bring forward measures of that nature, and he was not afhamed to confefs that the first specimens of his schemes were not as correct and perfect as farther inquiry, and more minute inveftigation, might have rendered them. Of most of his financial plans he could fay the fame, but he trufted that by perfeverance and attention he had brought them to fomething like perfection. He did not therefore feel the leaft hurt at not being fupposed to have in the first instance made a bill more correct and perfect, that was to be framed out of new, difficult and intricate matter. As often as he was cenfured for his endeavours to correct his measures, fo often should he receive fuch cenfures as compliments.
Mr. JONES explained, and contended that the gentlemen who had formerly divided with him against the bill, had always urged against it the best founded arguments.
Mr. BURDON was fo far from expecting the bill should have met with no obstacles, that it appeared to him furprizing it should have proved fo practicable in the very outlet. He could not therefore but applaud the wifdom of his right honourable friend in adopting fuch alterations as would give additional facility to the execution of its provifions, by which the country had already been so ma
terially benefited. But he principally rofe to express a wish, that whatever amendments were neceffary to the bill, might be introduced as speedily as poffible, and he particularly approved of that which extended the time of payment--here he wished as much latitude might be given as poffible for fuch payments, as if made in stock, he would think it more advifeable. In the progress of the bill he hoped there would be introduced a claufe to fettle the teft of freeholders at elections, which at prefent was a point that feemed to remain undecided. Upon the whole he was fatisfied that the bill would not appear to have had in view the object which fome gentlemen pretended to give it, namely, to ferve certain political purpofes; but that it would be clearly demonstrated, especially when it was duly amended, that its operation would tend to the general good of the country-in that light it fhould have his moft cordial fupport.
The motion was then put, and leave accordingly given to bring
in the bill.
Mr. M. A. TAYLOR faid, he wished to fubmit a motion to the House, to which he could not think that His Majesty's Minifters would make the leaft objection. Its object was to get information why the charge in the army eftimates for staff officers fhould have fo far exceeded that of laft year.
Mr. Chancellor PITT did not object to the motion: but said, that before the papers were laid before the Houfe, he could fatify the honourable gentleman's curiofity, by informing him, that as last year a very confiderable body of the Supplementary Militia had been called out into actual fervice, it was natural that a proportionable augmentation fhould have taken place in the number of staff officers.
Mr. M. A. TAYLOR then moved, "that there be laid before this House a return of the General and Staff Officers now ferving within Great Britain, diftinguifhing the ranks of the different officers, fpecifying the divifions of the kingdom where they are now ferving, and fhewing the amount of pay received by each officer."which was ordered.
An ACCOUNT of the TOTAL NET PRODUCE of the TAXES for ONE YEAR, ended the 10th Day of October 1798; diftinguishing each Quarter: And alfo diftinguishing the DUTIES impofed in 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, and 1798.
Quarter ended 5th
Quarter ended 5th | Quarter ended 5th Quarter ended 10th Year ended 10th April 1798. October 1798.
18,750 0 0
75,00 0 0
Referved out of duty on paper anno 1794, 18,750l., being 1-4th part of 75,0col., the annual average produce of former duties then repealed Referved out of duty on fpirit licences anno 1794, 9,000l., being 1-4th part of 36,000l., the annual average produce of former duties then repealed, and in full to the 5th July 1798
9,000 0 0