HC Deb 05 March 1805 vol 3 cc710-2

The house resolved itself into a committee on the property tax bill.

Earl Temple

gave notice, that he would to-morrow more for the exemption of mi- litary officers, below a certain rank, from the payment of this tax.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

announced his intention of opposing any proposition for the exemption of any class of men from this tax, as contrary to the spirit and equity of the measure, and calculated to undermine the whole contribution.

Sir John Newport

called the attention of the committee to this tax, as it affected the property in the funds, belonging to persons resident in Ireland. This, he conceived, to be contrary to the principle of the union, which, proposed to leave the resources of each country applicable to the treasury of that country. It would be also contrary to the policy which dictated an exemption in favour of the funded property of foreigners, which arose from a wish to induce foreigners to vest their money in our funds. The operation of this, tax with respect to persons resident in Ireland would, he observed, be still more severe, for this reason, that according to the act, the English agent would be obliged to make a return of the whole property of his principal, and thus the same person might be subject to the payment of the same tax in both countries. Under those circumstances, the hon. baronet proposed a clause to exempt from the tux such property in the funds as belonged to persons who pay the hearth money and the window tax in Ireland.

Mr. Alexander

did not think the object of the lion, baronet attainable in the, way he proposed.

Sir John Newport

stated, that when he before mentioned the subject, he was told that the committee would be the proper place' to bring forward this proposition

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

observed, that the proposition of the hon. baronet could not be entertained, as no previous instruction to the committee had been voted. As to the proposition itself, he was surprised to hear it stated, that it involved a violation of the principle of the union. It was not less agreeable to that principle than to the precepts of common equity, that the property in each country should be subject to the taxation, and appropriate to the treasury of that country. This was precisely what this tax, objected to by the hon. bart. proposed; and, on the same principle, the property in the funds of Ireland, belonging, to persons resident in this country, would be subject to the taxation, and applicable to the purposes of that country, should it be through proper to lay a tak on such funds. By the same parity of reasoning the land in each country would, incase of a land-tax, be subject to the tax imposed in that country. He recollected that the Irish parliament had laid an additional tax on the land of absentees; and therefore they proceeded upon quite a contrary principle to that on which the proposition of the hon. baronet was grounded: Indeed, he never heard of any project of exemption, similar to that proposed by the hon. baronet.

Sir John Newport

persisted in maintaining that it was contrary to the principle of the union to draw these resources from the use of Ireland which would be otherwise sent into it. Independently of this ground of objection, however, he claimed' the exemption he proposed, upon the same principle as that which induced the house to exempt the funded property of foreigners. Unless the property of the latter were deemed more sacred than that of the Irish, he saw no reason why this proposition should be resisted. If the hon. gent. should persist in opposing his object, he declared he would move to expunge from the bill the exemption in favour of foreigners.

Mr. Bankes

brought up a clause, to exempt from the payment of this tax all lands, money, or other property, vested in trustees for the use of almshouses, or other charitable purposes only.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that he should shortly have occasion to move for leave to bring in another bill relating to regulations which would give his hon. friend an opportunity of submitting this exemption; but, if he thought proper to offer it now, he did not suppose it would meet with any opposition.—The clause was then brought up and, agreed to, and the bill having passed the committed, was ordered to be reported to-morrow.