§ Sir John Newport
rose to call the attention of the House to the financial situation of Ireland, which was unproductive in respect to its revenue. The light hon. baronet read that part of the Speech of the Lords Commissioners which admitted that the revenue was deficient, and he stated that he should prove it was totally unable to meet the charges of the Public Debt; that in point of fact, the revenue was now deficient 650,000l. The fact being so, it Was high time to inquire into the state of things, and to apply a remedy to meet the deficiency. Whether 424 that deficiency arose from the inadequate means of supplying the taxes, or in the mode of collecting them, he knew not, but this was most certainly true, that there was a great deficit. In respect to the debt of Ireland, that had increased in later years materially. Within the last ten years it had nearly trebled in amount. In 1800, it was about 30,000,000l. and it now was 80,728,992l. The charge upon that sum for paying the interest, the sinking fund, and the management, was 4,273,000l; to meet this charge the ordinary revenue only produced 3,614,000l. so that there was a deficit of 660,000l. The right hon. baronet then alluded to the speech of the right hon. gent. (Mr. Foster) in 1804,* in which he had noticed the decrease in the revenue at that period, and had stated it would not in any future period be any better. In that opinion he had concurred, and to convince the House that the prognostication of each was correct, he would state the produce of taxes laid on the last year, to shew that the right hon. gent, had calculated their amount much beyond what they actually produced. For instance, the calculations were as follow:
These defalcations in the estimated amount of produce, with some other minor taxes, made the total deficit in the last year's taxes, nearly 200,000l. and he was justified in asserting, upon taking the average of three years, that the total deficiency in the revenue was 1,700,000l. It might be said that the defalcation arose from the difficulties tinder which the commerce of the country was placed; but that was not the cause, it was the result of over-taxation. Articles of luxury were so heavily bur-thened, that the poverty of the people prevented the consumption, and consequently the revenue was injured; by imposing additional taxes the preceding ones were lost; so by pouring in a drop more than the vessel could hold, it was lost! He then went into a comparative statement of the produce of the revenue at the period in which he held the office now occupied by the right hon. gent.
produced only The Duties on Wines £.100,000 £.44,000 Additional Tea Duty 60,000 33,000 Currants and Raisins 10,000 2,800 Window Duty 85,000 80,000 Letters, tee. 35,000 21,000 Receipts and advertisements 30,000 14,600* See Vol. 2, p. 773.425 (Mr. Foster) and the present period, contending, that during the time he officiated, the taxes produced much more than he calculated. The expence of collecting the revenue had greatly increased since 1807. At that time the ex-pence was about 487,000l. Last year it amounted to 720,000l. of which sum more than 220,000l. was absorbed by the two boards of customs and excise for incidental expences, and distributed among the clerks, the superannuated list, for building, of various kinds, and for new docks (which by the bye, in England were erected, not at government but at individual ex-pence). Among the items of charges was one for stationary, amounting to 28,000l. the charge on England was only 18,000l. The duty on leather in 1799, produced 51,000l.; and in 1811, a period of eleven years, when it might be supposed that the population had increased, the produce had been only 41,000l. The right hon. baronet, after stating some other supposed grievances, declared that in submitting his propositions to the House, he did not wish to compromise them to form any hasty opinion on the subject, all he required was, that the matters referred to should undergo complete investigation; he therefore trusted, that the Resolutions would be passed and allowed to be printed, and on some future day the gentlemen opposite would be prepared to shew that his statement was not incorrect. He then moved the following Resolutions:
- 1. "That the Funded Debt of Ireland has nearly trebled within ten years, and amounted, on the 5th of January 1811, to 89,72s. 992l. occasioning an annual permanent charge for interest, Sinking Fund and management, of 4,273,000l. to which head of expenditure alone, the entire ordinary revenue of Ireland, amounting in the last year to only 3,614,000l. has become wholly inadequate.
- 2." That the various plans submitted to, and adopted by parliament, for raising the amount of the Irish Revenue by increased taxation, to defray the Irish quota of expenditure, or even to make due provision for discharging the interest of the loans, have totally failed to answer the desired object, inasmuch as the net revenue of 1810 is 800,000l. below that of the year 1807, although taxes, estimated to produce more than 900,000l. were imposed, and 862,000l. added to the charge of the Public Debt during that interval.
- 3. "That for this failure of estimated
426 revenue, which has been progressive during several years, although most striking in that which has just elapsed, no adequate causes can be discovered in the commercial difficulties of the empire, since the intercourse between Great Britain and Ireland, which is the great channel of the commerce of the latter, has not been impeded, except in one instance, and the deficiency must therefore be attributed to other and different causes.
- 4." That the expenses of collection and management of the revenues of Ireland have advanced in a most striking degree, particularly since the year 1807. That the amount of deductions on this account from the revenue, customs, excise, and inland taxes of Ireland, in its passage to the Exchequer, has risen from 416,000l., at which it stood in 1807, to more than 720,000l. in the last year; out of which sum 227,000l. were absorbed in the incidental expenses of the two, boards to which the direction of these departments was intrusted; and that it appears, that in 1807 those duties were collected at a charge of 10l. 16s percent, in the customs, and of 8l. 15s. in the excise, and taxes on their net revenue; whereas that charge has risen in 1810 to more than 25 per cent, on the net produce of the customs, and more than 16 percent, on that of the excise and inland taxes applicable to the public services of the year."
said, before he entered into that part of the discussion which immediately related to himself, he would observe, that though, in the main, the statements of the right hon. bart. were not very wide of the mark, yet he could not permit his resolutions, in the present state of the question, to go forth from the chair of that House to the public. A right hon. friend of his, who used occasionally to make observations on the subject of Irish finance, never brought any motion forward unless the papers connected with it were first laid on the table. In the present instance, the House were not possessed of a single paper by which their judgment might be directed. And certainly it would not be prudent to accede to the proposition, when there was no information before them, and when no notice had been given of an intention to enter into so extensive a subject. Under these circumstances, he was sure the right hon. bart. would not be surprised at his objecting to the motion, since it was not right that statements, which might ultimately prove not altogether correct, 427 should go out to the public unexplained. The right hon. bart. had asserted, that the ordinary revenue of Ireland had fallen short of the expenditure 1,700,000l. That revenue he had stated at 3,647,000l.; which was not correct. It amounted in reality to 3,880,000l. This error arose from the right hon. bart. having omitted the extraordinary resources of revenue, the returns of which, however, were as regular as those of any other part. He had also omitted the sum produced by the lottery, and by a number of repayments which bad been recently made. When the right hon. bart. deducted the sum of 278,000l. which was produced by these extraordinaries, from the deficit which he had stated, he would find there was not so great a falling off as he had imagined. He allowed that the state of Ireland was such as to require all the consideration and ability of that House to investigate her financial situation. He would not have been at all surprised, if the right hon. bart. had been incorrect in his statement to the amount of a few thousand pounds; but when the House were told of the debt of Ireland being greater than her revenue, when the ruined state of that country was attempted to be shewn, then indeed the subject required the deepest attention. He would not, therefore, enter into the minute and trifling parts of the subject; but he would proceed to the fair ground on which the finances of Ireland should be considered—the providing for any deficiencies which might have occurred in answering the public expenditure. Where, he would ask, were those deficiencies? With respect to that part of the subject, it would be necessary for him to recur to the period when he became Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer. In so doing, he did not mean to contrast his conduct with that of the right hon. bart. who had filled the same situation. The public would judge of their respective merits. He would explain to the House what he proposed by the increase of taxes in 1804, what were his hopes, and how they were frustrated. It was his object at that time to raise the taxes to the full amount of a peace establishment—sufficient to answer every purpose of the Sinking Fund—and, if the war continued, then revenue should be raised to pay the interest. In 1804 the sum total which he proposed for a peace establishment, amounted to 11,000,000l. which was not deemed unreasonable. From that period, the revenue did begin to 428 rise, but not so rapidly as could be wished. In the year next but one, the rise, however, was very great. What was the fact since? There was a debt of 4,000,000l. to be liquidated, and the revenue had failed considerably last year. But it was unfair to confine the resources of the country to that period. Let the revenue be taken on an average of any three former years, and it would be found to have produced 4,500,000l. Let the calculation be made at that produce, and it would be fully sufficient to answer every demand, and a surplus of 200,000l. would still remain. What was the cause of this failure of the revenue; and what were the hopes that the system formerly pursued would ultimately answer every end proposed, without the necessity of levying additional taxes? It would be observed, that the excise on spirits, during the last year, was operative for a very short period. The dates, of course, were greatly curtailed. In fact, they amounted to only 450,000l. in the course of the year. But if they took the consumption of spirits in Ireland to be as great as heretofore, and if the excise were brought to the same perfect state to which it had been carried in this country, then the revenue of Ireland would be sufficient to answer every purpose to which it was necessary to appropriate it, and a very large super flux could be laid by. If Ireland were able to bear a similar duty on spirits as that which was now levied in this country, it would produce upwards of 3,000,000l. instead of 450,000l. which was the amount of last year's spirit excise. This, he was sure, could be done, whenever they arrived at the same accuracy which had been attained in England. He spoke this merely as a member of the empire: and he did not conceive that the right hon. bart. brought forward this measure from any wish to impede the operations of government, or to harass those who were in office, but from an honest and praiseworthy wish to benefit Ireland. He joined him most cordially in these sentiments; and hoped, at a future time, to have the benefit of his advice. He would go hand-in-hand with the right hon. bart. in any expedient which would tend to serve that country; and, if he opposed the present resolutions, it was not from any feeling of hostility. He could not accede to them, because he conceived they would be attended with a bad effect, many of the facts stated in them would go out to the public not properly digested, and the 429 most erroneous inferences would probably be drawn from them. He thought the proposition should not have been brought forward, until a previous inquiry had been made. The subject had engrossed much of his attention, and he did not think there was a gentleman to whom he had the honour of being known, who could for a moment imagine that he would have been so lost to his duty as not to have turned it over with his right hon. friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, near him. All he desired was, at a proper opportunity, to have a regular discussion on this most interesting topic. He should have been himself anxious to propose inquiry on the subject, if the necessary documents were on the table, and a full attendance of gentlemen from Ireland; but he could not think the present a fit opportunity, when he was deprived of their assistance.—Having spoken thus generally, he next came to that part of the subject which related to the taxes he had recommended. From the year 1807 till the last year, he had not proposed a tax which was not connected with the excise on spirits or malt. But the distillery prohibition, which had been introduced into Ireland, completely disarranged the whole system of that part of the revenue, and in consequence they had not been able accurately to ascertain the amount of the excise. With respect to the more recent taxes, he was glad the right hon. bart. had noticed them, as it afforded him an opportunity of refuting several misstatements. The first was the window tax: this was said to have been raised 50 percent, and to have borne hard on the public in general. His intention, however, had been, to affect the manufacturer as little as possible, and not to press on the lower ranks of society, as the tax only attached to houses where there were seven windows; and those who knew Ireland could say, whether such a measure was likely to oppress the poor. He denied that the bill had a retrospective effect. It proceeded on the same principle as the tax here on coaches or servants. Thus, if a person set up a coach in the month of December, he was charged for the whole year. If a person made a window at any particular period, of course he was liable to be charged for the window so formed from the time of his last payment. With respect to the sum which this tax had produced, it was estimated at 85,000l. and produced 80,000l. There was, therefore, an arrear of 5,000 l. 430 due on the new window tax, which probably would be recovered. The addition of one penny each on the postage of letters, had not been so unproductive as was stated. It had been estimated at 35,000l. per ann; and the receipt for the half-year, from June last, was 17,000l. although every person must know the difficulty under which a measure of this description must labour when it was first produced. The next was the increased duty on advertisements. This increase, he contended, was calculated to serve the revenue, while it affected those only who were in the higher stations of life. But, he should be asked, if it were so beneficial, why did it produce so little? The reason, he believed, was this: the moment the tax was known, the printers immediately advertised, that, in consequence of the measure, their circulation would be ruined; and,' therefore, it would be useless to come to them with advertisements. They absolutely vilified their own profession, and warned the public against advertising. This had a certain effect: but an account would be presented in a few days, which would demonstrate that the advertisement duty was rapidly increasing. The next was a tax on. bills and receipts: but as the exact amount of its produce could not then be determined, the right hon. baronet should not have introduced it; The reason which prevented the amount being stated was, that no separate account was kept in the Stamp-office. He was sure, however, that the tax would produce full as much as the sum at which it had been estimated. The Bank had compounded for the former duty for the sum of 5,000l.; and, under the new tax, they had offered an increase of 2,000l. Looking to the real state of the case as to the finances of Ireland, it would merely appear that the revenue of last year was not so productive as heretofore: there certainly had been a considerable fall in the customs and revenue; but it would be found that it did not arise from any cause connected with the general prosperity of the country. There had been no depression of manufactures; no failure of the internal sources of revenue. It arose entirely from the state of the import trade. If the shutting of the ports of Europe against the trade of this country affected Ireland at present, it could not be called an inconvenience which hereafter might not be surmounted. The failure of the tax on wine should not be attributed to the badness of the measure itself, but to 431 the present situation of the wine countries, and to the state of commercial credit. The defalcation in the sum to be produced by the tax on tea, arose entirely from the cause just mentioned. The merchants of Ireland used to stock themselves with tea during the summer, but this had been checked by the slate of commercial credit. The demand, however, he was confident, would soon become brisker, and would not be at all affected by the increased duty. A small decrease had taken place in the duty on malt and hops. This duty varied every year, and the decrease in the present instance was easily accounted for: first, because the manufacturer was not so greatly stocked as in former years; and secondly, because there was not so great a vent for the article as there had usually been.—The subject which next presented itself was more pleasing. If the exports of Ireland were examined, they would be found not to have decreased. If agriculture had been promoted, and exports were equal to any former year, the House must see reason to believe that Ireland was rapidly improving. From every view he had taken of this subject, Ireland appeared to be hourly increasing in prosperity. The balance of trade was in her favour, and, if there was a failure in the imports, it was rather a symptom that she kept her money at home, than that she had none to send abroad. In the year of the Union, the real value of her exports was 5,000,000l. in 1809 it was 11,000,000l.; and this astonishing increase was not sudden, but regular and progressive. The exports of England, at the former period, amounted to 41,000,000l., and they had now risen to 50,000,000l. So that Ireland, in that period, had more than doubled her exports; while England increased only one-fifth. He was happy in having an opportunity of stating this to the British public, that they might learn to value rightly the resources of Ireland. It was fallacious to say, that she was in a ruined state, because, in the last year, her revenue had not been so great as was expected.—The right hon. gent, next defended the mode in which the revenue was collected in Ireland. The increase of salaries and the multiplication of persons, in many instances, had been very beneficial. Some of those additional expences had been occasioned by the abolition of fees; for individuals could not be expected to give up those perquisites without compensation. If the right hon. baronet objected to the 432 measure, why had he not opposed the Bill? The Incidents of the revenue had also been objected to: they were termed Incidents; but it was a wrong appellation, many items were included in them which were not incidental. If that, however, were considered wrong, the right hon. baronet might have altered it at a former period. The expences incurred in the Stamp-office department had been called for by the great increase of business.—A table, perhaps, had been provided for the messengers, but certainly none were erected for any superior officer; nor was such a measure ever contemplated. The new docks were formed on account of the great extension of the warehousing system, which was highly desirable for the trade of Ireland. He did not think the right hon. baronet could wish to have the people of that country deprived of so great a benefit, particularly as the public would be amply repaid for every expence that would be incurred. The decrease in the duty on leather, which was stated by the right hon. baronet, who seemed to think that there must be some defect in collecting it, arose from the great importation of leather ware, harness, shoes, &c. and the extensive exportation of hides. If the right hon. baronet would point out any improper conduct in those who collected either the duty on leather, or any other article, every attention would be paid to his information.—The right hon. gent, concluded by stating, that he would cheerfully accede to any proposition which appeared likely to benefit Ireland: the state of that country deserved the most serious attention of the House; but he could not agree to send forth a statement to the public which would probably have a very injurious effect.
observed, that there was a great degree of difficulty attached to the subject that had been brought before them, which nothing but a fair and candid consideration of gentlemen on both sides of the House could surmount. By that means alone could a plain view of the financial state of Ireland come under their observation. He agreed with what had fallen from his right hon. friend, who had opposed the Resolutions, on the ground that a statement, perhaps inaccurate, should not be sent forth to the country, on a subject of so much importance. He was extremely glad to hear the right hon. gent, declare, that the subject should be brought forward in a manner perfectly 433 intelligible to every person. He hoped that it would be brought forward at the earliest period circumstances would allow. There had been enough admitted on both sides, to prove that there was-a state of things existing in Ireland, on which Parliament should use its own judgment and discretion as to the most wise and prudent measure to be adopted. He was well aware that the growing prosperity of Ireland was such as fully justified the statement which had been made by the right hon. gent. But, while the House were gratified at that statement, it must be allowed that there were features in her financial system which called for the consideration of Parliament The people of England had for many years, with great sacrifice of individual comfort, manfully looking their situation in the face, raised a great proportion of the supplies for the year, within the year; and the great question was, how far it was proper to extend to Ireland that system which had been so long acted upon in this country? These were his impressions, and it was some satisfaction for him to know that inquiry would be encouraged. The appointment of a Committee to make this inquiry was desirable in every point of view. Their report would strengthen the hands of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland, either to pause on the present system, or propose new and vigorous measures for the adoption of Parliament. It was a subject on which he was most anxious, as all his affections were bound up in its fate; and he earnestly recommended it to their deliberation.
§ Mr. Parnell
did not wish to omit this opportunity of giving his opinion on the whole system of Irish Finance; and the more so, as he would not confine his view to a few late occurrences, but embrace the whole period since the Union promoted by the noble lord. At the Union the noble lord had presented certain calculations to the Irish parliament, as the foundation of a ratio of contribution and expenditure between the countries. In all of these, in his opinion, his lordship had been mistaken; and in fixing the ratio at the proportion of Ireland to England as 1 to 9 in war, and 1 to 5 (which he afterwards changed to 7½) in peace, he had contributed to all those evils and embarrassment which now oppressed the former country. On these premises it appeared that Ireland had been paying a greater proportion than she ought to have done, 434 and the consequence was the increased degree of burdens imposed upon her. Ireland was called upon to provide eleven millions for the annual expenditure; and yet with all the taxes that could be imposed, and with all the exertions of the right hon. Chancellor to improve the revenue (for which he gave him full credit) no greater produce could be obtained last year than 3,600,000l. and the former year four and a half millions. It struck him, therefore, that the real and sole cause of all the difficulty under which the finances of Ireland now laboured, was that error in the ratio settled at the period of the Union, which had rendered heavy loans necessary every succeeding year. For this reason, he wished the House most seriously to consider the true cause of the evil, and not suffer themselves to be led away to apply as a remedy the taxation of this country by analogy to Ireland. The line for them to pursue was, to correct the grand error to which he had alluded, and to create a new commercial system, which would supersede the necessity for loans. Another great consideration he could not forbear mentioning, as a way to ameliorate the condition of Ireland—he meant the general system of government. If they looked for great revenue from Ireland, as from this country, they must extend to Ireland all the benefits of the British constitution, to enable her cheerfully and readily to meet the demand. If Ireland was to pay on the same principle as England, she ought also to be governed on the same principle. Upon the whole, that all these matters might have due and mature consideration, he recommended the appointment of a Committee.
was glad to find that all parties concurred in the expediency of an examination of the subject. He expressed his conviction, that the agriculture, the trade, the habitations, and the riches of Ireland had been trebled since the Union. The civilization of the country also had been considerably improved, particularly in the north of Ireland. He believed there was no country where the taxes were more cheerfully paid; and he attributed the defalcation of the revenue to negligence in the collection, and to the prevalence of illicit distillation. He hoped that the right hon. baronet would be induced to withdraw his motion, in order that the subject might be submitted to the investigation, of a Committee.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
observed, that both sides of the House agreed that the subject was of such importance as to render it necessary, without loss of time, to proceed to an inquiry upon it. He should regret if the right hon. baronet persevered in proposing his Resolutions, as his right hon. friend had demonstrated that even were they completely accurate (which they were not), Parliament could not entertain them at present, as they were founded on documents which were not yet in the hands of the members. The proposition therefore was premature. Another ground of objection to the Resolutions was, that they described only a part of the fact, and abstained from that counter-statement which would satisfy the country. His right hon. friend had shewn that the average revenue of the three last years in Ireland was 4,500,000l. It was not fair, therefore, to take the revenue of the last year alone, and to state it at 3,600,000l. He apprehended that the course pointed out by his right hon. friend would be most expedient, namely, that as soon as the necessary papers were before the House, and as soon as the termination of the assizes in Ireland would allow the members for that country to return to their parliamentary duty, a Select Committee should be appointed to investigate the whole of this great subject, and to afford to the House the data on which they might afterwards act. He trusted therefore, that the right hon. baronet, by withdrawing his motion, would prevent the disagreeable necessity of moving the previous question upon it.
declared, that a matter of greater importance, or one which required more serious consideration, had never been agitated in that House. It was most material that it should be investigated at a time when the House could act on the result of that investigation; and that time must be at an early period of the session. He thought great praise due to the right hon. baronet, whose object was unquestionably gained. The attention of the House was completely attracted to this important subject, and could not be diverted from it. At the same time he should infinitely prefer the examination by a Select Committee. He trusted that no time would be lost in the appointment of that Committee, and at least that it would be formed before the Easter recess. If his opinion had any weight with the right hon. baronet, he 436 would advise him to withdraw his motion; for it would be a matter of regret that the House should divide, when in fact there was no actual division of opinion. He was glad to hear of the improvement of the agriculture and trade of Ireland, but was astonished at the phenomenon of an attendant failure in the revenue. This failure he attributed to negligence in the collection; and he was persuaded that the revenue might be made much more productive without any increase of duties. He was convinced that taxes, similar to those called war taxes in England, were most applicable to Ireland. They were collected at a cheaper rate, they fell with a diminished weight on the lower orders, and there was comparatively but few mean of evading them. Reverting to the appointment of, a Committee, he slated it as his opinion, that it could not be delayed with any prospect of real advantage, beyond the latter end of next month.
, in explanation, declared that, as soon as the motion before the House should be disposed of, it was his intention to give notice of the day on which he would move the appointment of a Committee.
said, he did not rise to touch on the situation of Ireland, or on the best course of proceeding to be adopted with respect to that country. These considerations he would postpone to the proper period. All things considered, he thought it would he advisable for his right hon. friend to withdraw his motion; but then he trusted that he would move for the immediate appointment of a Committee; or if not immediately, for the appointment of a Committee, at least not later than the end of this or the beginning of next month. As to the presence of Irish members, he did not see the necessity of waiting for their return; for he declared, that he would rather see the majority of the Committee composed of British, than of Irish members. If the appointment of the Committee were postponed until the return of all the Irish members, and until the production of all the official documents, the consequence must be, either that the Committee could come to no conclusion in the present session, or that the session must be inconveniently prolonged for the sole purpose of allowing the Committee time to make their report.
§ Mr. W. Smith
was for the early appointment of a Committee, and for impacting, to 437 Ireland all the political advantages enjoyed by the other parts of the united empire.
§ Sir J. Newport
would not take up the time of the House by answering the many observations which had been made in the course of the evening, and which were capable of refutation, but would consent, with the leave of the House, to withdraw his motion, on the direct understanding that he should be at liberty immediately to move the appointment of a Select Committee.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, he would certainly consent to the withdrawing of the motion of the right hon. baronet, but not on the prescribed terms. He was proceeding to show that the present was not the precise time for the appointment of the Committee, when he was interrupted by
§ The Speaker
, who observed, that the question whether an honourable member should or should not have leave to withdraw a motion, was not debateable? If any single member dissented, leave could not be granted. The Speaker then put the question, and no dissenting voice being heard, he declared that the right hon. baronet had leave to withdraw his motion.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
observed, that he certainly meant to express his dissent, if the leave was to be granted on the understanding wished for by the right hon. baronet.
§ The Speaker
replied, that the right hon. gent, ought to have marked his dissent by an audible negative.
Sir J. Newport's
original motion being therefore withdrawn, he proceeded immediately to move, "That the several Accounts and other Papers, presented to the House, during this Session of Parliament, relative to the Public Income and Expenditure of Ireland, be referred to the consideration of a Select Committee, and that the Committee be instructed to examine into the same, and to report the same to the House."
Mr. Secretary Ryder
said, had he understood the question, he would not have consented to the motion being withdrawn. The motion now made appeared to him most extraordinary. The right hon. baronet had never thought of the appointment of a Committee; but on the general sense of the House appearing to be that way, his right hon. friend had said, if the right hon. baronet would withdraw his motion, he would pledge the government to propose the appointment of this Com- 438 mittee. But now the right hon. baronet' forsooth would take it out of the hands of his right hon. friend (hear, hear! from the Opposition.) He would wish to hear what objection could be made to this statement, but as far as his parliamentary experience went, there was no example for such a proceeding.
said, that that which appeared lately a compact on all sides, had now become a party question. These parties did them no honour. Their time was too much occupied with them; and he deprecated any dispute as to the trivial matter who was to nominate a Committee, which the House would take care was properly named.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, the hon. gent, was right in thinking that these party tricks did them no credit. He bowed to the chair; but having expressed at some length his dissent to the proposition of the right hon. baronet, it was only through mistake that he deemed it unnecessary to say "No," as early on putting the question as he ought to have done. He concluded by giving a direct negative to the motion.
§ Mr. R. Shaw
was for the appointment of the Committee as early as possible, as if it was put off, the opportunity for this important investigation would come too late to be of service to the country.
put it to the feeling of the House, if it was not the general custom, when government were willing to take the necessary steps, that the measure should be left in their hands. He was not for delay, nor for a Committee altogether Irish. He wished for the collective sense and wisdom of the English also, as this was not a question solely affecting Ireland, but the empire at large, as if Ireland could not pay her loans, England must. On these grounds, he would move the previous question, as a mode not of objecting to the motion, but of getting rid of a course which he must say was like taking the question out of the hands of the person who originally proposed it.
did not wish to press the nomination of the Committee, on the understanding that it would be done in about a week from this time; but whoever named it, the country was indebted to the right hon. baronet alone for bringing the important topic under consideration.
§ Sir J. Newport
read the names he meant to propose, to shew that he had not been guided in his nomination by any thing 439 like party feeling.—They were these: Mr. Foster, Mr. Perceval, Mr. Ponsonby, Mr. Bankes, Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Parnell, Mr. Huskisson, Mr. Tierney, Mr. Tighe, Mr. Grattan, Colonel Barry, Mr. Leslie Foster, Mr. Shaw, of Dublin, Mr. Wellesley Pole, Mr. William Elliot, Mr. Rose, Mr. Whitbread, Mr. Henry Thornton, Mr. Nicholas Vansittart, Mr. William Smith, Sir John Newport.
would rather have the Committee nominated to-night than agree to any injurious delay; but he saw no evil that could result from the short period proposed by his right hon. friend. In a measure on which his hopes were so sanguine, he did not wish that the House should as it were be taken by surprise, sordid it appear to him to be quite parliamentary to take the proposition out of the hand of the person most responsible.
§ The House then divided, when there appeared—
|For the Motion||44|
|For the previous Question||71|
|Majority against the Motion||—27|