HC Deb 28 April 1823 vol 8 cc1300-1
Mr. Hume

presented a petition from a surveyor of taxes, named White, complaining that he had been dismissed, without due cause, from his situation. Mr. White, the hon. gentleman said, had been a public servant 29 years; nine years as a confidential messenger to the late Mr. Pitt, and the rest of the time as a collector of taxes. He was now, without having committed any offence, and merely upon the strength of an anonymous letter, written to the Board of Taxes against him, deprived of his office, and consequently of his livelihood, This sentence of the board had been confirmed by the Treasury; no opportunity being afforded to him of making his defence. The truth was, that Mr. White had made himself unpopular by detecting certain frauds in the collection of the land-tax, which had, taken place within his division. The ex- istence of those frauds was fully demonstrated by papers on the table of the House; but the discovery of them was thus, in an underhand way, to be visited upon the petitioner. He had examined the petitioner's case very narrowly, and thought it one of great hardship.

Mr. Lushington

said, that the credulity of the hon. member had been grossly imposed upon. The petitioner had been dismissed upon the fullest inquiry, with means of defence allowed him, and in despite of a feeling entertained in his favour, on account of his long services. The offence which had made his dismissal necessary, was this: being himself a surveyor of taxes, he had made a return contrary to law, as to the windows of the house which he occupied.

Mr. Hume

said, he was prepared to meet the whole complaint against the petitioner. The act which had been construed into a fraudulent return, was only the stopping up some windows in his house with wood-work instead of filling them with brick. This was not an offence to dismiss a man for after 29 years' service. The real offence was the petitioner's having exposed certain frauds.

Ordered to lie on the table.