HC Deb 02 April 1830 vol 23 cc1240-2
The Chancellor of the Exchequer

having moved the Order of the Day for receiving the Report of the Committee, of Supply, observed that it was his intention only to ask for a vote on account of the Cavil Contingencies. He should then pro-coed with the Ordnance Estimates.

Mr. P. Thomson

said, it had been his intention to take an early opportunity of calling the attention of the House to the important subject of the collection of the Revenue. His own wish was, that, a committee should be appointed to inquire into the extraordinary amount of the charge of collection: however, he understood that Government intended to make an inquiry into the subject themselves. If this were confirmed by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, he should feel disposed to wait till the result of that inquiry was known. He now asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if steps were to be taken by Ministers for the formation of a commission to investigate the matter, and if such were the case, whether we might expect any report or information on the subject before the close of the Session.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

flattered himself that he could give a satisfactory answer to the hon. Member's question. On the night of the Budget he had intimated that it was the intention of Government to have two commissions—one to inquire into our colonial expenditure, the other to investigate the collection of the revenue. The commissioners would shortly commence their labours, and he had no doubt that before the period mentioned by the hon. Member, they would have advanced so far as to be enabled to lay some information on the subject before the House.

Mr. W. Smith

called the attention of the Secretary for the Colonies to the propriety of procuring certain returns, connected (we believe) with the number of deaths in the colonies. The returns, though ordered, had not been laid before the House, and unless the right hon. the Secretary wished otherwise, he should move that those orders be complied with forthwith.

Sir G. Murray

explained the circumstances under which the subject had been introduced last Session. An hon. Member had moved for a return of the deaths at Sierra Leone; and combining the un-healthiness of this colony with others, he proposed that similar returns should be produced respecting them. But there were many objections to this. Hon. Gentlemen would at once perceive, in the first place, that as some colonies were healthy at one season, or one year, and the contrary at another season and, at another year, there was evidently no means of arriving at an accurate conclusion by such returns; and secondly, there was much doubt whether they would be attended with any public advantage. The promulgation of the un-healthiness of any particular station might disincline the troops to going there (although he allowed they, on all occasions, displayed the utmost alacrity in obeying orders); and were it only on that account, ho thought it might be as well passed over. It might do mischief, and could produce no advantage; the more especially as the hon. Member for Montrose proposed to bring forward a motion respecting Sierra Leone. In conclusion, he submitted to the hon. Member if it would not be well for him to withdraw his notice respecting these returns.

[Mr. Alderman Waithman rose to present a petition; but he was declared out of order, and compelled to sit down.]

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

then brought up the Report of 100,000l. granted for Civil Contingencies, during 1830.

Mr. Hume

asked, what was to be the course of proceeding respecting the Estimates. He was surprised at the Civil Contingencies taking precedence of the Ordnance Estimates. When were the Miscellaneous and Irish Estimates to be brought forward.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that the vote for Civil Contingencies was merely on account. As to the course he intended to pursue, he proposed first to go on with the Ordnance Estimates; then the Army Extra ordinaries; and lastly, the Miscellaneous and Irish Estimates, in the usual course.

Mr. Hume

asked, if Wednesday was to be a Supply day.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, the object was, to finish the Ordnance Estimates before Easter. He hoped to get through them to-night, or at furthest on Monday.

On the question that the House should resolve itself into a Committee of Supply,

Mr. Burrell

said, that he himself, the worthy Alderman behind him, and others, had waited four or five hours to present petitions; he thought they should be afforded the opportunity of doing so before any other business was entered on.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was reluctantly compelled to press his Motion.

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