§ Sir John Newport
presented a Petition from the Chamber of Commerce of Waterford, against the proposed plan for assimilating the Stamp Duties of England and Ireland. There were two ways, the hon. Baronet said, of assimilating duties; lowering the high ones and raising the low ones; but unfortunately, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as far as his experience went, always took the latter method, and augmented the burthens of the people. By his proposed plan, an addition of taxation, to the amount of 100,000l., would be levied on Ireland, which at present would be a serious injury to that country. In particular he wished to know if it were intended to continue the Stamps on Law-papers, which operated as a denial of justice to the poor? He thought these ought to be abolished, and other Stamp Duties lowered. The Government had professed an anxious desire to give tranquillity to Ireland, to encourage its trade; but to impose new taxes on it, did not seem to him to be the 1418 best way of satisfying the people and extending commerce. He trusted the Chancellor of the Exchequer would pause before he threw additional burthens on a community struggling to bear its present load. He hoped, before the bill was brought in, a schedule would be produced, stating the present duties, and the proposed augmentation. He had always observed, that in imposing new taxes, the real and ultimate effect was always kept out of view. He hoped, however, that the House would not give the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposition the authority of law till the fullest information was laid before the House, and it was accurately ascertained what would be the exact amount and effects of the new Stamp Duties to be levied in Ireland, in order to make the duties there correspond to the duties in England.
§ Petition laid on the Table and printed.