HC Deb 10 March 1835 vol 26 cc737-834
The Marquess of Chandos

said, that in pursuance of the notice which he had given he was about to address the House upon a question of very considerable importance, not only to the constituency whom he had the honour to represent, but to the country at large; and whatever motives might be ascribed to him for bringing this Motion forward he could assure the House and the country that he was actuated by only one motive in introducing it, and that was the benefit which he thought the country at large would derive from the repeal of the Malt-tax. That was his only object, and by no other earthly motive was he actuated. He begged to assure the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government that he had not the slightest wish or intention—no such desire had ever entered his mind as to embarrass the Government by the course which he meant to pursue. He acted from a sense of the duty which he owed to the country, and in conformity with a promise which he had made to his constituents in submitting the present Motion to the House; and having once given a pledge, nothing under heaven should prevent him from redeeming his word. In bringing forward this subject again he was quite aware that he had no argument to offer which had not been stated often and often before. He was fully sensible that he had nothing new to urge in support of the proposition with which he meant to conclude, and therefore the only thing that remained for him was simply to tell over again the same tale that he had formerly told of the wretchedness and distress of the farmers of the country, and the almost unexampled misery which was endured by the whole agricultural population, and to implore the House to go along with him in devising some means for their relief. With regard to the Malt-tax, which it was his duty to bring under the consideration of the House, he must say that it had for a great many years oppressed the agricultural interests of the country to a grievous extent. But he would compare the duties imposed upon Malt in ancient and modern times. This tax was first imposed in the reign of William and Mary, and it was then levied after the rate of four shillings the quarter. The amount was subsequently at different periods increased, and accordingly he found that in—

1787 it was 10s. 6d.
1791 12s. 6d.
1802 18s. 6d.
1804 38s. 6d.
In 1817 it was reduced to the rate at which it now stood, namely, 20s. 8d.; but the country would not be satisfied with an impost that was manifestly so unjust, be its amount what it might. He knew that there were many Gentlemen who entertained the opinion that, a partial reduction of this duty would be beneficial to the country; but, although he could not deny that it might have that effect, yet they should consider that even were it reduced one-half, the whole machinery of the excise, all the expense of collection, and the harassing which the farmer underwent would still remain. If the extinction of this duty only got rid of the excise it would effect a considerable saving not only to the farmer but to the country. But the effect of the Malt-duty was so apparent that it would be a useless waste of time to point it out. Not only did it injure the farmer most materially by the harassing nature of its collection, but it tended greatly to diminish the consumption, and of course the growth of barley. It also prevented him from receiving into his house, as in the days of old, the labourers whom he employed, and they were deprived of that beverage of home produce by which in former times their strength and happiness were so beneficially sustained. By the abolition of this tax both the farmer and the labourer would gain many advantages of which they were now deprived, and it was only an act of justice to them that it should be remitted. The Malt tax, like the sugar-duties, used to be voted annually by Parliament, but in the year 1822 that course was altered. It then became a permanent tax, and Parliament no longer had control over it. The extraordinary pressure of this duty had esused an immoderate increase of the use of ardent spirits, and gin palaces were flourishing while breweries were going to decay. They all felt sensibly the baneful effects which gin palaces had produced on the morals of the people, and he thought no man could doubt, that those establishments were the occasion of the rapid increase of crime which had taken place within the last twenty years. For this purpose he should refer to the returns which had been laid before that House on the state of crime throughout the country. From the year 1812 to the year 1819, the number of criminal offences was 52,216; from 1819 to 1826, it was 95,628 and from 1826 to 1832, 131,818; and what was most to be lamented was, that of this last number there were no fewer than 12,000 women, all of whom were brought before the Magistrates for offences arising out of a too free use of ardent spirits. It was, therefore, most disastrous to the morals as well as to the health of the people, both in town and country, that their national beverage should by oppressive taxation be removed from them, and that ardent spirits should be substituted in its place. It was much to be regretted, and it was one of the chief complaints of the agriculturists, that relief was extended to different classes of his Majesty's subjects, but not the slightest attention was yet directed to the relief of the agricultural classes from the grievances they endured. In his Majesty's speech he deplored the ruinous state to which the agricultural interest had been reduced, but no hopes were held out in it as to how it could be improved. The right hon. Baronet, in the relief which he proposed, merely intended to do away with the county-rates, and other local expenditures. This would be of no advantage to the farmer; for, suppose a farmer who held 250 acres of land was merely relieved from local taxation, the benefit he would derive would not be more than eight pounds per annum. Whereas, if the Malt-duties were removed, the benefits would be seventy or eighty pounds per annum. The reduction of the Malt-tax, then, he contended, would be infinitely more advantageous to the farmer than any benefits which he could derive from any proposed measures which would go to free him from local burthens. Let hon. Gentlemen look at the state of the country now, compared with what it was in former times, when the farmers brewed their own beer, and were able to give their farm servants a good, a cheap, a wholesome, and national beverage. Now not only the farm servants, but the farmers themselves were compelled to resort to the brewer for a deteriorated article at a far higher price. In those days it was cheering to look at the farmer's comfortable fire-side, with his happy servants congregated around it; but now he was sorry to say, the farm servants were compelled to resort to the pump, or perhaps the nearest ditch to satisfy the demands of nature. He appealed in behalf of these valuable men to a British House of Commons, a great part of which consisted of country Gentlemen, to whom the interest of the agricultural body ought to be a matter of some consequence, and he hoped and trusted that the appeal would not be made in vain. Provision should be made against the evils which threatened the existence of that body ere it was yet too late to preserve them. Ruin already stared them in the face. Many had been compelled through the exigences of the times to abandon their own homes, and seek for a subsistence in a foreign land. Others had been compelled to shut up their dwellings and take refuge in the workhouse. Things could not go on in that way, and it therefore was the duty of that House to take the distress of the agricultural classes into its earliest consideration. If he asked that relief should be granted to this class at the expense or to the injury of any other class or classes of his Majesty's subjects, he should feel that what he sought was partial and unfair, and he should consequently abandon the measure; but, on the contrary, he felt satisfied, that the House, in any relief which it would grant to the agricultural interest, would, at the same time, confer a benefit on the country at large. The tradesman depended for success upon the prosperity of the farmer, and anything which tended to raise the condition of the farmer would, by its beneficial influence upon the other classes, be hailed with universal satisfaction by all. There was another point of view in which the House would do well to look at the subject. It should be observed, that the greatest share of the profits of the trade found its way into the pockets of the maltsters. The consumption of malt he found in the tables of the revenue (page 94), to be for the year ending the 10th of October, 1833, 40,075,890 bushels, which, at 8s. per bushel, amounted in money to 16,030,306l. Barley in malting increased about one-tenth, so that you would find about 36,300,000 bushels of barley required to make the specified quantity of malt. Taking the barley at 4s. per bushel, it would amount to 7,633,660l. Now, what was the duty paid to Government on malt in 1830? It amounted to 4,923,074l. The expenses of the maltster in manufacturing malt were about 3s. a-quarter, and, taking into account certain extra charges, arising from the mode of proceeding of the Excise, the expense might be taken at 3s. 6d. per quarter. Of the whole sum, then, of 16,030,306l., only 4,923,074l. found its way into the Exchequer. What became of the rest? The rest was the profit of some individual or other, and a great portion of it, more or less, found its way into the pocket of the maltster. A profit the maltster had a right to realize, but Government, which received the duty, ought not to adopt a course which allowed so much to go into the pockets of individuals. If any alterations were made in the duty—if even half of it were taken off—it would help the agricultural interest; but if the whole tax were taken off, they would avoid the expense of collection—they did away with monopolies—they promoted the opening of private breweries—they threw the trade open to a large portion of his Majesty's subjects; consequently the relief would not be confined to the farmer alone, it would extend to the whole of the community, and, more or less, they would find every man in some degree benefitted. The brewer doubtless made a considerable profit, and no doubt, in many cases, there was a great want of the materials necessary for giving the poor man a sound and nutritious beverage, such as he had a right to expect. But by taking off the Malt-duty, opening the trade, and enabling private persons, as well as farmers, to brew, they would insure to the community the enjoyment of a wholesome and nutritious beverage. In London, between 1720 and 1730,500,000 more quarters of malt were consumed in brewing 3,670,000 barrels of beer than, between 1790 and 1800, were used in brewing upwards of 6,000,000 barrels. Hence, it appeared that the use of malt in brewing had materially decreased in the latter period. There was another point which affected farmers to a considerable extent. In many counties, the feeders of cattle would feed large cattle on refuse barley, but that they dared not wet the grain lest it should come under the Excise-duty. In many cases the farmers fed their cattle on oil-cake, which was more expensive, because they were not able to give their refuse barley to the cattle wetted. Taking off the Malt-duty would materially benefit those individuals. There was another point, by which farmers were most materially affected. It would be found, that in many counties the feeders of cattle would prefer feeding them on refuse barley; but, in consequence of the Excise-laws they dared not wet it for the purpose. In his own county, though many farmers wished to feed their cattle on refuse barley, they could not do so in consequence of the laws, and here there would be a great benefit both to graziers and farmers if the tax were done away with, as the one would be able to use that food which he preferred, whilst the other would find a market for his refuse grain of the best quality, the maltster being unwilling to use any but barley of the best quality. The farmers now having no use for the refuse, the value of the whole crop became greatly depreciated; but if the duty were taken off, the farmers would be able to make use of this refuse barley for other purposes, and thus obtain greater remuneration. In support of this assertion, he would state to the House, that he found two bushels of malt were superior to three of barley in feeding cattle alone. In great agricultural counties the advantages arising from the repeal of the tax on these grounds would be very great. It was quite true, that in his own neighbourhood the reduction of the Malt-duty would not be of any very considerable benefit to the fanners immediately around him; but in the upper parts of the county, where barley was very much grown, the farmers were one and all agreed upon the point that the alteration in the Malt-duty ought to be made. They now prayed the House to take off the whole of the duty if they possibly could; but he was warranted in saying, that an approach to any alteration in this respect would be considered as a great benefit, and hailed as an earnest of the future good intentions of the Legislature. It was quite impossible that the Government of this country, be it what it might, could proceed, year after year, maintaining these duties. He had himself endeavoured, and others before him had tried, to obtain the alteration or repeal of these duties. He regretted deeply and sincerely to find it probable that in the effort he was about to make on that occasion he should notsucceed. At allevents, he should have the satisfaction of having made the Motion, and of affording the country gentlemen of England returned by large constituencies, many of them distinctly pledged to give their support to the Motion, an opportunity of redeeming the solemn promise. He knew perfectly well that his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a right to call upon him or any other Gentleman who proposed the repeal of a tax, to find a substitute. He might, in this instance, screen himself under the opinion of an hon. Member who once graced the Opposition benches—he meant the late Mr. Tierney, who had stated, "that it was his business to find fault with taxes, not put them on." After the extraordinary statement made upon a former occasion by the right hon. Baronet, the late Member for Lincolnshire (Sir W. Ingilby), he (the Marquess of Chandos) should certainly feel considerable reluctance in proposmg any budget of his own, fearing that he should not be enabled to come up to that hon. Baronet in point of the amount to be realized, however nearly he might approach him as far as the common sense of his proposition was concerned. On this point, however, he had only to apply himself to the proposition made last year by the right hon. Gentleman now President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Alexander Baring). He perfectly concurred in the opinion then expressed by that right hon. Gentleman as to the means of making up the deficiency which would be occasioned in the revenue by the repeal of the Malt-tax. He thought that, by imposing certain duties on raw spirits, foreign wines, and other articles connected with the Excise, they would find the means of meeting the deficiency, not trespassing on the comforts of the lower orders of the community, but throwing on the higher classes more distinctly and fairly their share of the general burden. He, for one, would most cheerfully and willingly bear a greater burden, could he but feel assured that, by so doing, he afforded relief to the farmer, the labourer, and a great portion of the people of this country. It was quite impossible that the people could go on with the present expenses of the country; it was quite impossible that they could go on with the present amount of local taxation, altering as it did every year—sometimes increasing, sometimes diminishing—without receiving some help and assistance from that House, not in the shape of the reduction of small taxes, not in the shape of trifling and unimportant alterations, but in the shape of one bold and decided measure of relief. He thought he might venture to say, that the one they looked to with the greatest hope and anxiety, was the reduction of the duty on malt. He was at first induced to think that, on bringing this subject forward, it would be expedient to propose a more extensive and lengthened resolution than the one he should submit to the House. He had wished by that Resolution to obtain a vote of the House of Commons as to the exact period of time at which the Malt-duty ought to be taken off. Taking into consideration, however, the immense magnitude of the interests involved, confined to no class, and belonging to no party; remembering that, in the first instance, the maltster would claim some compensation for the depreciation of his stock in hand; and, feeling anxious that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not be called on to allow a drawback on that stock, but that time should be given for its full and fair expenditure; taking into consideration, also, the difficulties inseparable from the sudden reduction of so large an amount as 5,000,000l., he felt that he should better consult the interests of the country at large, if he proposed! a resolution having for its object the entire abolition of the duties on malt; leaving it to the House to grant him subsequent permission to bring in a Bill, in which he would fix the period at which the extinction of those duties should commence. He would propose by that Bill not to extinguish the whole of the Malt-duty at once, but to effect its repeal by two or three instalments. By these means, be should relieve the em- barrassment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; by these means he should obtain relief for the tradesman—he meant the maltster—and enable him to clear off his stock on hand; and he had no fear but that the arrangement would afford perfect satisfaction and contentment to the English farmer. God forbid that he should get up in that House and propose any measure that could inflict any injury upon the public credit. He was not the man to take any such step; he was not the man to confer a benefit upon one class of the community, to the injury of another; he was, however, the man to confer a real, substantial, and decided measure of relief, for a class of men who, he again repeated, called upon that House for relief—whose distresses the House could not be ignorant of, or blind to, and whose station and position in the country demanded their respect and attention. He found, on looking back to the Debates in Parliament, that individuals now in the House, or filling a most high and distinguished position in the country elsewhere, had, to a greater or less extent, bestowed their attention on the present question, and expressed their hope and confidence, that, sooner or later, the repeal of the Malt-duty would be effected. He appealed in the present Parliament to the men who had assisted him in his former efforts; he appealed to the vast body of English country gentlemen, whose return had been founded more or less upon the understanding that in that House they were to advocate the cause of the farmers, and that in that advocacy they would endeavour to give effect to the Motion which he should have the honour of proposing. It was not his business, nor would he in any way, or under any circumstances, find fault with, or cavil at, the conduct or opinion of any man. He brought it forward as an act of duty which he owed to the community, and in redemption of the pledge he had given to the country at large. Whatever might be the result of that night's Motion, he should, at least, have the comfort of reflecting, that he had done his best to serve the agricultural interest, and had not swerved or deviated from that line of conduct which, as an honest man, he thought it best to pursue for their comfort and well-being. He might, indeed, have wished he could believe, that that House was disposed to favour the agriculturists; he could have wished that it had been in his power to look forward with confidence to the result. He feared that he should not meet with the success he had once fondly hoped for; but they might depend upon it, that the Malt-duty could not long retain its present position in the financial arrangements of the country. It might, perhaps, fall to the lot of some one more worthy than himself to effect the repeal of that tax hereafter; but from the attempt to remove an imposition so oppressive in its nature, and injurious in its effects, he would never shrink. His intention was, to propose to the House a Resolution, calling upon them to vote for the extinction of the whole duty upon malt, which, in the event of his succeeding, he should follow up by asking leave of the House to bring in a Bill, making it a matter of arrangement as to the time at which the reduction should take place. He wished the House to understand, that, by giving the vote for which he asked, they would not bind themselves to any specific time or day: their vote would be for the extinction of the duties on malt, leaving for subsequent consideration the question of the time at which the reduction should commence, and the mode in which it should be effected—whether by one, or two, or more instalments. He thought it right to state his future intention expressly in this way, because he was aware that, by moving a long Resolution he should encumber the question, which he hoped would now be brought clearly and distinctly before the House. He should not feel justified in trespassing at greater length upon the patience of the House, or standing any longer in the way of other gentlemen who were anxious to address it. He felt that no words of his, and no exercise of his ability, humble as it was, could add to the strength, or enhance the importance, of the cause he advocated, or lay before them more clearly the distressed position of the English farmer. Last year he had had the pleasure and honour of being enabled, by bringing forward a Motion on the subject of agricultural distress, to draw the attention of the House so closely to that interest, that the majority against him was inconsiderable compared to that which had divided on former occasions. Looking to the present condition of the farmers of England, and comparing it with that in which they were at the period to which he adverted, there could be no shade of difference whatever in their favour; their distress continued the same; the price of the articles they produced had rather diminished than increased; and, without intending to enter at large into the question of agricultural distress, he could not refrain from saying before that House and the country, that the farmer was even in a worse position at the present period than when the former motion was brought under consideration. Surely this was an additional inducement—if any additional inducement were wanting—to enter upon the question with an unfeigned and sincere desire to relieve his distress. He would trouble them no longer: he thanked the House for the kindness with which they had listened to the words he had uttered, and he hoped he had not trespassed upon them at too great a length. He had laid before them, in the plainest and most simple manner, the object of the Motion, and the intentions with which he proposed, and, in the event of its success, should follow it up. He left the subject with a jury of English country gentlemen who were to take into their consideration not only the question, whether the farmer was distressed, and ought to be relieved, but whether the Motion he submitted for their approval was likely to afford him that relief. It was fair that the question should be thus put before the House; it was fair that no person should be taken unawares as to the vote he was to give that night. After the statements he had heard, and the speeches he had read, delivered by hon. Members in different parts of the country, he did not deem it possible that country gentlemen, owing their seats entirely to the agricultural interest, could now, in the hour of need, desert the men whom they had at first supported, and who now called upon those country gentlemen of England to support and assist him in carrying the Resolution which he should now have the honour of placing in the Speaker's hands. He begged to move the following Resolution:—"That it is expedient that the present duties upon malt shall altogether cease and determine."

Mr. Handley

in seconding the Motion, observed, that he was well aware to what degree, in times of political excitement like these, individuals might be exposed to the imputation of party motives for supporting a Resolution such as the present, but he disclaimed all party spirit or motives, his object being not to achieve a party triumph, but to effect what, after mature deliberation, he considered a great public good. The noble Lord had ably described the distressed state of the agricultural interest; but, for himself, he regretted, that he had not words sufficiently expressive to convey his opinion of the distressed condition of the farmers. He could not persuade himself that Ministers, although they had the advantage of the advice and counsel of the right hon. Members for Essex and Kent, could be aware of the actual state of the agricultural interest, or they would not have insulted the feelings of the farmers by such a mockery of relief as was promised in the Speech from the Throne. In 1821, when wheat was 54s. 5d. a quarter, a Committee of that House pronounced its opinion that the farmer was unable to go on and pay the expenses of growing corn. In 1833, a Committee again sat, when wheat was 53s. 1d. per quarter, and in reference to the report of the former Committee stated, that the state of the farmer was not changed for the better, and that his capital was diminishing rapidly. Now, when 40s. 4d. was the average price of wheat, it could not be supposed that the farmer was better off. But even this was not the average price obtained by the grower, but was increased by many other charges, by profits of carriage and commission. He had himself sold wheat of the best quality last week for 37s. per quarter. Was it possible for the farmer to grow wheat at such a price, even if he were rent-free? And must not the consequence of such a state of things be, that one-third of the wheat lands in the country would go out of cultivation? Gentlemen opposite might express their fears at the progress of Reform, and declare that they foresaw a revolution, as regarded all the institutions of the country; but the state of things which he had adverted to was the revolution actually to be dreaded. This state of things demanded from Parliament and the Government something more than the Report of a Committee or the empty sympathy expressed in a King's Speech. The reduction of the Malt-tax would lead to the amelioration of the condition, not of the agricultural interest alone, but of all other interests connected with it. It was the most pernicious, the most partial, and the most unjust of all imposts, inasmuch as it affected only one branch of industry—agriculture, and only one de- scription of land—and that too which, from the amount of capital necessarily expended on its cultivation, was least able to bear it. It was oppressive and demoralizing in its effect, because it deprived the labouring classes of their natural beverage, and held out encouragement to the consumption of spirits. It was likewise impolitic, because it placed at the threshold of the malt-house an impediment to consumption. His noble Friend, who had brought forward the Motion, had alluded to the circumstance, that in consequence of the heavy duty on malt, the consumption of the article had not increased in proportion to the increase of population. This was a point deserving the serious consideration of the House. He had compared the census of 1821 with that of 1831, and found that though the population had increased to the amount of 3,000,000 between those two periods, the consumption of malt had remained stationary. That this was not to be attributed to the diminished means on the part of the people to purchase malt liquor was proved by the increased consumption of other articles; for instance, the consumption of sugar during the same time had increased 30 per cent, tea 40 per cent, and coffee 200 per cent. He, however, found that immediately after the Repeal of the Beer-tax an increased consumption of malt took place, the quantity consumed in the two years subsequent to that measure exceeding by 16,000,000 bushels that consumed in the two years preceding it. This proved that the repeal of the duty on malt would have the effect of greatly augmenting the consumption, and thus benefiting the farmer. It might be said, that barley at present fetched a high price in the market; but it should be recollected that this was owing to the partial failure of the spring corn last season. Taking the average of the two last years, the price at this period of the year would be about 26s. a quarter; it was now 32s. and it could not go much higher than that without coming into competition with foreign barley. He had very little doubt, that if the duty were repealed, the average price of barley in ordinary seasons would, during the increased demand, be 31s. a quarter. This would give the farmer 5s. a quarter above the present average price, or, supposing an acre to produce four quarters, an augmented income of 1l. per acre. For his part, he expected, that the agri- culturist would be benefitted more by the increased value which the inferior descriptions of barley would acquire than by the rise in price of the best sort. Farmers' labourers would brew from second rate barley, as they now baked from second rate flour. There could be no doubt that the moment the tax was repealed, malt would be much more extensively used in distillation. At the present moment the price of spirit distilled from malt was from 2s. to 2s. 4d. per gallon higher than that distilled from raw grain. Another use to which malt would be applied, if the duty was repealed so as to reduce the price, would be feeding of cattle. Persons conversant with the subject were aware that there was nothing better than malt for fattening cattle. It was a common thing for persons to pay 7s. a-head per week for bullocks which were taken in at distilleries, and fed upon the wash. In all the prize cattle societies with which he was acquainted, candidates were debarred from giving wash to cattle, because its price would prevent all persons front obtaining it, and its fattening properties would give the superiority to the animals of those who were able to purchase it. If the mere wash was of so much use when employed in the feeding of cattle, how much more advantageous would it be for cattle breeders to be able to avail themselves of all the saccharine matter contained in the malt itself? Why should graziers be compelled to purchase foreign oil cake for fattening cattle, when they could have a better and more natural article of food in malt? The delicate sense of a metropolitan palate was sometimes shocked at the idea of cattle being fed upon oil cake. Let hon. Members only vote for the Repeal of the Malt-tax, and he promised them they would have beef and mutton of better quality than they could get at present. He might be told that the Repeal of the Malt-tax would benefit only barley growers, but that he denied. He would ask the farmers of clay lands whether, if the produce of barley should increase threefold, it would not displace so much wheat, and consequently enhance the price of that which remained? But the Repeal of the Malt-tax would benefit the farmer, also, in his character of consumer. He was happy to say, that in his county it was still the practice, and God grant it might long continue so, to receive single men into the farm-houses. The supplying them with beer was a source of great expense to farmers, for beer they would and ought to have. In diminishing this branch of expense, therefore, the Repeal of the duty would operate most beneficially for the agriculturist. There was yet another point connected with this part of the subject to which he must direct the attention of the House. The number of beer-houses which existed in rural districts was generally acknowledged to be a grievance, and he was satisfied that any person who looked into the question must come to the conclusion, that a great proportion of the crime, discontent, insubordination, and imprudence which had of late years gained ground in rural districts was to be attributed to the establishment of beer-shops. He knew not how this evil could be so easily abated as by exposing it to the competition of private brewing. Last year the hon. Member for Oldham quoted the evidence of a Magistrate in Oxfordshire, who had taken some pains to ascertain the best means of obviating the evil which arose out of the beer-shops. This Gentleman stated in his evidence, that out of fifteen clergymen whom he consulted on the subject, fourteen were of opinion that the best means of effecting that object would be the Repeal of the Malt-tax. Some persons might say, that the notion of agricultural labourers brewing their own beer was perfectly chimerical. For his part, he believed, that what one man could do another could effect by the same means. He employed labourers on day wages who brewed their beer, and those whom he engaged by the year were but too happy to take part of their wages in malt. It was worthy of remark, that owing to the high price of malt the labourers who brewed their beer were obliged to adulterate it. They had recourse to coarse sugar, the produce of our Colonies, as a substitute, an inefficient one, for that which they produced by the labour of their hands and the sweat of their brows. This, it must be admitted, was a monstrous evil and a crying injustice; but adulteration did not end here. The beer generally sold in beer-houses was little better than poison. Gentlemen resident in the country must be perfectly aware that a labourer who could drink two or three pints of his master's ale would, if he took the same quantity in a beer-house, return home either frantic and infuriated, or stupid and besotted. This observation applied to the beer sold in houses near the metropolis. Last summer a Waterman on the Thames told him that he durst not drink the beer which was sold down the river, for if he did, he should be unable to pull back again. That the beer usually sold at these houses must be adulterated, was proved by the fact that whilst the brewer's price was 33s. a barrel, it was retailed at the rate of only 36s. per barrel. It was notoriously the common practice to make three barrels out of two. He knew not the ingredients which were employed in the process of adulteration, but the effects which the manufactured article produced showed that they must be very detrimental to health. The harassing and vexatious excise superintendence to which the maltster was subjected, could only be compensated by large profits. He did not blame the maltsters for obtaining a great profit; they incurred considerable risk in carrying on their business, and owing to the regulations imposed upon them by the Legislature, they could hardly stir a step, from the cistern to the kiln, without rendering themselves liable to heavy penalties from the mistakes of their servants. He now came to that part of the subject which his noble Friend had treated lightly, and which lie certainly would not dilate upon —namely, the financial considerations connected with the question. He remembered that the hon. Baronet, the former Member for North Lincolnshire, drew upon himself much obloquy in consequence of usurping the functions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had reason to think that the hon. Baronet lost his seat on that account, and therefore it could not be expected that he should run the same risk. He would not run the risk of incensing the bees of the hive, unless he was to have a share in the honey. Nevertheless, he must declare, that he could not subscribe to the doctrine of Mr. Tierney, that it was proper to repeal a large item of taxation without providing a substitute. As far as he himself was concerned, his vote was recorded in favour of the Motion of the hon. Member for Worcester, for such a commutation of taxes as would remove the burdens which pressed heavily on the labouring classes, and substituting a Property-tax for them. By that vote he was prepared to abide, though he was aware of the unpopularity of a Property-tax in that House. However, he was fortunately relieved from the necessity of bringing forward a budget of his own to supply any defalcation of the revenue which the Repeal of the Malt-tax might occasion, and needed only to refer the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the suggestions upon this point which the right hon. Member for Essex offered to the House in 1833.—Upon that occasion, in discussing the question of the Repeal of the Malt-duty, the right hon. Gentleman made these "observations:—He believed that no reduction of taxation was more likely to give relief than the reduction of the duty on malt. If, however, the tax could not be spared, it might easily be transferred to some other article." He would not anticipate the speech which the right hon. Gentleman would make that night. in support of the Motion, and which, doubtless, would prove, that whilst the country had gained an able and efficient President of Board of Trade, the farmers had not lost their consistent friend and advocate. The right hon. Gentleman, if he recollected rightly, referred to an augmentation of the duties on spirit and foreign wine as a means of supplying the deficiency which would be occasioned by the Repeal of the Malt-tax. It was, however, but just to state, that at that period there was an available surplus of 1,200,000l., and, therefore, to that. extent the revenue could not have suffered by the Repeal of the tax. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer would, doubtless, obtain a surplus by the retrenchments he would effect. He would have the right hon. Gentleman avail himself of that as far as it would go, to make up the defalcation that might be occasioned by the Repeal of the Malt-duty, and to obtain what further sum was wanting by loan, which he could soon procure the means of paying off by letting the Crown lands by public auction, instead of upon job leases, as had hitherto been the practice. A further substitute for the Malt-duty might also be met with in a tax which once found its way into that House, but was speedily given up by the noble Lord who introduced it. He alluded to the tax on the transfer of funded property, and he could not perceive the force of the argument which had been employed against the imposition of that tax. He could not see the justice of subjecting a man who sold land to the value of 1,000l. to a heavy stamp duty, whilst another who sold 5,000,000l. worth of stock paid no duty at all. He might be told that the imposition of such a tax would be a breach of public faith; but he would ask whether it was no breach of public faith to compel a person to pay three quarters of wheat to discharge a debt which was contracted for one quarter? He looked upon taxation as an insurance which property paid for protection; and seeing that the main interest of the country, the agricultural interest, was on the verge of ruin, he would ask whether there was any description of property which it would be so prudent to insure as property in the funds? Let him not be misunderstood; he would lend himself to nothing dishonest or that would tend to a breach of faith with the public creditor.—He remembered the burst of honest indignation which assailed the hon. and learned Member for Dublin when he talked in that House of the "cant of national faith;" but, he would ask what was the value of national faith, if we had not national means to support it? A great financial authority, and predecessor of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Pitt, declared that every acre of land in England was mortgaged to pay the public creditor. He would not deny the correctness of that statement, but of what use would the land be to the mortgagee if he were to take possession of it, and find it uncultivated, and covered with a pauper population? One of two things must take place—either the agriculturist must be placed in a situation which would enable him to pay interest to the public mortgagee, or, like mortgagees in private life, he must reduce his interest. Before he concluded he could not refrain from adverting to a point which had been touched upon by his noble Friend, and which he was sure had no other ground than his own apprehensions—namely, the possibility of gentlemen who had pledged themselves elsewhere to support the Repeal of the Malt-tax voting against the present Motion. He could only say, that if those hon. Members who voted in favour of the Repeal of the Malt-tax on a former occasion, in spite of the threat of resignation then held out by Lord Grey's Administration (a stale trick which he understood had been resorted to on the present occasion—it was a threat which was not often carried into execution, and he had no apprehension that it would be on the present occasion, for, however easy it might be for gentlemen to change their opinions, it was not so easy to change their places), should vote against the present Motion, it would be evident that their former vote was dictated by factious motives, those motives which they were much in the habit of imputing to their adversaries.—Rumours were rife as to the manner in which some hon. Members intended to vote upon the present occasion, and probably some of them had reached the car of his noble Friend; but, for his part, he attached no credit to those rumours, because he could not believe it possible that the men who a few weeks ago raised the cry of "measures not men," could now turn round and say that they did not love measures less, but loved men more. He could not suppose it possible, though it was strongly rumoured, that the hon. Baronet, the Member for South Derbyshire, who, at the late election, defeated his opponent in consequence of pledging himself to vote for the Repeal of the Malt-tax, would that night violate his pledge. He held in his hand an address which that hon. Baronet had issued to his constituents before he was elected, from which he would take the liberty of reading an extract:—"I do not hesitate to say that, if I should have the honour of representing you in Parliament I will employ all the energies I can command to effect the accomplishment of two measures." The hon. Baronet proceeded to say that he held it to be indispensably and immediately requisite that measures should be adopted with respect to the currency, and then made use of the following words:—"The second measure to which I allude is the Repeal of that most oppressive and mischief-working tax, the Malt-tax, which displaces industry, destroys social frugality, promotes intemperance and immorality, and diminishes the consumption of one of the chief comforts of the industrious labouring classes. For these professions I claim credit, because no one can convict me of ever having broken a pledge or violated a promise." After having heard that passage, he would ask his noble Friend whether he was not alarmed without just cause with respect to the manner in which hon. Members intended to vote? It was impossible that gentlemen, who, a few weeks ago on the hustings claimed the support of their constituents by arrogating to themselves exclusively the title of the farmer's friend, would now desert him in his time of need? Was it possible that there were persons in that House who were prepared to add to the misery of the already brokenhearted farmer by betraying his cause? The day for professions was gone by—a test was now proposed by which to try the sincerity of hon. Members, and the division or that night would show who were and who were not the real friends of the farmer.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer*

spoke to the following effect: the course which I intend to pursue in the present Debate makes me peculiarly anxious to rise at an early period of the discussion, when I am not likely to be diverted by any reference to topics of party excitement from the attempt to call the attention of the House—not to matters mixed up with political considerations, affecting merely the interests of parties in the state, but to the review of those facts and arguments upon which their judgment ought to be formed, and the exclusion of which from their consideration would, in my opinion, produce the most serious prejudice to the best interests of the country. The question which must this night be decided involves interests so complicated and comprehensive, as to impose upon the House—upon that jury of which the noble Marquis has spoken, the solemn obligation of finding their verdict upon the dictates of their conscientious conviction. I too call upon this Jury, impannelled on this high occasion, to decide, not on partial opinion, not upon promises rashly and inconsiderately made, not upon unsound prejudices, not with reference to the particular interest of any one class of the community, but as becomes a Jury, upon a comprehensive view of the merits of the whole question, upon a calm consideration of the evidence I shall offer, and the arguments I shall adduce.

I am called upon to consider this question—namely, whether I can consent to a Resolution which pledges me irrevocably to the total Repeal of the Malt-tax. I am called upon to consent to that Resolution, at a period when the House has had no opportunity of hearing any financial statement—at a period when it knows not from any authentic declaration what is the amount of the demands for the public service—what is the amount of disposable revenue,—before it has had any opportunity of considering any other claim *From a corrected Report, published by Roake and Vatry. for the remission of taxation: I am under these circumstances called upon to pledge myself irrevocably to deprive the public revenue of several millions of money. If such a Motion as the present is at any time defensible, I appeal to the House, whether it ought not to have been postponed at least till after an authorized exposition of the national means had been laid before the House? It will be my duty to make such a communication to the House as soon as possible after the close of the financial year—namely, the 1st of April; I shall then have an opportunity of describing to the House the state of the public revenue, and the amount of the demands for the public service, and the House being thus put in possession of the actual amount of the surplus, may appropriate it either to the remission of taxation, or in any other way it may think expedient. The noble Marquess, however, would not wait for this explanation, but has called upon the House, in fact, to exclude the consideration of every other interest, except that which he advocated, by pledging itself, that the Malt-tax should be the first, and I need scarcely add, the only burthen of taxation it would repeal. Thus forced into a discussion, which I think ought to have been postponed, it becomes necessary for me to enter on the task of convincing the House of the impropriety of acceding to the noble Marquess's proposition, and of cautioning it against the consequences which would result from a precipitate, and, in my opinion, unjustifiable pledge to Repeal the Malt-tax.

Of course, I am unable to develope with perfect accuracy the financial prospects of the ensuing year; but I may refer to a statement made by my predecessor in the office which I now fill, which I apprehend is correct enough, in its results at least, for all practical purposes. The noble Lord, (Lord Althorp) in his budget last year, after providing for the Repeal of the House-tax, made a calculation of the probable available surplus for the year beginning the 1st of April, 1835, and ending the 1st of April, 1836. It is sufficient for my purpose to state, that although in some respects the calculations of Lord Althorp are erroneous; yet, I think, that upon the whole, the result at which his Lordship arrived, is not far from the truth. Lord Althorp estimated, that the demands for the service of the present year would be identical with those of the last. I, however, have the satisfaction of stating to the House, that I trust there will be a considerable reduction in the Estimates for the present year. I believe that the Estimates for the ordinary service of the year will exhibit a reduction of at least 470,000l. Although, this will of course increase the available surplus revenue; yet, as there are miscalculations in the statement of the noble Lord (for which his Lordship is in no degree responsible)as to the amount of charge on the Consolidated Fund, the correction of which will diminish the amount of surplus revenue to an extent not very far short of the saving on the Estimates, Lord Althorp's estimate of the amount of available surplus is upon the whole not an inaccurate one. Lord Althorp calculated, that on the 5th of April next, the revenue would exceed the expenditure by about 250,000l. I think, that after reducing nearly half a million on the Estimates, I cannot calculate upon having a greater surplus than 250,000l.; I mean, of course, after providing for 750,000l., an annual charge for compensation to the West-India proprietors, and after the revenue has been subjected to the operation of the Repeal of the House-tax.

In this state of our financial prospects, with a surplus of 250,000l., the noble Marquess requires the House to pledge itself on this night to the Repeal of the whole of the Malt-tax. Now, what is the total amount of this tax? I believe, that the gross produce of the Malt-tax last year was 5,150,000l.; but perhaps it would be more satisfactory to the House if I were to state what has been the net amount paid into the Exchequer for the last four years on account of this tax. That will afford the best indication of the productiveness of the impost. In the year, ending the 5th of January, 1832, the net sum paid into the Exchequer on account of the Malt-duty was 4,208,000l.; in the year, ending the 5th of January, 1833, the net amount was 4,675,000l.; in the year, ending the 5th of January, 1834, it was 4,772,000l.; and in the year ending the 5th of January, 1835, it was 4,812,000l. Thus, then it appears, that with a surplus of only 250,000l., the House is called upon to sacrifice a revenue—and observe, a gradually increasing revenue, of 4,812,000l.; that is to say, it is required to cause a defalcation, an actual deficit, of 4,562,000l.

The noble Lord has told the House, that by repealing the whole of the Malt-tax, all the expense consequent on its collection will be saved to the country. Of course, there can be no doubt, that in determining on the policy of a tax, the charge of its collection is a material consideration. For that very reason, I have taken the pains to ascertain what is the charge at which the Malt-tax is collected; and I venture to say, that there will be found few taxes, the collection of which is accompanied with less expense to the public than the Malt-tax. I have endeavoured to ascertain what extent of establishment might be dispensed with, supposing that it should be determined to part with the whole of the Malt-tax. It is of course difficult to estimate the precise charge of collecting any particular tax, because the same revenue officers are employed in the collection of various taxes, but it is not difficult to determine what charge may be got rid of by repealing a tax; and this, indeed, is not an unfair indication of the expense entailed on the country by that tax, as the charge for its collection. I think, then, that I can with confidence state, that the charge of collecting the gross revenue of 5,100,000l. derived from the Malt-tax is certainly not more than 150,000l.; and I do not believe, that it is possible to make any reduction in respect of establishment, which would save the country a larger sum than that which I have just mentioned, if the House should consent to Repeal the whole of the Malt-tax. Besides the cost of its collection, another material consideration in determining on the comparative policy of a tax, is the opportunity it affords for frauds and unfair dealing. Now, I can with equal confidence state, that there is no tax by which 5,000,000l. of money is raised, nor any combination of taxes producing the same amount, which, on the whole admits of fewer opportunities for fraud and unfair dealing than the Malt-tax. I do not at the present moment pretend to give any opinion as to the possibility of adopting still further securities against the commission of fraud; or of affording greater facilities for the manufacture of malt, by freeing it from excise restrictions. It is not necessary for me to enter into the discussion of these points, for if the House should unfortunately, in the absence of all information, pledge itself to the total Repeal of the Malt-tax, it will render it unnecessary to consider, whether any modifications or improvements can be made in the Excise regulations respecting the manufacture of the article, or the collection of the duty.

The noble Lord, and the hon. Gentleman, who seconded the Motion before the House, complain that no remission whatever has recently taken place with reference to the Malt-tax. Is it then forgotten, that in the year 1830, this very article of malt was relieved from a charge to which it was subject in the shape of a duty on beer?—a charge, which, if calculated with reference to the quarter of barley, was not less than 35s. the quarter in amount? The noble Lord said, that he called for a Repeal of the Malt-duty, because the agricultural interest is in a state of depression, and because the price of agricultural produce has rapidly fallen. Is that, I ask, the case with regard to barley? Can it be said, that the present price of barley is lower than the price of the same article during the last year? Is it not a singular circumstance, that the price of barley at the present moment is higher, with reference to the price of wheat, than it has ever been known before? And yet the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Handley) assumes, that certain relief will be afforded to the agricultural interest by freeing from duty that article which bears the highest price, independently of the duty. The price of wheat, being untaxed, is low, while the price of barley, subject to a heavy tax, is high. Such being the facts of the case, by what reasoning does the hon. Gentleman arrive at the conclusion, that the removal of the tax from barley will necessarily increase the price of that article?

There is another remarkable fact which ought to be borne in mind, that the rate of duty having continued the same, and the intrinsic price of the article having risen, there has taken place during the last four years a progressive and considerable increase in the consumption of barley? If the rate of duty had tended to lessen the number of the quarters of barley brought to charge, or to diminish the amount of the revenue derived from the tax, the hon. Gentleman would then have been in possession of a powerful argument in favour of its remission; because he might have contended, that if the duty were lowered, the consumption of barley would be increased, and the apparent loss to the re- venue, by the abatement of the tax, would be made up by an increased use of the article. But I am prepared to show, that while the rate of duty has remained unchanged, the quantity of barley brought to charge has gone on increasing. The net payments into the Exchequer for the last four years on account of the Malt duty are as follow:—

For the year 1831 £4,208,000
1832 4,675,000
1833 4,772,000
1834 4,812,000
Thus, then, there is an increase in the amount of duty received by the Exchequer, an increase in the consumption of barley, and also in the price of that article. These are three remarkable facts which ought not to be lost sight of. But though those who advocate the Repeal of the Malt-duty cannot deny that an increase in the price of barley has taken place, yet they contend that that increased price is the consequence of a deficient harvest. True it is, they say, that there has been an increase in the consumption of barley during the four years preceding the last, but in those years there have also been good harvests of barley; in the last year, however, there occurred a bad harvest, and an increase has consequently taken place in the price of malting barley. Now, if that statement be correct, there is also another effect which a deficient harvest ought to have produced,—namely, it ought to have diminished the quantity of barley brought to charge. The whole of that argument will therefore be destroyed, if I can show that the quantity of barley brought to charge since October in last year has increased, as compared with the quantity brought to charge in the corresponding period of the preceding year. Well knowing that it would be alleged there has been a defective harvest in barley last year, and that the rise in the price of the article is sufficiently accounted for by that fact, I have taken the trouble to obtain from the Excise-office this very morning, an account of the number of bushels of malt brought to charge from the 10th of October, 1833, to the 19th of February, 1834, in order that I might compare the amount then brought to charge with the quantity brought to charge, within the corresponding period, namely—from the 10th of October, 1834, to the 19th of February in the present year.
In the first of these periods the number of bushels brought to market was 18,509,904
In the second 19,356,683
Being an increase in the latter, as compared with the former, of 846,779
This then is clear, that so far as we have hitherto the means of judging, the assumed deficiency in the harvest of last year has not led to a diminished consumption of malting barley. We have a higher price, and an increased consumption,—why then disturb the tax? And what ground have you for hoping that barley, subject to the tax, being very high, and wheat subject to no tax being very low, the removal of the tax on barley will insure a rise in the price of wheat?

In discussing the present question I have no desire to make any appeal to the fears or passions of the House, or to refer to any topic calculated unduly or unfairly to influence the House in its view of the present question. I will willingly deprive myself of any such illegitimate advantage, if the House will only consent to give me its patient attention while I strictly confine myself to a statement of facts, and to a review of the arguments, if arguments they can be called, which have been urged in favour of the revision of the Malt-tax. That the agricultural interest has the first claim to your consideration I readily admit; that its present depressed state is a subject of deep anxiety, and calls for your warmest sympathy, I am the foremost to acknowledge; but it is the part of a true friend not to permit his reason and judgment to be overpowered by his feelings, but to consider dispassionately whether real relief will be afforded by a specious proposal. The advocates for the Repeal of the Malt-tax contend that there exists no other means of relieving the agricultural interest except by repealing the duty; and it is prophesied that many collateral advantages will result from the Repeal of the tax. Matters of prophecy are of course matters of uncertainty; but I am anxious to ascertain, by the aid of past experience, what probability there exists of the realization of the prophecies to which I allude.

In the first place, it is stated, that a great diminution in the consumption of malt is produced by the operation of the tax; and that if the quantity of malt and beer consumed in recent years is compared with the quantity consumed at an earlier period in the history of this country, it will be found (to use the words of the hon. Member, Mr. Handley) that the consumption of the old national beverage of this kingdom has greatly diminished. I am ready to admit that, in proportion to the population, the quantity of beer consumed at present has diminished, as compared with the quantity consumed at an early period of the last century. But the question is not as to the fact, but as to the cause of it. Does that diminution arise from the operation of the duty on malt, or from the competition of other articles, which have come into general use in this country? The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion, has drawn rather a singular inference from the increased consumption of these articles. He has expressed his surprise at finding that, while the consumption of beer in proportion to the population has diminished, the consumption of tea, coffee, and spirits has increased. Now I had intended to refer to the increase of the consumption of those articles for the very purpose of accounting for the decrease in the consumption of beer, but it seems that that fact had led the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Handley) to a conclusion quite opposite to that which it produces in my mind. The hon. Gentleman exclaimed, "You see the people of this country drink vastly more tea, more coffee, and more spirits than formerly. Why then," he asks in a tone of great surprise, mixed with much triumph, "do they not drink more beer also?" My reply is, because they consume more spirits, tea, and coffee. It is owing to a change in our national habits, and not to the operation of the duty, that the diminution in the consumption of malt is attributable. I will state the case in the manner which the hon. Gentleman will admit to be the most unfavourable to myself. I will select the year in the last century, in which, of all others, the consumption of beer in proportion to the drinkers of beer was the greatest. That year was the year 1722. In 1722, the population amounted to about 6,000,000, and the number of barrels of beer consumed, as stated in the returns, was about the same, nearly 6,000,000, being in the proportion of one barrel to each person. In 1833, the population amounted to 14,000,000, and the average annual consumption for the last three years preceding the Repeal of the Beer-duty amounted to no more than 8,200,000 barrels. Now I give the hon. Gentleman the full advantage of these facts, and of any conclusions he may draw from them. The hon. gentleman would, no doubt, contend that this lamentable falling off in the drinking of beer, arises from the tax, and the tax alone. I, on the other hand, must argue, that the deficiency arises from altered habits, from new tastes, and consequently the increased consumption of other articles. It is very important to examine this matter a little more in detail. In 1722, the total quantity of tea consumed in this country did not exceed 370,000 lbs., or about an ounce to each person. In 1833, the quantity of tea consumed amounted to 31,829,0001bs., being about two pounds and a quarter to each person. The use of tea has in fact superseded, to a great extent, the use of beer among all classes of the community. In like manner, the consumption of spirits has increased also. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Handley) may say that he deprecates the increased use of spirits; but he would find it quite impossible, let him propose what regulations he would, to prevent their consumption. The hon. Gentleman might increase the duty on spirits; and he might flatter himself that he was diminishing their consumption, while he would, in fact, be only lessening the revenue which they produced. In 1722, there was about 3,000,000 gallons of spirits consumed, which gave a proportion to each individual of about half a gallon. In 1833, 12,332,000 gallons, being at the rate to each person of six-sevenths of a gallon. An extraordinary increase has also taken place in the consumption of coffee. With respect to that article, there are no accurate returns previous to 1760. In that year, however, the quantity of coffee consumed was not more than 262,000 lbs., or three quarters of an ounce to each person. In 1833, the consumption of coffee had increased to 20,691,000 lbs., or nearly one pound and a half to each person. With these returns before me, I cannot help arriving at conclusions, the opposite of those to which the hon. Gentleman arrived, that the increased consumption of the three articles I have mentioned, viz. tea, coffee, and spirits, accounts for the decreased consumption of beer; that you cannot expect those who drink three times the quantity of other beverages, to drink, on that very account, a greater quantity of beer; that you cannot have an immensely increased revenue from tea, from coffee, and from spirits, and also a corresponding increase in the revenue derived from the article which they displaced; and lastly, that, so far as morality is concerned, no very great advantage would be gained by discountenancing the use of tea and coffee for the purpose of substituting beer in their place.

The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Handley) seems to think that the use of tea and coffee is unfairly encouraged, and that their consumption is increased in consequence of the duty on those articles being lower than that which is applied to beer. He calls out for justice to the old national beverage, and demands that it should not be sacrificed to the undue favour that is shown to the articles of foreign extraction. But it is better to appeal, in matters of this kind, to figures and facts, than to the passions and feelings of the audience, and, instead of being pathetic, calmly to inquire, whether the rate per cent of the duty levied on barley, compared with the prime cost of this article, is so much higher than the corresponding rates on the other articles that compete with beer. The duty on malt is 2s. 7d., per bushel, or about fifty-seven per cent on the price of the article:

The duty on other articles of general consumption, compared with the cost price, is as follows:

Rate per Cent. Rate of Duty. on Market Prices.
On Port and Sherry 5s. 6d. gall. 85
Coffee, West India 6d. lb. 63
Ditto, East India 9d. lb. 106
Tea 100
English Spirits 7s. 6d. gall. 333
Rum 9s. 6d. gall. 407
Brandy 22s. 6d. gall. 627
Geneva 930
Such are the facts of the case, and I will ask the hon. Gentleman, whether the increased consumption of the several articles I have named can justly be attributed to any favour shown to them in the amount of duty as compared with that upon beer.

I shall proceed in the review of each of the several allegations and arguments of the noble mover and seconder of the Motion. I wish to omit none of them; but calmly to submit each to the test of accurate inquiry and fair reasoning. The noble Lord and the hon. Gentleman have observed, that the House ought not to estimate the gain which would accrue to the consumer from the reduction of the duty on malt solely by the amount of that duty: for, that there are some enormous profits made by the maltsters, in which, as soon as the Malt-duty should be repealed, the public would fully participate. The Malt-duty is 20s. 8d. per quarter, and the total amount received by the Exchequer is no more than 5,000,000l.; but, according to the statement of the noble Lord, a sum of 16,000,000l. apart from the duty, finds its way by some mysterious process into the hands of the maltsters, and is divided among them. I certainly do not pretend to understand whence this sum of 16,000,000l. comes, or the proportion in which it is divided among the happy maltsters; but, I will ask, is it credible that in this country, and in an open trade, such extravagant profits can be made by the manufacturers of malt? Is it credible that while the whole amount of revenue received by the Government on account of malt does not exceed 5,000,000l. the public is burthened with an additional charge of 16,000,000l. which goes into the pockets of the parties by whom that article is manufactured? Is it likely that such enormous profits can be made in a trade which is open to all the world? There is, in fact, great competition in the malting trade. The number of maltsters is not less than 14,000; and there is one peculiar circumstance in that trade which will always ensure a great competition—which will draw speculators into this trade who will not, and cannot, enter into other trades. The manufacture of malt is, in fact, carried on in a considerable degree by capital provided by the public. The maltster, by giving bond, is allowed to defer the payment of duty, although he realizes the amount of that duty on the sale of the article, and is enabled thereby to make a fresh purchase of barley. But, it is said the difference between the price of barley and the price of malt is alone sufficient to prove the enormous profit of the maltster. I recollect a calculation on this head, which was made by the hon. Member for Oldham last year. The hon. Member stated the price of barley to be 25s. per quarter, and the rate of duty to be 20s. 3d. per quarter; he, therefore, concluded that the price of a quarter of malt ought to be, independent of the charges of its manufactures, 45s. 8d. But the hon. Member said, that in point of fact, the quarter of malt cost 66s.; so that a clear profit of 19s. per quarter, at least, went into the pockets of the maltster. It is well, in discussing any subject, to have the latest information respecting it that can be obtained; and I, therefore, sent this morning to Mark-lane, to learn what is the price of barley, and the price of malt of equal quality; so that I might be able to judge whether the statement respecting the enormous gains made by the maltsters is well-founded. I am informed that the price of good malting-barley in Mark-lane this day is from 36s. to 40s. per quarter. That is, undoubtedly, a pretty good price for barley, for the article of which, notwithstanding the high price, the consumption has, according to the last returns, increased, instead of having diminished. Adding to the price of the quarter of the best barley, namely, 40s., the amount of the duty on malt, which is 20s. 8d., the price of malt, independent of the cost of manufacture, ought to be 60s. 8d. per quarter. The price of the best malt in Mark-lane is, in fact, 66s. per quarter, leaving a difference of 5s. 4d. between the price of malt and the price of barley, increased by the amount of the duty. Now, I do not think that after deducting the actual expenses of malting from the sum of 5s. 4d. any such profit would remain to the maltsters as would enable them to divide that mysterious gain of 16,000,000l., which the noble Marquess has assigned to them.

The noble Marquess (Marquess of Chandos) and the hon. Member (Mr. Handley) have spoken of the advantages which would result from the remission of the Malt-duty, in consequence of the facility which would thereby be afforded to the farmer of malting his inferior barley, not for the purpose of making beer, but of feeding his cattle. Now, I have the satisfaction of being able to inform my noble Friend that this object is in a great measure effected by an order of the Board of Excise, which I am anxious to make public, and which I regret has not been sufficiently known before. I apprehend, that it is not necessary that barley, for the purpose of rendering it suitable for feeding cattle, should undergo the process of malting. I understand, that if the barley be steeped and afterwards dried, all those saccharine qualities which make barley peculiarly useful as food for cattle will be developed. I believe, that the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Handley) has stated, that it would be highly advantageous to the farmer to be enabled, not to malt, but to steep his barley for that purpose. I certainly do not credit the assertion, that two bushels of malt equal in nutritive quality three bushels of barley. [Mr. Cobbett: More nutriment is contained in two bushels of malt than in three bushels of barley.] I do not think such an assertion is correct. I know that two bushels of malt will not produce the same quantity of spirit as two bushels of raw barley; and I therefore, cannot, understand how it is possible for the former to contain fifty per cent more of nutritive quality than the latter. I will now read the order of the Board of Excise to which I have already alluded, and to which I desire that the greatest publicity may be given. It is in the following terms:—"The practice of steeping barley in water to prepare it as food for cattle having become prevalent, and as the revenue may be injured by the application thereof to other purposes,—ordered that the respective supervisors and officers endeavour to ascertain the parties who carry on this practice within their several districts, and their manner of disposing of the corn so steeped; but that no interruption whatever be given thereto, except upon actual proof or well-grounded suspicion of fraud. Particular attention must be paid to the situation of the premises where the corn may be steeped, with respect to any kiln or oven upon, or in, which it could be dried, as well as to the proportion which the quantities of barley steeped bear to the number of horses or other cattle to be fed therewith; and if any suspicious circumstances shall be discovered, the matter must be fully investigated, and the particulars stated to the Board."

It will be seen that the object of this order certainly is not to permit the malting of barley, but to afford every facility to the farmer to prepare that article for the purpose of feeding his cattle, which is consistent with the safety of the revenue.

One favourite argument in favour of the Repeal of the Malt-duty is, that it will encourage the poor man to brew his own beer. The arguments by which it is attempted to support that assertion appear to me exceedingly fallacious. What inducement can the poor man have to brew his own beer which he does not possess at the present moment? Why should he not at present buy his malt, and with that brew as much beer as he needs for his own consumption? The hon. Member for Oldham argued, that in consequence of the high price of malt, and the large profits of the maltsters, it is quite impossible for the poor man to buy malt in retail, but, that if you Repeal the Malt-duty every man will be his own maltster. But, supposing that the malt-duty were repealed, would the poor man then be in a better condition to compete with the great maltster? Would the poor man in his small cottage, and with his limited means, be then better able to compete with the great maltsters with extensive capital, great skill, great experience; and with buildings and floors, and cisterns and kilns, all suited for the purpose of making malt on a large scale? If not, what greater temptation would he have to brew than he has at present? Oh, it will be said, he will be relieved from the duty, and will not the regular maltster be relieved from it also? How will their relative position be altered? How will the means of the maltster to manufacture an article of equal quality at a less price be diminished? What gain is it to the poor man to be able to manufacture a bad article at a high cost? But again, if the poor man is so much disposed to brew his own beer, how is it that he did not do so previous to the Repeal of the duty on Beer? At that time a very heavy duty per barrel attached to the great brewer, which the poor man, who chose to brew in his own cottage, was not called on to pay. But if the poor man did not then brew his own beer, having that advantage, why should it be supposed that he would do so should the Malt-duty be repealed, when he certainly will not have an advantage equal to that which he had then? The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Handley) has said a great deal against the beer-shops, and, like many others, who are warm panegyrists of what they call our old national beverage, seems to think that if beer be drunk in beer-shops, all its salutary qualities vanish at once. He has come to the conclusion that beer is a noxious fluid unless it is drunk by labouring men in their own houses after having been brewed by their own hands. But I intreat the House not to consent to the loss of 5,000,000l. of revenue, under the delusive expectation, that encouragement will thereby be given to the agricultural labourers to brew their beer and drink their beer in their own cottages. The same reason which induces them to go to the beer-shop at present will continue to operate after the Repeal of the Malt-duty. At this moment, if the labouring man purchases his beer at the public-house and takes it away to drink at his own house, he may have the beer at a reduced rate. There is a considerable difference between the price of a pot of beer purchased at the public-house and carried away, and the price which is charged to a man who sits down and consumes a pot beside a fire in the public-house. Notwithstanding this difference of charge, there is, however, something in the charm of a good fire and of good company, which tempts the labourer to pay an additional penny for his pot of beer. And after the Repeal of the Malt-duty, which will not reduce the price of the pot of beer more than a half-penny, I believe that the same temptation will still exist, and that the public-house, the natural love of society—the harmless, I must say, enjoyment of it, if not carried to excess, will be preferred to the solitary pot of beer brewed by bad brewers with bad utensils from bad materials. Let not the House, then hazard a large amount of revenue for the sake of creating a small reduction in the price of a pot of beer, which after all will not be attended with the effect anticipated by its advocates.

The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Handley) has spoken about the possibility of finding substitutes for the Malt-tax, but he has only mentioned a few of these substitutes. This is undoubtedly very prudent on the part of the hon. Member, especially when the fate which has attended the Member for Lincolnshire, the late Sir W. Ingilby—I mean to say, the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, for that was the character assumed by the hon. Baronet—is taken into consideration. The fate of that hon. Baronet, according to the hon. Gentleman, (Mr. Handley) is a warning to all hon. Members against appearing in the assumed part of Chancellor of the Exchequer. That hon. Baronet, it appears had made a most popular Motion on the subject of the Malt-duty, by which he conciliated all the advocates of the repeal of the tax. However, he unfortunately thought it ne- cessary to suggest a few substitutes in the place of the Malt-tax, which destroyed all the popularity which his Motion for the repeal of that tax had gained for him, and cost him his seat in Parliament. He lost his election even for an agricultural county. Such was the odium he excited by his praise-worthy efforts to discover substitutes. I, then, ask the agricultural Members to take warning by this, and to reflect, that, if the modest suggestion of new taxes cost Sir W. Ingilby his seat for a most agricultural county—what will become of their seats if they have mixed constituencies, and actually vote for the new taxes that must be proposed? I will ask them this uestion—Granted that there would be an advantage to agriculture in this Repeal of the Malt-tax, would that advantage be general or not? What description of agriculture, let me ask, is distressed? Are the light barley lands suffering most at the present moment, or the pasture lands, and the clay lands which grow wheat? Is it not notorious that the clay lands growing wheat are the description of land which, at the present moment, is suffering under the greatest depression? The only effect of repealing the Malt-duty will be to force the clay lands into an unnatural cultivation, and the owners will be induced, instead of growing wheat, to try the expensive cultivation of barley on unsuitable land. Supposing that the available surplus of the revenue could be applied to the remission of the county-rates, or to those local charges to which all land is subject, would not the advantage resulting from that remission be more equally distributed over the whole land than a reduction to the same amount of the duty on malt? The noble Lord and the hon. Gentlemen opposite, propose to give the whole advantage of the remission of the Malt-duty to the barley growers, though that class of agriculturists are, of all, the least distressed.

I am conceding, for the sake of the argument, that the barley grower is to be greatly benefited by the Repeal of the Malt-duty, but I cannot help thinking that, if the present Motion succeeds, the barley interest itself will suffer more injury than many hon. Gentlemen are, perhaps, aware of. By allowing the maltsters to give security for the amount of duty, and suspending for a time its payment, a capital belonging to the public, amounting to about 3,000,000l., may be said to be lent them for the purpose of carrying on trade. In consequence of this practice, individuals with small capital are enabled to engage in the manufacture of malt. If, however, the duty were repealed, this advantage given to small capitalists would be withdrawn, the public money, applied as so much additional capital in the purchase of barley would be withdrawn also, and the result, quite opposite to that expected by the advocates of the Repeal of the duty, must inevitably be, that the malting trade would be much more monopolized than at present by a few large capitalists. It is taken for granted, that increased consumption of malt must follow diminished duty. This may be so for the future, but it certainly has not been so for the past. There are some striking proofs in the history of the Malt-duty to show that the consumption of malt is influenced much more by seasons, and other circumstances, than by the rate of duty. In 1816, the duty was 4s. 6d. per bushel. The average consumption of the two preceding years was 25,500,000 bushels. You reduced the duty in 1816 from 4s. 6d. to 2s. 6d. Was there a great increase of consumption? By no means. The average consumption of the two following years, that is, under the reduced duty, was only 22,700,000 bushels, a falling off of nearly 3,000,000 of bushels, instead of an increase. You raised the duty, in 1819, to 3s. 7d., and the average consumption of the two following years was 25,000,000 bushels, an increased consumption under an increased duty.

I wish to call the attention of the House, and particularly of the agriculturists, to another and very serious risk they will incur from the total Repeal of the Malt-duty. My noble Friend said, that if the Malt-tax were taken off, there would be a great increase in the consumption of beer. Now I have an impression that the very contrary effect would be produced by the removal of the tax. I am greatly afraid, that the direct consequence would be to promote illicit distillation to an almost incalculable extent, and thereby proportionately to diminish the use of beer. My reason for thinking so, is this. It is no difficult matter to prevent, by the vigilance of the Excise, the illicit malting of barley. The process is a dilatory one, and it is not easy to avoid the exposure of the article for the purpose of drying it and preparing it for use. But the process by which illicit spirits are distilled from the barley after it has been made into malt, is very easy. Every man, after the Repeal of the Malt-duty, would have a right to make malt. It might be made in every cottage and every hovel without restraint. Does any man believe it to be possible, that security can be taken against the conversion of this malt into spirits, or will it be tolerated that there shall be an universal right of inspection and inquisition on the part of the Excise into every house in the kingdom, in order to prevent a fraud on the revenue so easily practised as the conversion of malt into spirits? The result, then, would be, not as my noble Friend anticipates, an increase in the consumption of beer, but a positive reduction in the revenue, produced by loss of duty on spirits, and a great increase in the amount of illicit distillation. For these reasons, then, I am of opinion, that the benefits which are looked for from the Repeal of the Malt-tax will not follow its removal, and surely, unless some almost inestimable advantage is clearly shown to be the necessary consequence of its immediate repeal, hon. Members ought to pause before they give their votes in favour of a measure which strikes at nearly one-third of the disposable revenue of the country.

But what course is the House to pursue when they have adopted the resolution of my noble Friend? My noble Friend has, indeed, declared his intention, when the House shall have sanctioned the principle which his resolution embodies, to bring in a bill to settle all the details. But has my noble Friend calculated the embarrassment and confusion into which trade will be thrown in the meanwhile, and in what uncertainty the whole of the Malt-trade, and of the agricultural interest dependent on it, will be placed by his resolution? What brewer would purchase a bushel of malt while he saw matters in this state? I would undertake to say, that malt would suffer an immediate depreciation of 4s. or 5s. the quarter, for the House may rely upon it, that if hopes were held out to the public that the Malt-tax should be no longer paid after the 10th of October, 1836, no man, except for immediate use, would make his malt or brew his beer, till he could do both without being subject to a duty.

Supposing, however, that the House, in spite of all argument to the contrary, is determined to vote in favour of my noble Friend's resolution, what other measures is it prepared to adopt? I will assume for the present that the House is resolved to supply the deficiency that will be created by the repeal. You must hope to do this in one of three methods. You may increase the duties imposed on other articles of consumption, or you may resort to a Property-tax, or you may demand a corresponding reduction of the estimates. I can assure hon. Members that I feel no pleasure in witnessing improvident expenditure, and that I have no interest to serve in maintaining the present amount of the public burthens; but I will ask any man in this House, whether he conscientiously believes that, looking to the reductions in the estimates which were made by Lord Althorp in the last year, and the further reduction made by myself in the present year, to the amount of 500,000l.,—whether, looking at this, it is possible to make any, even the most trifling reduction in the estimates? But, at any rate, if any reduction is to be effected, let the question of such reduction be looked at abstractedly with reference to its own merits, and not with a view to substitute the sum thus saved for the produce of the Malt-tax. But I cannot persuade myself that any man, bearing in mind the reductions which have been made, and the demands of the West-India proprietors on the public purse, can hope to replace the 4,800,000l. which the Malt-tax furnishes, consistently with the maintenance of the public honour, and regard to the interests of the country, by any considerable reduction in the sums voted for the public service. But the money must be obtained from some source. I will, however, caution those Gentlemen who look for a substitute for the Malt-tax in an increased duty on other articles of consumption, against hoping that an increased duty either on wine, or spirits, or beer, will lay the foundation of a large permanent addition to the revenue of the country. First, as to spirits; of what benefit will it be to the agricultural interest that a heavier tax should be laid upon spirits? What are they made from? They are distilled from corn. If an additional tax of 1s. a-gallon were to be imposed on spirits, it would be equivalent to laying a tax of 16s. a quarter on malt. I believe that from a bushel of barley can be obtained two gallons of spirits, and thus there will be laid a tax of 16s. a-quarter on barley, and that too on the poorest description of barley. But there are other considerations which affect this question. In the course of last Session Parliament enacted, that there should be a reduction of the duty on spirits in Ireland, and yet some hon. Members are now favourable to the project of increasing the duty on Irish spirits. Now, this unsteadiness of purpose, this constant vacillation, is the unwisest course that can be adopted by a legislative assembly. In the course of last Session the duty on Irish spirits was lowered from 3s. 4d. to 2s. 4d. a-gallon, yet it is now in contemplation to increase the duty. Perhaps, however, this objection may be met by a proposition to raise the duty on spirits in England only, leaving Ireland subject to the present rate of duty. But surely the difference of duty between English and Irish spirits is already sufficiently great. Surely, it will not be wise to increase the present rate of duty in England—namely, 7s. 6d.; leaving Ireland subject only to a duty of 2s. 4>d. Such an unequal rate of taxation will offer a temptation to smuggling, too strong to be resisted. It is impossible, but that with so large a bonus thus held out to the unfair trader, he would fully avail himself of the advantage which the Legislature would afford him. But you may propose to tax Ireland and England in this respect in the same proportions, and to increase the duty in Ireland as well as in England. First, let us ascertain what has been the result of the reduction of duty on spirits in Ireland. I have this morning received an account, from which it appears that on a comparison of the last four months with the corresponding period of last year, 1,000,000 gallons more spirits had been brought to charge. With the knowledge I possess of this fact, I hope to be excused for asking whether the hon. Members who advocate the increase of the duty on spirits are quite sure they would raise the revenue by that method of taxation? But this is not the only danger. If by increasing the duty on legal spirits, you hold out a premium to illicit distillation, that distillation will not necessarily take place from grain. The farmer must not flatter himself that he will find an increased demand for agricultural produce from the illicit trader. If you encourage by high duties, a fraudulent manufacture of spirits, the article em- ployed will be not grain but molasses, on account of the greater facillity in the process of conversion into spirit, and the readier means of escaping detection. No one denies that spirits are a fair subject of taxation, of taxation to the highest point that is consistent with the collection of revenue. But this should never be forgotten, that the discoveries in science, and improvement in chemical apparatus, increase the facilities of fraud more rapidly than the facilities of detection. At this very moment illicit distillation of spirits is carried on in large towns to an extent which we had better not encourage by any considerable increase of duty on the legal supply. I hope I have satisfactorily shown, that by attempting to make an addition to the duty on spirits, there is considerable risk, that, at the same time, you will benefit no one interest, you will injure agriculture, and will ruin the revenue.

I now come to the third substitute proposed for the Malt-tax—namely, a Property-tax. Under circumstances not dissimilar to the present, excepting that the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had then at his disposal an available surplus of 1,500,000l., it was proposed to Repeal half the Malt-tax and the House and Window-tax, amounting in the whole to 5,000,000l. sterling. The House then determined by a very large majority, that such a deficit could only be supplied by the imposition of a Property-tax. Now my prophecy is, that you will make that tax necessary—to that you must come at last it you Repeal the Malt-tax. You will try your taxes on articles of general consumption, on tobacco, and spirits, and wine, and you will meet with a storm which will make you hastily recede from your first advances towards a substitute. To a Property-tax, then, you must come; and, I congratulate you, Gentlemen of the landed interest, on finding yourselves relieved from the pressure of the Malt-tax, and falling on a good comfortable Property-tax, with a proposal, probably, for a graduated scale. And you, who represent the heavy land of this country—the clay soil—the soil unfit for barley, I felicitate you on the prospect which lies before you. If you believe that the substitute will be advantageous to your interests, be it so, but do not, when you hereafter find out your mistake, lay the blame upon those who offered you a timely warning, and cautioned you against exchanging the light pressure of a Malt-duty for the scourge of a Property-tax. My noble Friend (the Marquess of Chandos) has made some calculations to which I hesitate to subscribe; certainly, I think he has made a mistake in some of his figures. My noble Friend has calculated, that the extent of advantage which will accrue by the Repeal of the duty on Malt, to a farmer occupying a farm of 250 acres, will amount to between 70l. and 80l. a-year. Now I have certainly never heard so favourable an account as this of the present state of agriculture, that a farmer of land of that number of acres consumed so much beer as to make that difference to him in a single year. I believe that the average quantity of beer consumed on a farm of 300 acres is about 100 hogsheads a-year, and yet if my noble Friend's calculations are correct, the occupier must consume something like 500 or 600. But I will resume at the point from which I broke off. I have been diverted from the consideration of the manner in which a Property-tax would operate as a substitute for the Malt-duty. The hon. and learned Member for Ireland—I mean for Dublin —in reference to the imposition of a Property-tax, said on a former occasion, that if it was to be laid on, it ought to affect all his Majesty's subjects equally, and certainly, this was no more than justice. I beg, then, the Representatives of Ireland to consider what will be their situation if they vote for the Repeal of the Duty on Malt. It would be infinitely worse even than that of the occupiers of clay soils in England. Ireland pays at present but 240,000l. out of the 4,800,000l. which the Malt-tax produces, and it would be a great hardship to Ireland to have a Property-tax imposed upon her as a countervailing substitute for her moderate proportion of the Malt-tax. They may depend upon it, however, that a Property-tax is inevitable if the Malt-tax is repealed, and the attempt, I will not say, to levy that tax, if imposed—for I must presume the people of Ireland would obey the laws—but to impose the tax in this House would be a fruitless undertaking.

I now come to the fourth alternative. That is, to make a deficit and do nothing else; and I am afraid there are many Members who, when it comes to the trial, will, (professing no doubt much reluctance) make up their minds to act in that manner —who, upon the whole, will prefer the plan of a large deficit, and no substitute. The hon. Member (Mr. Handley) has recommended a small loan, but why not a large one? Why hesitate about the amount of new debt in time of peace, if once you affirm the principle? The hon. Gentleman indeed offered the security. "Sell the Crown lands," he says; "exact the uttermost farthing from the Crown lessees." This is the first time I have heard the complaint, that the Crown is too indulgent a landlord, or that the Crown lands afford the means of a large permanent increase to the revenue.

This, after all, is the great question to be resolved by this night's debate.—Shall we maintain the public honour, or shall we enter on the disgraceful course of deficit, and the suspension of payment, and the breach of national engagements? Has honesty been bad policy? Have you suffered pecuniary loss from being honest? Is it not a fact, that by keeping up the value of the public securities, and faithfully performing the national engagements, the Government of the country has been enabled, since the year 1822, to reduce the annual interest of the Public Debt to the amount of 2,350,000l. If you continue to pursue the same course you will derive the same advantages. You have a Debt of 250,000,000l. in the three and a-half per cents alone, which you may hope to redeem at no distant period. You have the experience of the benefits of good faith, not only in point of character, but of substantial gain; but if you are careless to secure the honour of England, and maintain the national credit, you will simultaneously forfeit a good name, and dry up the sources of future and of honourable economy. I hope the House will not enter on the tortuous path of contradiction and vacillation, into which this Motion would force it. I warn you not to forget, that on this very Question of the Malt-tax, you have, on three different occasions, retraced your steps. In the year 1816, the House of Commons took off a part of the Malt-tax, but found themselves obliged to put it on again in 1819. In March, 1821, the House, by a small majority, repealed the tax, but in one month after, in the following April, they were obliged to rescind this vote, the offspring of their hasty legislation. In the year 1833, the House, in a moment of delusion at the prospect of the advantages expected from the remission of this tax, resolved that it should be partly repealed, but on reflection they found it necessary to rescind on the Monday the Resolution to which they had come on the previous Friday, and passed a counter Resolution in the following words:—"Resolved, that the deficiency in the revenue which would be occasioned by the reduction of the tax on malt to 10s. the quarter, and the Repeal of the tax on houses and windows, could only be supplied by the substitution of a general tax upon property and income, and an extensive change in our whole financial system, which would at present be inexpedient." If, then, a majority of the House should agree to the Motion of my noble Friend, and if they shrink hereafter from the dishonesty of a deficit, there will be no other safe alternative but retractation and repentance, and the replacing of this Malt-tax. It is my desire to rescue Parliament from the charge of vacillation and inconsistency, from the shame, the certain shame of rescinding an unwise and hasty vote, that I respectfully, but most earnestly counsel you not to take the first step in ways which lead to dishonour.

I have been told, that there is no hope of preserving the Malt-tax, that there are so many Members pledged to their constituents to Repeal the Malt-duty, that they cannot help themselves, and must vote in favour of its abolition. But my uniform answer has been, that I never would believe that public men, invested with a sacred trust, had committed themselves irrevocably beforehand, that they would refuse to listen to discussion, and give a vote against evidence, against conviction, against conscience. I have paid them the willing compliment of trusting in their integrity and wisdom, and have rejected the odious imputation, that they would sacrifice the real interests of their constituents and their country, for the mere purpose of satisfying an impatient clamour, or redeeming pledges which must have been conditional, that the redemption of such pledges would bonâ fide serve the parties to whom they had been given. I have a full assurance, thst the vote of to-night will prove that my confidence in the House of Commons has not been misplaced; but, be that as it may, my own course is clear: I am bound to give that advice which appears to my judgment the best, and to leave those who reject it, responsible for all the consequences of a rash and unwise decision.

Mr. Cobbett

rose to address the House. The hon. Gentleman urged the House not to be deterred, by the intimation that the right hon. Gentleman would resign were he left in a minority on this question, from giving their support to the Motion of the noble Lord. [The hon. Member in attempting to proceed, found that his voice was so hoarse that he could not make the persons sitting on the opposite side of the Table hear, and he therefore sat down.]

Lord Norreys

said, that having voted in favour of Sir William Ingilby's Motion last Session he was anxious to state briefly the grounds on which he proposed to give his support to the right hon. Baronet on the present occasion. In the first place, upon a review of the circumstances under which those Motions were brought forward he found them totally and entirely different. Last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer came down to the House, and after stating, that a large surplus revenue rendered a reduction of taxation to a large amount practicable left it to the House to say which branch of taxation should be reduced. Upon this, Sir William Ingilby moved for a Committee to inquire how far a partial or total Repeal of the Malt-tax was practicable, and as the landed interest at the time stood much in need of relief he voted for that Committee, in the hope that it might recommend the surplus revenue to be applied to that purpose. The motion of Sir William Ingilby was in the end defeated, but he believed he was justified in saying that the scanty relief the agricultural interest did receive, was attributable to its being mooted. But what, on the other hand, were the circumstances of the case at the present moment? There was a new Government, just come into office, with every disposition to be friendly to the agricultural interest, and immediately the noble Lord pounced upon them, and, apparently forgetting that there was not now the same surplus revenue to deal with, asked, not even for a partial, but a total repeal of the tax. But supposing the Government to comply with his demand, the question was, would not the tax which it would be necessary in the present state of the revenue to substitute, prove as burthensome and oppressive to the landed interest, as the Malt-tax? Looking at the constitution of the House, and recollecting the preponderance of representation enjoyed by the manufacturing over the agricultural interest, he confessed he much doubted whether the majority would consent to the imposition of any tax less oppressive on the latter, than the one now sought to be removed. Many who were prepared to support the noble Lord's Motion for the Repeal of this tax were not friendly to the landed interest, but, he believed, would be the first to turn on the noble Lord, and make the Repeal of the Malt-tax an additional argument for the Repeal of the Corn-laws. But, apart from these considerations, he much regretted the noble Lord should have, at the present period, brought forward this Motion. The Session was as yet young—the Ministry were scarcely settled in their places; and, as a motion of the greatest importance to their continuance in office, was fixed for the 23rd instant, they ought not, he thought, to have been embarrassed by the present discussion. If ever there was a time when it was necessary there should be union among the friends of the Government that time was the present; and, as the postponement of the question for a few weeks would, without in the slightest degree prejudicing it, have given time to his Majesty's Government to look around, he did much regret that the noble Lord had brought it forward. Allowances should be made for the difficult circumstances in which the Government was placed, and that support should be given to it which Ministers of the Crown, who had just entered into office, had a right to expect from the House. If they were to be embarrassed in this manner by their own friends, the task of Government, which was difficult at all times, being peculiarly so on the present occasion, it would be impossible for them to conduct the affairs of the nation; and he viewed the dissolution of the present Cabinet as the most fatal blow that the landed interest could receive. After the withdrawal of Earl Grey and Lord Stanley from the former Administration, it was impossible that they could be looked to by the landed interest for protection, and could not be expected to protect it, should they again be called to office. He had no hesitation, therefore, in saying, that he believed he should best support the landed interest in the vote he should give against the Motion, because he considered that the prospect of relief held out to the landed interest by the Repeal of the duty was grossly exaggerated; because he considered that no tax, constituted as the House was, which might be proposed as a substitute, would be less burdensome; and further, because he believed that if Ministers resigned, their places would be supplied by those who were disposed to bring forward measures subversive of the landed interest, and of the best institutions of the country.

Mr. Benett

said, the right hon. Baronet had made a very affecting appeal to the Irish and Scotch Members of that House, although not to the English. He said, the Scotch and Irish were not taxed equally with the English, and that if a property-tax were imposed upon them equal to that upon the English, their burthen would be much greater than it was at present. He was not about to complain of the present inequality of taxation between the Scotch and Irish and the English, but that was not an argument in any view of the case which could have any effect. He had a much higher opinion of the feelings of the Scotch than to suppose that that would be allowed to operate on their minds in the slightest degree. The right hon. Baronet had, however, in another part of his speech, made a somewhat affecting appeal to the English landholders, but which could not be expected to have much weight with them; because, from the time at which that Act passed, which was called by the name of the right hon. Baronet, the English landowners had been so depressed in their circumstances, that they could not fear a Property-tax. The property was not in them, but in the hands of money-jobbers. It was in the hands of mortgagees, and of those who had been heretofore tax-eaters, not tax-payers. So that a Property-tax, or a threat of a Property-tax, could not very seriously frighten the English landowners. The question of Property-tax, in his opinion, was one of greater moment than that of the Malt-tax. It was one which the House must very shortly come to. The only equitable mode of proceeding would be, to apportion taxation according to the property individuals possessed. The object of all taxation in this country, was the protection of property; but instead of making persons pay equitably for that protection, the present system was to make men pay according to consumption, and not according to the proportion of property possessed. The question, then, of a Property-tax, would have to come shortly before the House, as it had already forced itself on the consideration of the country. He was not a Chancellor of the Exchequer, and God forbid that he ever should be; but he was prepared to contend that there were ways whereby the reduction of this 4,500,000l. of taxation might be met. When hon. Gentlemen came to look at the whole amount of the receipts and expenditure of this country, it was not so large a sum but that they must suppose it could be all most easily met. The right hon. Baronet had said, that if a tax were put upon spirits in consideration of the reduction of the Malt-tax to the amount of 1s. per gallon, the consequence would be a great encouragement to illicit distillation; but the right. hon. Baronet forgot at the same time to state, that the reduction of the Malt-tax would relieve the ingredients used in the production of spirits of a much greater amount than 1s. per gallon. It could not be, therefore, that taking off the Malt-tax, and imposing an additional shilling on spirits, would encourage illicit distillation, for by that, the ingredients out of which spirits were made would be reduced in price to the amount of 2s. Again, the right hon. Baronet had talked of the different qualities of land, and the comparative average of the quantities of wheat and barley that were grown; but he (Mr. Benett) was of opinion, that if the Malt-tax were repealed, there would be an increase of the growth of wheat on clay soil; where wheat was grown at present in great abundance, there would be a decrease of wheat, and a greater growth of barley, consequently a better price would be obtained for wheat. The right hon. Baronet had said, he did not believe it would be of much advantage to landowners in the country to have this tax repealed. He could tell the right hon. Baronet that it would be of great importance to the landowners that their labourers should be able to consume beer for ten months in the year instead of water. Taking the ordinary consumption of a man's family to be one gallon per day, it might be said the duty he had to pay came to 2d. per day—that was 1s. 2d. a-week, which dipped very deeply into the poor man's income. In the West of England (the part of the country from which he came) the average amount of a labourer's wages was 7s. per week, and the 1s. 2d. which he had to pay in the Malt-tax was just about 18 per cent. which he had to pay to the State out of his whole income. Surely this was what required alteration. The right hon. Baronet had made a statement respecting the prices of wheat and barley which was not quite correct. He had talked of barley being at a very high price, and wheat very low; and then asked, why take off the Malt-tax for the sake of raising the price of barley? If the right hon. Gentleman had gone a little further in his inquiries, he would have found that the barley crop had not exceeded last year half its average quantum, and that the present high price arose from that circumstance. The consumption of last year had been drawn from former crops, and that proved that the consumption of barley was for the rich, and not for the poor; to the poor it was matter of necessity, and not of luxury. The right hon. Baronet had also said, that the consumption of spirits had increased very much; what did that prove? Why, that the poor had been obliged to drink a greater quantity of ardent spirits than they would have done if they had been able to get beer better and cheaper than at present they could procure it. It would be a great satisfaction to the mind to find that the poor man could get good beer cheaper than he could get spirits. The present system likewise of poor men being driven to beer-shops, instead of brewing their own beer at their own houses, was one strong objection to the continuance of the Malt-tax. With respect to what the right hon. Baronet had said about the difficulty of making malt, and that the poor man would find a greater difficulty still in making it, if the tax was taken off; he could only say, that he agreed that the maltster did not at present get too much I profit; but if the tax were removed, there would be a greater competition in the making of malt, and it would be got not only good, but at a very low price. Of all the taxes that affected productive industry in his judgment this was the worst. It was not for him to point out ways and means (which he could easily do) of finding a substitute for the reduction of this oppressive tax; but it must be removed, and the poor man must be relieved from it, before there could be any agricultural prosperity in this country. To the poor man it was a matter of the deepest consequence. Whatever the effect of it, or the removal of it might be to the landowner, the consequence to the poor man of having it repealed, outweighed in his mind any consideration affecting the landowner. The poor man was entitled to have this reduction, and for the poor man's right, he for one would ever be found ready to contend. Whatever comfort was given to the agricultural labourer, was eventually given to the farmer; whatever comfort or advantage was given in this respect to the farmer, was eventually given to the landowner; let all these parties, then, be thus intimately united, and the House of Commons could not benefit one, without rendering a service to the others.

The Earl of Darlington

said, he was rather anxious to address a few observations to the House on this occasion. He was not much in the habit of occupying the attention of hon. Members, but if ever there was an occasion which called for a few remarks from him, this was the one. He would commence by saying, that having had the honour of presenting to the House a petition to-day from the county he represented, as worthy of attention from the great number who had signed it, as from the respectability of the signatures attached to it, signatures comprising those of the great mass of respectable yeomen and farmers in that part of the country, all praying for the Repeal of the Malt-tax—looking at that petition, and considering all the circumstances attending it, he felt it to be his duty to support the Motion of his noble Friend. In adopting this course, after the very able speech that had been made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and after the effect which his arguments must have had on many hon. Members, for great weight his arguments always had, he felt fully convinced, that any arguments he could adduce on the other side, would come but with a very bad grace; nevertheless, he had a public duty to perform, and he would state such arguments as occurred to him in defence of the course he was about to pursue, more especially, as he was aware that even amongst some of his old friends he might be subjecting himself to the imputation of either giving a factious vote, or a vote embarrassing to the Government, to whom he was friendly. In the outset, he trusted, however, that he might be allowed to endeavour to set himself right in that respect. With regard to a factious vote, he could assert with confidence that, in the whole course of his Parliamentary life, now a very long one, he had never given a factious vote, nor one approximating to a factious vote—never one at all resembling the two memorable votes which had been recently given within those walls. He could only say that, upon reflection, he had not been able to find out that he had ever given a vote at all approximating to the nature of either of those votes. No doubt a great number of hon. Gentlemen took infinite pains to describe that they were not giving factious votes, and perhaps they might have happened to have made discoveries of that sort satisfactory to their own minds, but still he could assert, he had never given a vote so equivocal as even to leave a doubt as to its real sense and meaning. As to the charge of his wishing to give a vote to embarrass the Government, he could only say, that he not only placed confidence in the Prime Minister, because of his great abilities, which so well qualified him for the responsible office he held, but because of his zealous endeavours to do that which he conceived would be best calculated for the interests of the community. This he was not afraid to confess; he had avowed it before his constituents on the hustings, and why should he not do it there? But he had a public duty to perform; that duty would induce him to vote against the right hon. Baronet in this instance. He could not forget that he stood there as an independent Member, returned by an independent constituency. Personal ambition he had none; private feelings to gratify he had none; he never had, since he enjoyed a seat in that House, a view beyond the interests of his constituents, and the good of the community at large. He would, therefore, now, or at any other time, vote for the Repeal of the Malt-tax or any other tax, without regard to personal feelings, just as he might think that vote might conduce to the people's good. In his opinion, the Malt-tax bore most oppressively upon the agriculturists. With respect to them, they were in such a state of distress that their Representatives were called upon to give them every assistance they possibly could. But it was not upon them alone this tax pressed; it pressed equally hard on the manufacturers, the artisans, and, indeed, all the working classes of society. This was no new opinion of his, it was one he had long entertained. He had voted for the Repeal of the Malt-tax last year, and if he had done so when the question was brought forward in a manner that might have tended to disgust honourable minds, the House would not be surprised that he should pursue the same course this year, the subject having been brought forward in the very able manner in which it now had. He was aware of the manner in which the removal (in round numbers) of 4,500,000l. of taxation under one head, would press on the right hon. Baronet. He fully admitted the effect of such a reduction. He did not wish the right hon. Baronet to give up this amount of taxation; but that was no argument why an unjust and impolitic tax should be continued, when others less oppressive had been the subject of modification. Every one knew there was no point upon which popular opinion ran so strong as it did with regard to the Malt-tax; and he had no hesitation in saying, that if Government would only take upon themselves the voluntary resignation of this tax, such a step would tend more to secure them in popular favour, than any course they could pursue. It was not his intention to point out to the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax he should introduce as a substitute, but if he would put taxation more on the rich and wealthy, to the relief of the distressed, that could not fail to be considered a proper course. He believed the hon. Member for Worcester had given notice of a Motion for some day not very distant, and it might be that hon. Member might have some important suggestion to make; indeed, whatever he might say, it would, no doubt, be well worthy of the attention of Ministers. He considered that the time had arrived when every sort of taxation of an annoying description ought to be removed from the distressed classes of society, and laid upon those who were able to bear them. Although he was ready to admit that after the great amount of taxation which had been removed, there were but few who were not able to pay most of the taxes; yet, if some paid more in proportion to their income than others, the House might depend upon it that, constituted as society now was, very differently to what it formerly was, that would ever be a source of discontent. There were many excisable articles on which the poor man was scarcely aware that he paid any indirect taxation; but he would venture to say, that from the one end of the kingdom to the other, there was not an individual who did not know that he paid his part of the Malt-tax; many, indeed, thought they paid a much larger proportion than they really did. But who were they who were foremost in their demand for the Repeal of the Malt-tax? Was it not the agriculturist, who was at this moment described to be in the greatest distress? Was it not the agriculturist, of all others, that was entitled to the greatest boon the House could give? Who was it that had been the most distinguished for his loyalty in all trying times, the most zealous and decided in his firm adherence to the institutions of the country, and who had done most for the peace and good order of society? It was the agriculturist. If these were facts, which he defied anybody who heard him to deny, he would ask whether it was not demanded of every individual standing in that House as he did, to do something for the amelioration of the condition of the agriculturist? But, as he had said, it was not the agriculturist alone that thus, at this juncture, called for the interference of Parliament, it was the whole of the working classes. There was not a master of a family, not a householder, not a journeyman, not an apprentice, not a servant, not a labourer, who was not a consumer of malt in a greater or less degree. For these reasons, he maintained that Parliament could not take off a tax that would afford more general relief, or give more general satisfaction. Notwithstanding the statements adduced by the right hon. Baronet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with respect to the small extent to which private brewing was carried on, he was prepared to show that within the last two years the practice had very materially increased. He did not mean to say, that it was followed up in every little cottage; but small tradesmen of every description, could brew such quantities as they required, with very great facility and advantage, and what did they save? Why, they saved as nearly as possible one-half. The ale sold at the public-house averaged 5d. a quart, or 1s. 8d. a gallon; and allowing twelve gallons of ale to one bushel of malt, that quantity would cost 20s.; but if privately brewed, how great was the difference—one bushel of malt cost 7s. 6d., the requisite hops 1s. 9d., and the expense of the process about 1s., making in all only 10s. 3d. for the same quantity of a more wholesome and equally strong article. He was quite convinced that if this tax were taken off, still greater temptation would be given to the private brewer. He thanked the House for the indulgence shown him, and having long entertained the opinions he had now expressed, he could not, as an honest man and a faithful Representative, do otherwise than support the Resolution of his noble Friend.

Mr. Charles Wood

said, that although the noble Lord (Darlington) had given him some temptation, by an allusion to the factious motives, which the noble Lord alleged to have guided the Opposition on previous occasions, he should not enter into the charge, but content himself by simply resting his defence from such an imputation, on the vote he was prepared to give in concurrence with his Majesty's Ministers. in giving that vote, however, he assured the noble Lord, he was not insensible to that distress, which had been described as so prevalent among the agricultural interests of the country. Indeed, deriving, as he did, whatever income he possessed, exclusively from land, he could not be indifferent to any pressure which existed, and which he himself felt, nor unwilling to listen to any proposal, by which in justice and fairness, it could be removed. If, then, he came to a different conclusion in the present instance, and gave his vote against the Repeal of the Malt-tax, it was from no want of sympathy for the interests of the farmer, but because he believed that the benefit which would accrue to him from its remission would be so small, that it could not for a moment, be put in competition with the inconvenience and evils that must inevitably arise from the loss of so large an amount of the public revenue. It was his conviction that all taxes, such as the present, imposed on articles of consumption, were paid mainly by the consumer; and fairly so, unless the tax was so high as materially to diminish the consumption of the article. He could refer, without fear of contradiction, to those details which had been furnished by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-night, in order to prove that the consumption of beer had not diminished in the country; that the tax, therefore, being as he believed, paid by the consumer of beer, the relief afforded to the agriculturist, by its repeal, would after all be extremely small. He was also ready to concur in a state- ment, which had already been made, that the relief, such as it was, would be given to that class of the agricultural interests, which least of all stood in need of it. It was perfectly well known, that the grower of wheat was in a state of the greatest distress. The price of barley had already been quoted as equal to that which the hon. Seconder of the present Motion said he had obtained for wheat; and yet it was notorious, that according to the expense of production, the price of barley ought to be only two-thirds of that of wheat. To the agriculturist, then, but little advantage would be given; and that relief which he was as anxious as any one in the House to extend to the working classes of the community, who were, after all, the great consumers of beer, could, in his opinion, be given much more beneficially by taking off other taxes, which either pressed on them in the shape of what was a still greater necessary of life, or on those raw materials which might greatly extend their means of employment, and increase the wages of their labour. But, after all, he could not omit the consideration, which to his mind, was one of the greatest importance, that some substitute must, of necessity, be provided for this tax. He did not conceive it possible, even for the wildest theoretic economist, to suppose that a reduction to the amount of 4,600,000l. could be effected in any short period of time. He did not require to go through those substitutes, which the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had already so effectually put out of the question. He did not think any one of them was possible; at least, relying on the resolution of the House last year, and which had been referred to, the only possible substitute was a Property-tax. Now to a Property-tax, he was most decidedly opposed; and looking back to the excitement which existed in the country on that subject, in 1816, he confessed himself at a loss to understand the popularity which it seemed now to have acquired. But he could not help thinking, if any proposition for a fair Income-tax were made, those who now were loudest in their call for a Property-tax, would be the first to object to it. A Property-tax he sincerely hoped would never be imposed on this country, because it was one which could only be made a fair one by the most rigid inquisitorial powers, which he was sure that house would shrink from calling into ex- ercise. He did not believe, either, that such a Tax could be carried, or if carried, that it could be maintained. Believing, then, that the relief to the agricultural interest would be but small,—that the benefit to the working classes, might be given with greater advantage in some other way,—believing that no adequate substitute could be found for the amount of revenue which they were called on to forego, he could come to no other conclusion, than to give his vote to-night in accordance with those he had given on two former occasions, against the Repeal of the Malt-tax. He would call on all hon. Gentlemen, looking back to the experience of the last two years, to take warning by the examples which were to be found on record with reference to the subject now under discussion. By an inconsiderate vote—he was justified in so designating it, when he found, out of 162 Members voting for Sir William Ingilby's Motion, no fewer than 72, within one short week, refused to confirm it—by that inconsiderate vote, the House had been placed under the most disagreeable and objectionable necessity of rescinding its own decision. He called upon hon. Gentlemen to take warning, by what occurred on that occasion, strongly pledged, as they might be, to their constituents, lest, by pursuing again a similar course, they should subject themselves to similar difficulties. He knew well that the course he was pursuing to-night was one, which it would be difficult enough, especially for no inconsiderable number of hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House, to adopt on the present occasion. He knew well, that they had made promises, and given pledges, to their constituents, which, it would be no easy task for them to forego, even in spite of that creditable example which the noble Lord, Member for the county of Oxford (Lord Norreys) had set them. It would be hard indeed for them to show to the world, by any failure in promise, that they and their friends, now occupying the Treasury-bench, were the sole friends of the farmer. It would be difficult for them to resign the advantages they gained, at the election, over those who had acted more honestly than they had, by not making those promises to the agriculturists, they must have been sure they could not perform. It would be difficult for them to show the hollowness of their professions, and the arrogance of the pretensions they had put forth, of being the exclusive friends of the farmer—of cherishing exclusive loyalty to the King—exclusive attachment to religion—all, merely to turn the scale of the election, and for their own party purposes. Nevertheless, however difficult and trying all that might be, looking at the pledges they had made—looking to the danger avowed, by the noble Member for Oxfordshire, to the Government they professed to support—and, looking to what he frankly considered was of still greater importance—the national credit—he did not think they would hesitate to break their promises on the present occasion. As to those Gentlemen who, since voting for the Repeal of the Malt-tax, had accepted office, he could not entertain any doubt whatever. Indeed, they had, after all, but a sorry choice. He would not say that they must betray, but certainly they must either desert their constituents or their colleagues, and it was quite natural to suppose that, by this time, they had seen sufficient reason for thinking a change of vote necessary. If there were any, for whom such a course appeared more difficult than others, perhaps, he might instance the right hon. Baronet, the Paymaster of the Forces (Sir E. Knatchbull) the long-tried and consistent advocate of the agricultural interest in that House. He did not know that it would add to the deference which he hoped all the interests in the country would be ready to pay to the decisions of the Board of Trade, when they found that the right hon. Gentleman, the President, and the noble Lord, the Vice-President, were prepared, on the present occasion, to reverse their former votes. From any one but the right hon. Member for the county of Essex (Mr. Baring) he should not have been prepared to expect such a change; but, when he looked back to the conduct which that right hon. Gentleman pursued in 1833, when he found that, on the Motion for a Repeal of the Malt-tax, he put his own principles aside, and, to quote his own words, dealt with the then Ministers according to their principles, such as he was pleased to attribute to them, he could not but expect that he would now do as much for his friends, as he had done for those to whom he was opposed, and that he would on the present occasion, as then, put his principles aside, "content with what he could get in the scramble," and adopt, for the night at least, the principles of his colleagues. But, however that might be,—and, whatever might be the motives which actuated those right hon. Gentlemen to whom he had alluded, he was prepared to give his Majesty's Government the support of an honourable and not a factious vote—a support such as, he was happy to say, had on a former occasion been given to the late Administration, much to his credit and honour, by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer. But of whatever materials the majority of the evening might be composed, he sincerely hoped and trusted the decision would be, not to sport away so large an amount of revenue, but to take care that in the result they left unendangered and unimpaired the national faith and honour of the country.

Sir Edward Knatchbull

said, he felt himself too much in the situation of the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Cobbett), labouring as he did under considerable indisposition, to take any prominent part in the present discussion; but, after the personal appeal which had been made to him, he should be wanting in duty to himself, in his respect to that House and to the country at large, if he did not avail himself of that opportunity to make one or two observations. He heartily concurred in the expressions which had fallen from the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Charles Wood), in the conclusion of his speech, and the hope which he entertained in reference to the anticipated majority on the present occasion. Notwithstanding the observations made by the hon. Gentleman in reference to the course which he (Sir Edward Knatchbull) should feel himself called on to pursue, he thought it was perfectly consistent with his previous conduct, and quite compatible with the duty he owed to his constituents. The hon. Gentleman asked whether, having, on a former occasion, voted in favour of the Repeal of the Malt-tax, he was now prepared to reverse that course? Before having made any charge the hon. Gentleman would have done well to have first ascertained what was the course which he (Sir Edward Knatchbull) really had pursued. In 1833, he had undoubtedly advocated the Repeal of the Malt-duty. He had been then, and he still was of opinion, that the remission of that tax would confer considerable benefit on the agricultural interests of the country. But the House would not fail to recollect that at that period, when he supported that view of the subject, there was a considerable disposable surplus of revenue [Cries of "No, no!"]. Hon. Gentlemen said "No, no," but if they could not carry their recollections so far back as two years ago, they were not very well qualified to pronounce any opinion on the present important subject. In 1833, there was a large surplus of revenue; and to that he had looked when he gave his vote. He then came to the vote which he was represented as having given on the occasion of Sir William Ingleby's Motion; but on that occasion, he took no part whatever. At the present moment, there was only a surplus of 250,000l., and under those circumstances his present course was perfectly consistent, and he was sure, therefore, the vote he gave would he satisfactory to the hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. There was another point on which he wished to say a word before sitting down. Without entering into questions of detail as to how far the agricultural interest would be benefitted by the Repeal of the Malt-tax, one thing was obvious to all—that a substitute must first be provided before so large a sum could be dispensed with; but it was worthy of consideration, that the actual deficit would be much more than 4,600,000l., because the necessary effect of the increased consumption of untaxed beer throughout the country would be, that in other articles, such as tea and coffee, there would be a simultaneous proportionate reduction of consumption and of defalcation in the revenue. He could add nothing to the statement of the right hon. Baronet; and if anything were required to follow it up, the speech of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Wood) was sufficient for that purpose. Before coming to the conclusion, that they should accede to the present Motion, hon. Members must make up their minds to an inquisitorial and unjust Property-tax. He thought that his Majesty's Government, by adopting their present course, were doing that which was most conducive to the maintenance of the honour and public faith of the country.

Mr. Spring Rice

felt that, connected as he had been with the noble Lord who lately presided over the finances of the country, and with the arguments and discussions which had taken place on this subject, from time to time, he should be acting inconsistently with any claims he had on the respect and confidence of any private friend, as well as with his own notions of public duty, if he hesitated for one moment in taking now precisely the same stand against the Repeal of the Malt-tax which he had adopted on a former occasion. Noble Lords might indulge themselves, if they thought fit, in attributing motives of faction to their past conduct; hon. and right hon. Gentlemen might if they thought fit, deal out in their absence the hard language of invective, and call them the offscourings of a party, and the sweepings of public offices, as the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had thought it convenient to do. [Mr. Baring: does the right hon. Gentleman allude to me?] He certainly imputed the expressions he had used to the right hon. Gentleman, as contained in the report of a speech delivered by him on the hustings in the county of Essex. He should be extremely happy to hear them contradicted, for they had, he confessed, given him individually very considerable pain. Any explanation, therefore, would be received by him from the right hon. Gentleman with the utmost frankness—nay, with the utmost gratitude [Mr. Baring wished to be put in possession of the precise words imputed to him]. He was in possession of the very words, and they dwelt so accurately in his memory, that he had no difficulty in repeating them. The right hon. Gentleman might, therefore, have the opportunity of taking them down. On the occasion alluded to, the right hon. Gentleman was represented as having designated the late Government, of which he (Mr. Spring Rice) had the honour to form a part, as the miserable offscourings of a party, and the sweepings of offices. Now, he took the liberty of stating, that from the offscourings of that party, and the sweepings of offices, the right hon. Gentleman and his friends would receive on the present occasion honourable and disinterested support. Such was the reply he was prepared to give to the noble Lord who had attributed to them factious motives. He felt deeply interested in the decision to which the House would that night come; and he was the more interested in the decision of this question, because he had not forgotten the arguments, similar to the taunts of the noble Lord, which had been used by those who sat upon the Treasury Benches, against any combination upon any particular questions of individuals, or of parties who might have occasionally or frequently differed in opinion upon political subjects. He could assure the right hon. Baronet that there was no hazard of his losing his vote, and he thought he might add the votes of those who almost upon all occasions coincided with him in opinion. He would further say, that there was no one within the walls of that House who looked forward with more cheerful anticipations to the result of the vote upon this question, and that there was no one who entertained more sanguine anticipation that the right hon. Baronet's Resolutions would be sanctioned by a large majority—a majority, too, which he felt convinced would vindicate the character of that distinguished party to which he was proud to belong from all the imputations of acting entirely from factious motives, which had of late been so frequently urged by those who sat upon the Treasury against those occupying the Opposition Benches. How, he would ask, could those who advocated such a principle—who maintained that a difference in political views upon certain questions, precluded the possibility of men or of parties voting in the same way upon any subject—now come forward and claim his, and the votes of his hon. Friends in support of a Government in which they had no confidence, upon a question the majority upon which would be formed by their votes? He, however, altogether differed from those who laid down that principle as the guide by which the conduct of public men should be directed, and he therefore felt no hesitation in giving to the right hon. Baronet opposite, his cordial, earnest, and sincere support upon this question. The correctness of his opinion upon this point had been admitted upon various occasions, and upon one not unanalogous to the present—namely, when the noble Lord opposite (the Marquess of Chandos) introduced his Motion last Session for the relief of agricultural distress. Upon that proposition, those who held upon other questions the most opposite views were found voting in the same way; and yet it had upon late occasions been asserted that a combined action upon the part of those who had taken a share in and supported the late Government with those who occasionally or generally opposed it, against an Administration which both parties distrusted, was nothing short of an outrage upon principle, and actual treason against political integrity. It was, he well recollected, declared upon that occasion by a right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer), that he felt himself compelled to vote with those who advocated doctrines which he repudiated—doctrines founded upon the violation of those principles upon which he had always acted, but that he would be ashamed of himself if any scruple of that description could prevent him from taking that course which the plain dictates of public duty pointed out. Such were the opinions expressed at that time by those who now appeared to consider the coalition of opposed parties upon certain questions as the acme of political iniquity. He was the more anxious that this fallacy should be exposed as speedily as possible, because he knew that there were many hon. Members who would vote against the Motion of the noble Lord, if they were not deterred from doing so by a fear that if they acted in that manner they would be affording support to a Ministry whom they distrust. If the Members of the present Administration were prepared to act upon the principle which they lately advocated, and to which he had called the attention of the House, they were bound to respect the motives of those hon. Gentlemen to whom he referred; but he was sure, that those scruples would not receive the countenance of the House, because the doctrine out of which they originated was unquestionably erroneous. Those Gentlemen ought to forget every thing but the principles laid down in the speech of the right hon. Baronet; and as these coincided, he believed, with their opinions, they ought not to hesitate to give him their support. The right hon. Gentleman had argued the question in so clear, convincing, and conclusive a manner, that no one who could understand the force of reasoning, or the application of facts, could fail to be persuaded of the expediency and justice of the course which he had recommended to be pursued. The speech which the right hon. Baronet had delivered had left him nothing to touch upon; but he hoped he might nothing permitted to remark, that there were a few words uttered by him at the commencement, and towards the conclusion of his speech, which he could not consider altogether unobjectionable, inasmuch as they appeared to convey an opinion that he would receive opposition, not upon the broad and abstract merits of the question, but upon grounds which were assumed for a temporary object, at the present period of the close of the financial year; and, consequently, previous to the introduction of the financial statement which would be laid before the House. He was convinced, however, that the opinion which the right hon. Baronet appeared to entertain, would prove unfounded, and that the support which he might receive, and the opposition which might be offered to him, would only rest upon solid and permanent considerations. He, for one, could fearlessly assert, that his vote should not be dictated by any factious opposition to the Administration; and the arguments of the right hon. Baronet, which comprehended, or rather decided, the whole question, strengthened and confirmed the conviction at which he had previously arrived. He wished to say this, not only because he had been a Member of that Government which, upon previous occasions, had resisted a similar proposition to that of the noble Lord, but because he felt bound to declare, that, if he had never voted at all upon this subject—if now, for the first time, the question were broached, still, upon the grounds stated by the right hon. Baronet, he could never consent to the sacrifice of so large a portion of the public revenue as that which must result from a compliance with the Motion of the noble Lord. It would not be safe to adopt such a course, even if there were a fair chance of finding a substitute for the tax which was proposed to be abolished; but was there, he would boldly ask, a single individual within the walls of that House, who could reckon, with any approach to confidence, upon the possibility of finding a substitute, if the Malt-tax were repealed? There was a subject closely connected with the object of the present Motion, which he was surprised had not been alluded to in the course of the debate, and which he thought ought to have some weight with those connected with the landed interest, in the consideration of the question of the Repeal of the Malt-tax. The question to which he referred was that of the Corn-laws. Before hon. Gentlemen committed themselves on the present Motion, he thought it would be well, if they were to recur to their votes upon the question of the Corn-laws; or, at all events, read the arguments which had been used on that occasion, and consider how many of them urged against the repeal of those laws rested upon the fact of the land being subjected to many and peculiar burdens. With what grace could those country gentlemen, who should vote for the noble Lord's Motion, which went to relieve the land from one of the peculiar burdens which now pressed upon it, come down to the House and vote against the Motion of which he believed the hon. Member for Middlesex had already given notice, and by which it was intended to deprive the landholders of that monopoly which could be defended only upon the ground, that they were exposed to severe and peculiar hardships. It was only yesterday that a petition was presented, containing the modest request, that the House would grant the total abolition of the Malt-tax, and a great increase in the protecting duties on foreign corn. There was a palpable contradiction in principle, amounting to an absurdity, in such a demand. The right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had, he repeated, anticipated everything, not merely which he could urge, but which could be offered, in support of those views in which he cordially concurred. There were, however, one or two points in discussing which he did not carry out the principle upon which he argued, to the full extent to which he was warranted by facts. The right hon. Gentleman had adverted to the reductions which had already been effected in the duty upon malt; but, in doing so, he had only compared the present state of the duty payable on malt, with that which existed previous to the passing of the Beer Bill. Let the House, however, observe the reductions which had been effected previous to the periods to which the right hon. Baronet had directed their attention. Now, from the year 1804 to 1817, the duty on the quarter of malt was 3l. 6s. 7d.; and, up to the year 1830, when the Beer Bill was passed, the duty on the same quantity was 2l. 12s. 7d. And the maximum of the diminutions which had been effected during those periods, amounted to 2l. 5s. 11d. the quarter. This was an additional argument against the reduction of that branch of taxation which was said to press with such severity upon the land. He could have no doubt as to the result of the division; he could entertain no doubt that, in resisting the proposition of the noble Lord, the late Government would prove that they were swayed in their conduct by no factious motives, but were directed alone by an attachment to those principles which they had formerly professed. The hon. Member for Oldham used the same arguments against any coalition on the part of those who differed in opinion, as those which were urged by the Gentlemen who occupied the Treasury Bench; but, he could assure the hon. Member, that, if he brought forward any question which he could support, he should have his vote with as much readiness as he now gave it to those who meant to pursue that course which, upon every principle of justice and of duty to his country, he felt compelled to sanction. The only ground of alarm which the Ministry could reasonably apprehend referred to the pledges which had been given on the hustings. He believed that these pledges had been honestly given in some instances; it was possible that some of them also had been given in ignorance. [Loud cries of "Oh, oh!" and laughter.] He repeated, that it was very possible some of these pledges had been given in ignorance; but this, he felt, was an excuse which could not be fairly pleaded by those who were now about to vote against the Motion of the noble Lord, in the teeth of those pledges which they had given to their constituents on the hustings. This was no new subject. Gentlemen who aspired to become Members of Parliament had a right to understand what the Malt-tax was; and when men of character, station, and independence came forward as candidates, and refused to pledge themselves to a measure which they saw no possibility of being carried into execution, those who defeated them had no right, consistently with an adherence to justice and political truth, to carry the elections triumphantly by having inscribed on their banners "No Malt-tax," and afterwards, when they came to vote in Parliament, plead ignorance of the nature of the pledge by acceding to which they had succeeded in obtaining their seats. He could never approve of that deviation from principle which must be committed by those Gentlemen if they acted in the manner which was contemplated; but he would have the truth conveyed to the public; he would have the answer demanded and returned at the hustings for holding out expectations which those Representatives found it inexpedient to attempt to realize. The delusion on the subject of the Malt-tax was, previous to the last election, extended throughout the country. The Whigs—that party with which he had always the honour to act—were stigmatised as the enemies of the farmers, and their opponents lauded as their steady and faithful friends. Let the constituency of Derbyshire, for instance, know, that, as far as the Malt-tax was concerned, one of their Members was as true a friend to the farmer as the other. In noticing the delusion which prevailed upon this subject, he could not help referring to the circular which had been put forth by the supporters of the right hon. Baronet previous to the last election, and which claimed the support of the farmers at the approaching election in favour of those who styled themselves their steady and sincere friends. It was in these words:—"Farmers of England! look to your Representatives!—Recollect, a Knatchbull, for Kent, out of office, voted for the Repeal of the Malt-tax; a Baring, for Essex, out of office, voted for the Repeal of the Malt-tax; a Lincoln, for Notts, out of office, voted for the repeal of the Malt-tax; an Ashley, for Dorset, out of office, voted for a Repeal of the Malt-tax; a Murray, for Perthshire, out of office, voted for a Repeal of the Malt-tax! Farmers of England! look well to these official Gentlemen, and now that they are in office, take care they do not change their votes; but let them prove their consistency, as Lord Chandos has done, by voting with him, as they did before." He begged the House to understand, that he did not make any allusion to those points for the purpose of pinning hon. Members to the opinions which they might have expressed on the hustings. By not adhering to sentiments unwisely or ignorantly stated, they would most truly adhere to that which would most promote the public interest, and secure the confidence of the public; but he hoped that never again would they unfold the blazing oriflamme with the words "No Malt-tax" displayed. He felt he could add but little to what had already been so powerfully, so eloquently, so conclusively urged from the other side of the House; but, if amongst any hon. Gentlemen misgivings still remained, he should refer them to the authority of a speech made upon a subject not analogous to the present—it was a speech proceeding from what he should esteem a very high authority, and one made upon a real practical question—one involving principles of fair trade, good faith, and credit. He admitted that the authority to which he referred went further than was necessary for the purposes of the present argument; it went beyond what he contemplated; it required that a large surplus revenue should, if possible, be maintained with a view to the purposes of a sinking fund. Though the words of that authority were not precisely applicable to the present case, yet the subject matter was the same or, at least, was so closely analogous as completely to serve the purposes of his argument. In 1830, a right hon. Gentleman, of great weight in commercial matters, presented a petition from the city of London,—he hoped that that petition still remained amongst the records of the Board of Trade. The right hon. Gentleman, at that time Member for Callington, entertained opinions which, it was to be hoped, still survived, and which he trusted to see displaying themselves strikingly in the department over which he presided—those opinions, on the occasion of presenting that petition, he very fully expressed; and the application of such principles to the present question would, he felt fully persuaded, be attended with an advantageous effect. That right hon. Gentleman was likewise found to express a strong wish that measures should be adopted for creating an efficient sinking fund, hoping, at the same time, that "hon. Members would not be led away by the cry of 'No Malt-tax.' If that were a cry raised in the market-place of Chelmsford, it might minister to the prejudices of some, but it did not come recommended by any maxim of political wisdom: such a cry might produce its effects upon Penenden—heath, but, if it were to be a rule for the government of the country, the honour, the interests, the power of the country could not fail to be weakened by its operation; and he trusted that the House would listen to those considerations." Such was the language held by the right hon. Gentleman. When he subsequently came to discuss the question of finance in that House, on bearing upon the tax in question, he spoke of the remission of taxation as being the subject of a general scramble in that House for the advantage of individual interest, each class seeking to secure all to themselves: those were views the consistency of which he left the right hon. Gentleman to establish; but in even inci- dentally adverting to them, he could not help expressing a hope, that they would never act in that House upon the principle of a scramble; and, whether in the Government or out of it, he could entertain but one opinion of the Members of that House, namely,—that they would all feel it as a paramount duty to maintain the national faith.

Mr. Baring

had not intended to have spoken on the question, in consequence of the masterly statement of the right hon. Baronet at his side having completely superseded the necessity of his doing so; but that he was, notwithstanding, compelled to offer a few observations on the course of argument and invective, personal to himself, which hon. Members had pursued in the discussion of the question. He could not conceive how it was or why, in a fair Debate, on an open question like the one before the House, hon. Members should indulge in crimination and recrimination, especially how they could have selected his public conduct as the object of their particular attack. The hon. Member for Halifax, for instance, had spoken of him as a person ready at all times to throw over his principles to suit his purposes; and which, he would leave it to the House to confirm his assertion, was anything but the fact. He deprecated the observations of the hon. Member the more, as he had ever held a high opinion of him, and his pain and surprise was consequently greater from the great amount of his esteem towards him. He should not stoop to repel the unjustifiable attack of the hon. Member. If his own conduct in that House did not shield him from such hostility all he could say on the subject would not suffice to exculpate him. He should therefore not condescend to reply to the attack so gratuitously made on him by the hon. Member, the late Secretary to the Treasury. The House was competent to do him justice in both instances. With respect to the observations of his right hon. Friend, the Member for Cambridge, he confessed he felt more sympathy. He could not conceal from himself, that they were calculated to inflict much pain; but as he was innocent of having given cause for them, they failed in inflicting it. They were dictated, he believed, by the supposition, that he (Mr. Baring) had made use of the words quoted by him, and on that supposition he could easily account for their acerbity. But he could assure the right hon. Gentleman and the House, that there was no foundation whatever for that supposition, as he (Mr. Baring) had never made use of the expressions attributed to him, and quoted by the right hon. Gentleman. In this assertion he was quite sure, he should be borne out by the hon. Member for Southwark, who was on the hustings when he (Mr. Baring) spoke at the time alluded to. He had never made use of those expressions he could again assure the House, and he could assure them, moreover, that he should be ashamed of himself, if he thought he was capable of doing so. Though he differed from his right hon. Friend, and those of his party, his late colleagues in office, on material points, he had still too much respect left for them to apply any such epithets to them as had been ascribed to him by the right hon. Gentleman. Since the right hon. Gentleman had spoken, he (Mr. Baring) had been turning the matter over in his mind, and endeavouring to recollect what he actually did say on the occasion in question. The result of those endeavours was a tolerably complete recollection of the passage, and which he believe was, substantially correct. He had been alluding to the tenacity of office manifested by the Whigs, and arguing against their claim to a monopoly of the Reform Government because they were the originators of Reform. As well as he could recollect, the passage containing the animus of the right. hon. Gentleman's charge it ran thus:—" He (Mr. Baring) would ask how long was that monopoly to remain good? How long was office to be claimed solely by them? Was it as long as a single sweeper appointed since the passing of the Reform Bill should remain in the Treasury offices?" These, he could assure the House, were the words he uttered, at least that was the exact sentiment of the passage commented on. He felt himself obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for having by his statement given him that opportunity of offering the explanation which he had now laid before the House. Having thus disposed of the preliminary matters, he would now come to the main question itself. The right hon. Gentleman had taunted his side of the House with having given pledges to which they had not afterwards very scrupulously adhered. For his part, he could positively assert, that he had never given any pledge as to any specific vote in the whole course of his life. He was, however, ready to admit, that he never should have presented himself to the constituency of Essex if his opinions and feelings had not led him to give the utmost protection to their interests, which were consistent, in his opinion, with sound policy, according to the condition and general interests of the country. To that extent the people of Essex had a right to confide in him. Although he had made no promises—although he had given no pledges—he had stated, that according to his notions of protection, he should be ready to afford every relief to his constituency—that he should be always willing to support whatever would better them without any detriment to the country at large, and it would be a personal dishonour were he to give any vote which derogated from that principle. The right hon. Gentleman had thrown in his teeth the mottos which he said had been inscribed on his banners at the last election, when the fact was, that he had no banners. With reference to the question, undoubtedly the right hon. Gentleman was right in saying, that pledges had been given on both sides. Pledges had been given by men of all shades and varieties of political opinions, and the taunt could not be applied to one party more than to another. The right hon. Gentleman had been pleased to criticise the financial opinions which he had given at different times. When the right hon. Gentleman had said, that he had talked of a scramble in that House, he begged at least to have an opportunity of explaining himself on the subject. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer (the present Earl Spencer) had, at an unusually early period of the Session, given a financial statement to the house of Commons, in which he had said, that there was a large surplus of revenue—a surplus to the extent at least of 1,200,000l., and of which the Government had to dispose. He had deprecated the making of any such assertions in the House without going into details, because the consequences would be that all the different classes and interests of the House would make a scramble for the surplus. If the same occasion were to occur, he would be quite ready to repeat the assertion, and he still maintained, that the disclosure to the House was indiscreet, and a very unfortunate mode of expression. He had voted undoubtedly for the Repeal of half of the Malt-tax, and the right hon. Gentleman thought it perfectly consistent in him to vote as he certainly should do that night. What, would the right hon. Gentleman say, that there was no difference in the circumstances of the two cases? In the first place, he had explained at the time he gave his vote the ground on which he had given it. There had been in three following years, according to the admission of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a surplus to be divided, and the fact was, that in the year 1831, a surplus of 1,200,000l. was disposed of to repeal the duties upon printed goods and coals. In the year 1832, a surplus of 760,000l. went to the repeal of duties upon candles, soap, and some other articles. In 1833, 1,657,000l. went to the Repeal of the Assessed-taxes, advertisements, marine insurances, and other things; whilst in 1834, a surplus of 1,700,000l. was to be distributed, and the great mass was devoted to the Repeal of the House-tax. It was on this occasion, that he had said, that if such distributions of surplus revenue were to be made an object of scramble from year to year, he should beg to put in his claim on the part of those whose interests he represented in that House. The whole amount of the reduction, since 1833, had been 5,300,000l., and he had maintained, that at least one-half of the Malt-tax should have been repealed out of that surplus before several other taxes. If, at the present moment, there were a considerable surplus to dispose of, he should feel himself very much embarrassed in voting against the Motion of the noble Marquess, for he was perfectly aware, that there was no interest in the country labouring under more severe sufferings than the landed interest. He had never concurred in the opinion, that the reduction of the Malt-tax would not be a great advantage. The farmer, indeed, was very much in error as to the extent of the advantage which would fall to his share, for the chief part of the advantage would accrue to the labourers in agriculture; but still he could not deny, that it would be an advantage of very considerable extent to the farmer. If there were any considerable surplus revenue, or any means whatever of affording this relief, without totally subverting the whole system of the finances of the country, he would vote, that the agricultural interest should be benefitted, but, at present, there was no surplus at all; there was nothing whatever to distribute. Would it be wisdom in that House to make a deficiency in the revenue, and then to seek out the means of making up the defect? Would it be wise to subvert the finances of the country, and to make a complete change in the system of taxation, by which he believed the agricultural, as well as every other interest in the country would suffer? The right hon. Gentleman had criticised what had been very often said by him in that House with respect to the disposal of large sums of surplus revenue. All he had said was, that if, at an early period after the war, the surplus revenue had been applied to the reduction of the National Debt the country would now have been in a condition to remit a much larger portion of the taxes. The right hon. Gentleman had stated to the House what had been the result of economy to the country in the maintenance of public credit. Undoubtedly, it had enabled the country to reduce the five and four per cents.; but still he maintained, that if the surplus revenues at the conclusion of the war had been properly applied, the reductions might now have been greater. He begged leave to state, that comparing last year with the present, the right hon. Gentleman would find, that he had ample means of justifying the votes he had given and should give. Last year, the price of barley was 27s., and now it was 37s. Then there was a surplus revenue, and now there was no surplus, it was, therefore, that he could not see, except it were for the purposes of making a sort of party display, for the sake of introducing party and party asperities into a question which ought to be entirely free from them—why it was that Gentlemen opposite had argued the question with reference to the votes of last Session. The argument for the farmer was, if there were not a better price for barley what would be the benefit to him? Barley was at present at 37s.; and let Gentlemen look at the returns under the present Corn-laws, and they would find, that in proportion, as barley approached to the price of 40s., foreign barley was brought into this country. As prices got down, foreign barley ceased to come in. Unless, therefore, they could persuade the House to Repeal the Corn-laws entirely, it would be impossible that the farmer, at the present price of barley, could derive any benefit by reducing the Malt-tax. Even in the two last months there had been a considerable increase in the importation of foreign barley, whilst a quantity of beans and peas had come out for home consumption, and a revenue of 100,000l. had been levied on the imported barley. Again, he maintained, that unless Parliament could be persuaded to alter the Corn-laws, no benefit could be expected from any alterations of the Malt-tax. He wished, that Gentlemen in discussing this question would avoid personalities, and confine themselves to argument and to figures, and he was sure, that they would come to the result which he had pointed out. He knew that his constituents in Essex had a strong opinion that relief ought to be afforded to them by agreeing to the Motion before the House. He did not conceal from himself, that a very large majority of the agriculturists of the country had their hearts set on this Motion. He would not anticipate their judgment upon his conduct; but be would again assert, that he had made no pledges, and as long as be had the honour to sit in that House, whether his votes of one year could be set against his votes of another year or not, this he could say, that whilst he had the honour of sitting there, or of holding any place in his Majesty's Government, he would not vote on anything if he were to sacrifice in the slightest degree his sincere opinion. To come down to that House to express the opinions, and to vote after the opinions, of others would be no gratification to him; on the contrary, if he were to appear in that House to express any opinions, opposed to his own, or to vote against his conscientious convictions, it would be the greatest mortification he could endure.

Mr. Charles Wood,

in explanation, said, that he had no intention, in any allusions he had made to the right hon. Gentleman, to go beyond the limits of fair political debate. He had no intention of making a personal attack upon the right hon. Gentleman, and if he had said anything to induce a contrary belief, he was very sorry for it, and begged to assure the right hon. Gentleman that nothing could be further from his thoughts than the desire to offer him any personal offence.

Lord Ashley

complained that in his absence from the House it had been said that he had done in office what he would not do out of office. It had been said that he had voted for the Repeal of the Malt-tax on a former occasion, and that he would vote for a continuance of the tax now. The fact was not so; he was out of town when the vote of the preceding Session had been passed for reducing the Malt-tax, and when he heard of that vote he made it his business to return to town and to support the Government in putting it on again. He had twice opposed a reduction of the Malt-tax, and he would oppose it again; and this he did, because a Repeal of the tax would injure the interests of those whom he was bound to protect.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

was anxious to state the grounds upon which he should give his vote that night, and more especially, the financial grounds on which he rested that vote. The right hon. Gentleman had observed, and it was quite true, that it was very inconvenient to enter into a discussion on financial matters before the regular statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Admitting this, however, he must regret that the right hon. Baronet had not seen fit to take, even thus early in the Session, an opportunity of doing that which had been done by his predecessors in office—namely, giving some rough statement of the financial condition of the country, without waiting for the introduction of the budget, which could only be brought forward after the estimates. A statement of this kind had been made in February, last year, and in April, of the year before, and at an early period in other years. The present right hon. Secretary for the Home Department had pursued this course when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, in 1830. It would be, he contended, a great advantage to the House, not only in discussing a question like the present, but generally, if the right hon. Baronet had favoured them with some such financial explanation. At that early period it must necessarily be somewhat vague, but he trusted the right hon. Gentleman would see the expediency of putting it forth speedily, and, at all events, that he would not defer his statement to the end of the financial year, but would, upon the occasion of their going into a Committee of Supply, or some such other occasion, follow the example of his predecessors. He was extremely sorry to find, from the right hon. Baronet's statement, that there would not be a surplus of more than 250,000l., because, although he was aware there could not be any considerable surplus, yet he certainly did expect that it would have been greater than the amount declared by the right hon. Baronet. The smallness of this surplus, however, he could assure the House was not a consideration necessary to influence his vote. The principles which had been laid down by the right hon. Baronet were in themselves perfectly sufficient. But while he voted in accordance with those principles, and found himself voting on the same side with the right hon. President of the Board of Trade, he must not be understood to give his assent to those very different principles which had been laid down by that right hon. Gentleman. He really should have felt great difficulty in voting against the Repeal of this tax if it had been met in another way. The right hon. Gentleman had fairly declared, that looking to the amount of taxation necessary to keep up the proper and becoming expenditure of the country, and to fulfil its engagements, he did not conceive that the tax could be dispensed with at present. The right hon. President of the Board of Trade, had treated the question on very differentgrounds. He quite agreed with the right hon. Baronet, that the tax was as good a tax as any other which could be imposed; it was an evil doubtless, a tax was always an evil; but still he maintained this particular tax was a less evil, and in fact better than any other which could be made its substitute at present, or, for aught that could be foreseen, for some time to come. Besides, until other more oppressive and more obnoxious taxes were removed, he should give his vote for the maintenance of the Malt-tax as a permanent measure, at least until circumstances were greatly altered. The right hon. Gentleman must surely have heard with infinite pleasure the arguments of the right hon. Baronet that night; yet was it not strange that they did not occur to the right hon. Gentleman himself and before the present time? The circumstances attending the question were precisely the same last year as they were at that moment. Could there then be any reason why a Gentleman of his acknowledged acuteness should not have been able to imagine and supply the arguments upon the occasion? The right hon. Baronet had stated that the revenue was progressively increasing without a proportionate increase of the rate. He also said that the amount of malt consumed was increasing. The right hon. Gentleman said, indeed, that the prices were lower last year, but that it was only from the larger supply. There had also been an allusion to the old argument about the exorbitant profits of the maltsters, which was a rank fallacy. There was, also, a palpable fallacy in what had been said by the right hon. Gentleman that night, no doubt looking to Essex, that the farmer would be benefited by the redemption of this tax; yet, in the same breath, he went on to show, by returns, that whenever the price got up, the importation of foreign barley came in, and therefore, notwithstanding what he had said before, that the farmer could not possibly be benefited. He, however, would leave the right hon. Gentleman to explain this, together with the many other matters upon which he would be probably questioned when he met his constituents in the market-place at Chelmsford. He contended, that if there were any increase of profit, the landlord would be sure, sooner or later, to take the lion's share; and he would only do right in so doing. It would be the natural result of that competition for land which made rent. He would vote with the right hon. Baronet; and felt no difficulty in voting with him, for he should always be directed by a regard to the interests of the country in the course which he should pursue.

Sir James Graham

said, that after the unanswered and unanswerable speech they had heard in the earlier part of that evening, he certainly should not, if he had not been called for, have troubled the House with a single word in defence of the vote which he purposed to give. The proposition under their consideration materially affected the revenue of the country; and being in the situation of one who was not connected with the present Government, who had not been connected with the last Government, who had no vote upon the subject to explain, and no speech to retract, he might, perhaps, be permitted, in obedience to the wish of the House, to state as shortly and succinctly as he could, the reasons upon which he justified his vote on the present occasion. With reference to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Lincolnshire, who, amidst other remarks of the like tendency, had observed that the time for professions had gone by, and that it would now be certainly seen who were, and who were not, the friends of the landed interest, he should, he doubted not, be pardoned for saying that there was no Gentleman in that House, who, by prejudice, feelings, inclinations, habits,—by the bonds of common interest,—he might add, by common suffering—was more identified with the holders of land than the Member who had then the honour to address them. His regard for the agricultural interest was one of the strongest sentiments which guided his public conduct He had attended closely and anxiously the investigation respecting the condition of that body, and he felt himself bound to state to the House, that no fact had ever yet been more clearly proved than that the distress was general, that it was progressive, and that it required the earnest and immediate attention of the Government. But being, as he was, a friend of the agricultural interest—entertaining, as he did, the opinion that agriculture was the most important of the concerns of every state, the interest on which the prosperity of the country mainly did depend—anxious as he was to withhold no re-relief which could possibly be afforded, admitting, as he did, the distress; yet did he conscientiously come to the conclusion that the remedy proposed was not practicable, and was inconsistent alike with the true interests of the agricultural body and with those of the community. He would not weary the House by again feebly touching upon the points which had been so admirably put forward by the right hon. Baronet, or by again running over the arguments which they had heard him state with so much pleasure. He conceived, that after the clear and powerful speech of the right hon. Baronet, everybody must feel, that the arguments which could be advanced had been all exhausted. It only remained for the individuals who might follow him to glean a few of the topics which he might have passed over or neglected. The right hon. Baronet had fairly stated the substance of the evidence which had been given before the Agricultural Committee; it proved that distress did exist generally, but chiefly amongst those who occupied the heavy clay lands. Now the tendency of the noble Marquess's Motion would be to raise the price of barley, which was grown upon the light lands at present not in a state of distress, and to leave untouched the evil which affected the clay laud, the ancient wheat land of Eng- land; so that the arrangement proposed by the noble Marquess would actually be in favour of the light lands which were the least depressed, and against the heavy lands on which the burthen chiefly rested. The hon. Member for Lincolnshire, indeed, had made some observations about the indirect effect of the diminished growth of wheat on light land being favourable to its increased production on heavy clay land; such observations would have been conclusive if he had not overlooked the operation of the Corn-laws. He forgot that the whole surplus consumption of wheat, that is to say, all that was consumed beyond what was grown in England, had for the last three years been supplied from Ireland. And what were the prices in that country? Why, in the market of Waterford, good wheat was sold from 28s. to 32s. per quarter. Now, in Ireland there was still a vast quantity of excellent land yet unbroken; and if an increase in the price of barley grown on the light land of England were to displace the growth of wheat, and to raise its price, the consequence would be the bringing into wheat cultivation a vast quantity of land of a superior quality in Ireland. He asked, then, how was it possible that the cultivation of the heavy clay-land in England could be benefitted by the increase of price? It struck him, too, that the right hon. Baronet, in disproving the statement of the profits of maltsters made by the hon. Member for Oldham, might have corroborated the just view which he had truly taken. The right hon. Gentleman had said, and most accurately, that the profits of the maltster were not more than 5s. or 6s. a quarter. The fact was, that in districts where farmers were in the habit of sending their sacks of barley to be malted, 5s. to 6s. per quarter were charged for that operation, so that the right hon. Gentleman had arrived by induction at the precise minimum of the profit enjoyed by the maltster which he could have declared from his practical and personal knowledge of the fact. The hon. Member for Oldham was wrong in his exaggerated estimate of the maltster's profits. There was this great difficulty in the question respecting the Repeal of the Malt-tax—if you lowered the prices, the consumer would benefit to a small extent, and the demand for barley would increase; but unless there were to be some ancillary measure respecting the Corn-laws, the farmer, it was clear, could not benefit from the increased demand, since importation would check a rise in the price of barley. The right hon. President of the Board of Trade had observed, that so soon as the barley which now fetched 38s. a quarter reached 40s., then the operation of the Corn-laws commenced. Where, then, were the benefits which the noble Marquess contemplated for the English cultivator? Were they then to submit to so great a loss of revenue, without any certain advantage to the consumer or to the farmer, to the light land or to the heavy land, to any body or anything, excepting the landowner? For he maintained, that it was quite evident that the benefit of any rise in price must ultimately accrue to the Landlord, from the increased competition for land, and the higher rents which must necessarily take place. In pursuing the course which he had determined to follow, he thought not of the maintenance of this Government or of that Government—he thought only of the maintenance of public credit; and therefore it was that now, as formerly, he would, as strenuously as ever resist the Repeal of this tax. [Mr. Hume rose, supposing the right hon. Baronet had ended.] He saw that the hon. Member for Middlesex was anxious to address the House, and he should have great pleasure in hearing him deliver his sentiments. He should be particularly glad to hear him on one point. The hon. Member was certainly a great advocate for economy and retrenchment. Now, the right hon. Baronet had stated, that there were four ways in which the reduction of this tax might possibly be compensated. One was, a decrease in the public expenditure of 4,500,000l., which he (Sir Robert Peel) declared to be impossible—an opinion which was supported by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Spring Rice) who had such recent experience at the Treasury. The hon. Member for Middlesex had, in 1823, pointed out an extent of reduction which he declared might be effected by honest exertions; but to the credit of the Wellington Administration, be it said, and equally to the credit of Earl Grey's Administration, the expenditure had been reduced to a degree which the hon. Member for Middlesex had not, in 1823, himself deemed possible. Economy and retrenchment had actually been carried beyond the hopes or expectations of the Member for Middlesex. He doubted if any very material additional reductions could, in the present state of circumstances, be made under any Administration, whether the present, or one to come. They had now a new Administration, and they had been told of, or rather threatened with a Grote and Warburton Administration. He did not mean to allude offensively to either of those Gentlemen. He admired their private and public virtues; but knowing the bent of their principles and inclinations, and the organic changes which they were anxious to effect, be certainly should feel great regret, and regard with extreme apprehension their accession to office. It might not perhaps be likely that such an Administration would be formed immediately, but if it were, it was quite impossible that the hon. Member for Middlesex should not hold a leading situation in it. Indeed, the hon. Member had, by a Motion of which he had given notice, designated the particular office which he was prepared to hold. He was, it appeared, to be Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had no doubt, too, that the hon. Member for Southwark would occupy a prominent station in that Ministry. The hon. Member was perfectly conscious of his own power and abilities. He said, in last Session, that he had taken the measure of other men in public life, and declared that he was in no respect their inferior, except as regarded one particular investigation affecting his private character, which he had succeeded in having instituted, and from which, so far as it went, he might take the full benefit. He repeated, therefore, that it was highly probable the hon. Gentleman would take a prominent part in such an Administration. He asked, then, the country gentlemen of England, were they prepared to vote for the Repeal of the Malt-tax, for the purpose of receiving a graduated Property-tax and the Repeal of the Corn-laws, which they would have if the hon. Member for Southwark and his party succeeded? He appealed to the gentlemen of England, if they were prepared to accept of this alteration at the expense of a Property-tax, or of a breach of national faith. He knew that they would regard even a Property-tax as a less evil than an act of national bankruptcy; but was not the Malt-tax a still less evil than the certainty of this graduated Pro- perty-tax, which was offered to them as a boon in its stead, and the great probability of a total repeal of the Corn-laws? It must not be dissembled, that great burthens pressed upon the landed interest. What were these? The Poor-laws? But means had been devised for lightening the pressure of those laws. What next? The Tithes, but there was reason to hope that something would be done to reduce this heavy burthen by a commutation; and further, there was reason to hope that steps would be taken to lighten the pressure of the county rates. The only thing which then remained exclusively a charge upon the landed interest was the Malt-tax, and he was persuaded, that if that, with the other burthens, were reduced, there would be nothing to prevent the Repeal of the Corn-laws being urged irresistibly upon the House. On the whole, then, looking at the alternatives that were left to them, and foreseeing the nature of the substitutes that were offered, and the difficulties that would arise from an increase of the amount of duties on other articles already taxed, and believing that a Property-tax was the only effective substitute that could be offered, and objecting on principle to that tax, he could not give his assent to the present Motion. [Here Mr. Hume, who seemed to think that the right hon. Baronet had concluded his speech, rose, and addressed the Chair.] He (Sir J. Graham) felt that he was delaying the House from hearing a speech from the hon. Member for Middlesex, which he again regretted he had not the opportunity of hearing before he commenced. He could not say what effect the speech of the hon. Member might have had on him, but there was a speech yet to be delivered on the other side, by which it was possible he might be convinced. He alluded to one which the House might possibly hear from an hon Friend, who had delivered a speech in another place, to which—as election and other speeches out of doors had been alluded to—he might venture to refer. The speech to which he alluded was that of the hon. Member for Cricklade, which, if the plans referred to in it were stated in the House, might possibly shake his vote. That hon. Member had said, in an address to his constituents, or was reported to have said, that such was his opposition to the continuance of the Malt-tax, that he had obtained a monosyllabic nick-name—that name was "Malt." The hon. Gentleman had said, that he had constantly impressed on Ministers the necessity of repealing the duty on malt, and that at last he was delegated by the late Government to draw up a plan for its abolition, and for supplying its place; this plan, he had declared to have been almost ready, and that he entertained sanguine hopes it would have proved satisfactory. That plan was, however, cut short by the dissolution of the Melbourne Administration. He did not see why the plan should be lost. If it had been matured, he saw no reason why his hon. Friend should not state it to the House. It might have the effect of shaking his vote; but until he heard this notable plan explained in all its details, he should adhere to his intention of opposing the present Motion.

Mr. Robert Gordon

said, that the right hon. Baronet had denounced the practice of crimination and recrimination, and yet a great part of his speech was made up of personal attacks on one individual or another. He confessed that he did not expect that any attack on him would have proceeded from a Gentleman with whom he had been in habits of intimacy, and the less so when his present state of health was known. Referring to the speech to which the right hon. Baronet had alluded, he might follow the example of others and say, that not having much time to spare, he was not in the habit of reading newspapers, and therefore could not hold himself responsible for what they might publish; but he would not avail himself of that plea. He had no objection to have anything that he said to his constituents made the subject of comment. It was well known that he had been uniformly opposed to the Malt-tax. When asked by his constituents his reason for the course he had pursued with respect to that tax, and the same question, he had no doubt, would be asked by other constituencies, he had told his constituents that he had pressed the Repeal of the Malt-tax on the Government until they were sick of his repeated applications. He had pointed out the necessity of doing something for the landed interest, and showed that the election for Dorsetshire would be lost if nothing was done and that election was lost because nothing was done in that respect. It had been stated in the debate, that hon. Members, not being Chancellors of the Exchequer, were not bound to bring forth specific plans for replacing any tax that might be abolished. He would not state any plans of his, but he might observe that he had endeavoured to impress upon the late Government some notions of his own on that subject, and, perhaps, from the courtesy with which his suggestions had been listened to by the noble Earl (Grey) and the noble Viscount (Melbourne), he might have imagined that those noble Lords were impressed with the same views; but if any impression had gone abroad that the Government had authorised him to declare their intention of repealing the Malt-tax, he was sorry to say it was incorrect. He again must express his regret that such attacks as those he now felt himself called on to reply to, had been made, and made in such a quarter, but he hoped the House would go with him in thinking that they were such as called on him for a reply.

Mr. Hume

hoped that he should receive a similar indulgence from the House, as he had also been personally alluded to by the right hon. Baronet. He had characterised men to those who knew no better. He meant to say that the right hon. Baronet had described to many who did not know them, the opinions of certain Members of that House, and had said that if such men should form part of the Administration, the Government of the country would be brought into discredit.

Sir James Graham:

What I said was, that if an Administration were formed consisting of the hon. Member for Middlesex, and others whom I named, the country must expect a Property-tax and a Repeal of the Corn-laws.

Mr. Hume:

The right. hon. Baronet had better speak out than convey his opinions by insinuations. But he should prefer a Government adopting such measures as those to which the right hon. Baronet had alluded, to that one which would rob the public. The right hon. Baronet could not forget his own proposition to cut down the old coinage from a shilling to a sixpence, and let the loss fall on those who held those coins, which would fall on a large portion of the poor of the country. No man was more closely connected with a plan for the breach of public faith than the right hon. Baronet, and he (Mr. Hume) would repeat that assertion, let the right hon. Baronet take it as he pleased. The right hon. Baronet cried out against crimination, and yet he began by it himself. His own late col- leagues had not been exempted from his censure. They had been described as a Babel opposition, as unfit for office, and unworthy of the public confidence. Now, whether the right hon. Baronet was an old or a new Whig, or a clipper of the King's money, urging the payment of only half the nominal amount, he would not say; but when he brought forward charges of this kind, let him look at home—no man was so connected as he was with recommending the breach of public honour and public faith. Let the right hon. Baronet's works speak for him.—["They are not his."]—That might be the case with some, but there were others which were not disputed. He had no doubt that many Members near the right hon. Baronet did not wish to hear any more on the subject, and some of them might feel that their leader was dealt with in a way which they did not expect. The right hon. Baronet had said, that he did not expect to hear any one propose any means of replacing the Malt-tax. He was one who would propose a means of supplying the deficiency. In the year 1822, he had pointed out how eight millions of taxes might be taken off. At that day he was treated as a visionary, but he had lived to see that amount of taxation taken off, and two millions more than he had expected; and he hoped to live to see four millions more taken off, and he begged the indulgence of the House while he explained how this might be done. For his own personal course he had nothing to explain. He had voted against the Malt-tax last year, and he would do so now. The right hon. Baronet seemed to think that only one class of persons was affected by the Malt-tax. He was surprised at this coming from one who had held so high an office as the right hon. Baronet had in the late Government. He (Mr. Hume) held that the labourer, who earned his bread from day to day, was as much interested in the Malt-tax as the farmer or landowner; all classes were interested. He would appeal to those who knew him, whether anything had ever fallen from him, in his desire to effect reduction—whether he had ever said or urged anything which could affect public credit. He had always done his best to support public credit and public faith; and if the Malt-tax were five times its present amount he would vote against its Repeal, if that repeal could be shown to be injurious to public credit or faith with the public creditor. But he did not think that the repeal of the tax would injure public credit; on the contrary, he thought that it would not only help public credit, but it would also tend to improve public morals. It was well known that in proportion as the consumption of malt decreased the consumption of spirits increased. This would be shown by looking to the returns of the consumption of malt in the ten years ending in 1786, and the ten years ending in 1826. In the former period the duty on malt was 10s. the quarter, and the population was much less than in the latter; yet the consumption of malt in the latter was not greater than in the former period. This was owing to the increased consumption of spirits. In his opinion, therefore, the House was in duty bound, by the Repeal of this Tax, at once to relieve the community from a heavy burden, and to improve the morality of the country, which had been so deeply injured by the disgraceful reduction in 1823 of the duty on spirits. He now came to the financial consideration of the question—namely, how a deficiency in the revenue of 4,600,000l. could be supplied? The House were, perhaps, not aware that the large establishment of Excise-officers which were formerly necessary to collect the tax on beer had been kept up to the present moment, for the purpose of collecting the Malt-tax. The whole expense of the Excise exceeded 1,200,000l. Now he (Mr. Hume) was satisfied that if the Malt duty were repealed, 500,000l. of that expense might be saved. That would leave only 4,100,000l. to be provided for. Now it had been stated by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the 14th of July, that although six millions of taxes had been taken off since the year 1831 the actual loss to the revenue had been only half the amount. The reason was, that the people who had been relieved from those taxes had laid out their money in other articles subject to taxation. He (Mr. Hume) had ventured on that occasion to state that a repeal of taxation to the amount of 7,800,000l., had produced an actual deficiency in the revenue of no more than 1,800,000l., and, therefore, that the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had greatly understated the fact. Taking, therefore, the sum in question at 4,600,000l. he was convinced that the only actual loss which they had a right to calculate upon would be two millions and a quarter. This left only 2,100,000l. to be provided for, no difficult matter when they took into account the increase of revenue that would accrue from other quarters, in consequence of the reduction on this article. Such, during the last half century, had been the uniform result of any reduction of taxes that had taken place. The noble Lord who preceded the present right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer, had not hesitated, the year before last, to repeal taxes beyond the amount of the surplus he had in hand, confidently calculating that the reductions he made would be more than made up for by the increase of revenue derived from other taxed articles. His confidence was not misplaced, for did not the noble Lord tell them last year, that his most sanguine calculations had been more than realised. He was entitled, therefore, to rest upon the experience of the past, and say that they might depend upon an increase of revenue from other quarters, if the tax on malt were repealed. The right hon. Baronet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had said, in his usual magniloquent style, that the sum sought to be repealed was one-third of the whole disposable taxation of the country; but was this really the case? The late Chancellor of the Exchequer told them in his budget of July last, that 14,500,000l. was the amount of charge for the army, navy, ordnance, and half-pay. There was further, a sum of 1,963,000l., which went to the civil list, diplomatic expenses, sinecures, and pensions. The half million on the Civil-list could not be touched; but the other items might be reduced 200,000l. Why should they keep up such an enormous diplomatic expenditure for the purpose of making Lord Londonderry ambassador. There were, besides, other charges, amounting to upwards of 3,500,000l., which raised the total of disposable expenditure to 20,000,842l. The whole of this might be dealt with except the Civil-list and a portion of the salaries of the Judges. [Sir James Graham: And the half-pay.] He would admit, that the half-pay should not be touched; but having made these exceptions, was any man prepared to say, that 3,000,000l. might not be saved out of the rest, and very little more than two millions was wanted. If the right hon. Baronet, (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would only concede the settlement of the Church question in Ireland, a million of this might at once be saved from the military expenses of that country. Or, if he would do justice to the colonies in America, and elsewhere other large sums might be saved in the same department. In Canada alone, 3,000 men, costing 300,000l. might be saved. He would then take the militia, the expense of which was a mere waste of 340,000l., and the expense of our volunteer corps. What use was there in keeping those men riding about at the public expense? They ought to be reduced. But take only the expenditure of the 14,000,000l., and was there any Government which could not make a reduction of ten per cent on that amount? There was also the staff, on which a large reduction might be made. He was aware, that there were many hon. Members who had opposed, and who always had been opposed, to all reductions, on the ground, that they were impracticable consistently with the efficiency of the public service. He would mention one case to show the fallacy of such objections. When the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) came into office, he (Mr. Hume) said, that he might reduce 1,500,000l. in the navy expenditure, and yet leave the navy more efficient than before. Many Members deemed that impossible, but the right hon. Baronet had made a reduction of 1,300,000l., and left the navy more efficient than he found it. Let them, then, try his plan, and they would find, that the reductions he proposed, could be effected with safety. Let them look at the engineer and storekeepers' departments; and they would find, that a reduction of 200,000l. might be effected in these branches. He would say, then, that all who were anxious to effect an economical reduction in the public expenditure ought to vote for the Repeal of the Malt-duties, because, by that means they would force reduction on the Government. They had no prospect of reduction in the King's Speech, or in any other speech that he had heard. In none of these was there any prospect of a reduction of taxation. Let the House, then, force this reduction on the Government in the way he had proposed. But, it might be asked, had he no tax to propose in lieu of that which was proposed to be reduced? He answered, that no new tax was necessary; but if one was necessary, he could state one to which no man could object. There had been taxes proposed, and acts passed, by those who consulted their own interests. The nobles, and those who held large property, made a law, which suited their own views. One act of this kind would illustrate what he meant. One act was passed, by which any person, to whom a bequest was made of 100l. must pay, if he were a stranger —that was a person not related by blood—10l. to the public revenue out of that legacy, and in proportion less, according to his degree of kindred to the testator. Let a man be ever so poor, or ever so much in need of the bequest, that tax must first be paid. But how was the case with the property left by the rich? He would state one case in illustration. The Duke of Sutherland died lately, and left to his family a property of 240,000l. a-year, and on this not one farthing duty was paid to the public. Was this fair, when compared with the tax which the poor man had to pay? He would say, if they wanted an additional tax, and he did not think they would, if the proper reductions were made, let them tax such properties as that which he had mentioned. Let them tax the property of the Duke of Devonshire, and others, who might have large property; let such property be taxed to its full value, and they would find ample means to make good any real loss to the revenue occasioned by the reduction of the Malt-tax. This, however, was not the wish of the land-owners, and it was proved in the case of Mr. Pitt. When that Minister proposed, in 1798, a tax on property, he brought in two bills; one of these taxed the property of large proprietors in the way he had stated; one of these, on the third reading, was carried by only the casting vote of the Speaker, and the next morning Mr. Pitt was informed, that if he persevered, he would lose the support of the country gentlemen. Now, he would ask the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Robert Peel) whether he thought he could have any difficulty in making this reduction out of the expenditure, when he (Mr. Hume) had given to the right hon. Baronet four items amounting to nearly one million. In addition to this he proposed a reduction of ten per cent upon the collection of the revenues, which, coupled with the other savings he had pointed out, would leave such ample funds, that every man might, with a safe conscience, vote for the abolition of this tax; and he pledged himself, that the public credit would stand higher in proportion as the ability of the people to pay the taxes was increased. The fewer the taxes, and the richer the people were, the greater their ability to pay taxes, and upon this he depended. The right hon. Baronet had ample means to meet the demands of the public creditor, and what he suggested as capable of being done was a similar reduction as the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Cumberland, had effected in the naval department, should be made in those items of public expenditure, which he (Mr. Hume) had twelve years ago recommended. On these grounds he should support the Motion, and he appealed to those hon. Members, who usually thought with him; but who, on the present occasion, seemed to entertain the erroneous notion, that, in their endeavours to Repeal other taxes, the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, would go with them—he entreated his friends to repel this notion, and to join with him in the sentiment, that the Malt-tax was a bad tax, and ought to be repealed, inasmuch as it fell upon that portion of the industry of the country which was least able to bear it. A more erroneous idea never prevailed, than that the Repeal of other taxes would be productive of equal relief; and those would not be the true friends of economy, nor doing that which was due from them to their constituents and to the country, who should join in the opposition to the Motion of the noble Marquess, the Member for the county of Buckingham.

Mr. Pease

was most anxious to state that he had enough of conscience not to consent to give away between 4,000,000l. and 5,000,000l. of taxation at the sacrifice ofrleaving the public creditor unprovided for. No just grounds had yet been shown for such a course, and his vote should be a decided negative to the Motion now before the House for the Repeal of so important a portion of the taxation of the country. When he looked to his constituents, he found amongst them a body of men suffering, the most poignant distress as agriculturists, but he was bound to believe, from all that he had learnt, that the Repeal of the Malt-tax would be to them of no service whatever. It was said that by the success of this Motion, a barrel of home-brewed beer would be found in every labourer's dwelling; but he begged to state that in his district the labourers were not beer-drinkers, and yet a more happy, healthy, or better-looking class of men, he defied any hon. Member to produce. The Poor-laws had been the real bane of the population of this country. In the course of his canvass he had travelled a district of twenty miles by forty miles, and he had never even been asked to vote for the Repeal of the tax on Malt; and he felt a justification for the course he should this night follow, in the fact that its Repeal would not afford that kind of relief for which his constituents most anxiously looked. At the same time, he was willing to give up the Malt-duties in favour of a Property-tax, considering, as he did, that the latter would more contribute to the happiness and welfare of the country. He had never been asked for a pledge on the hustings, and he was satisfied he was consulting the best interests of the people, and the wishes of the majority of those who had sent him as their Representative in this House, by voting in the negative on the Motion under consideration.

Mr. Grote

was only induced to rise on the present occasion, in consequence of having been alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir James Graham). That right hon. Gentleman had revived (in terms of which he did not now complain) some complimentary fancies, and announced to the House a few nights back by his hon. Friend, the Member for North Derbyshire. His hon. Friend had been pleased to connect his (Mr. Grote's) name with a possible Ministry; he, however, regretted such a fancy had ever been started, inasmuch as such a situation was as much above his ambition, as it would be foreign to his taste, his pursuits, and his interests. As the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir James Graham) had united his (Mr. Grote's) name, as a Member of a Cabinet, with those of the hon. Member for Middlesex, and of the hon. Member for Southwark, he must be allowed to state, that in his person such a Ministry would not be united upon the question of the Malt-tax. On that question, he held opinions very different from those entertained by the hon. Member for Middlesex, so much so, that he should feel it his duty to vote against the Motion this night proposed by the noble Marquess. He had, in the last Parliament, given a similar vote, and he now saw no reason to alter the course he had before pursued. He was at a loss to conceive how such a blow could be struck at the revenue as would follow the success of the Motion, without endangering the public credit. Even if so large an amount of revenue as that arising from the Malt-duties could be spared, that tax was not the first which he should choose for Repeal. On all points he considered the arguments of the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Robert Peel) to be unanswerable, and he rejoiced that the right hon. Gentleman had this evening dealt with, and dispersed so many of the agricultural fallacies so often put forth in this House. It was a mere deception to suppose that by the Repeal of the Malt-duties, the old custom of brewing in the farmers' houses would be restored, and, much as he wished to see that state of society which had passed away restored and secured, yet he entirely despaired of seeing it brought about by any legislative enactment. He was thankful to the House for affording him this opportunity of stating these few words, which he thought necessary in order to signify that on the present occasion at least he had not the good fortune to concur with the hon. Member for Middlesex; at the same time, he entirely and heartily acquiesced in many of the economical recommendations which the hon. Member for Middlesex had urged in the course of his speech, and he should give them his support whenever the hon. Member brought them forward in a separate and tangible shape.

Mr. Hesketh Fleetwood

said, that one great principle connected with the Question, had been almost wholly lost sight of in the course of the discussion—he meant with reference to the time at which the noble Marquess had brought forward his Motion. The right hon. Baronet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had said, that it was unreasonable and improper to move for the Repeal of a tax prior to the introduction of the Budget. He believed that what he (Mr. Fleetwood) was about to state, would be acknowledged to be a pure constitutional doctrine, when he said, that it was as much the duty of the Members of that House, being Representatives of the people, to declare to his Majesty's Ministers what individual taxes they wished to have repealed, as it was the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to bring forward his estimates of the current expenses of the year. If, as had been stated by the right hon. the President of the Board of Trade, last year, with reference to the measure introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for the Repeal of the House-tax, it was not advantageous to the interests of the country to propose the Repeal of one tax at the time when another was about to be repealed, that was a conclusive argument, that the time for hon. Members to state what taxes ought, in their judgment, to be repealed, was before the Budget was brought forward. But in the debate which had taken place on this question, there had been so little attention paid to the principle, and so much vituperation had been cast by one side of the House upon another, that he wished to call the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the support which he was upon the present occasion receiving from those who differed from him on other questions. He believed that there were many who opposed the Government upon general subjects, but yet looked to its triumph on this occasion, with a hope that it would lead to the future rejection of the supporters of a Conservative Ministry. If the Members of that House, being chosen as the Representatives of the people, called for the Repeal of a tax, and if there were not sufficient revenue remaining to meet the expenditure of the country, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not responsible. The hon. Member was proceeding further to address the House, but the cries of "Question" became so loud and general, that he resumed his scat.

Sir Roger Greisley

said, that having been made the object of personal attack by an hon. Member opposite, he trusted that he should be allowed to say one or two words. In the first place, he must say, that the attack which had been made upon him, came with a bad grace from those on the other side, who, having pledged themselves to support the proposition, that the late Speaker should again take the Chair of this House, and who admitted the fitness of that right hon. Gentleman for that office, had turned round to serve the views of a faction. He dismissed that subject. He could not in that House submit to the charge of inconsistency, which had been raised by the hon. Member upon the terms of a speech which he (Sir Roger Greisley) had delivered during the late election, without stating the grounds upon which he had resolved to alter his course. He felt it incumbent upon him to give his vote against the Motion of the noble Marquess near him, because he held it to be the bounden duty of every true patriot, under the circumstances in which the country was at present placed, to consider, not the mere question of the Repeal of the Malt-tax, but the inevitable result which must follow the success of that Motion—namely, the dissolution of the present Government. It was on these grounds that he held it to be his present duty to alter the vote which he had intended to give, and to vote against the Motion of his noble Friend. He contended, that the suddenness and variety of the changes which had taken place in the political circumstances of the country —circumstances which baffled the keenest foresight—justified a man in voting to-day in a sense contrary to that in which he would vote to-morrow. He knew very well that in giving this vote, he should, to a considerable degree and extent, offend those who had returned him on the present occasion, but he should be ashamed of himself if, for any personal object, he should violate his strict conscientious feelings. He should be ashamed of himself if, with a view to his own individual and personal interests, he should by his vote produce such a result as must inevitably ensue, if the Motion was carried—namely, the turning out of the present Government, and installing in their places a democratical Administration, the object of whose dominion would be the establishment of Annual Parliaments, of Universal Suffrage, Vote by Ballot, the secularization of Church-property, the separation of the Church from the State, the confiscation of private property, the destruction of the hereditary Peerage, national bankruptcy, and civil war. If the noble Marquess would consent to postpone his Motion until after he had given his Majesty's Government a fair opportunity of proposing their measures of agricultural relief, he, for one, would support him on a future occasion. With regard to his constituents, all he had to say was, that he should put to them the question, whether they preferred the loss of the present Government, or the Repeal of the Malt-tax, with the perfect confidence that they would tell him he had done his duty, that they had faith in the integrity of his motives, and approved of the principles which he had professed, and they had believed.

Colonel Sibthorpe

said, that it had been his intention, at first, to request the indulgence of the House whilst he made a few remarks upon the important question under debate. He would now trespass on their attention only for one second, seeing that an Hon. Friend of his who resided in the same county with him had seconded the Motion of the noble Marquess. No one was more attached than he was to the prosperity of agriculture, since it was the source from which he drew every enjoyment in life. But feeling as he did in the present state of the affairs of the country, and seeing that the late Administration intended by no act of theirs to grant relief to the agricultural interests, and believing that the right hon. Baronet, at the head of one of the most important branches of the Government, was disposed to give every relief to the agricultural interests consistent with the maintenance of the honour and dignity of the State, and thinking that the right hon. Baronet ought to have a fair trial—taking all those circumstances into consideration, and deeming besides that the Motion of the noble Marquess was very premature he could not bring himself to vote in favour of it. He held in his hand several documents which the lateness of the hour prevented him from reading) to prove that the Repeal of the Malt-tax would not be of such very great benefit to the agriculturist. He had heard many persons engaged in agriculture say both at their public meetings and in private, that the Repeal of the Malt-tax would not be of such benefit to the farmer and landowner as his hon. Friend (Mr. Handley) had stated it would be, and those individuals dreaded that a Property-tax would lay a burthen tenfold greater upon them. For these reasons he would vote with the right hon. Baronet, and would continue to do so until that right hon. Gentleman proved himself unworthy of his support.

Mr. Hodges

on rising, was assailed with general cries of "Divide." He assured hon. Members, that it was always with very great unwillingness that he intruded on their attention. He never made long speeches; but if he were not allowed to offer a few observations in support of his vote on the present occasion, he should be obliged to move the adjournment of the House. Petitions had been intrusted to his care from every part of the county of Kent, praying for a Repeal of the Malt- tax, so that it was impossible for him to give a silent vote on the present subject if he wished to do justice to those numerous petitioners. The thanks of that House, and of the country at large, were due to the noble Marquess for his manly and consistent conduct on this occasion. It was of some consideration that a man of the high rank of the noble Marquess should be seen standing by the pledges given to his constituents. The Resolution of the noble Marquess was judiciously shaped, since it announced the intention of the noble Marquess to bring in a Bill should the House accede to his Resolution, in which all the interests affected by that great measure would be properly secured. The petitions he had the honour to present were from every quarter of the county he represented; and why so? Because the people hoped to be able, and he remembered the time when almost all the agricultural labourers in Kent were able, to brew their own beer. When he heard the right hon. Baronet, at the head of the Treasury Bench, and the right hon. Baronet the Member for Cumberland, alluding to topics of alarm, he would ask them and the House, whether there was any more serious subject of alarm than that of alienating the affections and good feelings of the labouring classes from the landowners, which this tax certainly did? The Resolution of the noble Marquess went to revive the sympathy that formerly existed between the working classes and the higher portions of the community. When he said, that he was prepared to vote for a total Repeal of the Malt-tax, he begged to say, at the same time, that he was as sincere a friend to public credit as any man in or out of that House. He felt satisfied that any defalcation in the revenue caused by the passing of the Bill, introduced by the noble Marquess, would not be so great as not to be remedied by an increase in the amount of the consumption of other taxable commodities. Even though there should be a new tax laid on, it would be one of very small amount. He exhorted county Members to remember the heart-rending scenes they had witnessed in their own counties; to call to mind the distress of the agricultural labourers; to remember their promises on the hustings; but he feared that in the atmosphere they at present breathed, hon. Gentlemen were very apt to forget the distress they saw, and the promises they made elsewhere. He trusted, however, that on the present occasion, they would bear them in mind, and satisfy the wishes of their constituents. He would give his most cordial support to the Motion of the noble Marquess.

Mr. Hall Dare

hoped he might be permitted for a short time to express his concurrence in the observations that fell from the hon. Member for Kent. It certainly was one of the worst features of the present time to see an alienation of the working classes taking place from persons who filled that rank of society held by the Members of that House, though he did not think that alienation was to be attributed to the cause assigned by the hon. Member. He believed, in his conscience, that that alienation was caused by the writings and speeches made by interested and ambitious persons both in that House and out of it. The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Cambridge, and the hon. Member for Halifax, asked Gentlemen how they could reconcile themselves to vote now in opposition to pledges given on the hustings. He begged leave, for one, to say, that the question did not apply to him, for when he was asked on the hustings to pledge himself to the Repeal of the Malt-tax, or to any other question, he always said, that he disdained making any pledge. With respect to his agricultural constituency he certainly did give, in various speeches made to them, not pledges, but reasons why he should vote for a Repeal of the Malt-tax. He was now bound to state the reasons why he came to a different conclusion. When he entered the House that day no one more sincerely believed than he did that the agricultural interests, and those of the lower classes generally, would be benefitted by a Repeal of the Malt-tax; but the confidence he had in that opinion was much shaken by the arguments of his right hon. Friend (Sir Robert Peel). He confessed, that even if that confidence had not been so shaken, he would vote as he now intended to do, for it was his opinion, that if the result of the vote of that night—if the Motion of the noble Marquess should be successful, and power pass from the hands of the right hon. Baronet and his colleagues into the hands of those Gentlemen designated by the hon. Member for Derby on a former night, the effect would be to strike at the root of public confidence, and, so far from improving the agricultural interests, it would place power in the hands of those who by their speeches, in and out of that House, had shown themselves enemies to the great agricultural body. In the event of a loss of 4,600,000l. to the public revenue, the hon. Member for Middlesex had shown no substitute, and the result must be, that Government would not have at their command a sum sufficient to keep up the necessary establishments of the country, and pay the national creditor.

Mr. Curteis,

although not friendly to the present Ministry, would not violate, to turn them out, a thousandth part of the recorded pledge given by the hon. Member for Derby. He had presented numerous petitions from his constituents against the Malt-tax, and in no Question were they more deeply interested than in the present. Before he had a seat in Parliament he advocated a Repeal of that tax, therefore it could not be now a matter of surprise if he voted for the Motion of the noble Marquess. A substitute might be found for that tax by an equalisation of the Land-tax by which 3,000,000l. might be raised without increasing the latter tax, and those persons who now paid 4s. per acre Land-tax would then pay only 2s.

Mr. Arthur Trevor

said, that he would detain the House but a few moments, and he thought it but justice that hon. Members should be heard on a Question of such importance. He wished to state briefly why he should vote against the proposition of the noble Marquis. He was as anxious as any one in that House to give the agriculturists the relief they required, but he thought that the Motion of the noble Marquess was unseasonable, and that justice demanded, that they should wait until the right hon. Baronet placed his budget before Parliament, and made them acquainted with the measures of relief he had it in his power to give consistent with his duty as First Minister of the Crown, and consistent with the interests of the country generally.

The Marquess of Chandos

briefly replied. He regretted that so many hon. Members should have thought that his Motion was brought forward at an unseasonable moment. Had he seen any cause to hope that the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in laying before the House his budget, would propose either a Repeal of a part or the whole of the Malt-tax he would not have brought forward the present Motion. But, being convinced that it was not the intention of his Majesty's Ministers to Repeal either the whole or part of the tax it was his duty to bring forward the Motion now. If the Motion should be lost, at all events, the country would see that he had done his duty, and that no blame was to be attributed to him. The right hon. Baronet (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had expressed some surprise at a statement of his, that the Repeal of the Malt-tax would cause a saving of nearly 90l. annually to a farmer rating 200 acres of land. Now, since he made that statement, he had consulted with an individual who happened to be present at the debate, and who held a farm of the above extent of light barley land in the county of Buckingham, and the farmer confirmed the calculation he had made to the House, and, besides, bore him out in the assertion that relief from the county rates and other local burdens contemplated by the right hon. Baronet would not be to the same individual a saving of more than 8l. or 9l. annually. He regretted that, whenever the Question of the Repeal of the Malt-tax was mooted, it should be met with a cry of "There must be a Property-tax if the other be taken off." That was the case with every existing Ministry. The late Ministry said so when the Question of the Repeal of the Malt-tax was brought forward last year, and he was sorry to see the right hon. Baronet inclining to that opinion. He differed on that point in toto from the right hon. Baronet; but when he saw the sense of the House against him there was but little use in his individual opinion. He must state that it was with deep regret he perceived the changes that had taken place on the Question of the Malt-tax in the opinions of many hon. Members—and he experienced great feelings of alarm lest the country should withdraw all confidence from public men. He could not refrain from stating to hon. Members, that if, on the hustings they held out promises to vote for a certain question, and then when in that House changed their votes upon that same question, he would not hide from them that he feared that the result of such inconsistent conduct would be, that the constituency of the country would no longer place in their representatives that confidence which they ought to have in them, and in which the safety and the security of the empire chiefly depended.

The House divided on the Motion—Ayes 192—Noes 350—Majority 158.

[We subjoin the lists which were published of the Division, but it must be observed that they, particularly the Ayes, are inaccurate. The number of names in the minority is not less than 236, while the number of Members who voted was only 192. It is supposed that the list of the Ayes was made up beforehand, more from supposition that the Members whose names are put down would vote for the Motion than from any record of their vote.]

List of the AYES.
Acheson, Viscount Conyngham, Lord A.
Aglionby, H. A. Cookes, T. H.
Ainsworth, P. Corbett, T. G.
Alston, R. Crawford, W. S.
Anson, Sir G. Crawley, S.
Astley, Sir J. Bart. Curteis, H. B.
Attwood, T. Curteis, E. B.
Bagshaw, J. Darlington, Earl of
Bailey, J. De Beauvoir, Sir J. E.
Bainbridge, E. T. Denison, W. J.
Barham, T. Dennistoun, A.
Barnard, E. G. Dick, Q.
Beauclerk, Major Dillwyn, L. W.
Beaumont, T. W. Dobbin, L.
Berkeley, Hn. G. C. Don, O'Connor
Benett, J. Duffield, T.
Biddulph, R. Dugdale, W. S.
Bish, T. Duncombe, Hon. W.
Blackburn, J. Duncombe, Hon. A.
Blackstone, W. S. Durham, Sir P. C. H.
Blake, M. J. Eaton, R. J.
Blamire, W. Edwards, J.
Blunt, Sir C. R. Etwall, R.
Bodkin, J. J. Euston, Lord
Bowes, J. Evans, Col. de Lacy
Bowring, Dr. Evans, G.
Brabazon, Sir W. J. Ewan, W.
Brady, D. C. Fancourt, C. St. John
Bramston, T. W. Fellowes, Hon. N.
Bridgman, H. Ferguson, G.
Brocklehurst, J. Junr. Fielden, J.
Brotherton, J. Finn, F. W.
Buckingham, J. S. Fitzgibbon,Hon.R.H.
Bulwer, E. L. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Bulwer, H. L. Fitzsimon, C.
Burdon, W. W. Fleetwood, P. H.
Burrell, Sir C. B. Fleming, J.
Butler, Hon. P. Foley, E. T.
Cave, O. Folkes, Sir W.J.H.B.
Cavendish, Hon. C. C. Forester, Hn. G. C. W.
Cayley, E. S. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Chandos, Marquis of Gaskell, D.
Chetwynd, W. F. Geary, Sir W. R. P.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Gillon, W. D.
Cobbett, W. Gordon, R.
Codrington, C. W. Gore, W. O.
Compton, H. C. Goring, H. D.
Grattan, H. Plumptre, J. P.
Grimston, Viscount Potter, R.
Gully, J. Poulter, J. S.
Hall, B. Power, J.
Hallyburton,Hn.D.G. Power, P.
Handley, Henry Poyntz, W. S.
Hardy, J. Richards, J.
Harvey, D. W. Rickford, W.
Hay, Colonel L. Rippon, C.
Hawkes, T. Robinson, G. R.
Heathcote, Sir G. Roche, W.
Heathcote, J. Roebuck, J. A.
Heathcote, R. E. Rooper, J. B.
Hector, C. J. Rushbrooke, R.
Heneage, E. Ruthven, E. S.
Henniker, Lord Ruthven, E.
Hill, Sir R., Bart. Scholefield, J.
Hindley, C. Scott, J. W.
Hodges, T. L. Scourfield, W. H.
Hodges, J. T. Scrope, G. P.
Holland, Edward Seymour, Lord
Hoskins, K. Sheldon, E. R. C.
Hughes, W. H. Simeon, Sir R. G.
Hume, J. Sinclair, G.
Humphery, J. Smith, Benjamin
Hurst, R. H. Spiers, G.
Kemp, T. R. Spiers, A.
Kennedy, J. Spry, Sir T.
King, E. B. Strickland, Sir G.
Langton, G. Stuart, J.
Leader, J. T. Sullivan, R.
Lemon, Sir C. Surrey, Earl of
Lennard, T. B. Talbot, C. R. M.
Lewis, D. Talbot, J. H.
Lister, E. C. Tancred, H. W.
Locke, W. Tennyson, Rt. Hon. C.
Long, Walter Thompson, P. B.
M'Cance, J. Tollemache, A. G.
Maher, J. Tooke, W.
Mandeville, Viscount Townley, R. G.
Marjoribanks, S. Townsend, Lord J.
Marsland, H. Tracy, C. H.
Martin, T. B. Trelawney, Sir W.
Maxwell, J. Trevor, Hon. G. R.
Miles, W. Troubridge, Sir R.
Milton, Viscount Tulk, C. A.
Moreton, Hon. A. H. Turner, W.
Mostyn, Hon. E. L. Tynte, C. J.
Mullins, F. W. Tyrrell, Sir J. T.
Nagle, Sir R. Bt. Vere, Sir C. B. Bart.
O'Brien, C. Villiers, F.
O'Brien, W. S. Vivian, J. E.
O'Connell, M. Wakley, T.
O'Connell, D. Walker, C. A.
O'Connell, J. Wallace, R.
O'Connell, M. J. Walter, J.
O'Connell, M. Weyland, R.
O'Connor, F. Whalley, Sir S.
O'Dwyer, A. C. White, S.
Oswald, R. A. Wigney, I. N.
Palmer, C. Wilkins, W.
Palmer, R. Wilks, J.
Parrott, J. Williams, W.
Pelham, Hon. C.A.W. Williams, Sir J.
Perrin, L. Wilmot, Sir J. E., Bt.
Phillips, M. Wilson, H.
Pigot, R. Winnington, Sir T.
Winnington, H. J. Wyse, T.
Wodehouse, Hn. E. Yorke, E. T.
Wood, M. Young, Sir W. L.
List of the Noes.
Adam, C. Chaplin, T.
Agnew, Sir A. Chapman, A.
Alford, Lord Charlton, E. L.
Alsager, Captain Chatterton, Colonel
Andover, Lord Chichester, A.
Arbuthnot, Hon. H. Chichester, J. P. B.
Archdall, M. Churchill, Lord C.
Ashley, Lord Clay, W.
Ashley, H. Clements, Viscount
Attwood, M. Clerk, Sir G.
Bagot, Hon. W. Clive, E. B.
Bailie, H. D. Clive, Viscount
Baines, E. Clive, Hon. R. H.
Balfour, T. Codrington, Sir E.
Bannerman, A. Colborne, N. W. R.
Barclay, D. Cole, Hon. A. H.
Barclay, C. Collier, John
Baring, T. Conolly, E. M.
Baring, H. B. Cooper, E. J.
Baring, W. B. Coote, Sir C. H., Bart.
Baring, F. T. Copeland, W. T.
Baring, F. Corry, Hon. H. L.
Baring, Rt. Hon. A. Cowper, Hon. W. F.
Barneby, J. Crawford, W.
Bateson, Sir R. Crewe, Sir G., Bart.
Beckett, Sir J. Cripps, J.
Bell, M. Crompton, S.
Bentinck, Lord G. D'Albiac, Sir C.
Beresford, Sir J. P. Dalmeny, Lord
Berkeley, Hon. C. Damer, D.
Bernal, R. Dare, R. W. H.
Bethell, R. Davenport, J.
Bewes, T. Denison, J. E.
Blackburne, J. J. Divett, E.
Boldero, H. G. Donkin, Sir R. S.
Bolling, W. Dottin, A. R.
Bonham, F. R. Dowdeswell, W.
Borthwick, P. Dundas, R. A.
Bradshaw, J. Dundas, Hon. J. C.
Brodie, W. B. Dundas, Hon. T.
Brownrigg, J. S. Dunlop, C.
Bruce, Lord E. East, J. B.
Bruce, C. L. C. Eastnor, Viscount
Brudenell, Lord Ebrington, Viscount
Bruen, Colonel Egerton, W. T.
Bruen, F. Egerton, Sir P. de M.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. Egerton, Lord F.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Elphinstone, H.
Buller, E. Entwistle, J.
Buller, C. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Burdett, Sir F. Fazakerley, J. N.
Buxton, T. F. Fector, J. M.
Byng Sir J. Fergus, J.
Calcraft, J. H. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. R.C.
Campbell, Sir H. P. Ferguson, R.
Campbell, J. Fielden, W.
Canning, Sir S. Fitzsimon, N.
Carruthers, D. Finch, G.
Carter, J. B. Follett, Sir W. W.
Castlereagh, Viscount Forbes, Lord
Cavendish, Hon. G.H. Forbes, W.
Chalmers, P. Forster, C. S.
Fort J. Labouchere, H.
Fox, C. R. Lambton, H.
Fremantle, Sir T. F. Lawson, A.
Freshfield, J. W. Lee, J. L.
Gisborne, T. Lefevre, C. S.
Gladstone, W. E. Lefroy, Rt. Hn. T.
Gladstone, T. Lefroy, A.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Lennox, Lord J. G.
Goodricke, F. L. H. Lewis, W.
Gordon, W. Leycester, J.
Goulburn, Rt. Hn. H. Lincoln, Earl of
Graham, Sir J. R. G. Littleton, Rt. Hn. E.J.
Grant, Hon. F. W Lock, J.
Grant, Rt. Hon. C. Lowther, Lord
Grattan, J. Lowther, Hn. H. C.
Greene, T. Lowther, J. H.
Greisley, Sir R. Lucas, E.
Greville, Sir C. J. Lushington, Dr.
Grey, Sir G. Bt. Lushington, G.
Grimston, Hon. E. H. Lygon, Hn. Col. H.B.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Mackenzie, A. J. S.
Grote, G. Mackinnon, W. A.
Halford, H. M'Cleod, R.
Halse, J. M'Taggart, J.
Hamilton, Lord C. Mahon, Lord
Hamner, Sir J., Bart. Manners, Lord R.
Hanmer, H. Marsland, T.
Harcourt, G. V. Martin, J.
Hardinge, Sir H. Mathew, Captain
Harland, W. C. Maule, Hon. F.
Hawkins, J. H. Maxwell, H.
Hay, Sir J., Bart. Meynell, Henry
Hayes, Sir E. S., B. Miles, P. J.
Hawes, B. Miller, W. H.
Herbert, Hon. S. Molesworth, Sir W.
Heron, Sir R. Mordaunt, Sir J., Bt.
Herries, Rt. Hn. J. C. Morgan, C. M. R.
Hill, Lord A. Morpeth, Viscount
Hogg, J. W. Mosley, Sir O., Bart.
Hope, Hon. J. Murray, J. A.
Hope, H. T. Neeld, J.
Houldsworth, T. Neeld, Joseph
Howard, Hn. E. G. G. Nicholl, J.
Howard, P. H. Noel, Sir G.
Howard, R. Norreys, Lord
Howick, Viscount Oliphant, L.
Hoy, J. B. O'Neill, Hn. J. R. R.
Hutt, W. Ord, W. H.
Inglis, Sir Rt. H.,Bart. Ord, W.
Irton, S. Oswald, J.
Jackson, J. D. Owen, Sir J. Bart.
Jephson, C. D. O. Parnell, Sir H. Bt.
Jermyn, Earl of Parker, J.
Johnstone, J. T. H. Parry, Colonel
Johnstone, Sir J. Patten, J. W.
Johnston, A. Pattison, J.
Jones, T. Pease, J.
Jones, W. Pechell, Capt.
Kavanagh, T. Peel, Sir R. Bart.,
Kearsley, J. H. Peel, Rt. Hn. W. Y.
Kelly, F. Peel, Colonel
Ker, D. Peel, E.
Kerrison, Sir E. Pelham, J. C.
Kerry, Earl of Pemberton, T.
Kirk, P. Penruddocke, J. H.
Knatchbull, Sir E. Perceval, Colonel
Knox, Hon. J. Phillipps, C. M.
Phillips, G. Stewart, P. M.
Pinney, W. Stormont, Viscount
Polhill, F. Strutt, E.
Pollington, Viscount Stuart, Lord J.
Pollock, Sir F. Sturt, H. C.
Powell, W. E. Tennant, J. E.
Praed, W. M. Thomas, Colonel
Praed, J. B. Thompson, W.
Price, S. G. Thomson,Rt. Hn.C.P.
Price, R. Thornley, T.
Price, Sir R. Trench, Sir F.
Pringle, A. Trevor, Hon. A.
Pryme, G. Turner, T. F.
Pusey, P. Twiss, H.
Rae, Sir W., Bt. Vaughan, Sir R. W.
Ramsbottom, J. Verner, W.
Ramsden, J. C. Verney, Sir H., Bart.
Reid, Sir J. R. Vernon, G. H.
Rice, Rt. Hon. T. S. Vesey, Hn. T.
Robarts, A. W. Villiers, C. P.
Ridley, Sir M. W. Vivian, C. C.
Rolfe, R. M. Vivian, J. H.
Ross, C. Vyvyan, Sir R. R.
Rundell, J. Walker, R.
Russell, Lord J. Wall, C. B.
Russell, Lord W. Warburton, H.
Russell, C. Ward, H. G.
Ryle, J. Welby, G. E.
Saunderson, R. Wemyss, J.
Sandon, Viscount Westenra, Hon. H. R.
Scarlett, Hn. R. C. Westenra, Hon. J. C.
Scott, Sir E. D. Wilbraham, Hn. R.
Sheppard, T. Wilde, Mr. Serj.
Sibthorp, Colonel Williams, R.
Smith, A. Williams, T. P.
Smith. R. V. Williamson, Sir H.
Smith, R. S. Wood, T.
Smyth, Sir G. H. Bart. Wood, C.
Somerset, Ld. C. H.G. Worcester, Marq. of
Somerset, Ld.R. E.H. Wortley, Hn. J. S.
Stanley, Lord Wrightson, W. B.
Stanley, E. Wrottesley, Sir J.
Stanley, Hon. H. T. Wyndham, W.
Stanley, E. J. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Steuart, R. Wynn, Rt. Hn. C. W.
Stewart, Sir M. S. Young, G. F.
Clerk, Sir G. Wood, Mr. C.
Seale, Lieut.-Colonel Pendarves, E. W.
Roche, D. Ferguson, Sir R.
Methuen, P. Hobhouse Sir J.