HC Deb 08 April 1842 vol 62 cc84-174
Sir R. Peel

moved the Order of the Day for the bringing up of the report of the committee of Ways and Means.

Lord J. Russell

rose, and said: The House being already informed that the proposition for the imposition of an Income-tax has been agreed to by the committee of Ways and Means, and the House having already decided, in conformity with ancient practice, that petitions against it shall be received, on the ground that the House has the tax under consideration, I conceive, that before bringing up this report, I am justified in moving a resolution which shall convey my sense of the present state of our financial and commercial affairs, and of the remedy which ought to be applied to it. If it has ever been the misfortune of a Member of the Opposition to take a gloomy view of public affairs, and to depict to the House, in melancholy tints, the future prospects of the country, that is a task from which, at the present moment, I am happily relieved. On the contrary, I am disposed to think, that with respect to the financial part of the question, the Government have taken too serious a view of the difficulties of our situation, that they have miscalculated as to the nature of the evil which now afflicts us, and that the remedy they propose, though not totally inapplicable, is beyond and beside the occasion. The view which the Government take, as I understand it, JB, that our financial difficulties—the enormous deficiency as it was called one evening—form the great evil which ought to be remedied by the imposition of an Income-tax, whilst, as subsidiary measures, it is proposed to make alterations in the laws with respect to the importation of corn, raw produce, and manufactures, which the interest of the country may seem to require. Now, my view, speaking generally, of the situation of the country, is, that our financial difficulty calls for no such extraordinary effort as has been proposed; but that there are serious difficulties affecting the commercial and manufacturing position of the people, and affecting our situation as regards trade, and the future stability of our manufactures. It is, in my opinion, to the second object rather than to the first, that we ought to direct our chief attention, and in that quarter our chief remedy should be applied. Let me observe, that the deficiency for the year for which we have to provide is stated by the right hon. Baronet at about 2,570,000l.; but the total amount which he proposes to derive from the Income-tax, from the taxes to be applied to Ireland, in order that that country may bear at least some portion of the burden, and from he duty on the export of coals, is about 4,381,000l. It is not, therefore, on account of our financial difficulty—it is not on account of the deficiency of revenue as it stands, and as it is stated by the Government themselves, that the great effort proposed is necessary. In order to place in a clear point of view the existing necessities of the State, I must refer to former occasions on which an Income-tax has been proposed, and on which the House of Commons assented to the proposition by large majorities. The difficulty which we had to encounter, as far as the finances were concerned, when an Income-tax was first proposed, was of this nature. We had for several years been engaged in war, and were every year adding to the amount of the public debt by borrowing money on very disadvantageous terms. In the year before the Income-tax was imposed, a loan of 15,000,000l. had been raised. An addition having been made to the assessed taxes, it was enacted that any one who might become liable to taxes amounting to more than one-tenth of his income, should be exempted from the over plus. In the following year, notwithstanding additional taxes to the amount of 4,000,000l., there was a deficiency of no less than 10,000,000l. The pressure of the war required extraordinary efforts, and the minister of that day, having the House and the country with him in his determination to carry on the war, thought it necessary not to go on incur ring debt, and anticipating the resources of posterity, but asked the country by a new effort to make the income more nearly equal to the expenditure required for the war. When peace was concluded, Mr. Addington proposed at once, that the Income-tax be discontinued. Although the original tax had been made liable to the debt for several years, Mr. Addington thought it necessary to abolish the tax immediately after the declaration of peace. On the country becoming again engaged in war, the tax was again imposed, and with the same view as before—namely, to prevent too rapid an accumulation of debt. In 1806 the amount of the tax was raised to 10 per cent. But in that year loans had been made to the extent of ten millions, and in the previous year to the extent of twenty millions. To prevent so prodigious an accumulation of debt on posterity, the Government of that day thought it their duty to propose an increase in the Income-tax. At the peace, a proposal was made by the Government to continue the tax for two years longer, with a view of paying off a portion of the debt, but the proposal was resisted by Members on both sides of the House, and was eventually defeated after a discussion that lasted for several weeks. Thereby, as Lord Brougham has expressed himself in the introduction to one of his speeches, it was finally established as a principle, that the Income-tax should be a tax to be reserved only for the exigencies of a war. Many years afterwards the question was brought again under discussion, at a time when there was a great pressure on the finances of the country. In 1833, the motion for a reduction of the malt-tax having been carried, and a motion for a further reduction of the house and window tax being under consideration, Lord Al thorp represented that the deficiency which would be caused in the revenue by a repeal of the malt-tax, and by a reduction of the House and window duty, could be supplied only by the imposition of an In come-tax. On that occasion Lord Althorp made several statements on the subject. With regard to the general proposition, Lord Althorp said:— I do not think it would be prudent to have a very small property tax. If the system is to be adopted at all, it ought to be adopted as a system, and on a sufficiently extensive scale to allow of extinguishing several minor taxes. It would be desirable, in the situation in which this country is placed, never to raise less than 10,000,000l. or 12,000,0000l. by a property tax, to be imposed as a substitute for other taxes. This, it is quite clear, must be a property-tax applying generally, as stated in my resolution. There are many lion. Members in this House who remember the last property-tax; there are, perhaps, also many who do not recollect the feeling which then existed in the country on this subject. Speaking, however, from my own experience, I do not remember any tax that ever existed so unpopular as the property-tax in 1816, the repeal of which was received with universal acclamation. Why, therefore, are we to suppose that it would be more popular now than it was then? Gentlemen talk of modifications and changes; but if it be intended to raise by it a large sum of money as a substitute for a large portion of taxation, it is impossible that it should not bear on every class of the community—it is impossible to lay it on one class and exempt another. If inquisitorial powers are spoken of, where will you find inquisitorial powers greater than those which were then exercised? That tax was most objectionable on account of the injustice and fraud to which it gave rise, and the false returns which were constantly made—and it was, consequently, detested by the whole country. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, on the same occasion, expressed his opposition to such a tax in the strongest terms. If a property-tax were imposed," the right hon. Baronet said, "there must also be an Income-tax. In quoting his words on this occasion. I do not mean to argue that the right hon, Gentleman made use of any expressions at all inconsistent with the course he is now pursuing. The right hon. Gentleman went on, however, to say, that if either a property-tax or an Income-tax were imposed, There must be a rigorous inquisition into every man's property as a necessary concomitant. That, Sir, is in perfect conformity with the proposition now made by the right hon. Gentleman, but it is much at variance with the idea of some persons, who think it practicable to have an Income-tax, and yet to get rid of the inquisitorial scrutiny into private affairs. The right hon. Gentleman further said, and said most truly, that an Income-tax, Unaccompanied by severe and unsparing scrutiny into private affairs, would encourage fraud and perjury. If men were not afraid of a severe examination, the honest would have to pay the tax to its full amount, while those guilty of fraud would comparatively escape the tax. From what I have already said, it follows that when this tax was imposed, it was imposed for the purpose of supplying deficiencies to the amount of some ten or twenty millions in the expenses of the current year. When imposed in 1798, we were borrowing money at 47. Is that our present situation? The present deficiency is not one-twentieth of our whole income. The credit of the country is unimpaired. The three per cents, are at 89 or 90, and money may with ease' be borrowed at 3 per cent.; other nations—Austria and Holland, for instance —are raising money at 3 per cent. There is nothing, then, in the present state of the country, nor in the amount of the deficiency, to require so extraordinary an effort. The Income-tax is a resource that we ought to reserve for the exigencies of war, or of a peace accompanied by circumstances equivalent to the difficulties of a war; but it should not be imposed under ordinary circumstances. Let me now, Sir, state, what appear to me to have been the general objections that made the country so anxious to get rid of this tax, as soon as possible after the peace. It appears to me that we ought not to impose a yearly tax on the funds except in the case of such difficulties, that by no means could the requisite resources of the Exchequer be obtained. I am aware that Lord Althorp proposed a tax on the transfer of stock, but I am also aware that his own Friends—I am also aware that his own Friends pointed out to him the impolicy of such a course, while the proposal was vehemently opposed by the hon. Gentlemen opposite as a violation of public faith. The argument I wish to put is, that the funds form a deposit for the savings of the country, and that it is therefore not expedient to lay a tax upon them, if such a course can by any means be avoided. It is of great advantage to this country to have London the chief money market of the world—a state of things which tends very much to increase the wealth of the country. To maintain such a state of things, it is, however, highly important that the funds should be kept free from taxation. If you go too far in taxing the funds, you will run the risk of transferring the chief money market of the world to Amsterdam, to Paris, or to some other town, which would have the effect of transferring to some other country a large portion of the wealth that now flows into England. Another objection which I have to the tax is the admitted inequality of its operation. This inequality of its operation is not denied by any one, and indeed it would be impossible to deny it. It is obvious that if you take three or four persons having each 300l. a year, the pressure of the tax may be most unequal. The first may derive his income from some permanent property; a second may be in the receipt of a terminable annuity; while the third may be a person engaged in some dangerous or unhealthy profession, say, for instance, a surgeon in country practice, who lays by a small part of his income as a future provision for his family. In the case of such a man you are taxing capital as well as income. Another man may be engaged in a trade in which his profits are very uncertain; his gains may be inconsiderable one year, less in the next, and in another year he may even be liable to losses greater than his gains, making it impossible for him to lay anything by for his family. Must not the tax in such cases operate with very great inequality? Must it not appear very hard to take from a trader so circumstanced the same proportion of his trading profits as you take from one whose income is permanent and secure? Is the existence of this inequality denied? By no means? The right hon. Baronet not only admitted this inequality, but he went further, and pointed out other inequalities; and he made the existence of other inequalities a ground for not remedying those to which I have alluded, for he said that even if he were able to apply a re medy to the inequalities that had been complained of, others would remain be hind, for which it would be impossible to provide a remedy. Thus the right hon. Gentleman only refused to correct one inequality, because he could not remedy so many others that would continue to be inseparable from the tax. But, Sir, are not these reasons why such a tax as this ought never to be resorted to without some overbearing necessity of state 1 Another objection which I have to an Income-tax is the inquisitorial examination into men's private affairs, which is part and parcel of the tax. This inquisitorial system it is altogether impossible to avoid, for it will be impossible to rely on the declarations of individuals as to the amount of their several incomes. It has been said, that persons ought not to be afraid of having the real amount of their incomes known, but such a declaration appears to me to be most extraordinary in a commercial country. There must be occasions when the publication of a merchant's accounts must be extremely prejudicial to the future course of his affairs, and can it be endured that the principle is to be laid down, that such a man is guilty of something criminal if he objects to have his concerns inquired into, and his accounts current declared all over the world? The time also at which the tax is now proposed is a peculiarly unfortunate one for the trading classes. From 1797, the currency became more and more depreciated. The effect of this was something similar to what has been described by historians to have been the effect of the sudden and increased influx of the precious metals on the discovery of America. In consequence of this depreciation of the currency the trading classes were then much better able to support taxation. At present the case is very different. There is at present a very great commercial embarrassment. You may hope that trade may recover from this embarrassment, but I cannot say that I see any symptoms as yet of its recovery. At such a time of embarrassment, then, as the present, it may be peculiarly prejudicial to persons in trade to have their affairs exposed and examined into. And that which inconveniences the individual trader, cannot fail to inflict an injury generally upon the country; for you cannot add to the embarrassments of individuals, without adding to the collective embar- rassments of the community. Having stated what I think are the general objections to the measure, I shall now come to another point. By the proposed tax, the right hon. Gentleman will obtain a much larger sum than the deficiencies of the country call for; and this consideration brings me to the second part of the Government plan, namely, the change which it is proposed to make in the duties of the tariff. This appears to me to constitute one of the chief difficulties of the country. It was predicted several years ago, by persons well competent to judge on such matters, that this country, having an enormous debt, and therefore necessarily a large amount of taxation, would have to compete in commerce with other countries under great disadvantages. In 1821, Lord Ashburton, then Mr. Baring, stated that the manufacturers of the country had flourished because they did not meet with competition in the markets of the world; but the war having concluded, other countries had had leisure to turn their attention to manufactures, and it would be necessary to enable the country by legislative means to meet that competition. This Mr. Baring stated on presenting the petition of the City of London. The object of the petition was to advocate what at the present day are called the principles of free trade—namely, a relaxation of commercial prohibitions. Mr. Huskis son, in 1830, expressed himself in a some what similar manner. The country could not go on, he said, with the existing Corn-laws, and with the existing prohibitions, now that it had to meet the competition of foreign nations in the markets of the world. It was impossible for English manufacturers to raise their prices in foreign markets beyond what foreign manufacturers were content to sell for. It was necessary that their prices should be reduced, and to that end it was necessary to reduce the costs of production, and to lower wages. This has since been going on—not uninterruptedly; but it has been going on of late years. Still our manufacturers have to encounter those of foreign nations, in foreign markets, under great disadvantage, owing to the taxes and burdens to which they are in this country subjected, and which make subsistence dearer here than in any other part of the world. And what are those burdens? Mr. Deacon Hume stated, in his evidence before the imports committee; and this year I may venture to quote the proceedings of that committee.. Last year, indeed, it was a constant subject of taunt, but in 1842 the report of that committee has become a book of authority, and her Majesty's Government are not ashamed to act on it. Well, the late Mr. Deacon Hume, in his evidence before that committee, laid it down as a principle, that if an article that could be had for a shilling was, by any legislative interference, raised to eighteenpence, the additional sixpence was a tax, whether it went into the coffers of the state or not. It is so; it is a tax; and one levied at the cost and expense of the great body of the community. On this principle it was that we proceeded last year, proposing to moderate the duty on a variety of articles of consumption affected by taxes of this kind. We took particular corn, timber, and sugar, as three great articles on which a reduction of taxation might advantageously be made; and we do not wish to avoid our share of the odium that may attach to the present Government, for any similar proposals that they may bring forward. We stated the principle generally, and applied it to those three articles in the first instance. If, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman proceeds with his tariff, I shall act precisely on the same principle on which I declared myself ready to act last year. I then said that we were moving in a vicious circle of protection; that we compelled our farmers to pay a higher price for their colonial produce, for the sake of upholding the interests of our colonists, while we made our colonists pay a higher price for the produce of our own industry, in order to favour our manufactures. In that way, I said, we were moving in a vicious circle of protection, instead of allowing every man to obtain the articles he wanted at the most moderate price, by doing which a benefit would be conferred on all. The first article on which the budget of last year proposed an important modification, and on which the right hon. Gentleman made a very unfounded argument, was sugar. The argument made by the right hon. Gentleman, and repeated by others, was this—If you reduce the duty on any article, you cannot be sure that by an increased consumption you will obtain an increased amount of duty, or even the same amount, for many years to come; and this argument the right hon. Gentle man supported by showing what had been the effect of a reduction of the duty on wine, rum, tobacco, and one or two other articles. Now, this may all be very true, but it does not in the most remote degree apply to the principles on which my right hon. friend proposed last year the reduction of the sugar duties. My right hon. Friend stated, that foreign sugar was subject to a duty of 63s. the cwt. From this high duty no revenue was derived, nor was it imposed with a view to revenue, but merely to act as a prohibition. Yielding no revenue, there could be no diminution of revenue, for, except in one or two very extraordinary years, no sugar from any foreign colony has been imported into this country for home consumption. This prohibitory duty my right hon. Friend proposed to reduce to 36s. By this he expected to obtain an increased revenue, not merely from the. increased consumption to which the reduction of the duty might give rise, but from the amount of duty paid on foreign sugar over and above that paid on the sugar of our own colonies. Supposing, for instance, that a million of hundred weight of foreign sugar had displaced the same quantity of British West-India produce, you might, perhaps, argue that it was unfair to diminish the protection on the produce of our own colonies; but as a question of finance, as a question of revenue, there cannot be a doubt that foreign sugar paying 36s. would yield a greater amount of revenue than the sugar of our own colonies paying only 24s. The right hon. Gentleman seems to deny that he ever argued that this increase of revenue would not take place, but in that case the right hon. Gentleman has never fairly grappled with my right hon. Friend's proposition. My right hon. Friend stated the other day, that taking the average of eleven years, he would have obtained an increase in the revenue of 587,000l., nor do I see the least reason to doubt the fairness of the estimate. The next article to which we proposed to apply the principle was timber. The right hon. Gentleman proposes to throw away the amount of the timber revenue altogether. I grant that, under more favourable circumstances, if our Exchequer were overflowing, and the only question was what tax we should select for repeal, that it would be a very good thing to make a reduction in the timber duties. In the present state of our finances, however, I own I should have preferred the proposal of Lord Althorp, who, by raising the duty on Canadian timber, at the same time that he reduced the duty on Baltic timber, would have insured a large increase of revenue. According to Lord Althorp's calculation, the increased revenue would have been 750,000l. My right hon. Friend, how ever, estimated it only at 600,000l. The third article contemplated in our budget was wheat. My right hon. Friend stated that the 8s. duty on the corn imported last year would have yielded an extra revenue of 530,000l. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, indeed, says we have no proof that so great an amount of duty would have been paid if the 8s. duty had been in force, and then the right hon. Gentleman goes on to say that it would have been a great hardship to the consumer to have exacted from him so high a rate of duty when prices were so high in this country; but so far, Sir, from the consumer being subjected to any hardship, he would have obtained his corn on much better terms than he did, had an 8s. duty been in force. It is on record, that the foreign wheat in bond increased in price 22s. between May and September. How much more advantageous, then, would it have been to the consumer to have paid an extra duty of 8s. rather than an in creased price of 22s. Had the measure proposed by my right hon. Friend been in force, all this wheat would have been imported at a much earlier period, to the decided advantage of the consumer, and the whole of the 8s. would have been paid over to the revenue. That duty would, in point of fact not have fallen on the consumer, but on the foreign producer and the importing merchant, who derive the chief benefit from the absurd law, which I am glad is about to be repealed, though by one which is not much better. And here I hope I may be permitted to reply to an observation made last night, as to a change which I have been supposed to have made in my proposal for a fixed duty. My proposal last year was to impose a fixed duty of 8s. on the importation of foreign wheat, but I stated, at the same time, that in times of severe pressure, it might not be found possible to enforce the duty, and I, therefore, proposed to empower her Majesty's Government to suspend the duty by a decree in council in case of severe pressure. This proposition was not founded on a belief of actual. benefit to the consumer; but with the strong opinions that were expressed last year by the opponents of a fixed duty, and with the interests that might combine to force up the price of wheat in case of scarcity, I thought it desirable to have the means of counteracting the discontent to which such circumstances might give rise. My view was to have the law in such a state that the fixed duty might be restored as soon as the pressure ceased. With that view I stated that when the prices became high—the prices of a time of scarcity—which I should not contemplate to be of frequent recurrence, we might provide by law for the contingency. I must say, it appears to me, that with a fixed duty, you ought to look in some way or other to its being taken off in a time of great scarcity. But that would not prevent the operation of the law being such, that there would be a supply of corn in the country sufficient to keep the prices moderate. The amount of the three articles was thus stated by my right hon. Friend;—Sugar, 587,000l.; wheat (leaving out the other kinds of grain, because I do not think you could calculate upon a great increase of revenue from them), 530,000l.; and timber, 600,000l.—which would give an increase to the revenue of 1,717,000l. This would be an increase to the revenue without adding to the burdens of the people. On the contrary, those taxes, which are paid to particular classes of individuals, would be diminished, while there would be an augmentation of the public revenue, and an increase of the public welfare and happiness, accompanied by no inquisitorial concomitants, no inequality of pressure. The increase of revenue obtained would be from the most legitimate sources—sources the most becoming the Parliament of this country to avail itself of, when legislating for the general advantage. But I must, at the same time, admit, with respect to other articles, taking all into consideration together, that there would be a diminution of revenue. The right hon. Gentleman has taken articles in his tariff as causing a diminution of 287,000l., of which 127,000l. is in the article of coffee, Now, in that article, it would appear, that the right hon. Gentlemen has again made an unnecessary tax; he has made a difference of no less than 100l. per cent, between colonial and foreign coffee; a difference, I must say, much greater than I think necessary. My noble Friend near me had stated, that for the purpose of revenue you might keep on 6d. or 9d.; but if you did not do that, the proposition under the consideration of the Government, last year, would be a much smaller difference, and making a differential duty of 75 per cent. The loss of revenue on this head would be about 90,000l. Add to that, 160,000l. for loss on other articles. It would be better, I think, with respect to the sum of 1,717,000l., to leave the larger part of it, in the present situation of the country, for the purpose of effecting a further removal hereafter of duties, and for contingencies that might present themselves in the meanwhile. I should not propose to take the whole of the surplus to supply the deficiency of two millions and a half. But I think this, at least, may be calculated upon—that having a sum of probably 1,200,000l. or 1,300,000l. in the way of surplus, you might take the 570,000l., and only provide for the 2,000,000l. by additional taxation. You would then have 2,000,000l. only to provide for. We are now in a different situation to last year. You did not adopt the plan of last year, by which the deficiency would have been supplied; and I think it is necessary now to make some effort, that the public income shall not be inadequate to meet the public charges, and to take effectual means for averting that state of things in future years. But without taking upon myself the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is impossible not to perceive that various persons have suggested different plans for meeting the deficiency; and those suggestions, if not all, at least the greater portion of them, appear to me, I must say, better than the proposal of the Government. There is one proposition that has been made—a proposition, too, which has been mooted in this House—a tax which it is not perhaps desirable to adopt if there is no absolute necessity, but a proposition which appears to me to be based upon sounder arguments, and a tax which appears to me to be fairer, better, and more just than that put forward by the Government—I mean the proposition that has been mooted of submitting the succession of real property [Loud and prolonged cheering]—the succession, I say, of real property to the same probate and legacy duty which attaches itself to the succession of personal estate. It has been stated, and, among others, by my noble Friend Lord Althorp, that, in fact, there was paid upon the conveyance of real property, an amount nearly equal to that paid by means of the legacy and probate duty upon the succession of personal estate. This may, perhaps, be true, but still it leaves a large portion of real property altogether untouched, because there is a considerable amount of landed estate in this country which has gone on descending from father to son in uninterrupted succession for perhaps, 150 years or more, and to which estate, therefore, none of these duties upon conveyance have attached. If, then, you put it on the ground of necessity—if you must have a new tax—I cannot see the reason why such a tax as that I have just mentioned should not be adopted in preference to the Income-tax Then there are taxes you have repealed—not taxes upon articles of consumption, but assessed taxes, such as those upon four-wheeled carriages, servants, &c.; and I see no reason, if there be this necessity for new taxation, why you should not reimpose such taxes. A great amount of those taxes, about 26,000,000l., has been taken off, of which 2,100,000l. were taken off the assessed taxes. The right hon. Gentleman had before him the result of the taxation of 1840, and he said that in that year the rate of the assessed taxes having been increased 10 per cent., the actual result was an increase in their amount of 11 per cent. The right hon. Gentleman himself, therefore, showed that the assessed taxes had suffered no diminution, and I for one, when the right hon. Gentleman made that statement, thought he was about to propose a further increase of those taxes, having found that the scheme had produced so favourable a result. I have before me a return moved for by Mr. Herries with respect to the reduction of the assessed taxes, in which it is shown that after the tax was reduced the estimated amount should have been 3,623,000l., whereas it was actually 4,722,000l., thus showing the buoyancy and productiveness of this source of revenue. There is this advantage too in such a proposal over the plan for imposing an Income-tax, that in the latter scheme you set all your machinery in motion for a term of five years. If you then find your revenue has increased, and that your establishments may be safely decreased, you have unnecessarily incurred all the odium, and encountered all the difficulty of imposing your Income-tax. In the other case, you can take off 10 per cent., or 20 per cent., as easily as you laid it on. Lay your tax upon—say windows or carriages, and you can take it off again. But once impose an Income-tax., which is to produce you, as I imagine, 4,000,000l. a year—for I think the right hon. Gentleman has under estimated the produce of his tax—you may be quite sure there will be no hurry, on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to take it off again. It is certain to be continued for three years—it appears highly probable it may be continued for five years—nay, it seems not impossible that it may be continued for five or ten years afterwards. Therefore, what I should urge upon the House, in the first place, is, that this lax has hit her to been imposed only in a time of extreme necessity of the State and during perilous wars, and has been taken off immediately upon the restoration of peace— that Parliament, when such a measure has been proposed, has not thought fit to ac cede to it in time of peace. I would also urge that this tax is accompanied with inequality of pressure, and inquisition into private affairs, making it, as Lord Althorp said, odious. There are, on the other hand, means of revenue without increasing the burdens of the people. Those might be associated, and made so complete as to supply the deficiency, while they pressed much more justly, equally, and fairly upon the persons upon whom you impose them an addition to taxes which now exist, and which might be taken off whenever the opportunity offered itself. I should not, Sir, despair of the success of this proposition which seems to me so fair and reasonable, were it not that I observe—and it is openly declared and avowed—that the matter to consider now is not to pro vide for the exigencies of the revenue, not to make up the deficiency in the Exchesquer, but that the true business of the House of Commons is to contrive in what manner they may best give support to the administration now in office. Speaking with respect to another measure, the hon. Member for Wallingford stated that he had asked many Members on the other side of the House if they would have agreed to such a Corn-bill as that which they have supported, as emanating from the present Government, if it had been proposed by me. What was the answer' of those Gentlemen? They said distinctly that they would not. I see it stated over and over again by Gentlemen to their constituents, that they are opposed to the Corn-bill we have just passed, and which they themselves have just voted for— which they therefore have voted for contrary to their convictions. They have stated also, that they are still more opposed to the tariff— that they thought the farmers' interests would be injured by it. But the question is, not whether the measure itself be wise, or good, or useful, but how they may best support the Government. Therefore, I must say, that these declarations make me, indeed, despair of being successful in my proposition. I think it, however, my duty to make it, and to propose to the House of Commons means by which I think we can avoid the infliction of the tax proposed by the Government. Those Gentlemen who have spoken and voted thus are not satisfied with saying that it is their duty to support the present Government, but they tell their hearers, because the late Government would have proposed a fixed duty, that if the present Ministers were to be displaced they would be succeeded by the bitter enemies of the farming interest. Sir, what right have these Gentlemen to say this? I proposed that scheme—and I am ready to propose it again—with a view to the benefit of the agricultural as well as other interests. I believe if we had an abundant supply of food, the means of purchasing manufactures would be increased; secondly, the manufacturers themselves would have, increased means for giving employment, in order that they might send out goods in return for the corn that would be imported here. Thirdly, I believe that the general prosperity that would ensue among the labouring classes in this country, both agricultural and manufacturing, would react upon the agricultural interest, and, stimulated by com petition, that interest would improve and advance, the means of production would be augmented, and fresh demands would arise for the production of the soil, so that, perhaps, ultimately prices would be not much less than we see them at the present moment, but that those prices would be concomitant with the general welfare. Sir, if that be my belief, what right have any Gentlemen to call me the enemy of the farmer on account of the plan which proposed? I proposed what I believed to be a fair system, and by which I thought the farmer would obtain a considerable advantage over the foreign produce. But suppose I had gone much further, even to abolishing the duty altogether, are there not, I ask, men who have been always considered friendly to the farmer who have advocated such a course? Is there any one, I ask, who has shown himself more entirely devoted to agriculture and the interests of the farmer than the present Lord Leicester? Who is there, I would ask, more absolutely devoted to agricultural pursuits, more firmly the friend of the farmer, than Lord Spencer? Both those Noblemen think that even the protection I proposed ought not to be permanent. They think that the agriculturists may fairly and justly start in the race of competition unimpeded. Are those whose names I have mentioned the enemies of the farmer? By no means. Yet there are Gentlemen, whose heads seem to be composed of the same heavy clay as the acres they till, who come forward and call me the bitter enemy of the farmer, because I proposed a somewhat diminished protection to that they have heretofore enjoyed. But, Sir, however that may be, I will ask, have I been the means of deceiving the farmer? In 1839, I published to the world, and declared in this House my opinion, that a moderate fixed duty would be the better system, and in 1840 I avowed myself in favour of a similar alteration in the law. Most of those, too, who were Members of the Government in this House, and several of those who were Members of the other House, likewise declared themselves in favour of the same system. Was it, then, not probable that my noble Friend, then at the head of the Government, but holding different opinions on this subject, seeing what-were the sentiments of his Colleagues, would not perceive that a fixed duty would before long be the proposal of the united Cabinet? Were there at that time any petitions of farmers presented to Parliament deprecating any such scheme? Sir, I was not the man to say to the farmers "When my party is in power your present protection shall be continued." I was not the man to hint to them that the Government would be faithless in making that proposal. I was not the man who said that no doubt a Corn-law, with an equivalent protection, would be proposed, and afterwards, in de- fiance of pledges—in defiance of promises —voted for the change when it was pro posed. It is not, therefore, I who am the bitter enemy of the farmers; It is not I who have led him on to the mistake of in vesting his capital, in the notion that an injurious and vicious law would be maintained for his sole and exclusive benefit, and that therefore he could afford to give rents which the land would not yield. It is not I who have done this. If, therefore, he has been deceived; if he has been injured, let his anger be directed against those who have justly and deservedly incurred it. Let him not, therefore, attempt to vent upon this side of the House, or upon the Members who formed the late Government, that indignation which is so justly excited upon discovering that which, during the last election, was so carefully kept concealed. But let those who have so acted, thinking, I suppose, that the present plan is the best that can be obtained, let them avow their motives, and make themselves responsible for any change their opinions may have under gone. If not, let them bear the indignation they have so justly excited, and the contempt of the country whose interests they have neglected. But is it right, after all, that we should now be about to propose an Income-tax of nearly four millions sterling —a tax so inquisitorial in its character, so partial and unequal in its Operation—for the purpose of supporting an Administration? If they can say that it is justified by the public necessity, that the public necessity calls for this infliction, then I am ready to say they are right in facing the difficulty, and imposing upon the country a tax that is unjust and partial, because the necessity cannot be reasoned with and avoided. But if, on the contrary, they are not convinced that it is a case of urgent public necessity:—if it be only for the sake of supporting their party and upholding the Administration of the day that they impose this tax, I then say that, although they may be successful in the imposition of that tax at the present moment, they may depend upon it that such a sacrifice of the interests of their country to party views—avowed as it is—avowed as it is with respect to the Corn-law and the tariff, and seeming likely to influence them with respect to the Income-tax—if such views do prevail, they may depend upon it this country, sooner or later—and the time I think will not be long—will say that the House of Commons, which they have elected in other hopes and with other expectations, have betrayed the trust which was so generously confided to them. The noble Lord concluded by moving the following resolution:— That it has been stated to this House, on official authority, that the deficiency of income to meet the expenditure of the country, may be estimated, for the years ending the 5th day of April, 1842, at 2,350,0002l., and on the 5th day of April, 1843, at 2,569,000l. That this House is fully sensible of the evil of a continued inadequacy of the public income to meet the public charges, and will take effectual measures for averting the same in future years. That, by a judicious alteration of the duties on corn, by a reduction of the prohibitory duty on foreign sugar, and an adjustment of the duties on timber and coffee, the advantage of a moderate price to the community may be combined with an increased revenue to the State. That, in addition to those main articles of general consumption, the interests of trade will be promoted by the repeal or reduction of various prohibitory and differential duties, and that extended commerce will improve the revenue, while it gives employment to industry. That the amount of taxes taken off, or reduced, from the termination of the last war, to the end of the year 1836, exclusive of the tax on income, may be stated in round numbers at 23,873,000l, That the Income-tax, having been first imposed in a period of extreme emergency, and during a most perilous war, was repealed on the re-establishment of peace, and having been again imposed on the renewal of war, was again repealed in 1816, on the termination of hostilities. That, considering the various means of supplying the present deficiency, without enhancing the price of the necessaries of life, or embarrassing trade, it is the Opinion of this House that the renewal of a tax inquisitorial in its character, unequal in its pressure, and which has hitherto been considered as the financial reserve of the nation in time of war, is not called for by public necessity,' and is therefore not advisable.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was always in the habit of listening to the noble Lord with great pleasure; but he had experienced a peculiar gratification on the present occasion, because, if any one thing could more than another confirm him as to the propriety of the course which the Government, of which he was a Member had determined to pursue, it was the speech which the noble Lord had made, and the resolution with which the noble Lord had concluded. After having attentively listened to the noble Lord for a long period, and heard all that he had urged in opposition to the measure, and all that he had stated as the alternatives for the House to adopt, he felt more and more satisfied that the House and the country would adopt the proposal which the noble Lord had arrested in its progress by his resolution. The noble Lord said that too gloomy a view had been taken of the present situation of affairs. He begged not to be included among those who had taken that gloomy view of the fortune of the country, for he had never expressed despondency or alarm, nor had he ever said anything which could be construed into a doubt as to the energies and capabilities of the country. But in order not to despond, it was necessary to know the precise situation of affairs, and the Ministers had had presented to them certain difficulties, which in all countries, however abundant in resources, must from time to time occur, and which, if met with vigour and courage, by no means justify gloom and despondency, but on the contrary afford ground for the most sanguine expectations for the future. The noble Lord bad told them, and it was the foundation of his argument, that we are not in a state of sufficient emergency to call for a measure of taxation, so productive as that proposed by the Government. He knew not what might be the noble Lord's views of emergency, but he thought he could trace in the resolution itself, and in the speech which had accompanied it, sufficient to justify the measure of the Government. The noble Lord had said that in two successive years the country had had an income deficient in the means of meeting the expenditure by two millions and a half. That circumstance alone called upon the country to make some effectual exertion to equalise revenue and expenditure. He remembered the time had been when the noble Lord looked upon a deficiency with very different eyes. The deficiency of revenue did not arise during the present year alone. It was the result of a continued system of deficiency, continued during six years without an adequate effort being made to meet it. There was danger in the fact, that the deficiency they had now to meet was not of one or two years, but was a continued system. The deficiency went on increasing year after year, and little by little, had grown great at last, and if suffered to continue at the same rate, would, in the end, paralyze the energies of the country. When the noble Lord spoke of a deficiency of two millions and a-half, the noble Lord should look forward to what might be the probable future expenditure which the country might be called upon to meet. The noble Lord had described fairly enough the state in which the Government had been handed over by those who had preceded the present Ministers in office, but he had omitted to add that there was a prospect of increased expense; and, therefore, if ever there was a moment when it behaved them to prepare against deficiency, it was the present. The charges of the war in China might be far more considerable in the future year, and when it was known that there were to be additional estimates proposed with a view to maintain the character and power of this country in her Asiatic possessions, was there any man who could fail to see that the Government were not merely, as the resolution stated, providing for the estimates of the year, but that they were called upon to put the finances of the country in a sound and stable condition, so as to be provided for any danger and contingency that might arise? But superadded to this evil, what was the noble Lord's view of the case? The noble Lord told them that the country was suffering under a laboured and depressed state of trade and manufacture, and that it was the duty of the Government to adopt such measures as should alleviate the distress to which those interests were now exposed. What was the principle upon which the present measure of the Government proceeded? Was it not to afford to the utmost of their power relief and assistance to the trading and manufacturing interests of the country—to amend the laws by which the exports and imports of the nation had hitherto been restricted, and by this means—means most advantageous to the trading and manufacturing in terests—to avoid a still greater deficiency of revenue, whilst they repaired that which had been handed down to them by their predecessors? The noble Lord had correctly stated that his right hon. Friend proposed to raise for this object an amount of taxation of about 4,200,000l. The noble Lord then proceeded to state that whatever might be the necessities of the country on the present occasion, they were not such as to justify the imposition of a tax upon which he bestowed all the usual epithets of opprobrium to which taxes of every kind were more or less sub- ject, and from which he feared the tax now under consideration could not be expected to escape. The noble Lord had truly stated what was the origin of the Income-tax. With the view of showing that it was a tax that under no circumstances ought to be imposed upon the country, except in time of war, the noble Lord informed the House that the Income-tax originated in a time of pressing emergency, when the country was exposed to all the expenses of a heavy and wide spread war for several years in succession, that it being impossbile to defray the expenses of the country without having recourse to loans, Mr. Pitt, in 1796, found it absolutely necessary, with a view to maintain the credit of the nation, to make a large addition to the existing burdens of the people. Nothing could be more true than that statement of the noble Lord; and if the noble Lord had read the speech of Mr. Pitt on the occasion to which he had referred, he would have found that the fact of the nation's being engaged in war was not the reason for imposing the In come-tax, but that the necessity for re sorting to such a measure arose from the circumstance that the credit of the country was so hard pressed as to render it impossible for the Government of the day to avoid contracting fresh loans upon disadvantageous terms. There was no other means of raising within the year the supply necessary for the public interest. It was upon that ground specifically that Mr. Pitt urged upon the House of Commons, and carried through Parliament, first the triple assessment, which was the foundation of the Income-tax, and then the Income-tax itself. When the noble Lord, therefore, told the House that the Income-tax was one which ought only to be re sorted to in time of war, he begged to refer him to the circumstances under which Mr. Pitt imposed it. What was the conduct of Mr. Pitt? He pledged the property-tax during peace to the repayment of loans contracted during the war. So far from its being Mr. Pitt's opinion that this tax was one that ought never to be resorted to except in time of war, the obvious inference to be drawn from the manner in which he proceeded was, that admitting it to be a tax that should only be imposed upon a pressing emergency, still it was an impost most effective for maintaining the public credit, and rescuing the country from the difficulty which the want of public credit would occasion. It was true, that at the termination of the war, in 1803, Mr. Addington thought it expedient to repeal the Income-tax, and he did so. The noble Lord said, he was not aware of what provision Mr. Addington, on repealing this tax, made for the payment of the loans that had been contracted during war. He would tell the noble Lord Mr. Addington did not leave loan after loan unprovided for; he did not incur debts without making some provision for their repayment; he repealed the property-tax, and imposed in lieu of it 4,000,000 l. of other taxes. What were those other taxes? First 2,000,000l. upon the malt tax; second 1,000,000l. upon imports, third 1,000,000l. upon the assessed taxes. In that manner Mr. Addington realised from different sources of general taxation the 4,000,000l. previously derived from the property-tax, which at that moment he thought it expedient to surrender. Whether that course were a wise one or not, it mattered little to the present argument to inquire; but when the House was called upon to decide whether, under the existing circumstances of the country, it would adopt a property-tax to very nearly the amount of that for which Mr. Addington made a different provision in 1803, he thought it might well consider whether it would advance the interests of trade and manufacture, which were represented as being in a very depressed condition, if it forbore to enforce a property-tax, and re sorted in lieu of it to such measures as Mr. Addington adopted at the time to which he had referred. When gentlemen recommended additions to the assessed taxes as not being burdensome upon the trading and commercial interests of the country, he thought they were labouring under a very great mistake. They would find that in this, as in all other taxes, that portion of it which bore upon the masses of the community exceeded in value—as a financial resource—that which bore only upon the upper and richer classes; and they would see, in the statement of Mr Addington, to which he had been referring, that when that Gentleman brought forward his proposition for increasing the assessed taxes as a substitute for a portion of the property-tax, he declared distinctly that one of the specific objects of the measure he was introducing was, that it would enable him to tax journeymen, and indi- victuals acting as servants in the capacity of shopmen. That was one of the specific objects of the tax, which at that moment Mr. Addington thought it expedient to propose, in order to relieve the country from a corresponding amount of property-tax. The property-tax was renewed on the breaking out of the war, and was again repealed at the termination of the war. He was one of those who, at the close of the war, voted against the repeal of the property-tax; and he did so under the firm conviction, that if Parliament would then have submitted to bear the burden which that tax imposed upon the country for the short additional period that was proposed, and have remitted the duties upon trade and manufactures which pressed so heavily upon the industry of the nation; the temporary sacrifice made by a portion of the community would have been a source of permanent advantage to all. Trade would have increased—manufactures have flourished—commerce would have regained its full activity, and more than the value of the revenue derived from the Income-tax would have been obtained, under a reduced system of general taxation, from the various external and internal resources of the country. But Parliament thought otherwise, and a different course was adopted. The property-tax was repealed. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) had requested him to give attention to the opinions expressed by one whom the noble Lord referred to as a great authority upon this subject—to the opinions expressed by Lord Brougham. The noble Lord called upon them to pay deference to the authority of Lord Brougham, not on account of the weight due to the opinions expressed by that noble and learned Lord in that or the other House of Parliament—not on account of any thing that had fallen from that noble and learned Lord in any of the multiplied discussions which took place upon the repeal of the property-tax—but because, forsooth, in the introduction to some work which the noble Lord had read, it was stated by Lord Brougham, that a property-tax was one of the resources of a nation that ought only to be resorted to in the time of war. Now, if that really were the opinion of Lord Brougham, he should have been more satisfied with it, or, at least, more satisfied with the expression of it, if, instead of staling it in the preface of some work which might not fall into everybody's hands, he had availed himself of some of the occasions on which he addressed the House upon the subject of the property-tax, to state the reasons upon which he founded the opinion that such a tax ought specifically to be confined to a period of war. If his recollection did not mislead him, the express ground upon which the property-tax was repealed in 1816, was not that it was a tax that ought not to be continued during peace. He thought, that the noble Lord and others who urged the repeal of that tax laid particular stress upon this great point—that the Government of the day, by the aid of the property-tax, were keeping up war establishments in a time of peace. It was because the Government of the day were supposed to have a desire to maintain inordinate establishments that the House of Commons interposed a check, by withholding the means; and those means it deemed to be the property-tax. If he recollected rightly, the House expressed its opinion so strongly with respect to the extent of the establishments at that time, as to compel the Government to refer the estimates to a select committee for revision and correction. If that were the feeling of the House in 1816, when the property-tax was repealed, was it right for the noble Lord to assume that it was because the war had terminated that Parliament was determined on the remission of the tax— was it right to assume that it was not influenced by other considerations, which would have equally applied to other taxes, if, instead of an Income-tax, taxes of a different nature had been resorted to sustain the expenditure of the country? If the object of the House were to restrain what it deemed to be the extravagance of the Government, would it not have insisted as strongly upon the repeal of any other tax as upon the repeal of the property-tax. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) next told them, that in 1831, Lord Althorp distinctly stated his unwillingness to propose a property-tax in time of peace, and that from the course which Lord Althorp took upon that occasion there was the strongest argument for enforcing the view which he (Lord John Russell) now laid down, that in time of peace a property-tax ought never to be resorted to. Now, he must say, that with his recollection of what then took place— and he had refreshed his memory by referring to an authority which the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) seemed always to entertain a strong objection to—he meant the Parliamentary Debates, having thus refreshed his memory, he must say, that if ever there were a ground for claiming the authority of a political opponent as the justification of a course which one was oneself pursuing, he had upon the strongest ground a claim upon the authority of Lord Althorp, and a right to say that if the conduct of Lord Althorp were to be taken as a precedent at all, it was a precedent in favour of the adoption of the proposition now under the consideration of the House. What was the state of affairs in 1831? One of the Members of that House proposed to repeal the Malt-tax, and it was in the discussion upon that question that an incidental debate arose upon the property-tax. The malt-tax amounted to about 2,600,000l. This tax it was proposed to repeal. What said Lord Althorp? By the by, Lord Althorp was Chancellor of the Exchequer at a time when it was the fashion for that officer to have a surplus of revenue in his coffers, and, upon the occasion to which he was now referring, Lord Althorp stated that, at the close of the financial year, he expected to be in possession of 1,500,000l. of surplus. With that surplus of 1,500,000l., it was proposed in that House to take off the malt-tax, amounting, as he had already stated, to 2,500,000l. Lord Althorp had, at the same time, proposed to take off a portion of the assessed taxes, amounting to 1,500,000l. So that with the sum proposed to be remitted by the Government, added to the sum recommended to be repealed by its opponents, the total loss to the revenue would have been about 4,000,000l. To meet which, at the end of the year, there was expected to be a surplus of 1,500,000l. Therefore, had the proposal for the remission of taxation in 1831 been effective, the consequence would have been, that at the end of the year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have found himself in a deficiency of 2,500,000l., precisely the situation in which the noble Lord and his colleagues had handed over the Government to their successors. What was the language of Lord Althorp in opposition to the proposal? lord Althorp said, that if the proposition were carried, it would be impossible to give effect to the reduction of taxation which he had already suggested to the House, unless he proposed some plan of a property-tax. If," (said the noble Lord), "I am subjected to a deficiency of 2,500,000l., I must resort to a property-tax to repair it. Yet Lord Althorp had the alternative of many of those sources of taxation to which the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) now directed the attention of the House as calculated to supply the wants of the Exchequer. But Lord Althorp was in office at a time when, as he had already said, deficiencies in the Exchequer had not been growing up for six or seven years without correction or reparation. Lord Althorp was startled at the prospect of a deficiency of 2,500,000l. at the end of the year, and said boldly and candidly to the House, If you place me in a situation to incur a deficiency at the end of the year, I will either abandon my own projects for the repeal of taxes, or else impose upon you a property-tax, If, then, any inference or any authority were to be derived from the conduct of Lord Althorp, in 1831, it was this—that in a time of perfect peace, with none of the pressure which now existed upon the finances of the country, it was the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to propose a property-tax, as a means of keeping up the revenue, and preventing a deficiency. But, said the noble Lord, (Lord John Russell), Look at what were the circumstances of the country when the property-tax was originally proposed, and compare it with the circumstances under which we are now called upon to impose it. As he had already said, he did not think that the maintenance of the credit of the country was a question that depended upon whether we were at peace or war. The doctrine that he held was this—that it was at all times fitting to maintain the national credit, and that there might be occasions in time of peace when, even more than in time of war, it might be the duty of Parliament to protect it. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell), contrasting the exigency of the time when the property-tax was originally proposed with the exigency that existed at the present moment said, Mr. Pitt was in a situation which rendered it necessary for him to raise a loan of 19,000,000l. Whereas you are only in the situation of requiring a loan of 2,500,000l. This might be true; but were there no circumstances which gave to Mr. Pitt greater facilities than now existed for raising loans? Were there no circum stances which would give an addition to the public debt at that time a less alarming character than it would assume now? When Mr. Pitt made his statement, showing the necessity for a loan of 19,000,000l. he added, 4,000,000l. of the whole of this sum will be lent from the sinking fund. There was, at that time, at the command of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a fund which had been husbanded since the year 1786, and which, at the time Mr. Pitt was speaking, amounted to4,000,000l. Mr. Pitt, then, had a fund upon which, if he were not interfered with, or obstructed in his arrangements, he could rely for the repayment of any loan he proposed to contract. Mr. Pitt had not to contend against the deficiencies which, of late years, had been allowed to grow up so alarmingly, and which drove the Government, at the end of each succeeding quarter, to the Bank of England, to obtain the money necessary for the payment of the public debt. Great as were the difficulties of the period in which Mr. Pitt presided over the finances of the country, yet, when quarter-day came round, he had at his command a fund to which he could resort to meet the expenditure of the time, and in his day there was none of the pressure upon the Exchequer under the head of deficiency bills," which had been since allowed to grow up. There were at that time two circumstances tending to uphold the public credit, which more than compensated for the higher rate of interest at which money was obtained, as compared with the terms on which it could be procured in the present day. He admitted that the rate of interest at which a government could obtain money was, ordinarily speaking, a fair test of the credit of a country; but it was not the only test: it must be taken, not by itself alone, but in conjunction with other circumstances operating upon public credit. Here, perhaps, he might be permitted to observe, that if there were one thing which appeared to him to be more incumbent upon the House than another, it was this —to watch most carefully the increase of loans during periods of peace. Loans during war were the only means by which hostilities could be carried on with effect and vigour. At such seasons trade was crippled and commerce obstructed—communication with foreign countries uncertain and dangerous—expenses at home increased, and the burdens upon the people severe and oppressive. At such a time a loan was contracted by the Government under the moral certainty that when the time of peace should return the resources of the country would be set free, and additional vigour be given to foreign commerce and domestic trade, new means of communication with distant quarters of the globe be opened, and fresh fields be found for the exercise of the national enterprise in commerce, and skill in manufactures. But when loans were sought in time of peace, what was it that the government had to anticipate? At some period or other it must look to the recurrence of war, and whatever the present means upon which it might calculate for the repayment of its debt, those means would necessarily be crippled and embarrassed whenever war arose, so that instead of repaying the debt, there might be an absolute necessity for increasing it. This led him to remark upon an observation made by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Baring), the Member for Portsmouth, in one of the early discussions upon the proposition now before the House, and which had been repeated by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) that evening. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Baring) spoke of the Income-tax as a weapon that ought to be reserved in the armoury of the state for a pressure of the severest and most stringent necessity. The right hon. Gentleman taunted the Government with having taken out of the armoury of the state this precious weapon, and applied it in time of peace, when they ought to have resorted to other means of meeting the difficulties against which they had to contend. If, under such circumstances as now existed, it were wrong to take out of the state armoury the weapon deemed most efficient in time of war, what could be the excuse of a Government which, during a period of peace, should resort to loans, which really and practically could only be regarded as weapons of war, which had for years, almost for ages, been so considered in the history of this country, and which, if wasted in time of peace, could not be resorted to when the hour of extremity arrived? An Income-tax, on the contrary, might, as he contended, be properly applied in time of peace—it was not exclusively a weapon of war. It might be deemed inexpedient to resort to an Income-tax in time of peace; but if it were so resorted to (differing in this respect from the contract of loans), it would lose none of its vigour or value when a period of more stringent necessity arose. What were the objections which the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) made to a property-tax? First, the noble Lord said—and he rather thought that they were indebted for that opinion of the noble Lord's to the situation in which the last election had placed him, as one of the representatives of the interests of the city of London—in the first place the noble Lord was opposed to the Income-tax because it would be a tax upon the merchant and the fund holder, upon whom he held it to be very inexpedient to impose any such burden. If, indeed, this tax were one which directed itself against funded property alone, it would not only be objectionable for the reasons which the noble Lord had stated, but objectionable in a higher degree—as a breach of faith with the public creditor, and as calculated to impair the credit of the country. But, applied as this tax was to funded property, only in common with every other description of property, he could not see that it was open to the objection which the noble Lord had stated. He did, indeed, remember that in 1831 it was proposed to levy upon funded property a specific tax, under the title of transfer duty. He remembered opposing that tax, and he remembered that it was opposed by many other Gentlemen on both sides of the House, upon the distinct ground that it would be a breach of public faith. He remembered that it was supported, amongst others, by the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), who at that time did not appear to entertain so tender a regard and concern for the interests of the fund holders as he had evinced in the course of the present discussion. He objected to the measure proposed in 1831, because it directed itself solely and exclusively against funded property; but he maintained that the imposition of a tax upon income derived from funded property, in common with income derived from every other species of property, was not in any respect a breach of the public faith, and was not open to any of the objections which were fairly and properly urged against the proposition of 1831. Then the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) said, that in a commercial country like England it was important not to tax the public funds, because it was desirable to make the country the great mart of money concerns, and to draw from all quarters of the globe the capitalist who had money to invest. If you tax the funds (says the noble Lord), you will have all the merchants and men of wealth, who now resort to London to invest their money, going to Amsterdam, or other towns, where the public securities are unfettered by taxation, and where no drawback is imposed upon income derived from funded property. This was all very well in point of argument; but he had always been taught to believe that one fact was worth a hundred arguments, come whence they might. To the noble Lord's argument he begged to oppose a fact. What had been the effect of the Government proposition upon the public funds? Did the proposition of the property-tax operate upon the minds of the monied men in the city so as to induce them to believe that funded property would henceforth be of less value in England as compared with funded property in other countries? What was the price of the funds when the Government proposition was first submitted to Parliament? Not quite 89. What was the price now, when the measure had not only been debated in Parliament, but discussed and canvassed in every quarter of the country? Upwards of 90. Did this afford any indication of the alarm which the noble Lord had described as prevailing in the money world? Was it possible to infer from the circumstances that the effect of the tax as proposed by the Government would be to depreciate the value of funded property, and to drive from the city of London the accumulated wealth which it had gathered from every quarter of the world? The noble Lord's next objection was, that the Income-tax would operate unequally. Would the noble Lord show him a tax that did not operate unequally. The noble Lord proposed that the money required to meet the exigencies of the time should be raised by a fixed tax upon corn. Would that operate equally upon all classes of the community? Would the noble Lord mention any tax upon the commodities which formed a part of the necessaries of life, such as tea, coffee, sugar, or any other article, which was not as unequal in its operation upon the classes by whom these commodities were consumed as this very property-tax against which the argument or inequality was now so loudly raised? Then the noble Lord objected to the tax as being of an inquisitorial character. He did not pretend to deny that, in order to ascertain the property upon which individuals would have to pay, it would be necessary to make inquiries which in some cases might be embarrassing, and ought, if possible, to be avoided. He hoped that in the bill which, if this resolution were passed, he should have the honour to introduce to the House, he should be able to obviate many of the objections which existed to the former measure, on account of the disclosures which it required of parties engaged in trade The object he should have in view would be, to give every facility to persons coining under that description to make their payments without any undue disclosure of the state of their affairs, and in this respect he thought he should be able to remove many of the objections which had not unreasonably been felt against the former Income-tax. The noble Lord then objected to the tax, because in the present distressed state of trade it would press with peculiar severity upon those engaged in trade. That might be true to a certain extent, but what alternative could be adopted? What other mode of taxation could be resorted to which would not press upon them more? He had thus adverted to the principal objections which the noble Lord had taken to the proposition. He came now to the measures by which the noble Lord would supply the deficiency of income. The noble Lord, referring to his budget of last year, entirely mistook the view which the Members of the present Government took of the sugar duties, as he proposed to deal with them. Their objection to the noble Lord's proposition was founded upon this, that it would tend to the encouragement of slave-grown sugar. But supposing that the budget of the noble Lord had been adopted, what would have been the result? The noble Lord said, that he should have been able to provide for 1,700,000l.; out of which 600,000l. had actually been derived from the sugar duties, without any altera- tion of the law. Having argued that part of the question, however, over and over again, he would shorten as much as possible what he had to state in vindication of the Government. But taking the sum, as stated by the noble Lord, in what situation would the Government have been in? There would still have been a deficiency of 800,000l. at the end of 1842, in addition to all those prospective deficiencies to which he had alluded in the outset of his speech. He understood the noble Lord to say, that they would still have about 2,000,000l. to make up, even after taking into account the most successful anticipations of the budget of last year. He now came to the mode in which the noble Lord proposed to furnish that sum of 2,000,000l. The noble Lord in the latter part of his speech had caused him some difficulty, because the noble Lord had not stated the amount which he expected to derive from each of those heads of income in trade. The object he should which he had so largely shadowed forth view would be, to give every ''The first resource to which the noble Lord, referred was to a tax on the succession of real property. He had often heard propositions of that nature submitted to the House; but he had always felt on these occasions, — as every other Gentleman who had filled the office he now held no doubt also felt — that much more weight was attached by hon. Members to the profitable nature of such a tax than those who had to examine the subject were inclined to allow. The same erroneous opinion prevailed in supposing that nothing but personal property paid legacy duty. This was altogether a fallacy. Legacy duty was paid to a large amount on the mortgages and charges on real property. All those paid legacy duty as much as personal property; and, from the legacy duty received up to the present moment, a very large proportion was derived from charges levied on land. Another error was in supposing that all personal property in succession paid legacy duty. Nothing was more fallacious. Indeed, personal property did not pay legacy duty except under circumstances in which a great part of real property did. In the case where personal property was settled when a succession took place, personal property was as much exempt as landed property. It was becoming more and more the practice every day to make those sort of settlements of personal property; and the pro- perty so settled devolved on the person who succeeded to it, as much exempt from legacy duty as any real estate in the country. The larger landed proprietors who generally made a settlement of their property would scarcely be affected by a legacy tax on real property; but the petty proprietors, those who had property worth 100l. or 200l. a year, and who were deterred by reason of the expense from making a settlement, would suffer most from a tax of that nature. He could show, if the House would permit him, what was the comparative proportion of real and personal property which paid duty. A question of this sort was merely one of approximation; but he thought he could show from data before him how large an amount of legacy duty had been received from charges on Teal property, in contradistinction to that received from personal property. It would be in the recollection of those hon. Members who had attended to matters of finance that Mr. Pitt, in 1796, introduced two bills, the object of the one being to attach a legacy duty to personal property, and of the other to attach a legacy duty to all lands passing by devise, descent, or voluntary act. The bill imposing a tax on personal property passed into a law; the other, imposing a like tax on real property, was rejected, or rather was withdrawn. This last bill excluded all settled properly, on the ground that a man who had merely a life interest could not, strictly speaking, be considered as leaving the property at his death. In 1805, Mr. Pitt, not disheartened by what had taken place in 1796, introduced a bill which included all the provisions of the two bills of 1796; the legacy duty was thus imposed on all lands passing by devise or descent, excepting settled property. As the law then stood, all property unsettled, personal as well as real, paid a duty. His object was to show how the duty fell on land; and this he thought a reference to the bill of 1796 would explain. The bill of 1796 affected personal property only, and the amount of legacy duty on personal property received for the six years, from 1796 to 1803, was 5,109,635l. The bill of 1805 made charges on landed property subject to legacy duty, and the amount received for the six years following 1805 was 14,700,000l. From this, however, would be deducted 5,800,000l., being the amount of the new duties imposed by that act on legacies; there re- mained 8,900,000l. as the amount of duty received during those six years as legacy duty. In the six years following 1796 the duty received on personal property alone amounted to 5,109,635l. If, therefore, they deducted the one sum from the other, they would find, that the duty on charges on land bore to the charges on personal property, the proportion of 5,109,635l. to 3,760,000l. He trusted that he had shown to the House that it was an error to suppose that landed property was not subjected to legacy duty, and he hoped that he had satisfied them that there were good reasons for not resorting to this duty in the hope of obtaining a larger amount of revenue. He found himself greatly fortified in this opinion from what the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Baring) had stated in 1840, in a discussion which took place on a motion of the late Member for Kilkenny (Mr. Hume), proposing a tax similar to that now proposed by the noble Lord the Member for London. The right hon. Gentleman, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, stated, If his hon. Friend knew the number of sources from which the legacy duties were derived, he would find that the great portion was paid by those whom his hon. Friend considered to be free from taxation. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say, With respect to what had been said of deeds, when he looked at the probate and legacy duties, as compared with those derived from deeds—and it should be remembered that a great part from deeds was derived from landed property—he did not find such a difference. The probate and legacy duties amounted to 1,724,000l, and those from deeds to 1,680,000l. He was happy to find that during the whole discussion, not a single word had fallen from any hon. Gentleman, intimating a doubt with respect to the resource of the country. He had quoted the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, in order to show to the House his views of the justice of the case as respected the portion of tax borne by the two classes of property. In the opinion then expressed by the right hon. Gentleman, he entirely agreed. In {regard to the assessed taxes, which the noble Lord had suggested as a substitute for a property-tax, he thought that hon. Gentlemen opposite must have forgotten that these taxes pressed heavily on the less wealthy classes. To raise any proportion of the deficiency of 2,000,000l. by an augmentation of the assessed taxes, they would have to make up their minds to impose a burden not merely on the luxuries of the rich, but on the necessities of the poor. Two-thirds of the houses in the kingdom were at present exempted from the window-tax, and they might depend on it they would be in error if they sought to raise any part of the deficiency by any measure short of re-imposing the window-tax to the same extent as it existed some years ago, and again subjecting the smaller houses to the burden. Such an augmentation would press most severely on the comforts of the poorer classes. By a house-tax, which was a tax on property of a particular kind, they could never reach a man's income, as such a tax would press most severely on the wretched inhabitants of small dwellings. His right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel) had handed him a volume of Hansard, containing the speech made by the hon. Member, who, in 1833, moved the repeal of the house and window-tax. That hon. Member (Sir John Key) was, at the time, Lord Mayor of London, and well acquainted with the community which the noble Lord opposite now represented, and when he addressed to the Members of the City of London the observations of a Lord Mayor of London, who was, moreover, one of the noble Lord's strongest political supporters, he fell that he was addressing to the noble Lord an argument which he must respect. This Lord Mayor then stated that The City of London objected to the house and window-tax, as unjust in principle, oppressive in details, inquisitorial and vexatious in its imposition and collection, and susceptible of no modification which would take away its objectionable character, and they would never cease to complain until it was entirely repealed. Hoping that he had established in the opinion of the House the two propositions —that the house-tax was not an equal property-tax, and that it was not an equal tax upon disposable income, he might, perhaps, be called on to say what it was. He denominated it an unfair and an unjust tax upon the industry of the country—it was an Income-tax in its most odious form, because it touched not the masses of wealth—it touched not the drones in the hive—it fixed with relentless severity on the industrious orders. The Income-tax, which was a mere tax upon income, and justly ex. cited so much displeasure, was a heavenly tax compared with this. He felt he could say nothing stronger in vindication of the measure proposed by Government. The noble Lord had not surely consulted his constituents before making his proposals, otherwise he would never have proposed the revival of a tax so much condemned by them, or opposed one which they had styled heavenly in comparison with the house and window-tax. He felt sorry for having detained the House so long; but he felt it his duty to vindicate the measure proposed for the arrangement of their finances. He hoped he had shown the necessity for placing the finances of the country in a sound and healthy state. He did not fear the result. He knew the good sense of all parties, and their readiness to supply any amount which the necessities of the country might require. He regretted not that time had been allowed for the people to express an opinion, for the result had confirmed him in the view which he first entertained, that the people would ever be ready to repair the disordered state of the finances of the country, and to give that relief to trade, manufactures, and commerce, of which the noble Lord had admitted the present distressed condition to be one of the great evils of the present state of affairs.

Mr. W. Williams

felt pleased that the noble Lord the Member for London had, in his means for supplying the deficiency, adopted a proposition which he intended to propose, namely, to subject real property to the same legacy duty as personal properly. He thought the window tax objectionable, but still it was better than the unjust, inquisitorial Income-tax, as proposed by Government. It was no argument in favour of the Income-tax, to say that other taxes pressed unequally. He had often complained of this as the cause of the great dissatisfaction which prevailed in the country, in regard to the mode in which that House imposed taxes. He was ready to admit, however, that Government had dealt liberally in reference to the timber duties. The importance of a reduction in the price of timber was very great, especially in regard to shipbuilding. Nothing would so much prevent foreign aggression against this country as the fact of their always having a number of ships and sailors at command. In regard to coffee, he thought that too great a difference was made between the foreign and the colonial article. If they had maintained the relative difference which now existed, namely, sixpence and ninepence, he would have been better pleased, although a difference of 50 per cent. was, in his opinion, more than sufficient protection for the colonies. Considering the state of their relations with China, every encouragement ought to he given for the consumption of coffee, and he thought that a duty of sixpence a pound on foreign coffee would have greatly increased consumption, and would not have diminished the revenue. He was glad to hear that the question of the sugar duties was under the consideration of Ministers, and that negotiations had been entered into for a treaty of commerce with Brazil. It was of the greatest importance to this country that a great reduction be made in the duty on sugar as speedily as possible, and he hoped by that treaty the slave trade would be put an end to. He had often stated to the House that he was a decided advocate of free trade in corn; but if he had to choose between two modes of imposing a duty, he must say that he would infinitely prefer a fixed duty to a sliding-scale, which had been agreed to the other night. A sliding-scale might produce a larger revenue for the first year, but a fixed duty of 8s. would ultimately produce a larger amount of duty, and make corn cheaper to the community. The recurrence to any tax--such as the tax on salt, leather, soap, candles, beer-which would press heavily on the poor, would be most objectionable. Any kind of property-tax would be preferable to the re-imposition of any of those taxes. He did not feel at all satisfied on reading the resolutions of the noble Lord, but he must say, the additional views which the noble Lord had laid before the House in the course of his speech, had somewhat modified his opinion in reference to the means by which he proposed to make up the deficiency in the revenue. In consequence of that, he had given notice of two propositions, which he thought much better than those which had been proposed by the noble Lord. His first proposition was to submit real property, or property not now liable to the legacy and probate duty, to the payment of the same amount of probate and legacy duty as was now paid upon personal property. There at present existed a most unjust distinction between these two descriptions of property in that respect. Take, for instance, the case of a respectable mechanic. He shall die and leave property in the shape of furniture and other useful articles, to the value of 20l. Upon this both a legacy duty and a probate duty must be paid. Now, take the case of the Duke of Cleveland, or the Duke of Norfolk, or of the Marquess of Hertford. All these noble persons have recently come into the possession of immense estates. Have they paid any duty to the Exchequer? None whatsoever. Now, his object was to put all parties upon an equality. He did not wish the rich man to pay more than the poor man, in proportion to the amount of his property, but he wanted common justice to be observed between them both. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had referred to the amount of the probate and legacy duty on real and personal property in 1805. He could have wished that the right hon. Gentleman had come to a later period, because there was a vast difference between the value of property now and in 1805. If the plan he now proposed were adopted, the right hon. Gentleman would get a much greater revenue now than could have been obtained by the same tax in 1805. It had been estimated that the tax upon landed property, in the shape of a legacy and probate duty now, if charged upon descent, bequest, or deed of settlement, would amount to two millions, or two millions and a half. This, then, was his first proposition. His second proposition was to subject all annuities, pensions, dividends, and salaries, to a certain rateable tax. He, in his scheme, had dealt very lightly with the lower class of incomes. Upon those ranging from 150l. to 250l. he only proposed a charge of 6d.in the pound, or 2½ per cent. With the exception of the two great interests—the landed interest and the West Indian interests, both of which were monopolies protected by the Legislature—every class in the country was in a state of suffering. If a comparison were made between the ability of all classes, whether the mercantile, the manufacturing, the trading, or the labouring classes, to pay taxes now, and what was their ability to do so six years ago, he believed it would be found that at the former period they were able to pay twice as much as at present. Those who derived their incomes from the public revenue ought to bear their proportion, and not throw the whole weight upon other classes. There was one very strong reason why they should do so. It was well known that all salaries and pensions were in- creased to a great extent in consequence of the depreciation of the circulating medium. He would refer to a most able pamphlet written by Sir James Graham, the present Home Secretary, upon this subject. He had read many works upon the question, but he had never seen one written with more ability, or which treated the subject with more justice. The right hon. Baronet stated — (the pamphlet was written in 1827) — that the difference of value of present money, and of money in 1813, which was the last year but one of a most expensive war, was at least 30 per cent. Every one who had written upon this subject bore out the right hon. Baronet's statement. In his opinion, the case was rather under than over stated. The amount of taxes in 1813 was 8] millions, the value of gold being 5l. 6s. 2½d. an ounce. The taxes for last year amounted to 52 millions, the value of an ounce of gold being 3/. 17s. 10½d., which was equal to 82 millions of taxation in 1813. Thus making the taxes of the present year heavier than they were in 1813, although in amount the taxes in 1813 were 81 millions, and in the present year 52 millions. In 1813 the price of wheat was 6l. 2s. 6d a quarter, now it was about 3l. 1s. or 3l. 2s., so that the people had now to give two quarters of wheat instead of one in 1813. In 1813 beef was contracted for at Greenwich Hospital at 9d. a pound, now it was little more than half that price. Take, again, the case of the handloom weavers. They would now have to pay four days labour for the tax which one day's labour in 1813 would have paid. Thus it went on in these proportions, making the tax a much heavier burden now than it was in 1813. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) and the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Goulburn) had spoken with warmth against subjecting the fund holder to any tax. Now, he did not understand the justice of this objection. The fund holders received their dividends in money greatly increased in value, instead of depreciated paper, in which they were paid before 1819, and in which the debt was contracted; it would, therefore, be no sacrifice for them to bear their share of the burthen, when the people who paid the taxes were in a state of suffering and depression. What did David Hume say upon this subject? and he was a great authority. In his Essay on Credit, ha said, That under the circumstances (meaning the heavy debt) in which the country was placed, the revenue must be raised from the taxation of annuitants, or what was the same thing, from mortgaging anew certain parts of their annuities, thus making them to contribute to their own defence and to that of the nation. He believed that they would ultimately come to this. The right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir James Graham) saw this long ago; and he hoped that the right hon. Gentleman was using his utmost efforts to instil his views into the minds of his Colleagues, and would induce them to follow those wise views he advocated fourteen years ago. There was one thing in which he agreed with the right hon. Baronet, that whatever amount of expenditure this House might vote, it was bound to put into the hands of the Government the means to pay it. That was a very different course from what had hitherto been followed. If his two propositions should be adopted, they would, according to his calculation, produce additional means to the Government of from four millions to four millions and a half, which was the utmost that' would be required to meet the expenditure of the Government. He most earnestly called upon the Government not to be merely satisfied with having a sufficiency of means to meet the expenditure, but to take care to have those means in the Exchequer, and not to depend, as hitherto, upon the Bank of England. The Bank of England had been generally acquiescent in the views of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the finances of this country ought not to be dependent upon the acquiescence or caprice of any body of individuals. In January there was only 3,600,000l. in the Exchequer, when the Government had to pay nine millions. Sup pose when the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked assistance, the Bank had refused it. It would only have been necessary for thirteen directors to have agreed in opinion that way. What would have been the condition of the country? How could the Chancellor of the Exchequer have paid the vast sums then due? He would not attempt to describe what the consequences would have been to the country if such an ocurrence had taken place. They all know that the Bank of England had been, by its own imprudence, in a state of the greatest difficulty. Suppose it had been on the 5th of January last in the same condition as it was de- scribed by Mr. Horsley Palmer, one of its directors, to have been in the months of October and November, 1839, when he stated that the amount of bullion in their coffers was barely as much as was lent to them by the Bank of France. If the Bank of France had refused to lend that money what would have been the consequence? The case answered itself. Suppose the Bank should not be in a condition to lend the Government money on deficiency bills, to pay the dividends when due suppose the Bank of England had a great run upon it for bullion, at the very moment the Government wanted its assistance, and the Bank was placed in this situation, either to be obliged to refuse the Chancellor of the Exchequer the assistance he required to meet the dividends, amounting generally to five, six, or seven millions, or to stop payment on the run made upon it? What would be the result? Either the Government would be unable to meet its dividends, or the Bank must stop. This was a state in which the Government ought not to place itself; and if the right hon. Gentleman would give proper attention to the subject, he was certain that he might place the finances of the country in a state of perfect security and free from all such dangerous hazards. There was another point worthy of the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. In the course of a year or two the Bank charter would have to be renewed. His wish was, that the right hon. Gentleman should be perfectly independent of the Bank before that period arrived. Formerly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer could dictate terms to the Bank, but when about two years ago the Government wished to borrow 600,000l., the Bank said, that unless the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave them a higher rate of interest, he should not have the money. Suppose this should happen when a much larger sum was required, it would throw distrust upon the credit of the country. What would then be the condition of the Government? When the sense of the House should have been taken upon the resolution of the noble Lord (Lord John Russell), it was his intention to move that the resolution now before the House should be referred back to a committee of the whole House upon Ways and Means, when he should propose to that committee a resolution to this effect 0#x2014 That it is the opinion of this committee, that, towards raising the supply granted to her Majesty, and for the reducing, as much as may be practicable, the duty now payable on malt, sugar, and tea, there shall be charged annually the several rates and duties following, that is to say:— For, and in respect of every annuity, pension, stipend, dividend, or salary, payable out of the public revenue of the United Kingdom of the annual amount of 150l. to 300l., for every twenty shillings, sixpence; of 300l. to 500l., for every twenty shillings, one shilling; of 500l. to 7501., for every twenty shillings, one shilling and sixpence; of 750l. to 1,000l. for every twenty shillings, two shillings; of 1,000l. to 1,500l. for every twenty shillings, three shillings; of 1,500l. and upwards, for every twenty shillings, four shillings, on the value thereof. For and in respect of all lands, tenements, hereditaments, heritages, and real property of every description, there shall be charged to every person on coming into possession thereof by inheritance or bequest, a duty equal in amount to the probate and legacy duty now payable on personal property.

Sir Robert Inglis

said, that a considerable portion of the speech of the hon. Gentleman having been employed to answer the speech of the noble Lord, and another portion employed in complimenting the commercial and financial policy of her Majesty's Government, and another portion in discounting his own intended speech upon a motion not now before the House, and a fractional portion only being employed in endeavouring to answer the able, comprehensive, and eloquent speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he did not feel that it was necessary for him, and he certainly did not feel any disposition, to follow the hon. Member. He should take lower and humbler grounds. He would not enter into an inquiry as to the policy of the Government. He rose distinctly for the purpose of suggesting to the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government, one alteration which he took the opportunity -perhaps the only one that would be afforded to him-of now submitting to him. The right hon. Baronet had pledged the existence of his Government upon the success of this great financial measure; but though be stated this when he first opened his plan, and interated it last Monday, still the right hon. Gentleman declared his willingness to listen to any suggestion as to details in the progress of the measure. And although the right hon. Baronet had received many communications from provincial chancellors of the Exchequer and financiers of every grade, yet he had not heard, at least, that the suggestion he was about to make had been submitted to the right hon. Baronet. The right hon. Baronet began his plan by ex empting all whose incomes did not exceed 150i.; the right hon. Baronet admitted that persons whose incomes were below that sum, were not in a condition to bear any proportion of the tax which ought to be levied upon others. Now, the suggestion which he would venture to make was, that he should give an equal advantage to all persons whose incomes should exceed 150i. For instance, in the case of a person whose income was 200i., the tax should be imposed upon the surplus 50l., above the 150l. So in the case of a person of 300l., he should be taxed upon the extra 150l. It was impossible that any one could have moved in society within the last month without having heard of cases of the most aggravated distress in respect to persons of small property. The right hon. Baronet must know this full well; he could not, therefore, but feel sure that there was no modification of his right hon. Friend's plan which would tend more to spread general content with his financial measures than that which he had now suggested. Sixty pounds paid by a man whose income was 2,000l., or six hundred pounds paid by him whose income was 20,000l., were paid without the sacrifice perhaps of a single comfort; whereas the 6l. paid by a man whose income was only 200l., whether living in the metropolis or the remotest province, would be an abridgement of many comforts—he might almost say, of many necessaries. If, therefore, it was fit to make any reserve whatsoever, and except any annuitants at all, it certainly would be consistent with the general principle to make a similar proportionate relaxation in favour of those whose incomes exceeded the lowest point of the scale by 50l., or 100l., or 150l., and so on. It was true the reduction of 150l. from the estimated income of those having 2,000l. or 20,000l. would have had but little effect either way. It would scarcely benefit the party himself, while, at the same time, it would hardly make any sensible diminution in the amount of taxes to be received by the Government. But, to the individual having only an income of 200l., the relief would be very great indeed, and he was sure it would be very gratefully received. If the House would indulge him for two minutes more he would ven- ture to state that he thought it would have been far more satisfactory to the country generally if a property tax of 4 per cent, or 5 per cent, had been imposed, and they had obtained an entire remission of all the machinary of an Income-tax, and of the assessed taxes. He feared that as he did not receive any cheers from the metropolitan Members, and none on his own side of the House, his proposition was not likely to meet success. [Mr. Wakley: I cheered you. He would not pursue the subject further, but he trusted his right hon. Friend at the head of her Majesty's Government would consider the suggestion he had thrown out worthy of his attention.

Mr. P. M. Stewart

said, that not with standing the epithets which had been applied to this tax had been repudiated and condemned by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, yet he (Mr. Stewart) most advisedly used them, and declared that it was to all intents and purposes an inquisitorial, an unnecessary, and a most odious imposition upon the people and the industry of this country. He, however, must say, with the hon. Member for Oxford, that if the country was to be subjected to this impost, it was the duty of the Legislature to make it as little burdensome as possible. He, therefore, approved of the suggestion of his hon. Friend (Sir R. Inglis), that an income of 150l. ought to be made the unit in calculating the tax, because it was admitted by the right hon. Baronet that those who possessed an income of 150l. were not fit to bear the tax; thereby drawing a line for the calculation to commence on the amount of income exceeding 150l. Upon the last suggestion of his hon. Friend (Sir R. Inglis) he would make no remark, because he would go on and make open war—declared war—against the proposition itself. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, blamed those who had applied epithets such as he had applied to this tax, asserting that they were not descriptive of the tax. The right hon. Gentleman had said, that he as a financier had helped in 1816 in the hopeless undertaking to continue for two years the property-tax; and that he was quite sure if the property-tax had been continued for two sessions, the financial circumstances of the country would have been in a much more flourishing state than they now were. In looking back to the victory then gained over Mr. Vansittart, who attempted to continue a tax which Parliament was bound in honour to repeal six months after the cessation of war, there was no man who had the welfare of his country at heart who would not sympathise with those who gained that victory. The great question was settled upon the strength of the petitions which were poured in upon the House for several nights previous to the proposal, and those petitions decided the fate of the tax, which had never since been heard of from that day till now. Men of great distinction as financiers, equal in every respect to the right hon. Gentleman himself, did not hesitate to express in the strongest terms the detestation in which they held that tax. The present Lord Ashburton—then Mr. Baring—made a powerful speech, showing the impolicy and injustice of imposing such a tax upon the people, and his concluding words were these:— With a debt of 820,000,000l., it was of little consequence whether twelve more were added, but it was of the utmost importance that the people of England should be liberated from this most unjust and unnecessary and odious imposition. Those were Mr. Baring's words in 1816, and he presumed that as a financier, and being in that day in the full vigour of his mind, and capable of judging such a question, he might put those words against the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, and say, that it was a good deliverance of the country to be rid of that tax. The right hon. Gentle man (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had repeated the words of the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) in his initiatory speech, and had said, that nations, like individuals, acted wisely in looking their circumstances boldly in the face, and not shrinking to meet any evils. He said so, too. But the right hon. Gentleman had denied, that the deficiency was what the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord John Russell) had said—a deficiency of 2,500,000l. only, which they had to pro vide for; but that the deficiency was one which had been accruing for five or six years past. He agreed with the noble Lord that a gloomy view of the slate of our finances was taken by Gentlemen on the Ministerial benches, and he could ascribe it to nothing but to their long continuance on the Opposition side of the House, and to their looking through a mist, which was sometimes hanging over the Table which separated them from the Treasury benches—a mist which had so magnified the deficiency of the revenue, that the impression did not leave them even when they began to consult officially upon it; for he would assert, that the deficiency which they now had to deal with, and at a time, too, when the financial state of the country was in high credit, was simply a deficiency of 2,500,000l. How, in the first instance, was this deficiency magnified? They had heard nothing of the sources of its magnitude that night; but in swelling the amount of the deficiency, those who sought to do so introduced that mournful scene of discomfiture —he believed it would be an isolated scene—soon to be redeemed, he hoped— of the British arms in Affghanistan. Yes, there were mixed up with our home defisyciencies—a mode of representing the financial condition of the country which he must protest against—the deficiencies of our Indian finances. These were not elements to be taken into account in considering this question. He had no access to official documents, but as one of the uninitiated he had had recourse to Mr. Porter's last book, and there found that there was a surplus of four millions at the three presidencies. In China, it was true, the matter was not yet settled, but could any man entertain a doubt as to its ultimate settlement? The accounts of the revenue only the day before yesterday showed a flourishing surplus of about 600,000l., nearly 400,000l. of which was ransom money from Canton. In that quarter we were sure, not only of victory, but of compensation for our expenditure. Notwithstanding what had been said by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was impossible to convince those who were acquainted with the history of the Income-tax that it was to be looked upon as anything but a war-tax; but what made it peculiarly unacceptable was its inquisitorial and searching and arbitrary character. The bill of 1806 contained no fewer than 210 clauses, and with all this the nation was to be again irritated and tormented. He could not therefore help reminding the House of the opinion of Mr. Ponsonby on this subject, who said in this place that The principles of that measure were in compatible with the personal liberty of the subject. It had been brought forward at two periods of our history; in 1798 it had been proposed by Mr. Pitt, and in 1806 by Lord Henry Petty; but how different were the circumstances of the country at those periods! Mr. Pitt required ten millions to be raised with as little delay as possible, because, as he said, The very existence of the country might be said to depend upon the result. A vigorous effort was then required, and for such a moment such a tax ought to be reserved. What was the financial state of the country in 1798? Why, in 1796, Mr. Pitt had borrowed forty-two millions, in 1797 he had borrowed nearly as much, and in 1798 he had borrowed fourteen millions before he asked for the tax. The navy at that time cost 13,642,000l., and the army 8,840,000l. What was the financial state of the country in 1806? Why, on the very morning, that Lord Henry Petty came down to the House to require the Income-tax to be raised from 6½ to 10 per cent., he had borrowed 20,000,000l. of money. The navy at that date cost 15,281,000l., and the army 18,500,000l. What was the much talked of deficiency at the present moment? 2,569,000l. He was aware, that there were other items which made it amount to more, but that increased deficiency was occasioned by the voluntary remission of duties under the right hon. Baronet's tariff. The loss upon coffee alone was estimated at 170,000l., but surely something ought to be allowed for the increase in the consumption. In three years after the reduction of the duty from 1s. to 6d., it produced an equal sum, at the low duty, to that which it had produced at the high duty; and at this moment the income from this source was nearly doubled. He protested most strongly against throwing away the present revenue derived from timber. The proposed remission might be thankfully received by the consumer, but it would be highly injurious to our Canadian possessions. The right hon. Baronet had said, that Canada was to be treated as an integral part of the empire. He was glad to hear it, for it was a point for which he bad long contended. It must, nevertheless, be the conviction of the present Government, that Canada could not maintain a trade against the Baltic with the proposed remission of duty; the Canadian timber-trade must soon be prostrate, yet in 1840 it had produced 434,698l., while foreign timber had yielded 1,026,000l. True it was that the consumer might eventually be benefitted; but he insisted, that in the present financial difficulties of the country, it was a mere act of wantonness to throw away a sum now derived from that source, amounting to 600,000l. If the question were put to the Canadians they would infinitely prefer the proposition of the late Administration. It seemed, from the statement of the right hon. Baronet, that the sum to be raised by an Income-tax was 3,700,000l.; but, before he remarked further upon it, he would mention that there was one highly objectionable tax which he hoped the right hon. Baronet might be induced to relinquish. He referred to the 4s. per ton upon coals. He did not consider merely the sum it would produce, but the most injurious effect it would have on the shipping interest. The trade never throve until 1834 when the duty was reduced, and by the proposed tax two-thirds of the trade would be extinguished. The reason assigned by the right hon. Baronet was a very weak one, viz., that our coals were required by foreign countries for their manufactories. He seemed to forget that foreign countries would soon make themselves independent of us. Belgium was a coal country, and in France they only took our coal because they could obtain it cheaper than by working their own mines. Not long since the exportation was 450,000 tons, and now it wag 1,300,000 tons. He was not blind to the financial difficulties of the present time, and he was glad to see, that some alarm on the subject existed on the other side; but after what the right hon. Gentleman had said about provincial and amateur Chancellors of the Exchequer, he was almost afraid to prescribe. However, in spite of that, and in spite of what had been urged to the contrary, he was satisfied, that real property was, and ought to be a taxable commodity. He was identified by family interest with the great body of landed proprietors, but he could not be deaf to the assertion out of doors, that the landed interest was allowed to go scot-free, while other classes much less able to bear it, were left to sustain the great bulk of the burden. If, indeed, the landed interest had been disposed to contribute only a fair share, could a more simple and certain test have been applied to them, than by requiring them to put themselves on a footing, as regarded legacy and probate duties, with the owners of personal property? The Chancellor of the Exchequer had contended, that as a great part of the landed property of the kingdom was in settlement, or as it was phrased in Scotland, "entailed," it was not the proper subject of taxation. Why not? Why should not a tax be imposed upon the transmission of landed property from generation to generation? How did settlement or entail interfere with that process? Two merits seemed to recommend such a tax; the one, that it would supply nearly two millions of money; the other, that it would not touch the present holder of landed property, but only his successor. He pressed that tax very earnestly on the Chancellor of the Exchequer.. Mr. Pitt was very fond of that part of his measure; but, being dependent upon the landed interest, he had been obliged to forego it. With regard to corn, he was one of those who took his stand upon the fitness of an unrestricted free-trade in corn—and he did not disguise the fact—and it was not to be disguised—that be and others had considered the fixed duty good now and better here after, as it would be a stepping-stone to total abolition. There was one point in this question where the ground was rather of a boggy or mossy nature, only very lightly to be touched or trodden upon. When ever the price rose to 72s. or 73s. he would unfix the fixed duty immediately; hut if importation were allowed by the fixed duty from all the countries of the world, there was no human probability, that the price of corn would ever rise to that amount. He next came to sugar, and would make his confession to the House. He admitted, that he was much interested in West-Indian colonial produce; but he had, nevertheless, supported the proposition of the late Government, under certain explanations, and should be still more ready to support that shadowed out by the right hon. Baronet on introducing his measures. He would ask whether the West - Indians could now shut their eyes to the fact, that they were doomed to alteration, or, as some of the too doleful asserted, to destruction? The plan of the right hon. Baronet was better than that of the late Government, but he had stated, that he would not meddle with the sugar duties on account of their connection with the slave-trade. It was impossible to compete with Brazil or Cuba, at the rate at which the slave-trade was now carried on in those countries; but he (Mr. P. M. Stewart) maintained that the distinctive duty was quite sufficient to protect the British grower, and that by a judicious modification of these duties, we might induce Brazil and Cuba to follow an humane example. But if the right hon.. Baronet did not dare to touch sugar on account of its connection with the slave-trade, why did he touch coffee, which was somewhat in the same predicament? By the last return it appeared, that of the 28,646,205 lbs. of coffee which paid duty for home consumption, exactly half was foreign coffee: the duty upon English-coffee was 374,000l., and upon foreign coffee 544,800l. Everything ought to show the West-Indians that it was better for them to make their accounts even while they could, because their doom was inevitably fixed, as regarded a change in the differential duties on sugar. The increase in the quantity of coffee consumed within the last two years had been from 25,800,000lbs. to 28,646,205lbs., or nearly three millions of pounds. But Parliament had it in its power to indemnify the West-Indians if it thought fit. At this moment sugar, the pro duce of British colonies, was subject to prohibitory regulations, growing out of the old Corn-law. British-grown sugar might be used in a distillery entered solely for that purpose, but it could not be used at all in a brewery where it was classed with vitriol, opium, and other deleterious commodities. Then as to spirits, there was one hindrance of which, perhaps, the right hon. Baronet was not aware: when the price of barley was 38s., the distiller might import foreign barley, might make it into spirit, and send it into Scotland and Ireland to be consumed, in the former at a duty of 3s. 8d., and in the latter at a duty of 2s. 8d.; while colonial spirit was subjected throughout the empire to a duty of 9s. 4d When, therefore, the colonies came to their great settlement, which now drew near, they ought to be freed from this restriction, and his conviction was, that if they were allowed perfect freedom, and the distinctive prohibitory duty in Scotland and Ireland were done away with, the West Indians would receive compensation for any Joss they might sustain from alteration of duties. Coming to the tariff, he might observe that there were many anomalies in it, and at there was to be a new edition of it on Monday, it might be worth while to make a few remarks upon the present edition by way of errata. The first he would notice was the duty on apples. Surely that was a misprint; or if not a misprint, the document had been printed in Kent. Apples in some parts of the country were an important article of consumption among the poor. Lord Sydenham had reduced the duty from 4s. per bushel to about 2d and that was the present impost; but what was it by the tariff of the right hon. Baronet—he meant the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tarn-worth, not the right hon. Baronet the Member for Kent. The duty was hereafter to be 2s. 6d per cwt., or at the rate of from 8d to 10d per bushel. The next anomalous article was hops—also a Kentish production, and perhaps another Kentish misprint. The duty had been 8l l1s. per load—a very high duty, and, to the astonishment of every body, that was left untouched in the tariff. Another article which greatly interested the Scotch farmers was linseed cake, commonly called oil cake, the duty upon which was raised from 2d to 6d This, he hoped, was a misprint. [Sir R. Peel: It was a mistake.] He would now touch upon the amount of Income-tax required from Scotch farmers. A petition from forty farmers in Berwickshire and Roxburghshire, paying a rental of 54,000l., had been laid upon the Table, and seemed to produce some impression on the Ministerial side of the House. In England, formerly, the tax was taken upon three-fourths of the rent, and in Scotland upon half the rent. The reason for the difference was, that in England the rent was paid to the landlord minus certain incumbrances borne by him, whereas in Scotland the tenant paid the whole. In 1816, when an attempt was made to stop the mouths of the landed gentry by reducing the proportion from three-quarters to one-third, Mr. Baring, in his speech on the 5th March, had said that the design of Government was obvious, viz. to relieve the landed interest and to throw the unjust burden upon the rest of the community—and he added, that "a more dishonest proposal had never been made by any Minister." In the present instance, whatever might be done with the tenantry of England, he hoped that some relief would be extended to the tenantry of Scotland, as the amount fixed upon them was much too high, and far above the fair proportion. He had said thus much on the supposition that the House knew the worst of the case: according to the speech of the right hon. Baronet, the prospect of the country was far from cheering, but he did not believe it was anything like as bad as the right hon. Baronet had seen it his interest to represent. In his splendid peroration he had talked of the mutiny at the Nore of the rebellion in Ireland, of disasters abroad, and of the funds at 52. Such was the case in 1798; but was anything like that the case now? The unlucky affair at Affghanistan was likely to be isolated: we had had no other disasters abroad; there was no mutiny at the Nore, no rebellion in Ireland, and the funds, instead of being down at 52 were up at 90. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had this night followed up the same strain as his leader when it suited his purpose, and had talked very solemnly of the effect of deficiency upon the credit of the country; yet, when it suited his purpose again, he called the attention of the House to the circumstance, that, notwithstanding the Income-tax had been proposed, the funds had risen from 89 to 90, while Exchequer-bills were at a premium of from 38s. to 40s., which absorbed the whole interest for a year. What did all this show, but that money was a drug, and that the owners of it were glad to employ it in any way that promised a return, however inadequate. Where, then, was the case of the right hon. Baronet which called for the imposition of the Income-tax, "a weapon from the national armoury (as the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had justly observed) which ought to be reserved only for a state of war." If it could be shown that this country was at war, or was threatened with any thing like immediate war, there was an end of his objection to the Income-tax, but he hoped the House would not impose so odious and objectionable a burden, because it was needlessly alarmed by the pusillanimous contemplation of fancied difficulties.

Mr. G. Palmer

felt under great obligations to the noble Lord opposite for the compliment paid to him and other agricultural Members of that House, although he was sorry that he could not appropriate to himself that part of the compliment which had reference to heads as stiff as the clay he tilled. The noble Lord might think lightly of clay soils, but the more they cultivated such soils the more fertile and the more productive they would become. As to the noble Lord himself, he handed him over to the hon. Member for Finsbury, who having said that he was made of squeezeable materials, had squeezed him so hard that there was not a drop of goodness left in him. The charge made against the agricultural Members last night was, that they had professed one thing on the hustings, and were voting another in the House. He gave his assent to the Corn-bill last night, although he objected to the duty on Lent corn, and, although as the right hon. Baronet took the averages for the last three years instead of the last fifteen, he was not satisfied that the farmers would not require more protection. His opinion was, also, that the price of wheat would be lowered, since the price at Dantzic and other places from which we obtained corn did not exceed 25s. Still he was willing to try the bill, and he had voted for it because he believed that the great body of the agriculturists, although they were not quite satisfied with it, would give it a fair trial in consequence of their confidence in the right hon. Baronet who had proposed it. The right hon. Baronet bad stated his own conviction that under his bill the price of wheat would range between 54s and 58s., and if circumstances should hereafter prove that the protection was not equal to this, it would be for the agricultural interest to apply again to the right hon. Baronet. He was sure that no individual could accuse him of inconsistency in this particular instance. He came now to the great point in question that day—the charge proposed to be laid upon the country in the shape of an Income tax. He was as well aware of the inconvenience attending it as the hon. Gentle men opposite: he knew the inquisitorial nature of the tax; and he knew of other inconveniences, which had not been mentioned; but, at the same time, he believed that the credit of the country must be maintained, and that the sum necessary for this purpose had been much underrated, There was not only the deficiency of this year and of last year to be met; but if the credit of the country was to be maintained, the finances must be put on the same footing as they were eight or ten years ago. He believed that if 10,000,000l. extra were put into the Exchequer this year, it would not be more than sufficient. Less would not do, and he did not think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would deny that statement. They must, therefore, submit to the tax with a good will, and it was not for hon. Gentlemen opposite to object to raising such a sum to maintain the credit of the country which they had impaired. The sum was required because public affairs had been attended with the most melancholy results. In our eastern possessions many people were suffering, we had an army advancing to their relief, the difficulties to be contended with were great, and the army must be supported. On another point of Eastern policy, hon. Gentlemen opposite had applied to, and obtained the advice of some merchants in the city, who had told them exactly how many ships and men it was necessary to send to subdue a country of which they knew nothing. Still there must be an outlay. He felt, therefore, that every shilling that could possibly be raised by an Income-tax was necessary to replenish the Exchequer. As to the tariff, a new edition of which would be ready he understood on Monday, he must say that it was a tariff to which he never would give his consent. His principles upon the subject were as well known to the right hon. Baronet as to himself; he never would give his consent to anything bordering on the free-trade principle. He would never consent to an Income-tax wrung from the people for the purpose of speculating in free-trade. As to taking off the duty from coffee and timber, large sums would be sacrificed to this country. The Income-tax was to last only for three years, but the taxes taken off were permanent. How did they propose to supply the deficiency? He might be told that the gross produce of the tax would be increased by a reduction in the duty; so they were told when they took off the postage duty, but what had been the result? He recommended the right hon. Baronet to get the tax into the Exchequer as soon as possible, and then consider how to apply it. He would like to ask the manufacturers, who were exceedingly violent upon other points, why they held their tongue upon the tariff? Because protection was given to them to the same extent as before. The protection given to the cotton trade was 34 per cent., and yet those gentlemen were crying out for doing away with protection to agriculture. There were so many incongruities in the tariff, that it could not be made on any principle. There ought to be some principle declared which Would rule from one end to the other. He had always been a friend to protection, but let it be equal; and if the right hon. Baronet would only propose an equal protection, he might hold his present situation as long as his health would allow him.

Sir W. Somerville

said, that after the lengthened arguments which had taken place oh this subject, he did not suppose he could throw any additional light upon the question but as the representatives of Ireland stood Upon peculiar grounds, he could not consent to give a silent vote that night. If he regarded the matter in a partial or interested view, he would certainly give his vote for bringing up the report. He returned his thanks to the right hon. Baronet for exempting Ireland from the operation of the tax. It was true, that the right hon. Baronet had given as a reason for this exception in favour of Ireland, that he had not found the machinery at hand in that country by which this tax might be applied; but still he believed, that he was guided by an anxious desire to treat that country in a moderate and forbearing spirit, but he thought, that he might have found some other means of accounting for his inducement to spare the imposition of this tax on that country than that which he had given. They all knew, that within the last three years a property-tax had been in point of fact imposed in Ireland in the shape of Poor-rates. He did not complain of the imposition of those rates, although it assumed the character which he had ascribed to it, and every man who had witnessed the misery of the lower orders in Ireland must be most anxious for the Success of the experiment tried in connection with them, and that no impediment should be thrown in its Way. He felt grateful to the right hon. Baronet, also, for his having deprived the absentees of Ireland from any exemption from this tax; he was glad that this tax would affect the Irish absentees, but he was only afraid, that he could not catch hold of them, as he wished he might, for he considered them a most unprofitable portion of her Majesty's subjects. But notwithstanding the gratitude which he had expressed for the favour shown to Ireland, be thought, that he was bound to consider this tax, not in the light in which as an Irish representative he might be disposed to look at it, but as a representative of the interests of England and Scotland also. He was bound to consider it with reference to all classes—not with reference to Irish interests alone, but to the interests of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and in this point of view he regretted, that he could not give his conscientious support to the measure of the right hon. Baronet. He could not bring himself to consent to the imposition of this tax, unless the sternest necessity demanded it, and this oh account of its inquisitorial character. He had heard no argument so satisfactory to him as to induce him to change this opinion. He had heard the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Bath (Mr. Roebuck) the other evening, and he had heard that hon. Member say, that such feelings as those of individuals who did not wish to have their affairs overhauled, and their secret transactions inquired into ought not to be attended to—-that they were not worthy of consideration. As art abstract opinion that might be a true one, but he thought that the House could not hope to legislate upon abstract views. They must legislate for human nature as they found it, and he defied any man to say that there was hot out of doors a general, not to say an universal, feeling prevalent against the inquisitorial nature of this tax. He must moreover say, that he did not think that there was any necessity for the imposition of the tax. If he thought, that the period had arrived when its imposition was imperatively called for, he might have been disposed to overlook its inquisitorial machinery; but when he heard the hon. Gentleman below him, the Members of the late Government taunted with being the means of handing over a deficiency to the right hon. Baronet opposite, he was bound to inquire how that deficiency Was created. Was it by a reckless expenditure Was it by the imposition of new taxes? Not at all. It Was created by the too great readiness of those hon. Gentlemen to relieve the country from taxation. That might have been a fault, but it was at all events on the right side, and the very proof which was offered to hint of the means by which this deficiency arose, was at the same time a proof that a plan might be resorted to, to make up the existing deficiency, without having recourse to this tax. Now one word on the proposed tariff. Another opportunity would be afforded him of going fully into that question, if he should be disposed to do so, and therefore he would not now enter into it; but so fat as he knew at present, re serving to himself the right of considering each item separately on a future occasion, he would, if the right hon. Baronet would take him as a substitute for the hon. Member for Essex, support the right hon. Baronet in considering the interests of the consumer. He had already expressed his regret, that he could not support this measure of the right hon. Baronet, and his gratitude at the exemption of Ireland from its operation. That exemption, however, threw upon him a double responsibility with regard to his conduct on this occasion, and he felt that he should be acting a selfish and ungenerous part towards England and Scotland, if he did not give his aid to them against this tax. He should therefore vote in favour of the motion of the noble Lord, the Member for London.

Captain Hamilton

disagreed with the hon. Baronet, who had last spoken with regard to the nature of the measures proposed by the late Government. He could not deem them to be by any means of so excellent a nature as he seemed disposed to think, but their apparent object and effect had been merely to palliate the existing difficulties—to postpone the evil day, until at length the proposition of the right hon. Baronet had become requisite. It had been argued, that the adoption of that proposition would hold out to foreign countries the view, that England was driven to her last resource, that she was compelled to resort to a tax which, except under some extraordinary pressure, was justifiable only in time of war. He confessed, that for his own part he could subscribe to no such opinion, for he believed, that the bold measure proposed by the right hon. Baronet would only tend to convince the world in general of the great wealth and resources which this country possessed. But applying himself to the Income-tax, as it was now proposed, and leaving to future consideration the question of the tariff as proposed by the right hon. Baronet, he must express his intention to vote in favour of that tax. Various objections had been suggested to that tax, some of which, undoubtedly, had some apparent ground to rest upon; but he believed, that no measure could be proposed, so extensive in its consequences and its operations as the present, in opposition to which arguments of equal weight might not be raised. He believed, that the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) had come forward boldly to meet the evil which existed. In his statement there had been no reserve, but every view of the case had been fairly placed before the House; and, whatever his conduct might be with regard to the tariff, when it came on for discussion, upon this question, at all events, he should have his support. *' Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." He should, therefore, give no opinion upon the question of the tariff but he believed, that this was the only tax which would redeem the credit of this country.

Mr. Sheil:

If for the sustainment of the honour and the interests of England an Income-tax were required, I make no doubt, that the people of this country would at once submit to it, and follow with promptitude, the example which our gracious Sovereign has spontaneously and magnanimously given; but of this generous example, the Minister should be slow to take advantage, and should avoid with peculiar care, any exaggerated description of the perils or of the embarrassments of the country, in order to produce an acquiescence in a tax of all others, the most convenient to the Minister, but the most harassing and vexatious to the people. Does the condition of England, does the state of her finances, do existing difficulties, do impending perils, make the imposition of a tax so odious, matter of inevitable need? That question will be put ere many months shall have passed, by that portion of the community, in which political power is deposited, and upon the answer to that question, the stability of the Government will depend, when the merits of the Minister shall be tried by some better test than the acclamations of heated partisans, and shall be determined by the results to which his legislation will conduct us. The right hon. Baronet has little to apprehend during the passage of his bill through the Parliament. He told us that he was ready to take the course which he had adopted in 1835. But I cannot help thinking that his magnanimity is misplaced; his public virtue will not be put to a trial so severe. Although it may seem paradoxical to say so, his difficulties will be the result of his success, and his will be one of those victories, which it re quires less ability to win than to follow up When the Income-tax shall have been in actual operation, when a theory in the Parliament shall have become a burden upon the people when, schedule D shall have been made fearfully intelligible, when this tax shall have been charged to use a phrase familiar in debates on the Irish Registration Bill, upon the "beneficial interest" which a man has in all his earnings, and no allowance shall have been made as against this impost, for food, for fire, for raiment, for the roof over an English tradesman's head,—when the privacy of so many Englishmen shall have been invaded by the inquisitors, who are to be attached to your new fiscal tribunal, when a scrutiny shall have been instituted into the affairs of every man, when your commissioners, original, additional or special, shall conjecture to have gained 150l. in a single year, when all the pain and all the humiliation incidental to this tax shall have been felt, then, I feel persuaded that the people of this country will inquire whether this tax would not have been avoided, or whether the right hon. Baronet did not take advantage of a majority, hot from the struggle of a recent election, to inflict a tax, for which neither the present condition, nor the future prospects of England, afforded a justification. I have little doubt, that the people of England will think that the right hon. Baronet was mistaken in his view of the public embarrassments, that he over rated the exigencies of the hour, and that for the imposition of a tax so unjust, so inquisitorial and so immoral, he should have forfeited the confidence of the country. It is alleged by the right hon. Baronet, that an Income-tax is indispensable for the purpose of repairing a two-fold deficiency—that which already exists, and that which a great commercial experiment will involve. To create an additional deficiency in order to repair it by an Income-tax, to inflict a new wound in order to apply a favourite cure, is more than tentative, and if my right hon. Friend, the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, had made a proposition like this, he would have been regarded as an empiric of the most adventurous kind. But it is the good fortune of the right hon. Baronet, that his supporters entertain in his regard that sort of confidence, which Waller has happily described in his celebrated address to a great projector:— Still as you rise, the state exalted too, Feels no disorder, when 'tis changed by you 1 am one of those, however, who do not think that the experiment of the right hon. Baronet is of such value, that for the sake of indulging him in it, the country should submit to the calamity of an Income-tax. The tariff, by which the deficiency of 1,200,000l. is to be at once created, is not such a masterpiece, as to induce us to acquiesce in such an imposition, as he declares to be necessary for his great undertaking. He begins by sacrificing 600,000l. of the timber duties. Why should he abolish the duties on Canadian timber? Sir Henry Parnell, whose authority he quotes, and for whom he entertains great respect, ever since his celebrated motion on the Civil-list in 1830, does not suggest that the duties on Canadian timber should be given up. Mr. M'Gregor, the Secretary to the Board of Trade, a man of great talent, knowledge, and experience, whose evidence was so important before the Import Duty committee; who resided a considerable time in Canada, and who has written a valuable work on the subject, does not recommend that the duty on Canadian timber should be wholly relinquished, but that it should be reduced from 10s to 7s. 6d. It is known to every body, that there is a species of Canadian timber, which we cannot dispense with, yellow pine for example, which is employed for a variety of purposes, to which Baltic timber is not applicable. It must come into this country, and to relinquish the revenue that would be derived from it, is a most imprudent proceeding. The course adopted with regard to the sugar duties is most censurable. When the enormous sum of 20,000,000l. was given to the West-India planters, there was no stipulation that their monopoly should be preserved, accordingly the duties on East-India and West-India sugar were soon after equalised. The duties on East-India and West-India rum were recently placed on a level. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer, the champion of the West-India interest, expostulated in vain. His eloqueuce appears to be more influential in the Cabinet, than it was last year in the House of Commons. As long as there existed an inequality of duty in East-India and West-India produce, the East and West Indians were strong antagonists; but the duties having been equalised, they formed a junction in favour of monopoly; the Government here entered into their views, and have consulted their interests at the expense of the whole British com- munity. The Import Duties committee entered into a very minute and most important consideration of the effects that would follow from a reduction of the duties on foreign sugar. Those duties are enormous; they amount to the sum of 63 per cwt., while the duty on colonial sugar is only 24s. It was proved before the Import Duty committee, by witnesses, whose judgment is unimpeachable, that as the reduction, of the duty on coffee produced a great increase of consumption and of revenue, the reduction of the duty on sugar would have the same effect, that to cheapen one of the necessaries of life would be of essential utility to the humbler classes, that sugar would be employed in various ways in which on account of its cost, it is now used; that our commercial relations with the Brazils would be most advantageously extended and confirmed; and that the demand for our manufactures would be considerably increased, and that an impulse would be given to the operative industry of the country. Mr. M'Gregor stated, that the revenue might be increased by so large a sum as 3,000,000l., by a judicious alteration of the sugar duties. To that alteration the right hon. Baronet prefers an Income-tax, and among other objections to a change in the sugar duties, informs us, that he does not desire to give an impulse to slave labour. Yet, by a strange contradiction, he reduces the duty on foreign coffee, the produce of slave labour, and he permits Brazilian and Cuba sugar to be refined in England, and to be exported for consumption in those very colonies in which slavery has been suppressed. His tariff is in these particulars most essentially imperfect. In the case of such a tariff, the evils of an Income-tax ought not to be inflicted, and if any substantial argument can be adduced in favour of so odious a measure, it is in the existing deficiency that we must endeavour to discover it. That a deficiency exists must be admitted and deplored, but those who are disposed to pronounce an unmeasured censure upon the Whig Government, as the occasion of that deficiency, ought to bear in mind, that from 1830 to 1836, the Whigs reduced taxes to the amount of 6,000,000l., and that notwithstanding that great reduction, there was a surplus of revenue in that time of upwards of 6,000,000l., so that no actual augmentation of the national debt has taken place under the Whig Ministry. It was imagined, that the Tories bad reduced the taxes to such an extent, before the accession of the Whigs, that no opportunity would be afforded to their successors of diminishing the public burdens. I am very far from denying that the Tories deserve great praise for having, independently of the Income-tax, abolished seventeen or eighteen millions of other taxes, but it seems extraordinary that when his predecessors began by repealing the Income-tax, and then proceeded to remit other taxes to a vast amount, the right hon. Baronet should invert the order of proceeding, and as if the Income-tax were of all taxes the least onerous, the most popular and the most just, he should make it the object of predilection, and select it as the basis of his whole system of finance. What is the history of this Income-tax, which the right hon. Baronet prefers to every other impost? It was proposed by Mr. Pitt, in whose gigantic footsteps the right hon. Baronet, so far as taxation is concerned, seems disposed to tread, in the midst of a great emergency. The rights, liberties, institutions of England—the existence, the life of England, were at stake. But Mr. Pitt did not, in enforcing the necessity of having recourse to an Income-tax, deliver a speech so elaborate as the right hon. Gentleman to the patriotism of Englishmen, he did not address any enthusiastic adjunction. No wonder the funds at fifty-two, the mutiny at the Nore, a rebellion in Ireland, disaster abroad, treason at home, the armies of the French republic every where victorious,—these topics did not require any eloquence to set them off. Accordingly the Income-tax was adopted in 1798 without a dissentient voice, but four years after, so soon as the peace of Amiens had been concluded, Mr. Addington went down to the House of Commons, and declared that, as the Income-tax was a war tax, and ought to be reserved for the greatest emergencies, it gave him the utmost satisfaction to be able to announce that it should be forth with repealed. But Sir Francis Burdett was not contented with this intimation, for on the 12th of April, in the same year, he said, that he was not satisfied that that tax should merely be repealed, but that some declaration should be placed on the records of Parliament with respect to it, that should ever afterwards stigmatise it as an infamous measure. The hon. Baronet added, The Income-tax has created an inquisitorial power of the most partial, offensive, and Cruel nature. The whole transactions of a life may be inquired into, family affairs laid open, and an Englishman, like a culprit, summoned to attend commissioners, compelled to wait like a lacquey in their ante-chamber from day to day until they are ready to institute their inquisition into his property; put to his oath, after all perhaps disbelieved, surcharged, and stigmatised as perjured, without any redress from or appeal to a jury of his country. And it is worth remarking, too, that a little before the introduction of this unprincipled scheme of plunder, the law of perjury was altered, and the punishment made transportation to Botany Bay. Sir, the repeal of this tax is not a sufficient remedy for its infamy; its principle must be stigmatised and branded. I do not quote this language because I attach any particular value to the opinions of the hon. Baronet, but because this language is expressive of the public sentiment in 1802, of which at that time the hon. Baronet was a vindicator. Hostilities having been re-commenced, it became necessary to resort again to this calamitous impost. Disaster followed upon disaster, and in 1806, when in the battle of Austerlitz Austria had been struck down, when Prussia and Russia had been humbled to the dust, when to the progress of the great conqueror no obstacle seemed to be inter posed—let the condition of England in 1806 and in 1842 be compared it became necessary to exact the Income-tax with still greater rigour, and that machinery was framed which the right hon. Baronet has selected as his model. The right hon. Baronet has adverted to some of the provisions in the bill introduced by Lord Henry Petty, but he omitted any reference to the concluding, and, in my mind, Conclusive clause:— And be it further enacted, that this act shall commence and take effect from and after the 5th day of April, 1806, and, together with the duties therein contained, shall continue in force during the present war, and until the 6th day of April next after the ratification of a definitive treaty of peace, and no longer. During ten years England had ample experience of the fearful evils of this most obnoxious impost—of those evils the right hon Baronet spoke somewhat lightly; and such language Was employed in reference to this tax, that it seems sufficiently clear that if once the blister is applied it will become perpetual, and the more it draws the more closely it will adhere. We have been told that there is no tax, indeed, which is not attended with inconvenience; that no fair man can reasonably object to a disclosure of his circumstances, and that the people of this country are too moral to yield to the pernicious influences with which it is supposed that an income-tax will be attended. With such showy plausibilities is the medicament, the bitter medicament, gilded by the adroit experimentalist by whom it is compounded. The impressions connected with the Income-tax are not so vivid as they were twenty-six years ago; but there remains on record, and set forth in the history of Parliament, sufficient evidence to prove with what feelings of deep loathing the Income-tax was regarded by the great mass of the English people; Is it mere imagination to suggest that this tax is Unjust, inquisitorial, and immoral? Did it not, while in operation, teem with evil? Was it not fertile of falsehood and of fraud? Was not the scrutiny which is inseparable from it an object of execration, and through the length and breadth of all the land was not a cry raised for its repeal, as if it were one of the greatest Calamities which could be inflicted on the country? Are the statements set forth in the remarkable petition of the bankers, merchants, and traders of London, in 1816, against this tax mere invention? That petition was presented by Sir William Curtis, a man devoted to the Tory party, but who denounced the Income-tax, and said that it was a monstrous breach of faith to continue it after the war had ceased. Sir James Shaw stated that he had attended the meeting, at which 22,000 of the citizens of London had assembled, and that the income-tax had been unanimously reprobated. Mr. Baring, the greatest merchant in the greatest mercantile country in the world (you have lately given evidence of your reliance on his judgment and his sagacity), concurred in the unqualified condemnation of the Income-tax. Mr. Wilberforce, who had the morals of England so much at heart, pronounced a strong censure on this baneful impost. But in reading the speeches delivered in 1816, against the income-tax, I was not struck by any one of them more than by that of a man well acquainted with the interests of all classes of Englishmen, and to whom the right hon. Baronet must look back with a feeling of affectionate veneration-I allude to the late Sir Robert Peel. He said that it was utterly absurd to imagine that the Income-tax which pressed upon the middle classes did not affect the humbler classes of the community, and he added that an Income-tax, in his judgment, was the very Worst—aye the very worst, which could be proposed. Such Were the men by whom the continuance of the Income-tax was opposed. By whom was it supported? By Mr. vansittart and Lord Castlereagh. But Lord Castlereagh had a far more powerful ease than the right hon Baronet. England had borrowed one hundred millions in the two preceding years; the repeal of the Income-tax would necessitate a loan of twelve millions for the then current year, and eight millions after. The country had not recovered from the fearful struggle from Which it had come exhausted and breathless—the effects of the War had not passed away, and under these circumstances Lord Castlereagh appealed to the country, to make a sacrifice for two years longer, and to make one last effort for the sustainment of the public credit. To his invocation the House of Commons Were insensible, and it Will be strange indeed, if in a reformed Parliament—in a Parliament whose reform he to the last opposed—the Member for Tamworth should achieve that which in an unreformed Parliament, with all his influence and all his plausibility, Lord Castlereagh was not able to accomplish; The motion for a continuance of the Income-tax Was lost by a majority of thirty-seven. It Was repealed, and in the succeeding years, up to the present period —independently of the Income-tax — twenty three millions of taxes were remitted. In that enormous mass cannot the right hon. Baronet find some means of recruiting the finances of his country, Without resorting to so fatal an expedient? He does not Choose, it is said, to renew those taxes Which would press upon the comforts of the poor, whose "ignorant impatience Of taxation" it is no longer judicious to provoke. It is almost Unnecessary to suggest that, as the late Sir Robert Peel observed, the tax which presses upon the middle classes must affect all those below them; but how does the right horn Baronet reconcile With his sympathy for the poor the maintenance of the great Colonial interests while so many thousands of poor operatives; cutters of corks, makers of shoes, gloves, bonnets, are sacrificed to the genius of free-trade With so relentless a rigour? Let the interests of the poor be consulted, but by some means less in equitable than aft Income-tax. What can be more Unjust than to lay the same tax upon the intellect of one man, and upon the acres of another? Look first at the proprietor of great territorial possessions, encompassed with every advantage by Which existence Can be cheered, and life can be prolonged, in the daily enjoyment Of the most healthful exercise, free from all mental pain, and exempt from every discomfort excepting that Which arises (to use a phrase of Edmund Burke) "from the laborious lassitude of having nothing to do," secure of the permanent retention Of his estates, and of transmitting to his progeny the splendid mansion and extensive domains, which through a long succession have come down to him. Turn from him, and look at the professional man, who is engaged from morning till night, and from night almost till the break of day, in the exhausting occupations from which his pre carious subsistence is derived; mark, not only the toil, the incessant toil Which it is his destiny to suffer, but the wear and tear of the feelings, and of the faculties Which he must needs undergo, the despondency, the faintness of heart which at the approach of the slightest ailment must come upon him, the sense of insecurity by which he must perpetually be haunted, the ftp prehension, the consuming solicitude that must beset him, lest by the gradual decay Of his faculties, or the sudden loss of health, he may be deprived of the means of earning his livelihood, and those who are dearer to him than himself, may be reduced to destitution. Look, I say, at these two men, of whom I have presented to you no exaggerated delineation, and then do you—you, who are yourselves the inheritors of large possessions, you who are born to affluence—you, who hate never known a care of tomorrow—-do you "who live at home at ease," and know SO little of dangers and the storms of adversity—do you, I say, declare whether it be just, whether it be fair, Whether it be humane, that upon both these men, and in the same proportion, the same impost should be inflicted. Shall We levy the same contribution on a man with 10,000l. a year, and upon officers in the army and navy, poor clergymen who endeavour? to educate their children as the children of gentlemen should be brought up, widow With miserable jointures, tradesmen, artisans, small retailers who eke out a subsistence from the petty business to which, for sixteen or seventeen hours out of the four-and-twenty, they are devoted? Is it right to tax them as you do the great patricians of the land and to force them to discover upon oath what perhaps it most deeply concerns their just and legitimate pride that they should conceal? What can be more fearful, more humiliating than to make a confession of adversity to let a set of heartless functionaries into the secrets of calamity, and to lay misfortune bare? The commissioners are empowered to examine upon oath, and to repudiate the testimony which a man gives in his own favour. To what immoral results must this practice lead? It has been suggested, that under our existing system, oaths must frequently be administered, and that there is a good deal of swearing in the Excise. True; but is it judicious to extend through every ramification of society the spirit of the Excise, and to get up a struggle between the interests and the conscience of every man who is to be charged with this baneful impost? The people of England are moral, but they have cause to pray that into temptation they may not be led. This tax is an immoral one; and, as I have heard in this House, when the rights and franchises of my countrymen were in question, a vehement denunciation against "villainous perjury," I trust that to the Irish hustings your abhorrence of perjury will not be confined; that to its perpetration you will not supply incentives; that as you are not, I hope, Pharisees in religion, you will not prove remorseless Publicans in finance; and that you will not send forth a band of tax-gatherers through the kingdom, and arm them with the Gospel, that they may put the conscience of every honest man to the question; while to every prevaricator, every shuffler, every equivocator, every perjurer, an impunity, proportioned to his utter destitution of all principle, is scandalously secured. I am not in speaking thus guilty of any the least exaggeration of the evils of the Income-tax, for I find a warrant for every word that I have uttered in the reiterated statements contained in hundreds of petitions which in 1816 were piled upon the Table of the House of Commons, and of these statements no contradiction was ever yet attempted. The evils of the Income-tax are so monstrous, that it is almost impossible to heighten them— they set hyperbole at defiance. But, at all events, of no exaggeration could any man in inveighing against the evils of the Income-tax be possibly guilty, comparable to the exaggeration into which the right hon. Baronet allowed himself to be betrayed,' when he indulged in a description so elo- quent, but so highly coloured, of the disasters of his country. Remarkable as his speech was for a surplus of ability, it was not more conspicuous for talent than for the very exaggerated terms in which he permitted himself to describe the difficulties and dangers of England. If, Sir, at the close of that speech, some one, who had lived in sequestration from the world, and for the last five or six years had not heard of the events which have passed within that period, had chanced to have entered this House, he would, I think, have been tempted to exclaim—appalled by the right hon. Baronet's magnificent peroration—"Good God, what has happened ! Is England brought to the verge of ruin? Has one greater than Napoleon, and of whom Napoleon was but the precursor, appeared? Is the world in arms against England?—have her fleets been sunk in the ocean, and with Wellington at their head, have those legions that were once deemed invincible, at last given way?" What would he his surprise at hearing that the repose of Europe was undisturbed, that her Majesty had declared that she continued to receive assurances of the most friendly dispositions from all princes and states that all the great powers had signed a common treaty for the preservation of the dominions of the Porte, and for the maintenance of peace; and that not very long ago another right hon. Baronet, the Secretary for the Home Department, had taken upon himself to state, as evidence of the influence of a Conservative Government in promoting peace, that the French minister had agreed to reduce the navy of France, and that wherever our eyes were turned prospects of cloudless felicity were disclosed. What! when a purpose is to be gained, shall one Minister announce, that under Tory auspices, the peace of Europe is secure; and when money is to be got, is another Minister, or rather the master of the Ministers, to talk of the cannon, whose sound has not reached our ears, and to strike terror into the heart of the country with vague and appalling intimations! Contrast the speech of the right hon. Baronet on the Income-tax with that which he delivered on the Corn-laws. The distresses of the country were then, forsooth, transitory and evanescent—they arose from bad harvests, and the temporary difficulties of America; and in the resources of Eng land, in her energy and elastic power, his confidence was unabated. I concur with him, and, thank God, that we are not come tosuch a pass, that the right hon. Baronet is justified in insisting upon the adoption of an impost, which hitherto (except in the midst of the most disastrous warfare) no Minister of England, except himself, has had the boldness to propose— which is fraught with such multifarious mischiefs, that the instant her great adversary had been subdued, England declared that she would no longer bear it, which, in its working, is admitted by its advocates to be most cruelly unjust—which establishes an inquisition almost as abominable as a religious one, which multiplies oaths—makes as familiar as mere household words that awful attestation by which, as we speak the truth, we call on God to help us—converts the Gospel into a mere implement of finance—prostitutes to purposes the most villifying that sacred book, which it is your boast that beyond all Christian nations you hold in reverence—which awards a premium to falsehood, and inflicts a penalty on truth—from which honesty cannot escape, and by which fraud cannot be caught, and which, of all the imposts which it is possible for a perverse ingenuity to devise, is the most prejudicial to the interests, offensive to the feelings, abhorrent to the religious sentiments, and revolting to the moral sense of the English people.

During the cheers and counter—cheers which followed the right hon. Gentleman's speech,

Mr. Brotherton

moved the adjournment of the debate.

Sir R. Peel

rose, and was about to address the House when he was interrupted by cries of adjourn, and it was intimated that the adjournment of the debate had been moved.

Sir R. Peel:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask whether or not any motion was made before I rose?

The Speaker

said, that Mr. Brotherton had moved the adjournment of the debate.

Sir Peel:

I wish, Sir, to speak to the main question. I can of course speak to the question of adjournment, but I rose after the right hon. Gentleman under the impression that no motion had been made previously. I was about to address myself, therefore, to the main question.

Mr. Wason

said, that the question of adjournment had been put before the right hon. Baronet rose.

The Speaker

said, that the hon. Member for Salford rose and moved the adjourn- ment immediately after the right hon. Member had concluded his speech, and he put the question as soon as possible. When the right hon. Baronet rose to speak he asked the hon. Member for Sal-ford if he persevered in his motion, and the hon. Member answered in the affirmative.

Sir R. Peel:

If 1 address myself to the main question it may look like evasion, although I presume I could, consistently with order, enter into the merits of the main question; but I should have to allege that I did so for the purpose of showing that the House ought not to adjourn. If in doing that I could be supposed to show a bad precedent, or if it would appear that by that course I should be guilty of evasion, I will not in the position that I stand, condescend to any such evasion. I therefore, ask you, Sir, whether I ought in strictness to confine myself to the question of adjournment?

The Speaker

said, that of late years it had not been deemed necessary to adhere strictly to the question of adjournment under such circumstances.

Sir R. Peel:

Sir, if I am in order, if I am not chargeable with evasion or any bad precedent—I will then speak to the main question. With unabated confidence in the expediency and in the necessity of the proposal which I have made, I call on the House and upon the country to take an energetic and decided step for the purpose of rescuing this country from the calamity and disgrace which a continued indifference to and connivance at our financial difficulties are calculated to produce. You rest your opposition to this measure upon double grounds. You say that I establish no sufficient necessity to warrant the proposal which I have made, but you also say, that even if the circumstances of the country were such as to call for a decided step some other course should be pursued than resorting to direct taxation, and you charge me with exaggerating the financial difficulties of the country for the purpose of carrying this measure. Now 1 shall again repeat to you and to the country what the real position of this country is with respect to financial difficulties. I say this, that in the year 1836 (the Melbourne Government having been restored to office in 1835) you came into the administration of the finances of two great empires under the dominion of her Majesty, one of which was this United Kingdom, and the other the great empire in the East, where 100,000,000 of subjects are subjected to our sway. [" Confusion, cries of divide."]. I hope, Sir, that I may be allowed to proceed in the performance of my public duty, and in vindicating myself against the charge of overrating the financial difficulties which we have to meet. In 1836 yon had the administration of the affairs of two great empires, and the finances which you had to administer were then in this condition. In this country there was a surplus of revenue over expenditure of 1,376,000l., and in India there was a surplus of revenue over expenditure of 1,556,000l. You entered therefore, on the performance of your duties with a net surplus in the finance of the two empires of 3,000,000l. of income above expenditure. How have you left it? Am I overrating difficulties. Well, you found in that year (1836) a surplus of revenue of 3,000,000l., and you left deficit of 5,000,000l. in the year ending the 5th of April, 1842. The financial deficit of the United Kingdom in that year is 2,570,000l., and the deficit revenue of India for the year ending at that period is 2,430,000l. Therefore I am justified in stating that you found, when you came to administer those finances, a surplus of revenue, amounting to 3,000,000l., and in the year on which you quitted office, you left a deficit, which it is my duty to attempt to supply, of no less than 5,000,000l. The difference between the finances of the country, therefore, from the time you undertook the charge of those finances until you quitted office is against the country, and against its credit 8,000,000l. If, then, I have substantiated that difference and the existence of that deficiency, have I overrated the necessities of the country? You do not believe, perhaps, that the financial difficulties of India will recoil upon you; but if you think so, I shall convince you that the time is approaching when you will know by experience that such a position on your part cannot be maintained. You commenced in 1836, in a time of peace, with a surplus of 3,000,000l., and notwithstanding that, you have left the country with the present deficiency of 5,000,000l. Sir, there was a minister of this country who, in speaking of the financial affairs of it, delivered this opinion— To enter upon the financial year with a deficiency of 1,000,000l. was what he hoped no minister of this great nation would ever consent to, and no House of Commons would ever sanction. The necessary consequence of such a proceeding would "— This minister was speaking of a deficit of only 1,000,000l. The necessary consequence of such a proceeding would be to make the faith of the country suspected at home, to diminish its reputation abroad, and to place us in such a situation as would necessarily deprive us of the high and noble position with we had hitherto held among the nations of the world. The minister who delivered those sentiments in speaking of the deficit of a single million is reported to have been Lord John Russell. You began with a surplus: you acknowledge that the existence of a surplus is necessary to the maintenance of public credit. Proposals are made which rind most eloquent advocates, for the re mission of taxation. You had then, I say, a surplus amounting to a million and a half. A proposal was made to reduce taxation—taxation, too, bearing injuriously on the lower classes—bearing injuriously on the industry—bearing injuriously also on the property, of the country: but the minister, sensible of the evil of having a deficiency in the revenue-—of having a deficiency for a single year of a single million in the amount of his income, to meet his expenditure, told you that no minister fit to govern this great country would commence his financial year with a deficit; for, if he did, he would diminish the security of credit at home, and the respect due to the country abroad, and would thus deprive us of that high station which we had so long enjoyed among the nations of the world. Now when I present to you a deficit of 3,000,000l. in your expenditure at home, and show you that you have a deficit of 2,500,000l. in addition in another hemisphere, you tell me that I am over-rating the difficulties of the country. And I tell you that that is the natural consequences of conniving at such a state of things as you have for some time past been enduring. And then you tell me in turn, that alter having incurred an enormous national debt to the amount of 800,000,000l. there is no great harm in making to that debt the small addition of 2,000,000l. more. Do not deceive yourselves—do not attempt to deceive others by such pretences; be not deterred from making the exertions which the occasion requires; for if you are, then will the prophecy of the noble Lord be fulfilled, that the credit of the country will be suspected, and you will descend with inconceivable rapidity from your present high and exalted station. "Oh, but we have met with no disaster," say the hon. Gentlemen, on the other side. No disaster! When had you before in the whole cycle of your history any disaster like that which had befallen you in Affghanistan ! A disaster, which I admit is not irreparable —a disaster which I trust will be speedily repaired by the spirit and vigour of your counsels, and by the gallant exertions of your armies; but when did you ever read in the history of England of such a wholesale slaughter as that which has recently befallen your forces, and which a single individual has escaped to narrate. His letter has appeared in all the newspapers. Here is what that individual writes:— My life has been saved in a most wonderful manner, and I am the only European who has escaped from the Cabul army (al though we have heard of two having been taken by the enemy, it is very doubtful if they will be spared). Two natives only have reached this place, making, with myself, three persons out of an army of 13,000. Do you yet know the whole extent of your loss in Affghanistan? Have you not lost 10,000 men since the commencement of your operations in that country? The loss, I again say, is not irreparable; every effort ought to be made, and every effort shall be made to restore it. And shall we not have the means of doing so? How can we judge of the moral effects of these occurrences? Recollect what efforts it may be necessary for you to make for the purpose of retaining that great empire, which depends less upon your physical force than upon the moral power which you exercise over its numberless inhabitants. If some decisive effort must be made for the rescue of the troops who are still left in Affghanistan—if some strenuous measures must be taken for the reparation of that great disaster—if some glorious feat of arms must be achieved for the retrieval of that temporary slur which has been east upon your commanders and your forces—if that must be done, cannot you perceive the positive necessity of your making here at home some vigorous exertions for the sake of supporting Government in those efforts which you admit that it is absolutely requisite that the Government should take. Have I said enough to convince you that the difficulties under which we now labour, and which we are bound speedily to remove, may require on your parts great exertions—I mean great exertions both in a military and in a financial point of view; and shall I receive as a sufficient answer to my statement an extract from the Queen's speech at the commencement of the Session, stating that we have no European war to dread? Because dangers are at a distance, may we safely disregard them? With these disasters before us, let us now proceed to consider what is the measure to which this country will re sort in order to meet them, or what is the measure which, when proposed by Government, it will consent to adopt! There is now a deficit of three millions in your expenditure at home. Do you entertain any sanguine hope that in the course of the next year, in the present complexion of your affairs, you can by any reduction in your estimates or your establishments accomplish a saving to that amount? I do not think that any man is sanguine enough to entertain such an idea. I also think that your deficiency is not a temporary deficiency. Now, if you are determined not to resort to direct taxation, are you prepared to submit to an indefinite amount of indirect taxation as a substitute for it? I have proposed to you a tax on income, from which all persona whose income is less than 150l. a year are to be exempt. I propose to you a tax which has hitherto been reserved for time of war, but as the hon. Member for Coventry justly observed, it would be mere miserable political pedantry, to insist that war was the only necessity in which an Income-tax would be justifiable. The question really is, whether the political necessity is of such magnitude and urgency as justifies its imposition. Now, the noble Lord proposes as a substitute for that Income-tax the budget of last year. Now, the noble Lord never could have proposed that substitute under the notion that war was the only cause which could justify the imposition of an Income-tax. The noble Lord could never have thought that there might not be a political necessity in time of peace,—and I speak not only of an European peace, but of a general peace,—when all the political horizon was undefaced by a cloud-—in which an Income-tax might not be perfectly justifiable. Because in the year 1833, when Lord Althorp was beaten upon the malt-tax, and when a proposal was made for the repeal of the house and window-tax, Lord Althorp proposed, and the noble Lord supported, an abstract resolution to this effect, that if a deficit in the revenue were caused by that resolution, the only alternative to which the Government could resort would be a property-tax. Yes ! a property-tax. That was the expedient proposed by the Government of which the noble Lord was a Member, for the purpose of dissuading the House of Commons from reducing the house and window-tax. The property-tax was allied with an Income-tax, and in the resolution, it was stated, not that you would resort to the sugar duties—not that you would resort to the timber duties —not that you would resort to the corn duties—but that your only alternative was a property and an Income-tax. When a great party supported that resolution, is it possible either for you who were its leader or for you who were its members, now to turn round and tell me that a property-tax is not a justifiable tax in time of peace? Could I, after reading what Sir Henry Parnell, your chairman of a finance committee, has placed upon his record in his different financial works— could I, after reading the opinions of Lord Althorp and of Mr. P. Thomson upon that occasion, believe that as a necessary consequence of my present proposal I should be exposed to this determined opposition from the different Members of the late Administration? "Oh," said the noble Lord, "you might have had recourse to other measures of taxation; you might, for instance, have placed a legacy duty upon real property." Suppose that I had argued with myself thus:—" Let me consider the propriety of imposing the legacy-duty on real property. If I propose it, shall I have the support of the late Government?" Well, what do I find upon record in the debates of the year 1840, on that very proposition which the noble Lord now suggests that I might have brought forward? I find his own Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the year 1840, using this language:— My hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) says, that instead of taking the taxes as I propose, the Government ought to have moved a legacy-duty on real property. I will not go into the details or the modes in which my hon. Friend proposes to put that tax on, because my objection is to the principle of the tax. That, I repeat, was the language of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the year 1840. Supposing, then, that I had now brought forward this measure, and had calculated upon the imposition of a legacy duty on real property as one of the means of meeting the deficiency for the present year, should I not have been met immediately with the suggestion that the property-tax would be a much more expedient tax to propose? Should I not have been told that the later Chancellor of the Exchequer had placed on record his opposition not only to the detail, but also to the principle of the measure? The noble Lord, I repeat, suggests two measures in lieu of mine —one for the remission of the duties upon corn, another for the imposition of a legacy duty on landed property. [An hon. Member: An increase of the assessed taxes.] Ay, and an increase of the assessed taxes. I hope that my agricultural Friends, who have been described by the noble Lord this evening as having heads partaking of the heavy nature of the clay which they cultivate, will not forget the nature of these three proposals. And here I may be permitted to step aside for a moment, and ask, if I had spoken in such terms of any manufacturing opponents of mine—if I had used such language of any of the manufacturers who speak disparagingly of me, what would have been said of my arrogance and presumption? If I had spoken of any class of men as the noble Lord spoke of the agricultural class, which has offended him, I wonder what would have been the terms of reproach heaped upon me for the use of such contumelious language. I confess that I am surprised, when I hear from the hon. Gentlemen opposite, that my agricultural friends feel it necessary to vindicate themselves because they have given me their support. At one time they are charged with having broken the pledges which they gave to their constituents; and yet the sound of that charge is scarcely extinct, when I am told, as I was in the debate last night, that in bringing forward my new Corn-law, I had considered exclusively the advantage of the agricultural interest. Did you not, when I brought this Corn-law forward, receive it with insult and derision? Why, you cannot charge me with being sub- servient to the agricultural interest, and at the same time charge the agricultural interest in this House with having forfeited all the pledges which they gave to their constituents on the hustings, because they were too subservient to me? These two charges are inconsistent with each other. I repeat again, that the only relief proposed for the country by the noble Lord consists of a fixed duty of 8s. on corn, an increase of the assessed taxes, and an imposition of a legacy duty on real property. First of all, with regard to a fixed duty of 8s. on corn. But that tax has already been negatived by the House, and must at all times be a precarious source of revenue; for in case of a favourable harvest, no corn would be imported, and there would then be no revenue at all. I come now to consider the expediency of increasing the assessed taxes. What increase is it that you would propose? You have lately increased them 10 per cent. I much doubt whether a great deal might not be said in favour of a property-tax as against an increase in the assessed taxes. If it be objected to a property-tax, that it diminishes the comforts of the poor by reducing the fund for their employment, I think I can show that assessed taxes are liable to the same imputation; and when the noble Lord proposes to resort to assessed taxes as a means of supplying this deficiency in the revenue, I think I could show him that every addition he made to assessed taxes would be more prejudicial in its effect on the labouring and industrious classes than a property tax. But observe, if you choose to supply your revenue by assessed taxes, how are you to exempt certain parties—professional men for instance. You charge against a property tax that the income from professions is rated under it in the same proportion as that applied to the profits of manufacture, or the interest of capital. Increase the assessed taxes, and then parties would be liable to the same charge. You do not allow them to go free of the house-tax, the window-tax, or any other assessed tax which it may be asserted (as in the case of the professional man) to their respectability to be rated to. And let it not be forgotten that the higher you raise the assessed taxes, the greater you make the temptation to quit this country. Here is a great proprietor, of 50.000l. or 60,0002l. a year. Tax his house 20 per cent., and you cannot prevent his closing it, and you thus add an additional temptation to repair to a foreign capital, where he finds himself free from asessed taxes. By the measure I pro pose, I reach him by means of an Income tax. I touch his landed property through the intervention of his tenantry; and if he have no tenants, I affect him through the funds. He may go abroad, but he is subjected to the charges he ought to bear in meeting the difficulties of the country. But tax his windows, or his house, and he will dismiss his establishment, and reduce the demand for productive labour by going to Milan, Rome, or Paris. The noble Lord will not touch him there; but I shall. The noble Lord, however, will visit clergymen and widows, and all those who have not the means of travelling, with his impost. And just in proportion as he creates encouragement to go abroad by an exemption from the tax, does he press more severely on those who remain at home, and cannot relieve themselves from contributing to the necessities of the state. But the noble Lord would resort to his old nostrum of the timber duties to supply the deficiency in the revenue. What does the hon. Member for Coventry, who is as free from the mere trammels of party as any man in this House—what does the hon. Member for Coventry state upon that subject? He has said distinctly that he approves of my proposal with respect to timber more than of the proposal of the noble Lord. Now, if there be any article which enters more into the common consumption of the people than another, and which ought if possible to be exempted from taxation, it is this very article of timber. The proofs which I have had laid before me of the effects which the cheapening of timber would produce in the encouragement of local improvements, and in the promotion of the building of bridges and of piers, are so convincing and overwhelming, that it is almost impossible to resist the necessity of reducing the duties on timber. What increased sources of employment will not the measure open to the manufacturing classes? We hear of the distress of the shipping interest—of the immense importance, commercially and politically, of reviving the prosperity of that interest. How can we do so more effectually than by facilitating the purchase of timber? If we enable the ship-builder here to com- pete with the ship-builder abroad to how many men shall we not give employment? What vast sources of maritime strength may we not expect to accrue to us. Has not the high price of timber been a great impediment to the construction of houses? Has it not affected the very mode of building? What has been its influence upon the construction of cottages? Now, I desire to know from the noble Lord opposite, and I beg to ask hon. Members generally, whether any one who has looked at the reports laid before this House can for a moment doubt, that the alteration in the timber duties can prove otherwise than a great boon to the people of Ireland? I take the cottages of the poor in Ireland. I ask any hon. Member who has read the evidence laid before the House on that subject to say, if that evidence does not contain the strongest possible proof that no want is more severely felt in Ireland than the want of timber? The high duty also operates most injuriously upon British fishermen. Owing to the better construction of their boats, the foreign fishermen enjoy a monopoly of fishing in deep seas. Reduce the price of timber, and you at once enable our fishermen to compete with them, and thus give the means of employment to a large number of men. An hon. Member opposite says we ought to make Canada an integral part of the empire; and immediately after, he proposed that we should put an additional duty on timber the produce of that colony. I purpose that Canadian timber shall enter into fair competition with the timber of this country, whilst I retain a duty of 30s. upon Baltic timber, which I hope will be sufficiently protective of that of Canada. By adopting my proposition with respect to timber, we shall increase the demand for productive industry, whilst, at the same time, we shall indirectly increase the revenue. I admit that the effect of my measure will be to cause an immediate loss of revenue, and that, on the contrary, an increase of revenue would probably result from the adoption of the noble Lord's plan; but still I think that mine is superior to that of the noble Lord. Now, with respect to sugar, the noble Lord mistakes if he supposes that, when I referred to articles upon which a reduction of duty had not led to a corresponding increase of revenue, and that we could not hope to realise any immediate advantage from pursuing a similar course on the present occasion, I was referring to sugar. I never denied that the consequence of reducing the duty upon foreign sugar must be an increase of revenue. I said before that that was not my objection to the proposition of the noble Lord. If the proposition were made now to retain the existing duty upon British sugar, and to reduce the duty on foreign sugar to 36s., I would oppose it. If we must deal with sugar, I think the way in which we ought to deal with it is by making a considerable reduction of duty as well with respect to colonial produce as to foreign produce. Why have I dealt so liberally with respect to timber, but because I want the profit arising from the reduction of duty to be obtained by the consumer. It is infinitely better to deal on a large scale with great articles of consumption, and to make a great reduction of duty, in order that the consumer may obtain the advantage of it than, as has been done in some cases, to reduce the duty, so that we lose the revenue and put the profit in the pocket of the wholesale dealer. I never doubted that the noble Lord might make a proposal with respect to sugar, which would have the effect of increasing the revenue. I must say, however, that we, last year, realised as much revenue from sugar, in consequence of the increased produce of our own colonies, as the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Baring) expected to obtain from the reduction of duty on foreign sugar. That, I admit, is not a decisive argument against the right hon. Gentleman's proposition because the principle of that was competition. The ground on which I opposed it was that, after the sacrifice we had made for the abolition of slavery, it would not redound to the honour or credit of the country to permit the introduction of sugar, the produce of slave colonies, without an effort, at least, to obtain some corresponding concession with respect to the slave-trade. I must say that, without closing my eyes in the slightest degree to the advantages to be derived from reducing the price of ugar, I do think, in the present state of the controversy with other countries in respect to the slave-trade, and seeing the suspicion which is most unjustly thrown upon our motives, if we were now for mere pecuniary considerations, for the first time, to admit sugar the produce of Cuba and the Brazils, without having said one word with respect to any stipulation as to the slave-trade, we could not continue to maintain the character and influence which we now possess. This, I know, that men whose motives are entirely disinterested and free from any suspicion, such as Dr. Lushington, Sir Fowell Buxton, and some of those who have taken a most active part in respect to the abolition of the slave-trade, protested in the strongest terms against the admission of foreign sugar without any stipulation being made with respect to the slave-trade, and would not foreign nations refer to the testimony of those Gentlemen, given against the interests of party, if we, for mere pecuniary consideration, should admit sugar the produce of slave -labour. What was the course pursued by the right hon. Gentle man, the Lord Mayor of Dublin? He gave notice that no foreign sugar should be allowed to be imported except from colonies where slavery did not exist, and he abstained from bringing it forward only because it would have interfered with the provisions of the reciprocity treaties. Lord Brougham expressed similar opinions. It was said, that we took cotton and coffee which were the produce of slave-labour; but there was this to be observed, that we had always taken those articles, whilst it was proposed that we should now for the first time begin to take sugar the produce of slave-labour. These were the arguments which the right hon. Gentleman opposite opposed in 1840 to the proposition of the hon. Member for Wigan for admitting slave-grown sugar. The noble Lord alluded mysteriously to other taxes which might be resorted to, but he has taken care not to name them. I hope the labouring classes will observe that the noble Lord threatens (hem with renewing some of the taxes which have been repealed during the last twenty years, for that was his object in referring to them. Looking, then, at the whole of the arrangements which I have made—looking at the taxes which I propose to lay on, and at those which I intend to remove—I do think myself warranted in saying that I have done all that could be accomplished for the working man, and most especially do I say this when I remember that I have exempted from the tax all incomes below 150l. a-year. Supposing I were to attempt to raise revenue by increasing the duties on other articles of general use and consumption—supposing that such was my object, what are the articles that could be selected? They are salt, leather, beer. I entertain no doubt but that I could, by taxing these articles, raise revenue, as well as I could by the proposal of an Income-tax. But, Sir, I require more than what is necessary to meet the deficiency under which we at present labour. Look at the state of the country with reference to foreign nations. Look at the war in India and China. We have to send six regiments to India, in order to maintain the honour and power of this country. This is attended with no little expense. Again, it should be borne in mind that as yet we have not come to the House for the supplemental estimates. I say the House ought to bear in mind these facts. It is not merely the deficiency with which we have to deal. The noble Lord says correctly that the deficiency this year is 2,500,000l., and that I propose, by the proceeds of the Income-tax and by the tariff, to obtain the sum of 4,381,000l. That is my proposal. In doing this it is my intention to apply a great portion of the surplus to the remission of other taxes, which press heavily upon the country, as well as to the removal of the duties upon other articles which interfere with the productive industry of the nation. Sir, I consider, in proposing the adoption of an Income-tax that I give a great boon to the country—to the productive industry of the couhtry—to the manufacturing, commercial, and trading interests of this nation. That is the measure which I, on the part of the Government, have thought it my duty to submit to Parliament. I wish this to be known, not only in the House of Commons, but I wish it to go forth to the country. I think the country ought clearly to understand my proposition. I think they ought to see through the motives of those who have raised an opposition to it. Constant references have been made to the tariff which has been proposed. By that tariff the duty upon articles of sustenance is to be greatly reduced, and I also propose to admit what had previously been totally prohibited. I really hope that hon. Friends of mine connected with the manufacturing as well as with the agricultural interest will suspend their judgment and opinion until I have an opportunity of stating fully, fairly, and explicitly my case. With reference to my intention at regards the import- tion of live cattle, and the reduced duty on salted and dried meats, I do not despair of being able to show to the House clear, convincing, and satisfactory reasons for that portion of my tariff. I think I can demonstrate to the House that the price of meat has for a number of years been progressively increasing in this country. I mean to show, that although my duties are low, I cannot dispense with the Income-tax. I ask hon. Members to pause. You will not act wisely if you give way to needless alarm. If you appeal to your own consciences on the subject, I feel perfectly satisfied that you will not abandon me in consequence of the Income-tax. I again ask you to suspend your judgments until I have an opportunity of bringing before you the whole of my case. I shall show you that, in other countries in Europe, the same scarcity of meat—the same inconvenience exists. I shall show you that in France the human population has increased far beyond the proportion of the growth of cattle; and that an extraordinary rise in the price of meat has consequently occurred there. I shall show, from documents which you cannot controvert, a gradual diminution in the consumption of meat per head throughout France. I shall show you the high price of cattle—that France is an importing country—and that, so far from that great and powerful empire, containing a population of 33,000,000—so far from that being a country that can inundate you with cattle, if there is a country from which cattle can be drawn, she will be your rival in the purchase of cattle. I will also show, that there is no ground of apprehension from Belgium or Holland, and that the grounds of apprehension are limited to a very narrow district in Europe. I will attempt also to show that the importation of foreign cattle, should it take place, would be a benefit to the agricultural, as well as to every other class in the country—that it will prove a great public advantage. Sir, I thought it right to state to the House the view which 1 take of the tariff, before I call on it to pass the vote for the Income-tax. I know the alarm that has been raised throughout the country—the efforts that have been made to disturb the public mind. No wonder that some alarm should have been excited when, amongst other devices, a printed proposition is circulated throughout the city of York, offering to supply meat from Hamburgh at 3d. per pound under the modified tariff, while, at the same moment, the price of meat in Hamburgh itself is 5d a pound. I know, too, that the minds of the farmers have been agitated and disturbed, but I feel convinced that the apprehensions caused by the tariff are greatly overcharged. I cannot and do not wish to deny, that great reductions are proposed by it; but though 1 do not now mean to enter further into detail upon the subject, I must again declare my conviction that these reductions will be productive of great advantage to the agricultural, as well as the manufacturing and commercial classes. Well, Sir, I presume the noble Lord will not quarrel with the relaxations proposed upon the import duties on coffee. These relaxations are to the amount of 100,000l. yearly. That, however, will be allowed to be a fair proposition. [An hon. Member: " Oh, oh !"] I try, Sir, to maintain my temper amidst the various and conflicting attacks that are made—the embarrassing positions in which hon. Gentlemen would wish to place me. But when I am met by these free traders, who have been always clamouring for free-trade—who say, you ought to remove these prohibitions —who say, the manufacturing interest wants no protection—when, upon my proposing to make reductions, I am met by these persons with the argument, that I have selected certain unfortunate men as the victims of free trade—this is a height of inconsistency which cannot well be surpassed. I am told by these free traders that my reductions are needless that I might have retained the respective duties of 10d and 5d And this is said after all we have heard about the great increase in the consumption. After the proofs that have been offered that the beverage is superseding all others, is it fair, after these statements, to tell me now that I may as well have retained the 10d and 5d. duties, and prevented a loss to the revenue of 100,000l.? Again, with reference to the duties on timber, Mr. Deacon Hume, a gentleman whose opinions hon. Gentle men opposite profess to hold in so much reverence, said that timber was a raw material of surpassing importance to this country, and that our conduct with regard to it was like the folly of France in excluding iron. He said, you have coal, you have iron, and you want only wood to possess all the elements for being one of the most prosperous countries on the face of the earth; and after this declaration of opinion, joined to the sentiments professed by so many Gentlemen opposite, I am now to be told that the relaxation of the timber duties is a needless sacrifice. So it is with respect to other articles included in the tariff. Allusions of this kind of his hon. Friend had been made to them, not, 1 trust, merely in a factious spirit, but, perhaps, for the purpose of faining the advantage in debating the Income-tax. But I believe that the good sense and discrimination of the people of this country will approve of the steps we have taken for the reduction of the duties on articles of subsistence and raw materials used in manufactures. These are the principles upon which I propose the present measure to the House, and on which it is my intention to submit the other measures which I have announced, The right hon. Gentleman has said, that the measure is full of inequalities. But I would ask, what rigorous and comprehensive measure of taxation could be proposed without being liable to the same charges? You must either resort to direct or indirect taxation. It is but a comparison of evils. I have never denied that a good deal of inconvenience arising from the inquiries that must be instituted into the properties of men is unavoidable from the imposition of an Income-tax. You may modify or mitigate the inconvenience, but you are bound to give the honest as much security as you can, that they do not have to pay more on account of the misconduct of the dishonest. A certain degree of inquisitorial scrutiny is, therefore, inseparable from an Income-tax. But the right hon. Gentleman admits that if a tax be levied on realised property it should be levied on income also. He will not consent to separate income. Those, however, who are in favour of a tax on realised property cannot consistently vote for the noble Lord's motion, and as his resolution is pointed as much against a tax upon realised property as against income, when the right hon. Gentleman paints in such glowing and eloquent colours the position of the man labouring for subsistence by the exercise of his Intellect, and on whom my proposition would call for a contribution proportioned to his income, I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether his sympathy would not be equally called forth on behalf of such a man by the imposition of a house or window tax? If, Sir, I possessed the eloquent imagination of the right hon. Gentleman, 1 could point out in equally glowing terms the position of such a man reduced to the melancholy alternative of avoiding the window-tax by closing up his windows, or of paying the law out of his scanty income—I might paint that man's misery when he saw his children sitting round him, and no alternative but either to submit to the impost, or to injure the health of those he loved by closing the windows, shutting out the light of day, and the access of air. An eloquent man might draw these pictures of hardship with respect to any tax that could be imposed. But suppose I had submitted a plan of increased assessed taxes. It would be easy to prove to the noble Lord, that the consequence of that increase might lead to severe privation. But if I offer to tax the incomes of men, such as the right hon. Gentle man has described, and I call upon a man for a contribution which, if that income amount to 300l. will be rather more than 8l., and if, in lieu of that, I can present him with a reduction in the cost of living, that I shall compensate him for the full amount of his contribution I levy upon him—if I can give him cheaper food, if I can give him cheaper furniture, if I can give him articles of comparative luxury at a cheaper rate—which is the best proposal for relief, that I should ask for him to contribute 8l., and that I should restore 10l. by means of the diminished cost of living, or that I should enable the rich man to escape the impost by going abroad, and leave him who must necessarily remain at home subject to increased taxation? I do not deny the disadvantages of circumstances, but feeling the necessity, not only on account of our political necessities, which I will not exaggerate, but which I say are reparable, which I am certain the spirit and energy of this country will repair, but which in order to repair speedily, will require great exertion from you, I call upon you to make that exertion, and the first step you take towards recovery—the first demonstration of your willingness, will be half the victory. If you are afraid to submit to sacrifices—if you paint in glowing colours the miserable condition of those who are to pay taxes—if you say it is better to go on the present system, increasing the debt a little more, funding at 91—Why are the 3 per cents, at 91? Who has made them 91? Public credit is high— the funds have risen—and say you, "You can have a loan easily now." Oh, you miserable financiers. [Laughter and cheers.] I beg pardon, if, in the heat of debate, I have used a word that may give offence. But the funds are high, because you have shown a disposition not to resort to a system of loans in a time of peace. The funds have risen; but throw out my Income-tax, and ask for a fresh loan to cover your deficiency in the revenue, and you will see the force of the argument, that because the funds are at 91, you may wait a little longer and have a loan. No, that will depress the funds — that will prove a visionary scheme—and have the effect of sinking the funds. Funds are high while you maintain public credit, and all our disasters may be repaired, while there is a conviction, that you are willing to meet your difficulties. The noble Lord taunted me and others who have expressed their intention to support me, because I said, in proposing these measures, not only that I proposed them with the cordial concurrence of my Colleagues, and with their united responsibility, but I said, what was superfluous, perhaps, that the decision of the House on the great outline and principle of those measures must necessarily decide the fate of the Administration. And would it not be perfectly legitimate for men who differ on various points, and entertain doubts on several questions, seeing that the fate of great interests are involved, if they have confidence in a Government, to demonstrate that confidence, by waiving their private opinions, and giving their support to that Government whose principles they generally approve, but from whose individual measures they may differ in some respects, thinking it better in this crisis of affairs to trust them than men who are at least unfortunate if not incompetent? That would be a justifiable, a wise, and a patriotic course of action. I said not too much when I said, that upon the fate of these measures the existence of the Government depended. I believe it will be more for the interest of the Monarchy— more for the strength and stability of the executive Government — more for the credit and character of public men, that being defeated on great measures like these, we should commit to others the responsibility of conducting public affairs, than that we should take another course, that of going on year after year, dragging out a miserable existence — going on adopting the measures of our opponents. [Cheers from the Opposition.] Why, what measures have you proposed? Is this Income-tax yours? Have we meddled with the savings-banks? Have we proposed 5 per cent, upon the customs, and 10 per cent, upon the assessed taxes? Have we taken your Corn-law, or your sugar duties, or your timber duties? What does the taunt mean, then? What one particular measure have you to boast of? "But you have adopted our principles," say you. When did you avow them? In the import duties? Surely, you take no credit for the import duties. The committee on the imported duties was moved for by a gentleman who, as he is not now a Member of the House, I may name, Mr. Hume, and when my noble Friend, the Member for Monmouth, asked what the object of the committee was, Mr. Hume explained, that it was to examine the effects of our Customs duties on imports, and the matter was passed over without a single word being said. Therefore, with respect to the principles of commercial policy, that the right hon. Gentlemen opposite should claim for themselves an exclusive monopoly in regard to free-trade, and taunt any Member who dares to trespass on their manor with interfering with private property, is an assumption not at all justified by the facts. The proposals of the right hon. Gentlemen were not brought forward in the meridian of their strength, but at least at a time when they had previously declared, that they had forfeited the confidence of this House. Now, as I agree in the opinions which were expressed with truth and power, that there may be various opinions on Governments—that some may prefer a Monarchical Government and some an aristocratic Government, but that, as it was truly said by Lord Melbourne, the worst Government that can exist is that which has not strength to carry the great measures it proposes, but must live by the sufferance and forbearance of their opponents—cordially concurring in that opinion—I speak not of measures on which the House of Commons has a right to exercise its judgment, but the measures of men in a minority, and measures to carry which the Government may think it essential to the public welfare—I feel myself justified in avowing, in reference to this particular question, that I do think it infinitely better for the public interest, that if this House is of opinion, that this measure is fraught with injustice, and that it ought not to be adopted—in that case, the House of Commons ought to repose its confidence in those who may have other measures to devise, which the House may think better suited to the exigencies of the times, and more consonant with the wishes of the country.

Lord J. Russell

said, the right hon. Gentleman had alluded to an expression of his, which was said to be contumelious of a certain class of Members in that House. Now, as that was an expression of his—which expression he did not mean to explain or withdraw—did not allude generally to a class of Members in that House, but there were Members in that House who it was supposed in the country by farmers to have given their adherence to the existing law, and who the farmers supposed were in favour of the present prohibition, and protection against their rivals in all things that might be introduced from foreign countries—the farmers, he supposed, not being aware that those Gentlemen were impressed with the sound commercial principles which, it now appeared, were held on the other side of the House, and these persons having so presented themselves as the friends of the farmers, did represent him as the bitter enemy of the farmers, and as hostile to the farmers, he considered that these were expressions that he had a right to resent. He had a right to feel that it did not belong to them, when defending themselves, so to assail him, in different parts of the country, when, at the same time, they had committed themselves as strongly as they possibly could to the present Corn -laws.

Mr. Brotherton

remarked, that the right hon. Gentleman had made a speech which would be quite as effective on another day as this. It would be much better for the right hon. Gentleman to have postponed it, and he would not have lost his temper, and not have invaded one of the rules of the House. Hon. Gentlemen opposite cheered his conduct, and yet they had charged the hon. Member for Finsbury with attempting to take a question by a side wind, when they sanctioned similar conduct in the right hon. Baronet, and encouraged him to carry on the debate at half-past one in the morning.

Sir R. Peel

was quite sure he had not lost his temper. He was not aware, that he had invaded any rule of the House. He thought no man could have taken more care not to do so. He had appealed to the Speaker, and he thought he was encouraged by hon. Gentlemen opposite to proceed.

Mr. Brotherton

intreated the right hon. Baronet not to depart from the rules of the House, as he was looked up to as a great authority.

Mr. Wakley

wished to know the exact rule, and whether the right hon. Baronet had evaded it. He conceived he had not done so, and therefore encouraged him to proceed.

The Speaker

stated, that the right hon. Gentleman was perfectly in order; there was a question before the House, and on that was proposed a motion of adjournment. It was clear that the original question was involved in the motion of adjournment. The right hon. Gentleman was, therefore, perfectly in order in the course he had taken.

Debate adjourned.

House adjourned.