§ Propose—on Canadian Timber—
- Timber, 1s. duty.
- Deals (loads), 2s. duty.
- Lathwood, 2s. duty.
- Foreign timber, 30s.
- Deals, 35s. (cubical contents).
- Lathwood, 20s.
§ For the year ending the 5th of April, 1844,—
- Foreign timber, 25s. per load.
- Deals, &c 30s.
- Lathwood, 20s.
§ The great object in reducing the duties on timber is to make such a reduction as shall benefit the consumer, and at the same time shall not injuriously affect the interest of Ca-nada. Present rate of duty on foreign timber is 55s. per load; but take the average of duty on timber—deals, staves, lathwood, it does not exceed 41s. per load. Duty on colonial timber, 10s. per load; average duty, 9s.
§ Great object to place the Canadas as nearly as we can on the footing of an integral part of the empire. Do not lay down that rule generally, but peculiar position of Canada.
|Estimate of Revenue front the Timber Duties, from the 5th of April, 1842, to the 5th of April, 1845, at the under-mentioned Rates, and assuming no increased consumption|
|Foreign timber, 180,000 loads at 30s||270,000|
|Foreign deals, &c, 350,000 loads at 35s.||612,500|
|Foreign lathwood 25,000 fathoms at 20s.||25,000|
|Total of foreign timber||£907,500|
|Colonial timber, 570,000 loads at 1s.||28,500|
|Colonial deals, &c, 263,000 loads at 2s.||26,300|
|Colonial lathwood, 25,000 loads at 2s.||2,500|
|Loss, supposing no increased consumption||£601,491|
|Estimated loss upon the proposed Duties upon Timber, from the 5th of April, 1843 to 1844, supposing an increase of consumption took place, as follows:—|
|Foreign timber, 201,600 loads, at 25s,||£252,000|
|Foreign Deals, &c., 420,000 loads, at 30s.||630,000|
|Foreign lathwood, 25,000 loads, at 20s.||25,000|
|Total of foreign timber||£807,000|
|Colonial timber,684,000 loads, at 1s.||34,200|
|Colonial deals,&c.,326,000 loads, at 2s.||32,600|
|Colonial lathwood,25,000 loads, at 2s.||2,500|
|Total of foreign and colonial||976,300|
|Probable loss at this estimate||£589,991|
|In this calculation, it is assumed that the consumption of foreign timber would increase by 12 per cent., and of deal, 20 per cent.: of British possession timber 20 per cent., and on deals at 24 per cent.|
|SHORT REVIEW OF THE WHOLE FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT.|
|Estimated deficiency on present income for the year ending the 5th of April, 1843, is||2,570,000|
|Reduction on various articles of tariff, raw material, seeds, &c.,||270,000|
|Coffee, loss on||170,000|
|Repeal of export duties||100,000|
|Repeal of duties on stage-coaches||70,000|
|Estimated amount of taxes||4,300,000|
§ To meet increased estimates for India, increased charge for Chills, remission of duties on account of commercial treaties.477
Lord J. Russell
said, whatever opinion the House may ultimately entertain in respect to the plans now brought forward by the right hon. Baronet, no Member in this House can possibly entertain any doubt either as to the importance of those plans or to the great ability and clearness with which the right hon. Gentleman has explained them to the House. But, Sir, I should not think I were doing my duty, and I hardly think it would be consistent with the expectations of the right hon. Baronet himself and the Government, that on hearing plans so important and so extensive, now proposed for the first time, I should state any opinion as to the course I may ultimately take in respect to them. I shall, therefore, on the present occasion, make but two or three observations as to the general nature of the measures pro posed. The right hon. Baronet has referred to the plans of the late Government; but without attributing any intentional misrepresentation on the part of the right hon. Baronet, I must say, that he was hardly correct in his view of the principles of those measures, for the reduction proposed in the duties on wine, corn, and coffee, in former years, can hardly be considered similar to the reductions now contemplated. But upon this topic I may hereafter take an opportunity to indicate those principles more particularly. The measure now pro posed is, to call upon the country to make a great exertion, and by means of direct taxation to endeavour to equalise the revenue with the expenditure. The late Government did not think it advisable, on a view of the whole state of the country, to call upon the House to agree to any mea sure of direct taxation. I think the right hon. Baronet has exaggerated in some degree the nature of the occasion for which we are now called upon to legislate. We did not consider last year, that the crisis was at all similar to the state of the country in 1798, or at the period of the late war, when the country was called upon (and justly called upon) to make very great sacrifices, and to undergo great expense in naval and military preparations. The right hon. Baronet has told us, that in the course of six years, with the present deficiency, a debt of 10,000,000l. will have been incurred. Now in the year 1814 it will be remembered, that the drafts drawn by the Commissary-general in Portugal alone amounted to 10,000,000l.; and, again in 1815, the subsidies granted to the German powers amounted also to 478 10,000,000l., independent of the other military and naval expenses. Lord Bexley, in a speech of his, stated that the amount of debt incurred in four years was no less than 160,000,000l. I am stating this merely as partly justifying the course we took last year; but it is quite a different thing for the Members of the Government to come forward, and state, that they refrain from calling upon the country to make any great exertion, or to incur any considerable sacrifice in the way of taxation; it is a different thing for the Government so to perform their duty, and for independent Members of Parliament to be parties in the refusal to comply with a contrary demand. I do not say this as meaning that I am at once to acquiesce in this proposition. Far from it; and I feel the difference of our situation now from that in which we were placed last year, in respect to the question which we may be called upon to consider. The right hon. Baronet proposes an income tax from which he expects to derive 3,700,000l.; and from the whole taxation from England and Ireland, under this head, 4,381,000l. The right hon. Baronet having stated this, proceeded to another part of his plan, in which he proposed to sacrifice a certain part of the surplus he would thus obtain in improving the tariff of the country, and taking away some of the more oppressive duties. The right hon. Baronet was more happy in speaking of this than any other part of his plan. The correctness and steadiness of the principles he then laid down, the principle of getting rid of prohibitory duties, is that in which we, on this side of the House, fully and cordially agree. And the more generally that principle is made applicable, the better will it be for the future position of the country. With respect to the mode of applying that principle as proposed by the right hon. Baronet, I cannot, at present, form any opinion. There are 750 or 760 articles on which the duties are to be reduced—the extent of which reduction we are to be informed on Monday next—but I may state, that this proceeding is in accordance, not only with the principles we professed when in office, but also with the speech which, under our advice, was made by her Majesty in August last. But, Sir, as to the application of those principles, both in regard to a measure that is now going through the House, and to the subjects adverted to by the right hon. Baronet to-night, I am disappointed that the sound 479 principles do not go still further. The articles I speak of more especially are the important ones, timber and sugar. In making a sacrifice of 600,000l. of revenue, the right hon. Baronet would, I think, have done better if he had made the sacrifice on the article sugar, rather than on the article timber. Without giving any positive opinion, I do not think the advantage is equal to what would have been obtained by a greater sacrifice in the article of sugar. Notwithstanding the objections stated last year, and referred to by the right hon. Baronet to-night, in regard to slavery, I must say that we are, in respect to this article sugar, creating a monopoly, which up to a few years ago, did not exist. In former days, the object was to support the West India colonies. Now we are called upon to protect the East India colonies. Do the West Indies furnish the large quantities of sugar which the right hon. Baronet referred to to-night? By no means. The imports of the last year from the West Indies were even less than those of previous years. The increase has been from the East Indies, which, but a few years ago, came to us to demand an equalisation of the duties on East and West India produce, and to adopt those principles of free-trade, which it is now their interest to oppose. Every year that you go on refusing to admit foreign sugar into the British market, by imposing upon it a prohibitory duty, you encourage the growth of this monopoly-sugar in the East Indies, and place greater difficulties in the way of all improvement in your tariff. I object, therefore, to the determination of the Government on this point. With respect to the modes by which the Government plan is to be carried out, I have stated already that that is too important a point to give any decided opinion upon at present. I am glad to find that the right hon. Gentleman, though he does not take the view which we did upon these subjects, is willing to pay great homage to sound principles; and also that his measure is one of great importance, and which must be accepted or rejected as a great measure—and not as one of mere detail. In the present situation of the country, whatever view is taken, it must be confessed by all parties that the Government have acted in a manner worthy of the Government of a great country, in proposing such a measure on such principles. And without reference to the con-duct of the Ministry, of which I had the 480 honour to be a Member, we shall now endeavour, to the best of our ability, to form that judgment which we may think most useful to the country, and likely to give finally the most content to the people, and to maintain that high character which I trust every Member of the House feels equally the importance of, whether he sits on one side or the other.
conceived that there could be no more legitimate source of taxation than ardent spirits, and he should not object if that taxation were prohibitory in its amount—but there was this danger in the present proposition, that it would increase the evils of private distilleries in Ireland, and it was well known that all crimes connected with smuggling arose from illicit distillation. Never was there a period when it would be more objection-able to recreate that evil in Ireland than the present. The last reduction in the duty on spirits in Ireland had almost put an end to illicit distillation, but the present proposition, which was to make an increase about equal to that reduction, would probably have the effect of reviving it. Then, with respect to the Irish distillers. He was glad to find that the right hon. Baronet had at length discovered the inexcusable wrongs that had been inflicted upon Irish distillers. The Scotch distiller could send his spirits into Ireland in bond, but the Irish distiller could not send his spirits into Scotland in the same way. Then, again, the duty on Irish spirits was taken as they came from the still, no allowance being made for evaporation or leakage. This was not the case with regard to the Scotch or the English distiller. The attempt to collect an income tax in Ireland would be a total failure. This was not a property tax, but an income tax, and he could promise the machinery for collecting it would cost more than the revenue they would obtain from it. To tax Irish peasants, was to tax mere moonshine. He was sorry to hear the right hon. Baronet say that it was his intention to assimilate the stamp duty in Ireland. He thought this would be productive of much evil. They were more in the habit of relying- in Ireland upon plain paper. The House was not aware of the importance of this consideration. It should be remembered, too, that this was one of the compensation taxes of the Union—the dissimilarity of the stamp duties between the two countries. This 481 charge was to be put upon Ireland, as it was said, to make her bear her due pro-portion of the English burdens, and that statement had been cheered; but when Ireland asked for a fair proportion of English rights, hon. Gentlemen did not cheer then. Hon. Members forgot the financial robbery of Ireland that had taken place at the union with England. At that period England owed 446,000,000l., Ireland owed only] 1,000,000l. The interest on the English debt was nearly 17,000,000l., and Lord Castlereagh stated at the time that Ireland should never be called upon to pay any portion of the English debt, and that England would provide for this 17,000,000l. by separate taxation. But had England done this? Of late years she had not paid in separate taxation more than 6,000,000l. a-year, and of that difference the difference in the stamp-duty formed a part; and if they imposed an income tax on Ireland she would have still have to pay 8,000,000l. a-year more than her fair share of the public burdens. Ireland could not afford additional taxation. They had already lowered the revenue of Ireland by the admission of foreign provisions. He hoped the right hon. Baronet would take the case of the distillers into consideration, though he trusted that he would not obtain the revenue he expected to derive from spirits.
§ Viscount Howick
agreed with his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell), that the proposals of the Government were too important to render it possible for those who heard them then for the first time to express any opinion upon them. In compliance, therefore, with what seemed to be the general understanding, he should abstain from any remarks upon the general proposition, reserving himself until the papers which the right hon. Baronet had promised to lay before them should be in the hands of Members. He should then be prepared to consider fairly those proposals totally apart from all party feeling. His only object in rising was to ask the right hon. Baronet what course he proposed to pursue? Very great anxiety would be felt in the town and in the country as to what might be the ultimate decision upon the Government measures; and it was therefore important that no unnecessary delay should take place in giving the House an opportunity of expressing an opinion upon them; and it was also important that they should know as soon as possible what were the 482 means by which the largest of the proposed new taxes, the income tax, was to be raised. He, therefore, wished to know what course the right hon. Baronet in-tended to pursue.
§ Sir Robert Peel:
Sir, I did not expect that on a subject of such magnitude as that which is now before us the House would deem it expedient to come to any immediate resolution. The noble Lord will bear in mind that I deprecated the expression of any immediate opinion, and that I thought it best, that, in the first place, the whole scope of my plan should be weighed and considered. To that opinion I adhere. As regards myself, however, the method of proceeding which the House may think fit to adopt [is a matter of indifference. I am ready, if it be considered desirable, to draw up the amended tariff, in the most clear and distinct form, and to lay it on the Table immediately. It does not appear to me that any injury could arise from a short delay in the votes on the income and coal tax. But much inconvenience, I think, might be caused by the postponement of the resolution having reference to spirits. For the framing of that resolution supposes, that even if the proposed duty be not adopted, the revenue shall not suffer. What I should propose is, that the resolution relating to the tax on spirits should be agreed to in that qualified shape, and I hope the House will not object to pass it in that form. This resolution is now laid on the Table, and the House will bear in mind the great importance of proceeding with it, as speedily as possible, consistent with the due deliberation which such a subject calls for, as commercial dealings in the meantime are in a great measure at a stand-still. I can only say, that whether the resolutions be adopted or not, the sooner the decision is come to the better will it be for me, for the prosecution of the public business, and for the country. In short, we should proceed as rapidly as possible. With respect to the Corn-Bill, while I have no personal wish on the subject, I should propose that as, (until the measure be passed), uncertainty and interruption are caused in the Corn-trade, we fix the committee upon that bill for Monday. With the present resolutions I shall proceed as rapidly as I can. But as, probably the amended tariff will not be immediately in possession of hon. Members, I should propose to take the resolu- 483 tion on the income tax on Friday, and the committee on the Corn-bill on Monday.
Lord J. Russell
was understood to say, that it was not his wish to offer any further opposition to the Corn Bill, and, therefore, it would be useless for him to propose any amendment on that bill with respect to the amount of duty; but there were some hon. Members who intended to make proposals and require explanations, which would have the effect of protracting the discussion, and he thought, therefore, that it would be impossible to go into the discussion of the Income-tax on the same night as that set apart for the consideration of the Corn-laws.
§ Sir R. Peel
thought it important to ascertain the opinion of the country on his proposal; he would, therefore, not proceed with the further consideration of his resolutions till Friday next.
§ Mr. Hawes
complained that, on Thursday night, when the Exchequer-bill question—so deeply interesting to a numerous body of individuals, and which Government ought to have brought on a month ago—stood for discussion, not one Member of the Government was present. Care was taken that no House should be formed on an evening when important business stood on the paper, when the hon. Member for Sheffield had intended to move for a select committee to inquire into the special burdens peculiarly affecting the landed interest in this country. Without pronouncing any decided opinion at present on the plan of the right hon. Baronet, he felt that he should be unmindful of the duty which he owed to that constituency which he bad the honour to represent, many of whom were engaged in the timber trade, if he forbore to protest against the alteration proposed with regard to the timber duties. He objected strongly to the proposed mode of taking the duties on timber—namely, by the cubic contents, a mode which, if not utterly impracticable, could not be adopted without the greatest inconvenience to the trade. He trusted, therefore, that the right hon., Baronet would, in compliance with the representations which would no doubt be made at the Board of Trade, see the propriety of modifying this part of his project. He could not help taking a general review of the scheme of the right hon. Baronet. On the whole, he did not think it likely to give much satisfaction. The only thing 484 they were sure of was a very large amount of direct taxation, with some special exemptions. Now he thought the House entitled to more information as to the resources of the country before they were called upon to pronounce this amount of taxation necessary. The right hon. Baronet congratulated himself on the increased consumption of sugar, but he (Mr. Hawes) contended that the consumption per head had, on the contrary, diminished. In 1831 the consumption per head was 261bs, whilst in 1841 it was only 24lbs. The duty on foreign coffee too he thought enormous, and there were several other points open to objection. He did not see that a satisfactory system of compensation was adopted in the proposed tariff. In fact the only thing the country would get by the affair was a positive amount of taxation.
§ Sir R. Peel
begged to assure the hon. Gentleman, that no one was more agreeably surprised to find the House not sitting On Thursday evening than himself. He had only asked for postponement for one day, on the same ground as that alleged by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, and he certainly thought, that after sitting for three nights until past one o'clock, there was nothing unreasonable, having a measure of such importance to bring forward, in allowing an interval of one day to pass.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, that in consequence of several amendments which had been suggested with reference to the Exchequer-bill fraud by competent persons, it had (been found necessary to submit to a slight postponement in bringing the matter forward.
Lord J. Russell
wished to know what number of names the right hon. Gentleman proposed to place on the commission.
§ Mr. Blewitt
wished to know what had been done with the money paid for the ransom of Canton? Government had no right to apply that money without the consent of the House.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, he had laid the papers relating to the ransom money on the Table of the House, in which the hon. Member would find an account of the manner in which it had been disposed of. It was his intention to bring in a bill to justify the appropriation of that money.
Mr. T. F. Baring
agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that it would be right to obtain parliamentary sanction for the appropriation of the money. He, while he should offer no obstruction to the speedy passing of the Corn Bill, must enter his protest against being considered to approve of that measure, or of the resolutions now proposed by the right hon. Baronet. The considerations urged by the hon. and learned Member for the county of Cork were of much importance, and he would remind the House that it had happened before in Ireland that in adding to the nominal duty on articles, they had actually diminished the amount of revenue accruing from those articles. Questions of the magnitude and importance of the present should be considered rather with a view to their whole character than to any particular detail. Direct taxation had hitherto been looked upon as a weapon, kept in the armoury of statesmen for times of war, and other occasions of great and pressing emergency. Measures involving the commutation of taxes from one class to another, should be entered upon with the utmost caution. He concurred fully with his noble Friend, that they should be careful, while meeting the difficulties of the case, to maintain the reputation for good faith which this country had always enjoyed, and he (Mr. Baring) would pledge himself that, in the consideration of this question, he should forget party feelings, and deal with the propositions of Government precisely in the same spirit as if they had emanated from those with whom he acted himsef.
§ Mr. Childers
asked the right hon. Baronet what would be the terms of his intended proposal regarding the importation of foreign provisions and live cattle?
§ Sir Robert Peel:
I purpose to remove the prohibition—to admit foreign provisions and live animals on certain terms. These terms will be included in the tariff. I feel that I ought not to be called on for more particular explanations just now. Those explanations will be given in due time, but in the mean time I cannot give them to individual Members.
Mr. Hodgson Hinde
felt called on to make a few observations to that part of the right hon. Baronet's scheme proposing certain duties on the exportation of coals. He thought the proposal to renew the duty was by no means a feasible or prudent one. The right hon. Baronet had 486 grounded this proposition on three expec-tations—first, that the revenue would be increased by it; secondly, that it would economise the whole; and thirdly, that it would be a protection to our native industry against foreign manufactures. Now, those who were well acquainted with the foreign coal trade, knew that that trade had grown up since the duty on exportation was removed. If the duty was renewed, the export would fall off, and though the right hon. Baronet might obtain 50,000l. or 60,000l., the amount before raised from this service, he would not obtain near what he (Sir R. Peel) expected from the measure. The right hon. Baronet was also somewhat mistaken in thinking that the measure would economise the supply of coal for this country. This idea was fallacious. The coal exported was small coal, which was separated from the larger coal, that must be taken out of the ground whether the small coal was in demand or not. The consequence of a decrease of exportation would there-fore be, that the amount of that exportation would be wasted. but not that a smaller quantity would be taken from the bowels of the earth. The other portion of the right hon. Baronet's argument, that the measure would afford protection to native industry against the competition of foreign manufactures, might be valid if the countries to which we exported the largest quantity of coals were our rivals in manufacturing industry, and those from which we might chiefly fear competition. But any Gentleman who looked at the papers that had been laid before the House would see that this was not the case. Our exports of coal to Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Nor-way, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and the United States of America, amount to 1,129,000 tons. These were not the countries from which our manufacturing industry feared competition, and the ex-port of coal to Belgium and the German States, which were our chief rivals, was not more than a ninth part of the quantity he had stated. He therefore hoped that the Government would not persist in re enacting a measure, the relaxation of which, at a former period, was held to be of such benefit to the country.
§ Mr. Wakley
said, that though the subject which had been brought forward to-night was very extensive, and embraced a vast number of topics, he, nevertheless, could not refrain from saying a word or 487 two upon it. Very great credit, he thought, was due to the right hon. Baronet for the able speech he had made this evening. That speech was remarkably lucid, and embraced very large and statesmanlike views, He was perfectly satisfied that if his principles generally were carried out they would be ultimately of the greatest advantage to the country, and would give such an impulse to trade and commerce as would confer the greatest benefit on the nation. That part, however, to which he intended to take exception, which gave great pain to him, and which would be productive of great annoyance out of doors, was the tax which the right hon. Baronet was about to impose upon income. For this, he very much feared that the right hon. Baronet's old supporters would again complain of him. He believed they would declare that the right hon. Baronet had manifested great caution up to a certain period, but up to that period his caution had yielded. He believed that this would be a most unjust tax. [" No."] Hon. Gentlemen might exclaim "no," but he said "yes." The people of this country were prepared for a tax upon property. They were quite prepared that that tax should be imposed in strict accordance with the amount of property. Now, inasmuch as the Government had manifested so strong an attachment to a graduated scale with reference to the food of the people, he thought they might be induced to apply the graduated scale in reference to this tax upon property. The people, would, therefore, be at a loss to find out why her Majesty's Government should profess so strong an attachment to a sliding-scale in reference to corn, and an attachment for a fixed duty in reference to income and property. In a state like this, where it was presumed that they had the full protection of the law—that all the rights the law conferred with reference to the liberty of the subject should be enjoyed, was it in such a state as this, that they should be called upon to contribute to the taxes of the country according to his means? But it appeared that the right hon. Baronet was making the same principle apply which was made to apply before. He declared an Income tax to be the most unpopular tax that was ever introduced in England. The right hon. Baronet had stated a proposition with reference to farms and farmers. Now, being somewhat of a farmer himself, he felt a very strong in- 488 terest on this point. If he understood the right hon. Baronet correctly, the case was this—that, supposing a man rented a farm at 300l. a-year, it was to be presumed that his profits were to be 150l.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, that with respect to the occupying tenant, the property to be assessed was to be determined with reference to the amount of his rent. It was assumed, under the former law, that the profits amounted to three-fourths of the rent he paid, but he (Sir It. Peel) thought that that was too great an assumption, and he accordingly proposed that the profits should be supposed to be only one half. If a person rented a farm at 400l. a year, he would presume that his profits were 200l., and he would be assessed accordingly. If, however, he paid only 299l. a year rent, he would escape altogether.
§ Mr. Wakley
begged to ask the right hon. Baronet, whether he was aware that, by such a proposition, he was giving a benefit to the landed proprietor as well as to the farmer. He wanted to know why a different rule should be pursued with reference to a farmer from that which was pursued with reference to a tradesman. The right hon. Baronet must be aware that the farmer sometimes rented a farm under 300l. a year, but had got a capital on his estate of 5,000l. or 6,000l., and his profits amounted sometimes to 1,000l. a year. [" No, no,"] He said "Yes, yes," and he could prove it. Now such a person would (if the proposition of the right hon. Baronet be carried out) be subject to no Income-tax. On the other hand a tradesmen in Fins bury would have to pay a heavy Income-tax, though his capital might not amount to 5,000l. He hoped that this point would be reconsidered, for the principle upon which it was proposed to act was most unjust, and would be productive of the greatest discontent throughout all classes.
§ Mr. S. Wortley
was greatly surprised at the astounding assumption of the hon. Member for Fins bury. He had no doubt that if the hon. Member proved that any farmer, who only paid 300l. a year rent, made 1,000l. a year profit, the right hon. Baronet would take every care that such an income would not escape taxation.
§ Mr. Wakley
said, he only put this as an extreme case. He only said, supposing a man who only paid 300l. a year had a profit of 1,000l. year out of his farm.
First resolution agreed to.
2. On the the question, that the malt allowance now payable on every gallon of spirits distilled in Ireland from malted corn only, not being mixed with any unmalted corn or grain shall cease and determine.
said, he did not wish to detain the House, but he hoped that the right hon. Baronet would not press this re-solution upon the House. It was the only one that sought to be pressed forward. He hoped that an opportunity would be given to the distillers in Ireland to be heard against it.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, that the right hon. Gentleman appeared to mistake the position in which they were placed. The moment the intention of her Majesty's Government was announced with respect to this subject, the distilleries in Ireland would increase the price of their whiskey. The only object her Majesty's Government had, was to enable it to obtain the increase in the duty which the distiller would at once exact from his customer.
§ Resolution agreed to.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
moved,3. That, towards making good the supply granted to her Majesty, the sum of 8,000,000l. be granted out of the consolidated fund of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
§ Mr. Ward
understood, that, in his absence, a question had been asked as to whether he intended to persevere in the motion of which he had given notice for last evening. Not, however, having had an opportunity of bringing that motion on in consequence of there having been no House yesterday, notwithstanding there was a Government measure to be brought forward in committee; namely, the "Forged Exchequer-bills Bill," he conceived that the discussion upon his motion should be taken before the Corn-law proceeded any further; and, therefore, he intended to proceed with the measure unless the right hon. Baronet would be willing to give him the committee which he sought for.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, so far as he was concerned, the hon. Gentleman was greatly misinformed if he imagined he had put such a question. With respect to there not having been a House last evening, he must say that he was agreeably surprised at such a circumstance. That being the case, he hoped the hon. Gentleman would take ano- 490 ther course than that he had just stated his intention of adopting. He hoped he would postpone his motion to the next notice day.
§ Mr. Ward
said, that if his motion were for this evening, and that he were asked by the right hon. Baronet to give way to him, he should have done so at once, out of respect to that right hon. Gentleman and the important subject he was about to bring forward; but it was a very different question to postpone this question beyond Monday next, as it ought, in point of fact, to be preliminary to the Corn-law. He begged to assure them, though he did not wish to throw any factious opposition in the way of the right hon. Baronet, he felt the question of so much importance that he should bring it forward on Monday, unless the right hon. Baronet was disposed to entertain his proposition, and give him the committee he asked for.
§ Sir R. Peel
begged that no inference whatever would be drawn from his silence on this point. When this motion should be brought forward, he would then state his intentions relating to it.
§ Colonel Sibthorp,
before the committee agreed to the vote, begged to state that he was not altogether satisfied with the proposition of the right hon. Baronet. He did not see why the Irish gentlemen should be exempted so much from this taxation. The Irish gentlemen should bear an equal portion of the taxes as the English.
said he thought he could prove the hon. and gallant Gentleman to be an Irishman. There was a statute of Henry the 6th, declaring that every person wearing hair on the upper lip should be considered an Irishman.
§ Resolution agreed to. Report to be received.