§ Mr. Forster
wished to put a question to the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government relative to the pro posed continuance of the additional duty of 5 per cent, referred to in the third resolution of the schedule, as follows:—That the duties imposed in the foregoing schedules on articles other than spirits and timber, shall be respectively subject to the charge of 5 per cent, imposed by an act passed in the third year of her present Majesty, cap. 17.The strongest objections existed against this mode of assessing Custom-house duties, as leading to misunderstanding between buyer and seller, besides being troublesome and inconvenient. The question which Mr. Forster wished to ask was, whether the public were to consider it a permanent or only temporary arrangement.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, the House would re collect that in 1840, the right hon. Gentleman who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, proposed and carried a mea sure for raising 5 per cent additional on the duties of the Customs and Excise: that 5 per cent still remained in force; and it would apply to all duties of the Customs and Excise which were not included in the present reduction of duties. It was his intention, therefore, as he did not propose to repeal that 5 per 935 cent act in the case of all other duties, to retain the 5 per cent for the duties to be reduced, and to levy an additional 5 per cent on the reduced duties, as well as on all others. The hon. Gentleman had spoken of the great objection to retaining the 5 per cent, from the extreme difficulty of computing its amount; but it should be recollected, that it was not a duty of 5 per cent ad valorem, but of 5 per cent on the amount of duty levied. There could, therefore, be no difficulty in the case.
§ Dr. Bowring
would give notice that he should propose in committee, that this additional l-20th, or 5 per cent, should be consolidated in the tariff. It would be much more satisfactory to the merchant to have only one calculation to make, instead of two, on every occasion.
§ Mr. Duff
asked, if it was the intention of the right hon. Baronet to proceed with the bill for the alteration of the tariff, previous to the Easter recess, as several of the proposed alterations, especially those respecting cattle, would particularly affect his constituents, and he thought time should be given to consider them.
§ Sir R. Peel
was afraid, that he could not answer the hon. Gentleman's question without notice. He very much feared, considering that it was his intention to take the resolution with respect to the Income-tax before he proceeded to the consideration of the tariff, that he should necessarily be obliged to give the time which the hon. Gentleman wished to have, and that there would be no prospect of making any progress in the consideration of the tariff before the Easter recess.