HC Deb 21 March 1842 vol 61 cc944-1025
Mr. Hawes

said, that the announcement which the noble Lord the Member for London had just made, of his determination to offer every parliamentary opposition to the imposition of the proposed odious and unjust system of taxation, was one which, he firmly believed, would be received with satisfaction by thousands out of doors. If the right hon. Baronet had really made out a case for resorting to the Income-tax,—if he had shown that the national honour absolutely demanded it, or that the national faith would be at stake without it, then he readily conceived that no opposition would be offered to any proposition of the kind; but it was precisely because he thought that a case had not been made out that he for one should oppose the proposition of the Government. For, though in one year there was an additional deficiency of revenue, yet it owed its origin to the course pursued by the party opposite last year. Had a different course been pursued— had a fair consideration been given to the corn duties, the sugar duties, and the timber duties, he firmly believed that at the present moment they would not be wanting the aid of an Income-tax to carry on the Government of the country. But what course was taken on these subjects? The party opposite refused to discuss them, and the right hon. Baronet having determined to prevent any real alteration of the corn and sugar duties, for the purpose of maintaining the consistency of party, and nothing else, now found him self reduced to the necessity, unless the right hon. Baronet chose to follow more closely the commercial policy of his predecessors, to resort to an Income-tax, which he did not hesitate to describe as of the most odious and unjust character. He believed that a truer remark had never been made than was uttered by the noble Viscount, the Member for Sunderland, who said nothing could be more injudicious or unwise than placing the national credit on an impost so odious as this. Let the system but once come into opera tion—let the secret inquisition be sitting, and bankers and others called on to disclose their private affairs, and he was firmly of opinion that so loud an expression of the public dissatisfaction would reach that House, that it would become a question whether any Government, how ever strong, could resist it. The right hon. Baronet, in order to make his pro position more acceptable, had told the House that he intended to introduce some few alterations into the provisions of the act of 1806; but when in 1816 the question of a property-tax came before Parliament, and Lord Bexley proposed to re duce the amount from 10 per cent, to 5 per cent., and introduce various modifications, did he succeed in conciliating public feeling? The Ministry then had a large majority, but day by day, in consequence of discussions in that House, the popular feeling rose to such a point, that at length the tax was refused, and one of the most eloquent Members of the House denounced it by declaring that "its remnants and records were only fit to be destroyed by the hands of the common hang man." The City of London teemed with complaints, not only against the principle of the tax, but against the mode in which it was carried into effect. If individuals were to be authorised to inquire into the income of others, a large amount of inquisitorial power must be given them; and he trusted, that the good sense of the people of England would never endure to see inquisitions scattered through the country, and that it would prevent the Income-tax disgracing the statute-book. On the occasion to which he had alluded, two petitions from the city of London were presented against the continuance of the Income-tax, one from the corporation, and the other from the liverymen. He wished to call the attention of the House to a passage in the petition from the Lord Mayor and corporation of Lon don. It was there stated, that Though a reduction should be made in the amount of the tax, yet the principle remaining unchanged, the petitioners were of opinion, that its operation would be still more galling. The reduction from 10 to 5 per cent., so far from making the operation of the tax less vexatious, would produce a contrary effect, and tend to the most degrading and inquisitorial proceedings. He was decidedly of opinion, that in proportion to the smallness of the tax, the inquisitorial nature of the proceedings would be increased; for the commissioners would more rigidly require accurate returns from every individual. Consequently the tax was not only unjust in its nature, but it must become as unpopular as it was unjust. But the Opposition were taunted by the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) with unnecessarily advocating, because they referred to the repeal of 22,000,000l. of taxes, a recourse to taxes on the necessaries of life; and the right hon. Gentle man was the only person, forsooth, who thought of the interests of the poor. The Income-tax was to be taken as an indication on the part of the Government to uphold the rights of the poor, as if an In come-tax could be levied on the profits and capital of trade without its effects falling on the poor. An accusation, there fore, more shallow or flimsy could not have been brought, than that those who opposed the imposition of an Income-tax, slighted the wants and necessities of the poor. When the right hon. Gentleman made this accusation, one might have imagined that the Government were going to fix the taxation of the country on a broad and permanent foundation, and that they contemplated relieving the poorer classes from the pressure under which they laboured; and yet, after all the grandiloquent pretensions which had been laid claim to, it appeared that they only contemplated the continuance of the In come-tax for three years. The scheme of the Government resolved itself into the imposition of a miserable inquisitorial tax for three years; and then the whole country was to relapse into the old system of taxation. The right hon. Baronet opposite was not justified in imputing motives to parties in that House for opposing this tax. The whole history of taxation, and the progress of opinion, fully justified every Member in offering the most deter mined opposition to the odious impost. He conceived it to be his duty, as the representative of a large constituency, to give every opposition to the proposed tax, believing it to be brought forward without adequate cause. How was the case made out? The right hon. Baronet said, that all the resources of taxation on the great articles of consumption were exhausted. He denied this. The right hon. Baronet had refused to consider an effective alteration of the duties on some articles of great consumption. Before the right hon. Baronet proposed an Income-tax, why did he shut out the House from consider- ing how much revenue might be raised from a due alteration of the duties on sugar, on the importation of corn, and on timber? The right hon. Baronet had been pleased to say, that he gave up 600,000l. on timber in consideration of advantage to the trade. He believed, that the right hon. Baronet had made a much larger concession than he intended. What did the right hon. Baronet propose to do with regard to timber? All former advocates of an alteration of the duties on timber had endeavoured to show, that whilst they reduced the price to the consumer, they would bring in a large amount of revenue. The right hon. Baronet quoted the authority of Sir H. Parnell; but it so happened, that the only passage of that gentleman's work which the right hon. Gentleman read, exactly preceded that in which he pointed out the fallacy of an alteration like the one now proposed. If the right hon. Baronet had gone one step further, he would have found that Sir H. Parnell, instead of concurring in such a plan, suggested one exceedingly different from it. The passage quoted by the right hon. Baronet was as follows:— The duty on timber affects and injures industry in a great variety of ways, in consequence of its being so much used in buildings, ships, machinery, &c, Countries possessing forests in the vicinity of navigable rivers enjoy great advantages in that respect over our ship-builders; and to lay a duty on timber is still further to increase those advantages. Instead of doing this, it would appear as if it were an indispensable preliminary to securing a permanently successful competition with foreign ship-builders to admit timber to be imported free of all duty. The succeeding passage, which the right hon. Baronet did not read, was as follows:— The present arrangement of the duties, namely, 10s. a load on North American timber, and of 2l. 15s. a load on European timber, forces, as it were, the use of the former kind, though of inferior quality. It has already been stated, that this arrangement, which has for its object to protect the timber of our North American colonies, costs the public 1,000,000l. a-year,—many competent judges say 1,500,000l. If, in place of these duties, a duty of 1l. 15s. a load were imposed on all timber, the prices would be reduced 1l. a load, and the revenue would be considerably increased."

[Sir R. Peel

I read the passage.] If the right hon. Baronet read the passage, it escaped his observation; at any rate, it was inconsistent with the right hon. Baronet's argument. Let the House consider what was proposed to be done with respect to timber; for he was prepared to contend, that a revenue might be raised from a proper adjustment of the duties, which would supply to a certain extent the deficiency it was now intended to make up by an Income-tax. According to the tariff of the right hon. Baronet, the duty on colonial timber was to be reduced from 10s. to 1s. Compare this proposition with the suggestion of the committee of 1835. They proposed to retain the duty of 10s. on colonial timber, and to reduce the duty on European to 40s., thereby leaving a differential duty of 30s. The effect of the proposed alteration would be a considerable loss of revenue. He, therefore, thought that the timber duties, properly managed, might be a legitimate source of revenue. Before he left the question of the timber duties, he might be allowed to refer to those authorities by which to a certain extent those who prepared the proposed tariff had been guided; because it was to be presumed that it was put in a state of great forwardness by the late Government, as there was a tariff in the appendix to the report of the import duties committee, and Mr. Deacon Hume had begun to classify the duties. What did Mr. M'Gregor propose? He proposed a duty of 7s. 6d. on colonial timber, and 22s. 6d. on foreign timber, and he anticipated that such an alteration would raise the revenue on timber from 1,600,000l. to 2,500,000l. He calculated that there would be such an increased consumption, and consequent benefit to the consumer, that the Treasury would actually get 1,000,000l. more from timber. [Cheers.] He heard those cheers, but he was not necessarily bound to adopt those figures. He would take half a million, instead of a million, and with other sources he would make up an aggregate sum, which would justify the House in not having recourse to an Income-tax. The right hon. Baronet had put the question to the House, whether it would adopt the Income-tax, or resort to other sources of revenue? This was the question he was arguing— whether other sources of revenue might not be found which, in the aggregate, would furnish a sum sufficient to justify the House in voting against the imposition of an Income-tax. There could not be a higher authority than Mr. Hume. He was an advocate for a reduction of the timber duties, and he proposed to obtain at least 2,500,000l. by a new mode of levying the duties. The opinion he ex pressed before the committee in 1834, and which he entertained to the last hour he lived, was, that full a million might be obtained by a new adjustment of the duties. He would now advert to the sugar duties. They were, it appeared, not to be taken into consideration "at present," if he might quote an expression which was much commented on last year. He should like the country distinctly to understand on what ground resistance to an alteration of the sugar duties was maintained. Was it intended to uphold the West-Indian monopoly as a monopoly; or was the alteration of sugar duties refused on the ground that Parliament ought to give no encouragement to slave produce? If the latter was the reason, then why did the right hon. Baronet propose to lessen the duty on tobacco? [Sir R. Peel: The reduction only extended to the East-Indies.] His argument was untouched by that remark; because no one could be found to justify the exclusion of slave-grown tobacco. He would refer to a few facts to show the operation of the sugar duties. The consumption of sugar, and the revenue derived from it, were much the same in 1841 as in 1828; and yet the population had increased at least in the ratio of 16 per cent. If he should be told that the quantity of sugar imported was now increasing, his answer was that the population was increasing; and in a greater ratio; for if the consumption of sugar for the last ten years were examined, there would be found a great falling off in the consumption per head. Why, then, should the House be debarred from considering this source of revenue, when the alternative offered was an Income-tax? If, the sugar duties were to be excluded from consideration, in order that the West-India monopoly might be maintained, then it was right that the country should clearly understand how dearly they were paying for this monopoly. I was gradually spreading through the country a conviction that free-grown sugar, under a system of free-trade, might successfully compete with slave-grown sugar from any part of the world. But with regard to sugar, no one doubted that by a judicious alteration of the sugar duties, the revenue obtained from sugar could be increased from 800,000l. to 1,000,000l., and 500,000l. at least might be obtained from timber. He had a right to quote the official servants of the Crown as authorities to be relied upon, backed as they were by the experience of various practical men, and upon that authority he would state that amount might be derived from timber and sugar, and he would assert that there was no necessity for the proposed Income-tax. The right hon. Baronet had never told them what revenue he expected from corn. It was an extremely difficult subject, said the right hon. Baronet, and he was unable to form any opinion, notwithstanding all the intercourse he had had with practical men and official servants of the Government, whether the corn bill would or would not be the means of introducing much or little corn into this country. They must test the value of the right hon. Baronet's concession to the people by that admission. It would be bad, and very bad, if it left the corn-trade where it was, and he could not, therefore, help thinking, that it was not so very difficult to form an opinion upon it. He found, indeed, that some who were engaged in the corn-trade thought it would raise the revenue—that there would be a higher average duty imposed on corn—that more corn would be coming in at that rate of duty, and therefore, there would be a larger revenue. He, believed, that from that source 1,200,000l. might be obtained, and therefore from corn and timber he could get 1,700,000l, Before they resorted to an Income-tax they ought to try every other resource. Now, he denied, that all other sources of taxation were dried up. All that was requisite was a large and comprehensive review of the tariff, with reference to the well-being of the community, and if that were done they would derive a revenue equal to that which they would derive from the Income-tax. He hoped that he should not be hereafter taunted if he opposed this measure, as he meant to do, with delaying a measure of importance to the country. He denied that he did it for the purpose of delay. Hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side had done the same thing last year, and they had, therefore, no right to impute to him any intention to cause an unfair delay in the consideration of the Income-tax. He fell back on the principles of finance of the late Government. Upon those principles he stood; and he was sure that they would bear him out, and could produce a revenue equal to the tax that was now proposed. He asked them to shew him whether he overrated the revenue which he expected to derive from corn or timber? But were there no other sources? Were they confined to those great articles of consumption? The right hon. Baronet never mentioned one great source of taxation, namely, real property by descent. If there were an alteration of the stamp duties, and they were fairly imposed upon that kind of properly, he had every reason to believe and he never knew one who did not believe, that an enormous revenue would be derived from it. It was, therefore, exceedingly hard that the right hon. Baronet should throw upon them the necessity of an Income-tax without fairly and honestly bringing forward every source of taxation. When the national honour and the public credit were at stake, he would never sacrifice them, but he denied that they were so at that moment. They ought not to be called upon for a war tax. They might, indeed, call the war in China or Affghanistan, a war, and compare it with that of the French revolution, but no man in his senses could believe in the comparison But this was not a tax upon them to sup port a war in Afghanistan. The people of England never would submit to it for retaliatory measures of bloodshed. Why did they enter Affghanistan? But was that any justification for retaliatory mea sures? Were they to go on in a wrong course? And that, too at the sacrifice of the lives of innocent persons? He hoped that when the vote was proposed for an increased grant on account of that war, the sense of the House might be taken upon the subject. He knew the grounds upon which that policy was recommended to the House, but he never heard the House condemn it. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester had given notice of a motion to call the attention of the House to certain papers which had been laid on the Table connected with the Affghanistan war; but did he do so? No. In silence he passed over it, and therefore, he supposed that the right hon. Baronet was either convinced by those papers, or thought the House would arrive at a conclusion contrary to that which he wished them to come to. He hoped, then, that no tax would be charged upon this country to support a retaliatory and bloody war with a people whom, however atrociously they might have acted on a late occasion, he could not but regard as bravely fighting for their own national independence. But now as to the stamp duties. He would quote the opinion of a gentleman who was a very competent authority upon the subject. The question of the uneven state of the present stamp duties had often been discussed, and upon that subject Mr. Humphreys said:— We have seen that the stamp duties charged on real and personal estates, though about equal in amount, affect totally different transactions regarding them. Thus, on the one hand, land is not charged with any duties on the following occurrences:—1, Settlements; 2, devises; 3, succession on intestacy, although personality is charged to the amount of nearly 2,000,000l. under these different articles. On the other hand, personal estate, or at least the most important part of it in this country— namely, the Public Funds, Bank, and East India stock—is not charged with any du ties on sale, whilst these form an item among taxes on land amounting, after making allowances for mortgages, to about 1,800,000l. Let then, each of the foregoing classes of real and personal property be charged with the stamp duties, from which it is at present free, but which are borne by the other of them, and an additional revenue will be produced of about 3,500,000l., collected at the smallest expense with a machinery already established, and either included in the transaction, as on sales, or paid with alacrity by those who, at the same instant, succeed to the property. That, he conceived, would be the result of an adjustment of the stamp duties, and equally imposing them on real property by descent. The personal property alone included in the last returns of one year was about 40,000,000l., and the rate of duty paid upon that, was on the average, from 5 to 10 per cent.; at the same time he himself should prefer that the whole amount of personal property should be subject to a fixed duty, and be relieved altogether from the charge of an Income-tax. Why, then, did the right hon. Baronet say, that they must have an Income-tax? Because the wine duty did not in the course of three years realize the amount expected from it? The right hon. Baronet quoted only three articles, by no means large or important, and because there had been a failure in two out of those three, he came to the conclusion that there were no other sources of taxation. As to the Income-tax it was one which he held to be essentially unjust in its operation that that alone, short of some actual necessity or great and overwhelming emergency, almost approaching to foreign invasion, would justify every opposition which it was in the power of every hon. Member to give to it. It could, too, only be collected by the most odious process; and when collected, it would be an unequal charge on property of different descriptions. Life annuitants and professional men with the contingencies of health would be all charged at the same rate as owners of lands in fee simple. That was perfectly monstrous and unjustifiable. Mr. Sayer, in his work on the property-tax, attempted to show the ratio of value between different kinds of property. Assuming a rent from land in fee simple of 100l. to be worth 100l., he estimated what the comparative value of the same amount of income ought to be if derived from any other source.

Nominal Income of £100 equal in relative value to
1. Rent of land in fee simple and perpetuity £100 0 0
2. Interest of mortgage, or other incomes 90 0 0
3. Interest in perpetuity of permanent public stocks and securities 85 0 0
4. Rent of land entailed on the family of present proprietor 80 0 0
5. Profit of commerce, manufactures, and trade, derived principally from capital 75 0 0
6. Rent of land entailed on other than the family of present proprietor, or on one child only 70 0 0
7. Annuities for life or terms of years, on Government Securities, or other perpetual funds 66 0 0
8. Pay and profit of public servants and other public authorities 60 0 0
9.Profits of trade and occupation of land derived principally from, or wholly from, skill or industry 50 0 0
10.Profits of professions from the same 50 0 0

Hon. Gentlemen opposite, might perhaps, object to the details of his calculation, but common sense told them there was a great difference between an annuity and a rent in fee simple, and between those and an income derived from the exercise of industry. Let them take the calculations as they pleased, still they must know that there was an enormous difference between incomes derived from land in fee simple and from the labour and skill of the manufacturer and professional men; and though perhaps not perfectly accurate, yet still the scale showed the inherent injustice of anything in the shape of an In come-tax that should apply equally to all incomes. But there was another way in which that might be answered very successfully. Application had been made to the right hon. Baronet by many persons in London to consider some adjustment of the duty on terminable annuities. He might take the case of an insurance office that had invested a part of its funds in these terminable annuities, and their position would be this:—

£1,500 Annuities for Terms of Years, ending October, 1859.
800 Annuities for Terms of Years, ending January, 1860.

That is to say, the difference in the charge on the sum of 30,000l. laid out in terminable annuities or perpetual annuities —being 37l. 18s. 4d. per annum against the former. Could that be just? Before they were warranted in imposing such a tax the Government were bound to show them that it was perfectly inevitable; but the right hon. Baronet had not done that. There was another observation in Mr. Sayer's book—which was a most able work —which he would state to the House. Mr. Sayer stated that the gross estimated amount of income, when the former tax was imposed, was 170,000,000l., but taking that as the gross amount, yet in schedule A, according to the returns made to the tax-office, 10,000,000l. were never returned at all. In schedule B 10,000,000l. were never subjected to the tax. In schedule C 6,000,000l. were deficient; and in schedule D 13,000,000l.; in all, 49,000,000l., or about 30 per cent., were never subjected to the Income-tax. So that on the imposition of this odious tax, notwithstanding their power of summoning witnesses and their inquisitorial efforts, they failed, and justly failed, to realize anything like the assessed amount. How hardly did that fall on the honest man. It was a system that spread, or rather held out temptation to perjury to an extent which was perfectly frightful; and much had he to answer for who thus led men into such a trial, and at the moment of the greatest distress held out to them the temptation of making false returns. As they gave power to their commissioners, special commissioners, and treasury com missioners—for there was to be a cloud of them, it seemed—to ascertain the incomes of individuals, so would they increase crime to a degree unheard of in this country. He could hardly conceive any one imposing such a tax except on an emergency, which would absolutely leave them a prey to some foreign invader unless they consented to pass such a measure. On the other hand, he believed that their sources of taxation were unimpaired, and were abundant, without resorting to this most odious one: and if he wished to see this country agitated and disturbed with fresh causes of agitation and disturbance, he could not find one source more certain than that which the right h6n. Baronet had fallen on. Allow him, too, to say that the consequences of this imposition, and of the discussion of the Corn-bill, which the right hon. Baronet said would reconcile the country to that bill, but which assertion he was not able to con firm, for he believed that that measure had given contentment neither to the farmer nor the manufacturer, and that the consideration of that question was not settled, but that they would still have to struggle with it, and make fresh modifications and concessions which in all probability might have been effected in one just and comprehensive measure—the consequences, he said, of that discussion, and of this tax, might be most serious to the country. The right hon. Baronet told them that another cause of the Income-tax was that it fell on the property of the country, and not on the poor; but, at the same time, the right hon. Baronet maintained the Corn-tax to an amount which the highest authorities said was a charge of 20 per cent. on the incomes of the lowest classes. ["No, no."] The right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer shook his head; but allow him to say, that although the right hon. Gentleman was a high authority in that House, yet there were persons out of that House who were of equal authority on matters of this kind. He would refer to the opinions of one gentleman of great respectability in the City of London, and largely connected with the property of the country; he alluded to Mr. Jones Lloyd; and in matters of economy of this kind his opinion would have the greatest weight, he said, If we estimate, it was slated in the hand loom weavers report, the average income of a poor family at 10s. a week, the average number of persons in each family at four, and the average price of corn at (50s., their expenditure in bread cannot be less than 5s. a-week; and if the Corn-law raises the price of bread 20 per cent." (as they showed it did) "that operates as an income-tax on the poorest families. The declaration then, that resort was had to this tax that it might fall on property and save the poorer classes, came with a bad grace from the right hon. Baronet whilst he consented to maintain the Corn-duties. Such a display of benevolence came not well from him who was the advocate of a Corn-tax on the poorest labourer. He had detained the House, he feared, too long, but he would only say that the noble Lord should have his most earnest support in every possible opposition he could offer to this measure. He might, indeed, quote the language of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire on the important occasion when he said it was his business to ob struct Her Majesty's Government. [Lord Stanley: "No," obstruct their measures.] Yes; that was the word. He heard the noble Lord say it. He was the last per son to quote things of this sort carelessly, but he believed he heard the noble Lord use those words, and that in every news paper and account of the Parliamentary debates of that night he could find them recorded. He did not mean to offer a vexatious opposition in the sense in which he understood those words, but he should certainly offer every opposition in his power; and if vexatious to the Ministers of the Crown. He would not put a construction on the words of the noble Lord; but he knew what was the construction put upon them at the time, on his side of the House, and that it was considered to be as unguarded a declaration as ever fell from a leader of the Opposition. But he meant to oppose the Government. He cared not whether he stood alone, but he would give every opposition to this bill, as an unjustifiable measure, the necessity of which was not proved, which would cause a most odious inquisition, and would lay the foundation of a vast amount of national vice and misery. On those grounds he would take every opportunity of giving to it his most hearty and deter mined opposition.

Mr. Alderman Thompson

said, that the hon. Member who had just sat down began by stating that he would show to the House that there were other sources of taxation without resorting to an income-tax; but he would appeal to the House whether the hon. Member had not signally failed in the attempt. As to reducing the sugar-duties, the hon. Member did not tell the House whether it was to be in the scale proposed by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer. If, he did, then his opinion was, that that House would have acted most injudiciously if they had adopted that plan. A great sacrifice had been made with respect to slavery in the British colonies; an example had been held out to other countries, and he believed was being followed by many of them at that moment; and under those circumstances he could not have voted for such a measure as was proposed for a reduction of the sugar taxes. He would also ask the House whether, situated as this country was, it would have been prudent for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to have proposed a measure of finance which was not founded on a solid and substantial basis? Under the present circumstances there was an imperative necessity for a bold decisive measure. Did the hon. Member suppose that the war existing was confined to China and Affghanistan? Was he not aware that several of the provinces of India were in a most critical position? At such a conjuncture was there not a loud call for the strongest measures? What said the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Control, when the First Minister of the Crown had made his statements respecting our Indian disasters? Had not the right hon. Gentleman emphatically declared that the Premier's resolution would be re-echoed not only by the House, but through the country? It was impossible to expect the Indian warfare to be carried on with the requisite vigour, unless the necessary funds were at the disposal of the Government. But looking at the wise, just, and honest reform of our com- mercial system which accompanied the new tax, he thought the country might cheerfully accept the measure. At all events, it was by such a measure alone that the pernicious system could be put an end to which had so long been followed by the late Government—the practice of perpetual borrowing. Let the House and the country bear in mind the loss of credit which had been the consequence of such proceedings in some of the American states. Let them remember the examples, in like manner, of Spain and Portugal, and they could not but perceive the urgent necessity for putting an end to a practice so fraught with dishonour and with danger. How had the existing embarrassments been occasioned? By the mismanagement and impolicy of the late Administration in regard to India and China, It was not, let it be borne in mind, the present Government which was responsible for our warfare in the East. In regard to the levying of the new tax, thus rendered as he thought necessary, it would be made much less onerous by the provisions respecting the various commissions of adjudication and appeal. And no doubt the Ministry would manifest a generous and confiding spirit, giving credit to the people for a disposition to act honestly and honourably. The title of a British merchant had been long deemed synonymous with that of honour, and he hoped that by a British Minister this confidence would never be weakened. There was only one point in the new tax which he deemed open to serious objection; and, though the right hon. Baronet had declared his determination not to relax his measure, he might yet be induced to re consider this case—that of the Government annuitants. It seemed unjust that the holders of terminable should be assessed as highly as the holders of interminable annuities; and let it be remembered that by the act 10th George 4th, chap. 29, the public had been encouraged and induced to convert perpetual into terminable annuitants; and the result of the new measure would be, that these parties would pay on their shorter annuities three or four times the amount which they would have had to pay on their perpetual annuities. Trusting that this point would be considered, and believing it for the real interests of the community that this great measure should pass, he intended certainly to give it his support.

Sir W. Clay:

The resolution before the committee called upon them to assent to the first and most important portion of the right hon. Gentleman's scheme of finance—to the imposition of an Income-tax. To that scheme he thought there existed the greatest objections, whether, on the grounds of justice or policy. Those objections he should proceed to state in the shortest and simplest terms. The country was in financial difficulty, the revenue fell short of the expenditure; the right hon. Gentleman proposed to meet this difficulty—to equalise the income and expenditure by taking at once, and by a direct process a portion of every man's property. It would be in the recollection probably of the House, that the right hon. Gentlemen once said, that for a Government to get rid of a political or administrative difficulty, by a grant of public money, was a vulgar expedient. Now he (Sir W. Clay) would not retort upon the right hon. Gentleman his own expression, he would not say that, for a Minister to get rid of a financial difficulty by at once thrusting his hands in the pockets of the people was a vulgar expedient; but he would say, that it was an easy expedient, an expedient requiring no very great stretch of ingenuity; it was financiering made easy, an expedient accordingly level to the capacity of the least civilised people, and in the most barbarous times. The aids and be nevolences of our Plantagenet sovereigns were levied on the simple plan of taking a certain portion of every man's goods. On the same principle the Mogul conquerors of India taxed their conquered provinces. It was indeed, the ordinary process by which stronger parties helped themselves. In modern times, in free countries especially, it had been thought expedient, and found possible to provide for the exigencies of the state by the gentler process of indirect taxation—a process which left to every individual in some sort, the power of taxing himself, and regulating, by his own convenience, the amount of his contribution to the revenue required for the necessities of the State. If there existed such a thing as fiscal science—if there were any art required in the vocation of a Minister of finance beyond the simply taking from the people by the strong hand of power, such a portion of their property as would make up the necessary amount of the public income, surely the problems to be solved by that science—the objects to which that art should be directed were first to render taxation as little oppressive, as little felt as possible by those on whom its burthen was laid; and secondly, and that was by far the more important object to take especial care that by the operation of the taxes imposed the sources of national prosperity were not affected, nor the surplus income of the community, from which alone taxation could be drawn—thereby diminished. Did the scheme of finance of the right hon. Gentleman satisfy those two conditions? On the contrary, it would seem to have been constructed with a studied disregard to both. One part of his scheme consisted of direct taxation in the most harsh, unequal, and oppressive form in which it could be imposed; the other, of a system, the system of the Corn-laws, which directly tended to lessen the power of the community to support taxation—by lessening the profits of capital and diminishing the demand for the labour of the operative, whilst it enhanced the cost of his subsistence. So much had been already said on the objections to an income-tax as a mode of raising revenue— whether, on the ground of fairness or con venience—those objections were so palpably inseparable from the tax itself, they had been met by so little reply, that he scarcely felt it necessary to trouble the committee with any observations on that point. With the appearance of equality, the Income-tax was perhaps of all, all that could be devised — the most unfair and unequal in its operation. Nothing short of omniscience could enable them really to apportion such a tax justly to each man's means; and even the rudest and most incomplete approximation to fairness could only be obtained by a process the most harsh, inquisitorial, and offensive. So forcibly was this felt by the right hon. Gentleman, that he wisely abandoned even the attempt to diminish in any one single instance the glaring injustice of the operation of the tax, feeling that if he gave way but in a single instance, a hundred other cases would be forced on his notice of injustice as striking as that which he had remedied. He would be obliged to make concession after concession, and his scheme would become impracticable. Like the Triumvirs of old, he felt, probably, that if justice or compassion were once permitted to suggest an exemption, his proscription would be spoilt. But what an admission of the right hon. Gentleman. Let the House look at the case with respect to which his declaration of Friday evening was made, the case of the terminable annuities. Others might be found appealing more directly to the feelings, but none, perhaps, of more striking injustice. The Bank, as well as other great public bodies (if he were rightly informed, all the Life Assurance Companies in London had joined in a remonstrance to the right hon. Gentle man on the subject) had been expressly invited—as the committee were well re minded by the hon. Gentleman who had spoken last—by the 10 Geo. 4th, c. 24, to exchange the stock, the perpetual annuities they held, for terminable annuities. They had done so to the amount of very many millions, receiving, of course, a much larger amount of annual return than on the stock they transferred. But this annual return was not interest, not income, in most cases half, in many cases more than half was the repayment of capital. To tax the whole of it as if it were interest, was to tax the same parties twice, once on income, and again on capital. The transaction, looking at the circum stances under which the original change from perpetual to terminable annuities was made, was a positive breach of public faith. Again, the right hon. Baronet had told them, that the process of collection was to be substantially the same as under the old law, a process which had formerly produced, and must again produce that same amount of wrong, vexation, and crime, so powerfully de scribed in the petition from the city in 1816, read to the House on Friday by his right hon. Friend, the Member for Ports-mouth. Did hon. Gentlemen wish to have a clear and vivid conception of the working of an Income-tax? Let them read the article reprinted by the Times newspaper from its own columns in 1816, an article so graphic and forcible, as to shew in the clearest manner, the feelings that the tax excited in the minds of the generation which suffered under it. The hon. and worthy Alderman who had last addressed the committee, although aware, that the right hon. Baronet had stated his intention to be to modify but very slightly the process of collection defined by the act of 1806, yet expressed a con6dent hope, that the tax would not be severe in its operation. The hon. and worthy Gentleman was very easily satisfied. He anticipated, too, that Government would direct the levy "in a generous and confiding spirit." Imagine a tax-gatherer manifesting a "generous and confiding spirit!" Why, he could not do so, without betraying his duty. The tax, whatever it was, if it ought to be levied at all, ought to be le vied in a firm and uncompromising manner. One exception there was indeed to the inquisitorial operation of the tax, and that exception was, as might have been expected, in favour of the landed interest. The books of the farmer, of the capitalist who employed his capital in the cultivation of land, were to be free from inspection, his profits were to be estimated by an arbitrary, but a most lenient rule. The farmer's profits were to be estimated at one half his rent, and he was to be saved from any inquisition into his income. Against this monstrous exception, he (Sir W. Clay) on behalf of his constituents, protested on every ground of justice and fairness, he would not now state those grounds, he would do so on some future occasion, when he should probably pro pose an amendment to the bill in this particular. He would say no more on this branch of the question; he would state only his deliberate conviction, that such was the odious nature of this tax, that it was one to which no free people ought to submit, but under circumstances, to which the present circumstances of this country had not even the remotest analogy. The right hon. Gentleman said it was a case of necessity. He denied the necessity; or if there were a necessity, it was one purely and simply of the right hon. Gentleman's own creating. He would not refer to the contrast between the dark period when the nation acquiesced in the endurance of the tax, and the present times. He would make no comment on the comparison—the almost ludicrous comparison—between the wars in which they were now engaged with barbarous powers at the other side of the globe, and the fierce contest in which England struggled for existence against the greatest power the world had ever seen, wielded by the greatest intellect. He would waive all such considerations. Whether their perils were great or small, he asserted, and would prove, that there was not in the social or financial condition of the country the slightest justification for the desperate expedient by which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to supply the deficiency of the revenue. The necessity arose only from the policy of the right hon. Gentleman himself. The Income-tax was the price that the country was to pay for the maintenance of the principle of the old Corn-laws, for the maintenance of the sliding-scale, the price for class legislation, the price for the protection of powerful interests at the expense of the rest of the community, the price for monopoly. Did hon. Gentlemen deny that? He would prove it by the unanswerable logic of facts. The right hon. Gentleman said, they had reached the limits of taxes on consumption, he denied that they had even approached those except in consequence of their own unjust and absurd legislation? What was the necessary limit of taxes on consumption? the extent of course of the power on the part of the people to consume taxed articles. But what was the limit of that power? the amount of the net aggregate income of the whole community, after replacing the capital employed in production, and the cost of subsistence of the labourer. A net

STATEMENT of the gross receipt of revenue from duties of Customs, Excise, and Stamps, and from assessed taxes (drawbacks and payments of the like nature deducted, but without deducting the charges of collection), the estimated amount of taxes imposed, or repealed; the actual increase or decrease of revenue, and the mean prices of Wheat, as per London Gazette, in successive periods, from 5th January 1815 to 5th January, 1841:—
1815. —Price of wheat, 63s. 8d. Revenue, including—in addition to the 75,045,882
s d taxes above stated—the Income-tax, repealed in 1816
1816 76 2 Revenue of 1819 54,257,060
1817 94 0 20,788,822
1818 83 8
1819 72 3 Taxes repealed from 1816 to 1819 inclusive £17,862,848
Less taxes imposed 3,486,707
Mean 81 6
Real Loss of Revenue £6,412,681
s d £
1820 65 10 Revenue of 1819, as above 54,257,060
1821 54 5 Ditto 1823 54,466,845
1822 43 3 209,785
1823 51 9
Taxes repealed from 1820 to 1823 inclusive £6,800,145
Mean 53 10 Less taxes imposed 183,040
Real increase of revenue. £6,826,890

surplus of income was the only resource on which an individual could permanently rely to endure any burden on his finances, and as the cost of his subsistence was lower, so would his surplus be larger. That which was true of one man was true of a nation, and in the precise degree that the price of the chief article of subsistence, bread, was lower, would it be found that the power of the people to consume articles paying Customs and Excise duties was increased, that the power to endure taxation was enlarged, and the re venue consequently improved. This conclusion he thought sufficiently obvious upon à priori reasoning, but it was sup ported also by facts so remarkable that he trusted to be pardoned by the House for referring to them. He would read to the House the results of a calculation showing the effect of the price of corn on the revenue since the termination of the war and contrasting the periods of high and low prices.

s d £
1824 62 0 Revenue of 1823, as above 54,466,845
1825 66 6 Ditto 1827 52,036,840
1826 56 11
1827 56 9 2,430,005
Taxes repealed from 1824 to 1827, inclusive £7,528,825
Mean 60 6 Less taxes imposed 307,832
Real increase of revenue £4,790,988
s d £
1828 60 5 Revenue of 1827, as above 52,036,840
1829 66 3 Ditto 1831 48,041,966
1830 64 3
1831 66 4 3,994,874
Taxes repealed from 1828 to 1831, inclusive. £5,837,188
Mean 64 4 Less taxes imposed 1,325,556
Real increase of revenue £516,758
s d £
1832 58 8 Revenue of 1831, as above 48,041,966
1833 52 11 Ditto 1836 50,036,973
1834 46 2
1835 39 4 1,995,007
1836 48 6 Taxes repealed from 1832 to 1836, inclusive. £5,555,594
Less taxes imposed 246,716
Mean 49 1
Real increase of revenue £7,303,885
s. d £
1837 55 10 Revenue of 1836, as above 50,036,973
1838 64 7 Ditto 1840 49,567,518
1839 70 8
1840 66 4 469,455
Proportion of the taxes imposed in 1840, estimated as receivable to 5th January, 1841 1,443,000
Mean 62 11
Real loss of revenue £1,912,455

The first inference from the figures to which he had referred was, as the committee would observe, that the revenue uniformly fluctuated inversely as the price of corn, rising as, the price declined, and falling as it advanced,—but independently of that general tendency—the facts as to the prices of corn and the fluctuations of the revenue — especially within the last ten years led to most important conclusions as regarded the question then under the consideration of the committee. From 1832 to 1836 inclusive, the revenue increased in round numbers 7.300.000l., that is to say, there was an absolute increase during that period pf 2,000,000l, and a remission of taxes to the extent of 5,300,000l., now what had been the price of wheat during that period? why singularly enough, as nearly as possible the very price at which they had been assured by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Dorchester, it would have stood under the Corn-law proposed by the late Government. That right hon. Gentleman had told the House, that wheat could be imported at 40s. per quarter— if to this 8s. duty be added, they had a price of 48s. per quarter or 1s. less than the mean price of the five years, during which the revenue improved so remarkably. It was singular again, that during the four following years of high prices—of which the mean was 62s. 11d., or nearly 14s. per quarter above the mean of the preceding five years, the diminution of the revenue amounted to 1,900,000l., or within 400,000l., of the deficiency in the year 1841. Was he not, therefore, justified in assuming that had such an alteration of our Corn-laws been made as would have kept wheat at about the price of the years during which the revenue so greatly prospered there would have been no deficiency, and no necessity therefore for an Income-tax. He was satisfied, that he was justified and more than justified in that assumption, for he had only taken the revenue as remaining stationary, where as under the circumstances he had sup posed all their experience would lead to the expectation of a rapid increase. But it might be said, he looked only to the future—that the considerations he had addressed to the committee even if correct—only showed a high probability of a prospective improvement of the revenue— how would he meet present difficulties— how would he deal with the existing deficit? In his opinion, the reply was easy. It would be recollected, that in referring to the alteration of the Corn-laws proposed by the late Government—he had only stated what would be its general effect on the revenue, — he had not taken into consideration its operation as part of the budget of last year. What would have been its operation in that respect— what would have been the effect of the alterations proposed in the duties on corn and timber—what in short would now have been the condition of the finances if the budget of last year had been adopted? The committee had been assured by his right hon. Friend the Member for Ports-mouth,— that if his budget had been adopted—they would in addition to the actual receipt—have got—

From Corn £529,000
Sugar 530,000
Timber 600,000
Together £1,659,000

and the deficiency therefore would, instead of being 2,300,000l. only have been (and until he heard some better reply than was given by the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he thought he might rely on the figures of his right hon. Friend,) from 600,000l. to 700,000l. For the coming year, he (Sir W. Clay) doubted whether there would have been a deficit at all—as appearances rendered it probable, that a much larger sum would have been received from corn than that for which his right hon. Friend had taken credit, as the result of his budget in the year now about to terminate. But supposing even,—-and it was a large admission— that there should have appeared a probable deficit of 1,000,000l., would that have been a prospect so formidable as only to have been met by the imposition of an Income-tax? At the risk of being classed by the right hon. Baronet among the mean spirited persons not desirous of emulating the virtues of their forefathers at the time of the mutiny at the Nore,—he would confess, that he should have been ready with a deficit of only 1,000,000l. and a confidence amounting to conviction, that that deficit would speedily disappear—to have supplied the necessary funds by an issue of Exchequer bills; an issue, which, looking at the present; amount of the un funded debt, he did not believe would have been found inconvenient or excessive. If this, however, were thought un-advisable, did any sane man believe that an addition to our revenue of 1,000,000l. could not have been made by any means less objectionable than an Income-tax? There was one other inference not unimportant to be drawn from the statements to which he had called the attention of the House; it was this, that they furnished a very striking argument in reply to the remarks of the right hon. Gentle man, on the effect of reduction of taxation. The right hon. gentleman had referred to the cases in which large reductions of taxation on particular articles had taken place, and shown with truth, that with regard to some, wine for instance, the revenue derived had never regained its old amount; with regard to others, such as coffee, it had only done so after many years; and see, said the right hon. Gentleman, with some triumph, how false are the anticipations of augmenting revenue by reducing duties. But did the right hon. Gentleman really think, that when duty was reduced on any one article of consumption, that it was on that article alone, that an increase of revenue was to be expected? Did he suppose, that any one meant to say, that if they took off half the duty on wine for instance, that every man who drank wine would immediately drink double the quantity, or that the number of wine-drinkers would immediately be doubled? Assuredly the reduction of duty was justified on no such idle expectation; that which was anticipated was, that individuals finding they had at command, that portion of their means formerly absorbed by the remitted tax, would purchase other articles subject to Customs or Excise, and thus add to the revenue, whilst they extended the sphere of their own enjoyments. Was that an anticipation which experience bad shown to be false? From 1832 to 1837, 5,300,000l. of taxes had been taken off, but the revenue had nevertheless, been augmented to the extent of 2,000,000l. But then, said the right hot). Gentleman, in further justification of the Income-tax, look at my tariff; look at the reform of the commercial code, which an Income-tax will enable me to effect. He confessed he could not consider the right hon. Gentleman peculiarly successful in his character of a commercial reformer. A commercial reform, from which corn was omitted, at the particular desire of the agricultural, and sugar of the West-India interest. The play of Hamlet, with the part of Hamlet omitted, by particular de sire! To what absurd anomalies,—to what injustice must not such omissions lead— free-trade in one article, monopoly in another, duty almost nominal perhaps upon some article of foreign manufacture, a duty all but prohibitory on the raw material, of which the same article is manufactured here. Take starch for in stance, an article with respect to which he had recently presented a petition, from some most respectable persons among his constituents. One quarter of wheat, on which the duty would be, under the new Corn-law, and at the price calculated on by the right hon. Gentleman, of 56s., 16s., would produce one and a half hundred weight of starch. But the duty on foreign starch would be by the new tariff, only 5s. per cwt., or 7s. 6d. on 1 cwt. and 2 qrs.; and the foreign starch manufacturer would therefore have a bonus of more than 100 per cent. over the British manufacturer. But he would not be tempted to go into an analysis of the tariff; he thought there was much to remark on many of the items, in addition to those on which comment had already been made by hon. Friends near him, but on that head he would reserve any observation to a more convenient opportunity. The right hon. Gentleman took great credit for calling as he said on the different classes to bear their fair share of the public burdens, for sparing the humbler classes. That boast came with but a bad grace from the Government which had proposed a tax of 40 per cent. on the poor man's loaf; half the poor man's income was expended on bread, and the right hon. Gentleman's title to be considered the poor man's friend —the evidence that he spared his humble means while he taxed the affluent classes consisted in this—that whilst by his Corn-law he laid on the poor man a tax equivalent to 20 per cent. on his income, on the rich man's income he laid a tax of 3 per cent. While by his Corn-law he enhanced the cost of the grain annually consumed in England, probably from twenty to thirty millions,—on the rent of the landholders for whose benefit that enormous burden was laid on the people—he meant to lay little more than one million. Would the right hon. Gentleman really earn the title of the poor man's friend? Let him retrace his steps—let him instead of persisting in the paltry and temporizing policy which had dictated his alteration of the Corn-laws, sweep from the statute book every vestige of that wretched system, and give to the country a free-trade in corn with a moderate fixed duty, the only mode in which protection to the landed interest could be reconciled with the interests of the community. Then indeed might he call himself the poor man's friend; for while he lowered the cost of his subsistence, he would augment in a degree hardly to be calculated the demand for his labour. Their present policy was suicidical. With proof on every side that profits were falling, that worst symptom of national decline, (and among those proofs by the way as he might take occasion to show on some future evening, not the least pregnant, was afforded by a very remarkable portion of the measure then before the House), with the know ledge they possessed or ought to possess, that the only mode of averting this fall of profits, was by enlarging the field for the employment of capital; they clung with insane tenacity to a system, which beyond all doubt, by the admission of all parties tended fatally to limit the extension of that field. He confessed he looked with anxiety, almost with despair, at the course they seemed determined to pursue. He was aware that even under their present system, there might and probably would occur periods of prosperity which would cause the alarms he was then expressing to appear groundless or exaggerated, but the result of their policy was not the less certain. Unhappily, the powerful class by which that policy was mainly sup ported, were by its immediate effect rendered blind to its ultimate tendency. Un happily it was true not only that the maintenance of high rents of land was compatible with falling profits, but it was even true, that for a time a fall of profits might even tend to raise rent, inasmuch as the less field there was for the profitable employment of capital, the less profit was to be made by the use of it in other occupations than tillage, the keener would be the competition for land, the larger share of his profits would the capitalist give up to the owner of that land for the use of it. But that state of things could not last. It had been his fate to hear those manufacturing classes, once the pride of England, whose prosperity was once considered identical with the prosperity of the country,—assailed amid the cheers of Gentlemen opposite with the fiercest vituperation—well—the landed interest might not long perhaps be troubled with their presence. Let them on the one hand persist in restricting the market for our manufactures, let them on the other harass the manufacturer by taking—by an inquisitorial and offensive process a portion of those profits they had done their best to lessen—and he would probably transfer to other lands those pursuits which they apparently contemplated with such strong disapprobation; but let them not suppose that 3 per cent, would then suffice to pay their share of the public burdens. The wealthy capitalist, the skilful operative might quit their shores, but the landowner must perforce remain, to share, and more than share, the ruin which legislation, conducive as he had fondly supposed to his especial benefit, had entailed on the community. But he would no longer trespass on the indulgence of the committee. He objected to the mea sure now under their consideration, be cause it was a part and an essential part of the system of policy he so strongly deprecated, and its adoption would facilitate the perseverance in that system, because it was the price of monopoly—because even allowing that cases of necessity might arise which would render justifiable the resort to a tax so harsh, inquisitorial, and unequal in its operation as an Income-tax, no such necessity had been proved then to exist, but on the contrary, it had been proved to demonstration that the deficiency of the revenue might be supplied by other and unobjectionable means. For these reasons he should give to the measure of the right hon. Baronet in every stage his most strenuous opposition.

Sir G. Clerk

said, none of the hon. Gentlemen who had addressed the House on this subject, with the exception of the hon. Baronet who had just sat down, had conceived it advisable to allow the present excess of expenditure over the income of the country longer to continue without adopting measures for their equalisation. It was no longer argued that it was prudent to attempt, by a vote of credit, or by an addition to the debt of the country, by whatever means that addition might be made, to put off the adoption of that mea sure which must, sooner or later, be forced upon them—the providing, by additional taxation, for the support of the revenue. He thought it would hot be contended that, at the present moment, our financial difficulties could be remedied by any reduction of expenditure. Such a prospect was precluded by events which had recently come to their knowledge, and which rendered it probable that, instead of any reduction being made, additional votes to a considerable amount would be required for the support of our military establishments in order to repair the disasters which had occurred in our Indian empire. It was ad milted by hon. Gentlemen opposite that, if a necessity could he shown for the imposition of a property-tax, they would not object to such a measure; but they said, considering its peculiar character, the in justice of its operation, and its inquisitorial nature, every effort should be made to devise other means of supplying the deficiency in our finances without resorting to a direct tax on property or income. Several hon. Gentlemen had thrown out suggestions as to the manner in which the required amount of taxation might be raised. The right hon. Gentleman the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. F. T. Baring), had stated, that since the conclusion of the war 24,000,000l. of taxes had been removed; and he had expressed his opinion, that it was preferable to impose again duties which had been removed from Custom and Excisable articles, rather than to resort to an Income-tax. The House must, however, remember that the articles from which duty had been removed were articles consumed to a great extent by the lower classes; and he thought Gentlemen who complained that the operation of our system of taxation was to impose heavy burdens upon the productive industry of the country, while the wealthy classes were exempted, would not be very cordial in their approval of additional taxes upon salt, leather, beer, soap, or tallow candles. Some hon. Gentlemen who had addressed the House, had recommended the Government to carry out the principles upon which the budget of last year was founded; and had suggested, that by a modification of the duties upon foreign sugar, and upon Baltic and colonial timber, and by the imposition of a fixed duty upon corn, the whole sum required for the public service, or a large proportion of it, might be raised. He was happy to be able to quote on this subject the authority of the right hon. Gentleman who lately held the office of Vice-President of the Board of Trade, who stated on Friday evening, that however he might approve the measures proposed by the Government last year in the then circumstances of the country, he felt that in the present exigencies no modification of the existing taxes would be sufficient to meet the difficulties of the State. The noble Viscount the Member for Sunderland (Viscount Howick), seemed to think that a present remedy would be obtained by abolishing the system of differential duties; but the only articles to which that observation applied were sugar and timber. With regard to the duty on sugar, which occupied so much of the attention of the House last year, the right hon. Baronet had stated, when he introduced his financial scheme, that he had considered the possibility of reducing the duty on sugar, but he felt that he could not adopt such a measure without departing from the principles he had before maintained, for the result of a reduction of the duty on colonial sugar, it being uncertain whether the sup ply could be equal to the demand, would be merely to place a sum of money in the pockets of the West-India proprietors. He hoped that the Government, in arranging commercial treaties with Spain and Brazil, would successfully press upon the respective governments of those countries the expediency of adopting measures for the mitigation and final abolition of the slave-trade, as such a course might have the effect of opening the markets of England to their sugar. However advantageous it would undoubtedly be to the consumers of sugar if it could be admitted at a lower rate of duty, he conceived that, pending the negotiations in which we were engaged, such a measure was inexpedient at this time; but he hoped a reduction might ultimately be effected, not only upon colonial but upon foreign sugar. The hon. Baronet who had last addressed the House condemned the faulty legislation of the Government, and contended that, in order to remedy the financial difficulties of the nation, the trade in corn ought to be made free; and the hon. Baronet had complained that the important articles of sugar and corn were omitted from the tariff. He had already stated why it was inexpedient to make any alteration with regard to sugar. As to corn, he would ask the hon. Baronet what this House had been doing for the last three weeks, but considering a new tariff with regard to corn,—one which was perfectly satisfactory to the majority of that House, and which, he believed, had given general satisfaction to the country? Some hon. Gentlemen had expressed doubts as to the amount of revenue which would be raised under the proposed corn-law bill; and the noble Viscount the Member for Sunderland, stated that so large a sum would not be obtained under that measure as would be derived from a fixed duty. Now, the noble Lord the Member for North Lincolnshire (Lord Worsley), had said, that under the measure proposed by his right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel) a duty of 1,200,000l. would be realised. Under an 8s. duty it would require the importation of 3,000,000 quarters to produce that sum; and the right hon. Gentleman the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. F. Baring) stated, that the amount he calculated to raise by an 8s. duty was 400,000l. [Mr. F. Baring said, the right hon. Baronet is mistaken. The whole amount I calculated obtaining from an 8s. duty was 900,000l.] The hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Hawes), had assumed that the Income-tax was proposed with a view to carrying on the war in Affghanistan, but the hon. Gentleman forgot that there was a very great deficiency in the revenue as compared with the expenditure of the past year, which must be supplied. With regard to the duty upon colonial timber, he thought it was evident from the correspondence of the late Lord Sydenham which had come before the House, that if the measure proposed by the Government last year had been adopted, it could not be made available for the financial purposes of the present year; for it would be unfair to apply the operation of the measure to such cargoes of timber as were, at the time the measure was adopted, on their passage to this country. Some hon. Gentlemen had complained that a different scale of duties had been adopted with regard to the articles of colonial and foreign countries; but, though it was impossible to place the inhabitants of our colonies on a complete footing with the people of this country, it was but fair to extend to them some protection. If it was necessary to hare recourse to new taxes, he thought no impost could be devised which pressed with less severity on the lower and industrious classes, who ought, as much as possible, to be relieved from taxation, than the Income-tax. The noble Viscount, the Member for Sunderland, had mentioned the peculiar situation of a person who had a pension of 153l. a-year, with no other means of subsistence, and had argued against the injustice of taxing such an individual in the same ratio as a large landed proprietor. But he would ask if there were no taxes which pressed with greater severity upon persons in such a situation, than upon the more opulent classes of society? Artisans and labouring men would be relieved from the operation of the measure, which would affect no person until he derived from some source or other an income amounting to 150l. a-year. But he had heard with surprise from the hon. Baronet, the Member for the Tower Hamlets, an exclamation against direct taxation, as being fitted only for barbarous ages, as an instrument by which tyrannical rulers could best lay hold of the property of their subjects, and as being altogether unsuited to civilized times and nations. He regretted, that the hon. Member, for Bolton was not in his place when the hon. Baronet made that statement, because he believed hon. Members had heard over and over again, comparisons drawn between the direct and indirect taxation of this country and that of France and other European nations; and the hon. Member for Bolton had repeatedly expressed himself as most anxious to see laid upon the Table of the House the schemes of finance of all the countries of Europe, in order to show, that their direct taxation bore to their indirect a great disproportion, and especially as compared with this country. It was perfectly true, that the tax would press more heavily upon persons having only life in- comes than on other classes; and the hon. Member for Lambeth had read a paper drawn up by Mr. Sayer, showing that it would press upon various classes with greater or less severity on account of the nature of their incomes. But that objection would apply to every tax, but not he thought with the same force to an in creased window or house-tax, because men of immense wealth were well able to pay either the one or the other, whereas a half-pay lieutenant would be compelled to keep up his respectability, to occupy a house, involving him in charges under such taxes which would press more severely upon him than those incurred by the wealthy inhabit ant of a spacious and splendid mansion. Nor did he conceive the objection made against the Income-tax on account of its inquisitorial nature to be more weighty; for no greater publicity need be given of the nature and extent of a person's income than was given by those paying county-rates or the land-tax. Reference had been made by the hon. Member for Liskeard to the old objection urged in the time of Mr. Fox, with respect to various classes of persons more immediately connected with trade and commerce contriving to escape paying their fair proportion, and leaving the burden upon the land. But it should be borne in mind, that the tax was laid upon all personal property, merchandise, and stock in trade, and that assessors went round, and took an account of the value of stock on hand, as well as of bankers' assets and liabilities, and of all other property, in order to ascertain the net amount of profit, which was to be taxed at the rate of 4s. in the pound. That tax, therefore, pressed with infinitely greater severity upon the people at that time, than the tax now proposed would. The principal objection to this new tax was, that it would require a disclosure of the affairs of merchants and traders from time to time, and at periods when, perhaps, it would be extremely inconvenient or absolutely ruinous to make known their condition; but he thought the modifications which had been proposed by his right hon. Friend would go far to remove that objection, be cause the return would be made to commissioners chosen by the Government, and not to persons carrying on similar branches of trade, who might therefore be rivals in business, nor to persons who might be influenced from political or other motives to act unfairly. Again, the plan for entering into a composition for the whole term of three years would furnish another answer to this objection. If a property-tax must be raised, there must be also a machinery established for the purpose of raising it, and, therefore, it was better at once to fix it at 3 per cent. than at one-half or one-third of that rate; indeed, it might have been still better to have levied a tax of 5 per cent., because that would have enabled the Government to deal with many other taxes which now press so grievously on the great bulk of the community. It was be cause her Majesty's Government were aware, that there were many articles of consumption heavily taxed, that they wished to apply the surplus derivable from the Income-tax to the modification of the duties upon articles in general demand. Their attention, in the first place, was directed to timber; for, considering the importance to the commercial interest, and also to the agricultural interest, of obtaining timber at the lowest possible price, so that they might build and furnish them selves with machinery at a cheaper rate, no tax could be reduced at the present moment with greater advantage to every class of society; and it was much better to reduce a tax of this kind at once, than to fritter away the means at command in attempting petty reductions in other departments, the benefit of which would be scarcely perceptible. The increased consumption of timber, which would take place in the course of the three years would, he believed, make up the deficiency occasioned by the alteration; and the stimulus which would be given to trade in other respects would, in all probability, enable the House to dispense with this tax at the end of that period. The reductions made in the tariff would give general satisfaction throughout the country, although there might be objections raised to many of the details of the scheme. But he did not consider the right hon. Baronet pledged to all the details; and he thought, that when the right hon. Gentleman, the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, went into an explanation of the details, the House and the country would be satisfied that the design with which the reduction in the tariff had been made, was to remove from trade and commerce those difficulties in the shape of taxation which had the effect of cramping industry. He did not fear that the reductions would effect the revenue disadvantageously, because there would be a proportionate increase of consumption. He could not think, then, that the public would grudge paying this tax for so limited a period as it was proposed to continue it, seeing that it would tend to encourage the commerce and industry of the country, and to benefit all classes of the community, and considering also, that all our resources were nearly exhausted, and that there was. no other method of meeting the existing emergency, and of laying, he would say, a solid basis on which the finances of the country could rest, and by which the national credit would be placed on a surer and higher footing. Looking to the state of the country, and to the necessity for obtaining three millions of money to meet the deficiency in the revenue, and seeing that no new tax could be devised, which would press with less severity upon those classes which her Majesty's Government were anxious to relieve, he hoped that the measure would meet with no further opposition. True, this tax, as well as all other taxes, must press heavily on some persons; but her Majesty's Ministers did not profess to be accomplished in any political legerdemain, by which to extract three millions of money from the people without the payers of the tax discovering that the hand of the collector had been in their pockets. He trusted, then, that the committee would adopt, by a large majority, the resolution placed in the hands of the Chairman.

Lord Dalmeny

said, Sir, I am most desirous to state the reasons which induce me on the present occasion to withhold my support from the measure proposed by her Majesty's Government, and I am the more anxious to specify the grounds of my dissent, because I do not participate in the violent hostility professed by some to the abstract principle of an Income-tax, and because, in a former instance, in 1833, I voted in a minority who advocated the substitution of direct for indirect taxation. But, Sir, the question now relates, not so much to the abstract principle of an In come-tax, as to the present necessity for its imposition. Those who have preceded me in their opposition to this measure have generally acknowledged that emergencies may arise, which may render the imposition of an Income-tax not only justifiable but expedient, and the question, therefore, resolves itself into this, has such an emergency now arisen, and are we placed in the midst of such a crisis as to warrant re course to measures which are ordinarily reserved for the severest extremity. Be fore, however, addressing myself to this part of the subject, permit me to offer to the right hon. Gentleman my tribute of praise for the mode in which he recapitulated his history of the past, and announced his plans for the future. I listened with the warmest admiration to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman when he made his exposition of the financial condition of the country. Since the days of Mr. Pitt, I believe that no financial statement so clear, so well arranged, so well digested, so fraught with sound and statesmanlike views, embodied in perspicuous, apt, and at times felicitous language, has been submitted to this House. Nothing could exceed the masterly skill with which the right hon. Gentleman conducted his hearers through the intricate labyrinth of financial details, and imparted to a dry and otherwise repulsive subject that interest which is derived from a most luminous development of its complexities. And, Sir, with regard to the proposition itself, I am bound to admit, that, in my eyes, it is not devoid of recommendations. It has certain qualities, in my opinion, equivalent to high merits. It is characterised by boldness, simplicity, comprehensiveness, and vigour. It deserves the praise of being an energetic attempt to retrieve from their embarrassment the finances of the country, and to apply a searching and vigorous remedy to a lingering and chronic disease. Although I shall oppose it, for the reasons I shall subsequently state, yet am I bound to confess that I infinitely prefer it to any of those petty and pusillanimous expedients which, substituting palliatives for remedies, proceed upon no great and definite principle, which provide for the cravings of the moment without reference to the future, which stave off the hour of reckoning by miserable compromises and shifts, but neglect all adequate preparations for boldly facing its dangers. Sir, there are two cases where I would give my support to a measure of the nature of that proposed by her Majesty's Government. Were this country fighting for existence or empire, against some powerful conqueror bent upon annihilating both, and on blotting out her name from among the nations of the earth, such a peril would demand, and would justify any sacrifice, since the evils such a sacrifice would inflict would be as nothing compared with those it would repel. This is one of the cases where I would consent to levy a general contribution upon the property, the talent, the industry, the profits, the wealth of the community; or had the right hon. Gentle man come down to this House, and had stated that an alarming deficiency exists in the finances of this country—a deficiency more likely to augment than diminish, and that, concurrently with this deficiency, there prevails an unprecedented depression of trade; that enterprise is paralysed, capital vanishing, industry blighted, labour doomed to starvation or crime, and once flourishing cities engulfed in bankruptcy and ruin; and had the right hon. Gentle man proceeded to announce that, in order to remedy these frightful calamities, he had resolved to strike off the shackles from trade, to give a stimulus to enterprise, to create new channels for capital, to unfold new markets for industry, to open bound less fields for the expanding energies of commerce; but that, as the results of such a policy are gradual and slow, and as the call for revenue is immediate and pressing, he must provide immediate re sources, by an appeal to the property of the country, whilst waiting for the fruits of his liberal measures of reform;—in such a case, Sir, 1 should have tendered to the measure of the right hon. Gentleman as cordial a support as I now. shall oppose to it a strenuous resistance. Sir, I ask for what purpose are we called upon to vote the imposition of the most grievous impost, accompanied by the most odious processes of inquisitorial investigation that can be inflicted on a free nation? Is it to ward off some foreign invasion? is it to maintain the safety or honour of the nation? is it to protect the power and dignity of the empire against some envious rival, or implacable foe? No, Sir. Is it to enable the right hon. Gentleman to found a new era in the commercial history of this country? is it to enable him to wipe out from the statute book those prohibitory enactments, the offspring of an ignorant and unjust legislation, in order to build up an enlightened commercial system based upon a large and liberal foundation? No, Sir. It is to protect the existence of monopoly, to throw a shield round particular and favoured classes, to sacrifice the prosperity of the many to the interests of the few, that the right hon. Gentleman calls on us to seize the profits of trade, and to submit to the legalized persecution of the tax-gatherer. It is to uphold the monopolies of the agriculturist and planter, that he calls on us to wring the pittance from impoverished industry, and scatters a horde of officials over the land to violate the sanctuaries of private life. What a glorious opportunity has been afforded to the right hon. Gentleman of earning the gratitude of his contemporaries, and the reverence of posterity—of immortalizing his Administration and his name by identifying them with the creation of a new commercial code—with the revival of British industry, the resuscitation of British commerce, and its extension to the remotest quarters of the habitable globe. He might have blended them with the establishment of absolute freedom in trade, and the Utter extirpation of the last remnants of monopoly. But he has lost the opportunity of enrolling his name among the regenerators of his country and the benefactors of mankind. Never was a British Minister placed in so advantageous a position. He is armed with power far exceeding that of any British Minister since the commencement of the century. He is backed and surrounded by supporters who seemed to consider themselves placed there for the sole purpose of yielding implicit submission to his decrees. He had only to advance, and he would have added the universal national support to his parliamentary majority. Why has the right hon. Gentleman lost such splendid advantages? Because he has adopted a bold policy with a timid hand. Never was a nobler career opened to a British Minister, never did a British Minister so fling away the chances of fortune.

Mr. C. Wood

said, that the hon. Member for Stamford (Sir G. Clerk) had claimed for her Majesty's Government credit at least for the boldness of the measure which they had proposed, and a full tribute of praise had been bestowed on them by his noble Friend who had just sat down; nor was he (Mr. C. Wood) disposed to withhold from them any praise which was due to them upon that ground; but he must say that the sweeping censure passed upon Gentlemen on his side of the House by the right hon. Baronet was most unmerited and unjust. He (Mr. C. Wood) should like to know what right the right hon. Baronet had to say that he had no reason to anticipate anything else than an undiscriminating opposition from his noble Friend (Lord John Russell) and those who acted with him to whatever tax he might propose. Had that been the first time he (Mr. C. Wood) had opposed an Income-tax, he might have been open to the censure of the right hon. Baronet. This was not the first time this question of the Income-tax had been discussed in the House. In 1835, he (Mr. C. Wood) supported the right hon. Gentleman against the proposition of his Own friends, for the repeal of the malt-tax, and oh that occasion the right hon. Gentleman argued most strongly against an Income-tax, he (Mr. C. Wood) humbly following in the same train of argument as the right hon. Baronet. In the course of last year when the financial proposals of the then Government were under discussion, he (Mr. C. Wood) in like manner opposed an Income-tax: Why, then, was he to be charged with a factious and vexatious opposition to the tax when he was pursuing the very same course now which he had formerly taken along with the right hon. Baronet. He thought he was acting in perfect accordance with the recorded opinions of the right hon. Baronet himself, for if any one Member in that House more than another had succeeded in pointing out the evils of the Income-tax, that Member was the right hon. Baronet. But did he (Mr. Wood) blame the right hon. Baronet for changing his opinion? Far from it. Cir cumstances were, no doubt, changed, and he would not make any imputation against the right hon. Baronet for now proposing a Property-tax, but in doing so he trusted the right hon. Baronet would give to those who still persisted in their former opposition to that tax credit for consistency and sincerity. In common with his noble Friend who spoke last, and all those who had spoken from that (the Opposition) side of the House, he entirely agreed in the necessity of supporting the honour and maintaining the dignity of the country They had not quarrelled nor had they any disposition to quarrel,' with the estimates laid before the House—estimates, he believed, necessary to enable the country to maintain the position which it ought to occupy in the eyes of the world. Neither did he think it would be right to have re course to a loan, or to allow the deficiency to go on from year to year, but although perfectly prepared to vote the necessary taxes for this purpose, he did not see that such a determination was in any way in consistent with his opposition to the particular tax which the Government had thought fit to propose. He was not pre pared to deny that direct taxes were necessary in the present state of the country — he would even go the length of saying that, objectionable as he thought this tax on income, still if a necessity could be shown for it, he would not refuse his assent to its adoption. The right hon. Baronet was bound to prove this necessity, but in attempting to do so he had entirely failed. He attempted to show that every other source was exhausted from which revenue might be expected, and that there was no alternative but an income-tax. If it had been shown that all other sources were dried up, as it had not, then there might have been some grounds for the imposition of this most odious impost. He did not wish to use any exaggerated language in regard to the objectionable nature of this tax; he would refer to a document already quoted by his right hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth—the petition from the merchants of London, presented in 1816. It described the character of the tax as "arbitrary in its principle, at variance with the spirit and general practice of our constitution, and which ought only to be submitted to in cases of urgent necessity." He wished to say no more as to the character of the tax than those words of the mercantile community who had experience of its working, expressed. At that time the necessity for such a tax was greater than any that now existed, yet so universal was the feeling of the country, so strong its objections to the arbitrary and obnoxious nature of the impost, that the Government of Lord Liverpool was obliged to give way, leaving a large deficiency in the revenue in consequence of the tax being removed. Not only the City of London, but half the counties of England, petitioned against the tax, and one of the strongest Governments this country ever had was obliged to give way to the universal expression of the opinion of the country. There were other war taxes of various kinds in existence at the time, yet no such feeling of resistance was expressed against them; the Income-tax was singled out by the country, and the Government were forced to relieve them from its pressure. What were the objections to the tax—not to the amount of the burden, but to its arbitrary nature. The petition from London went on to say, that "no modification of its details, no abatement in the rate of its immediate ex actions, can, in the opinion of your petitioners, remove the obnoxious principle of this tax." It was its arbitrary and unjust nature, and its unequal pressure on different incomes, of which the country com plained—it was removed on these grounds, yet this was the first tax which Govern- ment now proposed for the adoption of the House. Was it likely that the objections to it were less strong now than at the period alluded to? Were they to be told that the present state of the trade of the country was such as to render the tax more palateable at the present time than it was then. He did not think that he could use any language so expressive of the evils of the tax as that made use of by the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government. In 1833, when the right hon. Gentleman opposed the repeal of the house and window-tax, he pointed out the effects of that repeal; he told them if they abolished that tax they must be prepared for a property-tax. On that occasion the distinction between an income and a property-tax was taken up by some hon. Gentlemen. What hope did the right hon. Baronet give them? The right hon. Baronet said,— He could not recognise the distinction between an Income and a Property tax; it would be establishing a principle of spoliation to tax property, and to exempt income from the tax. Nor was it quite so mild a tax as the right hon. Baronet would now lead them to believe; for in 1833 he thus characterized it:— It was a tax which, unaccompanied by severe and unsparing scrutiny into private affairs, would encourage fraud and perjury. Yet that was the system now to be introduced. True, the right hon. Baronet the Member for Stamford (Sir G. Clerk) said the system was to be much modified, that it was to be applied in a mild and agreeable way, but the Prime Minister was of opinion that, if not severe and un sparing in its inquisitorial powers, it would give rise to fraud and perjury. In regard to a graduated property-tax, which came under discussion on the same occasion, the right hon. Baronet said,— A graduated property-tax would admit of no limitation, would discourage industry, and induce capitalists to transfer capital to other countries; a graduated property-tax would lessen the stimulus to honest exertion in future, and force men to seek other countries for the deposit of their hard-earned accumulations. He believed the description of the tax given by the right hon. Baronet was but too true and too accurate, and that no modification could mitigate its pressure, and the inequality and unfairness with which it pressed on different incomes. He did not believe that any modification could be introduced which would tend to mitigate its character. He believed they must take it as it was proposed; but he considered the injustice which it would work was an objection—and in his opinion it ought to be a fatal objection—to the imposition of the tax at all. Hon. Gentle men opposite put forward one argument in favour of the measure and of themselves. They say they are the friends of the people in proposing this tax, and that it would fall principally on the rich. He confessed, that if that were a just and true representation of the tax, it would remove one of his greatest objections to it; but he would like to know whether, in maintaining that argument they had taken into consideration the effect to be produced by the pro posed tax upon the capital of the country. According to the opinion which the right hon. Baronet held in 1833, the effect of such a tax would be to induce capitalists to seek foreign investments. Again, how many of our artisans were employed in producing not the necessaries, not the com forts, but the luxuries of the rich. Would not the demand for those luxuries be diminished by this tax? And would not the employment of such artisans be taken away from them. But he chiefly referred to the investment of British capital in foreign countries. With the present facilities of intercourse, and in time of peace, British merchants would naturally endeavour to remove their capital from the operation of the tax. They would remove it to other countries. Would not this materially affect the employment of our labourers? They already knew the amount of English money sunk in foreign loans. They also knew that a large portion of the capital employed in foreign manufactures was furnished by English capitalists—that our own capital was employed to rival us in neutral markets by foreign manufactures. The Germans, and even the Swiss, manufactured goods similar to ours—their labour was cheaper,—in fact, the only advantage we had over them was the greater capital in this country. Our machinery went abroad, and we could not prevent it. Our artisans went abroad, and we could not prevent it. We were rivalled in cheapness of labour, and in skill, by our foreign competitors. The one ad vantage, however, which this country possessed above her rivals, was her greater amount of capital. It was this that enabled her successfully to compete with other countries, yet it was this one advantage which the measure of Government would have a tendency to destroy. No one could say that it would not have the effect of forcing capital abroad; and if this was admitted, how could it be maintained that the working classes would not be affected by the measure? For these reasons, then—first, because he believed that the universal feeling of the country would be opposed to such a tax—in the second place, because he believed it would drive capital abroad—he felt bound to give the tax his determined opposition. He had always considered the Income-tax as one reserved for time of war —for a time when the circumstances of the country were such as to prevent the transfer of capital; when the people would submit to the tax, obnoxious as it was, because they knew that the existence of the country might almost wholly depend on it. He (Mr. Wood) considered the argument of the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) founded on the war in China and in Cabool, and treating it as a war, in the sense in which that argument was applied to the property-tax, and justifying his proposed Income-tax as a war tax on that ground, as little better than a verbal quibble. It reminded him only of the grounds on which an hon. predecessor of his (Mr. C. Wood) at the Admiralty, claimed his war salary, because England was at war with Algiers. The meaning of a war, as thus used, was a war in which the whole feelings of the country were en listed. He believed, therefore, that an objection to such a tax, in time of peace, was a valid objection. If they looked to history, it would be seen that taxes maintained, in a time of peace, had always been selected in deference to the feelings of the people. All direct taxes were obnoxious, and had been removed as soon as the pressing necessity for continuing them ceased. The property-tax was taken off in 1815, the house-tax was repealed in 1833, and the only direct taxes remaining in this country were the assessed taxes. They doubtless were a direct tax, but as to which there was a very obvious reason which reconciled people to them, because any person might, if he chose, relieve him self from their pressure. If there was such a war as that in which we were engaged at the time when the property-tax was imposed, and when, believing that the existence of this country depended upon her financial exertions, the people willingly submitted to such a tax, he doubted not they would submit again as cheerfully to a similar necessity. But although an Income-tax might now be passed by persons ignorant of the effect it had produced, when it existed before, yet his firm conviction was, that it would be impossible to maintain it. Would it not, then, be a most mischievous course to place the credit of the country upon a basis that could not be permanently maintained? He came now to the arguments for the necessity of such a tax. Had that necessity been proved? He thought the case of necessity which had been attempted to be made out had entirely failed. The ground on which they were called upon to impose this tax was, first, that there was a deficiency of two millions and a half, which, with a margin not at all unnecessarily large, of 500,000l., made a total deficit of three millions. This was the sum to he provided. Now, had it been proved, that it was impossible, with out having recourse to an Income-tax, to find means to raise a revenue of three millions in this country? He did not wish to fight over again the budget of last year; but he might remind the House, that his right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring) had demonstrated, not as a theory, but as a matter of fact, from experience of the past year, that if his propositions had been adopted, a considerable increase of revenue would have necessarily accrued. There could be no doubt, for instance, that upon corn—he (Mr. C. Wood) did not mean to enter into a discussion of the Corn-laws, but there could be no doubt, that if an 8s. duty had been imposed upon all the corn imported last year, 500,000l. more than had been received would have been realised. It was a matter of fact, and not of estimate; and he was surprised, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Goulburn) endeavoured to take from the force of this argument, by saying, that in all probability the same quantity of corn would not, with such a duty, have been imported. He apprehended, that there was nobody in the House, or out of it, but the right hon. Gentleman himself who would have made such an assertion; or who would not, on the contrary, have said, that a much greater quantity would have been imported. So, with regard to the estimate upon sugar. His right hon. Friend, (Mr. Baring) had stated, that if his proposal had been adopted, not less than one million would have been realised. Again, the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had expressed his surprise that this fact had not struck the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Baring) last year. Why, it was stated by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring) last year, and also by himself in the debate on the sugar duties. He (Mr. C, Wood) himself stated the probable amount at near 1,000,000l., and he undertook to point out the ground upon which the estimate was founded; but while he was stating it, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn) interrupted him, and said, "I admit it: you will gel the money." The precise amount which he stated, as the probable income from sugar was 937,000l. His right hon. Friend had also estimated an increase of 600,000l. from his proposed change in the timber duties, and whatever objections had been stated to that change, no one had even questioned the estimated increase of revenue. Upon the proposals, therefore, of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring) an additional sum of about 1,500,000l. would have accrued to the revenue last year. He was ready to admit that an income to be derived from a duty on corn was one upon which it was impossible to calculate with precision. So long as the principle of a sliding-scale was maintained, it was impossible to calculate with certainty what the effect of the scale might be. But if 1,500,000l. or 1,000,000l, could have been raised by the measures proposed by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring), and if 400,000l. could be raised in Ireland by the proposal of the right hon. Baronet, surely nobody could believe that it was impossible to raise from the whole of Great Britain one million, or even two millions, additional taxation. After the good-natured lecture which the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) had given to amateur Chancellors of the Exchequer, it would be impertinent for him (Mr. C. Wood) to venture to suggest any new tax to the right hon. Gentleman; but even the right hon. Gentleman had him self admitted that the proposal respecting an increase on the assessed taxes by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring) was perfectly successful. Now if the 10 per cent. on the assessed taxes were made 20 per cent., that would give 250,000l. at once. It had been stated the other day that the remission of the leather-tax produced no benefit to the consumer. That tax produced between 300,000l. and 400,000l. But without going into detail, when his right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring) stated that 25,000,000l. of taxation had been re pealed since the war, exclusive of the property-tax, would any body say that it was impossible to provide two or three millions of revenue, without at all interfering with, or raising the price of—for that was the material thing—the great articles of general consumption. He believed it might be done with far less pres sure and far less injustice than what must necessarily result from an Income tax. The second ground upon which they were called upon to consent to this tax was in commutation for the general revision of the import duties by which the right hon. Baronet calculated he should lose 1,200,000l. The right hon. Baronet pro posed a general revision of the import duties of this country. He (Mr. C. Wood) recollected what ridicule was cast last year upon those who made the slightest reference to the report from the Import Duties Committee. Whenever that report was mentioned, there ran through the opposite side of the House a general titter, and he remembered that the hon. Member for Warwick never heard the report mentioned without laughter, as if it had been a document too absurd and ridiculous to allude to. He supposed a reference to that report would be more tolerated at the present day. He was perfectly ready to admit that a revision of the import duties generally was a most desirable object. He believed it would be good in itself, and good especially in regard to the working population of this country; while he at the same time believed that such a revision might be made most subservient for the purposes of revenue. It was upon that ground that he gave his hearty sup port to the proposal made by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer last year. In his mind no doubt existed, although the right hon. Baronet appeared to entertain a doubt upon the subject, that a revision of the import duties might be made productive of an immediate increase of the revenue of the country. There could be no doubt, if the right hon. Baronet was prepared to diminish the differential duties, that an increased revenue would immediately ensue. This was not true of duties which were not differential to the same degree, and he admitted that, for some three or four years, a loss might accrue upon certain articles on which the duties might be reduced; but he thought he might venture to say that, had the right hon. Baronet come forward with a large, efficient, and comprehensive mea sure on the Import duties, no opposition would have been offered to a system of direct taxation to make up that deficiency. But how were the main articles of import to be dealt with by the tariff laid before the House? He remembered that before the Import Duties Committee a table was given in by Mr. Porter, of seventeen principal articles, the revenue on which amounted to no less than 94½ per cent. of the whole revenue arising from the Customs. How were they dealt with by this tariff? They were literally un touched (except in some trifling degree), for the purpose of introducing these pernicious differential duties with three exceptions. The tariff dealt with three main articles, it was true, but how? It had dealt with the article of corn, but in a manner which was utterly insufficient for any good purpose to the country; next, it had dealt with coffee, and with the principle upon which the right hon. Baronet had dealt with coffee nobody could quarrel, but he (Mr. C. Wood) thought, that even upon that article the right hon. Baronet had made an unnecessary sacrifice of in come. If the course had been adopted which his noble Friend (Viscount Howick) had suggested, of leaving the colonial duty as it was, and of reducing the foreign duty to 9d. it would have produced a great benefit to the consumer by the reduction of price, and an increased revenue might have been obtained. The next article—[Cries of" Question; Order."]— Does my hon. Friend (addressing an hon. Gentleman on the Ministerial benches) really think I am not speaking upon the question? Am I not pursuing precisely the course which the right hon. Baronet adopted when he endeavoured to show that all existing modes of raising money were exhausted, and that the only source available was an Income-tax? If the right hon. Leader, whom the hon. Gentleman seemed so ready to follow, referred to these matters, in order to prove his case, he (Mr. C. Wood) should like to know whether he was not at liberty to pursue the same course of argument (however inadequately he might be able to do so) in answer to the conclusion which the right hon. Baronet bad arrived at? The next article, then, with which the right hon. Baronet had dealt was that of timber. In respect to that article, he conceived the right hon. Baronet to be making a large, a need- less, and a wanton sacrifice of revenue —a loss estimated by the right hon. Baronet himself at 600,000l. He was utterly at a loss to understand what the grounds were, upon which such an enormous, and, as it appeared to him, needless sacrifice of revenue was incurred. His right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring) had proposed to follow the recommendation of the committee of 1821, and to approximate the colonial and foreign duties, by raising the one and lowering the other. The right hon. Baronet found fault with that course, but had not stated the grounds for doing so. In his distress for a reason he had recourse to the authority of Sir H. Parnell, and quoted his recommendation in support of the measure which he (Sir R. Peel) proposed. But surely never was a reference to authority so unfortunate; for the recommendation of Sir H. Parnell, to which the right hon. Baronet referred in defence of a nominal duty of 1s. on colonial timber, and a duty twenty-five times as high on foreign timber, was, in truth, a recommendation of an uniform duty of 35s. per load on all timber whatever, without any distinction between colonial and foreign. By such a measure he believed a large revenue might have been raised, at the same time that the price would have been reduced. If the right hon. Baronet had followed the proposal laid before the Import Duties Committee, and had retain ed a duty of from 5s. to 10s. on colonial timber, with a duty of 25s. or 30s. upon foreign timber, an increased revenue might have been anticipated. Mr. Macgregor, from his long residence in Canada, was a very excellent authority upon this subject, and his proposition was, that a duty of 7s. 6d. should be imposed on colonial timber, and 30s. upon foreign, from which he estimated a large increase of revenue. These were the only three articles—being most important articles of consumption— with which the tariff of the right hon. Baronet professed to deal. With the great article of sugar the right hon. Baronet did not propose to deal at all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had told the House that so long as there was an adequate supply from the colonies, there was no reason to do so. He (Mr. C. Wood) should like to know upon what ground the right hon. Gentleman defined what was an adequate supply of sugar? The right hon. Baronet had told the House that the supply of last year was the largest ever introduced into this country. He (Mr. C. Wood) was ra- ther inclined to think that such was not the case. There was a fallacy in the re turns of the Customs, which showed a less quantity of sugar than had actually been imported during some previous years. He had last year a return prepared by the Board of Trade, which showed that the actual quantity of sugar retained for home consumption in the year 1831, instead of being, as it was stated in this return, 3,781,000 lbs., was 4,364,000 lbs., which exceeded the quantity returned for home consumption in 1841, that being only 4,058,000lbs., and this without reference to the increase of population. He was of opinion that, had the proposal of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Baring) been adopted, there would have been a great increase of consumption, and the revenue would have been benefitted to the amount of 400,000l. or 500,000l. Then, with respect to the articles of wine and fruit, the right hon. Baronet would not interfere with them, on account of some commercial treaties which might be made with foreign countries. He (Mr. C. Wood) was afraid, with the present disposition of the French Chambers on matters of trade, that if this country waited till a commercial treaty were entered into with France, they would have to wait a long while. He apprehend ed that the sound principle was not to wait for commercial treaties. If the duty were taken off in this country on goods obtained from foreign countries, they might depend upon it that British goods would find their way into foreign markets, for foreign merchants would not go without a return for the goods they sold to us. No better authority upon that subject could be quoted than that of a gentleman who had already been mentioned in the course of these debates, he meant Mr. Deacon Hume. His opinion was, that the wisest course was always to give the freest possible admission to the goods of other nations into this country, and to leave others to take advantage of it or not as they thought fit, because there could be no doubt that if we imported from any country any considerable quantity of goods and the manufactures of that country were protected, the producers of the goods that we took would very soon find the great difficulty they had in getting re turns, and instead of our soliciting the governments of those countries to admit our goods, our advocates for that admission would be in the country itself—they would arise from the exporters of the goods which we took. With regard to the principle upon which the tariff generally was made, he would not now go into detail; but he could not help adding his protest against the sys tem of establishing now, for the first time, differential duties between the produce of foreign countries and the British colonies. He never was more surprised than when he found protecting duties to such an ex tent introduced, for the first time, into our system. He had admired, on more than one occasion, the clearness of the manner in which the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) had stated the soundest views respecting trade and commerce; and particularly the clearness of the manner in which he stated sound principles upon the Corn-laws, and he (Mr. C. Wood) only lamented that the right hon. Baronet had not carried them better into effect. His (Mr. C. Wood's) only wonder was, upon what ground the right hon. Baronet could stop where he did. He admired, also, the clearness with which the right hon. Baronet stated his views of trade and commerce in opening the tariff to the House, and he confessed, therefore, that he was not a little surprised when he found that the tariff itself was founded upon a principle of legislation, contrary to the whole course of policy advocated by Mr. Huskisson, of whom the right hon. Baronet was proved to have been a colleague and coadjutor, and of whom other right hon. Gentlemen, on the Ministerial Benches, professed them selves to be the disciples. Mr. Huskisson's policy was, to throw open the ports of this country to all foreign nations, to remove or to diminish all monopolies and protections; whereas, they were now called upon to legislate contrary to the system which had been pursued for the last twenty years, and to establish new differential duties and new protections, of which no one ever heard before. He could not help hoping, that this tariff had been framed without mature consideration, that it was like the first list of towns from which the averages were to be taken, only a provisional tariff; and that the new differential duties had only been put on like the duty on corn imported from North America into Canada, in order, that when the rest of the plan should have been agreed to, the right hon. Gentleman might have the pleasure of taking them off again. The right hon. Baronet said, there was an inducement to adopt the Income-tax, inasmuch as the people would obtain cheap living and cheap articles of consumption. If that were so it might be an indemnity for the tax; but upon looking at the tariff, he (Mr. C. Wood) did not see upon what article that relief was to be obtained, with the exception perhaps of coffee. He perfectly agreed with the right hon. Baronet, that there was no reason to apprehend any great import of foreign cattle, or foreign beef; and he was at a loss to know how the price of the great articles of consumption was to be affected by the new tariff. Again, another inducement was, that the tax was only to be for three years. But what ground had they for believing that the tax would be taken off at the end of three years? If they had reason to hope, that from the extension of consumption the revenue to be derived from such articles would be raised—if an alteration in the duties on corn, sugar, timber, and other great articles of consumption, had been proposed, that would have led to an in creased consumption, and the increased consumption to an increased revenue. If the right hon. Gentleman had come down and told the House, that he was prepared to sacrifice some amount of present revenue, and had done it in a large and comprehensive spirit, then he was prepared to admit, that a case would have been made out, and that there would have been a ground for the House imposing a direct tax, aye, even an Income-tax, to meet an instant deficiency. But no such proposal had been made. On the contrary, an In come-tax was imposed, in order that old monopolies might be maintained, old protections persisted in, and new protections introduced. Upon the ground of necessity, therefore, no case had been made out for imposing an Income-tax. So far as revenue went, he entertained no doubt that it might have been made up from a far less oppressive, far less unjust, and a far less odious source. So far as regarded the commutation of taxation, no sufficient advantage was offered, to induce the country to pay such a price, and to submit to such an impost. His objection to the in justice of the tax was undiminished; his opinion, that the necessity for it, had not been proved, was unshaken, and he would conclude by quoting three sentences from the speech of Mr. Fox, when arguing against an Income-tax, in 1798. He said,— It seems the state requires great sacrifices. I grant it. But let me ask if the necessity is such as to require great injustice?

Mr. Scarlett

contended that those who paid an Income-tax paid less money to the State than those who paid any other tax. The necessity for this tax had arisen, and arisen, be it observed, not from any default of the present Government, but from the misconduct of the Government of the last ten years.

Mr. P. Scrope

said, that great interest was felt out-of-doors as to the mode of imposing the tax on particular classes of income. He wanted a definition of income. To show how necessary it was to have such a definition, a variety of cases might be put. Take that of a cow keeper near a great town. What was his income liable to the tax? Did it mean the sum which he obtained from the sale of his produce? or did the right hon. Gentle man mean to make an allowance for average loss, and the amount required to replace the stock?

Sir R. Peel:

I mean to adopt the general principle of the measure of 1806, which was brought in by Lord Henry Petty, under the Government of Lord Grenville and Lord Grey, and if the hon. Gentleman will look into that statute he will find a definition of income and various details, which will afford a more satisfactory answer to his question than I can now give him.

Mr. P. Scrope

resumed.—Many persons night not have time to refer to the act, and if they did they might not understand it. He contended that the cow-keeper's average annual loss of stock by the death of his cattle ought to be compensated by a corresponding reduction in the amount of tax. [Sir R. Peel: The act made those distinctions.] Then he wished to ask, was it intended to do the same in case of other perishable commodities? Take the case of a manufacturer employing a great deal of machinery; surely he must be allowed a reduction for the expenses of replacing the wear and tear of his stock of machinery. Then there was the similar case of the shipowner. Every now and then he was obliged to replace his ships. Would the right hon. Baronet allow him to keep up his stock by making a deduction from the tax in his favour proportionate to what it would require to replace his stock? What would the right hon. Baronet do with the houseowner? Houses would only last a certain time. Was he to be allowed a deduction? If he received 500l. a-year from house property, would he be allowed for the expense of maintaining and repairing? If the right hon. Baronet made these allowances, then he did not tax gross income, and if he made them in such cases, then why did he not apply the same rule to professional incomes, which had as much claim on the ground of being transitory and not permanent incomes? He mentioned these instances in order to point out that if the deductions were not made the right hon. Baronet would do great injustice, and get into infinite difficulties in the details of the measure. He would not then go into the question of a property-tax as compared with an Income-tax. He had no objection to the former if properly applied. He had always been of that opinion, and he should support such a tax if an occasion were shown to have arisen of a nature to call for it. One objection he felt to this measure was its temporary nature; he thought that an impost so injurious, so inquisitorial and obnoxious, ought not to be adopted for a temporary purpose, but ought to be re served for some great and permanent object. For an object comparatively so trifling as to raise 3,000,000l. in three years, to bring forward a plan so onerous, which acted as a penalty on productive capital, was not the conduct of a great statesman. It would press with double severity on productive capital. If he had money in the funds, or vested in land, he expected only half the interest from it which the same sum employed in the occupations of productive industry would return; but the percentage of the tax; being nominally the same on each, would amount to a burden double as great on the one as on the other. They would drive capital out of productive channels by thus taxing doubly the income derived from productive industry. The question which he wished to have fully answered was, whether the Income-tax on perishable capital was to have any deduction made from it, and whether it was to be a tax only as to the permanent value of the income

Mr. W. Williams

approved of the course taken by her Majesty's Government, in not having recourse to loans and Exchequer-bills in order to supply their present exigencies. When he looked at the difficult position of the finances, and the mismanagement of those finances for a great number of years past, which ought to fill any man who looked into them with some alarm, they found by returns which had been laid on the Table, that in the last seven years not less than 169,000,000l. of deficiency bills had been borrowed by the Treasury from the Bank of England to pay the demands upon them that were due before the revenue had come in. That was at the rate of nearly 24,000,000l. a-year. Taking the dates of the 5th of January in each of the years 1836 and 1837, he found that the balance in the Exchequer was rather more than 6,000,000l. on each year. On the same day this present year there was only a balance of 3,600,000l. in the Exchequer to pay 8,900,000l. of interest of the debt, independent of other demands—for instance, to pay the army, the navy, and other establishments. He was prepared to say that whatever sacrifices were necessary to relieve the country from this pressure upon its finances, ought to be met at any in convenience. The question was how to effect this relief. In the period between 1834 and 1840 a permanent addition of 33,900,000l. was made to the debt, the interest of which was, 1,169,000l. a-year. He was glad to see the Government taking an opposite course to that of the late Ministry, and endeavouring to make the revenue equal to the expenditure. At the close of the short Session of last year he had told the then Government, that if they compelled all collectors of taxes to pay the gross amount of the taxes into the Exchequer instead of first taking 4,200,000l. every year to pay themselves without the authority of the Exchequer, a great saving would be effected. He had also pointed out that the cost of collecting was much greater than in former years. In 1806, the revenue being 58,000,000l. odd, the cost of collection was only 2,790,000l., or only 4¾ per cent. on the gross revenue: but in 1840 the revenue of 51,800,000l. cost for collecting it 4,200,000l., being more than 8 per cent. on the gross amount. The expense of the collection of the revenue had gradually increased. It might be said that the increase was apparent only, because formerly a great portion of the expense of collection was paid in fees. He wished the Chancellor of the Exchequer would let them know the exact amount that had been so paid in fees, because, unless the right hon. Gentleman could show that in 1806 a large portion was paid in fees which was not now so paid, there could be no justification for an increase of more than 1,500,000l. in the expense of collecting the revenue. He repeated that in this respect a great saving might be effected towards providing for the deficiency. But it was not to this source alone that he could look to avert the necessity for an Income-tax. He pro posed that a deduction should be made from the sums paid to Gentlemen on the Treasury bench, and not to them alone, for he would go upwards to the highest of those who received the public money. But he would go beyond them, and call upon all monopolists whatever, whether they were the landowners of this country or the West Indian interest, or any other description of monopolists, to make a sacrifice of their incomes in the same pro portion as that which they required from other classes. In support of this view he was happy to be able to quote the very high authority of the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department. In a pamphlet, entitled "Corn and Currency," there were these words:— The course, therefore, to be adopted by the landowners, is to consent to the free importation of corn with a moderate protecting duty, but to force at the same time a revision of all other monopolies, inasmuch as I have proved that Peel's bill, when in full operation, will be a bonus to the amount of more than 30 per cent. I boldly contend both for the equity and honesty of proposing a direct tax to a considerable amount on all annuities charged on land, and payable from the Exchequer. He was glad to be able to quote so high an authority as that of the right hon. Baronet opposite in favour of his principle, though he was himself of opinion that a tax of much less than 3 per cent, upon all the interests protected by monopoly would be sufficient to meet all the difficulties and deficiencies in the finances. He would with the permission of the House quote another passage from the same pamphlet. [A cry of "Question!" and confusion.] Really, Mr. Greene, one might almost think oneself on the Ex change. I shall not detain the House long. He hoped the House would give their attention while he quoted a passage from the pamphlet of the right hon. Baronet opposite—a production from which hon. Gentlemen opposite might derive much more sound information on the question than from all the speeches upon it ever delivered in that House. The right hon. Baronet there said,— Our present peace expenditure, in ready money value, is more than equal, on the aver age of years, to the expenditure during the last war. The sum received on the 15th of January, 1825, was 52,800,000l. The nominal amount of taxes in 1813, the most expensive year of a most expensive war, was 81,000,000l., but as this 81,000,000l., according to the pre sent metallic currency, was really only equal to 52,236,000l., the taxation of 1824 was more than it was in 1813. Such were the opinions of the right hon. Baronet at the time of the publication of that pamphlet. He very much feared that the right hon. Baronet had outlived the very excellent principles he had there laid down; but if he had not, the very best thing he could do was to instil them into the minds of her Majesty's Ministers. However, he was glad to be able to quote the opinion of so high an authority in favour of his view that the monopolists ought to bear their share of the public burdens. But it appeared— although the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government had, on a former evening, declined to reply to a question on the subject—it appeared, that it was likely a considerable revenue would be derived from the new duties on corn. He saw by the "banker's circular,"that the opinion of that publication was, that within the first twelve months of the operation of the duty, a revenue of 2,000,000l. sterling would be derived. If the right hon. Baronet could get that, it would be quite a God-send. If any such revenue were received, it would be a further set-off against the deficiency. But he (Mr. Williams) would chiefly look for the means of doing away with the necessity for the Income-tax, to taking off as much as possible from salaries, pensions, and all outgoings of every kind from the Exchequer, to persons who were, to a very great extent, idlers—neither hewers of wood nor drawers of water. He contended that a sufficient reduction might be made to meet the existing deficiency in the finances. He would first take what was called the "dead weight."There was a charge of 4,600,000l. for retired allowances, and for pensions chargeable on the consolidated fund 620,000l., making altogether 5,260,000l. for pensions, half-pay, &c. But in 1829, when the Conservatives were last in office, the amount for pensions charged on the consolidated fund was 370,000l. only. Would any one say that a vast reduction could not be made in this branch of the public expenditure without injustice? In the present unhappy condition of the labouring classes and the pressure on the middling classes, such a reduction was imperatively called for before they attempted to impose an Income-tax. There was another species of property on which, if they pretended that this was a budget that was to tax the rich and not the poor, some revenue should be levied. He alluded to the probate and legacy duty on landed property. Why should wealthy landed proprietors be able to leave their accumulated fortunes to their heirs free of duty, while, if the poor I man got a legacy of 50l. or 100l., he was obliged to pay a heavy legacy duty upon it? He contended, that from all these sources, as well as from retrenchment and from a saving that might be made in the expense of collecting the revenue, a sufficient sum might be realized to meet the deficiency in the revenue, and until those measures had been tried and had failed, he could not agree to an Income-tax, which he did not now think necessary in order to meet the exigencies of the finances.

Sir G. Grey

said some hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed extremely anxious to come to a division on this subject, at which he might have felt some surprise had he not observed as regarded two parts of the empire—England and Scotland—a remarkable silence among those who were desirious of testifying by their votes their confidence in the right hon. Baronet, but who shrunk from the obloquy and the un popularity that would attend their advocacy of the measures of the right hon. Baronet in their speeches in that House. He did not know whether this remarkable silence, broken only, he believed, by the hon. Member for Horsham ("No,")—the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) said "No," but he spoke not of Members sitting on the Treasury bench, but of those sitting behind it, of whom, he believed, two only had spoken, one, the hon. Member for Horsham; and he, at least as far as he could understand the hon. Gentleman, was willing to make a sacrifice of his personal interests for the public good; while the other hon. Gentleman directed a portion of his speech against the proposition of the right hon. Baronet. He spoke, certainly, of the war in Affghanistan as a justifying cause for laying on this tax; but when he came to speak of the details of the proposition, he pulled from his pocket a document containing a statement of facts which proved undeniably its gross injustice, and the equally gross inequality with which it would work upon the various classes of the community. He did not know whether this remarkable silence was part of the discipline which had been imposed upon hon. Gentlemen opposite, and that their votes were required by the right hon. Baronet on the condition that they should not mar his measure by their speeches. [Marks of dissent from the Ministerial benches.] He perceived there was an expression of dissent from that opinion. Then he asserted there should be some reason given to that House why a question, the most important, perhaps, that had been submitted to it since the Reform Bill, should be treated with so much silence by those hon. Gentlemen who were so profuse when upon the hustings in their expressions of confidence in the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government, as well as in the measures which they expected him to bring forward, and which they so confidently declared would be acceptable to their constituencies; there should be some reason, he repeated, given by those hon. Gentlemen who did not now rise in their places and say that they were sure that the measures already proposed by the Government were of the character which they had led their constituents to anticipate they would be. He was glad to see the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Ft. Peel) reading Hansard; he was glad also to see it distributed as it was about the Table, hoping that hon. Gentlemen at the other side of the House would study and weigh well the debates which it contained of the year 1816, with regard to the repeal of the Income-tax. Perhaps those debates might sufficiently account for their silence on the pre sent occasion. They would, at least, show that the course now pursued by the right hon. Baronet was consistent with his early political conduct, for he then voted in the minority upon that question., He voted in support of an Income-tax, which the Government who proposed it had pledged themselves should only last for the duration of the war. And let it be observed, that the country was then smarting under the infliction of that tax which they had borne with heroic fortitude as long as any necessity existed for it, or as long as it was called for by the mighty struggle in which this country was then engaged — involving, as that struggle did, the honour, and, perhaps, existence of the nation. On that account they had borne this tax until that struggle was brought to a happy and glorious termination in the memorable field of Waterloo, when, in spite of the Government of the day, supported by the right hon, Baronet opposite, they determined that it should last no longer, declaring that it was a tax which ought to be re served for war—not such a war as that in Affghanistan, but a European war. It was impossible for any one who knew any thing of the history of the country, to assert that the proposed tax should be termed a war tax, or to contend that, after a variety of taxes, to the amount of many millions, had been repealed, this was the first tax to which the Government of the country should now have recourse, in order to place its finances in a proper and right condition. [Cheers.] He gave hon. Gentlemen the benefit of their cheers. He was happy they had reserved their voices for those cheers. There was no one more ready than he was to admit the discrepancy which at present existed between the income and expenditure of the country, or the necessity for removing that discrepancy. He did not stand there to assert that no tax should be imposed, or that, if the measures proposed by her Majesty's late Government were now to be adopted, it might be unnecessary to impose some tax, in order to make up the present amount of deficiency; but the question was whether a tax which had been denounced in 1816 as the most odious, the most inquisitorial, and the most intolerable that human ingenuity could devise, should, without the existence of that necessity which was created by the circumstances in which the country was then involved, be the very first they ought now to have recourse to, in order to meet what the right hon. Baronet him self conceived to be a slight deficiency in the revenue, as compared with the expenditure of the country. He regretted he did not see the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montgomeryshire in his place, as he had been one of the most strenuous denouncers of that tax in 1816; but, whatever might be his opinion respecting the present proposition, and whatever might be the opinion of many hon Members on the opposite side of the House, who had so recently and so deeply pledged themselves to their constituents, he had not the slightest doubt that, in spite of those opinions, and in spite of the opinions of their constituents, the right hon. Baronet's proposition would be supported by a large majority of the House. He, however, was fully confident that, after a short experience of this tax, with its inquisitorial process, which the right hon. Baronet was so slow to detail to the House, and which, it now appeared, he wanted to fix upon Lord Grenville, Lord Grey, and the Marquess of Lansdowne— a process which was absolutely essential to it, in order to extract the money from the pockets of the people—he was confident that, after a short time, the same feelings of hostility would be engendered towards it as in 1816, and that its repeal would be indignantly demanded by those who were now about blindly to follow the right hon. Baronet, as observed by one of the right hon. Baronet's own supporters, in the measure he had proposed for their adoption. What were the arguments by which this tax was supported in 1816? Why was it that, although the people had been told that it was only to last during the war, that it was purely a war tax, why was it that an attempt was nevertheless made to continue it? Because, as argued at the time, if it were not continued, the Government would be driven to the necessity of imposing an additional tax upon articles of consumption, which would be more obnoxious. But, notwithstanding that, and notwithstanding that the country was then enduring both those taxes, they unhesitatingly adopted the fresh taxes alluded to from an anxious desire to get rid of the Income-tax and its inquisition, which they felt there was scarcely any necessity great enough to justify. To the promises held out upon the occasion the House of Commons of that day turned a deaf ear, knowing, as they did, that no essential modifications could take place in the machinery of the bill if the tax were to produce the amount of revenue which the Minister required. Did any one now think that in the proposed measure any modification could be made in the mode of collecting the tax, or that it could be divested of that inquisitorial character which constituted its crying sin in the eyes of the people, who were willing to make the sacrifice it involved, when the honour or interests of the nation were concerned, and when there was no other escape from shame and insecurity, but who felt that it was not to be resorted to while any other means remained that could be re sorted to for supplying a deficiency in the revenue? It was then said that it would be continued only for a limited period of time—for three years. The Chancellor of the Exchequer went so far as to say that it should only be for two years; but the House respired that it should end at once. They were now called upon not to continue, but to commence the tax, and with a view to its collection, to create an amount of machinery which he was very much surprised had not, ere this, called up the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln, seeing, that it involved the appointment of commissioners for general purposes, and additional commissioners, and then again special commissioners, who formed the only modification in the bill. He really did not see either what was to prevent their being told, if for the purpose of equalling the revenue of the country, with its expenditure, they were to resort to this tax instead of imposing taxes upon articles of con sumption— he did not see why they might not be told at the termination of the three years, and with double strength in the argument, too, that it would then be much better to continue the Income-tax, seeing that the machinery for it was complete, than to go to the expense of constructing fresh machinery for another description of tax. Although he did not think it would be an easy thing for a Minister to effect, still he felt, that there was no security against the tax being made permanent if the House now consented to it. It was not his intention to go into any statement of figures, respecting the revenue and expenditure of the country, the House having already had placed before it ample details upon that part of the subject in a more able manner than he could pretend to. He took his ground upon these facts—that no sufficient necessity had yet been shown for resorting to so objectionable a measure; that the country had, with one voice, at the close of the war, demanded, that the tax now proposed, even suffering, as they then were, under the weight of other taxes, should be the very first to be removed; and that no argument had been advanced to prove, that under the necessity which now existed of imposing fresh taxes, this was the first to which recourse ought to be had. When he spoke of the necessity of imposing taxes, and when hon. Gentle men opposite made reference by their cheers to the causes which had produced the present deficiency in the revenue, he could not acquit those hon. Gentlemen of the responsibility of having assisted to create the necessity on which their own case depended. Did any one pretend to say, that if the measures proposed last year by her Majesty's Government had been adopted, they would not have pre vented that necessity? Then, he hoped, that hon. Gentlemen opposite would undertake to make some speeches on the subject, and attempt to show, that if those measures had been adopted, the same deficiency in the revenue would still have to be provided for, and the same necessity for raising 4,000,000l. by an Income-tax would still exist. He hoped some one on the other side would rise. After the frequently repeated statements on that side of the House—after the delivery of several speeches, all of which had been left unanswered—after arguments had been used which were admitted, so far at least as intelligible sounds were concerned, for if hon. Members did not keep that silence which was said to give consent, they at least tacitly assented by declining to enter upon any argument of the question—after, he said, this almost unbroken silence on the other side, he did trust, that those who had as yet only expressed their sentiments by an occasional cheer, would condescend to show the converse of his proposition, that if the measures of last year had been adopted, there would have been no necessity for a tax condemned by the country as the most inquisitorial and odious that could be imposed. Feeling that, in fact, the arguments on that side of the House were exhausted—feeling that those arguments were exhausted as they were unanswered—he would not detain the House by going any further into the subject, His object had been merely to elicit some opinions favourable to the plan, from the silent Members on the other side. Finding that they had been so anxious to go to a division without further argument, he himself had been desirous, that the debate should not close without the House being permitted to hear some of the valuable explanations which were, no doubt, yet forthcoming. He called on them to let the House hear their opinions. If they objected to the length of discussion, he would refer them to the debates which had taken place on this question on former occasions. They would find that week after week previous to the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 1816 coming down to the House with his Income-tax proposition, the subject had been discussed almost daily on the presentation of petitions, and that in these preparatory discussions some of the ablest and most argumentative speeches had been delivered, that had ever been heard within those walls. He trusted this circumstance would be borne in mind when hon. Members talked of the length of time occupied in discussion. In the pre sent Parliament a rule, which he admitted to be a salutary one, preventing their debating an important subject upon the presentation of petitions; but however wholesome the rule might be, they ought to take it with this qualification—that the prevention of discussion at one period, occasioned more discussion at another, and that they ought, therefore, to be less impatient and more willingly afford time for deliberation when the question came to be considered. For his own part, he would have no objection to go to a division at once, if the silent system was to be maintained; but in doing so, he must beg to absolve himself from all the con sequences the vote of the House would entail, and he must also beg leave to express his earnest hope that if they did impose the tax, the people would patiently bear its burden, and that the Government would find that they were not throwing away the weapon which had been reserved in store to meet the real emergencies of an European war.

Colonel Sibthorp

said, it was not his intention to have troubled the House upon this question, had not the right hon. Baronet who had last spoken alluded to him, though for what reason that allusion had been made he did not know. The right hon. Baronet had said that hon. Members around him (Colonel Sibthorp) were poked into the seats which they occupied, and were bound to give their votes for the motion of the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government. But when the right hon. Gentleman inveighed against that measure of his right hon. Friend, whom he was glad to see holding the responsible situation to which the country and the full voice of that House had called him—when the right hon. Gentleman called upon the Premier to say why he pursued those measures which he had introduced for the purpose of augmenting the finances of the country, he begged to ask him in return, why the late Government by their mismanagement, their duplicity, had placed the finances in their present deplorable position? The right hon. Baronet was called upon to re sort to strong measures to cure the evils which had resulted from the extreme delinquency of the late Government. Hon. Members opposite were afraid to come forward as men of courage, and they only sought to take measures which were in themselves dangerous, and to adopt low and vulgar and flippant remedies. When he saw the noble Lord opposite venturing to send forth his spleen, smarting under the loss of power, of place, and of salary, he told the right hon. Baronet, who had shown a manliness which the noble Lord had not exhibited on any one occasion during the last ten years, but who had sought from the tail what he could not find in the head; when he saw the noble Lord dare to stand forth in opposition to upright, honest, and independent men, he called on the right hon. Baronet to laugh to scorn such attempts to oppose his views. The right hon. Baronet who had last spoken had said that his right hon. Friend (Sir Robert Peel) possessed a tower of strength in his party; he believed that he did, and that that party would support him in all his difficulties. He had considered himself called upon to make these few observations, in consequence of what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonport, and he could assure him, and the House, that his right hon. Friend near him should always have his support.

Mr. Blewitt

moved that the Chairman report progress. [Cries of "Go on," and laughter, and cries of "Adjourn."]

Lord J. Russell

thought that there were reasons to suppose that there were many hon. Gentlemen who desired to speak upon this subject, and he hoped therefore that the hon. Member would not persist in his intention of dividing the committee; for he was not prepared to say that the committee would be indisposed to listen to any hon. Gentleman who might wish to speak. Before they proceeded any further, however, he wished to put a question to the Chairman relative to a point of order, with respect to a motion of which an hon. Member had given notice. That motion was of a resolution upon a question which had been already considerably discussed, namely, whether there should be any exemption from this tax, either in the cases of persons holding terminable annuities, or having incomes from professions or trades, which were life interests. He desired to know whether, if the resolution of the right hon. Baronet was carried, this resolution, which was in effect a modification of it, could be subsequently proposed? He thought that this was a point upon which the committee might reasonably expect some information.

The Chairman

said, that the resolution of the hon. Member might be moved in committee on the bill to be hereafter introduced, because its effect would be in the nature of a reduction of taxation. At the same time he was bound to express an an opinion that it would be competent to the committee to omit the words of the resolution, which by the effect of the amendment to be proposed would be expunged, and to vote that the resolution should be adopted in its terms, or that any part thereof should be omitted.

Mr. Blewitt,

upon being called upon, declared his intention to divide, for he believed that it was the general opinion of the country that this question had been pressed on in a despotic and aristocratic way.

Sir R. Peel

was understood to say, that the right hon. Baronet the Member for Devonport had said, that he was perfectly ready to go to a division, and he had believed that he had spoken the feelings of hon. Gentlemen around him. He hoped, therefore, that the committee would mark its sense of the motion which had been made by decidedly refusing to assent to it.

Lord J. Russell

had as yet expressed no opinion as to the course to be taken; but he had no wish to prolong this debate; and if the hon. Member persisted in his motion for an adjournment, he should think it his duty to vote against it.

Mr. Protheroe

wished to ask the hon. Member for Monmouth whether he proposed by his motion that there should be a longer discussion on this measure, or whether his object were to mark his dissent from the proposition of the right hon. Baronet? If the latter was his object he could not give him his support, because he did not think that this was a fair way to express such an opinion; if, the former, he equally disagreed with him, in consequence of the early hour of the night (half past eleven) at which the amendment was brought forward.

Mr. Blewitt

would imitate the caution of the right hon. Baronet, and would decline answering the questions.

The Committee divided on the question that the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again—Ayes 51; Noes 328: Majority 277.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Martin, J.
Bannerman, A. Maule, right hon. F.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Mostyn, hn. E. M. L.
Bernal, R. Murray, A.
Brodie, W. B. O. Brien, C.
Brotherton, J. O'Brien, J.
Bryan, G. O'Connell, M. J.
Busfeild, W. Pechell, Capt.
Cobden, R. Plumridge, Capt.
Colborne, hn. W.N.R. Powell, C.
Craig, W. G. Power, J.
Dalmeny, Lord Ricardo, J. L.
Dalrymple, Capt. Scholefield, J.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. Seale, Sir J. H.
C. T. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Duncan, G. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Duncombe, T. Somers, J. P.
Dundas, Adm. Strutt, E.
Ellice, E. Thornely, T.
Ferguson, Col. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Forster, M. Vivian, hon. Capt.
Gibson, T. M. Wakley, T.
Hall, Sir B. Williams, W.
Harris, J. Q. Wood, B.
Hastie, A.
Jardine, W. TELLERS.
Johnstone, A. Blewitt, R. J.
Marshall, W. Bowring, Dr.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bagot, hon. W.
Acland, T. D. Bailey, J.
A'Court, Capt. Bailey, J., jun.
Acton, Col. Baillie, Col.
Adare, Visct. Baillie, H. J.
Adderley, C. B. Baird, W.
Aldam, W. Balfour, J. M.
Alford, Visct. Barclay, D.
Allix, J. P. Baring, hon. W. B.
Antrobus, E. Baring, rt. hon. F. T.
Ashley, Lord Barrington, Visct.
Astell, W. Baskerville, T. B. M.
Attwood, J. Bateson, Sir R.
Attwood, M, Beckett, W.
Bell, M. Duff, J.
Benett, J. Duffield, T.
Bentinck, Lord G. Duke, Sir J.
Beresford, Major Duncan, Visct.
Berkeley, hon. C. Duncombe, hon. O.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Bernard, Visct. Du Pre, C. G.
Blackburne, J. I. East, J. B.
Blake, Sir V. Easthope, Sir J.
Bodkin, W. H. Eaton, R. J.
Borthwick, P. Ebrington, Visct.
Bradshaw, J. Egerton, W. T.
Bramston, T. W. Egerton, Sir P.
Broadley, H. Egerton, Lord F.
Broadwood, H. Ellis, W.
Browne, hon. W. Eliot, Lord
Brownrigg, J. S. Emlyn, Visct.
Bruce, Lord E. Escott, B.
Bruce, C. L. C. Evans, W.
Buckley, E. Farnham, E. B.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B.W. Fellowes, E.
Buller, C. Filmer, Sir E.
Buller, E. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Fleming, J. W.
Bunbury, T. Follett, Sir W. W.
Burroughes, H. N. Ffolliott, J.
Campbell, Sir H. Forbes, W.
Cardwell, E. Forester, hn. G. C.W.
Carnegie, hon. Capt Fuller, A. E.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Cavendish, hn. G. H. Gladstone, rt.hn.W.E.
Cayley, E. S. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Chapman, B. Gore, M.
Charteris, hon. F. Gore, W. O.
Chelsea, Visct. Goring, C.
Chetwode, Sir J. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Childers, J. W. Graham, rt. hn.Sir J.
Christmas, W. Granby, Marquess of
Chute, W. L. W. Greenall, P.
Clay, Sir W. Greenaway, C.
Clayton, R. R. Gregory, W. H.
Clerk, Sir G. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Clive, hon. R. H. Grimsditch, T.
Cochrane, A. Grimston, Visct.
Cockburn, rt.hn. SirG. Grogan, E.
Codrington, C. W. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Colebroke, Sir T. E. Hale, R. B.
Cole, hon. A. H. Halford, H.
Collett, W. R. Hamilton, W. J.
Colvile, C. R. Hamilton, Lord C.
Compton, H. C. Harcourt, G. G.
Copeland, Alderman Hardinge,rt.hn.SirH.
Corry, rt. hon.H. Hardy, J.
Courtenay, Visct. Hawes, B.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Hawkes, T.
Cripps, W. Hayes, Sir E.
Curteis, H. B. Heneage, G. H. W.
Damer, hon. Col. Heneage, E.
Darby, G. Henley, J. W.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Herbert, hon. S.
Denison, J. E. Hindley, C.
Dodd, G. Hobhouse,rt.hn. Sir J.
Douglas, Sir H. Hodgson, F.
Douglas, Sir C. E; Hodgson, R.
Douglas, J. D. S. Hogg, J. W.
Dowdeswell, W, Holdsworth, J,
Holmes, hn. W. A'Ct. Paget, Col.
Hope, hon. C. Paget, Lord W.
Hope, G. W. Palmer, R.
Hornby, J. Palmer, G.
Howard, hn. C. W. G. Palmerston, Visct.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Parker, J.
Howard,; hon. J. K. Patten, J. W.
Howard, Lord Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Howard, Sir R. Peel, J.
Howick, Visct. Philips, G. R.
Hutt, W. Philips, M.
Ingestre, Visct. Pigot, Sir R.
Jermyn, Earl of Pollock, Sir F.
Johnson, W. G. Praed, W. T.
Johnstone, Sir J. Pringle, A.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Protheroe, E-
Jones, Cant. Pulsford, B.
Kemble, H. Pusey, P.
Knatchbull, right hon. Sir E. Rae, right hon. Sir W.
Rashleigh, W.
Knight, H. G. Rawdon, Col.
Knight, F. W. Reade, W. M.
Knightley, Sir C. Reid, Sir J. R.
Labouchere. rt. hn. H. Repton, G. W. J.
Langston, J. H. Richards, R.
Larpent, Sir G. de H. Rolleston, Col.
Law, hon. C. E. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Lawson, A. Round, C. G.
Legh, G. C. Round, J.
Leicester, Earl of Rous, hon. Capt.
Lincoln, Earl of Rushbrooke, Col.
Lockhart, W. Russell, Lord J.
Lowther, J. H. Russell, C.
Lygon, hop. General Russell, J. D. W.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Mackenzie, T. Sandon, Visct.
M'Geachy, F. A. Scarlett, hon. R. C.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Scott, hon. F.
Mahon, Visct. Scott, R.
Mainwaring, T. Scope, G. P.
Mangles, R. D. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Manners, Lord J. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
March, Earl of Sheppard, T.
Marsham, Visct. Shirley, E. P.
Martin, C. W, Sibthorp, Col.
Martini, T. B. Smith, A.
Martyn, C. C. Smith, J. A.
Master, T. W. C Smyth, Sir H.
Masterman, J. Smollett, A.
Meynell, Capt. Somerset, Lord G.
Milnes, R. M. Somerton, Visct.
Morgan, O. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Morris, D. Stanley, Lord
Morison, General Staunton, Sir G. T.
Mundy, E. M. Stewart, J.
Neeld, J. Stuart, Lord J.
Neville, R. Stuart, W.T.
Newry, Visct. Stuart, H.
Nicholl, right hon. J. Sturt, H. C.
Norreys, Lord Sutton, hon. H. M.
Northland, Visct. Tancred, H. W.
O'Brien, A. S. Taylor, J. A.
O'Brien, W. S. Tennent, J. E.
Ogle, S. C. H. Thompson, AId.
Ord, W. Thornhill, G.
Ossulston, Lord Tollemache, hn. F J.
Packe, C. W, Tollemache, J,
Tomline, G. Welby, G. E.
Towneley, J. Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Trench, Sir F. W. Wilde, Sir T.
Trevor, hon. G. R. Wilshere, W.
Trollope, Sir J. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Trotter, J. Wodehouse, E.
Troubridge, Sir E. T. Wood, C.
Tufnell,H. Wood, Col.
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Wood,G. W.
Vere, Sir C. B. Worsley, Lord
Verner, Col. Wortley, ho. n.
Vernon, G. H. Wrightson, W. B.
Villiers, Visct. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Vivian, J. E. Young, J.
Waddington, H. S. Young, Sir W.
Wall, C. B. TELLERS.
Ward, H. G. Freemantle, Sir T.
Wawn, J. T. Baring, H.

On the question on the resolution being again put, Dr. Bowring we believe moved that the Chairman do leave the Chair.

Mr. Blewitt

said, that he did not know what factious motives could be charged against him with reference to the proposition which he had made. The right hon. Baronet, when he turned out the late administration, said that he required time to consider the measures which he should submit to the House, and he took five months to deliberate on the propositions which he had proposed. The chief of them he announced to the House on Friday week last, and on Friday last he explained the machinery of his measure, and he asked the House that night to come to a decision on this tax, although the country had had no time to consider it. Whether the motion for adjournment under such circumstances, would be considered a factious motion, he would submit to the country to determine.

Captain Berkeley

observed, that he had voted with the majority in the last division, as he thought that it was too early a period of the night to adjourn, but the motion for adjournment at that period was no more a factious proceeding than the dead silence of the right hon. Gentlemen opposite, after the powerful speech of the right hon. Member for Devonport.

Sir G. Grey

said, that the observation he had made was, that the attention of the House appeared exhausted by the many speeches which had been made on his side of it, to which no answer had been attempted on the opposite side. He had stated that he was not prepared to go into any lengthened arguments on the subject, but he never intended to intimate for one moment that ample time should not be given to hon. Members to express their opinions on this subject if they considered the interests of their constituents required it. He had voted with the majority on the last division, because he thought that it was not necessary to adjourn the debate at so early an hour as half past eleven, if Members on his side of the House wished to speak, and not on the other.

Mr. Fox Maule

had voted in the minority, and intended to vote in the same way that he had done before if a second division took place, and he did so on the principle that he was anxious to prevent a decision being come to on this question. He repeated, that he wished to see the vote on this resolution determinedly delayed. He would appeal to the right hon. Baronet on the course that he was at tempting to pursue. He had told him that very night, that whatever might be the opinion of the House on the subject, the vast majority of the people of the country to which he belonged did not yet know what was the nature of the resolution which the right hon. Baronet had proposed; and on this ground he should resist by all legislative means of opposing and delaying the propositions until time had been given for their consideration.

Mr. Vernon Smith

had never known an instance, during the ten or eleven years that he had been in Parliament, when all the Cabinet Ministers had been silent, with the exception of one, on a most important proposition being made to the House by the Government. He could not help feeling that it was treating the House and the country with contempt when such a weighty tax was proposed to be placed on the community. On previous occasions, when the right hon. Baronet had been questioned on this subject, he bad refused to enter into any arguments or explanations as to the course he in tended to adopt with respect to the machinery of the bill; and was it to be borne that hon. Gentlemen on his side of the House should be charged with factious motives for endeavouring to obtain time for the discussion of this question? It was intolerable that that House should submit to any Minister of the Crown forcing forward a proposition of such vast importance in this way, notwithstanding the largeness of any majority which might back him. He was really surprised when he recollected the previous conduct of the right hon. Baronet, that he should have shown such a want of courtesy. It should be recollected that the motion for adjournment was not for an indefinite period.

Sir J. Graham,

who spoke in a very low tope of voice, said that he was surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should have brought forward such, a charge in the absence of the facts of the case, for he thought that it would be in the recollection of the House that his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as, well as the First Lord of the Treasury, had addressed the House on the subject. Was the right hon. Gentleman really surprised that no more of the Ministers of the Crown had addressed the House op the subject under the circumstances of the case? He confessed that he could not help considering that there was a considerable degree of faction in the motion for adjournment, for he recollected that in the early part of the evening an announcement had been made of opposition to this proposition from the other side of rather an unwonted character, for the noble Lord declared that he should not be satisfied with taking the opinion of the House on the resolution itself, but that on the report on the resolution being brought up, he should propose a counter-resolution as an amendment; and also, that he meant, when the bill was introduced founded on the resolution, to take the sense of the House on the first reading, and again on the second reading, and again on the third reading. He believed, under these circumstances, there would be ample opportunities for discus sing the subject. It was for the public convenience that as little delay as possible should take place on the adoption of this resolution, which was only a prelude to the measure itself. Neither his Colleagues nor himself wished to avoid discussion on the subject, but he would leave the country to determine which was the most fitting occasion for taking it. Under pre sent circumstances, to yield to such motions for delay would be only playing the game of the party opposite.

Sir B. Hall

thought, that the noble Lord had only pursued an honourable and proper course in giving notice of the course which he intended to pursue in opposition to this resolution. He thought that this was the course that any opposition should pursue. He believed that there was a strong wish to come to a determination with respect to this resolution; but in what a situation would the country be placed when it had been stated by the Speaker, that when the resolution had once been adopted by the House, the country could not express an opinion on the matter in the constitutional form of petitioning that House. The right hon. Baronet had wisely, as he thought, refused to give any explanation as to the course he intended to pursue, until he had stated his propositions in detail to the House, and the views on which they were founded; but he begged the House to recollect when they were called upon to assent to this resolution, that the country had had very few days to consider the subject, and to the House itself very little time had elapsed between the proposition and their being called upon to determine on a tax which would press on all classes of the community—favourably, perhaps, as regarded some, but most obnoxiously as regarded others. Ample time should be given to the country to consider whether it was expedient or not to adopt such a tax, and whether the deficiency in the revenue might not be made up from other sources. He thought that the proper course to have pursued from the first, was to have given the House and the country time until after Easter to consider this proposition, and he trusted that this would be assented to on the present occasion. For his own part, he never had, and never would, offer any thing like a factious opposition to this or any other Government. He repeated, that time should be given for consideration, and if the right hon. Baronet would not allow the country the opportunity to consider the matter, and to petition the House on the subject, he, for one, should feel himself justified in resorting to every course which the forms of the House allowed to delay the proposition, with the view of giving the country time for deliberation.

Sir R. Peel

was surprised to hear the right hon. Member for Northampton charge him with treating the House with a want of courtesy. Sometimes he had been charged with making speeches of too great length, and on this subject he had ad dressed the House on the first occasion for three hours and a half, when he endeavoured to make the matter as clear as he could. Objections had been most ably urged a few nights ago to his proposition by the right hon. Gentleman, the late chancellor of the Exchequer, and by the noble Lord, the Member for the City of London, and he had replied to them at great length in further explanation and defence of the views which he had deemed it proper to take. As far as the general ' proposition went, he thought that he had exhausted all that he had to say on the subject; and looking to the many import ant measures which had to be discussed, he thought that it was more consistent with true courtesy to the House—for certainly he had no intention of showing any want of courtesy—to keep silent, instead making another speech of from an hour of and a half to two hours' length, repeating what he had said before. The right hon. Gentleman had that night said, that he (Sir Robert Peel) had not indicated the machinery which he intended to adopt to carry out his proposition; he was fully aware of this, and he did not do so because it was not yet before the House. He was sure that what the country then wanted was to see the measure which he proposed to carry in a tangible form, and this could not be done until the resolution had passed. He repeated, he could not possibly indicate the machinery of the mea sure until it was before the House. The division for the adjournment of the debate had that night been taken soon after eleven —he believed about half-past eleven, and at that time there appeared to be no disposition to rise to address the House by Gentlemen on either side. His right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and himself, to whose department this measure more particularly appertained, had exhausted what they had to say on the subject, and other hon. Gentlemen who had intimated that their constituents felt deeply interested in the question, had exhibited no disposition to rise to address the House, but they had expressed their determination to resist the progress of this measure in every possible way. Under these circumstances the division took place. He begged the House to recollect that the country would watch their discussions on that question. He might, per haps, be allowed to state, that at half-past seven o'clock that evening he counted the number of Members who were seated on the benches opposite, and he found that there were only twenty-seven present, and he must add that there were not many more on his side of the House.

Sir George Grey

observed, that by a remarkable coincidence he had counted, at about the same time, the number of Members on the opposite (Ministerial) benches, and he found that the number corresponded with that just stated by the right hon. Baronet.

Lord John Russell

said that, so long as it appeared that hon. Gentlemen were desirious of addressing the House on the subject before them, he, for one, would not join in any vote which should have the effect of putting an end to discussion; but certainly when an hon. Gentleman, at half-past eleven o'clock—an hour when the debate might have conveniently gone on—proposed an adjournment, he could not support him. At the same time, be fore the House of Commons took upon it self the task — the ungrateful, and, in many eyes, the odious task—of imposing a new tax, he was clearly of opinion that he should have time to consider the subject maturely, and to obtain the opinion of their several constituencies.

Mr. Brotherton

said, the motion for adjournment had been made by the hon. Member for Monmouth without any previous concert with other Members on that side of the House; but he had voted for it for this reason, that he had been in formed that morning that his constituents were preparing a petition against the mea sure, and he was desirous they should have an opportunity of laying it before the House; and he further understood that the Members for Manchester, and Bolton, among others, were anxious to address the House at this stage of the measure.

Lord Worsley

had voted with the majority on this occasion, and he believed that as little now as on other occasions was his conduct liable to the imputation of factiousness; but he certainly considered it was due to the constituencies of the country that they should have time to consider the right hon. Baronet's proposition. He had received a communication from the Secretary of the Agricultural Society, of which he was a member, in forming him that a meeting on the subject would be held on Thursday next; and he did not conceive that he was acting factiously in requesting of the House of Commons that the vote on this subject should be put off until after Easter, in order that his own constituents and the country at large might have an opportunity of considering the question, a question of no light import be it remembered, but a question whether the people of this country were to pay a war tax in time of peace. From letters he had received from different parts of the county he represented, he found that when the news arrived there of the right hon. Baronet's proposition as to the new tariff and the new tax, these things, coupled with the right hon. Baronet's Corn-law Bill, excited such a panic as had not been witnessed among the farmers for a great number of years. There were a great many points connected with this tax which would nearly affect the agricultural constituencies, and it was highly desirable that this wide-spread interest should have full time for considering the subject, and expressing their opinions upon it.

Mr. T. Duncombe

said, he did not exactly know what was meant by the use of the term factious on this occasion on the opposite side, except, indeed, on the principle that everything that was disagreeable to a Ministry, a Ministry call ed factious; in this way Members on his (Mr. Duncombe's) side of the House were charged with being factious, simply because they asked for delay. Delay was all they asked; they did not require hon. Gentlemen opposite to make their speeches to-morrow or the next day; but they wanted the House to delay the matter till after Easter, that the country, in the meantime, might consider the question. Their object, he would repeat, was delay— procrastination. What hon. Gentleman opposite aimed at was precipitation. The country considered the haste as most indecent. He had had many requests made to him by his constituents to endeavour to defeat this measure in every way that the rules of the House would admit of; and this was the feeling, not only of his constituents, but it would be the feeling of the great majority of the nation after Easter. Hon. Gentlemen opposite knew this perfectly well; they knew that the longer the measure was delayed, the greater the opposition to it. They were in a condition now to tell the House they had had no complaints from their constituents on the subject; but let Easter pass over, and they would have no chance of pleading such ignorance; and this was the reason Government wished to press on the measure in this indecent manner.

The committee divided on the question that the Chairman do leave the Chair.— Ayes 91; Noes 241: Majority 150.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Jardine, W.
Aldam, W. Johnstone, A.
Bannerman, A. Langston, J. H.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Mangles, R. D.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Marshall, W,
Bernal, R. Martin, J.
Blackstone, W. S. Morris, D.
Blake, Sir V. Morison, Gen.
Blewitt, R. J. Mostyn, hn. E. M. L.
Brodie, W. B. Murray, A.
Brotherton, J. O'Brien, C.
Bryan, G. O'Brien, J.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B.W. O'Brien, W. S.
Buller, C. O'Connell, M. J.
Busfeild, W. Ogle, S. C. H.
Chapman, B. Parker, J.
Cobden, R. Pechell, Capt.
Colborne, hon.W. N.R. Philips, M.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Plumridge, Capt.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Powell, C.
Craig, W. G Power, J.
Curteis, H. B. Pulsford, R.
Dalmeny, Lord Ricardo, J. L.
Dalrymple, Capt. Scholefield, J.
D'Eyncourt,right.hon. Scott, R.
C. T. Seale, Sir J. H.
Duff, J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Duncan,G. Somers, J. P.
Duncombe, T. Strutt, E.
Dundas, Admiral Tancred, H. W.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Thornely, T.
Easthope, Sir J. Towneley, J.
Ebrington, Visct. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Ellice, E. Villiers, F.
Ellis, W. Vivian, hon. Capt.
Ferguson, Col. Wakley, T.
Forster, M. Wason, ft.
Gibson, T. M. Wawn, J. T.
Greenaway, C. Wilde, Sir T.
Hall, Sir B. Williams, W.
Harris, J. Q. Wilshere, W.
Hastie, A. Wood, B.
Hawes, B. Wood, G. W.
Hindley, C. Wrightson, W. B.
Holdsworth, J.
Howard, hn. C. W. G. TELLERS.
Howard, hon. J. K. Bowring, Dr.
Hutt, W. Maule, right hon. F.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bailey, J., jun.
Acland, T. D. Baillie, Col.
A'Court, Capt. Baird, W.
Acton, Col. Balfour, J. M.
Adare, Visct. Baring, hon. W. B.
Adderley, C. B. Barrington, Visct.
Alford, Visct. Baskerville, T. B. M.
Allix, J. P. Bateson, Sir R.
Antrobus, E. Beckett, W.
Archdall, M. Bell, M.
Ashley, Lord Benett, J.
Astell, W. Bentinck, Lord G.
Attwood, J. Beresford, Major
Bagot, bon. W. Bernard, Visct.
Bailey, J. Blackburne, J. I.
Bodkin, W. H. Gore, M.
Boldero, H. G. Gore, W. O.
Borthwick, P. Gore, W. R. O.
Bradshaw, J. Goring, C.
Bramston, T. W. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Broadley, H. Graham, rt. hon Sir J.
Broadwood, H. Granby, Marquess of
Browne, hon. W. Greenall, P.
Brownrigg, J. S. Gregory, W. H.
Bruce, Lord E. Grimsditch, T.
Bruce, C. L. C. Grimston, Visc.
Buckley, E. Grogan, E.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Hale, R. B.
Bunbury, T. Halford, H.
Burroughes, H. N. Hamilton, W. J.
Cardwell, E. Hamilton, Lord C.
Charteris, hon. F. Hardinge, rt.hn.Sir H.
Chelsea, Visct. Hardy, J.
Chetwode, Sir J. Hawkes, T.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Hayes, Sir E.
Christmas, W. Heneage, G. H. W.
Chute, W. L. W. Heneage, E.
Clayton, R. R. Henley, J. W.
Clerk, Sir G. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Clive, hon. R. H. Herbert, hon. S.
Cochrane, A. Hinde, J. H.
Cockburn, rt.hn. SirG. Hodgson, F.
Codrington, C. W. Hodgson, R.
Collett, W. R. Houldsworth, T.
Colvile, C. R. Holmes, hon. W. A'Ct.
Compton, H. C. Hope, hon. C.
Copeland, Mr. AId. Hope, G. W.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Hornby, J.
Courtenay, Visct. Howard, hn. E. G. G
Cripps, W. Ingestre, Visct.
Damer, hon. Col. Jermyn, Earl
Darby, G. Johnson, W. G.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Johnstone, Sir J.
Dodd, G. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Douglas, Sir H. Jones, Capt.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Kemble, H.
Douglas, J. D. S. Knatchbull, right hon.
Dowdeswell, W. Sir E.
Duffield, T. Knight, H. G.
Duke, Sir J. Knight, F. W.
Duncombe, hon. O. Law, hon. C. E.
Du Pre, C. G. Lawson, A.
East, J. B. Legh, G. C.
Eaton, R. J. Leicester, Earl of
Egerton, W. T. Lincoln, Earl of
Egerton, Sir P. Lockhart, W.
Eliot, Lord Lowther, J. H.
Emlyn, Visct. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Escott, B. McGeachy, F. A.
Farnham, E. B. Mahon, Visct.
Fellowes, E. Mainwaring, T.
Filmer, Sir E. Manners, Lord J.
Fitzroy, hon. H. March, Earl of
Fleming, J. W. Marsham, Visct.
Follett, Sir W. W. Martin, C. W.
Ffolliott, J. Martyn, C. C.
Forbes, W. Master, T. W. C.
Forester, hn. G. C. W. Masterman, J.
Fuller, A. E. Meynell, Capt.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Milnes, R. M.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Mitchell, T. A.
Gordon, hon, Capt. Morgan, O.
Mundy, E. M. Sheppard, T.
Neeld, J. Shirley, E. P.
Neville, R. Sibthorp, Col.
Newry, Visct. Smollett, A.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Somerset, Lord G.
Norreys, Lord Somerton, Visct.
Northland, Visct. Sotheron, T. H. S.
O'Brien, A. S. Stanley, Lord
Ossulston, Lord Stewart, J.
Owen, Sir J. Stuart, H.
Packe, C.W. Sturt, H. C.
Paget, Lord W. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Palmer, R. Taylor, J. A.
Patten, J. W. Tennent, J. E.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Thompson, Mr. AId.
Peel, J. Thornhill, G.
Pemberton, T. Tollemache, hn. F.J.
Pigot, Sir R. Tollemache, J.
Pollock, Sir F. Tomline, G.
Praed, W. T. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Pringle, A. Trollope, Sir J.
Pusey, P. Trotter, J.
Rashleigh, W. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Rawdon, Col. Vere, Sir C. B.
Reade, W. M. Verner, Col.
Reid, Sir J. R. Vernon, G. H.
Repton, G. W. J. Villiers, Visct.
Richards, R. Vivian, J. E.
Rolleston, Col. Waddington, H. S.
Rose, rt. hn. Sir G. Wilbraham, hon. R. B.
Round, C. G. Winnington, Sir T. S.
Round, J. Wood, Col. T.
Rous, hon. Capt. Worsley, Lord
Rushbrooke, Col. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Russell, C. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Russell, J. D. W. Young, J.
Ryder, hon. G. D. Young, Sir W.
Sanden, Visct.
Scarlett, hon. R. C. TELLERS.
Scott, hon. F. Fremantle, Sir T.
Scrope, G. P. Baring, H.

Question on the original resolution was put.

Mr. T. Duncombe

The minority had increased on the last division, and he trusted that hon. Gentlemen opposite would give time to the House and to the country to consider the measure under their notice. Several hon. Gentlemen on his side of the House were desirous of addressing the committee. He asked for time, however, not on that account, but that the question might be fully and fairly discussed; and if the country then approved of the Income-tax its consent would be given with open eyes, and it would have had an opportunity of making up its mind as to the measure proposed by the right hon. Baronet. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had made a great mistake in asking the House to agree to the motion that evening; they would afterwards thank them (the Opposition) for delaying it. He concluded by moving that the Chairman do now report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

Sir Robert Peel

would not be voluntarily a party to any postponement of the resolution being come to. He could not resist obstructions thrown in the way of the House in the way in which they had been, but he repeated, that he would not voluntarily be a party to the postponement of the resolution because he believed that the House was then in a position to pronounce an opinion on that preliminary question. If the sense of the country should prove to be against his proposed measure, that sense might be manifested at an after period of the discussion; and if it was as hon. Gentlemen opposite anticipated that it would be, that sense would produce its effect upon the progress of the subsequent stages of the bill. The noble Lord, the leader of the opposition, had given notice of his intention to take the sense of the House on the several stages of the bill-on the first, second, and third readings of the bill. These stages could not be proceeded with until after Easter, but the bill could not be proceeded with at all until the preliminary resolution had been voted. His belief was, that the sense of the country would be found to be in favour of his bill; and he had relied in proposing the measure, and in encountering the difficulties which must attend its proposing, and, as be hoped, its ultimate passing- he relied upon the willingness of the people to bear the burden which he believed to be necessary for the maintenance of the public credit and the support of the national honour; and he was convinced that the proceedings of that evening would not tend to disincline the country to the adoption of his measure. It was his intention if he was prevented from proceeding with the resolution to propose the very earliest day he could fix for its further consideration. He should propose its further consideration for Wednesday, and he should be in the House ready to discharge what he felt to be his duty, and to propose, that the debate on the resolution should be then continued, in order, not that he might be enabled to take the sense of the House on a property-tax, but that he might be enabled to notify to the country what were the regulations he proposed to adopt—what was the machinery he proposed to make use of in carrying, it into effect. He would have no oppor- tunity of doing so until the House should have adopted the resolution, and the bill founded thereon should have been before it. He felt that that bill ought to be discussed at that period of the Session when they were most certain of a full House. He was most anxious to have an opportunity of forwarding the measure, but, at the same time, he knew from long experience what must be the result of opposition such as he was then encountering. He had voted with great satisfaction in the majority on the first division. He understood that that division had respect to the period of the evening at which it was judged advisable that the debate should be adjourned—that period was half-past eleven, certainly a period not too late for the discussion of such an important question. The second division he understood to be one upon a substantial point whether or not the resolution had been sufficiently discussed, and whether or not the House was in a condition to pronounce upon its merits. In the first division, those of the Members of the late Government, who were present, voted in the majority; on the last they retired from the House. He did not complain of that retirement. He believed that it indicated their opinion that be was justified in urging the vote, and that the subject was so far discussed, that the House was competent to pronounce an opinion upon it. But these votes having taken place, he was unwilling that—however great the majority might be—there should ensue a succession of contests which must terminate in the minority carrying their point. The first step he should, therefore, recommend to his Friends would be not to oppose the motion. The sense of the House on the question had already been satisfactorily manifested. He spoke without anger, without fear. They would reap the benefit of that night's proceedings. He for his own part would not oppose the motion. He protested against it, but he repeated that he should propose that the resolutions should be proceeded with upon the earliest possible day—upon Wednesday.

Mr. Fox Maule

said, the right hon. Baronet opposite had assumed with great self-sufficiency that his measure would prove acceptable to the country. He begged to ask the right hon. Baronet his authority for making such a statement? Did he find it in the newspapers? As far as he could understand, the public press best indicated the state of feeling of the country. He thought that the right hon. Baronet could hardly refer to such a source for a confirmation of his statement. He was one who had voted in the minority, in the full conviction that delay was necessary for the consideration by the country of the measure proposed by the right hon. Baronet. And in voting in that minority, he begged completely to differ from the statement of the right hon. Baronet, that his measure would be acceptable to the country, and the more he was able through the channels which were open to him, to gather of public opinion, the more he was convinced that the object of Government in hurrying the resolutions through the House, was to shut up those avenues through which the country could ex press its objections to the measure. He was convinced that the proceedings alluded to could not have been adopted with any other purpose. [Cries of "Order," and "Chair."] He begged the House to listen for a moment—he would not detain them. He only begged to say, that when the right hon. Baronet charged those who voted in the minority with having adopted that course from motives which they repudiated, he would take the liberty of telling that right hon. Gentleman that in the course which he had deemed it his duty to take, he was as willing to meet him in the arena of public opinion as he could be.

Sir T. D. Acland

The right hon. Gentleman said, that the object of the proceedings of those opposite was delay, and not discussion. He was persuaded that their course that night was a wish to have the public decide upon the measure before they knew its nature. He wished no better justification of his vote than that he wished the measure should be presented in as complete a form as possible for public consideration, whereas hon. Members opposite wished it to be determined on before it could be properly discussed. He was very happy to leave the hon. Gentlemen opposite in the predicament in which they had placed themselves.

Mr. C. Butter

The hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Baronet had viewed the conduct of the Opposition in a light which the right hon. Baronet must in his cooler moments disapprove of. He perfectly admitted the impropriety of adjourning the debate at half-past eleven; but when it was considered that their usual hour of adjournment was twelve o'clock, he thought it would be more courteous not to offer any obstruction to the motion for adjournment. And let it be recollected that after all, the House had only been one night and a half in committee on this important subject. There was one ground taken by the right hon. Baronet which I must say justified any opposition which might be given to his proposal, and that was, that he had further revelations to make with respect to his machinery. He did think it was the most preposterous thing he ever heard in that House that the proposal of an Income-tax, the whole of which turned on the machinery, should be saddled on the country, because the right hon. Baronet had some further disclosures to make which were so important that he could not divulge them except at a late stage of the measure, and that the Opposition should be charged with refusing him an opportunity for explanation. Who was it that refused to place the measure at once in all its bearings before the country? The right hon. Gentleman, who took a course the very opposite to that of all his predecessors who had to deal with a tax of this kind, and particularly to that of Mr. Pitt, who stated on the first introduction of the bill his whole machinery so clearly, that no subsequent explanation was necessary. The right hon. Baronet had two deliveries, and was not able to get out his meaning after all. It was very hard to ask for postponement again, on the ground that a third might be expected.

Sir R. Peel

What he said in reply to some hon. Gentleman, who called on him to "vindicate "the machinery of his bill was, that it was impossible to do so until the details which related to it came on for discussion. There were fifty or sixty clauses, and to attempt to describe them at once would be perfectly preposterous, and a waste of time. But he had stated as fully as he could, and in a way in which every man could understand it, the general machinery by which he proposed that the Income tax should be raised. If he were now to enter on details, his address would not be half so satisfactory as reading the bill itself. Perhaps there could not be a more effectual way of at once thinning the House.

The Chairman reported progress.

The Committee to sit again.