HC Deb 06 May 1842 vol 63 cc234-48

On the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer the House resolved itself into committee on the Property or Income-tax Bill.

Clauses from 88 to 93 were agreed to.

On elause 94,

Mr. J. O'Brien

begged to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman had considered the case of literary and scientific institutions and chapels for Dissenters.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

With respect to the latter, he had no hesitation in saying that he would propose to exempt all buildings licensed according to law for religious observances and used for no other purpose. With respect to the former part of the question, he had been endeavouring to find out a definition by the use of which he might extend the same benefit of exemption to literary and scientific institutions without opening the door to much fraud and evasion. There were considerable difficulties in the way, but he had not abandoned the hope that he should yet overcome them.

Mr. Hume

said, in the country many of the chapels were used as schools and for other purposes, such as Bible meetings, and the like. In Scotland the churches had for fifty years been used for many purposes connected with the parish. The words "for no other purpose whatever" would exclude them; therefore they had better be omitted.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

would consider the case before he proposed the exempting clause.

Clause 94 agreed to.

On clause 95,

Mr. P. Scrope

begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the exemption with respect to persons whose income did not amount to 150l. a-year was intended to be a complete exemption; or whether such persons would, in the first instance, be taxed, and be compelled to appeal to the commissioners to obtain a remission? The operation of the bill in this respect was not understood in the country. According to his reading of the bill, parties in the position he had mentioned would have to go through the troublesome process of appealing to the commissioners.

Chancellor of the Exchequer

was understood to say, that the only mode of ascertaining exemptions was to bring all persons under the schedules into the assessment. If the tax was imposed in a case where ground for exemption existed, parties would obtain repayment from the Receiver of Stamps. It would be impossible to allow persons to judge for themselves, whether there was ground for exemption in their respective cases.

Clause agreed to.

On rule 1, schedule D, in clause 96, being read as follows:— Computation of duty on trade upon amount of balance of the profits or gains upon a just average of years. It was proposed to fill the blank with ' three,'

Mr. Hume

hoped the Government would not insist that the assessment should be made on an average of three years* profits. He wished to know whether it was the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to make any alteration in this respect?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had heard various opinions expressed on this point. Persons in whose trades depression had existed during the last year, and who hoped for improvement in future, were desirous to have the assessment made on last year's profits; and those who thought that depression had existed in their respective businesses during the last three years were anxious that the assessment should be taken on the term of three years. He considered the fairest course was to adhere to the former practice, and to estimate the profits of the current year, on the average of the three preceding years.

Mr. Hume

appealed to the Government, whether this was a just course to pursue. It certainly did not appear so to him. He should like to hear from any hon. Member connected with trade, whether it was the general opinion that the profits of the past year would equal the average profits of the three preceding years. He considered it most oppressive to tax the profits of the present year, when great depression was admitted to prevail in nearly all branches of trade, upon the average profits of the three preceding years, when trade was in a much more flourishing condition. He would propose as an amendment, that the words "one year" be substituted for "three years."

Mr. W. Ellis

said, there was scarcely a town in the United Kingdom in which trade was not in a state of extreme gloom and depression; and he believed little hope was entertained of a speedy return of prosperous times. He was not, however, prepared to say, that this depression would not be in part removed when the Legislature had come to a decision on the measures of Government. It was undoubtedly the case, that during the last year severe losses were sustained by commercial men; and it was his sincere conviction, that during that period few commercial men had succeeded in covering their expenses. The usual course pursued in commercial houses was to "take stock," as it was termed, at Christmas; and consequently the assessment under this bill would be made on the average profits of 1839, 1840, and 1841. Trade was tolerably good during 1839 and 1840, but in 1841 it suffered great depression; and as there was no ground for anticipating any revival, it would be oppressive to make the assessment for the present year on the average of those three years.

Sir R. Peel

said, during the last three years very general complaints had been made of the depression of trade, and it could not be asserted that in any one of those years trade had been in a prosperous condition. He was desirous to adopt the most just course, and from the communications he had received, he considered it preferable to make the assessment on the average profits of three years rather than on the profits of the last year. He must remind the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hume) that the bill gave parties the option of compounding for the next three years on the average profits of the last three years; and, supposing that any revival of trade took place during the next three years, an advantage would thus be obtained by those who compounded. He regretted, however, that he could not express any very sanguine expectations with respect to a revival of trade. He was bound to say that the arrival of spring had disappointed the anticipations he had formed; for his impression had been that that season would have been accompanied by more cheering indications of prosperity than had yet appeared. Although it was said in some quarters that the tariff did not go far enough, he thought it would be admitted that measures were in progress which were likely to lead to a revival of trade. He thought, then, it was fair to give persons the option of paying year by year on the average of the preceding three years, or of compounding for the term of three years on the average of the last three years. If in all cases the preceding year alone was adopted as the criterion of assessment, he thought great dissatisfaction would be occasioned. It was impossible to give persons the option of determining whether they would be assessed on the last year or on the average of three years. A definite rule must be laid down; and as on a former occasion the average of three years was adopted, he considered it his duty to advise the House to agree to such a course on this occasion.

Mr. Wakley

said, the right hon. Baronet had admitted that the anticipations he had formed respecting a revival of trade had been disappointed. He thought the depression of trade might be attributed in a great degree to the uncertainty which prevailed with regard to the measures now before the House. He was almost disposed to think that the House should begin immediately to devote its attention to. this bill, and to the tariff, to the exclusion of all other business; for it was impossible, while the present uncertainty with regard to those measures existed, that any revival of trade could take place. He believed that if, on Monday next, the right hon. Baronet appealed to the House to adopt the course he had suggested, the proposal would meet a willing concurrence.

Mr. S. Worthy

was not prepared to say whether the House should or should not adopt the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman; but it was true that intense anxiety prevailed throughout the country with regard to the measures to which the hon. Member had referred. The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) had proposed a few nights since that a larger portion of the time of the House should be devoted to the consideration of the Income-tax Bill and the tariff; and to that arrangement the House had given its consent.

Sir R. Peel

said, if the House applied itself for a fortnight to the consideration of the measures alluded to, great progress would, undoubtedly, be made, and great advantage would accrue to the country. He did not think it advisable, except in cases of extreme necessity, to interfere with the ordinary principles on which the business of that House was conducted; but if the House consented to devote five days in the week to the consideration of these measures, rapid progress would be made with them.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, the bill gave persons the option of compounding for the whole period of three years during which the measure was expected to continue in operation. He had heard nothing to convince him that the average ought not to be formed on the three years.

Mr. Hume

said, that in many cases, to tax income on the average profits of three preceding years would be a gross injustice; and that the income being assessed on one year's profits would be much fairer. He moved to fill the blank in the clause with the word "one," to alter the three years to one year.

Mr. J. Bailey

preferred the principle of the income being assessed on one year instead of three. Trade had been getting worse for the last three years, and it would be unjust to make a man pay tax on an Income which he did not now receive, which was formed on an average of three preceding years.

Mr. Rundle

did not see why the composition should not be on one year instead of on an average of three years.

Mr. Hume

hoped the committee would decide in favour of his amendment.

Sir R. Peel

said, his hon. Friend (Mr. M. Attwood) had stated that the profits of the iron trade had been in the last three years in the ratio of 30, 20, and 10; he thought this no argument against the income being taken on the average of the three years. Suppose that during the next three years the ratio of the profits should be as 10, 20, and 30 in that trade, would it be fair to say that the composition for three years should be made on an average of 10, if it should turn out that the average was much greater?

Mr.M. Attwood

said, suppose the iron trade should continue in its present state of depression for the next three years, would they impose an Income-tax on a trade which was losing money, founded on the profits of the preceding years? If a man made no profit he ought not to pay any Income-tax. He thought that in a short time prosperity would return to the country, and that there would be a great increase of income to the Exchequer.

Mr. Fielden

said, it appeared to him that the fairest way was to take the income of the past year for the next year's Income-tax, and to take the average of the three preceding years for the succeeding year's Income-tax.

Mr. Muntz

said, it made a material reduction in the Income-tax, to have it fixed on the profits of the past year, instead of on the three preceding years. For his own part, he would rather take the average on the three years and the composition. There was no doubt that the present state of the country must improve. The country was in its present state in consequence of bad legislation, and different measures would produce a different result.

The committee divided on the question that the blank be filled up with the word "three."—Ayes 76; Noes 27: Majority 49.

List of the AYES.
Acton, Col. Baring, rt. hon. F. T.
Bagge, W. Baskerville, T. B. M.
Baillie, Col. Beckett, W.
Baird, W. Bodkin, W. H.
Baring, hon. W. B, Boldero, H. G,
Bramston, T. W. Kemble, H.
Browne, hon. W. Knatchbull, right hon.
Campbell, A Sir E.
Chetwode, Sir J. Lawson, A.
Christmas, W. Leicester, Earl of
Clayton,. R. R Lockhart, W.
Clerk, Sir G. Mackenzie, T.
Collett, W. R. Mc'Geachy, F. A.
Copeland, Mr. Ald. Mainwaring, T.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Manners, Lord J.
Damer, hon. Col. Marsham, Visct.
Denison, E. B. Masterman, J.
Dickinson, F. H. Muntz, G. F.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Duncombe, hon, A. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
East, J. B. Peel, J.
Escott, B. Pemberton, T.
Flower, Sir J. Plumptre, J. P.
French, F. Polhill, F.
Gaskell,J. Milnes Pringle,A.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Pusey, P.
Goulburn, rt. hn. H. Reade, W. M.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Sibthorp, Col.
Greenall, P. Stanley, E.
Grogan, E. Stewart, J.
Halford, H. Tennent, J. E.
Hamilton, Lord C. Trench, Sir F. W.
Harcourt, G. G. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Henley, J. W. Trotter, J.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Vivian, J. E.
Hillsborough, Earl of Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Hope, hon. C. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Howard, P. H. TELLERS.
Ingestre, Visct. Fremantle, Sir T.
Johnson, W. G. Herbert, S.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Humphrey, Mr. Ald.
Attwood, M. Mitchell, T. A.
Bailey, J. Morris, D.
Barnard, E. G. Murphy, F. S.
Bodkin, J. J. O'Brien, W. S.
Bowring, Dr. Scrope, G. P.
Brodie, W.B. Thornely, T.
Busfeild, W. Tufnell, H.
Christie, W. D. Turner, E.
Cobden, R. Wakley, T.
Crawford, W. S. Wawn, J. T.
Ellis, W. Wood, B.
Fielden, J. TELLERS.
Gibson, T. M. Hume, J.
Granger, T. C. Rundle, J.

Rule as proposed agreed to.

Remaining rules of the clause severally agreed to, as was clause 97, with its rules.

On clause 98 being proposed,

Mr. French

proposed an amendment— To except from the tax such annuities and yearly interest of money as shall be payable in Great Britain, to or on behalf of any person, boná fide resident in Ireland. The effect of the clause as it stood, Would be that persons residing in Ireland, and deriving incomes from England, would pay double, because they would not only pay upon any income derived from Eng land, but an extra duty upon stamps and spirits in Ireland.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

resisted the amendment, which was negatived.

Clause, and clauses up to 187 were agreed to.

On clause 188, commencement and continuance of the act (that the act shall commence and take effect from and after the 5th day of April 1842, and, together with the duties therein contained, shall continue in force until and no longer), it was proposed to fill the blank with "the 6th day of April, 1845."

Mr. Hume

moved as an amendment to substitute the 6th day of April, 1843.

The committee divided on the question, that the blank be filled up with the 6th of April, 1845:—Ayes 174; Noes 52: Majority 122.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Muntz, G. F.
Aldam, W Murphy, F. S.
Bell, J. Murray, A.
Bowring, Dr. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Brotherton, J. O'Connell, M. J.
Christie, W. D. O'Connell, J.
Colebrooke, Sir T.E. Ogle, S. C. H.
Crawford, W. S. Pechell, Capt.
Curteis, H. B. Plumridge, Capt.
Dalrymple, Capt. Pulsford, R.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Redington, T. N.
Ebrington, Visct. Rice, E. R.
Ellis, W. Rundle, J.
Evans, W. Scholefield, J.
Fielden, J. Scrope, G. P.
French, F. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Gill, T. Strutt, E.
Gore, hon. R. Tancred, H. W.
Granger. T. C. Turner, E.
Hawes, B. Villiers, hon. C.
Heneage, E. Wakley, T.
Hutt, W. Wawn, J. T.
James, W. Williams, W.
Layard, Capt. Wood, B.
Marjoribanks, S.
Marshall, W. TELLERS.
Morris, D. Hume, J.
Mostyn, hn. E. M. L. Humphery, Mr. Ald.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bailey, J. jun.
Acland, T. D. Baillie, Col.
A'Court, Capt. Baillie, H. J.
Acton, Col. Bankes, G.
Allix, J. P. Baring, hon. W. B.
Arkwright, G. Barrington, Visct.
Astell, W. Baskerville, T. B. M.
Attwood, M. Bateson, Sir R.
Bagot, hon. W. Beresford, Capt.
Bailey, J. Beresford, Major
Bodkin, W. H. Hinde, J. II.
Boldero, H. G. Hodgson, R.
Bradshaw, J. Hodgson, F.
Bramston, T.W. Holmes, hn. W A'Ct.
Broadley, H. Hope, hon. C.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Hornby, J.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Howard, hn. E. G. G.
Campbell, A. Howard, P. H.
Chetwode, Sir J. Jackson, J. D.
Clayton, R. R. Johnson, W. G.
Clements, H. J. Johnstone, Sir J.
Clerk, Sir G. Johnstone, H.
Clive, hon. R. H. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Cochrane, A. Jones, Capt.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Kemble, H.
Colvile, C. R. Knatchbull, right hon.
Copeland, Mr. Ald. Sir E.
Corry, rt. hn. H. Knight, H. G.
Cripps, W. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Darby G. Lawson, A.
Dawnay, hn. W. H. Leicester, Earl of
Denison, E. B. Lemon, Sir C.
Dickinson, F.H. Lindsay, H. II.
Dodd, G. Lockhart, W.
Douglas, Sir H. Lowther, hon. Col.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Lygon, hon. General
Douglas, J. D. S. Mackenzie, T.
Drummond, H. H. Mackenzie, W. F.
Duncombe, hon. A. M'Geachy, F. A.
Egerton, W. T. Manners, Lord J,
Egerton, Sir P. Marsham, Visct.
Eliot, Lord Martin, C. W.
Escott, B. Master, T. W. C.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Masterman, J.
Farnham, E. B. Maule, rt hon. F.
Fellowes, E. Meynell, Capt.
Fielden, W. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Filmer, Sir E. Mundy, E. M.
Fitzroy, Capt. Neeld, J.
Fleming, J. W. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Flower, Sir J. Norreys, Lord
Follett, Sir W. W. O'Brien, A. S.
Ffolliott, J. Paget, Lord W.
Forbes, W. Patten, J. W.
Fuller, A. E. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Pigot, Sir R.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Plumptre, J. P.
Godson, R. Polhill, F.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Pollock, Sir F.
Gore, M. Pringle, A.
Gore, W. O. Pusey, P.
Gore, W. R. O. Rashleigh, W.
Goring, C. Reade, W. M.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Reid, Sir J. R.
Graham, it. hn. Sir J. Richards, R.
Granby, Marquess of Rolleston, Col.
Greenall, P. Rous, hon. Capt.
Gregory, W. H. Rushbrooke, Col.
Grogan, E. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Hamilton, J. H. Sanderson, R.
Hamilton, W. J. Scott, hon. F.
Hamilton, Lord C. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Hayes, Sir E. Shaw, right hon. F.
Henley, J. W. Shirley, E. J.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Sibthorp, Col.
Herbert, hon. S. Smith, A.
Hillsborough, Earl of Somerset, Lord G.
Somerton, Visct. Verner, Col.
Stanley, Lord Vesey, hon. T.
Stewart, J. Vivian, J. E.
Stuart, H. Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Sutton, hon. H. M. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Talbot, C. R. M. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Tennent, J. E. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Thompson, Mr. Ald. Young, J.
Tollemache, J. Young, Sir W.
Trench, Sir F. W. TELLERS.
Trotter, J. Baring, H.
Turnor, C. Fremantle, Sir T.

Clause ordered to stand part of the bill.

Mr. F. Maule

inquired what words the Chancellor of the Exchequer intended to introduce into schedule C, for the purpose of exempting the dividends of stock invested for the repairs of Dissenting chapels from contribution?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had, already, at an early hour of the evening, stated what he intended to do, with respect to several points which had been reserved; but as the right hon. Gentleman was not then in his place, he had no objection now to repeat, that the words he proposed to add were these— Or other building licensed according to law, as a chapel for the purpose of divine worship, and used for no other purpose.

Mr. F. Maule

said, that he was ready to admit, that the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer had done justice to the parties. He wished to know whether it would extend to the Dissenting chapels in Scotland?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that he had taken the words from the act under which Dissenting chapels are exempted from the payment of the window-tax, and he presumed that that applied to Scotland as well as to England.

Mr. F. Maule

was satisfied with the answer.

Mr. H. Yorke

moved the following clause:— That in assessing the amount of duty to be annually paid by any attorney, solicitor, or proctor, in respect of the annual profits and gains received by him from his profession, employment, or vocation, the commissioners shall allow such sum as shall have been paid by him for duty upon his certificate.

Clause brought up and read a first time.

On the question, that the clause be read a second time.

Colonel Sibthorp

thought the motion a proper one; and he begged leave to support it.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

opposed the motion.

Mr. Yorke

was unwilling to give the House any unnecessary trouble, but he felt, that he could not discharge the duty which he had undertaken, without pressing his motion.

The House divided:—Ayes 18; Noes 183: Majority 165.

List of the AYES.
Aldam, W. Pechell, Capt:
Crawford, W. S. Scholefield, J.
Duncombe, T. Turner, E.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Vane, Lord H.
Gore, hon. R. Villiers, hon. C.
Granger, T. C. Wawn, J. T.
James, W. Williams, W.
Mackenzie, T.
Mackenzie, W. F. TELLERS.
Morris, D. Sibthorp, Col.
Ogle, S. C. H. Yorke, H. R.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Denison, E. B.
Acland, T. D. Dickinson, F. H.
A'Court, Capt. Douglas, Sir H.
Acton, Col. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Aglionby, H. A. Douglas, J. D. S.
Allix, J. P. Drummond, H. H.
Arkwright, G. Duncombe, hon. A.
Astell, W. Egerton, W. T.
Atwood, M. Egerton, Sir P.
Bailey, J. jun. Eliot, Lord
Baillie, Col. Escott, B.
Baring, hon. W. B. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Baring, it. hon. F. T. Evans, W.
Barrington, Visct. Fellowes, E.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Feilden, W.
Bodkin, W. H. Filmer, Sir E.
Boldero, H. G. Fitzroy, Capt.
Bowring, Dr. Flower, Sir J.
Bradshaw, J. Follett, Sir W. W.
Bramston, T. W. Ffolliott, J.
Broadley, H. Forbes, W.
Brooke, Sir A. B. French, F.
Brotherton, J. Fuller, A. E.
Browne, R. D. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Buller, Sir J. Y. Gill, T.
Campbell, A. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Clayton, R. R. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Clements, H. J. Gordon, Lord F.
Clerk, Sir G. Gore, M.
Clive, hon. R. H. Gore, W. R. O.
Cochrane, A. Goring, C.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Colvile, C. R. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Conolly, Col. Granby, Marq. of
Copeland, Aid. Greenall, P.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Gregory, W. H.
Cripps, W. Grogan, E.
Curteis, H. B. Hamilton, J.
Dalrymple, Capt. Hamilton, W. J.
Darby, G. Hamilton, Lord C.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Hawes, B.
Hay, Sir A. L. Nicholl, right hon. J.
Henley, J. W. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. O'Brien, A. S.
Herbert, hon. S. O'Brien, W. S.
Hillsborough, Earl of Paget, Lord W.
Hobhouse, rt.hn.Sir J. Pakington, J. S.
Hodgson, F. Patten, J. W.
Hodgson, R. Peel, rt. hon. Sir E.
Holmes, hn. W. A'Ct. Plumptre, J. P.
Hope, hon. C. Polhill, F.
Hornby, J. Pollock, Sir F.
Howard, P. H. Pringle, A.
Howick, Visct. Rashleigh, W.
Hume, J. Reade, W. M.
Humphery, Ald. Redington, T. N.
Hutt, W. Rice, E. R.
Jackson, J. D. Richards, R.
Jermyn, Earl Rolleston, Col.
Johnson, W. G. Rous, hon. Capt.
Johnstone, H. Rushbrooke, Col.
Jolliffe, Sir W. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Jones, Capt. Sanderson, R.
Kelburne, Visct. Sandon, Visct.
Kemble, H. Scott, hon. F.
Knatchbull, rt. hn, Sir E. Shaw, right hon. F.
Knight, H. G. Shirley, E. J.
Knight, F. W. Somerset, Lord G.
Lawson, A. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Layard, Capt. Stanley, Lord
Leicester, Earl of Stewart, J.
Lindsay, H. H. Strutt, E.
Lockhart, W. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Lowther, J. H. Talbot, C. R. M.
M'Geachy, F. A. Tennent, J. E.
Manners, Lord J. Thompson, Ald.
Marjoribanks, S. Tollemache, J.
Marshall, W. Trotter, J.
Marsham, Visct. Turnor, C.
Martin, C. W. Verner, Col.
Marlon, G. Vesey, hon. T.
Master, T. W. C. Vivian, J. E.
Masterman, J. Wakley, T.
Maule, rt. hon. F. Wilbraham. hn. R. B.
Meynell, Capt. Winnington, Sir T.
Miles, P. W. S. Wood, B.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Wood, G. W.
Mostyn, hn. E. M. L. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Mundy, E. M. Yorke, hn. E. T.
Murray, A. Young, J.
Neeld, J. TELLERS.
Neville, R. Baring, H.
Newry, Visct. Fremantle, Sir T.
Mr. Henley

moved the insertion of a clause— To enable the commissioners or other Government officers to relieve occupiers of land, in certain cases, from the whole or any part of the duty charged upon them under schedule B, as to them may seem just,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

opposed the clause. It would only make the operation of the bill more unequal, and its inequalities were already complained of.

Mr. B. Wood

said, that he would move his clause to protect persons from a charge of Income-tax, upon a larger sum than the net amount of real income, on the bringing up of the report, unless the Government would undertake to propose such a clause.

Sir R. Peel

said, the hon. Member's clause had been under the consideration of the Government, but as he thought it would operate unjustly, he would leave it under the charge of the hon. Member himself.

Mr. T. Duncombe

rose to move a clause, to which, he believed, from the sense of justice which always actuated that House, there would be no objection. His object was to place borough electors on the same footing with regard to the payment of this Income-tax as county electors. By the 27th section of the Reform Act, all borough electors were obliged to pay all assessed taxes, namely, the Queen's taxes and the poor-rates, as a condition of registration. All these taxes, due on the 5th of April, must be paid on or before the 20th of July succeeding. County electors were not obliged to pay any rates or taxes as a condition of registration. He had taken legal opinions on this point, and had ascertained that it would be necessary for borough electors to pay this Income-tax before the 20th of July in each year, as a condition of registration; and the object of his clause was to render this payment unnecessary for the purposes of registration. The proposition was so reasonable he did not think it would be objected to. By the 51st section of the Reform Act, all overseers could call on the electors of assessed taxes to allow them to inspect their books, and the revising barristers had the power, in case a vote was disputed, and as these individuals were not sworn to secrecy under the act the consequence would be, that they would possess all that inquisitorial power which the authors of the Income bill proposed to guard against. He proposed a clause to effect the object he had in view, and said he should take the sense of the House on it.

Sir R. Peel

wished the hon. Gentleman would postpone the clause until the bringing up of the report, but not because be contested its principle. The Income-tax was a temporary tax, and he certainly did not think the voters in towns should be disentitled to exercise their right of voting because they had not paid it. He thought the proposition just, and did not intend to place the borough voters under any new disqualification. At the same time, he wished that the clause should be postponed until the bringing up of the report. He admitted this principle, that there should be no new disability on account of the property-tax.

Mr. T. Duncombe

said, his only object was, that borough electors should not be placed in a worse position on account of this tax than they were in before, and therefore he would give notice that he should move a clause to that effect on bringing up the report.

Sir R. Peel

said, the Government would take care to consider whether such disqualifications would apply, and if it did, they would undertake to introduce such an alteration in the bill as would effect the object in view.

Colonel Sibthorp

then moved a clause to the effect that no foreigner residing in this country, and deriving an income from any employment or business here, should be exempted from the payment of the tax.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had objected to the exemption of any particular class, and therefore he did not wish any particular exemption to apply to foreigners. But the rule as to foreigners under this bill was a general one. Those who came here for a short period only, and were supposed to have no fixed residence or establishment during that time, would be exempt, but if they lived here for a certain period, they would then be considered as permanently resident, and would be charged with the tax. He thought, therefore, it was better to let the matter rest on that general principle.

Colonel Sibthorp

said, his only object was to watch these foreigners as they came and went; but after what had been stated by the right hon. Gentleman he would not press the clause.

Mr. F. Baring

wished to know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer had prepared a clause for exempting schools and literary institutions?

Mr. Hume

And mechanics' institutions too?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had stated at an early part of the evening that he had not forgotten this subject, and that he had drawn up a clause, but that it was not satisfactory for the purpose, inasmuch as it did not limit the operation of the exemption to the par- ticular object which they were desirous to exempt. At the same time he did not abandon the hope of being able to propose such a clause as would be satisfactory, and the hon. Member for East Sussex had offered to assist him in doing so, but at present he was not prepared to give a decided opinion upon it.

House resumed. Report brought up to be further considered on the following Monday.

House adjourned.