§ House in Committee of Ways and Means.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said that, in addition to the Notice which he had on the Paper with respect to the Sugar Duties, there was another with respect to a grant out of the Consolidated Fund, which he wished now to propose. In consequence of the early period at which Easter would fall this year, there would not be funds for carrying on the public business up to the 5th of April, unless a vote were taken on the present occasion. He did not apprehend there would be any objection, and as the vote was the foundation of a Bill which would require to be passed before the 5th of April, he hoped the House would consent to it without opposition. He begged to propose a vote of 8,000,000l. out of the Consolidated Fund for making good the supply of the year.
§ Mr. Hume
wished to ask a question of the right hon. Baronet opposite. The hon. Member for Bath had given notice of a Motion with respect to the window duty. If the hon. Gentleman should succeed in obtaining a Committee, he wished to know if the right hon. Baronet 238 would have any objection to the Committee changing the window-light duty into a house duty. It was a matter well worthy their consideration.
§ Sir R. Peel
admitted the importance of the question, but did not think it could be satisfactorily discussed in answer to a question. It might be recollected that there had been in existence at the same time both a window duty and a house duty. The House had the option of determining which of these duties should cease; and, at the time, it proposed taking off the house duty, because it thought the window duty was the fairer of the two.
hoped he would not be considered importunate in taking that opportunity of requesting the serious attention of the right hon. Baronet to the general subject of the collection of taxes. If there was one evil more crying than another, it was the mode of collecting surcharges, particularly in the metropolis. He knew small tradesmen who, rather than take the trouble of protecting their rights, submitted to the overcharge, as their business would not permit their attendance and loss of time in attending to the appeal. Then, with respect to the collectors of taxes. They were paid by a small percentage. He knew an instance of one whose per centage amounted to about 70l., who yet paid as much to a deputy. On asking him why he had undertaken the office, he answered that his principal reason was, because he thought it would increase his business; and that, while he collected the tax, he would have the means of increasing his business. He thought the system required immediate attention.
§ Vote agreed to.