HC Deb 15 March 1847 vol 90 c1343

It will be in the recollection of the House, that on the 20th of July, when the sugar duties were altered, and the Sugar Bill, which up to that time had been an annual Bill, was made a permanent Bill, that my noble Friend declared in this House, that it was not his intention to vary the constitutional practice of Parliament in always maintaining some large amount of taxes which should be annually voted by this House. My noble Friend stated that he would at a subsequent period declare to the House what that taxation would be, which he should put in that position that every year previous to the 5th of July, the House would have an opportunity of taking a vote upon it. Seeing that the Mutiny Bill stands second on the Orders of the Day, I think it proper to ask my noble Friend whether there is any large amount of taxation upon which he proposes to take a vote this Session?


In answer to my noble Friend's question, I have to state, in the first place, that he is perfectly right in his reference to the statement made that it was our intention, when we proposed that the sugar duties should be made permanent, to propose that some other duties should be made annual. After making that announcement, I received representations from various quarters, stating, that with respect to those duties which could be made annual, there would follow very considerable public inconvenience. Those representations were taken into consideration by the Cabinet; and I think since the commencement of the present Session, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has declared that it is not our intention to propose any annual duty as a substitute at present for the annual duty on sugar. There are various votes to be taken in the course of the Session; the vote for supply according to the military estimates; also the miscellaneous votes, by means of which, as I conceive, the House of Commons has infinite control. It is not our intention, therefore, seeing the public inconvenience that would arise, to propose that any duty which is now permanent should be made annual.