HC Deb 15 March 1849 vol 103 cc758-857

The Order of the Day having been read for resuming this debate,


said, he was desirous of explaining to the House the grounds upon which he should feel it his duty to vote on the Motion now under the consideration of the House; and knowing the general desire of the House to be that they should come to a division on the question that night, and having no doubt that many hon. Members on both sides would be anxious to express their views upon it, he would endeavour to make his remarks as brief as possible. The House had two proposals, each involving entirely different principles, now placed before it. The one moved for by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire was a proposal founded upon leaving the whole amount of the public burdens and public taxation as it stands at present, and merely transferring a portion of the present taxation from one class to another; while the proposal of the hon. Member for Montrose sought to give relief to all classes, agricultural and commercial, by, first, a reduction of the public expenditure, in order that the claims of the national creditor might be duly regarded; and, secondly, by applying the surplus procured by the reduction of the expenditure of the country to the repeal of those taxes which press upon both agricultural and commercial industry. It was of importance that the House should carefully mark the distinction in principle between these two propositions, and then of course it would be the duty of those who approved of the principle of seeking relief from the pressure of taxation for all classes, by reducing the public expenditure, to support his hon. Friend's (Mr. Hume's) Amendment; while those who preferred the prin- ciple of granting relief to one class by shifting part of their burdens to increase the burdens of another class—that was, by transferring the existing local taxation to the Consolidated Fund of the national Exchequer—must, of course, to be consistent, vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. There were Gentlemen favourable to the reduction of the malt duty, and others, who thought they might select a better tax for reduction than the malt tax. There were some persons for the repeal of the duty on paper, there were others for the reduction of the duty on tea, and others for an alteration in the tax upon windows. Those hon. Gentlemen who were for a repeal of any of those taxes might consistently vote that the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose should be put to the House. They could, afterwards, as they thought proper, exclude or retain the malt tax, or do what they liked with particular details. They would do nothing by their first vote, but merely give an opinion on the principle contained in his hon. Friend's proposition. He (Mr. Gibson) should proceed to state his reasons for preferring the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire. That hon. Gentleman had invited them to go into Committee of the whole House for the purpose of agreeing to a resolution that they should transfer a charge of six millions to the Consolidated Fund. That, he imagined, would be the resolution which the hon. Member would submit to the Committee of the whole House, if they consented to his proposal. He imagined that such resolution was to be the foundation for a Bill, and that the hon. Member had merely submitted the resolution in its present form, in compliance with Parliamentary usage. But the hon. Gentleman had offered them no security whatever, that when he had transferred those six millions to the Consolidated Fund, he would be able to prevail on Parliament to agree to that addition of taxation which would be necessary if he should carry his resolution. Then, as the hon. Gentleman was opposed to any reduction of expenditure, how could they guard themselves (even if they were favourable to his proposal) from the charge of being willing to risk repudiation, if they were, with their eyes open, and without knowing where they could get the requisite tax to meet a charge, to proceed to create this additional burden, leaving it as a matter of chance whether it should be left as a percentage to be taken off the dividends when they next became due. His hon. Friend the Member for Montrose was prepared for the reduction of expenditure: the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire would keep expenditure as it is; he would put a charge of six millions on the Consolidated Fund, and take his chance whether Parliament would give a new tax, thus making it almost certain that they would not be able to meet the public creditor. They had seen the way in which the proposition to increase the income tax was received last year; and could they expect that a similar proposition would now he received with more favour? Without further dwelling on that point, he would refer to the grounds on which the hon. Gentleman invited them to go into a Committee of the whole House. The hon. Gentleman had said that local taxation pressed entirely on real property, and that it bears with undue severity on that portion of real property that comes under the head of "land for agricultural purposes." The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the most able and conclusive speech he had delivered on the preceding day, entirely disposed of this question of the undue pressure of local taxation. He (Mr. Gibson) should not travel through all the details which the right hon. Gentleman had, with so much talent and ability, given to the House; but as he had referred to the right hon. Gentleman's speech, he might say, by way of parenthesis, that he agreed in the whole of that speech, with two exceptions. He did not quite follow the right hon. Gentleman when he attacked the proposition of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose; and he was at a loss to know where those statutes existed, or where those laws were to be found, that imposed the same amount of legacy and probate duty on real property as was required to be paid on personal property. It was new to him that at the present time real property paid the same amount, practically, of tax when passing from the dead to the living; and, so far as he was informed on the subject, he was disposed to believe that the net was not set that had caught in it the real property of the country, and made it subject to the same amount of legacy duty that was levied on the personal estate. On the whole, however, he considered that a more logical and able speech than that of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had never been delivered in that House. He should now address himself to the latter portion of the proposition of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, namely, that the local taxation fell with undue pressure on the land used for agricultural purposes. He would not quote statistics on the subject; but he would say it was impossible that land used for agricultural purposes could pay more than its due share of local taxation. He would not quote figures; but it seemed to him that the mode in which local taxation was levied precluded the possibility of land, used for agricultural purposes, paying more than houses and mills, or buildings of various kinds. The local rates of the country were levied on the annual incomes arising from real property, and not on the intrinsic value of real property. An estate of arable land sold for thirty years' purchase, the purchaser being satisfied with 3½ per cent for his money; while not more than twelve, fifteen, or twenty years' purchase was given for buildings, so as to yield a return of 7 per cent. In the case of land, the rate was levied on 3 per cent of the intrinsic value; in the latter case, upon 7 per cent. They took, therefore, double the amount of local taxation from buildings that they took from land for purely agricultural purposes. Let anybody take 1,000l., and he would find that if he purchased buildings, it would produce to him an income of 70l. a year; whereas if he laid out the 1,000l. on arable land, it would only produce 35l. a year. In the first case, he would have to pay the tax on 70l. a year; in the latter case, he would only have to pay it on 35l. a year. The other part of the hon. Gentleman's proposition was this—that real property, as a whole, including arable land, buildings, and every description of property which came under the title, ought not to be charged with all the local taxation of the country. He (Mr. Gibson) admitted that if they were about to begin from the commencement, and impose a local taxation on the country, he was not at all sure that he would be satisfied with the soundness of the principle of imposing the whole of the taxation on real property. He would tell them what his principle would be if they were now about to begin to impose local taxation; but there was a wide difference between the condition of the country now and what it would be if they were about to commence the imposition of those local rates. Property had been purchased liable to them, and they could not, consequently, deal with the question with the same case as they could if they were about to commence. His principle would be this, in imposing local taxation—he would say that every inhabitant in a district should contribute to the support of the poor according to his means. ["Hear, hear!"] He admitted the principle fully, and no man could deny the soundness of it; but, after all, was it true or was it not, that the house in which a man lived, or the real property which he occupied, was or was not a fair indication of his means? The question was not as to the absolute amount which a man should pay; the question was as to the relative amount in any particular district. They could not levy local taxation for the purpose of relieving the poor, or for the general benefit of the district, on any other principle than levying it first on the inhabitants; but then they should levy it on the inhabitants according to their means. That was a different thing from the proposal of the hon. Gentleman, that they should transfer the burdens from a particular district, or from the inhabitants of that district, to the Consolidated Fund. There might be exceptions to the principle of not assessing every man in a particular district according to his means for the support of the poor: but he considered they would not get a bit more justice in the distribution of the burdens if they had a rate in and on the Consolidated Fund. Of what was the Consolidated Fund made up? It was made up of general taxation, such as the excise duties and the customs duties that were paid by the industrious classes, and whose payments thereto bore a greater proportion to their means than the rates paid by persons possessing real property could possibly bear to their means. It was complained that they did not at present assess stock in trade of the shopkeeper; but let hon. Gentlemen who thought there was an unfair exemption in favour of stock in trade recollect this—that the farmer's stock in trade was not rateable to the poor. Its value was calculated at 200,000,000l. sterling, and if they were to assess the stock in trade of the shopkeeper, it would involve the question of assessing the farmer's stock in trade. As a principle, on paper he might give some kind of general sanction to it; but having taken some pains in looking into the question, he could not see any practical mode of assessing the local rates on the inhabitants of all classes, in accordance with their means, that satisfied him so well as the system at present pursued. The observations of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer were conclusive as to the great public danger there would be in transferring local taxation to the Consolidated Fund. As a business transaction, he would call the attention of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire to the matter. The hon. Member would still leave one-half of the rates to be levied; and all the cumbrous machinery in connexion with the collection of the local rates would be as great to raise one-half the local taxation, as it now was to raise the whole. It would be as great an expense to make a journey to the country to get sixpence, as it now was to make a journey to get a shilling. It appeared from the report of the Commissioners on Local Taxation that they had no less than 54 different kinds of officers employed in the collection of the local rates, and 180,000 officials were employed in executing the law at one and the same time. Those 180,000 officials, and fifty-four denominations of officers, must all still continue a burden on the real property, whilst they left only a portion of the local rates to be collected. Therefore, if the hon. Gentleman's proposition were one that could be sanctioned on the general grounds of public policy, he would infinitely prefer, while they were about it, to get rid of this cumbrous machinery—make a clean breast of it—and transfer the whole to the Consolidated Fund. Upon those points he would say no more, but would call the attention of hon. Gentlemen opposite connected with the landed interest to the aspect of affairs. Since the corn law was repealed, there was a new political status in their counties. Within his own knowlege there were many Gentlemen, formerly connected with the party advocating economy and retrenchment, who during the discussion on the corn laws, were precluded from carrying out their views. First of all, they thought it was necessary to defend the agricultural interests from the attacks of the free-traders; and many persons, ceasing to press their particular views on economy and retrenchment, had become merged as it were in the ranks of the opposite party to that which goes by the name of "liberal." Now, with respect, first of all, to persons connected with real property in towns in the agricultural districts—an influential and important class— he wanted to know what this question, as to the pressure of burdens upon them, had to do with the question of the corn laws. Did the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire mean to contend that a limitation in the supply of food would make the parties in those towns better able to bear the excess of public burdens? What could the question of the recent removal of the corn laws have to do with the interests of persons hearing burdens in towns? A small loaf would be no recompence to a man for bearing, as it was said he had, an excess of burdens upon his real property, He admitted there was distress in some places; but they had distress before. Every person connected with the agricultural districts knew that the distress of 1836, during the time of high protection, when the Agricultural Committee was moved for in that House, was far greater than any distress that could be brought forward at the present time. He thought the question of distress, though admitted to exist in some of the southern counties, and the question of the real property in towns, had nothing to do with the subject now before the House, and might be regarded almost as extraneous topics. Therefore, he should renew his appeal to the landed gentry, and call the attention of hon. Gentlemen opposite to the new status in the counties. Let them consider well before they declined to give a vote for the Amendment of his hon. Friend. He did not wish to put it forward as a claptrap, but he would tell hon. Gentlemen that if they acted otherwise, they might commit a serious practical blunder, the effects of which they would not easily get rid of. Let them look to the result of the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire. Sussex, and Suffolk, and Surrey had supported it, but they would not have voted for it if the corn laws were not repealed. He believed even that Essex was shaken; but the times were changed, protection was withdrawn, and people were at liberty to look after the finances of the country with more than usual vigilance. At the meeting in Essex, the hon. Baronet who represents it (Sir J. Tyrell) delivered a speech that had attracted a great deal of public attention. He was not so imprudent as his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, for he did not submit "a plan." He said, "I have no plan for you, fellow-agriculturists, but I advise you on the whole to be satisfied, and to have confi- dence in your Members." He (Mr. Gibson) would tell the Gentlemen representing the agricultural interests that the time was coming when they were about to be tried, and it would be seen whether they would be found wanting. He did not want to taunt them; but this was the moment when it behoved hon. Gentlemen, and those connected with the agricultural party especially, to think of what they had said on the hustings, and what they had led their constituents to believe; and let them not be hastily led into making some serious political movement. He was never one of those that had agitated the repeal of the malt tax; he never was what is called "a malt-tax man." He never had any peculiar affection for it. He always thought there were very good economical arguments against that tax. He thought it was a tax that was injurious to the manufacturer of malt, as an excise duty requiring him to manufacture malt under a set of regulations that fettered his discretion, and prevented him from manufacturing it in the cheapest way. He considered it was a pressure upon the industry of the country; and inasmuch as England was a country that could manufacture malt better than any other country, from her natural advantages, the consequence of raising the cost of the material of which they made beer must be this—it must affect injuriously their export and import trade, and the general industry of the country. He admitted there was an argument to be urged against all taxes, and the difficulty was to say with mathematical precision where the disadvantage was the strongest when you came to decide between the different taxes. There used to be a salutary rule laid down by a leading statesman in this country, and that was—if they had a surplus to supply the reduction of expenditure, they should first of all deal with those excise duties that pressed upon the various branches of their own manufactures, and affected their success in competition with other countries. On looking to the measures of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, in dealing with the tariff and excise and customs duties, they could trace through all his proceedings an adhesion to that principle. When they recollected how heavily it was considered that the excise duties on printed calicoes weighed adversely, not so much on the consumer—who was amongst the humbler classes, as were also the drinkers of beer—as upon the trade and its success, and when they also remembered the arguments that were used by the right hon. Baronet in reference to glass, and which had been likewise used with effect in reference to paper, he was not sure that they should conclude that the arguments against the continuance of the malt tax were not of a very important and stringent character. But if hon. Gentlemen turned their backs on the reduction of expenditure, and pursued this "Will-o'-the-wisp" that was now leading them astray—this monstrous proposition to transfer an immense amount of this kind to the Consolidated Fund—if they turned their backs upon Gentlemen who honestly came forward to advocate the reduction of the public expenditure—they would run the risk of letting this malt tax repeal slip through their fingers, and would not perhaps have an opportunity again for some time of conferring what they believed to be a boon on the labouring classes, but which he thought would be a still greater boon to the general interests of the country. If they could leave 5,000,000l. of money, whether levied as a tax on malt or anything else, in the hands of the public to fructify and be used for those purposes their discretion and wishes might suggest, let them depend upon it that they could not leave that sum, under these circumstances, in the hands of the public, without conferring advantages upon them; and when they took it from the public, and expended it in unnecessary establishments, they were using, as it were, on unproductive industry, without any corresponding benefit for the labourer, what might be the means of conferring a boon on society. With respect to the holders of real property, he would ask what was their real position as a class in this country? Were they not sensible that there was no description of property to which greater social advantages were attached than to the possession of land? Did they not know the social position which the possession of an estate conferred, enabling persons to fulfil the duties of magistrates and other duties, and even to become officers and deputy lieutenants? They might deride those things, but still they were sought after, and conferred a value on property. He called upon Gentlemen at both sides to consider well before they selected the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, as that on which the sense of the House should be taken. The arguments he (Mr. Gibson) had used should be sufficient to convince them that it was their policy and duty, and consistent with the course they had taken in their respective counties, to give their vote in favour of the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose. He was sorry the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckingham-shire had brought them back to a recollection of those animosities which he (Mr. Gibson) wished were for ever and finally settled, and which arose during the discussion of the corn-law question. He had no desire to return to that field in which he used to labour, conscientiously believing the course they were pursuing was one adapted for the promotion of the welfare of all classes of the people. Having disposed of that corn-law question, he was no longer one to be anxious to prolong those animosities between different branches of industry which would naturally arise in discussing a question of this kind. The discussion of the corn-law question, though in reality a question grounded on the broad principle of civil rights and commercial and political economy, was, nevertheless, looked upon as a class question between two branches of industry; and they who had been successful ought to be the last to desire to continue the conflict. It should rather he their policy to convince the Gentlemen connected with the agricultural interests, that they were in the same boat with the Gentlemen connected with the manufacturing industry of the country; that they had a common object in view, and should coalesce to obtain that object. They should labour together on that common ground to effect the reduction of useless expenditure, and bring down their establishments to that point which did not exceed what was necessary for the good government of the country. He would remind hon. Gentlemen, that in the changes lately made in the poor-law system, by which a new mode of giving relief was adopted, a new burden was thrown upon the manufacturing class—but was there any complaint from them? He could say for Manchester, that the arrangement was hailed there with universal satisfaction. Feeling that they should bring down the national expenditure to that level which was not more than was necessary for the safety of the country, and thus conferring relief on all classes, and promoting the commerce, manufactures, and agriculture of the country, he should vote sincerely for the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose.


could bear testimony to the distress existing in the agricultural district which he had the honour to represent. In ordinary times nothing could exceed the repugnance of the labourer in that part of the country to undertake a long sea voyage, and yet, in the year 1849, for the first time, they were seen emigrating by thousands, and the only difficulty was in finding sufficient funds. He could not conceive a better proof of the existence of distress. The labourers got cheap corn, but he was sorry to say they did not find a cheap loaf. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tam-worth was always very cautious in naming any particular price of corn, but on one occasion he said it would be very hard if they did not get 45s. for wheat. It was now below that. No doubt the distress of the farmers was aggravated by alarm for the future. He had unfortunately lost all but the few concluding sentences of the able speech delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last night. He heard the right hon. Gentleman say that the alarm had been aggravated by the language used. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman; but the language to which he attributed that alarm was the language used by the hon. Member for the West Riding. They all had admired the ingenuity with which the members of the Anti-Corn-Law League adapted their arguments to their audience. He did not think it quite honest—he meant logically honest, of course—to use arguments so different in addressing different persons, that if brought together they must neutralise each other. The artisan was told he would get plenty of work, but not a word was said about lowering wages. The landlords were promised that rents would not fall, and the farmers were assured that protection was the bane of agriculture. Owing to particular circumstances the effect of the change was not immediately felt, and the farmers began to say, "Well, he is a clever fellow, that Cobden, perhaps he may be right after all." But how stood the case now? What had the hon. Member for the West Riding said within the last few weeks? He said that he owed something to the farmers, and would pay them in kind. Pay them? For what? For removing the bane from agriculture? Why, they ought to be very much obliged to the hon. Member. It was this which alarmed the farmer, for it appeared, after all, that they had lost something by the removal of protection, which was to be paid in kind. They knew that The proposal of the hon. Member for the West Riding to reduce the taxation 10,000,000l. was all moonshine. Were they prepared to surrender the colonies and the Indian empire? He should like to ask the hon. Member for Manchester if he thought the natives of India, if left to themselves, would show much skill in improving the culture of cotton, to which the hon. Member attached so much importance? This consideration, showing that the scheme proposed by the hon. Member for the West Rinding was all moonshine, led him to the consideration of the scheme proposed by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. He maintained that even if agriculture were ever so flourishing, provided its prosperity was not owing to any artificial restrictions, the scheme of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire ought to be carried out, for it seemed to him a scheme founded in justice. The hon. Member for Montrose appeared to misunderstand the argument of his hon. Friend, and to imagine that he wished that Liverpool and Manchester should be rated for certain purposes. The statement of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, to which the hon. Member referred, was used only by way of illustration. His argument was, that if every item of expense which at first sight seemed to have a local character was to be made the subject of a local rate, Liverpool ought to pay for the packet service, and Manchester for all the expense incurred in pushing the cotton manufacture. He admitted the extension of our manufactures to be a national object. So was the maintenance of the poor a national object, for it was a national duty—a Christian duty imposed on a Christian nation. He had always maintained that the wealth of a country ought to support the poverty of a country. This he knew the hon. Member for Middlesex would call legalised communism. [Mr. OSBORNE intimated dissent.] But it was a communism which, if it had prevailed for the last three centuries, would have conferred great benefit upon Ireland. The hon. Member for Montrose had intimated that the landlords would put the difference in their pockets. The hon. Member had been living so long in company with the Anti-Corn-Law League that he feared he had imbibed some of their prejudices against landlords; but he would ask any body of farmers if there was any likelihood of the landlords taking advantage of a remission of local taxation, even in the case of tenants at will, because, of course, with those who held under lease it could not be done. No doubt, after a lapse of years, new arrangements would be made between landlords and tenants, and, supposing agriculture to flourish, rents might be raised; and if the contrary, the landlords would have to give up not only half the local taxation, but a great deal more. "But," said the hon. Member for Montrose, "this is no remission of taxation, but an increase." He regarded it as neither the one nor the other; it was merely shifting the burden according to the principles of justice. Remission of taxation was entirely a distinct question, which would not be lost sight of by independent Members on both sides of the House, whatever might be the intention of the Government. With regard to the malt tax, he could not help thinking that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose who had lately assumed the character of the "farmer's friend," had rather exaggerated the ill-effects of it. It was a question which was taken up by a class of farmers who were able to speak well, and whom he should call, without using the word in an offensive sense, the agitating class. These, however, could not be regarded as the representatives of the agricultural interests. Farmers of light land did not so much feel the difficulty, which pressed chiefly on men such as his own constituents, a great part of whom grew no barley, and were not consumers of beer, who farmed heavy laud, and drank cider. They had many of the virtues and some of the faults of a former age. They were hearty, hospitable, and generous, lovers of truth; and that was something in a shuffling age. On the other side of the question, they had but little capital. He knew that to be a mortal sin in the eyes of hon. Gentlemen opposite. They had their prejudices, and were slow to adopt improvement; but they were moving, and moving as fast as Prussia—not, certainly, in one direction, but in all that had reference to material improvement. They were also ready to bestow a good education on their children—the best source of improvement. He could not imagine a greater misfortune than the entire ruin of this numerous class. They were neither growers of barley nor drinkers of beer; but they were ratepayers—heavy ratepayers—and it was for this reason why, for their sakes, he felt bound to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. The hon. Member for Montrose had argued that the agricul- tural interest had no right to complain of these burdens, having taken the land subject to them; but it must also be remembered that they also had protection. Protection might be unfair to the consumer, or otherwise; but that it could have operated injuriously to the protected interest itself he never would believe. The hon. Member for Montrose had spoken of the intolerable burden of taxation. Why had this burden, which had been borne—he would not say cheerfully, because John Bull always liked to grumble, but borne patiently up to a recent period—now, all of a sudden, become intolerable? He would tell them why. Because they—a highly-taxed nation, with a national debt such as never yet existed in the world, with a legal provision for the poor such as was to be found in no other country—had chosen to engage in a race of cheapness with the lightly-taxed nations of the Continent. Whether they would be able to continue this system and yet support the establishments of the country and pay the interest of the national debt, he could not say. There was certainly something rather ominous in the language of the orators who spoke at the financial reform meetings with reference to this subject. They made too much parade about the public creditor. Now, if he were addressing an assembly of plain, honest farmers on the subject of the reduction of taxation, he should put aside in his calculations the sum required for paying the interest of the national debt as a matter of course. These Gentlemen were always saying, "Of course, we mean to keep faith with the public creditor." But it seemed to him that a thoroughly honest man would not think it necessary to be continually proclaiming to the world that he did not mean to play the rogue. If he were the public creditor he should certainly feel rather apprehensive. Before he sat down he wished to make one or two observations on what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. He said there were two distinct propositions before the House; but this was not the case; for the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose had been virtually disposed of already, in one night, after a short debate; so that the only question before them really was the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire—a most important and a new question—one which had been adopted by a leading organ of public opinion, and which, if justice were done, would obtain greater weight the more it was considered. The other also contemplated the prospect of a breach of faith with the public creditor, because it would be impossible to persuade Parliament to impose the necessary taxes. All he could say in answer was, that it was a matter of simple and plain justice, and that he believed Parliament would find the means, and if the House would but go into Committee, they would soon show them the way to raise the money. The right hon. Gentleman spoke also of local taxation, and attempted to show that the landed interest paid its proper share and no more; but he maintained that it ought not to be local at all. He maintained that the poor-rate ought to be a national charge, and so include all those who now avoided paying it. "Yes," said the right hon. Gentleman, "the principle may be all very fair, but you cannot carry it out." Again, he said, therefore, let the House go into Committee—let the matter be fairly discussed, and the difficulty would disappear. This, however, hon. Gentlemen opposite declined, obviously because they feared to discuss the question in detail, and they, therefore, threw out this ignis fatuus of a proposition moved by the hon. Member for Montrose in the hopes that some stray agricultural Members might be induced to follow it.


said, that as the plan of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire must necessarily lead to an addition to the present income tax, and as he was not prepared to vote for any such addition, he could not support the resolution of the hon. Member. The proposition appeared to him to be a step towards that system of centralisation which, whilst it increased the public expenditure, would destroy that local government which secured the peace and tranquillity of the country, and was at the foundation of public liberty. He knew it might be said—and it had been said by the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken—"Why not vote for the resolutions, and allow us to go into Committee to consider the subject?" But entertaining the opinion he did with regard to the plan, it would be, in his view, only a waste of the time of the House, and a mere delusion on the agricultural interest, to vote for going into Committee. Having voted a few nights ago against the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding, he could not now, consistently with that vote, and the maintenance of faith towards the public creditor, vote for the proposition of the hon. Member for Montrose.


thought, that the House was not fully aware of the great amount of change and the magnitude of the considerations involved in the plan of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. Having listened to the brilliant declamation which that hon. Member had addressed to the House, it appeared to him that his mind had been principally directed to the evils which existed in the present system, and that he had not, with sufficient attention, considered the consequences of the vast and extensive alteration which he had proposed. The argument of the hon. Gentleman might be stated in a few words—it was that local taxes, as they now existed, fell exclusively upon real property, and were devoted to purposes of general and national interest, and that, therefore, it was not just that they should fall upon that species of property exclusively. That, he thought, was a fair summary of the arguments of the hon. Member, and a correct representation of the principle upon which his resolution was founded. So far from the hon. Member having exaggerated the amount of the local burdens, he believed that he had even underrated them, and he felt bound to admit that nothing could be more accurate and precise than the foundation of his argument. He wished to call the attention of the House briefly to the origin of the incidents of local taxation. They had mainly arisen from the incidence of the rate levied for the relief of the poor. The extensive imposition of that tax had served as a model upon which to found most of the others. The 43rd of Elizabeth, c. 2, provided that the overseers of the poor were to raise weekly, or otherwise, by taxation of every inhabitant, a sum according to the ability of the parish, for the relief of the poor in the parish. Undoubtedly the word "inhabitant" occurred in the statute; and there was no doubt but that personal property was comprehended in the terms of the Act of Elizabeth. But the Court of Queen's Bench, in applying this principle, have, from the beginning, given a narrower construction to the Act, and we have no reason to believe that there ever was a time when personal property was generally rated for the relief of the poor, or for any other local rate. It had been held that a person residing in one parish, and having personal property in another, was not liable to be rated; farming stock was held not to be rateable; wages of labourers, all proceeds of personal ability and professional earnings, were also held to be not rateable. Stock in trade was the only species of personal property which the courts had held to be rateable, and that only in cases where profit was made upon it; a deduction was also allowed to persons engaged in business for debts. In effect, therefore, the statute of Elizabeth had fallen exclusively upon real property. Now, as that statute appeared to have included property generally, it was very natural to inquire why it was that the courts, during the course of a century and a half, had found it convenient to exclude personal property from the liability of being rated. It could scarcely be doubted, upon consideration of the subject, that the reason why the exception had been made, and why the rating was limited to the visible property in the parish, was because it was found scarcely possible to levy a local rate upon any other principle. Any attempt to levy a local rate upon the income of the parish would necessarily lead to the greatest possible confusion and difficulty. Connected with this limited incident of the local rates, had been the administration of the funds so collected by the local authorities, by persons who had an interest in economising the funds, and carrying properly into effect the objects for which the funds had been raised. Such was the system which had grown up under a tentative administration of the law of rating since the year 1603 to the present time. He wished to call the attention of the House to the amount of local rates at present levied, and which, according to the plan of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, he would provide for, to the extent of one moiety, by a charge upon the general Exchequer. The amount collected for poor's-rates, including county and borough rates, in England and Wales, was, during the last year, 7,817,000l. The highway rates, according to the most recent returns which they had, amounted to 1,600,000l.; the last return which was made, six or seven years since, with respect to church rates, showed the amount collected under that head to have been 400,000l. About 100,000l. was raised from other sources besides church rates, the expenditure being 500,000l.; the actual rates amounted, however, to only 400,000l. There were then numerous other rates, such as watching, paving, lighting, and other miscellaneous charges, which he thought he should not over-estimate if he took together at 500,000l. These sums would make together a total of 10,317,000l. The rates received for relief of the poor in Scotland during the last year had amounted to 544,000l. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, in laying his estimate before the House, had omitted altogether the case of Ireland. Before the House came to any vote upon the plan of the hon. Member, it would be necessary to consider whether the principle laid down would not necessarily involve a similar substitution of charges upon the Treasury for Ireland. He could not conceive any reason why, if they were to vote one-half of the amount of the poor and county rates for England, they could refuse a similar vote for Ireland. Within the last few days they had been called upon for a vote to supply the deficiencies of the poor-rates in the western parts of Ireland; and whatever argument would apply to a national rate in and in England with respect to the poor, would apply with double force to the present state of Ireland. Now, the rate raised for the relief of the poor in Ireland, in the year ending September last, had been rather more than 1,600,000l; but, as no doubt the expenses had been very much swelled in consequence of the increased distress during the last year, he would take it at 1,500,000l. only. The amount of county cess in Ireland during the same period amounted to 1,000,000l., which gave a total for Ireland of 2,500,000l. Adding, therefore, these expenses to those of England and Scotland, they would obtain a total of 13,000,000l., to which, according to the plan of the hon. Member, would have to be added for land tax 2,000,000l., making in all 15,000,000l.; one moiety of which would become a charge upon the national treasury. A transfer of 6,500,000l. of local taxes, without reckoning the land tax, to the Exchequer, and the imposition of additional taxes to meet that amount, would be so great an alteration in our financial system, and would involve such important consequences, that it was obvious the House would do well to consider before they agreed to the plan brought forward by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. But there were other considerations besides the mere financial one, which would be involved in so extensive an alteration. Our present system of local administration rested upon the collection of local rates exclusively in a particular district, and upon the interest which the administrators of those local rates had in the expenditure. Now, if half the amount of this expenditure was provided for by the Treasury, could it be doubted that the interest of the administrators of the fund would be weakened, and that the character of the local administration would be altered? Again, could it be supposed that such an amount could be permitted to go out of the public purse without a detailed examination of the expenditure by the House? The influence of the House would undoubtedly be exerted to insure a proper application of the funds, and to exact from the Government an account of the manner in which these funds had been applied. The hon. Gentleman said, that he proposed to make the sums which were transferred from the local rates a charge on the Consolidated Fund, moaning of course thereby, that the charge would be upon the Exchequer, and that an annual vote to that extent would be required from the House. Now, he would ask hon. Members to consider what would be the debates in that House when the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his annual estimates of these rates in and of the poor-rate and other local rates? Would it not be a dereliction of the duty which they owed their constituents if they failed to inquire into the application of the half of a sum of 13,000,000l.? It seemed to him that they must either place the entire management of local affairs with the Exchequer, and part with the control over all those objects which were now defrayed by local taxes, or they must leave them as they were at present, to be defrayed exclusively from local charges. It was one of the fallacious assumptions involved in the hon. Member's plan that the amount of the local rates would, if it came into operation, remain stationary. [Mr. DISRAELI: I think the amount would very much increase.] He said, that was admitting what constituted a most powerful objection to the plan proposed. The great security for keeping the relief of the poor within bounds consistent with the safety of property—bounds which had been nearly passed at one period in England—and had been actually passed in some districts in Ireland—was a strict adherence to the principle of local taxation and administration. If one union could vie with another in demanding remittances from the Treasury, the total amount of expenditure would be seriously increased. The hon. Member himself seemed to admit that that kind of peril was involved in his plan. [Mr. DISRAELI: No!] At all events he was not entitled to assume that the amount of charge would remain stationary. If, for instance, the half of a sum of 5,000,000l. was to be increased to the half of 8,000,000l. or 9,000,000l., it was clear that very little relief would be afforded to the owners of real property, and that the country at large would suffer to the extent of the difference between the present expense and the increased expenditure. In conclusion, he expressed his decided opinion that the adoption of this plan would afford no relief either to the owners of real property in general, or to the agricultural interest in particular.


said, that in making the few observations which he had to address to the House, he should not forget that it was useless to speak of protection. That the removal of protection had a great deal to do with the present position of agriculture he firmly believed—hinc illœ lachrymœ. With reference to the recent alterations that had taken place in the tariff, all parties seemed to admit that these new measures must be tried, in order to ascertain whether they had worked for good or evil to the country. The experiment, it was contended, must have a fair trial, and all would rejoice if it was successful. If, on the contrary, these measures failed in the great object they must all have in view, that of the amelioration of the condition of the people, none, he was satisfied, would be so obstinate as to persist in their being persevered in any longer. That, however, still remained in the womb of time. Meantime, that most important interest, the landed and agricultural interest, should be at once looked into; and if, under the new system, and the altered circumstances in which it was placed, as regarded protection, it was found that greater burdens pressed upon it than it was fairly entitled to bear, alleviation ought to be given to it by a more equal distribution of these burdens. Even under the former circumstances of the country, he had always been of opinion that the land bore more than a fair share of the burdens of the country. Considering the new interests that had sprung up since the burdens were first imposed upon the land, how different must the condition of these parties be now, when these large and wealthy interests were comparatively free, and when the land was obliged to compete with that of other countries, which were not so heavily loaded as they were, and which enjoyed much greater advantages in point of climate, soil, and cheapness of labour. He would not enlarge upon those local rates, of which there were some six or seven levied upon the land; but it should be borne in mind that when they were originally imposed, the land was the great interest of the country. It never could be urged, and it never was the spirit of the law, that all the burdens should fall upon real property; and even had such an arrangement been originally intended, it was the duty of the Legislature to look into the question, and see that there was a fair and equitable division now made of the burdens of the country. What gave value to the land? Why, the application of capital and industry. These ingredients, when properly employed, created that property from whence the rates were derived. Then, he contended, this was a tax upon capital. If, then, they had such a burden upon land, he would ask the reason why it was not also placed upon the trade, commerce, and manufactures of the country? In enumerating the many burdens that had been placed upon land, he was reminded of the land tax, that rendered a large revenue annually to the State. Under these circumstances, he submitted that there were good and just reasons shown for a new arrangement of taxation. Exemptions had been alluded to. But what were these? The chief one, which had been so much relied upon, was the legacy and probate duty. Now, this exemption was by no means so large as was generally imagined. If, however, landed property was so exempted, it paid a large sum into the revenue in the shape of stamps for mortgages, transfers, deeds, &c. Whereas in the transfer of funded property, it was only necessary to give 2s. 6d. to a broker. The hon. Member for Montrose, and, in still stronger terms, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, seemed to intimate that this was solely a landlords' question, and had argued that whatever was remitted in taxation would be converted into additional rent for the advantage of the landlord. If even, for the sake of argument, he admitted this to be the fact, yet, if it were proved that the landed interest of the country bore much larger burdens than ought fairly to be imposed on it, he would ask whether the consideration of justice and right was to be influenced by looking at the particular party that was to be benefited by an impartial adjudication? But he denied that it was exclusively a landlords' question. In the county he represented (Dovonshire), there was a large number of yeomen, of a superior order, who were remarkable for their intelligence and industry in the farming of their land. There was a numerous body of that sort of men who were fit to occupy seats in that House. There was also a numerous body of small but independent freeholders who, though in possession of only perhaps a few acres of land, yet maintained a respectable position in life. All those had claims upon the consideration of the House, which should not then be overlooked. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer intimated to the House that the landholders had exaggerated the pressure upon agriculture. He (Sir R. Lopes) knew that distress prevailed at the present time in the agricultural districts to a very great extent; but, in his opinion, that distress was only in its beginning, in comparison with what it would be if something was not done to relieve the land of those burdens which were so unfairly cast upon it. They all hoped for the best; they would not despond. In the meantime, however, it became the duty of the Government, who maintain these principles, if they rejected the proposal of his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, to devise some other moans by which the sufferings of the agricultural body might be alleviated.


hoped that, as he was so little in the habit of troubling the House, he might reckon upon their attention for a short time while he made a few observations upon the subject then under discussion. In the outset, he would say that it was his intention, after some hesitation, to vote for the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire. He believed it was allowed on all sides of the House, that there existed at present great alarm and despondency in the agricultural interest, and he did think that it was due to that important interest that this House should at least express their sympathy with it by granting the Committee that was moved for by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. He confessed that he was rather startled, and felt some hesitation as to the course he should take, after the able speech that was made last night by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Were he convinced that the only alternative left them was a good round increase of the income tax, he should have much doubt as to the propriety of the course he was then taking. But he was of opinion that there were certain other means by which they could relieve themselves of the difficulty created by the adoption of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire's suggestions. And though that hon. Gentleman was too prudent in the responsible situation which he occupied to state them, he (Sir M. J. Cholmeley), as one of the irregular corps, might venture to say that a good comfortable sum might be found in the imposition of a moderate fixed duty upon corn. He was the more convinced of that, because he contended that such a tax would not come chiefly from the pocket of the consumer, but from that of the importer. He was still further fortified in that opinion by a conversation which he had had recently with an influential gentleman who had carried on an extensive trade in foreign corn. That gentleman assured him that about two years ago, when their mischievous legislation in this respect began to work, that he could produce any quantity of corn in this country at the price of 3s. 6d. a bushel, and anything he made beyond that sum would be his own profit. By this statement, he of course meant to show that it was in his power to obtain a very considerable profit. He would grant that a good deal of the expenses to which the land was subject, arose from the unsettled state of other countries, and the race of competition that was going on, one with another, just as if a friend had invited him to partake of a luxurious dinner, with a bottle of Chateau Margaux, he (Sir M. J. Cholmeley) would feel equally bound to give, in return, as good an entertainment as that which he had received, although, perhaps, he would be consulting his own health and comfort more by partaking of a plainer dinner and humbler julien. Now, what was technically called the landed interest had numerous ramifications. It, however, consisted chiefly of landlord, tenant, and labourer. The weaker one, in case of any serious pressure, was sure to go to the wall. The labourer was nearly reduced to the extreme point of starvation, and, as it lately happened in his county, he vented his ill-humour in the terrible shape of incendiarism. The state of things had already commenced in his own county, which, after all, was better off than many others, and they were obliged to send for some of the detective police from London to try to check it. He would join the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire in counselling the agricultural party not to press for the abolition of the malt tax, because he was certain that if they did they would be much dissatisfied with the result. He thought that this was much more a consumer's tax than a farmer's tax. It had been said, that it would be a great boon to the farmers if they could feed their cattle with malt. Now, he would state the result of an experiment which he had himself made a few years ago. He had fed two beasts upon malt, and two upon oil-cake. He calculated the price of the malt, taking it at the average price—allowing 30s. for a quarter of barley. The oil-cake was 10l. a ton. The result was—leaving of course out of the question the amount of duty—that the beasts fed upon the oil-cake turned out much better, and produced him a far better profit, than the beasts that had been fed upon malt. He was convinced that, even if the duty were taken of malt, the farmers would ultimately return to the use of oil-cake for their cattle. In respect to the inducement which might be afforded to the labourer to brew at home, he thought that very few would be found to avail themselves of this advantage if the duty were removed. It was the practice in his county to give to the labourers a certain quantity of malt, together with their wages; but it was found that they generally swopped the malt for some other article they preferred. He was, therefore, convinced, that this great boon of the abolition of the malt tax would be derived by the consumer, and not by the producer. In conclusion, he would say, he could not help thinking that, both upon the ground of good policy and good feeling, the House would do right to grant the Committee that was now asked for.


said, he had listened to the speech of the hon. Member the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department with great respect, not only on account of the situation he at present held, but from the recollection of those duties which, in another department, he had filled so ably for so many years. He found that the hon. Gentleman, in speaking of the construction to be put upon the Act of Elizabeth, as to the parties liable to be rated, admitted that all kinds of property were taxable, and yet he went on to state that stock in trade was the only kind of personal property now held by the courts to be rateable; and that an annual Bill exempted stock in trade from the tax. But his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, in bringing forward this Motion, went to first principles when he referred to the Act of Elizabeth to show what was originally the property rateable. It was on the poor-law assessment, that being the largest of the local taxes, that the county rate, the highway rate, and the church rate, were laid. But he was surprised that the hon. Under Secretary of State should have been misled by the visionary light which the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the hon. Member for Manchester had set up for their guidance, namely, that if the proposition of his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire was assented to, that those charges were to be defrayed by an additional income or property tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that it must come from the one or the other; but let the House go into Committee, and the right hon. Gentleman would find himself mistaken. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire said nothing whatever of the kind; he said nothing of the Exchequer, of an income tax, or of a property tax. He (Mr. Miles) had listened with the deepest attention—and who could not—to that able and interesting speech; and the only allusion made to the subject was when his hon. Friend said that a machinery did exist by which taxation to relieve real property might be levied—but beyond that there was no allusion to placing a tax upon income or property. He would now leave this visionary enemy, and address himself to the point under discussion; but before doing so he must deny the conclusions drawn by the hon. Member for Manchester, from the fact that three county Members who usually acted with the protectionists voted the other night for the scheme of financial reform introduced by the hon. Member for the West Riding. Of those, one usually agreed with the hon. Member for the West Riding; and with the exception of the other two, the Members for Sussex and Suffolk, there was no flinching on his (Mr. Miles's) side of the House. At the same time he admitted that the hon. Member for Manchester was better likely to know "the political status" of the country than he was; but he was surprised to hear the hon. Member say that if these taxes were to be imposed anew, he would not burden real property so much. It was by an appeal to those very first principles thus admitted by the hon. Member for Manchester, that the present Motion was founded. The hon. Member for Montrose, on moving his Amendment, had used the most extraordinary argument ever heard of—namely, that these taxes, now so much reprobated by the landowners, were originally placed upon real property in lieu of military service. Where did the hon. Member get this notable piece of information? If he had referred to the history of his namesake, he would have found that there was military service in the time of Charles II., and a kind of poor-law so far back as Richard II. He would, without further delay, come to the two propositions before the House—that of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, and the other, the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose. And how different were those propositions? The one looking for an equitable readjustment of taxation without in any way adding to the debt; the other a mere ad captandum budget, in which the hon. Member for Montrose did not even say how he would make up the deficiencies in the revenue which he proposed to create. [Mr. HUME: I did say.] He listened to every word of the hon. Member's speech, and was left entirely at a loss on that point. There was, however, this remarkable feature in the hon. Member's Amendment, namely, that although the hon. Member declared himself an opponent of the malt tax, he was himself quite certain the Amendment would not be carried. These were the friends on whom the agriculturists were invited to depend. When next the hon. Gentleman came forward as a great financial reformer, he would do well not only to state what changes he would make, but how they would affect the different classes of the community. It was admitted that a pressure existed on real property by the imposition of these taxes. This had been recognised by the first statesmen that House had witnessed. He would only quote one authority, and it should be that of a person who he was certain would be acknowledged to be a most competent witness upon this subject, and whose administrative talents in all the offices in which he had been placed by Her Majesty, would be fully recognised and acknowledged by the House—he meant the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon. He recalled to the recollection of the right hon. Baronet the Agricultural Distress Committee of 1832 or 1833, of which he was chairman, and of whose opinions he had drawn up a most able report. In that report a passage occurred which described the agricultural distress of that period—a description completely applicable to the present time, except that now there was not the protection which the farmer then possessed as his sheet anchor, and that the average price of wheat was 53s. while now it was only 45s.:— The Committee beg to glance at certain outgoings borne by the farmer, which are clearly established by the evidence—burdens which, when there is a profitable return, press upon him most severely, and which, at the present prices, reduce him to the greatest distress. If that were so then, how could the farmers support these outgoings at present prices, with a difference of 8s. per quarter in the price of corn against them? The report went on to say, that— while these burdens pressed exclusively upon the land, it behoved Parliament to watch those burdens imposed by law which they had in their power, and endeavour to reduce them. And the report added, that there was this anomaly in the case, that— expenses for the general utility were defrayed by local taxation. He conceived that a clearer or better statement of the object now sought to be obtained than that contained in this report could not be found. All they wanted was, that expenses for the general utility should be defrayed by general taxation instead of local. He would now read, for the information of the hon. Member for Montrose, a short extract from Black-stone:— The poor of England, till the time of Henry VIII., subsisted entirely upon private benevolence, and the charity of well-disposed Christians. For though it appears by the Mirrour, that by the common law the poor were to be sustained by parsons, rectors of the Church, and the parishioners, so that none of them die for want of sustenance; and though by the Statute 12th Richard II., cap. 7, and the 19th Henry VII., cap. 12, the poor were directed to abide in the cities and towns wherein they had dwelt for three years (which seems to be the first rudiments of parish settlements), yet, till the Statute of 27th Henry VIII., cap. 25, I find no compulsory method chalked out for this purpose; but the poor seem to have been left to such relief as the humanity of their neighbours would afford them. The monasteries were, in particular, their principal resource; and among other bad effects which attended the monastic institutions, it was not, perhaps, one of the least (though frequently esteemed quite otherwise), that they supported and fed a very numerous and very idle poor, whose sustenance depended upon what was daily distributed in alms at the gates of the religious houses. But, upon the dissolution of these, the inconvenience of thus encouraging the poor in habits of indolence and beggary was quickly felt throughout the kingdom, and abundance of statutes were made in the reign of King Henry VIII. and his children, for providing for the poor and impotent, which the preambles to some of them recite had of late years greatly increased. Then followed that most admirable law, the 43rd of Elizabeth. For some time after that Act was passed, the charge for the maintenance of the poor was levied on all descriptions of property; but this principle had been deviated from, and it was now imposed on one description of property to the exclusion of all others. There was no doubt that the county rate had been increased from time to time by placing charges on it which there was a difficulty of placing on other funds. The county rate had been increasing progressively since the year 1793, till at length its pressure on the agricultural interest had become intolerable. In the year 1793 it was 184,000l.; in 1803, 235,000l; in 1813, 510,000l; in 1823, 571,000l; in 1833, 757,000l.: and so on, till in 1847 it had reached the enormous and almost incredible proportion of 1,310,000l. If from that sum were deducted the expenses on account of prosecutions—an item formerly charged on the county rate, but now paid by Government—it would be seen that the rate had amounted, in 1847, according to the most moderate calculation, to 1,058,819l., to which enormous sum it had risen from 184,000l in the course of fifty-four years. That fact, though it stood isolated and alone, would be sufficient to justify the agricultural interest in imploring the attention of that House to their case; but if the Committee now sought for were granted, he would take the taxes one by one, and undertake to show that the pressure of each and every one of them on the agricultural interests and the real property of the country was most unjust, inequitable, and unfair. Without pausing to examine whether the calculation of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, as to the real property of England constituting but one-fourth of the entire property of the empire, was or was not critically accurate, he was prepared to demonstrate what was sufficient for his case—namely, that the pressure of taxation on the real property of the country was intolerably severe, and most flagrantly disproportionate. Having stated so much, it might be now permitted to him to allude to a subject of most painful interest—the distress which had been occasioned in the agricultural districts, by reason of the fatal error committed by that House in adopting a free-trade policy. He resided himself in a portion of the country where, un- happily, very great distress prevailed; and he was sorry to say that he was in a position to give upon this subject conclusive evidence from personal observation. He assured the House that he spoke with deliberation, and with the most accurate knowledge of the fact, when he stated that in the districts of the country with which he was conversant the best saleable wheat of last year's produce—a produce, by the way, which, no matter what assertions might be made to the contrary, was, nevertheless, unquestionably deficient in quantity, and inferior in quality), did not fetch a higher price than 42s. per quarter. He had himself sold 1,200 bushels, and the very highest price he could obtain for it was 42s. But he was a most fortunate man, for the cases were numerous and of everyday occurrence, when the tenant farmers brought their produce to market; but the factors would not so much as look at it. The hon. Member for Dorsetshire had stated, that in his part of the country a vast number of the tenantry were men of very small capital: that was also to a very great extent true in the part of the country with which he (Mr. Miles) was acquainted. Many of them had now to live from hand to mouth; and not being able to sell their wheat, they had been, in many instances, obliged to bring into the market half-fatted stock, which they were compelled to dispose of at prices ruinously low. It was impossible that such a state of things could continue. It was fraught with ruin, and would eventually lead to consequences which it was impossible to contemplate without terror. No less than three million quarters of wheat were imported into this country from foreign lands last year. The population of England and Wales in the year 1847 was supposed to be about 14,350,000 persons, and assuming that the average consumption was a quarter for each person, it would be seen that the foreign importations amounted in the aggregate to about one-fifth of the entire consumption of these parts of the empire. How could it be expected that under such a system any other result should follow than the deplorable one they were now called upon to contemplate? The importation of live stock from foreign countries had been increasing, year by year, in the same extravagant ratio. According to the last return that had been presented to that House, it appeared that in the course of a whole year it amounted to no less than 195,000 head of cattle. These importations of live stock, and the enormous influx of foreign grain, had contributed to create the distress of the agricultural districts; but it was a mistake to suppose that distress was limited to those districts exclusively. He was prepared to show that the manufacturing districts also had suffered most dreadfully. The consumption for their fabrics could not now be so large as it was when they had steady and solvent customers in the agricultural population, and that fact had something to do with the scale of prices which now prevailed at Smithfield. He was sorry that the hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Treasury (Mr. Parker) was not in his place, that he might give some explanation respecting the official statements of the total imports of foreign stock which had been recently issued by the Board of Trade. Those statements, he feared, were grossly inaccurate. They were, in fact, from the beginning to the end, one unbroken tissue of falsehood. He had consulted the Mark Lane Express of Monday last in order to obtain authentic information as to the state of the markets, and under the head "Smithfield" he found a statement which, if false, ought at once to be contradicted, but, if true, was important beyond the power of language to exaggerate. The papers having reference to the trade and commerce of the country which were placed, from time to time, on the table of that House, ought invariably to be prepared in the most discreet and judicious manner, and with the most scrupulous regard to accuracy; for of all the voluminous documents printed in that House for the use of the country, there were none which would hear comparison with them in point of national interest and importance. However, if the statement of the Mark Lane Express were to be depended on, he feared that the returns were made up in a manner which reflected but little credit on the department from which they emanated. It was as follows:— Within the last few days, a statement has been issued by the Board of Trade, purporting to give the total imports of foreign stock into the United Kingdom, during the month ending on the 5th of February, 1848 and 1819. The statement in question is as under:— "Imports into the United Kingdom for the month ending Feb 6, 1848, Feb. 5, 1849.

Oxen 478 477
Cows 245 235
Calves 67 196
Sheep 728 786
Pigs 29 28
Total 1,547 1,722
It must be obvious to all acquainted with the subject, and more particularly to those who have watched the progress of the arrivals, that the above returns are extremely inaccurate. That correct official returns are invariably important, not a doubt can be entertained, but such extremely erroneous as those given above are calculated to mislead the grazing community, as well as the public at large. To prove our position, we here give the arrivals of stock into London only from the 6th of January to the 3rd of February inclusive—the period, doubtless, embraced in this official document. Arrivals of stock from abroad into London from the 6th January to the 3rd February inclusive, current year:—
Week ending. Beasts. Sheep. Calves.
Jan. 13 188 817 50
Jan. 20 177 1122 107
Jan. 27 150 616 78
Feb. 3 369 799 182
Total actual arrivals 893 3354 417
Corresponding month
in 1848 473 2432 93
Now, it may be asked, how have these discrepancies crept in, when it is shown that a larger number of sheep alone came into London than the whole of the stock stated by the officials to have arrived in the United Kingdom? The fact is, a most serious, we will not say wilful, blunder has been committed by some parties, and the sooner it is corrected the better. It must be understood that the Customs in London publish daily a statement, compiled from the ships' manifests of the imports, deliveries, &c., of all articles reported. Those returns prove the accuracy of our own, and the absurdity of those published by the Board of Trade, He had felt it his duty to read that extract to the House, but having done so, he would not dwell on the subject further than again to express his opinion that the trade and commerce returns ought to be printed on all occasions with the utmost possible accuracy, so that they might faithfully reflect the state of our commercial interests, and give a clear and impartial insight into the condition of trade. With the present prices of agricultural produce, both as regarded corn and malt, the farmers had great difficulty in existing at all; and they had a clear right to call upon the Government to relieve them from the pressure of imposts which were bearing them to the earth. In the year 1845, when no loss a sum than 3,500,000l. was to be distributed in diminution of taxation, he applied to have some portion of the distribution made in favour of the agricultural interests, but all his efforts were unavailing. His right hon. Friend, who was then Secretary of State for the Home Department, admitted the great pressure of the burdens on land, but justified it on the plea that the landed interests enjoyed protection:— I admit," said the right hon. Gentleman, in reply to him (Mr. Miles), "that the landed interest is entitled to protection, but, at the same time, I feel that these peculiar burdens are rightly placed, and I am opposed to their removal. The landed interest derives a certain protection on account of these burdens, and I do not think it should attempt to throw them off; and, at the same time, to retain that protection which given on account of them. So spoke the right hon. Gentleman in 1845. Protection was now abolished, through no fault of theirs; and yet they were still subjected to the same burdens which, in bygone years, they had to endure, but which were then justified on the plea of protection. However, while one shred of protection was left, he, and those with whom he acted, would stand by it to the last, and they were not without hope that their efforts would eventually be crowned with success. The division the other night on the navigation laws afforded justifying evidence of what might be effected by a determined band of men who were resolved to leave nothing that was practicable unessayed to uphold what they believed to be not only beneficial to their country, but essentially necessary to its national prosperity. That division showed how year by year they would prosper, increase, and multiply. With the leave of the House he would say a few words upon the question brought under their consideration by the hon. Member for Montrose—namely, the total repeal of the malt and hop duties. He was one of those who had uniformly voted for the remission of those duties whenever the question had been mooted—he had never blanched from his opinions upon the subject, and his name would be found in that division which for a season repealed those duties. But they were asked by the hon. Member to take those taxes and others into consideration, with a view to their total repeal; and it became their duty to inquire how they were to make up the deficiency in the revenue which such repeal must cause. When he looked at what had fallen from the hon. Member for the West Riding—when he heard that hon. Gentleman say that the only practicable reduction was in the Navy, the Army, and the Ordnance—something there was to be from the Civil List, but nothing worth speaking of—when he found that, he felt it his duty to look around at the present state of Europe and the world. They must do so before they effected a great reduction in the establishments of the country.


We contend for a reduction of that which was to be temporary expenditure.


Had the times so changed as that they could get rid of their temporary expenditure? Were they to reduce 11,500,000l. expenditure to 1,500,000l. in the present state of affairs? Was that the argument brought forward by hon. Gentlemen opposite? If so, he would not occupy the time of the House in answering anything so futile. For these reasons he could not give his vote in favour of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose. He had made no secret of his feelings upon the subject to the tenant farmers whom he had lately met, and generally they approved of the course he meant to take. He said the time had not come for the repeal of those duties; and why? Because all classes of the community had not yet sufficiently felt the pinch of free trade. But the time was fast approaching when they would. When he looked at their exports of cotton, of woollen, of earthenware, and of Birmingham goods, for the last year, and compared it with the previous year, he found that they had fallen off 4,500,000l. Look even at the labouring population of the metropolis. A meeting had been held, in December or January last, close to where they were sitting, at which it was stated, and it had never been denied, that out of the 200,000 artisans and labourers generally employed, one-third only were fully employed; another third were employed three or four days in the week; while the other third were wholly unemployed—so that they in some degree already felt the disadvantages under which they laboured from the competition with the foreigner to which they were exposed. Look particularly at the silk trade—the competition was so great that there was every chance of its being altogether lost to the country. While he regarded this state of things—when he saw that the poor rate had increased 16 per cent during the past year—when he was credibly informed that the number of agricultural labourers out of employ was every day becoming greater—looking at all these circumstances, he said that was not the proper time to bring forward the question of the repeal of the malt tax. But the time would arrive when import duties must be had recourse to, and when the imposition of duties which would be paid by the foreigner—[Laughter]—yes, paid by the foreigner, would enable them to look at what reductions they could make in the taxation of the country; and then, in his opinion, no remission of taxation would be so desirable as a repeal of the malt tax. Believing that the plan of his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, if fully and properly carried out, would be a greater advantage to the agricultural interest than a repeal of the malt tax, under present circumstances he had only one duty to perform, which was to give his cordial assent to the proposition for going into Committee.


It seems. Sir, to me that a very great deal of misapprehension exists among hon. Gentlemen on the benches opposite with regard to the proposition of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. We were originally given to understand, if I mistake not, that the basis or groundwork of that proposition was the prevalence of great distress among all classes of the community connected with agriculture in this country. But the speech of the hon. Mover of the proposition described a case of a very different description, whilst the speech of the hon. Member for Somersetshire, who has just sat down, has apprised you that none of the distress resulting from the burdens on land complained of falls on that class whom the hon. Mover would induce you to relieve by adopting his proposition. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, in his speech on introducing this question, quoted something I am said to have stated on a former occasion, admitting the great distress prevailing among the agricultural classes. He misquoted what I then said; very unintentionally, I am quite sure, but very strangely. I never expressed myself to the effect—and, if I had done so, I should have betrayed great ignorance of that which must be within the cognisance or experience of almost every man—that, generally speaking, the distress of the times had been very severely felt by the agricultural community. I said that little had been said about the pressure of agricultural distress more northward than Cambridge or in Suffolk, and that in the south of England the cry of agricultural distress had scarcely been heard of. And I say further, that hardly anything has been ever asserted of late in the north as to the depression of agricultural prices. ["Oh, oh! "from the Opposition benches.] Well, Sir, I can only assure the House that I met but a few days ago with some gentlemen who had lately come up from some of the southern counties of Scotland, and they told me that they had been selling their wheat in the markets there at from 47s. to 48s. per quarter on an average. They had a fair crop last year of good quality, and they are satisfied with the prices they have received. They must be subject to the same vicissitudes, for example, as they are in every other trade. Farmers, no more than any other traders, can expect to be always lucky. Just prior to the harvest of last year, the rain fell exactly at the critical moment for the farmers of the south, and just before the critical moment for the farmers of the north. What has been the consequence? The farmers of the northern counties have harvested their produce in good condition, and obtain good prices; those of the south have been less fortunate, and realise less encouraging returns. This is simply the reason why we have great complaints from the one, and few or none from the other class of tenant farmers. If any of these parties, however, seek a ground upon which to found his appeal to Parliament for legislative relief, he must look for it in. the speech of the hon. Member for Somersetshire, whose object it has been to advocate such an appeal in vain. Sir, I shall not enter into those questions connected with the general condition of the trade and finances, and of the agricultural classes of this country, which have been already, in my opinion, disposed of by the speech of the right hon. Baronet the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down made one statement upon which I must be allowed to offer a word or two. That hon. Member told us that he had lately been selling some wheat. He told us that his wheat was only of inferior quality, yet that he realised, I think, 42s. per quarter for it. Now, I think if he could get such prices for an inferior wheat, wheat of ordinary average goodness must be fetching very fair prices just now. There are other Gentlemen, Sir, in this House who are themselves manufacturers of other articles. I should like to ask the hon. Member for Somersetshire what he thinks is the scale of prices they obtain when they carry into the market that which they admit to be a damaged or an inferior article? Why, they will obtain, of course, only the lowest scale of prices for such goods. They will not get after the rate of 42s., which the hon. Member who complains of unremunerating prices can obtain for his inferior article—a wheat of inferior quality. But as for better wheats, I met with a gentleman a few days since who told me that Dantzic wheat was worth now, in London, from 53s. to 54s. per quarter. He added, that other foreign wheats of fair quality were obtaining, on an average, about 48s. per quarter. Well, Sir, I tell the hon. Gentlemen opposite to me, that their homegrown wheat, of the same quality, will now fetch the same prices. I say, then, that the pretences on which this Motion has been brought forward have totally failed—that no ground has been laid for any change in the existing burdens upon the land, which can be justified, either by the present condition of the tenant farmer, or of the prices of agricultural produce in our markets. I do not intend to enter into any elaborate statements of figures in following the statements which have been made by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, in the speech with which he introduced his Motion; because, all that could be said in reference to them was said, last night, by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a speech certainly the very best which I have ever heard from these benches since the accession of that right hon. Gentleman and of his Colleagues to power. But the right hon. Gentleman did not, as it appeared to me, notice some points, or at least regard in all the lights under which they might have been viewed, some points in the case or plea on which the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire rested his case for our adoption of such a propoeal as he has brought forward. The hon. Gentleman seems to adopt for his principle the notion that all classes of the community ought to bear, collectively, certain burdens which he assumes to be, at present, borne exclusively by the landed proprietary and real property of this country. Is this so? If such be really the proposition of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire—and that it is, I must presume from the statement of the hon. Member for Somersetshire—how does the speech we have just heard support it? Why, the hen. Member for Buckinghamshire admits that he is opposed to, and would not vote for, a national rate of this kind. And I think he is very wise in coming to this conclusion. The arguments against a national rate are, in my mind, of insuperable force. I am firmly persuaded that the various expenses connected with it would run up these rates, of which the burden is already said to be oppressive, at least five-fold within five years. But I think the original objects and working of these local rates have been a good deal misunderstood. There was printed in 1843 a report of the Poor Law Commissioners on Local Taxation, from which I will read one remarkable passage that clearly defines the period at, and the circumstances under, which the practice of rating stock in trade for the relief of the poor was first resorted to in this country:— The practice of rating stock in trade never prevailed in the greater part of England and Wales. It was, with comparatively few exceptions, confined to the old clothing district of the south and west of England, It gained ground just as the stock of the woolstaplers and clothiers increased, so as to make it an object with the farmers, and other ratepayers, who still constituted a majority in their parishes, to bring so considerable a property within the rate. They succeeded by degrees, and there followed upon their success a more improvident practice in giving relief than had ever prevailed before in England. It was in this district, and at this time, that relief by head-money had its origin, and produced its most conspicuous effects in deteriorating the habits, and depreciating the wages, of the agricultural labourer. When the practice of rating stock in trade was fully established in this district, the staple trade rapidly declined there, and withdrew itself still more rapidly into the northern clothing districts, where no such burden was ever cast upon the trade. Now, the hon. Gentleman appears to contend that these burdens should be imposed on all classes of the community, instead of one particular class, and that by such a redistribution a great good would be effected, so far as the landlord and tenant farmer was concerned. But, unless he could devise some means for getting at the same principle of rating all property equally, he would accomplish nothing towards effecting his own purpose. I happen to be connected with the local administration of a township in which a proportion of local rating actually expended on the relief of the poor does not exceed, perhaps, 7d. in the pound. There are townships and districts in its immediate neighbourhood in which the rate for the same purpose is not less than 7s. or 8s. in the pound. Now, it is quite clear that any manufacturer or capitalist largely engaged in trade, who has built a mill or a factory in such a district, would be anxious, under a general rate, to come within such a township, and thus so much enhance the charge for the relief of the poor, under any pressure of trade that should throw labour largely out of employment as to drive away particular trades, as well as capitalists, from the locality. All rates would, under such a state of things, be enormously increased, and you would thus, by supporting the proposition before the House, be accessory to the ruin of both the landed and the commercial interests of the kingdom. It has been said that the proposition of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire is enveloped in a great deal of mystery and confusion. I have endeavoured to penetrate the veil by which it is surrounded; and I will endeavour to explain the conclusions at which I have arrived upon it. It appears, then, to me that it is a proposition having for its object to withdraw burdens to the amount of some 6,000,000l. per annum from certain shoulders on which they are now saddled, and to impose them upon others—to relieve, in short, those who now carry them, by transferring them to those who hitherto have not borne them. The hon. Gentleman's scheme of redistribution would, probably, reimpose 3,000,00l. on those from whom he would take the present aggregate of 6,000,000l., and apportion the other 3,000,000l to other classes of the community. Well; but the 3,000,000l that he would so withdraw from those who at present pay 6,000,000l, would by no means represent the real proportion in which hon. Gentlemen opposite desire to relieve the land from its present liabilities, or of the enhanced value which their scheme would practically confer upon the land generally. Assuming the whole aggregate of land in this kingdom capable of cultivation to represent an increase equal to what it has been stated at by Gentlemen opposite, a rise in the value of the fee-simple of an acre, consequent on the remission of three millions of taxation on that aggregate, would be equivalent to 2 per cent, or 60,000,00l. sterling. An increased value of 2l. per cent would represent 120,000,000l. as the increased value of the land, supposing it to be brought for sale into the market, or the Legislature sanctioning such a proposition as that which was now before it. He, for one, did not think that these were times in which the Legislature could be brought to listen to any such proposition. It was not likely, he trusted, to meet with much favour from that House. The hon. Mem- ber for Buckinghamshire, and his friends, seemed altogether to forget the ultimate effect of Parliament entertaining so exclusive a proposition as he had brought before it for the benefit of the land. If I am not mistaken, the whole cultivable lands of all England and Wales amount to more than twenty-five—perhaps, indeed, to thirty—millions of acres. Every acre you would thus relieve, I must repeat, would rise in value in the proportion of from 5l. to 10l. Well, I will be content to say 5l. only. This increase would represent an extension of capital invested in the lands held by tenant farmers and others of not less than 150,000,000l. sterling. Would not this, Sir, be to perpetrate a great injustice to all other descriptions of property for the sake of an exclusive benefit to the land? I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite whether or not they themselves consider that this would be right or proper? I do think that the proposition now before the House is, however, not less extraordinary than it is unjust. It has for its ostensible object to relieve the present pressure of that which I believe to be the temporary distress of the landed interest. But then the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire is so very discriminating in his views of that question, that the case of the agriculturists of Scotland did not elicit even a single word in his speech. And as for the agriculturists, or any other classes of the unhappy community of the sister island, he turned to the Irish the cold shoulder, and all his sympathy for them extended to that which is proverbially said to be the alms of those who have no money in their pockets wherewith to afford more substantial relief. He gave them—advice. Sir, the hon. Gentleman said that many schemes had been brought forward for the amelioration of the condition of Ireland, but that nothing effectual had been done for her for some Sessions past. And here his admission left her. I don't think that Ireland will derive any great benefit from the advocacy of the hon. Gentleman. She will have little to thank him for, if he is prepared to tender her no other consolation for her sufferings but—his advice. It has been contended that the proposition of the hon. Member would, if carried into effect, remove a great cause of dissatisfaction among the tenant farmers. Sir, I am convinced it would create very great discontent among the people. [Laughter.] I repeat this is my conviction—notwithstanding the very great laugh which it hag occasioned. The hon. Member who spoke last has quoted largely from a paper well known to most of those who hear me—a print of great authority in all agricultural society, and of great respectability—I mean the Mark Lane Express. The article from which the hon. Gentleman read, indulges in stronger language, perhaps, than I should desire to employ: it stigmatises certain official documents, the authenticity of which it challenges, as the most deceiving statements ever concocted by the duplicity of man. It also expresses great dissatisfaction at the proposition of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. I really think that the proposition of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire is founded on fallacies calculated to beguile the House into its adoption, which are amenable to a censure scarcely less severe. That proposition, indeed, reminds me of a story which many hon. Gentlemen have perhaps heard before, yet which I will venture to tell the House in very few words: It happened once, that in a country town, and an agricultural district, a company of strolling players, who happened to be in that quarter, once proposed to get up a performance "for the benefit of the poor" of the neighbourhood. It was calculated by those who announced this intention that the object of contributing towards the relief of the poor would certainly induce the gentry to come forward generously in supporting the performance; and the event proved the soundness of this anticipation. But when it came to a question as to how the proceeds were to be appropriated, the strolling company claimed them all for themselves, on the principle that they themselves were "the poor" intended. This is just the case with the proposal of the hon. Member, if you look at its real tendencies. He would procure this boon for the tenant farmers—of relief from local rates; but he does not go—nor any of his hon. Friends near him—for the repeal of the malt tax. "We," he says, "do not ask for that at present. It is not the time to ask this relief for you; but we don't go for a revision of the whole scheme of existing taxation. As to the malt tax, I am not altogether prepared to embrace all the views entertained by some of my hon. friends on that subject. I am not one of those who think that the people at large will be much the happier for being relieved from the malt tax. As little do I think you will make the people generally more satisfied by taxing malt; or that you will ever succeed in attempting to effect the discouragement of drunkenness, or any other vice, simply by rendering its indulgence dear. But I do think that if by repealing the duty on malt, you leave more money in the poor man's pocket for the purchase of other articles of more profit, or value, or convenience, to him than that into the cost of which this tax enters, you do well; and notwithstanding what an hon. Baronet has said in the course of this debate, I do believe, notwithstanding what has fallen from the hon. Member for Lincolnshire, that the malt tax is one injurious to agriculture, and oppressive upon the working labourer and consumer. I own that I am astonished at the conduct of hon. Gentlemen opposite on this question, after hearing them both in this House and at public meetings out of doors advocate the repeal of the malt tax. The same parties who on this side of the House were its most strenuous advocates, have ceased to mention it now that they have crossed to the benches opposite. Their lips are now forbid to speak That once familiar word. Not one voice now calls for that favourite demand, but we are told to wait till the proper time shall arrive. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire holds this language, but he has not indicated when the time will come. I wish the hon. Gentleman would look a little into the real state of the country: if he would consult the feelings of the people, he would find that nothing more displeases them than to have their representatives holding one language here, and another before their constituents. Why, Sir, hon. Gentlemen know, that at meetings in the country, even tithes are permitted in their presence to be spoken of in the most violent and intemperate language. They encouraged, by their own conduct, the people to expect those remissions of burdens which must diminish the public revenues, and left it to Parliament to provide the substitute as best it might. I am astonished at the conduct of hon. Gentlemen. If I were myself an owner of land I should say this to my tenant farmers, "Men, you have got the land, and it must be your object to work it to the best of your ability with the capital you have. Parliament, like the landlord, must deal with those on whose behalf this proposition is said to be made, on the same principles on which it would dear with trades of all other descriptions. You must exert the same virtues of perseverance, industry, and frugality, which others possess, and in which you are not wanting; you must look to the exercise of these means for your profit and success; not to external and or exclusive assistance, which can only he rendered at the cost of gross injustice to others. But the speech of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire was so purely agricultural, that he did not enter into any such considerations. He recognised no such principle of dealing with the interests of all classes, instead of addressing ourselves to the benefit of one only. He himself quoted from the Standard, a newspaper of high authority with his party, and so exclusively agricultural in its predilections, that in one of its leaders a few years ago it contended that if the whole of the manufactures of England were destroyed to-morrow, England would not be a less great country by one iota, or the English a less happy people. But the Standard now took up different ground. It announced in a recent number that unions were now formed in most of the southern counties of England, the object of which was carefully to exclude all the products of the mills of the north, so that the cloths of Cheshire and of Yorkshire would not be allowed to come into competition with the production of Wiltshire. If this is to be the spirit in which hon. Gentlemen are disposed to make common cause against the manufacturing interest, I wonder they do not carry out their principle to its full extent, and, as their ancestors once wandered over the country clothed in skins, and with their bodies painted, that they do not come down here clothed in that way. They ought at least to clothe themselves in thatch, by which means I trust the farmers will at least obtain a remunerating price for their straw. I am not at all disposed to dispute the meritorious and industrious character of the tenant farmers; on the contrary, I believe them well entitled to the praise of possessing those qualities in a high degree. But I protest against a proposition on their behalf which would certainly prejudice the interests of all other classes, for the doubtful benefit of their own. I am opposed to all these partial experiments. I would willingly support any proposition which went to the reduction of those taxes on raw material that stand in the way of manufacturing labour, and close the market on the industry of our artisans. This proposition was recommended to our sympathy on behalf of farmers who had small or no capital; but what would be said of any similar proposition by which it should be proposed to mulct the manufacturers of the north for the benefit of manufacturers without capital in the south? You ought to endeavour to secure to your farms men who have capital and great spirit in agriculture. But you do not do this. If a farmer comes to you, and asks for a farm, wishing to make stipulations—which may be called stipulations of a commercial character—such as that he shall plough and grow as he likes, that he shall have every creature that lives upon the land, and that he must not have it infested with game; if such a man comes to you, you don't like him as a tenant: but it is the consequence of free trade that you must introduce such principles in your future arrangements between landlord and tenant. It is impossible that this great country, with its great and increasing interests, and its dense population, should stand still, or rest under the baneful influence of protection to agriculture, simply because you are unwilling to adopt those principles with relation to your tenants which are adopted in every other branch of industry throughout this country. Now our proposition is admitted on all hands, I believe, to be more distinct and intelligible than that of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. He has come forward as a Chancellor of the Exchequer—as the framer of a budget—but it is clear that he is only a novice in this new work, because he has not shown where he is going to obtain the money which he is wishing to remit in the shape of taxation. I suppose, judging from what slight hints fell from the hon. Gentleman, that he means to increase the income tax; or the hon. Baronet the Member for Lincolnshire (Sir M. Cholmeley) says that a fixed duty upon corn will serve the purpose as well. But let hon. Gentlemen beware how they turn ther attention to the question of the re-imposition of the duties upon corn. If you do so, you are attempting that which I believe, is as impossible as the repeal of any Act which has passed this House in former times. You might effect the repeal of the Reform Bill or the Catholic Emancipation Act probably in the same Session as that in which you reimpose the duty upon corn. Take care what you are about. Hon. Gentlemen fancy that there is a lull in the public mind; that events abroad have frightened people at home. Bear in mind that in all the European capitals a system is being established which will have a strange effect upon the minds of people in this country, who are looking, and wisely looking, to great and permanent changes in the constitution of Parliament; and that whilst your conduct is encouraging such ideas, you are leading the farmers of England in the pursuit of that false and uncertain light which must land them hereafter in the midst of difficulties much greater than those which encompass them at present. You talk of the experiment of free trade as though it had failed, or was but an experiment. I ask, have you not legislated, since the oldest amongst you first came here, in favour of protection and with the view of keeping up the price of corn; and do you not recollect that under protective laws in 1836 the whole average price of the year for good wheat—not sprouted wheat—was but 39s. 4d. per quarter; whilst, now, as we are told, sprouted wheat is sold at 42s. a quarter. Because that system was abolished, you have wreaked your vengeance upon a Minister. You have scattered a powerful party—you have shown an anger which political parties in this country have scarcely ever exhibited, because through the power, and I will say the patriotism, of the Minister whom you discarded, the industry of this great and growing population has escaped from the pressure of that screw which, through the medium of the corn laws, you had laid upon the necessaries of life. I fear that hon. Gentlemen opposite are not aware of what is passing in this country. Throughout the great towns, that question of the reduction of expenditure which we have placed before you, is exciting the intensest interest; whilst in every meeting of farmers the same cry is echoed. The men who thought us their greatest enemies, are now ready to shake hands with my hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding. They are anxious that that great justice should be done to this country which we advocate, and that you should force upon the Executive Government the greatest possible economy, compatible with the public exigencies. You say, tauntingly, that the Government is about to follow the advice of my hon. Friend. The fact is, that you will make my hon. Friend a most extraordinary man. The right hon Gentleman the Member for Tamworth followed the advice of my hon. Friend; and now you say the present Government are about to do also. And why is this? It is because we live amongst the people —because we have travelled in every county amongst them, and know their feelings and wishes—because we are identified with their desires, and have been returned to this House by great and free constituencies. It is on this account you find that the measures which my hon. Friend proposes have the sympathy of millions in this country; and I warn you that not many Sessions will pass, before you, powerful as you are, will vote for the measure which he recommends.


then rose and addressed the House. What, he asked, was the cause of the anger of the hon. Member for Manchester? In the first place, the hon. Member seemed to fear that a hope was abroad that the corn law might again be imposed. This excited his ire; but what had principally and chiefly roused him was the mere idea that the people in the south of England should reject the manufactures of the north of England, and amongst them cotton goods made of the twist he spins. He (Mr. Newdegate) had not risen to reply to the angry tone of the hon. Member's speech; nor need he comment upon the evident weakness of a cause which had to be defended by such a base weapon as mere vituperation. The proposition of his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire was, in his (Mr. Newdegate's) opinion, founded in justice; and it was so comprehensive in the relief it would afford, as to be indisputable in its claims upon the House; so its opponents seemed to feel, since all argument against it had failed, and nothing but vituperation would serve the turn of such opponents as the hon. Member for Manchester. He would now proceed to advert to one or two points which had been touched upon by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the right hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Gibson), both of whom had distinctly stated that the pressure of local taxation was not heavier upon the land than upon the other interests of the country. Now, he thought it was in his power to show the House that this was not the case. The report of the Poor Law Commissioners contained an account of the pressure of the poor-rates, upon the value in the pound of rental, and per head of the population, in the year 1847, in twenty-four large towns, and in nineteen agricultural unions; and it showed the following result—that in the twenty-four large towns, quoted by the Poor Law Commissioners, the rate in the pound was 3¾a. less, and per head 6½d. less, than in the nineteen agricultural unions. But this did not express the real difference. He had collected several agricultural counties, and compared them with other counties in which manufactures prevailed, and he found that in the eleven agricultural counties of Bedford, Berks, Buckingham, Dorset, Essex, Norfolk, Oxford, Southampton, Suffolk, Sussex, and Wilts, the average of the rates was 2s. 2d. in the pound, and the average rate per head of the population, 8s. 6d.; whilst in the counties of Chester, Derby, Lancaster, Leicester, Middlesex, Nottingham, Stafford, Warwick, and York (West Riding), in which manufactures prevailed, the average rate in the pound was 1s. 4d., and per head of the population 4s. 1d. So that the average rate in the pound on the valuation of these nine manufacturing counties was 1s. 4d. against 2s. 2d. in the eleven agricultural counties; making a difference of 63 per cent; whilst the rate per head on the population of the manufacturing counties was 4s. 7d. against 8s. 6d. in the eleven agricultural counties; making a difference of 81 per cent in favour of the manufacturing counties. The hon. Member for Manchester had stated that there was no occasion for granting relief to the agricultural interest; if so, then he (Mr. Newdegate) did not exactly understand why this should be the period selected by him and the hon. Member for the West Biding for urging the repeal of the malt tax as a measure of relief. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, indeed, was as confident that no danger threatened the agriculturists from foreign competition, as he was, in repealing the sugar duties, that no serious injury therefrom could accrue to the West Indians; he was now as confident as he was in 1847, before the commercial and monetary crisis, that no danger threatened the commercial interests. Let not the agriculturists trust to the false confidence of the right hon. Chancellor. The Poor Law Commissioners had presented a table showing the average price of wheat for fourteen years, and the sums levied for the relief of the poor; and from this it appeared that, in the years when the average price of wheat was high, the relief required for the poor was smaller than when the average price of wheat was low. The average price for seven of those years when the price was high was stated at 63s. 8d. per quarter; and for the other seven years, 49s. 2d. per quarter; and the sum required for the relief of the poor in the years when the price was low, was 4 per cent greater than the sum required when the price was high. From a comparative view of the table, it appeared that 56s. 5d. per quarter was the mean price, and the price at which the lowest sum was required for the relief of the poor; and this was exactly the sum named by Sir Robert Peel, in 1842, as the price that it was desirable, if possible, to maintain. He could only infer from this, that as the price of wheat and agricultural produce fell to less than 40s. per quarter, or 20 per cent below the average price of the seven years of low price quoted by the Poor Law Commissioners, so would the necessity for an increased expenditure for the relief of the poor increase; and for this reason he thought the proposition of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire was eminently well-timed; for it was evident that there was not only a heavy burden cast upon the ratepayers of the country, particularly the agricultural districts, but that it was likely to increase as the prices for agricultural produce fell under the operation of free trade. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated, that since 1815 9,000,000l. of taxation had been remitted to the agricultural classes; and he enumerated the taxes upon beer, cider, hides, starch, tiles, vinegar, malt, and spirits, which amounted to 6,835,000l; and which—together with the taxes remitted upon servants, horses, carriages, and shepherds' dogs, employed in agriculture; those on the insurance of stock; and the expenses of prosecution and maintenance of prisoners, poor-law auditors, and medical relief, which had been transferred from the rates to the Consolidated Fund—amounted to 8,500,000l in round numbers; but the right hon. Baronet included in his 9,000,000l. 486,924l. for the Irish constabulary. Neither the proposal of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire nor the discussion had anything to do with Ireland. He (Mr. Newdegate) considered this 486,924l. for the Irish police, therefore, beside the question; so that the actual relief to the agriculturists of England and Wales, as stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, remained 8,500,000l. in round numbers. But the right hon. Gentleman never told them that the taxation remitted between 1815 and 1847 in favour of the other interests amounted to no less than 23,000,000l. So that whilst there had been remitted to the agricultural classes 8,500,000l. of taxation, upwards of 23,000,000l. had been remitted to the other classes of the country; that was to say, for every 100l. of taxation remitted to the agriculturists, 270l. had been remitted to the other classes. This was the result of the grasping system of exaction and monopoly in favour of the agricultural interest, under what they termed landlord legislation, which the hon. Members for the West Riding and Manchester, with their coadjutors of the Anti-Corn-Law League, had spent seven years in denouncing; such was the chimera with which they had duped the people of England.


, seeing a great number of Gentlemen anxious to address the House, would undertake to reduce the argument which he wished to submit, in illustration of his views, to as short a compass as possible; but he was anxious to take some part in this discussion, because he came to the consideration of the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire with all the bias, if he might say so, of a person connected by birth and representation with the landed interests. He had listened with great attention and admiration, in common, he should think, with every person in the House, whether opposed to him or not, to the very able and acute speech which had been delivered by the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, though he had not been able to agree with every portion of it. He thought the right hon. Gentleman, residing, as he did, and connected by tenure of land, with a district of the country which happened to be particularly exempt from the suffering that oppressed the agricultural classes of England, had, in some degree, underrated and undervalued the amount of that distress. They were all, perhaps, too apt to judge by what fell under their immediate observation, and to argue from that to a wider field. Coming, therefore, from a part of the country peculiarly affected by this distress, he was inclined, perhaps, to attach more importance, not to the intensity but the extent of that distress, than he ought to do; for, though the distress was local, yet the locality was not so small as was supposed, and in that locality the distress was very considerable. But, if he differed from the right hon. Gentleman as to the extent of the distress, he was afraid he differed more from hon. Gentlemen who sat near him as to the causes and nature of it. He did not regret it on the simple fact that wheat was at 45s.; nothing could be more fallacious than to argue as to the prevalence of distress, at any particular time, from simple reference to the price of wheat. During the whole of the last century, up to 1794, wheat, on the average, was under 41s., and except in the first ten years, when it was at 71s., it was considerably under 40s. In our own time, within the last few years, we had had wheat selling at 45s., 46s., and 47s., without a whisper of discontent on the part of the agricultural interest. The question, then, was, what were the circumstances which made the distress at present so hardly felt. He believed it arose entirely from the peculiarity of the seasons in recent years, and the character of last harvest. In the first place, it was notorious that in the south of England the harvest was an exceedingly wet one; he recollected no season so unfavourable to farming; and the result had been that a great amount of corn produced by the home grower was of a quality so inferior as to be unexampled in the southern counties. Where the farmers had got wheat to sell, and obtained this low price of 45s., there was no mention of distress; whereas with those near him, the complaint was, not that the price was 45s., but that they had not got wheat to sell for 45s. The importations of last year were not materially larger than those of 1839 and 1841, when we required 2,600,000 quarters; and so far from having had a tendency to decrease the averages, he believed it had done quite as much to keep them up. He maintained that the state of the averages was not the proper cause of the distress, but wheat was brought to the market in a state which did not fetch the best market price, and much of it in a state which was not fit for human use. If the importation of last year had not exceeded, as he did not think it had, the quantity which had been introduced in many other years, it should also be remembered that that importation had received an artificial stimulus from the political causes which had been at work in other countries, where the harvest also had been more favourable than in this. In France there existed, about the time of harvest last year, so great a panic amongst the holders of wheat that they were most anxious to sell when everybody offered to buy. When the market was at a standstill, owing to the political convulsions, they exported their stocks to this country to such an extent, that, now that tranquillity was reestablished, and the markets rising, they were obliged to import as freely as they had exported. At the same time, there had been a very diminished consumption in this country, as would be seen if they compared the amount of quarters sold last year at towns where the averages were taken, with that sold in former years, though it was true that more wheat than formerly was now sent to the miller without being taken to market. Again, there was the same diminished consumption and a falling price in meat, not certainly produced by increased importations, since it would be found that the importation of cattle had fallen in 1848 as compared with 1847. The distress, he admitted, was not only extensive in many districts, but likewise most severe; but he took comfort from this reflection, that, if he was right as to the causes he had alleged being the true causes of the distress, it was in the nature of things that those causes must in no long time terminate, and a return of prosperity ensue. He had had too much experience in political affairs to be fond of venturing on prophecies, but he did not think there was any reason for despondency. The question then presented itself, how far would this distress probably be removed by the adoption of the plan before them? He had some difficulty in discussing that point; for however brilliantly that plan had been introduced and explained, one part of it, and not the least important, was so veiled in mystery, that he, for one, was not able to see what they were to look for as a makeweight in return for surrendering the very great advantages derived from the present system of managing 6,000,000l. of local taxation. So far as the county rate was concerned, he admitted that the counties had a considerable grievance against that House with respect to their expenditure, for nothing could be more unsound than that expenses should be ordered and authorised by one party who had not themselves the management or control of their distribution. In that House some subject, as that of lunatic asylums, was taken up by a benevolent or philanthropic Member; the Chancellor of the Exchequer naturally deprecated projects for the amelioration of society which trenched on the public treasury; but the moment it was stated that the expense was to be borne, not by the public treasury, but by the counties, no scruple was shown about saddling them with a very great expense for an object they did not perhaps contemplate. In another respect, also, the plan was very defective. He could not conceive that half the poor-rates should be paid out of the Exchequer without introducing into the local management a degree of liberality never hitherto shown. He did not conceive it fair that the shipowner, the merchant, or manufacturer, contributing to the local taxation in the proportion of half the amount, should see it expended by parties over whose proceedings he had no sort of control. If it should tend towards a system of centralisation, he should greatly regret to narrow that wide field for instruction in the transaction of public affairs which had brought such advantages to political ability in this country. Another question, vital to the merits of the plan as a plan of relief, was, how were the funds to be raised which would be requisite to supply the amount of rates taken off? The hon. Member for North Lincolnshire (Sir M. Cholmeley) said, by a moderate fixed duty on corn; but he must contemplate the import of a number of quarters which exceeded the most sanguine estimate known, or his notions of moderation must be rather extraordinary. He thought it strange that no mention should be made of the manner in which the proposed fund was to be raised, and that the most important part of the plan should be thus left unexplained. It might be said, that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire had promised relief to the extent of 5,000,000l, and would explain how he would raise it if the House consented to go into Committee; but he thought, the more natural method would have been first to mention the mode of taxation, and keep the sweeter portion to the last. That the income tax was the source looked to was implied in the words of the hon. Gentleman, who was far too great a master of his art to convey more than he meant. Either the additional tax would be raised upon all the schedules, as at present, and then it would afford no real relief to the agriculturists, since they would have to pay as much under a different denomination; or, if it were to be raised on two schedules only, he was convinced that the agricultural interest generally were far too honest to agree to it. He did not think they would consent, under the influence of any pressure, to anything resembling a breach of faith. For these reasons he was unable to give his support to the hon. Gentleman's plan; and, at the same time, he could not consent to raise hopes which could never be realised, by voting for going into Committee.


was able to give a direct contradiction to the statement that there were no complaints of distress from the north of England; for no later than the preceding day he had received a letter stating that a large meeting was about to be held in an important agricultural district with which both the North and the East Riding of Yorkshire were connected on the subject of the low price of corn. But even if that were not so—had the north no reason for alarm when they knew that a great part of England had sustained a great loss of property from which they had escaped only through being blessed with a better crop—when they knew that the price of corn was not higher than 45s. per quarter, notwithstanding the great deficiency in the southern harvest? Under the fall of prices in 1822, and in 1834 and 1835, and the consequent distress, hope, at least, was left at the bottom of the box—it was expected that with the revival of trade there would be a rise in the price of agricultural produce. But no such hope existed at the present time; for, notwithstanding the deficiency in the crop, there had been no compensating rise in price, and the prospects of trade were anything but promising. In the former years he had referred to—1822 and 1835—the fall in price took place under a great abundance of corn, whereas now it occurred concurrently with a deficiency of supply. Was there under these circumstances no reasonable ground of alarm. It had been stated that there was a great desire on the part of the manufacturing population to join in an attempt to reduce the Government expenditure: he (Mr. Cayley) could bear testimony to a similar desire on the part of the agricultural body, because they found the present rate of taxation intolerable under the existing price of their produce. There was reason in the agriculturists making those complaints; but his surprise was, that the manufacturers made complaints of that nature. The manufacturing body, according to the predictions of their leaders, should now, under free trade, be in a state of prosperity. They might be assured, however, that neither the mercantile nor agricultural bodies ever made those complaints unless the shoe pinched. Was it the shoe of free trade that pinched? It was the distress in the manufacturing districts in 1837 that led to the agitation for the repeal of the corn laws. Let them depend upon it, it was some feeling of distress in the manufacturing body which led to the agitation at the present time for financial reform. It had been well said by an American writer, very knowing in the motives and interests of mankind, that when a State is eminently flourishing, its subjects overlook general defects in private prosperity; but there is no more fastidious commentator on public affairs than your merchant of a failing trade." He strongly believed that a failing trade was at the bottom of the present agitation. The hon. Member for Manchester had spoken of free trade as if it were not an experiment. But what measure had ever been proposed or carried in that House that could not be said to be an experiment? Who had ever found human reason unerring except in mathematics? Where had ever the Euclid been found to solve the problem of real life, unless it were the hon. Member for Manchester? He was not sure that he would not go farther—for he was an older campaigner in these battles, in the matter of reduction of taxation—than many of his hon. Friends before him. He had always found on those occasions that the Ministers of the Crown universally forgot and were indifferent to any language uttered to them unless it came through the channel of the Exchequer; and for his own part he had felt disposed, had not the discussion upon it come to a premature termination, to vote for the proposition which the hon. Member for the West Riding had submitted to the House. He (Mr. Cayley) could have wished for his own part that the experiment of free trade might have been permitted to go on a little longer unchecked. He wanted to see how the physic worked—especially how it worked those who had been so anxious to administer it to the rest of the country. But there were others not so capable of bearing the experiment—perhaps, too, himself—whose capital was melting away. Still he could not but say that free trade had held out many promises which it had realised. It had promised a reduction in the price of corn—it had realised that promise to a very considerable but not to its ultimate extent; it had promised a falling revenue—it had realised that; it had promised a diminution of exports—it had realised that; it had promised a decline in the revenue, and a reduction of the profits of trade—and these promises had been fulfilled; it had promised a diminution of employment—it had realised that; it had promised a decline of wages—it had realised that; it had promised increased imports—it had realised that; it had promised an increase of poor-rates—it had been realised to the extent of near a million sterling in the last year; it had promised increased distress in Ireland—it had realised that; it had promised increase of dissatisfaction and discontent in the colonies—it realised both of these, while there had been no potato-rot and revolutions in the colonies to explain away the real cause of the distress there. Free trade had also promised a great many other things, which it had equally realised to the prejudice of the best interests of the country; and now they were told that free trade was, right or wrong, to be persevered in. If it must be persevered in, despite the fatal experience of its results, he thought that some such steps must be taken as those which were proposed by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire; and there must be not only a great reduction of taxation, but an entire redistribution of it. Although his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire was well able to answer the speech which his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had delivered on the previous day, there were one or two points in it to which he (Mr. Cayley) would very shortly advert. His right hon. Friend had asserted that any reduction of the poor-rate would be no relief to the farmers, because in estimating rent the amount of poor-rate was always taken into account. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had shown how greatly the poor-rates had been reduced under the Poor Law Amendment Act in Bedfordshire and various other counties in England. He (Mr. Cayley) wanted to know whether his right hon. Friend had got a return of the increase of rents in those counties in which the poor-rates had been reduced; because, to make good his argument, he ought to have proved that an increase of rent accompanied a reduction of poor-rate. But he defied his right hon. Friend to show that an increase of rent had followed a diminution of poor-rate. The practical truth was, that although on letting a farm the amount of poor-rate was an element in the question, yet from there being in the yearly tenancies perhaps not more than one adjustment of rent in a lifetime, the tenant got all the benefit of a reduction of burdens often for a long course of years. His right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made a statement which he (Mr. Cayley) had often heard, but had never seen proved, that on the Continent the taxes upon land were higher than in England. The information which had reached him on that subject was entirely different. He found from a calculation that had been made by an accomplished writer, founded upon information derived from practical sources in this and other countries, that the taxation on cultivating 15,000,000 of acres in the north of Germany was 5,009,550l. while the taxation on the same quantity in England was 23,050,000l., being a difference of 18,000,000l: that the expense of cultivating the same acres was in Germany 45,827,175l., and in England 85,091,650l., being a balance of 39,264,475l. against England, or 45 per cent: and that the cost of growing a quarter of wheat in Germany was 27s. 10d., and in England, 50s.; of barley, in Germany, 16s. 2d., and in England, 30s.; of oats in Germany, 10s. 10d., and in England, 20s. He found, also, that upon 1,000l. worth of American wheat, there was 17l. of taxation, or 1½ per cent; while upon the same amount of English wheat there was a taxation of 284l., or 27 per cent, which with the superinduced taxation brought the taxation on English wheat to 45 per cent. It had been stated that the taxation in this country did not necessarily fall upon the farmer, and that if rout was reduced in proportion to the fall in the price of corn, the farmer would not suffer. He (Mr. Cayley) denied that rent could be reduced to compensate on many soils for the fall which might be expected under free trade in corn. But if it could, why was the landlord to be sacrificed on the altar of a crude and hasty experiment, which promised no advantage to any class except that of the fixed annuitants; or why was the landowner's property not to receive an equal measure of justice and protection with that of the rest of the community? According to his understanding of the plan proposed by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire it was not merely to transfer a portion of the local taxation raised for national purposes from the landed interest to other classes not now paying it, who by law were bound to do so, but to go into the question of the pressure of excise duties upon agricultural produce. At least, he (Mr. Cayley) should not be content to go into Committee without including the ques- tion of the pressure from that source, and from other sources also. [The hon. Member then proceeded to show that the great weight of the excise and stamp duties, and the assessed taxes, fell upon the owners and cultivators of the soil, and that of these taxes 17,119,931l. were levied on agricultural produce and real property—viz., excise, 12,171,804l. stamps, 2,302,878l., and assessed taxes, 2,645,249l.] To that, he thought, he might fairly add 3,000,000l. on account of the agriculturist being prevented from growing tobacco and sugar. The total of this taxation levied on agricultural produce and real property was 20,119,931l. If to this were added the local taxation, the land tax, and the tithe, which also had to be paid before the farmer could come into competition with the foreigner, the entire taxation falling upon real property or its produce, from which other classes and interests were exempt, amounted to near 40,000,000l. per annum. Among the articles of agricultural produce thus taxed, he might mention spirits, malt, hops, soap (made principally of agricultural produce), bricks, the heavy stamp duties on mortgages, the transfer of real property, stage coaches, which curtailed the demand for horses, posthorses, land tax, windows, houses, carriages, horsedealers, game duties, &c., &c. All these taxes pressed to an extent almost incalculable upon agriculture by limiting the demand for its produce, and were utterly inconsistent with justice, now that that produce had to enter into unrestricted competition with that of comparatively untaxed foreign countries. If free trade was to be tried, it should be tried fairly. They might be told that all the taxes he had mentioned fell upon the consumer. Well, if they did, and the fact were so, the manufacturers, if they agreed in this sentiment, could surely have no objection to have them placed on their produce. They were welcome to the privilege. There had, however, been a tax upon raw cotton; but the manufacturers were anxious enough to get rid of it on the ground that it diminished its consumption. There had been a tax upon printed calicoes; but the manufacturers were very glad to get rid of that also, because it diminished the consumption of those articles. The tendency of all taxes on produce was to diminish its consumption; and on that ground, if we were to have free trade, the agriculturists were entitled to as large an exemption from taxation as the manufac- turing class. With reference to the general taxation, including the customs duties, varying from 20 to 600 per cent on tea, sugar, coffee, tobacco, wines, &c, the agricultural body bore its share of these duties, along with all other consumers of them. This was in addition to its local and other burdens mentioned before. How, then, could they be expected to compete with the foreign producer, who had no such taxes to pay? It was an impossibility; and in his belief it would be found in the long run utter ruin for even the manufacturer, much more the more heavily-taxed farmer, to attempt it. If, therefore, there was to be free trade, let it be entirely free, and let there be a fair stand-up fight. The present system was not free trade, but a fettered trade; nor was it fair play to the industrious classes of this country. There had been some indication of retractation on the part of the Government in the course taken by them on the subject of the navigation laws; but he was not in favour of partial retractation. He would prefer, since we had abandoned practice for theory, that the theory of free trade should be fully and fairly carried out; otherwise it would at some future day be called but a partial experiment. In order, however, that it should have a chance of success, some very large if not entire revision of taxation must take place; for the present system necessarily enhanced the wages of labour in this country very materially above the wages in other countries. He was the last man in the House that would intentionally diminish the comforts of the working man; but if with nominally lower wages he could give him as large or a larger supply of the necessaries and conveniences of life—and he could increase the chances of the success of free trade—he certainly ought to meet at least with the support of free-traders. He assumed that customs duties were not, for the present at least, to be resorted to; and to raise our whole revenue from an income tax would be found intolerable. In these days of budgets, it might be rash and unwise of him to propose one; but if there was to be anything like successful competition with the foreign producer, an endeavour should be made to relieve the producing class in this country of all the restrictions that impeded and enhanced the price of the several processes of native industry. The excise duty interfered with the productive processes of industry. The duties on tea, sugar, coffee, and beer, had to be paid in the first instance out of the wages of labour, and so necessarily raised their rate. He had certainly not had much experience in finance, but a plan had suggested itself to him which he ventured with deference to throw out for the consideration of the House. It might appear somewhat comprehensive, when he stated that it was to abolish every tax levied by the customs, stamps, excise, or assessed taxes; and yet without increasing the income tax, which he did not feel inclined to do, unless it were to carry it down to incomes as low as 50l. a year. He would also retain the revenue from Crown lands, the penny postage, and land tax—the latter as a set-off against any apparent inequality in the income tax on precarious incomes. He would also throw half or three-fourths of the local taxation levied for national objects on the general taxation. How then make up a deficiency, after every reduction in expenditure?—and for every practicable reduction he should vote. He proposed a system of inland revenue which should levy on every article of produce, agricultural, manufacturing, or commercial, at a point nearest practicable to the consumer—that was, when the article was at its greatest value—of say, for the sake of argument, 10 per cent. The income of the country was estimated in an able pamphlet by Mr. Smee, connected, he believed, with the Bank of England, and founded on official documents, at 485,000,000l, reckoning incomes above 150l. per annum, between 150l. and 50l. and below 50l., which would include the wages of labour. This, if all collected, which doubtless would be difficult, would give 48,000,000l. a year; but say 40,000,000l. What with a persevering reduction of expenditure, where possible, and the remaining taxes he had mentioned, a sufficient taxation could, he believed, be levied for national purposes. It might be new and difficult; but where there was a will there was generally a way. The effect of this plan would be to enable the English producer to grow corn much nearer on a par with the Continental grower. The tax would be levied on produce from wherever it came, if consumed in England, whether the corn came from Norfolk or from America. To the extent of 10 per cent it would, therefore, be a direct protection to all the productive classes, to the farmer among others, against untaxed foreign competition of 10 per cent, while it would lower agricultural taxation at least 20 per cent, being a direct relief to British agriculture of 30 per cent; at least this was his rough estimate; while it would diminish the cost of production to the exporting manufacturer of full 20 per cent, for the 10 per cent tax would not fall on him. It would tax when nearest consumption all foreign produce, manufacturing as well as agricultural, and thus levy at least the same taxation on the foreigner as on ourselves, which taxation he entirely escaped at present. The relief to the general production of the country would, as it appeared to him, be very great as against the foreigner, whilst upon every class of producers it would cast exactly the same amount of taxation; so that there could hereafter be no complaints of inequality of taxation. He had heard since the plan occurred to him, that a tax of a somewhat similar kind had partially existed in Holland for the last hundred years, and it had formerly been introduced partially in this country in the form of taxes on printed calicoes, cotton, twist, and hats. If this system was adopted, it would afford, in his opinion, relief to agriculture, and to the productive classes of the country in general; and free trade, with an improved currency, might then succeed. If some such system was not adopted, and what was called free trade was to be continued, the grossest injustice would be done to the agricultural body. That body had been described as oppressed by the landlords; a falser accusation had never been made as applied to the general conduct of the landlords of this country towards their tenants. But the House would soon learn, if it persevered in an unjust and oppressive course towards the farmers of England, whether they were used to oppression or not. It would find that it was neither safe nor politic so to treat them. And certainly if any class deserved to be kindly dealt with by the Legislature, it was this class, which was proverbial for its persevering industry and peaceable demeanour. If, however, it should turn out that oppression was the course the House determined to pursue towards that class, his part was taken—against the oppressor, and with the oppressed.


rose and said: Sir, I believe there is a general wish upon the part of this House that there should be a division to-night. I shall, therefore, be as brief as I possibly can in the few observations which I intend to make upon this question. After I heard the very able and eloquent statement of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, I confess I was at a loss to understand by what arguments that statement could be refuted. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a very able speech, attempted to answer the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire. My right hon. Friend began by an admission that there was a very great inequality in the taxation of the country; and he went on to argue that the proposition of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire did not afford exclusive relief to the agricultural interest, and therefore it ought not to be adopted by this House. Why, Sir, if my hon. Friend had proposed to relieve the agricultural interest, without at the same time relieving the real property of the whole country, he would have been justly taunted with having introduced a measure which was not impartial. But will you argue, because he has introduced a measure which is not to be confined to a particular class, but which is based upon the eternal principles of right and justice, that you are to reject it? But, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman further argued, that the tenant farmers of this country would not obtain the benefit which we proposed to give them. I think. Sir, I can show to the House that such is not the fact. I hold in my hand a return of five parishes near my neighbourhood, where the highway rates, church rates, land tax, property tax, county rates, and police rates, average each of them at four shillings in the pound. Now, if the total local taxation of the country amounts to 12,000,000l, and if you take away 6,000,000l. of those taxes which the people now pay, is it not clear that the property now taxed will be relieved one-half from the pressure of these local burdens? It matters not how many are included in the measure of relief: as long as you include the people who now pay 12,000,000l, you will effect a great good for the agricultural interests. It is a plain matter of fact—every farmer can take pen, ink, and paper, and calculate it for himself; he does not require a Chancellor of the Exchequer to help him to a result. He can see that he is now paying 4s., and that if this proposition of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire is adopted, he will only have to pay the half of that, which will be but 2s. One of the arguments of my hon. Friend was, that in an ancient kingdom, where the energies of the people were chiefly directed to commercial pursuits, it was impossible to make a practical estimate available for the local taxation of the country. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in arguing against this, stated facts which were never doubted, and argued as if they had been questioned. He stated, that he had compared the entries into foreign ports of manufactures as compared with entries into the ports of the West Riding. Why, Sir, in Buckinghamshire there was formerly a lace manufacture—in many other towns branches of industry now extinct, formerly flourished. They are not in existence now. They have fled from this country. They have sought a clime where gold is more abundant. With respect to the question of roads, the right hon. Baronet said—I want to know whether the commercial traveller in his gig does not confer a great advantage upon the people in the country, by taking their goods into the shops in the towns? I fully agree with him that he does. But, does the commercial traveller pass through these roads out of pure love for the agricultural classes? Does he get no benefit—is there no reciprocity in the matter? While, then. Sir, I admit freely the benefit which the farmer derives from good roads, I say that the commercial traveller is equally benefited, and, therefore, that it is not fair the farmer should have the whole expense of maintaining these roads. The right hon. Baronet went on to say, that he supposed an income tax should be levied in order to make good the deficiency which would accrue to the revenue, if the proposition of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire were carried into effect; and upon that supposition, he argued that the farmer would not he benefited, because it would be taking the money out of one pocket in order to pay it into another. But the right hon. Gentleman should have stated, if a fresh tax were imposed, the soil would be altogether relieved, as it would be levied upon personal property. The right hon. Gentleman went on to make reference to the case of Scotland, which he quoted as an authority against us; but let the House go into Committee, and he will have an opportunity of hearing what the case of Scot- land really is. The right hon. Gentleman asked, how it was possible that those who now paid 3,000,000l. property tax could endure the increased burden which we were about to cast upon them? He (the Marquess of Granby) would answer, how was it possible that 84,000,000l. of real property bore a taxation of 4,000,000l., while 180,000,000l. of property in this country only bore a taxation of 7,000,000l.? Why, if you with 180,000,000l. cannot bear one-half of this taxation, how oppressive and unjust is it to shovel upon the shoulders of the real property of this country, which, according to your own accounts, is only 84,000,000l., this immense burden of taxation. With reference to the land tax, the right hon. Baronet said, that in foreign countries, such as France, Russia, and Germany, the land paid a great deal more than one-half of the taxation of the country. This struck me as being so extraordinary, that I took the trouble of investigating the fact.


Your statement of my words is wholly incorrect; what I said was this—the real property in those countries bore a greater proportion of taxation than the real property in this.


With regard to the taxation thrown upon land, in comparing France with England, he found a vast difference in the amount paid. Mr. M'Culloch states in his work, that he touches upon this point chiefly from the light which it throws upon the subject, and partly because it was so little understood in this country. Mr. M'Culloch says— So little do we know of the mode in which the public revenue is raised in France, that it is a common error to suppose that it is principally derived from the land, or, at the least, that a large proportion of it is paid by the land. Nothing can be more completely unfounded than such a supposition. The land of England is quite as highly taxed as that of France. With respect to the question of tithes, I think there is some hardship in the present system. The tithe commutation rent charge was fixed at an average when wheat was 56s. a quarter; now, the present price of wheat is 47s. It is evident that the farmer has to pay a higher amount of tithe now than he would have had if the commutation had not taken place. I see in a morning paper the following statement:— The whole of the farms on the road from North Corney to Cheltenham—a distance of about ten or eleven miles—are now either in the hands of the proprietors, or about to be vacated by the tenants at Lady-day next. The soil of that district is very thin on the brach, and it, therefore, will not admit of tenants paying rent at all, at the present low price of corn. Now, Sir, allow me to say a word about the malt tax. Great sympathy has been professed by hon. Gentlemen opposite for the farmers and agricultural labourers, and the repeal of the malt tax is recommended by those hon. Gentlemen. I admit that that tax, by impeding the cultivation of the soil—by interfering with the application of capital—by hindering the rotation of crops—by the injury it inflicts on the humbler classes—by increasing the price of what may be called their natural beverage—I admit it would be desirable that this tax should be repealed. And I agree with the hon. Member for Manchester, that if it were possible to repeal this tax without endangering the revenue, and without compromising the great interests of this country, the malt tax ought to be abolished. But I do not see, regarding those high considerations, how 5,000,000l. of taxes can be dispensed with. I trust, however, that the day is not far distant when the House will, by recurring to the policy they have laid aside, be enabled with discretion and with safety to revise the whole system of taxation. I hope that, by returning to those customs duties which they have done away with, and which imposed at least one half of the burden upon the foreigner, it may be possible, by a tax upon corn and other articles, not only to repeal the malt tax, but to abolish other duties unequal in their nature and vexatious in their operation. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester has told the House what a great interest he and those who sit beside him feel in the well-doing of the farmer, and how willing that class was to acquiesce in his counsels and to join in his agitation. But I think the hon. Gentleman will find himself somewhat mistaken in calculating upon the support of the farmers to further his free-trade theories they have had enough of them; and the only way in which the hon. Gentleman can conciliate the farmers is by becoming a protectionist. The farmers are not so blind to their own interest as the hon. Gentlemen professes to suppose; but I think the angry tone in which the hon. Gentleman spoke, showed that, after all, he had no great reliance upon the support of the agricultural interest. Now, Sir, I ask the House have not the agricultural interest great reason to complain? Heavy burdens were imposed upon the land at a period when the price of corn was high, and when the landed interest was able to bear them. Is it fair to continue those burdens when the ability to sustain them no longer exists? When those burdens were imposed, the foreigner could not compete with the English farmer—now he does so, with all his advantages, upon a perfect equality. Sir, the time is come when the Legislature ought to alter the pressure of those burdens which fall exclusively upon land. I entertained the hope that Government, seeing the distress which prevailed in the rural districts—I was in the hope, after the lucid and convincing statement of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, that they would do something to relieve the agriculturists from this most unjust pressure. I am sorry to hear the determination of the Government. I am of opinion that the course they pursue is a dangerous course—an unsafe course. I think it is not wise, politic, or judicious that everything should be conceded to clamour and agitation, and nothing to reason and tranquillity. I think it is not right, or fair, that a most important class—a loyal class—a class attached to our institutions, and of peaceful and orderly habits, should be suffered to remain under the impression that their claims, however constitutionally put forward, are to be systematically rejected—that their petitions are to be passed by unheeded, and their grievances unredressed. Do not let me be misunderstood. I am convinced that, do what you will, these men will still remain loyal—will continue peaceable. But if the time should come again—as come it may—when their services may be needed, you may find then that systematic oppression has so debased their condition, and so dispirited their enthusiasm, that they may not be able to come forward with the vigour and unanimity which they have hitherto done. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the close of his speech adverted to the condition of the agriculturists, and said their distress was, after all, extremely partial, and confined to particular localities. I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Wiltshire has disproved that allegation. I am glad of it for this reason—that the agricultural population may not be impressed with the idea that you not only refuse to relieve their distress, but affect to discredit it. I should be sorry that that deserving class should entertain the belief that there was neither relief for their sufferings, nor sympathy for them in the House of Commons. The right hon. Baronet the Chancellor of the Exchequer declared his opinion that it. was conducive to the benefit of the labourer that there should be low prices. I will venture to give my opinion upon this subject, and I say at once, frankly, that free trade, with its low prices, has failed. I boldly affirm that the hopes they held out have not been realised—and that the disadvantages which were anticipated from its adoption have been but too faithfully realised. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Wiltshire did not doubt the distress, but he differed with my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire as to the causes of it. He thinks it does not arise from the low price of corn. Now, upon this head, I will read to the House a short extract. It is from an authority which I am sure the House of Commons respects, and is applicable to the present case:— I admit that if unlimited foreign import, which the war had suspended, were now again allowed, broad might be a little, though very little, cheaper than it now is for a year or two; but what would follow? The small farmer would be ruined, improvement would stand still, inferior lands now producing corn would return to a state of waste, the home consumption and brisk demands for all the various articles of the retail dealer would rapidly decline, to the great injury of our towns, especially those which are not connected with manufactures or commerce. Now, Sir, that is precisely the very state of things which has come to pass; it is a perfect picture of the last few years; the very results which Mr. Huskisson anticipated from the repeal of the corn laws have come to pass, they are verified to the letter. [Mr. BRIGHT: What is the date of that speech?] Well, I cannot tell exactly the date of it, but the hon. Gentleman will easily find it—it is an address by Mr. Huskisson to his constituents; and I hope the hon. Gentleman will read, learn, and inwardly digest it. Now, Sir, frequent allusion has been made, in the course of this debate, to the price of corn and provisions. Now, allow (me to quote the price of provisions as paid by the Grantham union, in my county:—

Sept. 1848. Dec. 1848. Gain per week in Dec. 1848. Loss per week in Dec. 1848.
s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d.
Flour:— . Being 2d. per stone on two stone.
Second 41 0 36 0
Thirds 39 0 34 0
Coals 15 0 15 0 . .
Butter 1 1 . 0 1 On 1lb.
Milk 0 2 0 2 . .
Cheese 0 7 0 0 .
Beef 0 6 0 . . None bought.
Mutton 0 6 0 0 1 . Suppose 4lb. are bought.
Suet 0 6 0 . . None bought.
Oatmeal Peas 5 9 4 3 . . Seldom bought.
Candlea 5 6 5 0 . On 1lb.
Rice 21 0 19 0 . . Seldom bought, but the reduction is not 1¼. per lb.
Sago 0 0 3 . . Seldom bought.
Tea 3 3 3 2 . . Nothing saved.
Coffee 1 4 1 4 . .
Sugar 0 5 0 0 . On 1lb.
Soap 43 0 43 3 . .
Salt 2 1 2 1 . .
Gain 0 7 0 1
Loss 0 1
Balance 0 6
I do not like to fatigue the House by reading documents, but I trust I may be permitted to quote the following extract from the letter of a farmer, which, in my mind, puts the matter in a very plain and practical point of view. He says, speaking of wages and the prices of corn— I have a great many moo who have been with me ever since I began farming; and when I told these men, three years ago, that I must lower their wages to 10s., the answer was, 'We did hope you would not lower us.' I said,' What am I to do? Look at the low price of corn.' And their reply was, 'Yes; but we are very much worse oft" with the price of wheat at 46s. than when you sold it at 64s. Do you think that in proportion as the price of bread was low the amount expended upon the poor was high? I should think there can be no doubt of that; the price of corn being very low tends invariably to throw a great number of persons out of employment, and those persons have no means of supporting themselves, except by seeking an asylum in the union workhouse. [Cries of "Divide !"] Well, Sir, I do not wish to intrude upon the patience of the House, and I will conclude by saying that, entertaining those opinions, I will give my cordial support to the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, and I think that, on the present occasion, whether he carries his resolution or not—carried it eventually will be—he is entitled to the gratitude of the community, commercial as well as manufacturing. Mr. M'Culloch says that there is justice in taxation as well as in other things—that justice hero, as well as elsewhere, is, after all, the best policy—that it is for the permanent interest of all individuals, as well as of all communities, that strict and impartial justice should be done. That justice may be done upon this question is my earnest wish. I sincerely hope that, at all events, this debate may be the means of showing the agricultural and the commercial and manufacturing classes that their interests are identical and not antagonistic, and establishing a feeling, not of jealousy or distrust, but a desire to better the condition of those who toil for their daily bread; and that an emulous strife may be engendered between them to bestow upon that suffering class a larger share of comfort, and a greater security against distress and destitution, than now exists.


confessed, that he was anxious to express his feelings on the Motion before the House, and he could assure the House that he would confine the few observations he had to make within the shortest possible space. It was impossible to have listened to the course of this debate without observing that great changes had taken place in the course of it in the views of those who supported the proposition. He listened, on the first night of this discussion, to the speech of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire—he listened with that attention which the hon. Gentleman's powers of eloquence and of argument always demanded, and still more with that attention which was due to the temperate manner in which his argument was stated. He thought he understood the proposition of the hon. Gentleman. He thought that he understood him to intend to relieve the real property of this country from the burden of six millions of taxation, and to charge that amount on the Consolidated Fund of this country; and he suggested means by which the vacuum in the Consolidated Fund thus created, should afterwards be supplied. The hon. Gentleman stated the amount of the void which would thus be created, and then, though he did not say indeed that the vacuum should be supplied by an increased property tax, yet he did say, that the property tax suggested a means by which the deficit might be supplied. The hon. Member said, that the quota was to be furnished by the privileged classes; he said there would be no difficulty in getting that quota; and, coupling the admission of the hon. Gentleman with the statement afterwards made, that it was not his object to reimpose protecting duties, or to recur to the system of protection previously in force, he (Mr. Goulburn) asked whether he was in error in supposing that the view of the hon. Gentleman was that the vacuum to be created in the Consolidated Fund was to be supplied by a machinery analogous to the property tax; that it was to be supplied by classes of the community distinguished from the holders of real property as the privileged classes? But he felt relieved from the necessity of answering that part of the hon. Gentleman's speech, by the able answer which the hon. Gentleman had received from the right hon. Baronet the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He (Mr. Goulburn), after that speech, and after the disclaimer of the hon. Member for Somersetshire of his participation in those opinions, should feel ashamed to attempt to add anything to what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman. But if he wanted any confirmation of the opinion he had formed, that it was intended to impose upon funded property a charge which was now borne by real property, he might recur to the speech of the hon. Member for Lincolnshire. That hon. Gentleman, in seconding the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, had said that the funds were liable to this new charge, on the ground that people were required to pay poor-rates in proportion to their ability to do so; and considering that the funded property possessed the ability to pay, he told the House that the funds constituted that which was in future to be the indication of the ability of the payer. Now, upon that proposal to tax funded property, he would not now enter; he had done so on former occasions, when the House had concurred in his views; but this be must be allowed to say, that he could never be induced to believe that a British House of Commons could be so dead to the sense of what was due to public honour and credit, as to give its consent to any charge upon funded property which was not equally borne by every other species of property. But after the speeches of those two hon. Gentlemen, arose the Member for the county of Somerset, and he had said that he felt it incumbent on him to find some new source from which to make up the deficiency which the proposition of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire would occasion. The hon. Member said that he would not ask for an income tax, but for an equitable adjustment. Now, he (Mr. Goulburn) had sat long enough in that House to know what was meant by the term "equitable adjustment." He remembered the time when an "equitable adjustment" was considered equivalent to an absorption of landed and funded property, and a general redistribution of it. Now, without imputing to the hon. Member for Somersetshire the use of the term in such a sense, he felt sorry that an expression should have been used which might be open to that construction. But that hon. Member had said that he desired to recur to the law of the 43rd Elizabeth, as originally proposed. He (Mr. Goulburn) had no objection to that law; he was prepared to admit that that law should be adhered to; but he must inform the hon. Member that the enforcement of the law of Elizabeth, as laid down in the law itself, and as it was enforced immediately after its passing, would not go far to supply the deficit of 6,000,000l. or 7,000,000l. which the plan of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire was likely to produce. If the hon. Member looked to the time of Elizabeth, and to subsequent reigns, he would find that the plan of throwing this burden upon what the hon. Gentleman was pleased to call the privileged classes, never entered into the heads of the statesmen of those days. It had been said that in the time of Elizabeth the agricultural interest comprised three thousand as compared with the manufacturing one thousand. He admitted that. He admitted that the commercial interest of this country had, since that time, increased out of all proportion. But there was property in the time of Elizabeth in the hands of other than agricultural classes; not certainly in the hands of the fundholders, but of those who received interest for their money when lent to others, and it never entered into the minds of the statesmen of that period—at least history had failed to record any call upon the rich merchants and goldsmiths of London—to come in and of those who had these burdens then imposed on them; and yet the Parliament of that day was one in which the landed interest had the greatest power. The Parliament, however, were so alive to what was due to honesty and to the credit of the country, that they would not attempt to call upon the commercial interest to step in to the relief of the interest with which the Parliament was itself more immediately connected. Now these different plans suggested for the supply of the deficiencies which must take place in the Consolidated Fund, were in his (Mr. Goulburn's) opinion not capable of being reasonably maintained. But, late that evening, who should come to the rescue but the hon. Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley), and that hon. Member told the House that he was not only prepared to supply the deficit created by the plan of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, but, with greater views, it would seem, with more extended knowledge and more elevated aspirations, he was prepared to promulgate an entirely new system of taxation which should relieve the country from the burdens of excise and customs, and a variety of other charges to which it was at present unfortunately subject. But that hon. Gentleman, as it appeared to him, with respect to one branch of his calculation, had been little fortunate in his first essay as a Chancellor of the Exchequer. The hon. Member told the House that the income of this country amounted to 485,000,000l.; he told them—not that he would take one-tenth of that for the purpose of raising his revenue, but that he would levy 10 per cent upon all articles consumed by every individual of the community, and that this 10 per cent would produce a sum of 40,000,000l., which the hon. Gentleman said would be sufficient for the purposes of general taxation. The hon. Gentleman also proposed to add a property tax, and so produce 48,000,000l. of revenue, still leaving a deficit of 8,000,000l., which was to be supplied by him by means of some more mature plan. Now, independent of miscalculation, there was certainly something novel and extraordinary in the proposal of that hon. Gentleman. He professed to entertain an abomination of anything like excise; he said that the excise was the most odious tax that could be imposed; but while the hon. Gentleman said this he did not seem to be aware that he was calling on the House to impose a system of excise much more extensive, much more odious, than any which had ever been imposed upon this or any other country. How could the hon. Gentleman raise 10 per cent upon every article consumed in every family in the kingdom? Why, to carry out that plan he must have an exciseman, not only in every parish, but at every man's door. Not an egg could be brought into a man's house but this percentage would be to be exacted upon it—not a single article of food was to escape this tax. But passing from the plan of the hon. Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire, and addressing himself to that more immediately before them, he confessed that he entertained stronger objections to it than he did to the want of definite purpose in the statements of its advocates. He objected to the plan, first of all because he was not prepared to go into a Committee of that House to make a general change of taxation without having a tolerably definite idea of what that change was to be. No one who knew anything of the finances of this country, but was aware that a mere change of taxation, without reference to its amount, was attended with great public inconvenience and individual loss. The interests which had grown up under a particular system of taxation were necessarily disturbed by a sudden abandonment of that system. Other interests would be suddenly depressed and ruined by sudden change. Undue apprehensions on the one hand, and equally undue expectations on the other, invariably followed these proposals to change systems of taxation. For these reasons, if for no others, he should refuse to go into Committee, in which they were told changes were to take place to the amount of 8,000,000l. in our taxation, but nothing was said as to the tax which was to be substituted. He confessed that he could not view this proposition in any other light than as a commencement of a system which, if pursued, would be found pregnant with alarming consequences. Taking the proposals before them, and weighing the assertions on the one side of the House and on the other, he was convinced that this attempt to shift taxation from the shoulders of one interest and place it upon another, if countenanced by the House, could lead to nothing but continued conflict and agitation between those interests, to the ruin of both, and to disastrous consequences to the whole community. He saw, also, in the proposal of the hon. Member for Buckinhamshire, if the House agreed to go into Committee, the necessity of transferring the present local administration into the hands of the Government. He had heard with great pleasure the hon. Member for Dorsetshire's description of the qualities of the English yeomen. That description was a true one. Their intelligence, their application to business, and other national characteristics, distinguished them from the people of other countries; but those characteristics might be traced to the power which our yeomen and others had of managing their own local affairs. But if the Government were to step in and relieve that interest from the payment of half its charges, you could not refuse the management of parochial affairs to the Government. The effect of this would be, not only to alter the character of those who at present administered these affairs, but to prevent that cordial union which now subsisted, and which should subsist, between the different classes in all rural parishes; it would destroy that friendly connexion between the rich, the middle classes, and the poor, who were now engaged by one common tie in providing for parochial wants and in promoting parochial interests. On this ground, therefore, he must resist this proposition. If there were inequalities or irregularities in the amount charged on the county rates, the remedy for these evils was not by going into Committee, as recommended by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire; but it was by the exercise of discretion on the part of this House, and by their taking care, that when public wants were to be provided for, they did not impose additional burdens upon those, whether they were owners of real or of personal property, who could not justly be subjected to the particular charge.


Sir, if anything could prevail upon me to vote for a Committee of the whole House, as the hon. Gentleman recommended in his very able and oratorical speech, it would be from the motive of curiosity to see what the hon. Gentleman's plans really are, seeing they were so vaguely and indefinitely sketched that no distinct outline of the scheme has been given in the whole course of the debate. Every one supposed, from the speech of the hon. Gentleman, that he was about to propose an increase of the income tax. That one of the most important interests of this country is in a state of distress no one denies; and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted it fully with regard to a great portion of the country. Well, then, the first step of the hon. Gentleman is to take off 6,000,000l. of the taxes; and it was understood that, to enable that to be done, the income tax should be increased. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer showed conclusively that if that were to be done, they will either have to take off a considerable sum from the landed interest, merely to put it on again, and put it on the occupiers more particularly; or else commit a breach of faith which it is impossible for this House ever to consent to do. And then after we had this plan two whole days under consideration, up gets the hon. Gentleman the Member for Somersetshire tonight, and says, for his part, he had not heard his hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) even pronounce the name of the income tax, and that no such plan was his intention. But although he gave us this information, he studiously kept secret what the plan is to be by which a large amount of revenue is to be supplied. It is no wonder, if the authors and propounders of the plan, and those who are most in the confidence of the hon. Mover, refuse to give any light to the House, that other Gentlemen should come forward and propose various plans by which the void should be supplied. The hon. Member for Lincolnshire (Sir M. Cholmeley) accordingly said, he thought a moderate duty on corn might supply the deficiency of 6,000,000l. 6,000,000l. to be supplied by a moderate duty on corn! This suggestion was very well intended, no doubt, and the hon. Member had come forward with it to the rescue, it would seem, of the hon. Mover of this proposition. But this, however, would not suffice; upon which the hon. Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley) rises, and certainly he had made a bolder attempt—he had volunteered an extempore plan of finance, and one so astounding that I do not wonder that my right hon. Friend (Mr. Goulburn), with his old habits of office, was shocked by its novelty and boldness. The customs and excise duties were to be utterly swept away, and then 40,000,000l. of taxes were to be raised by a tax upon every article of produce and consumption; and the deficiency was to be replaced, not by a burden which, although not very pleasant, we could still bear, but by one so intolerable in its nature, that it would not be submitted to for a single month. Therefore, giving the hon. Gentleman credit for his good intentions in coming to the relief of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, I must still say that he has not promulgated a plan that will satisfy the House, and induce it to go into Committee. What, then, is the great se- cret? It is enough to incline one to go into Committee, if it only were for the purpose of finding it out: 6,000,000l of taxes is no small portion to be replaced. What, then, can be intended? Sir, the noble Marquess the Member for Stamford says— "There is to be a taxation that will not bear upon occupiers at all: it will all be placed upon personal property not now taxed for local purposes." Is that his plan? Does he mean that there should be a general tax on personal property, and one to be levied from which all real property shall be exempt? It is necessary to consider a little—and I will do so very shortly—what is the general nature of the proposition of the hon. Gentleman. We find the local taxes, the greater part of which is poor-rate, have existed from the days of Elizabeth down—for more than 250 years; and that they have been assessed according to the decision of the courts of law. Now, what reason has the hon. Gentleman for saying that this is by any means a new tax upon the land? What ground has he for saying even, that the land is more taxed at this moment than it was in former times? We know that four years after the Revolution—that was, in 1692—a tax of 4s. in the pound was imposed on the land, and that for many years the land did not alter in value. In 1730, Sir Robert Walpole, in proposing a reduction of the tax, said the tax had borne so hard upon the landed interest, that many persons were obliged to sell their estates, being utterly ruined by the burden. But this land tax became in process of time, the valuation not being altered, a much greater burden than it is at present; for it was then 2,000,000l. out of 40,000,000l., supposed to be the value of the landed property of the country—a much higher rate, in proportion to the value of the land than is contributed by the land at the present time. Then, with regard to the charge for poor-rate, I think the objections stated by the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last were conclusively against the propositions made on this subject; because, even supposing that you took off this tax from real property, and, supposing it perfectly easy to obtain 6,000,000l. from the Exchequer, to apply-to this purpose, it would not be wise to say that that which has been hitherto a local burden, administered for local purposes, and governed and controlled by the prudence and discretion of local bodies, shall, henceforth, be a public tax, and the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer shall be obliged to meddle with its application, and have to control and direct how it is to be expended; because you could not otherwise submit to it. In certain cases the poor-rate may be light, in others, heavy; and both the heavy and the light tax may be proportionate to the necessities of the parish upon which it is imposed. But it may be otherwise; and are you to admit that this one parish shall be burdened, say only to 5s., and another parish to 10s., and that 5s. shall be taken from the public treasury for a parish whether it may have endeavoured to reduce its expenditure or not, and whether the enormous amount be justified or not? So that there would be a constant interference with the parochial rates; and you must break down that system of local government which it is so desirable to preserve. I should say. Sir, that even supposing that this tax could be thus equally paid, it would not be wise to alter the parochial government in a degree that might break down the whole of that government, hitherto administered entirely by local and representative control. But, Sir, the hon. Gentleman, in the course of his speech, made some reference to what I said and proposed on this subject some few years ago. It is true that in 1846, following the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, I said that if the corn laws were to be repealed, I thought considerable relief ought to be given to the landed interests from the burdens to which they were then subject. What I had in contemplation was more particularly those charges having reference to the administration of justice; and the right hon. Gentleman, coming hack to office, and propounding his plan, did propose a diminution of these burdens, and of several others that pressed upon real property to the amount of 535,000l I do not know whether what I should have proposed would have been exactly to that amount, or somewhat more; but it certainly would have been a change in that direction, and applied to those purposes, and not a change applying to the general administration of the poor-laws. There are some of the charges taken from the Exchequer by the right hon. Gentleman that I would probably not have proposed; and the whole amount of relief given by the right hon. Gentleman now amounts to 580,000l., which I believe is fully as much as I would have taken of had I had to repeal the corn laws, and which I believe would have given considerable relief to the landed interest. But the hon. Gentleman seems to suppose that I used expresssions at some period which applied injuriously to the owners and occupiers of land. The fact is, that for several years I told those Gentlemen who were peculiarly interested in the defence of the landed interest, that it appeared to me that public opinion tended to a great change in the corn laws, and I thought it would be wise for them to consent to that change in time, and that particularly when there was a large surplus revenue, as it could then be considered whether any relief could be given to the landed interest out of that surplus, they consenting, at the same time, to a very great and extensive change in the corn laws. Sir, the only answer that I got to my propositions at that time was such as I received in 1844 from the hon. Member for Somersetshire, who deplored the loss of the corn laws. The hon. Gentleman at that time was reported to have said that "he commiserated the position of the noble Lord (Lord John Russell), who had been led to suggest a compromise, and called upon the agricultural interest of the country to submit to no such compromise." I think that has been the fatal error of the landed interest. It appeared to me both that the protection then given was greater than that which existed before the war in 1793, and that it was a protection that could not, in that shape, be long continued; and I warned them again and again that the day was coming for a great change, and advised them to make that change as easy and as useful to the agricultural interest as they could by an offer on their part that it should be made. What I got in return was an accusation that I was "the enemy of the farmer;" and I certainly could not help somewhat resenting the charge at the time, knowing that all I intended was not for the injury but the benefit of the landed interest, some of the Members of which I was addressing. In the same spirit in which I gave that advice, I say that I hope the landed interest generally will not follow the hon. Gentleman's proposition to-night. I am quite sure that if he were to succeed in that proposition, and were to impose, most unjustly, as I think, on personal property, a new burden of some 6,000,000l., and if this House and the other House of Parliament were to sanction such a proposition, it would be but the signal for a new contest—the signal for invectives against the landed interest of this country, and would be the ground for charges that they were considering only their own power and their own pecuniary advantage, regardless of the great national interests of the country; and in the course of this contest not only would they be deprived of the new tax that is now sought to be imposed, but they would probably find that other and harder conditions would be imposed, in order to diminish the weight which they possess—and which I think they justly possess—in the British Legislature. [Laughter.] I presume that that last remark of mine has caused some mirth in hon. Gentlemen opposite. Sir, it was the same thing when I said I did not think that protective laws could be long maintained. That was considered an absurd and extravagant speculation of mine. It was received with a smile, and I am not surprised that what I say now meets with a similar feeling. With regard to the proposal of the hon. Member for Montrose, I do not think that it is a proper occasion for the House to assent to such a proposition. When the hon. Member for the West Riding made his proposal for a reduction of 10,000,000l. in the national expenditure, he did it on a suitable occasion, when the question of expenditure was before the House; and when the House could and did say whether they considered that reduction justifiable. But to bring forward a proposal for the reduction of 10,000,000l. of taxes, without the proposer having the means of knowing whether that amount was not absolutely required for national purposes, appears to me an interference with the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire which the House would not be justified in adopting. Sir, the hon. Gentleman opposite has made his proposition. I shall now vote against the Amendment, in order that that proposition may come fairly before the House. But when it does, I shall give my vote most decidedly against it, believing that if it were carried it would be unjust and inexpedient, that it would be the signal for a new war of classes, and that it would produce evils of which the hon. Gentleman himself has no conception.


Sir, I have been alluded to so frequently in the course of this debate, that I am not willing to allow it to cease without saying a few words. I shall not weary the House by a reference to the speech of the hon. Mover of the original Motion; I consider that to do so, after the able speech of the right hon. the Chancel- lor of the Exchequer, would be to slay the slain. I will not stop to say a word on the jocular misrepresentations which have been made of the speech of the hon. Member for Montrose; but I must say, that to-morrow I shall probably refer to those misrepresentations as to the amount of expenditure on our naval and military establishments, which I think are very much calculated to mislead the country. The plan of the hon. Gentleman opposite has at length been resolved into this—that it is a proposal to lay on between 400,000l. and 500,000l. of additional taxation on the farmers, on the plea of benefiting them. And this is the proposal which is made in the interest of the tenant farmers. That is upon the assumption that it is demonstrated beyond all possible cavil or contradiction that the local burdens laid upon property are borne by the owners of property, and not by the floating capital of the country. If you deny that, of course you can go to the country with your proposition for favouring the farmer by reducing the burdens on real property; but is there a human being whose opinion is deserving a moment's consideration who will deny this proposition, that if you relieve the burdens upon real property, the relief will go into the pockets of the owners of that property? Take this case. Two farms are to let of exactly equal intrinsic value, as to quality, soil, and situation. One shall be rated at 2s. in the pound to the poor-rate; the other at 8s. Would you let the two farms for the same rent? I ask even a nod of assent from the hon. Gentleman opposite. There was not a farmer or land agent who would say that the two farms would let for the same money. Deducting in each case the amount of the rate, the remainder was the amount of rent in each. Is not this coming before us under false pretences? It is altogether very much like a hoax. First of all, the tenant farmers are paraded before us. You come in hot haste from Willis's rooms with the case of the tenant farmers. Not a man is allowed to speak there but a tenant farmer; by the way, they are for the most part land agents. I know the most of them, because I have met them in the country. But you come here professing to serve the tenant farmers, and you try to raise a quarrel between them and the manufacturers. What was the peroration of the speech of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire? Was it not an attempt to array the tenant farmers against the manufacturers, by classing the former under the insidious title of the landed interest. But there is no difference between the manufacturers and the farmers in relation to the question before the House. The farmer is a manufacturer; he hires the land for the purpose of manufacturing. But, as farmers and landlords, your interests are antagonistic, in spite of anything that may be said to the contrary. I do not wish to set farmers against landlords by saying that. ["Oh, oh!"] You may cry out; but I will be understood by the farmers, as well as by the landlords in this House. As members of one community, I do not say that landlords and farmers have not common interests in good and equal laws; but if you come before this House and ask for a measure to benefit landlord and tenant exclusively, then I tell you, that as landlords and tenants your interests are antagonistic—for the interest of the one is to get the land as cheap as he can, and the interest of the other to let it as dear as he can. I say, then, that it is impossible to combine both in one measure, so as to give an equal amount of benefit to both interests. You might as well expect to combine the cotton factors of Liverpool, and the cotton spinners of Manchester in one measure which would be equally advantageous to both. The two cases are precisely the same. And I do hope the time is not far distant when these discussions will put the tenant farmers in their real position in this country. I have been accused by hon. Gentlemen with having said, that I considered the farmers had been injured—nay, the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire went so far as to say that I was a party to injuring them. I wish hon. Gentlemen would have the fairness to give the entire context of what I did say, and not pick out detached words. If they did so, it would save time and my explanations. What I said at Manchester was this, that as we carried the principle of free trade with respect to corn, we owed it to the farmer to carry out the same principles by removing as far as possible every impediment to the free employment of capital and labour upon the soil. The farmer complains of the interference of the malt tax with his business, and it is not inconsistent with my principles to remove that impediment out of his way. I do this without pretending to any particular affection for the farmer above other classes. If I did so I would follow your error, by at- tempting to legislate for a particular class. I said, on a former occasion, that I would not enter again into the subject of free trade, unless a Motion was laid on the table of the House for the purpose of restoring protection to corn. But this Motion has been made a protection debate, and we have been charged by hon. Gentlemen opposite to make good our case; and it has been asserted that we are the authors of all kinds of disasters, not only to the farmers everywhere, but to the labourers, and even to the manufacturers. I deny the charge: now I bring you to the facts. You complain of the condition of the agricultural labourer—you complain that he is suffering from the low price of provisions. The noble Lord the Member for West Sussex (the Earl of March) spoke of the halycon days of high-priced corn, and how well off the agricultural labourers were then. I have taken pains to inquire into that matter, and I deny that they were better off. Take one of those darling years of which you are so fond—take the year 1847, and compare it with the present time. An agricultural labourer's family, consisting of five persons, if they consumed as much bread as is allowed per head by the poor law unions to out-of-door paupers, should consume ten 4lb. loaves in the week. Then ten loaves in 1847 cost 9d. a loaf, or 7s. &d. for the whole; they cost now 6d. a loaf, or 5s. for the whole; so that he pays 2s. 6d. less for his bread now than he did in 1847. The reduction of wages generally is about is. a week, so that he is a gainer by Is. 6d. But I will take the extreme case put by the hon. Gentleman opposite, and assume that wages have fallen 2s. a week, and even then it leaves a balance of 6d. a week in his favour, independently of the measures passed in consequence of free trade for the reduction of sugar, which conferred a further benefit on the labourer. But take the ordinary case of the labourers and mechanics in towns—take the case of the manufacturing labourers in the north of England and in London—and I maintain that at the present time, as compared with those high-priced years gone by for ever—those years for which the noble Lord sighs in vain—the mechanical operatives and labouring population in our great manufacturing seats save at least from 2s. to 3s. a week in their weekly wages, which is tantamount to 15 per cent on their income. The hon. Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley) said, that we failed in all our predictions, and he made us appear as if we expected a great many things which I never expected. He said that we caused a great reduction of wages. Well, if you. say you have reduced wages in the agricultural districts, I hold that you are good authority for that statement. But I deny that wages have been reduced in the manufacturing districts; nay, more, I deny that they have been reduced in the neighbourhood of those districts. On the contrary, there has been a tendency to a rise in wages during the six weeks that the corn law has been abolished. I will state a case which the noble Lord the Member for Stamford (the Marquess of Granby) will comprehend. Within a few weeks a body of men for whom he and his brothers professed great sympathy—the stockingers and glove makers of the midland counties—struck for an increase of wages. I find it stated in the Nottingham newspapers, that they have had four successive strikes for wages, and that the men gained the advantage on every occasion—a thing which was not known for seventy years before—during the whole of which period there had been a gradual diminution of wages. Take again the district with which I am connected—take Lancashire. What is the state of things there at the present time as compared with the days to which the noble Lord is so anxious to go back, and to which you are all anxious to go back? Why, it is in a state of comparative prosperity now. Look to Bradford, and compare its condition now to the state it was in twelve months ago, when I accompanied a deputation to the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, asking for relief in its behalf. But I need not confine myself to the manufacturing districts. I will take the condition of the farmers themselves. I call on the hon. Member for East Somersetshire to go over some figures together with me. I admit the farmers are suffering in certain districts. But I am not going to let hon. Gentlemen off as to the cause of that distress. Did hon. Gentlemen forget that the farmers suffered sometimes before? Do they read Hansard? Did they recollect the years 1819, 1820, and 1822, when petitions were presented every night, and debates and speeches upon them—when county meetings were held day after day to protest against the distress and oppression which the agriculturists were labouring under, and when they showed themselves more sensible than they did now, for then they always accompanied their petitions for redress with a demand for a reduction of expenditure and taxation. They did not then suffer themselves to be bamboozled as they were now, when not a word was uttered by them about a reduction of public expenditure. What did they think of the year 1821, when Sir B. Knatchbull declared that all the farmers were nearly ruined in 1820—that they were quite gone in 1821? In 1822 a Committee of Inquiry was granted to inquire into agricultural distress. Now, bear in mind that you had all this time a law which gave you a monopoly of the wheat market up to the price of 80s. What said the report of that Committee? Why, it said it must be admitted that protection could not be carried further than monopoly, and that the agricultural interest enjoyed a complete monopoly since 1819. No wheat had been imported from 1819 to 1822, and yet the agricultural interest was in a state of universal distress, and even in a state of bankruptcy. Well, in 1835, you were in the same condition precisely, and you had a Committee which made no report, because no case could be made out during the time of the sliding scale. In 1836, again, the Marquess of Chandos made a Motion for the repeal of the malt tax, and he said that the landlords were abandoning their mansions to go and live abroad, the farmers were going to the workhouse, and the labourers, instead of beer, went to get water at the pump. Did they recollect that Mr. Benett, the Member for Wiltshire, when slily threatened with the income tax, said that this was no threat to the landed interest, for the land was no longer theirs—it was in the hands of mortgagees and money-lenders? Well, all this was during the height of protection—and with this before you how can you come and say that, with free trade only in existence for six weeks, we are the cause of the distress of the farmers? I believe that this distress has partly arisen in consequence of our principle of an immediate repeal not being carried out. I stated my opinion emphatically in 1846, that the farmers were making a mistake in not having the corn law immediately repealed, because I knew that during the three years that it was to continue a stimulus would be given to the production of wheat all over the world, for the purpose of pouring it into the market here, when the duty was entirely taken away. The duty, which was run up to 10s. came down suddenly, and this was partly the cause of the distress. I believe that the parties who imported this wheat are selling it now at a loss. But if we are not the cause of the farmer's distress, who is the cause of it? Let us go back to a time when wheat was selling at about its present price, and when farmers were generally doing well. Between the years 1785 and 1790, the farmers had a quiet steady trade; there were no complaints then. Why were there now? Why did not the farmers get the profit now which they got in the period between the American war and the French revolution? In 1790 the price of iron and implements of husbandry was double what it is now: clothing of every kind was nearly double; cotton articles were four or five times their present price; salt was double the price at which it is now selling. Tea, sugar, coffee, soap, fuel were dearer then than now. Spices, preserved fruits, and all the moderate luxuries of life, were then dearer than at present. But, on the other hand, butcher's meat, bacon, butter, cheese, poultry, and eggs, bring higher prices now than then: so that all the articles in which the farmer dealt sold as dear or dearer then than at present; while with the exception of beer, which we the free-traders are anxious to put on the same footing, there is no article of domestic use, or implement employed in his business, which the farmer cannot buy cheaper now than in 1790. The price of labour in the purely agricultural districts has not changed more than one or two shillings a week, and taking its productiveness into account it is far cheaper now than in 1790. Why then does the farmer complain now? Why cannot he carry on his business as profitably as at the above period? There is one little item which you all forget, but which I do not forget—and that is simply the rent of land, which in many cases is double, and in some cases treble, what it was in 1790. I say without hesitation, or fear of contradiction, that the rent of agricultural land in England is now double what it was in 1790, and in many cases treble; while in Scotland it is universally more than treble. I am not going to speak to you now that the corn laws are repealed, in language different from that which I used when agitating for the repeal of those laws. I have never in the presence of farmers, in any county in England—and I have met them in open assembly in almost every county—much as I am charged with telling one story in one place, and another story in another place—I have never dwelt on a probable reduction of rents as a reason for repealing the corn laws. I have, however, always said that with free trade in corn, and with moderate prices, if the present rents were to be maintained, it must be by means of a different system of managing property from that which you now pursue. You must have men of capital on your land; you must let your land on mercantile principles—you must not be afraid of an independent and energetic man who will vote as he pleases at the hustings—you must abandon that modern innovation of battue shooting, which was not known to your ancestors in 1790. [Laughter.] Well, now, you laugh at that. I told you before that I knew I was speaking in the presence of landowners and landlords, and I now ask you to deal fairly with me when I tell you a home truth: it is, that when you laugh at this battue shooting, you are doing precisely the contrary of what the farmers would do if I were speaking about it to them. I know that farmers regard this system of game preserving as a very great nuisance, as a very great hindrance to the employment of capital. I know an instance of one of the greatest agitators for corn laws, a large landed proprietor, who has driven some of the best tenants that could be found in this kingdom—men of capital—from his estates, because he perseveres in keeping up an inordinate amount of game. I am not going to be fanatical with you, even on the subject of game. I never yet met a farmer—I now speak in particular of the Lothians—who wished to extirpate game. You may have all the game necessary for exercise; but if you will keep up such an amount of game as is necessary for the shooting of 500 head in one day—and I have heard of that being done by a noble Lord and some of his friends—let me tell you that you cannot get men who will pay you in rent, pay you in game, and pay you also in votes. You must be content with a money rent. Give up your game, and give up the votes of your tenants, or you will not be able to retain your money rent. There is nothing unreasonable, though there may be something very inconvenient, at this late hour, in my talking to you in this way. If you come to this House and parade the distress of the farmer—if, besides, you utter something like a threat of robbing the Exchequer, and deal out alarming predictions of what is going to happen if the farmers are not made to prosper in their business—it becomes us who take a different view to tell you what are the reasons why the farmers are not more prosperous. Now, Sir, something has been said about the very painful ordeal of sending away small farmers who have an insignificant amount of capital. Well, in the first place, it is not very complimentary to a system of corn laws and protection that the farmer's trade is the only one in this kingdom in which capital is deficient. It is overflowing in every other trade. I defy you to show me any other trade in the kingdom, wholesale or retail, which is not glutting the market. And farming being the most inviting business of all, is one to which capital will gladly flow, if you will accept energetic men and men of capital as tenants. Give such men sound leases, and let them do what is best for their own prosperity, and capital will always come to the land in abundance. But what I wish particularly to show you is this—that it is a mistaken humanity to keep on your estates farmers who are deficient in capital, and I should add deficient in intelligence also, if what the hon. Member for Dorsetshire stated be strictly correct—namely, that if you went to the farmers of that county and explained to them what the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire meant to do for their benefit, they would all, without being coerced by their landlords, at once say, "We shall be very glad if you will take off these local rates, for we feel quite sure that the landlords will not put the amount into their pockets, but will take it off our rent." If such be the real character of the farmers, I must say that they want intelligence as well as capital. What I say on that subject is this, that while you are looking at the interests of men who are without intelligence and without capital, you should also look at the interests of the agricultural labourers, who are much more numerous, and therefore more deserving of consideration than even these small farmers. If you have not men of capital on your land, the labourers cannot be employed. Go to any district—for example, North Devon or Dorsetshire—where the farmers are most deficient in capital, and there you will find the poor rates highest, and the labourers most depressed. Well, then, I say, whatever may be the inconvenience of doing so, you must take steps to draw capital to your land. You must invite it—you must tempt it—and if you do so, you will be able to employ your labourers. It is perfectly true, as was stated by the noble Lord the Member for West Sussex, that ill seasons of depression a number of labourers are thrown out of employment in the agricultural districts, and that while the depression lasts it tends to raise the amount of the poor-rates, so that it is made to appear that the poor-rate has not a tendency to fall in cheap years, as we maintain it ought to do. But what is the cause of agricultural labourers having been thus thrown out of employment when a depression suddenly arises? It is because the tenantry have made false calculations as to the mode in which they are to carry on a profitable cultivation of the land. Farmers have depended on high prices being maintained by Act of Parliament; and when those prices fail them, as they always have done from time to time once in seven or ten years, these men, who have insufficient capital to rest upon, and who have depended upon nothing but artificial prices, break down, and come whining to Parliament for relief. Well, then, you must put an end to this state of things. I exhort you to tell the farmers honestly that it is "a delusion, a mockery, I and a snare," to teach them that you can restore one shilling of protection in this House. I admit that you may tamper with the navigation laws. That matter rests with the noble Lord and his Government; and if I were in his place, I would stand or fall by the navigation laws without altering a clause. But I tell him in the most amicable spirit, that there will be no agitation for the repeal of the navigation laws. The public mind considered the free-trade question as settled; but the public also expect that the Government will show some vigour by completing the measures of free trade, by equalising the duties in the tariff, the duties on coffee, and other articles of general consumption, and by getting rid of the navigation laws. They expect the Executive Government to show the same vigour, with a majority of fifty or sixty in this House, as the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Peel) showed in laying the foundation of free trade by the repeal of the corn laws. The effect of this measure being rejected would not be to create an agitation, but to strike the country with despair of any strong and vigorous administration in the hands of the noble Lord. I say, then, that whatever may be the fate of the navigation laws, the corn question is a different thing. I was always an advocate for confining the public mind to that one question—I call it the keystone of the work—the rest will fall of itself. But if the Government were to propose a Is. duty on corn—why, it was a very great scene in 1815, when the people surrounded this House whilst you were passing the corn law; but, depend upon it, you will be surrounded by a totally different class if you attempt to pass another corn law. Now, if you value your own interest—if you value the interest of the farmer—above all, if you value the interest of your labouring population, dissipate this delusion which some of you are attempting to propagate; tell them, once for all, that any renewal of protection on corn is as impossible as it would be to repeal Magna Charta. Tell them to rely upon their own energies, and that you will co-operate with them. Go to them and talk to them, and do not come here talking to the Government or the Prime Minister about reviving protection. Take your proper place, and do your duty alongside of your tenants. Join together in adopting such measures as are suitable to your altered circumstances, and to that which is irrevocable. Don't dream of high prices again. High prices are incompatible with the well-being of this country and with the interest of the manufacturing population of the large towns. Do you want to follow out the policy of the noble Lord the Member for West Sussex (the Earl of March), and to bring us back to the state in which we were in 1839, 1840, 1841, and 1842—the years included in his list of high prices—and when he says everybody was prosperous? Have you forgotten the state of Stockport, almost a desolation? Have you forgotten Sheffield with its 20,000 people existing on the poor rates, or Leeds with its 30,000 in the same condition? Have you forgotten a state of things in which political excitement almost bordered on insurrection? and would you dare to bring back such a state of things, and, above all, call it prosperity? No, Sir, you have a fair career before you with moderate prices, provided you will alter the system on which you conduct your affairs. Thirty years ago the manufacturers and merchants of this country had to go through precisely the same ordeal as you have now to pass through. Many of you remember what a revulsion there was within three years after the war in every article of manufactures. Why, a great number of people were then ruined by the losses which they sustained through the stocks which they had on hand. But what occurred gave rise to a totally different description of trade—a trade aiming at a large production and small profits; and let me tell you for your encouragement, that, from 1817 up to the present time, the fortunes made in manufactures and commerce have not been realised by selling at high prices, but almost every successive fortune has been made by selling at low prices, though in larger quantities. Now, there is abundance of scope for you to carry out the same thing. I believe we have no adequate conception of what the amount of production might be from a limited surface of land, provided only the amount of capital were sufficient. I see no reason whatever why I should not live to see the day when a man who lays out 1,000l. on fifty acres of land will be a more independent, more prosperous, and more useful man than many farmers who now occupy five or six hundred acres, with not one quarter or one tenth of the capital necessary to carry on the cultivation. Sir, I sincerely thank the House for having listened to me with so much attention at this hour of the morning. I should be sorry if the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose were ignored in the great discussion which we have had about local taxes. My hon. Friend seems to me to have very properly met the case as it at present stands. It is quite clear that the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire has been put out of court. That is quite certain. When the farmer reads the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech—and I would certainly recommend every farmer in the country to do so—when he reads that speech, aided by the analysis which I find in Punch to-day—when he sees that the sum total of advantage to the farmer shown by the speech and the analysis is an increase of taxation to the amount of 400,000l. I don't think he will consider that any boon has been offered to him. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself does not, indeed, promise anything much better. He declares that he cannot give us any remission of taxation. Well, then, my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose steps in in the most timely way; and though now probably, as he has always been, a little before his time, still he is right. Now, I am quite sure that you cannot benefit the farmer except by a general reduction of the national expenditure. Let me further tell the landowners that that is the only means of staving off that tendency to a reduction of rent which must arise in a tran- sition state, though I maintain that the value of land will ultimately be higher under a system of free trade than it ever could have been under protection. My hon. Friend proposes to repeal the malt tax. Now, though I am a very great advocate for the repeal of the malt tax, yet, being a sober man myself, I do not take such an interest in the question as some hon. Members do. Farmers delude themselves, however, with the idea that they pay this tax: far more of it is paid by many a coal-heaver on the river Thames than by any farmer in the country. But I shall vote for the repeal chiefly because I wish to diminish the waste of our national expenditure, and thus to find means of reducing taxation. Let there be sufficient pressure, and the Government will find a way of reducing our costly establishments. I will add that my own course with regard to the reduction of taxation is supported by that of the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), who in 1816, after the war, contended for a reduction of the Army below the Government estimate of 99,000 men. The men were voted, but there was an immense excitement against the property tax, and when it came to be voted it was rejected by a large majority; hereupon the Secretary at War asked to withdraw his estimates with a view to their revision, and they were revised and reduced most materially. So, if the Government now is made to take the malt tax and other taxes in hand with a view to their reduction, they will soon find it necessary to reduce their estimates, and, therefore, as one very sound reason, do I hope that the House will support the proposition for a reduction of expenditure.


then rose to reply. He said: Sir, I can assure the House that at this hour of the night (past One o'clock), I shall not abuse the privilege of reply; but at the same time, I hope the House will agree that under the circumstances, to a certain degree, I may fairly avail myself of it. It appears to me, after having carefully listened to every speech that has been made during this prolonged and interesting discussion, that the objections to the resolutions I have proposed may be classed under three heads:—First, to the justice of the allegation that there are unfair burdens upon the land; secondly, to the practicability of the remedial suggestions I have made; thirdly, it is maintained, that even, if practicable, the scheme which I propose will not in any degree benefit the farmer. I believe that a fair general summary of the objections used against the resolutions. Now, with regard to the first class of objections—those, namely, against the allegation of great injustice in the burdens solely laid upon real property in this country—the denial of this assertion comes mainly from the hon. Member for Montrose, and those who agree with him in political opinion. The hon. Gentleman says, that the land of England, in whatever way we find it, whether cultivated or covered with buildings, has been purchased subject to certain imposts; and that, therefore, the proprietor has no right to complain that he is subject to those charges. Now, when property is purchased subject to certain charges, it is difficult to say at what period of time the proprietor or his representative may venture to feel them a burden; but if a person have purchased an estate subject to certain charges, and in course of time the circumstances under which he holds that property become very much altered, is he estopped from complaining of the pressure of the original circumstances? The hon. Member for Montrose has enumerated certain charges which a person who purchased an estate a few years ago took it subject to. But the hon. Gentleman admits also, that the effect of the laws which then existed was to raise rents; but if the effect of subsequent legislation has been to lower rents, may not an original charge become a grievance? I do not find any person deny that, so far as real property is concerned, it is liable to burdens to which other property is not liable. Certainly, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer clearly acknowledged that the burdens on real property were very considerable; and he informed us—and I confess I was somewhat surprised at the declaration—that Her Majesty's Ministers had taken those burdens into consideration, and had already furnished an equivalent and a compensation to the landed interest, namely that in the income tax they were not charged more in the pound than any other interest was. Imagine to what a condition the landed interest is reduced, when equality is considered as a favour. But I should have thought that a Minister who referred to the property tax must be in the very extremity of argument, so far as real property was concerned, when we remember that the proprietor of land is rated to the property tax, without allowance for re- pairs or cost of management, while the possessor of other property is allowed, in his declaration of income for the income tax, and fairly allowed, to place to his account every drawback. In the second schedule, too, the farmer pays on profits which you have since totally destroyed by another law. But I am not surprised that the Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledged the burdens upon real property, when he sits near the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), who, in his letter to his Sovereign three years ago, expressed his determination, if he had been in power, to rid the occupiers of land of the burdens to which they were subjected. That noble Lord has favoured us to-night with an explanation of this highly interesting State document. He said he would, had he been in power, have fulfilled the intentions of the right hon Gentleman the Member for Tamworth in this respect. Now, what the right hon. Baronet did for the land of England, was to take off an annual tax that amounted to 100,000l., which is now contributed to the county rate. Am I then to understand that that 100,000l. relief was an equivalent for all these burdens? Was that his method of redemption of the 8s. fixed duty which has rendered him so celebrated, and which we are now so ready to accept? But, Sir, no one can suppose that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth and his friends have at all changed their opinion with regard to those burdens upon land, although the right hon. Gentleman may have changed his opinion upon the policy of maintaining the corn laws. Well, then, it is admitted upon all hands that these burdens upon real property are unfair and unjust. No one except the hon. Member for Montrose has denied that. The next point, then, to be considered, is the practicability of the scheme—as it has been designated—which I propose. I remember that a few weeks ago some memorable resolutions were placed upon the table of this House by the noble Lord the Member for the city of London—resolutions which may not be more fortunate, perhaps, than mine—I remember that I then requested the noble Lord, before he went into Committee, to favour the House with some details of the plan he was about to propose, and some explanation of his views. But the noble Lord was obstinately mute. Nothing would tempt him to give any explanation of his plan until the House should have formed itself into Committee. And surely the noble Lord ought not to have been astonished that I followed so eminent an example, and that I have been as chary as himself in offering those explanatory details for which I have been asked. Yet to-night the noble Lord has wondered with a gay audacity that I should presume not previously to communicate my plan. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been complimented upon the case with which he has demolished my scheme. The right hon. Gentleman has laid it down, that I was prepared to recommend to the House a plan for raising 5,000,000l or 6,000,000l. by an income and property tax; and, having laid down that assumption for his argument, he proved most satisfactorily to the House that, by my plan, I should take out of one pocket exactly the sum which I should place in the other, Nothing could have been more admirable than the argument, nothing more sustained than the logic, of the right hon. Baronet. The enthusiasm of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was interesting as he performed the imaginary operation. I saw before me, as it were, a man squaring the circle, or on the point of discovering the philosopher's stone. The only drawback, however, which there was from the triumph which the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his friends claimed was, that I never had, in any way, stated that I intended to raise any sum whatever by means of the income or property tax. The right hon. Gentleman, when he had completed his process of ratiocination, appeared so convinced that he had been dealing with a plan which I had not proposed, that he felt himself obliged to confess that it was his own hypothesis with which he had amused the House. I leave him, therefore, in the full enjoyment of his triumph. He has demolished a case which never existed. And so I leave the Chancellor of the Exchequer crowing on the dunghill of the Consolidated Fund. My object in bringing forward the Motion last Thursday, was to show to the House that one great interest in this country—one peculiar class of property—suffered a great grievance. I wished to show that the real property of this country was unjustly treated, and I should have been perfectly justified if I had limited my endeavour merely to establishing that proposition, if I had shown that any one peculiar class of property in this country was unjustly treated by the law, I should then have fulfilled all that could have been required of an independent Mem- ber of this House. Had I established that proposition, it might then have been left to public opinion acting upon the House and upon the Ministry to do what they might have thought necessary in fulfilling the duties which would have devolved upon the Administration. But, considering all the circumstances—considering that however unworthy I am to fulfil the duties of the office which in this respect has devolved upon me—still, in this instance, representing as I do the feelings of a considerable party in this House, and in the country, at whose desire and with whose cordial sanction and co-operation I have brought forward these resolutions—I thought that it was only respectful to the House that I should tell hon. Gentlemen that if they acceded to this Motion to go into a Committee of the whole House, we were fully prepared with the details of a measure for carrying into effect the remedy which we thought these great grievances required. Under these circumstances, I thought it but ingenuous on my part, and dealing with becoming frankness to the House, if I indicated, in the course of the observations which I made last Thursday, the general results which we wished to achieve. I stated then, as now, that it was our wish that a moiety of this great amount of local taxation for national purposes should be taken off the shoulders of the real property of the country. I laid before the House some figures, the accuracy of which has been acknowledged by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and also by the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department—a gentleman fully conversant with all details of this kind. I laid before the House certain figures which showed, that throwing out of the question all reference to the land tax, at present a sum of at least 10,000,000l. sterling was raised from a rental of 67,000,000l. accorded to the real property of this country—the whole income of the country amounting, according to the last return, to nearly 250,000,000l.; that therefore this sum of 10,000,000l. was raised upon a sum which was little more than one-fourth of the whole income of the country; that, in fact, three-fourths of the income of the country was privileged property in this respect; and I did say, that our plan was that a moiety of this local taxation should be supplied to the localities by the Consolidated Fund, not for a moment intending that it should be a permanent charge upon that fund; but, as I then expressed—though not bound to have done so, or gone into any description of the details of my plan—I stated then, as now—for this plan has never altered one iota during this discussion—that it would be the duty of the Government to raise that moiety from the 180,000,000l. which at present does not contribute to these national purposes. Now, I will show the House, and I will show to the farmers of the country, how this scheme which has been said to have been so completely demolished, would have acted for their benefit. If you had raised the sum of 5,000,000l.—half of the local taxation for national purposes—if you had raised that 5,000,000l. upon the 180,000,000l. which do not contribute anything to these purposes, it would have been done at the rate of 6½d. in the pound. I admit that the farmer, for the profits of his trade, would be liable to pay that 6½d. in the pound. But let us see how that would work. Upon half the amount of his rent he would pay that 6½d. in the pound. Take, for instance, the case of the farmers who signed that petition presented to-night from Bradford in Wiltshire—not that flourishing Bradford which the hon. Member for the West Riding referred to. In that petition it is complained that the rates which the farmers there have to pay are 8s. in the pound. Now, look to what could be done for those farmers if these resolutions were allowed to be carried into law. They would rise to-morrow, and feel that they were relieved of half the amount of their rates. They would be relieved of 4s. in the pound, and they would have to pay 3¼d. in the pound. That is exactly how this proposition would work; and yet this is the plan which was so completely demolished by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is the plan by which, he said, we propose to raise 5,000,000l. by one operation, and pay 5,000,000l. by another. By the adoption of this plan, property which now contributes nothing for national purposes would bear this portion which now, through my medium, the holders of real property express their willingness to accept. Take the case of a farmer who is not paying a rate of 8s. in the pound, but whose rates may not be more than 4s. in the pound; he will pay his 3¼d. in the pound to the general fund in respect of the privileges which he possessed in not having his personal property assessed to the poor; while he would at the same time be relieved to the amount of 2s. in the pound of his rate in respect of the arrangement which at present exists. Is that no relief to the farmer? Observe how admirably this plan would work in places where distress exists to the greatest extent. It is in these that it would give the greatest amount of relief and assistance to those who are struggling under the difficulties consequent upon the recent changes in your legislation. Instead, in such cases, of paying 8s. in the pound, the farmer would in future pay only 4s., and he would obtain that amount of relief at the cost, simultaneously, of 3¼d. in the pound. That will, then, be the position of the farmer if our plan is carried. Now, so much for the scheme which has been so remarkably misrepresented—a scheme which I maintain, according to the practice of the House, I have not had an opportunity even of placing before its consideration; a scheme which, following the precedent set me by the noble Lord at the head of the Government, I almost feel that I had exceeded the bounds of Parliamentary rule in entering so far as I did into the details of the measure. But, says the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, "You are going to tax the funds; and is it possible that a Gentleman of your ability could have been induced to lay upon the table of the House a programme of this sort, drawn up, I should suppose, by some rash person, for which you have suddenly become responsible? You cannot tax the dividends due to the public creditor, unless you tax every other species of property." Sir, I am myself responsible for any resolutions which I may feel it my duty to place upon this table. I trust that neither upon this nor upon any other occasion shall I ever shrink from any responsibility which may attach to my proceedings in this House. But, Sir, I remember with satisfaction that I have done nothing in this respect but what has been advised and counselled by men second to none in this House for ability and experience. I am gratified that I have done nothing but what has been with the sanction and approval of those Gentlemen with whom it is my happiness and honour to act. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer will allow us to go into Committee, I pledge myself that I will produce a plan which, whatever may be its success, will not be liable to any of the imputations which I have heard from the right hon. Gentleman. I will meet him upon the question of the public divi- dends, and I will show that if there is any one in this House who has superficially considered this subject—if there is any one who has made a speech without due consideration—it is at least not the person who has now the honour of addressing you. I do not ask you to impose a peculiar tax on the public funds, or to trench in any degree upon the prerogatives of the Sovereign, but I do ask you to do an act of common justice, and to come forward and declare to the people of England what is the spirit of their law—the spirit not only, but the letter. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State delivered some opinions on the law with respect to the rating of personal property. Anything coming from a Gentleman so accomplished and erudite we must listen to with great respect; but I have the highest authority for stating that the hon. Gentleman is mistaken in the views he has expressed. I say that personal property—by the common law, by the statute law, by the decisions of the courts—is liable to these rates, except that species of personal property which you defend by a fleeting and transitory statute. No evidence could be more precise than that given by your own officer, Mr. Coode, to show that, with the exception of stock in trade, personal property is still liable to every one of these local rates, and this you will be sure to hear every time that this great controversy is revived, which I tell you will never cease till you do us justice. I have shown you that the justice of our case is acknowledged, with the exception of one section of it, by the whole House. I have shown you, also, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been fighting with shadows and with the emanations of his own lively imagination. I come now to the third point—is it or is it not true that the tenant will be benefited by this plan? Now, here I have to deal, not with the practice of life, but with the dogmas of the schools. According to these dogmas, I admit that the position speciously taken by the hon. Member for Montrose and his friends is unanswerable. Apply the abstract science of political economy to circumstances which have really nothing of an abstract character, and it is very possible that the result which you announce, and which the Chancellor of the Exchequer says is capable of severe demonstration, is unanswerable. It is susceptible of severe demonstration, but it is susceptible of nothing else. There are disturbing causes in life which baffle the most abstruse calculations, and among these is Time. If cause and effect followed each other as rapidly in real life as they do in the pages of the economists, then I admit that what you say might be perfectly true. If rent rose the moment that the cost of production was diminished, there is no doubt that your theory might be correct. But rent depends on two circumstances—a new proprietor or a new tenant. When either of these occurs, the terms of tenure are adjusted; but these are occasions which happen at rare intervals in the life of any man. Twenty-five years is nothing in the history of a country, but it is a considerable period in the life of an individual; and you may depend upon it—for every man's experience of life will prove it—that the present generation of farmers will enjoy this remission to the full before it becomes absorbed in rent. There seems, Sir, to be a morbid antipathy on the part of hon. Gentlemen opposite to rent under any circumstances. I think, however, that if by any legitimate means we raise the rent of the country we increase its wealth. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, indeed, may contend that the landlords are not a productive class; but in an old country like England there may be useful classes, though they are not productive. If hon. Gentlemen mean to say that they are opposed to the existence of a territorial aristocracy, let them speak out; we shall then know what we have to meet; but I hold that an independent class of landed proprietors is the best security for popular rights, for public order, and for imperial consideration. The Member for the West Riding, in an interesting speech, informed us, that since the repeal of those laws which he so long assailed, the country has really been flourishing, especially in the case of those classes whose interests are so dear to him, and that wages never were higher. But let me ask him, if this be the case, why does it appear, in the last report of the Poor Law Commissioners, that the poor-rates have increased 17 per cent? I know very well what will be the answer of the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman is a skilful rhetorician; he is never at a loss for an answer; he will appeal to the Members for Wiltshire; he will revive the masquerade of Goatacre; he will ask whether with such a state of rural economy it is matter of surprise that the poor-rates of a country should be increased. But allow me to appeal to an authority which, I suppose, Her Majesty's Ministers will not dispute, and which will have some weight and influence with the country. It is the sixth paragraph in the last report of the Poor Law Commissioners. [An Hon. MEMBER: The date?] The date! Why, you ought to know it by heart. I would apologise to the hon. Member for the abruptness of my answer; I am really much obliged to him for asking for the date of the last report of the Poor Law Commissioners, as it shows the imperfect information on which he has arrived at his conclusions. It is the report of the Poor Law Commissioners for the year 1848, a period when it appears that the land of England bore a burden of 8,160,000l The sixth paragraph in the report runs thus:— It appears that there has been a large increase in the year 1847–48 over 1846–47 in the amount of the poor-rate. This increase has been mainly caused by the general depression which existed in the manufacturing districts, and by the influx of poor persons from Ireland in a state of destitution. Now that is my answer to the lecture which has been read to the Gentlemen of England by the Member for the West Riding. The increase in the poor-rate is caused by the manufacturing distress of a population which he says is receiving high wages, and by the destitution of Ireland, ruined by the repeal of the corn laws. This is the way in which an unquestionable official authority accounts for the increase of the poor-rates. When you have learned from the Poor Law Commissioners the cause of the deterioration of your rural society—when you hear that it is the distress in the manufacturing districts and the destitution in Ireland which have raised your rates, it is rather too much to be told that you are neglecting your property—that you are ignorant of your duties, and that you are incapable of your functions as legislators. The Member for Montrose has produced an Amendment, and I have heard with astonishment that some Gentlemen from Surrey and Suffolk are about to vote in its favour. They are in favour of the repeal of the malt tax; they sympathise with the suffering holders of real property; and, in order to apply an immediate remedy, they are going to vote for the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman. They have singled out as their leader a Gentleman who by his Amendment offers to remedy their grievances, if they can prove them. That will be a popular proposition—go and vote for it. Go to the hustings and say you supported the Amendment, which has the audacity to express its scepticism of your sufferings at all, and not the resolutions, which would let every farmer in England be freed from half his rates, on condition only that he paid the other half. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer informed us yesterday that there is no country in Europe where land is not more heavily taxed than in England. The right hon. Gentleman, flushed with triumph and fired with victory, felt at that moment of his speech that he might say a good deal. He referred to several foreign countries, and stated, that we could not imagine how much of the income of the country was raised from the land. Why, with respect to some of them, if the revenue be not raised from the land, how could it be raised? How are Sweden and Denmark to raise a revenue but from the land? But the right hon. Gentleman took the case of France, where there are some blended interests, but than which a more agricultural country cannot be found in Christendom. The right hon. Gentleman told us that the revenue raised from the land in France was something enormous. Since the right hon. Gentleman spoke, I have referred to authorities on this subject, and I find that France contributes to the revenue a land tax of 7,500,000l. per annum. But we in England do not complain that real property contributes heavily to the revenue—what we say is, that real property not only contributes as the land of Franco contributes to the general revenue, but that in addition the land of England is forced to raise for the public service 12,000,000l., being nearly double the amount of the tax on land in France to the general revenue. If you take the broad facts of the case, they cannot fail to convince. It is amusing for hon. Gentlemen opposite to raise imaginary antagonists, and then to destroy them; but let them meet the facts. I can allow for the heat of debate, and for the natural sympathies of party; but when a nation is suffering, deeply suffering from the distresses occasioned by your false legislation, you ought to meet the case frankly, and not resort to the hackneyed expedients of Parliamentary tacticians. It is a fact, that the fourth of the income of this country is visited with the painful duty of raising a second revenue for the service of the State. It is a fact, that at this moment the greater part of the real property of the country is in a state of unparalleled depression and intolerable suffering. It is a fact, that that state is owing to the changes in your legislation. It is a fact, that that legislation has been changed for the benefit of a particular portion of the community. Do you think that the landed interest will endure it for ever? Do you think that it is so weak, that, like the other victims of your policy, it will submit in silence to the sacrifice? That the people are to suffer without a murmur, and substantiate your theories by being absorbed without a struggle? That is not what we will endure. You must understand that the real property of this country will no longer consent to contribute two public revenues. I say this in no spirit of acerbity or heat. [A laugh.] You laugh—I tell you who laugh, that in violent counsels we have advised conciliation. I say that if we had chosen to stimulate the passions of a suffering people, we might have produced very different resolutions to those I have laid on the table. Don't suppose that if you vote against these resolutions to-night, that this controversy is ended. I tell you it is not so. I tell you that we are not to be intimidated by the menaces of the Member for the West Riding. I tell you that the only consequences of your rejection of these resolutions will be a proposition conceived in a severer spirit of justice. Perhaps, by the combination of parties you may extricate yourselves even from that embarrassment, but do not suppose that the suffering landed interest, which for years you have been conspiring to injure—do not suppose, I say, that the various classes of that interest will renounce for a moment their resolve to obtain at your hands those measures of redress and compensation which you now refuse. I tell you that you will, before this Session ends, if you do not do them justice, be appealed to even a third time. You will be appealed to like the unknown envoy in the Roman legend. We shall come a third time; only one book will remain; but on it will be inscribed, "Protected and regenerated England."

Question put. The House divided:—Ayes 394; Noes 70: Majority 324.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Anson, Visct.
Acland, Sir T. D. Anstey, T. C.
Adair, R. A. S. Arbuthnott, hon. H.
Adare, Visct. Archdall, Capt. M.
Adderley, C. B. Armstrong, R. B.
Alexander, N. Arundel and Surrey, Earl of
Anson, hon. Col.
Bagge, W. Cubitt, W.
Bagot, hon. W. Currie, H.
Bagshaw, J. Currie, R.
Bailey, J. jun. Davie, Sir H. R. F.
Baines, M. T. Davies, D. A. S.
Bankes, G. Dawson, hon. T. V.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T. Denison, W. J.
Baring, T. Disraeli, B.
Barrington, Visct. Divett, E.
Bellew, R. M. Dod, J. W.
Bonnet, P. Dodd, G.
Bentinck, Lord H. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Douro, Marq. of
Bernal, R. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Birch, Sir T. B. Duff, G. S.
Blackall, S. W. Duncan, Visct.
Blackstone, W. S. Duncan, G.
Blandford, Marq. of Duncombe, hon. A.
Boldero, H. G. Duncombe, hon. O.
Bourke, R. S. Duncuft, J.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Dundas, Adm.
Boyd, J. Dundas, Sir D.
Boyle, hon. Col. Dunne, F. P.
Bramston, T. W. Du Pre, C. G.
Brand, T. East, Sir J. B.
Bremridge, R. Ebrington, Visct.
Brisco, M. Edwards, H.
Broadley, H. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Brocklehrst, J. Ellice, E.
Brockman, E. D. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Brooke, Lord Enfield, Visct.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Estcourt, J. B.
Brotherton, J. Evans, W.
Browne, R. D. Farnham, E. B.
Bruce, C. L. C. Farrer, J.
Buck, L. W. Fellowes, E.
Buller, Sir. J. Y. Ferguson, Col.
Bunbury, E. H. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Burghley, Lord Filmer, Sir E.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Ftzwilliam, hon. G. W.
Burroughes, H. N. Floyer, J.
Buxton, Sir E. N. Foley, J. H. H.
Callaghan, D. Forbes, W.
Campbell, hon. W. F. Fordyce, A. D.
Cardwell, E. Forester, hon. G. C. W.
Carew, W. H. P. Forster, M.
Carter, J. B. Fortescue, C.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Fortescue, hon. J. W.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Fox, R. M.
Cavendish, W. G. Fox, S. W. L.
Cayley, E. S. Freestun, Col.
Chandos, Marq. of Galway, Visct.
Chaplin, W. J. Gaskell, J. M.
Charteris, hon. F. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Chichester, Lord J. L. Glyn, G. C.
Childers, J. W. Goddard, A. L.
Cholmeley, Sir M. Gordon, Adm.
Christopher, R. A. Gore, W. O.
Clay, Sir W. Gore, W. R. O.
Clements, hon. C. S. Goulburn, rt hon. H.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. Grace, O. D. J.
Clive, hon. R. H. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Clive, H. B. Granby, Marq. of
Cobbold, J. C. Granger, T. C.
Cocks, T. S. Grenfell, C. P.
Codrington, Sir W. Grenfell, C. W.
Coke, hon. E. K. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cole, hon. H. A. Grey, R. W.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Grogan, E.
Coles, H. B. Grosvenor, Earl
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Gwyn, H
Cowper, hon. W. F. Haggitt, F. R.
Craig, W. G. Hale, R. B.
Halford, Sir H. Mahon, The O'Gorman
Hall, Col. Mahon, Visct.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Maitland, T.
Halsey, T. P. Mandeville, Visct.
Hamilton, G. A. Mangles, R. D.
Hamilton, J. H. Manners, Lord C. S.
Harcourt, G. G. Manners, Lord G.
Harris, hon. Capt. March, Earl of
Hastie, A. Marshall, J. G.
Hawes, B. Marshall, W.
Hay, Lord J. Martin, C. W.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Martin, S.
Headlam, T. E. Matheson, A.
Heald, J. Matheson, Col.
Heathcoat, J. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Heathcote, G. J. Maunsell, T. P.
Heneage, G. H. W. Melgund, Visct.
Henley, J. W. Meux, Sir H.
Herbert, H. A. Miles, P. W. S.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Miles, W.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Milner, W. M. E.
Hervey, Lord A. Milnes, R. M.
Hildyard, R. C. Mitchell, T. A.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Moffatt, G.
Hill, Lord E. Monsell, W.
Hill, Lord M. Moody, C. A.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Moore, G. H.
Hobhouse, T. B. Morgan, O.
Hodges, T. L. Morison, Sir W.
Hodgson, W. N. Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Mulgrave, Earl of
Hood, Sir A. Mullings, J. R.
Hope, A. Muntz, G. F.
Hotham, Lord Napier, J.
Howard, Lord E. Neeld, J.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Newdegate, C. N.
Howard, hon. J. K. Newport, Visct.
Howard, hon. E. G. G. Noel, hon. G. J.
Howard, P. H. Norreys, Lord
Howard, Sir R. Nugent, Sir P.
Hutt, W. O'Brien, Sir L.
Jermyn, Earl O'Brien, T.
Jervis, Sir J. O'Connell, M. J.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Ord, W.
Jones, Capt. Ossulston, Lord
Keppel, hon. G. T. Packe, C. W.
Ker, R. Paget, Lord A.
Kerrison, Sir E. Paget, Lord C.
Kildare, Marq. of Paget, Lord G.
Knight, F. W. Palmer, R.
Knightley, Sir C. Palmer, R.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Palmerston, Visct.
Langston, J. H. Parker, J.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Legh, G. C. Peel, F.
Lemon, Sir C. Philips, Sir G. R.
Lennard, T. B. Pigot, Sir R.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Pinney, W.
Leslie, C. P. Plowden, W. H. C.
Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F. Powell, Col.
Lewis, G. C. Prime, R.
Lewisham, Visct. Pryse, P.
Lincoln, Earl of Pugh, D.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Pusey, P.
Littleton, hon. E. R. Reid, Col.
Lockhart, W. Renton, J. C.
Long, W. Repton, G. W. T.
Lopes, Sir R. Ricardo, O.
Lowther, H. Richards, R.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Robinson, G. R.
Mackinnon, W. A. Roche, E. B.
Macnamara, Maj. Rolleston, Col.
M'Cullagh, W. T. Romilly, Sir J.
Rufford, F. Thompson, Col.
Rumbold, C. E. Thompson, Ald.
Rushout, Capt. Thornely, T.
Russell, Lord J. Tollemache, J.
Russell, hon. E. S. Towneley, J.
Russell, F. C. H. Townley, R. G.
Sandars, J. Townshend, Capt.
Scott, hon. F. Traill, G.
Scrope, G. P. Trelawny, J. S.
Seymer, H. K. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Seymour, Lord Trollope, Sir J.
Shafto, R. D. Tufnell, H
Sheil, rt. hon. R. L. Turner, G. J.
Shelburne, Earl of Tynte, Col. C. J. K.
Sheridan, R. B. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Shirley, E. J. Vane, Lord H.
Sibthorp, Col. Verner, Sir W.
Simeon, J. Vivian, J. E.
Slaney, R. A. Vivian, J. H.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Vyse, R. H. R. H.
Smith, J. A. Waddington, D.
Smith, M. T. Waddington, H. S.
Smyth, Sir H. Wall, C. B.
Smyth, J. G. Walpole, S. H.
Somerset, Capt. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Somerton, Visct. Walter, J.
Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W. Ward, H. G.
Sotheron, T. H. S. Watkins, Col. L.
Spearman, H. J. Welby, G. E.
Spooner, R. West, F. R.
Stafford, A. Williams, T. P.
Stanley, E. Williamson, Sir H.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Wilson, J.
Stanton, W. H. Wilson, M.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Wodehouse, E.
Stuart, Lord J. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Stuart, H. Worcester, Marq. of
Stuart, J. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S
Sutton, J. H. M. Wrightson, W. B.
Talbot, J. H. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W. W.
Tancred, H. W. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Taylor, T. E. Wyvill, M.
Tenison, E. K. Young, Sir J.
Tonnent, R. J. TELLERS.
Thesiger, Sir F. Beresford, W.
Thicknesse, R. A. Mackenzie, W. F.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Anderson, A. Greene, J.
Bass, M. T. Hardcastle, J. A.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Harris, R.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Hastie, A.
Blewitt, R. J. Henry, A.
Bright, J. Heywood, J.
Brown, H. Heyworth, L.
Brown, W. Hindley, C.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W. Hollond, R.
Clay, J. Humphery, Ald.
Cowan, C. Jackson, W.
Dashwood, G. H. Kershaw, J.
Devereux, J. T. King, hon. P. J. L.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T. Lawless, hon. C.
Duke, Sir J. Lushington, C.
Ellis, J. M'Gregor, J.
Ewart, W. Molesworth, Sir W.
Fagan, W. Mowatt, F.
Fergus, J. Nugent, Lord
Fox, W. J. O'Connell, J.
Frewen, C. H. O'Connor, F.
Fuller, A. E. Ogle, S. C. H
Osborne, R. Stuart, Lord D.
Pearson, C. Thompson, G.
Pechell, Capt. Walmsley, Sir J.
Perfect, R. Wawn, J. T.
Peto, S. M. Westhead, J. P.
Pigott, F. Willcox, B. M.
Pilkington, J. Williams, J.
Rendlesham, Lord Willyams, H.
Reynolds, J. Wood, W. P.
Ricardo, J. L. Wyld, J.
Robartes, T. J. A.
Salwey, Col. TELLERS.
Scholefield, W. Hume, J.
Smith, J. B. Cobden, R.

Main Question put. The House divided:—Ayes 189; Noes 280: Majority 91.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Duncombe, hon. A.
Adderley, C. B. Duncombe, hon. O.
Alexander, N. Dunne, F. P.
Anson, Visct. Du Pre, C. G.
Anstey, T. C. East, Sir J. B.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Edwards, H.
Archdall, Capt. M. Estcourt, J. B. B.
Bagge, W. Farnham, E. B.
Bagot, hon. W. Farrer, J.
Bailey, J. jun. Fellowes, E.
Bankes, G. Filmer, Sir E.
Baring, T. Floyer, J.
Barrington, Visct. Forbes, W.
Bennet, P. Forester, hon. G. C. W
Bentinck, Lord H. Fox, S. W. L.
Blackall, S. W. Frewen, C. H.
Blackstone, W. S. Fuller, A. E.
Blandford, Marq. of Galway, Visct.
Boldero, H. G. Gaskell, J. M.
Bourke, R. S. Goddard, A. L.
Bramston, T. W. Gordon, Adm.
Bremridge, R. Gore, W. O.
Brisco, M. Gore, W. R. O.
Broadley, H. Granby, Marq. of
Brooke, Lord Grogan, E.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Gwyn, H.
Bruce, C. L. C. Haggitt, F. R.
Buck, L. W. Hale, R. B.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Halford, Sir H.
Burghley, Lord Hall, Col.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Halsey, T. P.
Burroughes, H. N. Hamilton, G. A.
Carew, W. H. P. Hamilton, J. H.
Cayley, E. S. Harris, hon. Capt.
Chandos, Marq. of Heathcote, G. J.
Chichester, Lord J. L. Heneage, G. H. W.
Cholmeley, Sir M. Henley, J. W.
Christopher, R. A. Herbert, H. A.
Clive, hon. R. H. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Clive, H. B. Hildyard, R. C.
Cobbold, J. C. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Cocks, T. S. Hill, Lord E.
Codrington, Sir W. Hodges, T. L.
Cole, hon. H. A. Hodgson, W. N.
Coles, H B. Hood, Sir A.
Cubitt, W. Hope, A.
Currie, H. Hotham, Lord
Davies, D. A. S. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Denison, W. J. Jones, Capt.
Disraeli, B. Ker, R.
Dod, J. W. Kerrison, Sir E.
Dodd, G. Knight, F. W.
Duckworth, Sir J. T. B. Knightley, Sir C.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Rufford, F.
Leslie, C. P. Rushout, Capt.
Lewisham, Visct. Scott, hon. F.
Lockhart, W. Seymer, H. K.
Long, W. Shirley, E. J.
Lopes, Sir R. Sibthorp, Col.
Lowther, H. Smyth, Sir H.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Smyth, J. G.
Macnamara, Maj. Somerset, Capt.
Mandeville, Visct. Somerton, Vist.
Manners, Lord C. S. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Manners, Lord G. Spooner, R.
March, Earl of Stafford, A.
Maunsell, T. P. Stanley, E.
Meux, Sir H. Stuart, H.
Miles, P. W. S. Stuart, J.
Miles, W. Sullivan, M.
Moody, C. A. Sutton, J. H. M.
Moore, G. H. Taylor, T. E.
Morgan, O. Tenison, E. K.
Mullings, J. R. Thompson, Ald.
Muntz, G. F. Tollemache, J.
Napier, J. Townley, R. G.
Neeld, J. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Newdegate, C. N. Trollope, Sir J:
Newport, Visct. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Noel, hon. G. J. Verner, Sir W.
Nugent, Sir P. Vivian, J. E.
O'Brien, Sir L. Vyse, R. H. R. H.
Ossulston, Lord Waddington, D.
Packe, C. W. Waddington, H. S.
Palmer, R. Walpole, S. H
Pigot, Sir R. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Plowden, W. H. C. Welby, G. E.
Powell, Col. West, F. R.
Prime, R. Williams, T. P.
Pugh, D. Willoughby, Sir H.
Rendlesham, Lord Wodehouse, E.
Renten, J. C. Worcester, Marq. of
Repton, G. W. J. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Richards, R. TELLERS.
Robinson, G. R. Boresford, W.
Rolleston, Col. Mackenzie, W. F.
List of the NOES.
Abdy, T. N. Brown, H.
Adair, R. A. S. Brown, W.
Adare, Visct. Browne, R. D.
Aglionby, H. A. Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W.
Anderson, A. Bunbury, E. H.
Anson, hon. Col. Buxton, Sir E. N.
Armstrong, R. B. Callaghan, D.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Campbell, hon. W. F.
Cardwell, E.
Bagshaw, J. Carter, J. B.
Baines, M. T. Cavendish, hon. C. C.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Bass, M. T. Cavendish, W. G.
Bellew, R. M. Chaplin, W. J.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Charteris, hon. F.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Childers, J. W.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Clay, J.
Bernal, R. Clay, Sir W.
Birch, Sir T. B. Clements, hon. C. S
Blewitt, R. J. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Cobden, R.
Boyd, J. Coke, hon. E. K.
Boyle, hon. Col. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Brand, T. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Bright, J. Cowan, C.
Brocklehurst, J. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Brockman, E. D. Craig, W. G.
Brotherton, J. Currie, R.
Dashwood, G. H. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Howard, hon. J. K.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Devereux, J. T. Howard, P. H.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. C. T. Howard, Sir R.
Divett, E. Hume, J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Humphery, Ald.
Douro, Marq, of Hutt, W.
Duff, G. S. Jackson, W.
Duke, Sir J. Jermyn, Earl
Duncan, Visct. Jervis, Sir J.
Duncan, G. Keppel, hon. G. T.
Duncuft, J. Kershaw, J.
Dundas, Adm. Kildare, Marq. of
Dundas, Sir D. King, hon. P. J. L.
Ebrington, Visct. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Langston, J. H.
Ellice, E. Lawless, hon. C.
Ellis, J. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Legh, G. C.
Enfield, Visct. Lemon, Sir C.
Evans, Sir D. L. Lennard, T. B.
Evans, W. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F.
Ewart, W. Lewis, G. C.
Fagan, W. Lincoln, Earl of
Fergus, J. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Ferguson, Col. Littleton, hon. E. R.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Lushington, C.
Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W. Mackinnon, W. A.
Foley, J. H. H. M'Cullagh, W. T.
Fordyce, A. D. M'Gregor, J.
Forster, M. Mahon, The O'Gorman
Fortescue, C. Mahon, Visct.
Fortescue, hon. J. W. Maitland, T.
Fox, R. M. Mangles, R. D.
Fox, W. J. Marshall, J. G.
Freestun, Col. Marshall, W.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Martin, C. W.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E. Martin, S.
Glyn, G. C. Matheson, A.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Matheson, Col.
Grace, O. D. J. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Graham, rt hon. Sir J. Melgund, Visct.
Granger, T. C. Milner, W. M. E.
Greene, J. Milnes, R. M.
Grenfell, C. P. Mitchell, T. A.
Grenfell, C. W. Moffatt, G.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Molesworth, Sir W.
Grey, R. W. Monsell, W.
Grosvenor, Earl Morison, Sir W.
Hallyburton, Ld. J. F. G. Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Harcourt, G. G. Mowatt, F.
Hardcastle, J. A. Mulgrave, Earl of
Harris, R. Norreys, Lord
Hastie, A. Nugent, Lord
Hastie, A. O'Brien, T.
Hawes, B. O'Connell, J.
Hay, Lord J. O'Connell, M. J.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. O'Connor, F.
Headlam, T. E. Ogle, S. C. H.
Heald, J. Ord, W.
Heathcoat, J. Osborne, R.
Henry, A. Paget, Lord A.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Paget, Lord C.
Hervey, Lord A. Paget, Lord G.
Heywood, J. Palmer, R.
Heyworth, L. Palmerston, Visct.
Hindley, C. Parker, J.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Pearson, C.
Hobhouse, T. B. Pechell, Capt.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Hollond, R. Peel, F.
Howard, Lord E. Perfect, R.
Peto, S. M. Stuart, Lord J.
Philips, Sir G. R. Talbot, J. H.
Pigott, F. Tancred, H. W.
Pilkington, J. Tonnent, R. J.
Pinney, W. Thosiger, Sir F.
Pryse, P. Thicknesse, R. A.
Pusey, P. Thompson, Col.
Reid, Col. Thompson, G.
Reynolds, J. Thornely, T.
Ricardo, J. L. Towneley, J.
Ricardo, O. Townshend, Capt.
Rice, E. B. Traill, G.
Rich, H. Trelawny, J. S.
Robartes, T. J. A. Turner, G. J.
Roche, E. B. Tynte, Col. C. J. K.
Romilly, Sir J. Vane, Lord H.
Rumbold, C. E. Vivian, J. H.
Russell, Lord J. Wall, C. B.
Russell, hon. E. S. Walmsley, Sir J.
Russell, F. C. H. Walter, J.
Salwey, Col. Ward, H. G.
Sandars, J. Watkins, Col, L.
Scholefield, W. Wawn, J. T.
Scrope, G. P. Westhead, J. P.
Seymour, Lord Willcox, B. M.
Shafto, R. D. Williams, J.
Sheil, rt. hon. R. L. Willyams, H.
Shelburne, Earl of Williamson, Sir H.
Sheridan, R. B. Wilson, J.
Simeon, J. Wilson, M.
Slaney, R. A. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Wood, W. P.
Smith, J. A. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Smith, M. T. Wrightson, W. B.
Smith, J. B. Wyld, J.
Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W. W.
Spearman, H. J. Wyvill, M.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Young, Sir J.
Stanton, W. H. TELLERS.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Tufnell, H.
Stuart, Lord D. Hill, Lord M.

The House adjourned at a quarter before Three o'clock.