HC Deb 26 April 1850 vol 110 cc873-5

Order for Committee read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair."


expressed his objection to stamps on marine assurances, and other matters connected with shipping.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words 'in consideration of the recent changes in the Navigation Laws, and consistently with the state of the Revenue, it is expedient the Stamps on Marine Assurances, Bills of Lading, Charter Parties, and other Shipping Documents, shall be abolished,'—instead therof.


seconded the Motion.


said, that he must give the same answer to this Motion which, a few nights ago, he gave to the Motion for the reduction of the duty on paper. He had already stated the amount of taxation which he thought it would be advisable to make, and he could not consent to reduce the revenue still lower. But the hon. Member for Glasgow, with a just regard for the public revenue, was not, he believed, prepared to urge any reduction of duties which would affect that surplus which the best interests of the country required to be maintained. With regard to any future reduction of taxation, he thought it would be unwise to pledge themselves as to the taxes to be remitted. He would not say a word on the subject of the tax, any more than he did on the other branches of taxation on which he had been urged to make a reduction; because he conceived it would be unfair that his opinion should be open to any but the best consideration on the subject. Therefore he hoped the House would join with him in negativing the Motion; and he hoped his hon. Friend would see the necessity of not pressing it to a division, but permit the House to proceed with the business of supply.


was at a loss to know on what grounds the House would be justified in negativing this Motion; for the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not adduced a single argument in favour of this most objectionable tax—a tax not only objectionable on every principle and at all times, but peculiarly unjust now that they had deprived the shipping interest of the protection it enjoyed under the navigation laws. He therefore called upon the right hon. Gentleman to vote for its repeal.


would have preferred that his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow had not brought forward his Motion until after the Chancellor of the Exchequer had fully declared his intentions, which, he believed, would be in the course of the ensuing week. However, he should observe, that marine insurance societies with large capital, and conducted on the most honourable principles, were established in every port town of the United States, where no duty prevailed, and a like system was in operation at Hamburg. It was the manifest interest, not only of shipowners, but also of shippers of goods, to effect insurances in these countries; and, to his own knowledge, they did so to a great extent. For his own part, he was prepared to remove that incubus on the trade and navigation of this country; and in so doing he thought he would be supported by every practical man in the House. The existing policy of insurance was very heavy, and militated much against the shipping interest; and therefore, if the House divided, he would feel himself bound to support the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow.


called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to redeem the promise he had made at the time of the passing of the navigation laws, and on the faith of which promises—to the effect that the shipping interests would be relieved, so as to enable them to enter into competition with other nations—his vote, as well as the votes of many other hon. Gentlemen, had been given in favour of the Government policy. Now, he wished to know why the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not apply the surplus of 500,000l. to the relief of the shipping interest, instead of applying it to the liquidation of the national debt? He thought the House ought to compel the Government to fulfil the pledges made by them. He would vote in favour of the proposition of the hon. Member for Glasgow; and he hoped the House, by its vote, would compel the Government to see that it could not with impunity violate its promises.


said, the hon. Member laboured under an entire mistake when he said the Government had given a pledge when the repeal of the navigation laws was proposed that this tax should be remitted. Neither the Chancellor of the Exchequer nor the President of the Board of Trade recollected ever having given any such pledge. His right hon. Friend had given good reasons for refusing to accede to this Motion. He had stated that it was not a question as to what might be said either in favour or against this peculiar tax; but simply, whether it was desirable to maintain the credit of the country; and that, in the present state of the revenue, he could not safely agree to any further reduction of the surplus.


should say, that the impression on his mind was, that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had promised to remove all restrictions connected with shipping as soon as possible; and under that impression his vote was given. He, therefore, hoped his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow would divide the House on the question.


regretted hon. Gentlemen did not hold their votes until they got all that had been promised them. Every class and interest had its own grievance to complain of; and if all those grievances in the shape of taxation were removed, the income of the country must suffer materially. However, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had shown no reason for continuing the tax; and as there was a surplus, he thought it could be better applied in the abolition of a tax, than in the way it had been.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 156; Noes 89: Majority 67.

List of theNOES.
Anderson, A. Codrington, Sir W.
Arkwright, G. Colvile, C. R.
Bagge, W. Conolly, T.
Baldock, E. H. Cowan, C.
Bankes, G. Disraeli, B.
Boldero, H. G. Dod, J. W.
Booth, Sir R. G. Duncan, G.
Bremridge, R. Edwards, H.
Brisco, M. Fagan, W.
Broadley, H. Farrer, J.
Brooke, Lord Fellowes, E.
Bruce, Lord E. Floyer, J.
Castlereagh, Visct. Forbes, W.
Chatterton, Col. Fox, W. J.
Clay, J. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Clifford, H. M. Gooch, E. S.
Clive, H. B. Greene, J.
Cobbold, J. C. Halsey, T. P.
Hamilton, Lord C. Prime, R.
Harris, hon. Capt. Reid, Col.
Hastie, A. Repton, G. W. J.
Henley, J. W. Rumbold, C. E.
Henry, A. Salwey, Col.
Hervey, Lord A. Sandars, G.
Heyworth, L. Sandars, J.
Hildyard, R. C. Shafto, R. D.
Hornby, J. Sibthorp, Col.
Hume, J. Sidney, Ald.
Johnstone, Sir J. Stafford, A.
Jollifife, Sir W. G. H. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Keating, R. Stephenson, R.
Ker, R. Stuart, J.
Lawless, hon. C. Talbot, C. R. M.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Thompson, Ald.
Lockhart, W. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Mackenzie, W. F. Trollope, Sir J.
Meagher, T. Villiers, hon. F. W. C.
Manners, Lord C. S. Walpole, S. H.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Moffatt, G. Wawn, J. T.
Morris, D. Williams, J.
Mullings, J. R. Williams, T. P.
Osborne, R. Williamson, Sir H.
Packe, C. W. TELLERS.
Pechell, Sir G. B. M'Gregor, J.
Portal, M. Manners, Lord J.