HC Deb 02 May 1851 vol 116 cc429-96

Order for Committee read.

COLONEL SIBTHORP moved that it should be an Instruction to the Committee on this Bill that they should have power to amend it.

Motion agreed to:—Instruction to the Committee that they have power to amend the Act 5 and 6 Vic, c. 35.


begged to call the attention of Mr. Speaker to the notice of a Motion given by the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. W. Williams) for rendering certain classes of income in Ireland subject to the property tax; and he wished to know whether the hon. Member could bring forward a Motion extending a tax to a class of persons not hitherto subject to it, except in a Committee of Ways and Means?


rose to move— That the provisions of the said Property Tax Bill, as far as regards the imposition of that tax on the interest of the public debt, salaries, and emoluments of public officers, pensions, and sinecures, he extended to Ireland.


said, it was not competent for the hon. Member to move his Amendment on that occasion; it should have been brought forward in the Committee of Ways and Means.


said, that although he could not move the Resolution of which he had given notice as an Amendment upon the question that Mr. Speaker should leave the chair, he would nevertheless call the attention of Her Majesty's Government and the House to this important subject, as he thought that nothing tended to separate England and Ireland so much as the adoption of a different system of laws in each. When the income tax was under discussion by the House on former occasions, the question of extending it to Ireland had been considered; but he had never heard a good reason why the income tax should not be extended to that country as well as to England. It was said, indeed, that Ireland was too poor; but a man with 150l in Ireland was as rich as one possessed of the same income in England, and should therefore be taxed to the same amount. He did not propose to extend the income tax to the profits of trade in Ireland, but simply to tax the interest of the public debt, and all salaries, pensions, and sinecures now paid in that country, and at present exempted from taxation. The interest of the public debt paid in Ireland, amounting to 1,417,000l., was entirely exempt from this tax; and even, what was still more anomalous, the debt of 2,630,000l. owing by the Government to the Bank of Ireland, which bore interest at the rate of 3½ per cent, was also exempt, though the debt of 11,000,000l. due to the Bank of England, contracted under precisely similar circumstances, but only hearing 3 per cent interest, was liable to income tax. Then came the salaries of the public officers, of whom the Lord Lieutenant received 20,000l. a year, his household many thousands a year, and the Chief Secretary for Ireland 5,500l. per annum, and yet were all exempted from the payment of income tax. There were also exempted—pensioners receiving 48,700l. per annum; salaries and pensions out of the Consolidated Fund, 70,300l.; officers of the courts of law, 156,000l., amongst whom the Lord Chancellor received 8,000l. a year, and the other Judges nearly the same salaries as their brethren in England, while the Chief Secretary and his officers divided amongst them 22,000l., the Paymaster of the Civil Service and his officials 50,000l., and the officers of the Board of Works 30,000l.; the whole amounting to more than 300,000l. per annum. Adding to these the salaries of the higher class of officers in the Customs, Excise, Stamps, Post Office, and other public offices in Ireland, he had no doubt that, with the interest of the public debt paid there, there was a total amount of 2,000,000l. annually exempted from this tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer might get 7d. in the pound from this income without doing injustice to any one. On a former occasion the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Reynolds) said that during the period the income tax had been in existence, a small increase in the stamp duties had taxed Ireland to the amount of an additional million. That amount was very much overstated; but it should not be forgotten that during this period the people of Great Britain had paid nearly 50,000,000l. to the income tax. It appeared that the people of Ireland were entirely exempt from taxes to the amount of 13,500,000l. which were paid by Great Britain; and that while Great Britain paid 49,240,000l., Ireland only paid 3,700,000l. Therefore he thought that it could not be said that any injustice was done to Ireland in the imposition of the taxes, while he believed that she had her full share of the benefits that flowed from their expenditure. As an act of justice to England, he thought that the income tax should be imposed upon the public debt paid in Ireland, and upon the salaries of the public officers in that country.


trusted the House would not discuss the Motion, which the hon. Gentlemen- was not in order in bringing forward. There was no necessity for his bringing it forward, because the hon. Member for Marylebone (Sir Benjamin Hall) had already given notice of his intention to make a Motion upon the subject, so that he (Mr. French) could not imagine what object the hon. Gentleman could have, except that of marring the Motion of the hon. Member for Marylebone. He could only say, when the question came properly before the House, the Irish Members would be fully prepared to discuss it.

House in Committee.

Clause 1, (Rates and Duties granted by the said first recited Act to be further continued for).

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the blank be filled up with ' three years.' "

MR. FRESHFIELD moved the insertion, after the word "granted," of the words "so far as the same are expressed in the schedules to this Act annexed, and subject to the provisions therein contained." He moved the insertion of these words in the first clause, so that it might be consistent with certain alterations which he desired to make; but either those alterations or any others which should appear to be proper might be embodied in the schedules, even though the words he should move to insert in the clause were carried. He should, however, state what were the alterations he proposed to introduce. With respect to Schedule A of the Property Tax Act, he said nothing, though calling for some modification; for instance, there could be no good reason why that tax should be assessed upon the gross rent, while, under the Parochial Assessment Act, it was charged upon the net rent, that is, after deducting the annual average cost of the repairs, insurance, and other charges necessary to maintain such rent. Neither did he touch Schedule B, for it properly belonged to the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln (Colonel Sibthorp) to deal with that subject. With respect to Schedule C, he proposed that the rates and duties should be the same as in the Property Tax ActExcept that the duty shall be assessed in cases of annuities contingent upon life upon the annual amount of such annuity after deducting one-third of such amount as the premium of insurance, payable to provide for the contingency; and as to annuities for terms of years, the assessment to be made upon the dividend which would be payable upon the amount of 3 per cent Consolidated Bank Annuities, which might be purchased with the produce of such annuity for terms of years, if sold, such value to be ascertained on the 5th of April in each year, according to the Government tables. At present the whole of an annuity contingent upon life was taxed, though its holder could not with prudence spend the whole of it as income. In order to provide for his family, and to preserve the money expended in the purchase of the annuity, he must either save part of his apparent income, or effect a life assurance. Now, he found that at whatever period of life a man might be supposed to acquire such an annuity, it would cost him about half the annual amount in order to effect a life assurance equivalent to provide against the contingency. That circumstance discriminated this class of incomes from those derived from realised property, which were properly taxed at the rate of 7d. in the pound. Nothing, again, could be harder than to tax upon the full amount of his annual receipt a man who had only an annuity for a term of years. If a man had held an annuity of 100l. of this description in 1842, he could then have sold it for 1,330l., which would have purchased 1,440l. Three per Cent Consols, giving him a yearly income of 43l.; and yet he was taxed upon the 100l., though he had it only for a certain period, and although it was clear that it would only produce him a permanent income of 43l. But the value of these annuities diminished with the lapse of time, and a long annuity of 100l. was now only worth 725l., which would purchase 750l. Consols, the dividends upon which would be 24l. per annum, and yet he was still taxed on the 100l.; and although his capital would he diminished, and his annuity would be saleable for a decreasing sum every year as we approached nearer to 1860, when these annuities would cease altogether, the present income tax would be charged upon the same sum as in 1842. With respect to Schedule D, which imposed a tax upon profits of trade and upon the incomes of professional men, he was quite aware how difficult it was to deal with that subject. Independently of all objections to the inquisitorial mode of levying the tax, he thought it unjust to tax incomes arising from these sources to an equal extent with those derived from realised property. Profits in trade were obtained with difficulty and risk, and, when obtained, they were generally expended usefully and beneficially to the community. He considered the case of the incomes of professional men to be still harder. Many of these classes of persons—such as merchants, brokers, and lawyers—were obliged to keep ten or twenty clerks, whose incomes, if they exceeded 150l., were taxed. That income was spent for the benefit of the country; so that, even as profits of trade, he could not avoid pressing upon the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that suppose a man to make a moderate profit, it was not wise to tax it. We were rather interested that he should spend it, especially in well educating his children. And if a man acquired a large income, nothing would be lost by exempting it from the duty, because, if he spent the whole of it, the country would have the advantage; and if he invested a part, it would be taxed in the state of investment. With regard to Schedule E, he should be fairly taunted if he sought to relieve annuities for a term of years and for life, and did not extend the same justice to official salaries and Crown annuities, which were charged by this schedule. It related to pensioners, public annuitants, and so on; and it was quite plain that pensioners and annuitants of the Crown should have the same claim to justice as other annuitants. He hoped the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have the kindness to look at the Amendment he proposed, as one really involving the substantial question before them; for, though the proposition he made might not be so formal as was necessary, there would be no difficulty in afterwards putting it into a more regular and formal shape. He looked for the support of every Member who wished to amend the Bill, and, among others, the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) who sought only to diminish the duration of the tax, because, if his (Mr. Freshfield's) propositions were just, it was as proper that they should be in the Bill for one as for three years. He ought to have mentioned, that in the cases of profits in trade and professiona lincomes, he did not ask the whole of the tax to be given up, but, considering all circumstances, he thought it just that one-half of the tax should be surrendered in those cases, and that they should be taxed at 3½d. instead of 7d. It was a case of difficulty in which to cut a knot not easily untied; and in taking off half the tax, there was this principle to furnish the rule, that the difference provided for the cost of the life insurance, to be encouraged as a prudent guard against the sudden loss of the income taxed.


considered the proposal of the hon. Gentleman as an exceedingly inconvenient mode of meeting the question before the Committee. It was more desirable that they should settle the principle upon which they actually differed, by having the real questions at issue brought forward, than that they should be called on to discuss the mere words proposed by the hon. Gentleman. That which the hon. Gentleman ultimately aimed at, would amount to a totally new Bill. His proposition was, that Schedule A should be left as it now was—that Schedule B should be left as it was—for, in point of fact, his proposal was equivalent to 1d. in the pound—but that in Schedule C an exemption should be made in the case of life annuitants, though he did not propose to extend the exemption to annuities charged on the land or on life estates. With regard to Schedule D, he proposed to relieve those included in it to the extent of half the duty they now paid; and with regard to Schedule E, he understood the hon. Gentleman proposed to deal with it as he proposed to do with Schedule C. Now, it was really very inconvenient to discuss such extensive changes, amounting, in fact, to a new Bill, on an Amendment of not more than half a dozen words. The better course would be to discuss the propositions of the hon. Gentleman when they wore brought before thorn in a substantive form.


said, all his hon. Friend (Mr. Freshfield) had asked was, that they should insert such words in this clause as would enable them, if necessary, to alter the schedules without bringing up a new clause for everything that was to be altered.


thought, that if they gave their assent to the clause for levying those duties, they would not have power afterwards to alter those duties, unless they now inserted some such words as his hon. Friend (Mr. Freshfield) proposed to introduce. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer knew that quite well; and if they made any objection hereafter, he would say, "You have voted the tax, and cannot now alter it." He thought there ought to be some words introduced to enable them hereafter to raise the question as to the alteration of the duties.


begged to observe that he had agreed to an instruction to the Committee to enable the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln (Colonel Sibthorp) to move his Amendment, and he had even suggested that the proper mode of carrying his Amendment into effect, was by a proviso contained in the first clause; therefore he was surprised at the imputation which had been cast upon him by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley); for if he were capable of doing that which the hon. Gentleman supposed he would do—namely, of turning round upon them hereafter—he would be unworthy of the position he occupied, and he did not think it was quite fair for the hon. Gentleman to suggest that he should take such a course.


thought the right hon. Gentleman had needlessly taken offence at what he said; and he could assure him that it was not his intention to impute anything unfair to him. The very fact of its being-necessary to have an instruction given as to the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln with respect to Schedule B only strengthened the view he (Mr. Henley) had expressed.


The instruction was given generally to amend the Bill if necessary.


If the clause is adopted without agreeing to the Amendment of my hon. Friend (Mr. Freshfield), can any proposition to vary the rates be entertained?


could well conceive the sense of their proceeding in this way, if they were going to revise the whole system from beginning to end; but he could not conceive why they should address themselves to one particular part of the system, and not to the whole.


begged again to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the question he had put. If the clause wore passed with the proviso added to it of the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln, but without the insertion of the words proposed by his hon. Friend (Mr. Freshfield), would they not be precluded from making any alterations except those contained in that proviso?


could assure the hon. Gentleman that he had no intention to turn round upon them, or recede from anything he had promised.


said, they had now the power to amend the Bill, and if they passed this clause, could they go hack again upon it for the purpose of making an alteration in the measure?


said, that if there followed any other clause that was repugnant to its meaning or spirit, it was quite clear they could not go hack again on that clause, but they would have the power of striking out such clause.


suggested that the lion. Gentleman (Mr. Freshfield) should not press his Amendment. He (Mr. Aglionby) did not think the present mode of assessing the income tax was equitable or just; but still he felt the difficulty of remedying that injustice. The arguments of the late Sir Robert Peel on this point were unanswered and unanswerable, and he (Mr. Aglionby) had been carried away by them, though he agreed with him on scarcely any other political question. Having yielded to the arguments of one with whom he held no political opinion in common, he would not change his opinion now for the purpose of turning out a Government, on the continuance of whose administration, he believed, depended the peace and security of the country—at present, at all events.

Amendment negatived.


rose to move, as an Amendment, that the continuance of the tax should be limited to one year. He intended also to propose that the Bill should be untouched for that period, for the purpose of preserving, as far as possible, the state of their finances. When the late Sir Robert Peel brought forward his proposal for an income tax in 1842, he (Mr. Hume), with others, complained of the injustice of the measure, on the very points now complained of by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Freshfield). They objected to the apparatus by which the tax was to be collected—to the employment of irresponsible persons, over whom the authorities had no power—and to making it an inquisitorial and political measure. He wished to mate alterations in the measure at the time to which he referred, not with a view to get rid of the tax, but with a view, while they made the tax permanent, to make it equitable and just. When they made their objections to the measure in 1842, they were told by Sir Robert Peel that he asked the tax only for a temporary period, to enable him to make a great experiment; and he (Mr. Hume) was quite satisfied that the measure never would have been agreed to by Gentlemen who voted at his side of the House, were they not under the impression that it would not be continued longer than was absolutely necessary to enable him to carry out that experiment. He, however, on the occasion to which he alluded, pressed his objection to a division, and twenty-seven voted in favour of it. In the year 1845 the measure was reimposed, and then came 1848, when he (Mr. Hume) renewed his Motion. It was the wish of the public that the taxation of the country should be reconsidered, particularly this tax, and he submitted the same Motion as he was then about to submit to the Committee. What took place? The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer held out to those who voted with him the expectation—and they voted under the conviction—that, before the time again came for the renewal of the tax, the Government would have an inquiry into its injustice and inequality.


I did not understand it so.


might have misunderstood the right hon. Gentleman; but now he asked the Committee to limit the duration of the tax to one year, for the purpose of having an inquiry respecting it. There was not one in the Committee or in the community, high or low, who did not consider that an attempt ought to be made to equalise the tax, and remove the injustice; and if the Committee agreed to his Amendment, he would then ask them to appoint a Select Committee to consider its bearing upon all the various interests that were subjected to its operations. He was not one who wished to have the income tax removed. He was an advocate of direct and not of indirect taxation. He was against the system of indirect taxation, chiefly because it increased the price of commodities, by doubling, and in some instances trebling, the amount of profits which would otherwise be realised upon their sale. He supported direct taxation on another ground; he was anxious to see the entire removal of the Excise system. He was anxious to see the repeal of the duty on soap, paper, hops, and on every exciseable article, except spirits. He was desirous of repealing the malt duty. [Cheers.] He was sincere in his avowal, for he considered that much of the drunkenness that existed in the country was attributable to that tax, which had altogether changed the habits of the people; and with a view to restore the people to the sobriety and the love of good order for which they were wont to be distinguished, it was desirable to introduce a cheap and wholesome beverage like malt, so as to dispense with the use of ardent spirits. With regard to his own countrymen in Scotland, from being a sober and prudential race of people, they had become drunkards. He said it with great pain, but they had acquired habits of intemperance which rendered vast numbers of them no longer the estimable members of society and the patterns which they were wont to be to the United Kingdom for sobriety and good order. It should be to a property tax that he would first point as a system of direct taxation, including all kinds of property without exception. He would go down to the lowest fraction of a pound of property; and he would do that on the ground that to make any exception would render a large class of the community indifferent to taxation, and give to the Minister of the day, whether Whig, Tory, or Radical, an advantage which he ought not to have. He thought every shilling taken from the pockets of the people should be known to the people, if that was possible. He did not wish to get rid of taxes, but he wished to make them fair and equitable in their operation. Taxation had grown to an enormous extent, owing, in his humble opinion, to the extravagant expenditure of the country. The revenue had increased far beyond the means of those who paid the greater part of it. The middle and working classes paid a great deal more of it in proportion than was paid by the capital of the country. The revenue of this country in 1793 was 16,000,000l., of which 15,000,000l. were expended in paying the interest of the debt, and maintaining the national establishments. The interest of the debt at that time was no more than 9,500,000l. The surplus of 1,000,000l. was applied by Mr. Pitt to the sinking fund. The cost of the war added 600,000,000l. to the national debt; the amount of the debt now being between 700,000,000l. and 800,000,000l. He wanted to show, that as we had increased our debt since that time, so our capital had increased in a very large ratio, probably from 60,000,000l. to 105,000,000l. In other words he believed the capital of the country had increased nearly twofold during that time. What had the capital of the country now to pay? Did it pay any more than it formerly did, with the exception of the in- come tax? He, therefore, held it to be gross injustice to continue to levy on some of the prime necessaries of life among the working classes from 34,000,000l. to 35,000,000l. of excise duties. He contended that a great portion of that sum should be taken off, and the deficiency supplied by an income tax properly and equitably levied. The fairest principle of taxation was, that capital should pay for its protection, and that it should pay in proportion to the capital. What was the capital of a poor man whose wages were 8s. or 9s. a week? Yet he paid live times in proportion to the individual who had a large income. He would ask if that was just or fair? Take taxation at the present moment. He held in his hand a statement of the revenue from 1762 to 1851, the Customs being 20,500,000l., and the Excise 14,000,000l., showing that 67 per cent of the whole revenue was chargeable on the necessaries of life, chiefly in use among the working classes, whose only capital was their labour. Stamps wore 11 per cent more; the assessed taxes only amounted to 8 per cent of the whole revenue, the property tax to 10 per cent, the Post Office to 1½ per cent, and the duty on pensions, and other small items, made up the rest. Thus it appeared that 67 per cent of the taxation of the country was levied on articles subject to the Customs and Excise duties—that was to say, to indirect taxation, by means of which the original cost of the article to the consumer—who belonged to the working classes—was increased some 30 or 40 per cent. He therefore submitted that he was strictly warranted in the opinion he had expressed, that direct taxation was the best and most equitable system that could be adopted. There was a general wish on the part of the country to reconsider the whole question of taxation. He had been curious to know what the other items of taxation amounted to, besides the Customs and Excise; and he found the land tax-amounted to 11 per cent, the windows to 17 per cent, servants to 1¾ per cent, carriages to 3¾ per cent, and horses to 2 per cent. How petty and paltry those items were, when compared with the Customs and Excise; and how advantageous it would be to sweep away all those taxes which interfered with industry, and which produced more annoyance to the payer and receiver than any other tax that they had. One would suppose that the income tax was paid by the land alone; but the land in England and Wales at sevenpence in the pound paid only 40 per cent. Messuages and factories paid a very large proportion; and the sum paid by the tenant-farmers he found gradually reducing every year. The assessment on messuages, on the other hand, was every year increasing. He was anxious to keep the amount of taxation down below the present rate. The large amount of money now taken out of the pockets of the people could not be taken from them if they had a system of direct taxation. Under such a system of taxation, he was sure the House would never sanction such an extraordinary amount of expenditure as it did at present. He had alleged in that House before, and he was prepared to prove, that the whole of the income tax might have been saved. There was no necessity for it, but for their extravagant and useless military establishments; and if the tax had been levied directly, and every individual bad paid it, they would long ere this have had a clamour raised which no Government could have withstood. He had before him a statement showing the amount paid for their military establishments. In the five years from 1833 to 1837, those establishments cost 60,000,000l., or an average of 12,000,000l. for each year. In the three years from 1848, the average cost was 21,000,000l. a year. He ought to deduct from that the expense of the Kaffir war, and 800,000l. on account of the distress in Ireland. Now, he wanted to see a sound and economical system of taxation which would give relief to all classes, high and low. In ten years before the imposition of the income tax, the expenditure for the whole of our military establishments amounted to 131,000,000l. in round numbers, or an average of 13,116,000l. a year. Taking the eight years since the income tax was imposed, from 1843 to 1850, the expense of those establishments was 144,863,000l.., being an average of 18,000,080l.. a year in round numbers. The total amount of the income tax, from 1843 to 1850, was 39,709,000l.., while the extra expense of the military establishments during the same period amounted to 39,901,000l.., being the actual application of the whole income tax to those extra establishments. Now, he was anxious to make the tax perpetual, to make it just, and to remedy all those evils; but he did not want to frighten and alarm the landed interest by the word "perpetual." If they were opposed to a substitution of direct for indirect taxation, it was only from custom, and it was the more desirable to introduce a change, to make them familiar with it. By direct taxation, between 2,000,000l.. and 3,000,000l.. a year might he saved, many more people might be employed, and much greater advantages offered to the country. He could not understand why there should be any objection to the limitation of the tax which he was about to propose, with the view of always having a full and proper inquiry. One objection more he had to this Bill. He wished to alter altogether the mode of collecting this tax. The late Sir Robert Peel admitted that that mode was objectionable; but as the measure was a temporary one, he declined to interfere with it. He (Mr. Hume) objected to any individual being employed to assess or collect any public revenue without being responsible to the Minister of the day. At this moment there was no such responsibility. It was notorious, for instance, that the Commissioners of the Land Tax were appointed on political grounds through the influence of county Members. He thought he had before him a plan which would relieve them in a great measure of the difficulties incident to the present mode of collecting this tax. They had in the officers of the Excise tried men. In a Committee on which he sat, it was given in evidence, that 300,000,000l.. had been collected by the officers of Excise, without the loss of a farthing by defalcation, and yet the officers employed of the first grades had not more than 500l.. a year. He had the most perfect confidence that the Committee would be able to find in that department the means by which the anomalies attendant upon the present mode of collecting the tax might be obviated. With those observations he begged to move that the duration of the tax be limited to one year, with the view of instituting an inquiry by a Select Committee into the mode of assessing and collecting the tax; and whether the injustice of levying the same rate of charge upon terminable as well as upon perpetual annuities, and upon fluctuating and varying incomes from trades and professions as upon fixed incomes from real property, could not be greatly modified or altogether removed.

Amendment moved, "That the blank be filled with 'one year.'"


seconded the Amendment; but, in doing so, he could not support the arguments of the hon. Member for Montrose. He did not agree in the policy of his hon. Friend; for he was one of those who thought that it was most convenient to raise a proportion of the revenue of this country by a moderate duty upon the importation of foreign productions. He supported the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman because he did not think that House had kept faith with the public with respect to the income tax. They had renewed it twice, and were now asked to renew it a third time; and each time upon different grounds. He did not wish to enter into any detailed account of the partial and unjust way in which the tax operated; but he must say that he did not approve generally of the Budget of the present Ministers. He thought that Budget was capable of very great improvement, for he bad the same objection to a house tax as to an income tax. He had been long enough a Member of that House to know what pressure had been placed upon Ministers to repeal a house tax on account of its injustice. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the first night of his Budget gave them to understand that he bad something good in reserve for them for the year 1854. He told them that be would then be enabled to repeal a considerable amount of taxation. Now, though the right hon. Gentleman did not tell them what he meant, he could guess that he alluded to the terminable annuities. In the year 1822, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer—the late Lord Bcxley—had raised a considerable sum by terminable annuities. The object was to relieve the heavy pressure then felt, occasioned by taxation for the military and navy half-pay list. Lord Bexley then raised the sum by annuities for forty-five years, and thus diminished the then existing burden. Experience had since proved that was a wise course adopted by His Majesty's Government. If it were not true, and he was not disposed to deny the truth of the allegation, that this country was year by year better able to bear the burden of taxation, he would ask, would it not be sound policy to give the present generation some relief, and not to refuse doing so for the benefit of those who might be living in the year 1867? He would now call the attention of the House to the amount of terminable annuities:—

Present Decrease per Annum. When Ending.
Diminished rate of interest on Three-and-a Quarter per Cents £540,000 Oct. 10, 1854
Terms of years. 295,118 Oct. 10, 1859
Ditto 291,960 Jan. 5, 1860
Long Annuities 1,230,000 Ditto
Irish Ditto 51,000. Ditto
26 years' Annuity 212,780 July 5,1860
Dead weight ditto 585,740 April 5, 1867
In 1860 the reduction will be £1,785,740 per annum.
The conversion of permanent into terminable annuities is at the rate of from 700,000l. to 800,000l. per annum.
Unredeemed debt £769,272,562
Annual charge thereof 27,620,447
Per Annum.
Present annual decrease by treating these annuities as if they were expired, is £3,206,598
But by borrowing in Consols at 96 to pay the dividends as they become due on the above annuities so canceled, the permanent annual charge on Consols will be 169,108
So that the above immediate decrease per annum of 3,206,598l. will be gradually lessened year by year until 5th April, 1867, when it will remain permanent at. £2,337,490
The present annual decrease, by treating these annuities as if they were expired, was 3,206,598l. per annum. If capitalised it would amount to one-eighth of the whole of the national debt. He had made a calculation at that time, that if they were to convert these payments into permanent annuities—that was to say, capitalised them—the amount of charge per annum, with consols at 96, would be 869,108l.;so that the before-mentioned decrease of 3,206,598l. per annum would be gradually lessened, year by year, until the 5th of April, 1867, when it would remain at 2,337,490l.. Had the Chancellor of the Exchequer taken these matters into consideration, he (Mr. Alderman Thompson) thought the right hon. Gentleman would have found that his position was such that it was not absolutely necessary for him to continue an income tax, which was subject to all those objections and heart burnings of which they had heard so much, both in and out of the House. In his opinion it was impossible to frame any income tax which would be free from objection; and with the views he had expressed he should give his vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose.


said, that although the alacrity exhibited by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Ald. Thompson) to support the proposal of the hon. Member for Montrose should make him pause before he did anything which was calculated to affect such a large amount of taxation as was involved in that proposal, nevertheless he had no alternative, after the fullest consideration he had been able to give to the question, but to vote for the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume). He believed that he was a greater friend to the property tax, by opposing the Motion of the right hon. Baronet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, than he could be by tendering to it his support; and, if the phrase were not a solecism in language, he should say that, by voting for the Amendment, he was a greater friend to the Government than they were to themselves. The Government, he thought, could not deny that they took to themselves the credit of following in the footsteps of the great founder of our present financial system, the late Sir Robert Peel, who evidently had made up his mind to change, as rapidly as the knowledge and the prejudices of the people of this country would allow him, the system of indirect to that of direct taxation. And he thought that he should be slandering that great man's name if he hesitated for a moment to believe that if the life of that great statesman had been spared, and he had been in office at the present time, he would have solved this great question before this time. If not, then he thought he could have seen cause to retrace his steps. He (Mr. Mowatt) thought it was absurd to say, that because he could not make the income tax perfectly equal in its incidents, perfectly equal in its operation upon all the classes who paid it, it was therefore chimerical to attempt to modify or improve it. He denied such a proposition altogether, and he moreover believed that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not any very insuperable objections to oppose to a modification of this tax. He (Mr. Mowatt) would, at any rate, propose a plan whereby such an attempt might be made. He knew the difficulties which would have to be encountered in the effort to make this tax bear equally upon all classes of the contributors; but might not the same thing be said of all other taxes? Well, as to his plan, he would unhesitatingly say that he should propose to raise, say 6d. or 1s., or any other given sum, in the pound, upon all real and funded property; and he would raise one-half that amount, say 6d. or 3d., as the case might be, upon profits arising from trades. It might for a moment be supposed that such a plan would he harsh to many classes; but he contended that the individuals that would suffer from the unjust pressure of some such modification as that which he had suggested in an off-hand way, would be infinitely fewer than those that suffered from the present system. In saying that, he was perfectly aware that it was not only those whose livelihood was gained by trades or professions who suffered under the present system; he was willing to admit, since he heard it asserted on all sides, without contradiction, that the mode in which the property tax was levied upon land, entailed hardship upon the occupiers of land. It was for these as well as for other reasons that had been assigned ad nauseam on all occasions on which this system of taxation had been under consideration, that he contended that it was palpably absurd and unjust to make the man whose means depended upon his health, his mental and bodily exertions, and other accidents, pay equally with the man whose income was derived from realised property. Therefore, in order to set this question at rest, he was anxious to see the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose adopted; because, if carried, the result would be that one of two things would happen—either the Committee to be obtained by his hon. Friend would show that, whether or not we could devise a system which would make the tax bear with the most perfect equality upon all classes, we could at least greatly improve the present grossly defective mode of levying it. It would be seen that we could remove a great many objections that were now entertained to the tax by the great majority of the contributors to it throughout the country. Either that must take place, or the Committee would come to that House and report that after examining the question closely in detail, they found it was impossible to make any very material change in the tax—that it was impossible to ameliorate, to any great extent, the gross inequalities and unjust operation of the tax. He should then at once be prepared to say, that—strenuous advocate as he was for direct taxation, for the reasons which had been so forcibly urged by his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose—they must adopt some other machinery for taxing the property and incomes of the people of this country; for it was clear that this tax could not be continued. The present Government, while they professed themselves from time to time to be the apostles of that great financier, Sir Robert Peel, did not, in his (Mr. Mowatt's) opinion, pursue the policy of that eminent man with that steadiness and confidence in its solidity which one might expect from men avowing that faith. Believing that the Amendment, if carried, would render essential service to the principle of direct taxation, he should give it his hearty support. Hon. Gentlemen on the other side spoke highly of indirect taxation, but assigned no reason for their preference; but the true reason, no doubt, was because, in indirect taxation, the humbler classes did not know the real weight of the burden that was imposed on them. Hon. Gentlemen knew that the same amount levied by direct taxation would not be endured, and that it would not be safe to attempt even to impose it. They knew it would be impossible to raise 60,000,000l. or even 5,000,000l. a year by direct taxation, and appropriate it as it was now appropriated. Under a system of entirely direct taxation, the people would not only know the exact extent of the burden, but would take care to see how their payments were disbursed.


said, he seldom trespassed on the attention of the House, and would not now do so, but that he felt bound to state the reasons why he should support the Amendment. His arguments would not have great weight after the conclusive reasoning of his Friend the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli). He believed this tax to be unjust gene-rally—grievously unjust to that portion of the community with which he was more intimately connected. Whatever reasons or motives founded upon expediency and the necessities of the State there might exist for the reimposition of the income and property tax in some form, he believed that in its present shape it was utterly indefensible. How could he—how could any one who, like him, daily witnessed the decay and the ruin of the agricultural classes—vote for the tax as at present constituted. The income tax would add largely to their difficulties. The imposition of that tax was as unjust as it would prove dangerous; and when the classes who were suffer- ing this distress, which every day was involving them in a still deeper ruin—when they contemplated the course which had been pursued by the metropolitan districts, and perceived the success which had attended their endeavours, he felt confident they would pursue a similar course of agitation; and if any class were to be justified in taking such a course, he believed it was the landed interest, after the insults they had received. There was no interest in the nation that had so much reason to complain as the landed interest. Hon. Gentlemen expressed a kind feeling towards the working classes. Her Majesty at the opening of Parliament lamented the distress of agriculturists—the Prime Minister owned it; the Chancellor of the Exchequer asserted it; but the sympathy of the Government began and ended in mere words; their acts betrayed utter indifference to the sufferings of that class, and showed a desire to benefit every other, rather than the interest which most needed assistance. He denounced the tax now proposed as the most unjust, iniquitous, and obnoxious tax that ever existed in this country—a tax which originated under false pretence, and which was continued against the wishes of the people of Great Britain. The right hon. Baronet Sir Robert Peel, who imposed the tax in 1842, declared it was only for a specified period, and in order to rescue the country from the financial difficulties brought on by the tactics of the Whig Government. It was distinctly understood that it was to cease at the end of three years. It had been continued, however, notwithstanding this understanding; but he was glad to see that his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lincoln (Colonel Sibthorp) had an Amendment on the paper, the object of which was to relieve the farmers. Surely nothing could be more unjust than that the farmers, who, it was admitted on all hands, were not merely making no profits, but daily losing their capital, should be obliged to pay their taxes, and in as high a degree, too, as the most prosperous interest in the kingdom. What would the Government say, when his hon. Friend the Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley) brought forward his Motion for the repeal of the malt tax? The farmer was compelled to pay a duty of from 50 to 100 per cent on the article, the produce of our own soil, whilst the foreigners might bring it here without paying a shilling of taxation. Such treatment was most unjust, and not more unjust than it was dangerous. If the Committee would listen to him for a few minutes, he would endeavour to place before it a few facts having reference to the county with which he was connected. In Exeter great distress prevailed, and there was a most sensible falling-off in the retail trade. The retail trade there was almost ruined, for the classes upon whom the shopkeepers depended for customers were themselves in the greatest distress. There were in Exeter the large number of 450 houses unoccupied; and in other towns in Devonshire still greater decay was manifest. In the union of which he was chairman, there were similar indications of distress. Take the small port, Appledore; in 1845 there were engaged there thirty vessels, giving employment to 120 men; in 1850, there were only seventeen vessels, and fifty-one men. In 1845, the wages paid them was 2,032l.; in 1850, 648l In 1845, the number of stone-heavers was 3,088; in 1850, only 1,157. But there was another point to which he wished to call the attention of the Government; it was one of great importance, namely, provident societies. He was sorry to say that the provident societies throughout the country were in the same unfortunate condition. There was in Appledore a mariners' provident society. In 1845, 227 members belonged to it; in 1850, 162. So much for the effects of free trade in Appledore. Hon. Gentlemen had spoken of the great advantages which resulted to the labouring classes from the reduction of the poor-rates. Now, a fallacy existed upon this head, and the sooner it was dispelled the better. It was the fashion of free-traders to calculate upon the prosperity of a district, when it suited their purpose, by the amount of poor-rates. Now this was in many instances a most fallacious test, and the reason was, that in many unions the guardians, not wishing to put the ablebodied destitute in the workhouse, put them on the roads at 1s. a day. Now this fact could be ascertained, not by the poor-rates, but by the highway-rate returns, which rate it would he found was correspondingly heavy in those rural districts where the poor-rate was comparatively small. The return moved for by his noble Friend the Member for Colchester (Lord John Manners), would demonstrate the truth of what he stated. In agricultural unions, where the poor-rate seemed small, it would be found that the cost of the support of adult labourers was not included. In the union of St. Thomas, which was one of the largest in the west of England, where the practice to which he referred had not been adopted, a different result would he seen. In the year 1848, there were in the workhouse 3,912 inmates; in 1849 there were 3,272 inmates; but in 1850 there were 3,485 inmates. There was another important subject to which he begged to call the attention of the House, a point on which the late Sir Robert Peel used to place great stress, namely, the state of savings banks. The savings bank in Devonshire was the largest in the kingdom but one. From 1815 to 1844 there had been a constant increase of the deposits. In 1846 the deposits there amounted to the extraordinary sum of 1,216,399l.; in 1847, 1,123,399l; in 1841, 1,171,770l.; and in 1840 it was only 1,100,000l. The hon. Member for Leominster spoke of the prosperity of the country, because of the number of persons who had 5,000l. and upwards in the funds; but he thought this was but a shortsighted view, and that the country would be much more safe and secure, and its prosperity upon a surer foundation, if the people generally were thriving and comfortable, if the labourers were employed, and the farmers were making fair profits. But what was now the aspect of things in the agricultural districts—farmers and labourers suffering alike, and both flying from the country. The emigration had in a few years increased from 50,000 to 300,000. In thirteen out of eighteen unions in this country, the population, so far from having increased, would be found to have diminished since the last census, in consequence of the tide of emigration. He believed nothing could be more lamentable—nothing which a lover of England ought more to deplore, than the loss of that class of independent yeomanry, and sturdy labourers, which had long been our pride and our strength. And where were they flying to? Why, to Republican America, whose President gave protection to all classes, to the producer as well as to the consumer. He would tell the Government that their policy had caused discontent from one end of the kingdom to the other. He had presented a petition from 1,500 most respectable yeomen, who said it was impossible that they could pay the taxes imposed on them under the present state of things. But the sufferings of the farmer, and of the farm labourer, were treated with contempt—a contempt which, the Government might rest assured, though it might be borne with for a little time, would before long excite a vigorous and a determined opposition. He knew it was of no use addressing the Government upon this subject; but when he spoke in that House he considered he was addressing the country; and he earnestly hoped landlord, tenant, and labourer would unite, and not cease in their endeavours until the Government was compelled to abandon class legislation, and to do equal justice to all portions of the community. He hoped the day was not far distant when the country would be governed by men who would understand and act upon the principle, that no one class ought to be sacrificed to benefit another, and that the real prosperity of the country was when the agricultural prospered with the manufacturing and commercial classes. If the present disastrous course were persevered in, there would be nothing but anarchy and confusion from one end of the kingdom to the other.


thought it would have been wise on the part of Government either to have at once proposed the renewal of the income tax for only one year, or, before the meeting of Parliament, to have had some arrangement by which the schedules should have been placed upon some equitable principle. He knew it was said that it was impossible to arrange those schedules on a principle of justice. He believed it would be very difficult to impose any tax which would carry along with it an equal measure of justice towards all Her Majesty's taxpaying subjects; but he main-tamed that the schedules might be easily arranged so as at least to approximate to justice. He did not say that the Amendments of which he had given notice contained that degree of equality which was to be desired; but he believed that the rates he had put down in his Amendments were such as Sir Robert Peel, had he been living, would have approved of It had frequently been said that both Mr. Pitt and Sir Robert Peel considered it utterly impossible to make any difference between the rates on permanent and temporary incomes. He disputed the truth of this statement. Both of those Ministers saw the inequality and injustice of taxing temporary and permanent incomes at the same rate; but they were placed in circumstances which rendered it impossible for them to impose the tax in any other form than that which they adopted. According to his (Mr. MacGregor's) view, temporary incomes should be charged, not upon their gross sum, but upon the amount of profit which they wore supposed to yield. For example, a gentleman had a professional income of 1,000l. a year. Now, that was exactly the same value as 1,000l. invested on land, or in the funds. But the 1,000l. invested in land or in the funds was at present taxed upon what it yielded in the shape of interest, namely, 30l., whereas the other 1,000l. earned by the professional gentleman was charged upon the whole amount, which was evidently unjust. On articles of consumption a man with an income of 50l. would have to pay at the rate of 10 or 12 per cent on his income, while a man with an income of 300l. would not have to pay more than 6 2–3 per cent. The injustice of such a system of taxation was felt everywhere except where it ought to be felt—in that House. He would therefore advise Her Majesty's Government to adopt the proposition of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose, and propose the income tax for one year only; if they did not they would create an amount of discontent in the country for which they were not prepared.


Every one, Sir, who has spoken to-night, has spoken against the income tax. I so understood the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, though I own I had some difficulty in apprehending his views. The question which the House had to decide was, whether or not they were to continue the present income tax with all its anomalies, with all its injustice, with all its inconsistencies, for one or for three years? The question was, whether they were to pay deference to the convenience of the Government, or to the interests of the people of this country?—whether they were to pay deference to the convenience of hon. Gentlemen opposite, who—and he did not deny their right to do so—had changed their opinion on the subject; or whether they were to pay deference to the public opinion, which demanded that the tax should not be renewed with its present anomalies and injustice, and that the faith of Parliament should be maintained? It was the intention of those hon. Members who supported the tax in former years that it should not be permanent. He had that on the authority of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume). The main arguments which were then used against the imposition of the income tax might be referred to two heads: first, that there was great difficulty in discovering what was the exact amount of each person's income; and, secondly, if it was discovered, in imposing a tax equally and fairly. With regard to the first difficulty, he believed there was no Member of that House who would get up and say that the difficulties during the present year were in the least degree diminished—he believed that they were very greatly increased. If he looked to Schedule D, he found that since 1842 there had been a decrease in the assessment to no less an amount than 8,000,000l. He wanted to know what answer Her Majesty's Government intended to make to this fact, for as yet no attempt had been made to explain the decrease in the assessment on the incomes derived from manufactures and trade. He wanted to know on which of the two horns of the dilemma they intended to place themselves—whether they would maintain that the income derived from trade and manufactures had diminished in amount, or whether they would maintain that fraud and evasion were carried on to an enormous extent? Perhaps his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer would choose to sit on the one horn, and the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown would elect the other, and there might be a sort of political see-saw between them. But they had a right to know the sentiments of Her Majesty's Government on that point. His own opinion was, from all he had heard on the subject, that the income of the traders and manufacturers had materially decreased under free trade, and that in connexion with that decrease they had been forced to adopt a system of concealment, of evasion, and of fraud. But he would pass on to Schedule A. Were the difficulties diminished there? It was generally admitted by Members of this House that there had been a diminution of 20 per cent on the general average of the rental of this kingdom. He believed that the assessment under Schedule A was taken every three years, and that in the present year the existing assessment would expire, and a new one would have to be made. He asked his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Commissioners of the Income Tax intended to make a reduction in the assessment which had taken place in the rental of the land of the kingdom? If they did not, then he would say that for three years more they were about to enforce an assessment upon a diminished rental, which would be grossly unjust. If they did intend to reduce the assessment, then he would ask his right hon. Friend whether he had calculated the difference which this reduction would make in the receipts of the tax? A reduction of 20 per cent on the whole rental of the kingdom, which amounted to 48,000,000l., would be 9,500,000l., and the difference which this would make on the amount of the tax was 500,000l. The next difficulty to which he had referred was how fairly to assess the income after they had ascertained it; and he thought, from all he had heard during the debates on the income tax, that this difficulty had not decreased. An hon. Friend of his had insisted, and with great justice, that it was unfair and unjust to tax the tenant-farmer for profits which he was not making. No one denied that. How did they propose to remedy it? Then he would come to professions. Other hon. Gentlemen said, and with equal justice, that it was unfair that a man with a life interest in a property—a man whose income depended upon his health, and activity, and life—should be taxed in the same manner as a man whose income was derived from land, or from real property. But that was not all. Suppose they exempted those classes, what had they to do with life annuitants—with the owners of ships, which were a kind of property very precarious—with the owners of cotton mills—and so he might range through all the incidents of taxation. But if they made all these remissions, what would become of the tax? He therefore agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that it was impossible these remissions should be made. He was perfectly justified in saying so, not only from the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, but from the opinion of the-Chancellor of the Exchequer whom the right hon. Gentleman succeeded, for that was the opinion of the late Sir Robert Peel, and it was also the opinion of Mr. Pitt. He might also quote another opinion which he thought would have weight with the House, that of Mr. M'Culloch, who stated that an equal income tax was a desideratum which was not destined ever to be supplied, and that after the Legislature had done all it could to make the tax equal, injustice would still remain; and, therefore, nothing remained but either to reject the tax altogether, or to resort to it only on rare occasions. He believed Mr. M'Culloch was right, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was right in this opinion. He believed that the injustice of the tax could not be remedied, and there fore that it ought not to be imposed as a permanent tax. But he would call upon his right hon. Friend, if that was really his opinion, to vote with the hon. Member for Montrose, and to pass the tax only for one year. Much had been said by the hon. Member for Montrose as to the taxes falling upon the labouring classes of the community. He thought the hon. Gentleman was much mistaken in the position he had assumed. He believed that though the income tax did not directly take money out of the pockets of the labouring classes, yet practically it did so, for it was a tax upon the fund out of which the labourer's wages was paid. His belief was that, practically, a great injury was thus done to the labouring classes; and he believed, moreover, that indirect taxation was infinitely less felt by the classes who paid than direct taxation. On this subject he might again quote Mr. M'Culloch, because he would be generally admitted to have thought very deeply upon this question, and to have written upon it with great impartiality and fairness. Mr. M'Culloch's opinion was that, in the discussion of this question, Sir Robert Peel had greatly overrated the inconveniences arising from duties on expenditure; that though, in one sense, they were unequal, yet, in a higher sense, they were neither unfair nor unjust. They did not fall upon all individuals, but only upon those who indulged in the taxed article, and to the extent in which they did indulge in them, so that, in most cases, it was people's own fault if they were overtaxed. It was very different with a tax upon income, which is imposed on all individuals subject to its operation, however different the sources are from which their incomes are derived, and the consequence is, that it falls with disproportionate severity on those who are possessed of perishable income; and yet this hardship cannot be avoided without the entire abandonment of the tax. Though we admit the inequality, and perhaps oven the injustice of taxes on expenditure, yet the worst of them is less objectionable than the most carefully devised income tax that can be imposed. I believe these views of Mr. M'Culloch to be the result of deep thought, and to be based on truth and good sense. One great proof that the system which the Legislature has lately been pursuing of transferring taxation from indirect taxation to direct taxation, has not been beneficial, may be gathered from the tenor of the speech delivered by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer sometime ago. My right hon. Friend, addressing the hon. Gentlemen behind him, said, and I think with great justice— It is not for you, the supporters of the commercial policy which I have adopted, to taunt me with the difficulty which you feel now so much more than formerly in paying taxation. I think my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a good right to quarrel with them; but then he turned round, and, alluding to something which I had previously said (I was not in the House at the time, for I was ill in the country), stated that the agriculturists were some 60,000,000l. out of pocket. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) had stated before that the sum was 100,000,000l.; but my hon. Friend said, "It is quite evident that the country—the community—is to that amount a gainer." If my right hon. Friend meant to say that the rest of the community was by 60,000,000l. better off, and the agricultural portion of the community to that extent worse off, then I am quite confident that he will at once bring forward and prepare a measure of relief for that interest, which will quite eclipse the measure of relief proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli). We shall then hear nothing more of agricultural distress or of financial reform. My right hon. Friend, I think, did believe that the country was, by 60,000,000l. better off. Now it would be just as wise to transfer money from the pockets of hon. Members on one side of the House to the pockets of hon. Members on the other side of the House, and then to say, because the same amount of money would still be in the House, that the whole House was as well off as it was before. The argument is, in fact, just the other way. Of the 60,000,000l., whatever portion now went to buy foreign corn, but which previously had gone to buy English corn, and which was not paid for by our manufacturers—whatever surplus there was beyond these two sums actually went out-of this country, and to that extent the country was poorer. I think I have shown that indirect taxation is certainly much more tolerable than direct taxation; and I believe and hope that the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) will pay attention to the observation made by the hon. Member for Montrose, who said that he was in favour of direct taxation, because, if such a system were established, the Government would then find it difficult to raise the amount of taxation requisite to keep up our present colonial and military establishments. The noble Lord, the other night, in a speech which I did not hoar, but which I have read with much pleasure, said that he was sometimes disheartened with the speeches made in and out of the House with respect to our colonies—that it seemed as if we were only to consider how we would best destroy and pull down that great colonial empire which, with so much pains and trouble, and at so great an expense, we had built up. I ask the noble Lord to pay attention to the speech of the hon. Member for Montrose; for he may rely upon it that if we determine to destroy the tree from which the fruit is to be gathered, this country must rapidly and surely sink in the scale of nations. The issue which the Committee has now to decide is, whether we ought to continue this income tax for one year or for three years, with all its anomalies, with all its injustice, with all its vexatious interferences; and, believing, with Mr. M'Culloch, that the worst tax on expenditure is better than the most carefully adjusted income tax, I shall certainly give my cordial vote for the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose.


Mr. Bernal, it will be recollected by the Committee that I took the opportunity of publicly asking the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) to bring forward this Motion, in such a manner as would enable the House to come to a decision on the question which he really feels to be at issue in this discussion. I requested my hon. Friend not only in public, but also in private, to take this course; and I think that the proceedings of this evening must have convinced him that it would have been better for his own cause if he had followed the course which I suggested. The hon. Member has stated the inequality and the injustice of the present income tax, and he has stated his case with remarkable talent and clearness. I think he will carry with him in almost every word he said a vast amount of the public opinion of this country—I mean as to the inequality of the income tax, and the necessity of remodelling it so as to impose a smaller amount of charge upon precarious incomes than upon those who have fixed and permanent property. The question is exciting a great interest in the country—the fact that on a large portion of the community, consisting of the professional and trading class, great injustice is done by the manner in which the tax is levied. My hon. Friend pleaded the cause of these persons, and I know he sincerely wishes that there should be such a modification of the income tax as that it should give satisfaction to all those classes, and so enable us to maintain the tax as a permanent one. If my hon. Friend had brought forward his Motion in this form—that it is expedient in reviewing the income tax to make a smaller charge upon persons with precarious incomes than upon persons in possession of real and permanent property, then I think we should have had a division in this House which would have fairly brought to issue the question which my hon. Friend wishes to raise. That is the Motion which I still think ought to be made; and I consulted you, Sir, if it could be made; but I find from you that it cannot be brought forward now; but certainly that is the question which my hon. Friend wishes to have put. Now everybody knows that if the question had been submitted in this form to the House, there would have been a majority of two to one against it. Why, the hon. Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Horsman) brought forward that identical resolution in 1848, and, in a tolerably large House, he was beaten by a majority of two to one. And is it more likely that we should now get from those hon. Gentlemen opposite, who represent real property, a concession to the trading and professional classes, when we had so recently a division in the House on the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) where we had only a majority of thirteen against the transfer of a portion of the burdens on real property to the shoulders of the industrious and trading classes. ["No, no!"] Why, the vote meant that, or it meant nothing. It was either that or a sham. But I may be asked, then, if I knew that such would be the result of a division, where is the advantage of bringing forward the Motion? Every advantage. I am not, whatever the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire may be, I am not for cushioning a question, and avoiding discussion, when I know that right and I justice are on my side, merely because I; may happen to be in a minority. I want to j see the minority, and still more I want to see the majority—only give me a question with right on my side. [Ironical cheers.] Yes; but you profess to have right on your side, and yet you dare not trust yourselves with a discussion. I hear you talk a great deal about justice, but you avoid a discussion. I want a discussion, and I want a division upon the merits of this question pure and simple. Then let that division go forth to the country, and leave it to them to remedy what they conceive to be injustice. How has my hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) arranged his Motion? He proposes to limit the income tax for one year. I should not he surprised if 150 Members of the other side of the House should vote with him on this question. But will they tell me, or will they toll the country, that they give this vote because they wish to remodel the income tax, and to remodel it so as to relieve the professional and trading classes—and in the trading classes of course I include the farmers? [Ironical cheers,] Yes, yes. I will show you the difference between the farmers and their landlords before the Session is over. But that is not the question now. I say to my hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) does he expect that the 150 Members who may vote with him from the other side of the House are in favour of his Motion to limit the income tax for one year, because they think that the tax should be remodelled in the sense in which he wishes it to be? If he were under a delusion on this subject before, it must have been dispelled by the speeches from the other side of the House to-night. The noble Marquess (the Marquess of Granby) spoke frankly and plainly against the principle of direct taxation. My hon. Friend and the noble Marquess are at the antipodes of finance, and if they go into the same lobby together it must be to accomplish no common end—it can only be to separate afterwards still wider than before. Even success would only increase the hon. Member's antagonism to those who have helped him to his majority. The hon. Member for Devonshire (Mr. Buck) tells us of agricultural distress, and of the necessity that exists to relieve the agriculturists from taxation, and he wants to get rid of the income tax that he may relieve the agriculturists. How relieve them? The worthy Alderman, the Member for Westmoreland (Mr. Aid. Thompson), who spoke amidst the cheers of his own side of the House—he let out the secret how it is proposed to relieve the agriculturists. He tells us to take off the income tax, and if there should be a deficiency, to put taxes upon imports. [Cheers.] Yes, hon. Gentlemen cheer that—they frankly cheered it; and I would ask my hon. Friends the free-traders on this side of the House to listen to that cheer. You propose to take off the income tax, and to impose customs duties. I suppose that the 400 Customs duties which were abolished by the late Sir Robert Peel, to his immortal honour, are to be re-established, including a moderate fixed duty on corn. To this extent, then, of 5,000,000l. or 6,000,000l., you call upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer to relieve the country. But this will be a relief to the agriculturists. At whose expense? Who would pay the new import duties? Why, the mass of the people who consume the articles. My hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) has already told us that 20,000,000l. are already paid for import duties. Have those hon. Gentlemen who talk of the pressure of taxation upon real property, and who are constantly telling us that the taxes press heavily upon the landowners and upon real property, have they ever had the curiosity to compare the amount of Customs duties paid by this country with the amount paid by other countries in Europe? Above 40 per cent of the whole revenue of this country is derived from Customs duties; while only 10 per cent is derived from the same source in France, 8 per cent in Spain, and in Austria and Russia about the same proportion. So that you already pay more than three times as much to the revenue from Customs duties as is paid in other countries; and, not satisfied with that, you want to throw more burdens of the same kind upon the mass of the industrious population. And, besides the Customs, there were the Excise duties which came under the same category; so that 33,000,000l. or 34,000,000l. out of the 50,000,000l. of taxation of this country wore paid by the great mass of the people who consumed those necessary articles of subsistence. Those who advocate indirect taxation, and who strive to increase its amount, are aiming—whether they know it or not—to increase the burdens which are borne by the great mass of the community, and to relieve those who are best able to hear it, For if you want to levy a tax which is most likely to be oppressive to the labouring people, lay it on articles of consumption, because nothing tends to bring men so much to an equality as taxes on consumption. In no respect is the labouring man so much on an equality with the wealthy man as in respect to what he consumes of Excise and Customs duties paying articles. The labouring man swal- lowing his beer is in the same position as regards taxation as the wealthy man drinking his claret. But do hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House pretend that the circumstances of the two are on a level? Certainly not; what my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose alleges, and what I also allege, as the strongest objection to indirect taxes is, that whilst you mulct the labouring man of a larger share of his earning than could have been extracted from him by any other process, you at the same time put obstacles in his way, and effectually retard his progress in doing that which would the better enable him in the end to pay the heaviest amount of taxes. This is no longer any mystery. All this is very well known to the people of this country. Whatever contradictory opinions may be held by hon. Gentlemen opposite in reference to direct taxation on the minds of the great mass of the people, no doubt exists but that every attempt to increase the Customs duties is an attempt to extract more than their fair share from the poorest portion of the community. Let my hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) bear in mind that he is not on this occasion enlisting on his side those who are in favour of reducing expenditure, but that he is enlisting on his side those who want to violate the principle on which he admits the taxes of this country ought to be raised. But if I found that the cross vote which is to come from the other side of the House was in favour of a real bonâ fide reduction of expenditure, they should have my vote. If I saw that they were enlisted in opposition to a tax of an obnoxious kind, which tax if repealed would lead to a reduction of expenditure, I would join my vote against such a tax, supposing it to be one which in my view was opposed to sound principle. But if you ask me to join in abolishing a tax which is sound in its character, though faulty in its details, I cannot join in that, because, even though the abolition of that tax would lead to the reduction of expenditure, I tell you honestly that there are other taxes which I would take off before the income tax. I tell you candidly there are 15,000,000l. raised from the Customs and Excise duties, the abolition of which I would prefer to the abolition of the income tax, if I could get such a reduction in the expenditure as would enable me to make this reduction in taxation. Therefore on every ground I must decline to join my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose in his Amendment on this question. If my hon. Friend or Gentlemen opposite will tell mo bow we shall advance one step towards the object we have in view—the remodelling and putting the income tax upon a more equitable basis, by joining with 150 Gentlemen opposite who want to get rid of the tax altogether, and to substitute for it Custom-house duties, including a duty upon the importation of corn—then I will join with him, if he or they can show mo how it is to be done. But I do not admit that this tax is to remain permanent in its present form. I am opposed to the income tax in its present form, and I feel certain that the country will have the power at some time to remove its inequalities. [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but I do look forward to changes which shall give the great body of the people more power in this House than they now possess, and I do not think the present system of income tax will be allowed to continue. Have hon. Gentlemen opposite investigated the mode of levying the property tax in the United States of America? In predicting the result of the freer representation of the people of this House, you must allow me to instance the State of Massachusetts, the whole expenditure of which is defrayed by a property tax. But they do not go to the professional man—to the doctor, who wears out his brain with midnight watching for his fee, and tax his 500l. a year in the same ratio as the income from a landed estate of 15,000l. They tax property wherever it is found; they assess it upon capital; they do not assess income at all; they tax capital, and every man is thereby assessed according to the value of his property, In my opinion that is a great deal fairer system than a system which assesses professional income, and levies the same amount of duty upon it as upon realised property or a landed estate, which upon the death of the owner can be left unimpaired and as productive as when he received it from his predecessor. I am prepared to advocate a revision of this tax, in order to put the professional and industrial classes upon a fairer footing; but I will not do anything which can endanger the principles for the establishment of which it was imposed, or which may give a chance of releasing real property from the 2,000,000l. or 3,000,000l. which it now contributes to the property tax. I cannot afford to part with a farthing of that sum. Upon these grounds I shall oppose the Motion of my hon. Friend (Mr. Hume); and I ask every one of my friends who does not wish to endanger those principles, established when the income tax was levied, to join me in resisting the transparent attempt on the other side to undo the system which, whatever may be the complaints of individuals or of parties, no one can deny has been eminently advantageous to the greatmasses of the community.


inferred, from the turn which the debate had taken, that the issue lay between the property tax in its present form versus no property tax at all. As far as he could judge from the opinions expressed on both sides of the House, they were agreed on two things: first, that the present income tax was unjust, inquisitorial, and exceedingly oppressive; and, secondly, that, with all those objections, the state of the finances rendered it impossible to do without that tax for the present year. But, obnoxious as the tax was, and necessary as it was for one year, could the Government do without it for the two years succeeding? And here he was led to inquire, would the Government lose anything by limiting the period to one year? The Government would certainly lose two-thirds of the odium, and gain an amount of popularity out of doors, which he was quite sure would be in present circumstances of very great service to them. If there should be a change of Administration, the whole odium of imposing the tax for three years would rest with the present Government, for how could another Administration make any alteration, when a certain number of persons, having compounded, would have already paid the tax for three years? Supposing the present Government should remain in office for three years longer, would it not be equally easy, if requisite next year, to continue the tax? Why not, as was suggested, in the meantime consider some plan for removing the injustice and oppression of which there was just cause to complain? He felt that hon. Members who were generally supporters of the present Government were placed on the present occasion in a most unpleasant predicament. If they vote in favour of a reimposition of the tax for three years, and against its being limited to one year, they dare not look their friends out of doors in the face; and they must either do that or vote against the Government at a time when he believed every one on that side of the House, if not on the other, considered it exceedingly improper to place the Government in an embarrassing position by putting them in a minority and endangering their tenure of office. He therefore asked the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) whether that was a fair position for his friends to be in—under the necessity of either voting against the Government, or against a question which out of doors was considered of extreme importance. Upon this ground, he felt he could not vote upon the subject without addressing a few words in explanation, and if he should support the Government, it was only because he saw it was being made a party question.


Mr. Bernal, I have listened with much emotion to the touching statement of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, but I must confess that I am not influenced by the same feelings. I do not feel the same necessity of relieving Government at the expense of my own convictions; and if I come to the same conclusion as the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bell), I entirely dissent from its being in any way affected by the state of parties in this House. I listened with great attention to the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cobden); and if this is a night of cross voting, still more is it a night of cross reasoning. The Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) is one which, under certain circumstances, has great attractions for me; but unfortunately he has broken through the rule given to some inexperienced persons performing judicial functions—besides giving the judgment, he has given the reasons for the judgment, and I think the reasons a sound argument against the conclusions to which he comes. I cannot accept his proposal, and vote for it upon grounds perfectly distinct from his, because I am altogether opposed to the principle he and the hon. Member for the West Riding advocate—so to modify the income tax as to constitute it a permanent source of revenue. I cannot forget the grounds on which it was first imposed. It was imposed distinctly as a temporary tax, for the purpose of effecting certain changes in the fiscal system of the country, and to cover the deficiency which in the course of that purpose would certainly be incurred. That was in 1842. We wore induced to continue the income tax to carry out the same policy in 1845; and in 1848, on grounds perfectly distinct, but equally of a temporary nature—the visitation of the famine in Ireland. In 1842, in 1845, and in 1848, therefore, the income tax was proposed as a temporary remedy, to meet difficulties which we had not otherwise the means to encounter. The instinctive feeling in the country is, that the income tax is a tax only to be resorted to in times of pressure. The expression constantly urged that it is a war tax, would otherwise be senseless. What is the meaning of the income tax being a war tax, unless it be that it is a tax to which we are only to have recourse to meet deficiency from causes not likely to be continuous? Now, at the present time I think it a perfectly fair and just proposal, to continue the income tax; but then I have to consider the difficulties which arise in dealing with the question, with regard to the proposals of the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer. If I had only the attraction of the right hon. Gentleman's budget, I do not think that would, per se, induce me to vote for a continuance of the income tax. I regret that the budget does not deal more extensively with taxes which are, in their nature, elastic—taxes which, when you reduce them, recover the amount in a certain number of years, and which would ultimately enable us to get rid of the income tax. I regret that the right hon. Gentleman did not apply more of the surplus to the reduction of such elastic taxes. We have malt, which is an elastic tax; we have soap, which is an elastic tax; we have tea, which is an elastic tax; none of those are touched by the present budget. I wish and I hope to see them touched, but unless the income tax be granted it is impossible they can be touched; the Government, however, has chosen to prefer the loss of a large sum in the mutation of one species of direct taxation to another species of direct taxation—the assessing a tax upon houses, not according to the number of windows, but according to the annual value. There may be sanitary reasons rendering such a course necessary, though I think them exaggerated; but I ascribe the adoption of that course mainly to the great pressure from town constituencies to which the Government were exposed. The House, however, having concurred in it, it is too late for me to complain. But I may be asked whether any other budget has been offered more acceptable to me and to the views which I hold. I confess that there has not. As to the relief of burdens, though I do not agree with all the statements of the hon. Member for the West Riding, I think the relief to be obtained by the transfer of local burdens very much exaggerated, and not nearly so sensibly to be felt as people suppose. The relief to be got by the transfer of local burdens is, I think, much exaggerated by some hon. Members near me; but still where local payment was not required as a check upon extravagant expenditure, I do not know that there is any sound reason for not transferring them, when changes in regard to particular interests seemed to call for the transfer. It may be prudent, it may be politic, all that I feel; but the difficulty is this: that relief from local burdens is claimed, and claimed perhaps with justice, as compensation for the loss of protective duties, which I maintain were unjust duties—but still duties by a long course of legislation imposed by this House. I say, if that be the case, it may be politic to effect such a transfer, provided always that there be no attempt to regain protection, for which it is admitted to be compensation. They cannot in fairness ask for a remodelling of burdens for the loss of protection, and in the same breath say, "We will have back protection again." That is entirely out of the question; and it is that which destroyed, as I think, the ground on which the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) based his proposal. It appears to me that my hon. Friends below me have taken an unwise course in that respect. Two lines of policy have been before them—one by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, and another by an extraneous authority. I cannot conceive how they could have hesitated between the first, which in many respects is a policy of wisdom, and the second which, is a policy based upon a thorough non-appreciation of the spirit of the country, of the course of public events, and of the practicability of carrying it to any beneficial result. We have then two budgets, to neither of which can I give my cordial assent. It would be absurd in mo to vote for the proposition of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume), the only effect of which will be to put a stop to all financial arrangements to which the House has given its assent. I do not think it possible to carry out any of the alterations proposed by the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer, if we are to have only one year's income tax in hand. The repeal of the window tax, of the coffee and of the timber duties must be given up, and there will be a fresh scramble for that surplus which exists, and will exist, up to quarter-day next year, but for which afterwards we shall have no permanent security. I have stated the reasons why it appeared to me that the income tax was, by a sort of tacit agreement, introduced as a temporary and not as a permanent tax. I think there are many reasons besides which imply that understanding. I do not for one moment contend that the income tax is not an unequal tax; but this I maintain, that its inequalities are not so great as those of many other taxes; but they are by far the most visible. That is a most important element in the question. Take any indirect taxation upon the necessaries of life (which is not like assessed taxes on luxuries or comforts, the incurring which is optional) you will find that, though unfelt, it docs press most severely; and if you could take out the whole, the sum paid by a working man of that indirect taxation, as compared with the means at his disposal, the inequality and injustice will be far greater than can be shown between professional incomes and landed incomes, or any injustice involved in any of the schedules of the income tax. The merit of indirect taxation is, that it is insensible—a taxation not perceived by those paying it; and therefore it is important, in considering the injustice of the income tax, to remember, not that it is more unjust, but that it is more visible. Another and a paramount objection to the income tax is, that it engenders an immense amount of fraud, and success leads to further experiments, until it reaches an ingenuity of evasion which defies any of the scrutinies which fiscal provisions can impose. As to the new manner in which the income tax is to be dealt with, after the great changes which shall give the great body of the people more representation in this House, I entirely dissent from the hon. Member for the West Biding, because I think it very possible that a Parliament constituted exclusively of those who pay no income tax at all, may be of opinion that the income tax can be raised much higher. According to a great Whig authority, the natural limits of an income tax is 10 per cent; but they might trans-gross even that. I do not know whether the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer contemplates the permanent existence of this tax; but I do not think the temper of the country is willing to submit to it as a permanent tax. I honestly confess, however, that I believe the fiscal arrangements, in which so much relief is still to be given, are worth the weight and pressure of the income tax, which must be borne until those changes have taken place. With respect to the two items on which the duties are to be reduced, those of coffee and timber, I do not speak for myself, but I pronounce the language of men conversant with the subject, who speak with great confidence of the recovery of the whole amount of duty after a short period. Success in such cases has been so invariable that the alteration can be no longer called an experiment; and that success warrants changes to a still greater extent to the relief, not only of the industrious classes, as they are sometimes exclusively called, but of all classes. For that purpose I think the income tax is bearable, but I do not think any modifications can be made. Recollect modifications have been tried by the most eminent financiers of the country, by experienced men who were most anxious to effect them, if possible. Mr. Pitt and the late Sir Robert Peel, greatly versed as they were in these matters, and keenly alive to the fiscal injustice, if feasible, would have attempted it. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has, I know, applied his mind to see whether these inequalities cannot be overcome; and, so far as fiscal authority goes, there seems very little hope of dealing with the question so as to embrace an arrangement satisfactory to one class without giving additional discontent to the other. Take the income tax, then, as it stands, at all events for a short period. [Cheers from the Protectionists.] I understand the period that cheer means to suggest—it means, take it for one year. But we must look a little ahead. Are you prepared in 1852 to forego 5,000,000l. of revenue? The hon. Member for Westmoreland (Mr. Alderman Thompson) says he has a recipe for that, and he would make it up by a duty on the import of grain. ["No, no!"] I thought the whole merit of the duty on imports was to get rid of the income tax. If the imports cannot relieve this tax, by what process can it be done? But we are told it is not protective but countervailing duties which they seek. That is a distinction which I am not ashamed to confess I do not understand. It is a very fine distinction, and it appears to me calling the same thing by a new name, and nothing else. I apprehend the intention is by checking importations to make the price of grain higher. ["No, no!"] If you do not do that, what on earth is the use of a protective duty? I was told the other day by a practical agricultural authority that he himself was not very favourable, as a Protectionist, to a 5s. duty on grain. I asked why? He said he did not think it would affect the farmer. I asked a further explanation, and be said, "It would not raise the price to the whole extent of the duty"—that I think is true—"and, therefore, would not make any material difference to the farmer; but if he went to his landlord for a reduction of rent, his landlord would say, 'My good fellow, you have got protection.'" [Cries of "Name, name!" from the Opposition.] I thought that was a very sound argument, and though I shall not name the person, if any Gentleman only asks his own good sense whether that might not be the result, the answer will be pretty much in accordance with that made to me. But you (the Protectionists) say the importation is to be checked without raising the price. That is sheer absurdity: 4,000,000 quarters of grain were last year imported, which, according to you, could not have been wanted, because, if wanted, of course you (the Protectionists) would not wish to check importation. It cannot be said we can increase our growth to that extent between this and next year, even though our growing power ultimately increase by improved cultivation. I mention these things, in passing, to show that the proposal of a 5s. duty on corn is untenable. I have given my reasons why I am not able to vote with the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Hume), because it would not have the effect of producing a better Budget, though I think a better Budget might easily have been made; and there being no prospect of obtaining that which I desire this year, I look forward to other years, and, feeling the necessity to retain the income tax for a further period, in order to carry out further improvements in our fiscal system, I shall vote against the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose.


said, he had been a great deal astonished at the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Wiltshire (Mr. S. Herbert), because when the right hon. Gentleman commenced he believed he intended to vote for the proposition of the hon. Member for Montrose; but the conclusion of his speech Went to show that, however he might advocate a short imposition of this tax, still, for the sake of he knew not what Budget, from some imaginary Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was perfectly willing to continue it for three years longer. He always heard the right hon. Gentleman with pleasure, for there was frankness in his communications; but what bad his speech on that occasion come to? A perfect wandering away from the subject; a reference to a return to import duties and a fixed duty on corn; and then a statement that this tax was brought forward, not for the sake of making up a deficit, but to reduce the import duties; and that it was reimposed, three years afterwards, for the same purpose. But he would recall to the recollection of hon. Members then in the House, whether the tax was not proposed to supply a deficit of 2,500,000l., and which deficit had been accumulating, year after year, until it, in eight years, amounted to 12,000,000l.; and though first brought forward to face that difficulty, it was subsequently used to effect a perfect reversal of that system of taxation which the late Sir Robert Peel had previously proposed. But, taking the proposal as it stood, what said the hon. Member for the West Biding (Mr. Cobden). He seemed to be, as the Americans said, in a "fix." He knew that the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) had brought forward his proposition in such a manner that if he did not vote for it his constituents would not be pleased—for what was the proposition? It was this: Should they have this tax, admitted on all sides to be in some respects unjust and unequal, with a surplus income of 2,500,000l., replaced on the community for three years or for one year only? The terms of the proposition of the hon. Member for Montrose showed the injustice of the tax. He asked them to vote for it for one year only, and then, if circumstances required its continuance, to say how hereafter it should be levied. He could not conceive a proposition, considering the feeling out of doors as to this tax, more unobjectionable. But the hon. Member for the West Riding appeared totally to forget one class of the people; he looked only to the professional and trading classes. Certainly in the middle of his speech he said he conceived tenant-farmers came under the class of the trading community, and that hereafter he should bring forward some proposal to show that; but otherwise the whole of the hon. Member's arguments went to show that the professional and trading communities were alone interested in this tax, and that tenant-farmers were in the category in which they were always placed by the hon. Member as not worthy of notice, though he (Mr. Miles) thought, from what had lately occurred, the hon. Member would see, in unmistakeable terms, that they would have justice done to them. He had unanswerable evidence of the pressure of this tax. A gentleman whom he knew in the county of Devon had had large quantities of land, for which he formerly got ten shillings an acre, thrown on his hands in consequence of the recent measures of the Legislature; but notwithstanding these losses, he could get no reduction of his income tax. For the tenant-farmers and the landlords of England, then, he asked them to do that justice which they ought to do when 5,000,000l. of taxation, raised by an income tax, was not required for the next year, and to take it for one year only. They might then see what their financial state was at the end of the year, and let the majority of the House then decide whether or not direct taxation was the proper method of carrying on the finances of the country. One word as to the distress of the agriculturists. Let not the House blindly urge anything against that class, but lot them look calmly and dispassionately at the privations it had suffered. From the Speech from the Throne they understood that landlords and tenants were the only part of the community that was suffering, but not one atom of relief had been given to them during the present Session, notwithstanding that acknowledged distress. Let the House then do the agriculturists the justice of saying that this tax, which was a burden to them, should last for one year only, instead of reimposing it, as the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer asked them to do, for three years more.


said, he certainly felt some difficulty when the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) sat down, to know what course he should take—whether he was to agree with the speech, or with the Motion with which the hon. Gentleman concluded, because it appeared to him that the one had very little to do with the other; and he placed him and the Committee in considerable difficulty as to whether he had to deal with the question of modifying the income tax, or that of renewing it only for one year. He confessed he was not in a much better situation in dealing with the various other speeches which had been made, because, although the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Somersetshire (Mr. W. Miles) complained of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wiltshire (Mr. S. Herbert), he confessed it seemed to him, that the right hon. Gentleman opposite was one of the few persons who really did address himself to the question before the Committee, and did give reasons which satisfied him, though they might not satisfy hon. Gentlemen opposite, why the tax should be continued for a period beyond one year. The worthy Alderman opposite (Mr. Alderman Thompson) and the noble Member for Stamford (the Marquess of Granby) declared that their object was to get rid of the income tax altogether, and to impose taxes upon foreign produce. He did not think they wandered more from the subject than the hon. Member for North Devonshire (Mr. Buck), who talked of nothing but restoring protection to farmers. That might be a proper subject to discuss at a fitting season, but not in a debate like the present. His hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) declared that the income tax should be made permanent, but he thought it desirable that it should be modified. What was the course which his hon. Friend would take to effect these objects? He wished that the tax should be modified; but that portion of his proposition he did not even submit to the consideration of the Committee. His great object, however—the one which he thought most important—was, that, whether the tax was modified or not, it should be made a permanent tax; and the course he took in order to attain that object was to propose it for the very shortest period. Why, if his hon. Friend succeeded in getting a majority to-night, he would not get one step nearer towards the modification of the tax, and he might go a considerable way towards making it a temporary tax. He would not advance his own object a single step; but he might advance the object of those from whom he differed more widely than he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) did, though he had never advocated the permanency of the tax. If the hon. Gentleman had taken the same course that was taken by the hon. Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Horsman) in 1848, and proposed a modification of the tax, and taken the sense of the Committee upon that, he might have had the subject fairly discussed; and he might have attained his object, and, at any rate, his Motion would have been consistent with his views. But the course he took was furthering the views of those who differed from him as widely as possible. There was nothing new in any of the proposals. There was no information that was required upon the subject. The objections which the hon. Gentleman had taken to-night were perfectly well known and stated in 1842, in 1845, and in 1848. The identical proposition which the hon. Gentleman made to-night was made and negatived in 1848 and on previous occasions. He did not know where he got the notion which was referred to by the hon. Member for Pcnrhyn (Mr. Mowatt) that he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) was in favour of a modification of the tax; because he stated, as distinctly as words would enable him, in 1842, that he thought no modification of the tax was possible; and he repeated that on subsequent occasions. The hon. Member for Penrhyn, and the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. MacGregor), said the late Sir Robert Peel would have modified it. Now he would say that he attached great importance to the opinions of a person who, like Sir Robert Peel, had given great attention to questions of this kind. What did Sir Robert Peel say in 1848, when he was in no way hampered by being in office—when he had none of these difficulties upon him, which office entailed—and when he had had the experience of six years to enable him to come to a deliberate opinion? Sir Robert Peel then said— I must say, after having given the subject repeated consideration, I think the tax ought to be on income, and that there should be no distinction made in the amount of the tax on account of the different sources from which the incomes are derived. I never would consent to relieve from the tax, incomes derived from trade and from professions, for the purpose of making an invidious, and, as I think, an unjust, distinction, by levying such a tax upon funded or what is called realised property. I think an effort ought to be made to meet the annual demand of the country by the annual exertion of the country, inasmuch as the annual income of the country depends upon that exertion. Why, that is really the principle upon which all your taxes are founded—all those taxes for which this income tax is a substitute. Surely, all the taxes which have been repealed fall equally heavy upon the professional man as upon the man of realised property. You make no distinction as to those who pay taxes on articles of luxury or who pay the assessed taxes, whether they be professional men or possess realised property. By repealing the taxes on articles of luxury, you benefit all parties equally, and therefore it seems to me that the onus of the tax which you substitute for those you have repealed, ought to be borne equally by all, whatever may be the source of their income. If you were to attempt to make the distinction such as the hon. Member for Cockermouth has suggested, it would be fallacious, and the same difficulties which are now pointed out in respect to the incomes of professional men and men of real property would occur. No principle can, in my opinion, be devised which would be more just, or, I would rather say, would be more free from objection, than that which you are desirous of seeing removed. It was upon that principle that I proposed the imposition of the income tax in 1842, and its renewal in 1845; and subsequent consideration has confirmed me in the opinion that any attempt to impose a greater annual burden upon income derived from realised property would, apart from the objection that the public faith is pledged to the contrary in the case of the funds, lead to consequences which I am not prepared to contemplate, and which I should dread to see accomplished." [3 Hansard, xcvii. 290.] He thought it was impossible, after reading that speech, to say it could have been Sir Robert Peel's view to modify that tax. The hon. Members for Montrose and for Glasgow wished not to make a mere trifling modification of this tax. They were prepared to deal with great principles, which they ought to bring before the House, and not, as was proposed, before a Select Committee. They proposed to do away with, or reduce the duty on malt, hops, paper, &c., and raise the amount of 7,000,000l., which was now produced by indirect taxation, by direct taxation upon capital. Would the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hume) come down to the House and at once propose a Resolution to the effect that 10,000,000l. or 15,000,000l. of those taxes be repealed, and that a direct tax upon capitalised property be levied to make up the deficiency? That, with the views which the hon. Gentleman entertained, would be obviously the proper course to adopt; and if the hon. Gentleman succeeded in carrying that measure, then let him get a Committee to consider the details of the mode in which it should be carried out. The hon. Member for Penrhyn said his object was to impose twice the rate upon realised property that he would upon income. But surely that was not a point to be decided on in a Select Committee. It must be decided on by the vote of the whole House, and in that very Committee in which they were now considering the subject, if the hon. Gentleman felt disposed to appeal to it for a decision; but let him not ride off upon questions which did not bear upon the matter. Let him not suppose; that he was advancing the cause of direct taxation by restricting the continuance of what they had already got; nor talk of matters of detail when introducing such great changes as he proposed. The hon. Member for Montrose had avowed that his object was to make the property tax a perpetual burden upon this country. He wondered that, with this object in view, the hon. Member himself did not prefer to take the tax for three years rather than for one, as a nearer approach to his principle. For his own part, he differed from his hon. Friend on that point; he had never proposed the tax as a permanent impost, but always, to borrow an expressive phrase from the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) as a tax under cover of which certain further changes in our financial arrangements might be effected. He would ask whether any Chancellor of the Exchequer would be prepared to propose changes in the fiscal system with so large an amount as upwards of 5,000,000l. dependent upon an annual vote? Hon. Gentlemen who wished to see those changes made in the income tax, talked of alterations and reductions of another kind. Take the case of tea, for instance. He remembered that Lord George Bentinck, to whom hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House used to look up as a high authority, thought it would be most beneficial that the duty on tea should be repealed. But he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would ask, could they deal with the tea duties and the income tax in one year? He held it to be a dangerous thing that so large an amount of taxation as upwards of 5,000,000l. should be dependent upon an annual vote. No man, looking at what had happened within the last three or four years, could say what the state of the country or of Europe might be in six or eight months hence. And at the beginning of another Session it would be hard that the discussion of this question should be inevitably forced upon Parliament under whatever circumstances the country might be placed at the time. It had been suggested that the Government merely wanted to keep up the tax for three years, in order to suit their own convenience. Were they capable of being actuated by such mean, petty motives, the course proposed by his hon. Friend would probably have better answered this purpose. There was but little certainty at present in the tenure of office, and, had he only considered his own convenience, it would have been an easier course for him to have proposed the renewal of the tax for one year only, taking the chance of the task of its renewal next year devolving upon some other person. But he did not think that such a course would have been right or honourable. So far as depended upon him, he would place no man in a worse position than that in which he wished to stand himself. He would simply say, therefore, in reply to such an insinuation, that, in the first place, his object was to effect a public good; and, in the second, that if official changes should take place, no successor of his might be put in a worse position in regard to this question than he himself occupied. It would be just as competent for himself or anybody else to propose a modification of the tax next year, whether it was renewed for three years or not. You could reduce a permanent tax in any year, so of course you might reduce one which was imposed for three years. But by proposing it for a more extended period, it did not render it imperative that it should be dealt with next year under whatever circumstances the country might be placed at the time. It was not advantageous for the country that there should be a financial crisis every year. It would be a most unfortunate thing, and exceedingly dangerous to its best interests. Let the Committee, therefore, decide as it would between direct or indirect taxation, he would not be a party to place this country in so fearful a situation as, under all circumstances, we would be, with a deficit of 5,000,000l., and at the same time having to deal with one of the most difficult questions which could come before the Committee. Hon. Gentlemen, like the Member for Montrose, might pursue a policy which to him seemed utterly suicidal, considering the views which they entertained upon the subject. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might be led away by what they thought would be for their own interest into the shortsighted policy of putting 5,000,000l. into jeopardy annually; but he hoped the majority of the Committee would concur in the rejection of this Motion, which, if carried, would put 5,000,000l. of annual revenue in jeopardy, and would endanger that prosperity upon which the credit and power of this country depends.


The question, Sir, before the Committee is whether the property tax should be renewed for a period of three years or for that of one. That is the real question upon which we have to decide. The Amendment to the Motion of the Minister has been made by a distinguished Member of the party which' support the Government; yet all the arguments of Her Majesty's Ministers and their Friends have been addressed to this side of the House. The hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) said there was no common object between the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume), and those Gentlemen on this side of the House, who have already declared that they intend to support him. The reason why I shall support the hon. Member for Montrose is this, that I think the assessments proposed under the renewed property tax are not equitable, and I think it not impossible to render them more equitable. That is the main and the real reason that I shall support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose. But then it is said, in consequence of certain speeches that have been made upon this side of the House, that hon. Gentlemen are supporting that Amendment for other reasons, and with other objects. Let us see if there is any justice in that allegation. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Wiltshire (Mr. S. Herbert), answering my hon. Friend the worthy Alderman the Member for Westmoreland (Mr. Alderman Thompson) said a great deficiency would be the consequence of the Amendment being carried, and that the worthy Alderman had in his speech tonight already a specific to supply that deficiency, namely, a duty upon foreign corn. Now the worthy Alderman never made the slightest allusion to foreign corn. And, strange to say, my hon. Friend did propose a specific remedy to supply the deficiency which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. S. Herbert) says will be the consequence of the Amendment being carried. I give no opinion upon the specific proposed by my hon. Friend (Mr. Alderman Thompson. It no doubt is a proposition of an important character, and may lead to vast consequences. But what was the proposition? He would supply the anticipated deficiency by dealing with the terminable annuities that will end between this period and 1854 and 1867. And, therefore, so far as that attack of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Wiltshire upon my hon. Friend is concerned—so far as all the consequences of his reasoning, based upon that fallacious and unfounded assumption extend, they wore not only most erroneous, but absolutely contradictory to the course pursued by my hon. Friend the Member for Westmoreland. Well, what occurred next? Another Gentleman, a county Member, the hon. Member for North Devonshire (Mr. Buck) made an able and interesting speech. And what was its subject? In detail he dwelt upon the state of the county he represents, and the condition of various classes of his constituents. He showed that the proprietor, the farmer, and the mercantile man, were all suffering. He showed the consequence of that suffering in the increase of pauperism in his locality. He gave no opinion upon the cause of the distress; all he said was, "You ought to remedy it if it be in your power, by the remission of taxation, and this is an opportunity in which you may offer that remission." How does that justify the statement of the hon. Member for the West Riding, or that of the right hon. the Member for South Wiltshire, or of the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for North Devonshire was a speech in favour of protection, and that protection was his specific, according to that unfaithful reporter the Chancellor of the Exchequer? The word not only did not escape his lips, but the hon. Gentleman never referred to the possible or probable cause of the suffering to which he alluded. There was a third Gentleman who spoke on this side of the House, my noble Friend the Member for Stamford (the Marquess of Granby); and his speech, in giving his support to the hon. Member for Montrose, has been described as entirely changing the character of the debate, and attempting to support the proposition for the reimposition of duties upon foreign' agricultural produce. Now, my noble Friend never referred to the subject at all. He did, indeed, allude to the views of the hon. Member for Montrose with respect to taxation, and he dwelt in favour of a reverse policy to that of the hon. Gentleman. But I have shown the Committee that nothing could be more erroneous, more unjustifiable, than the statement made that there has been an attempt from the beginning, on this side of the House, to change the character of this debate, to divert it from the true mark, and that, in fact, during the evening, we have been arguing for another reason, and in favour of another cause. "Our conduct is too transparent," says the hon. Member for the West Riding. The Committee must be aware of what is going on. There is much at stake! The income taxis at stake—that foundation of our prosperity—that only guarantee for the future comfort of this country." One great objection I have to the property and income tax is this—that it has always been brought into this House by representations which, to use the mildest phrase, have unfortunately not been fulfilled. That would not have been so, if at the right period the Ministers who felt it their duty to support such a policy had made a bold and fair appeal to the House and the country, and had asked them whether they were of opinion that the principles under which the financial system was administered should be changed or not. But, unfortunately, the income tax has been introduced and renewed again and again, while the whole community have always been led to believe that it was of a very temporary character. Unfortunately, too, the deception which has been practised upon the community has not been limited to the Ministerial representations on which I have referred. Other great authorities, when treating of that impost, and when endeavouring to persuade this House and the country to consent to great changes in the laws which powerfully affect their material condition, have made statements about this unfortunate tax which led to much deception and delusion, and which no doubt powerfully influenced public opinion. Why, here is the speech of one of the ornaments of this House upon this subject—not delivered, I admit, in this House, but in a place almost as famous, though its fame, like the income tax, may be temporary, and at a time when, in consequence of speeches like these, the legislation of this country was changed, and changed to the detriment of the very class who are now most complaining of the income tax. This is a speech of the hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) on the income tax, delivered in 1845, before the repeal of the corn laws. He said, "The income tax is a fungus growing from the tree of monopoly." Why, this is the tax that is the "foundation of the now commercial system," that is the only "security for the continuance of free trade!" He went on to say—"That one great monopoly, the corn law, alone renders that tax necessary." Talk of public opinion, indeed! I know not who can praise it too much, when we see how it is thus doctored and drilled, and I think that it is much to the credit of the common sense and spirit of the nation, that under such influences they can still generally act rightly and think justly. But the orator then commences that high prophetic vein in which he has unfortunately indulged so often—"With free trade there will be no protection." Is it to be tolerated, Sir, that men representing—as unfortunately the majority of the Members on this side of the House do—the suffering classes of the community, and classes whose sufferings have been recognised by the Sovereign, and lamented by the Ministry—is it to be tolerated, when a proposition is brought forward for the imposition and continuance of a tax, the details of which peculiarly press upon them, that because in a constitutional manner they express the feelings and defend the interests of their constituents, that men are to get up who have made such speeches in other places, and contend that that proper fulfilment of a public duty is nothing more than a mask by which they attempt to got back bad abrogated laws, while, according to the hon. Member for the West Riding, it would be impossible, after they ceased, that this tax could exist? The vexatious system did not depend upon the existence or non-existence of a corn law. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer thus spoke in 1845: "With regard to the general argument against the income tax, proving its inequality, its injustice, its vexations, no attempts have been made to answer it." Well, it is to that inequality, to that injustice, to that vexation, that I understand the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose is directed; and it is only to remedy that injustice, that inequality, and that vexation, that I support that Amendment. The hon. Member for the West Riding, playing the critic upon his friend and colleague, told him, "The course you have taken was, from the first, most injudicious—see the scrape into which you have got that innocent Member for St. Albans. Here are 150 Protectionist Members come down to take you at your word, and free trade trembles and totters to its base. If you had brought forward the question properly—if you had attempted to call the attention of the Committee to the inequitable manner in which the profits of trades and professions were assessed, you would have had a chance, certainly not of endangering the existence of the Government, according to the opinion of the hon. Member for the West Riding—(although I am not so certain on that head), for you would be quite sure of being well beaten; but you would have taken a straightforward course." But why did not the hon. Member for the West Riding take that course himself? Why did he not make that proposition? I will tell you why—I suspect the hon. Member for the West Riding has an idea that these terrible Protectionists are not so callous to the sufferings of professional men as he has given the Committee reason to believe. Let him bring forward the proposition in which he is so much interested—let him state his case, which he says he is about to state. But I will not guarantee the hon. Gentleman that he will be defeated by that large majority on which he calculates. I have given the hon. Member for the West Riding fair notice therefore; and if, when he has made his statement, and examines those benches, and finds the Government and free trade in danger, it will not then be open, after this fair warning, to the hon. Member for the West Riding to rise and pretend, after all, that while we have been discussing the merits of the assessment on professional income, we have all the time been veiling an attack on the new commercial system. Now, I warn 'the Committee not to be diverted from the issue before them by that stale old ruse of crying out that this is in effect a reversal of our commercial policy. Let the Committee be quite sure of this, that our commercial policy, whatever may be its merits, or whatever its deficiencies, is too vast a creation to be shaken by a chance vote in this Committee. That is not the way we mean to assail it if we feel that duty impels us to take that course. We shall not be deterred from taking a frank course upon all subjects in this House with respect to taxation, because a Gentleman may rise and pretend, for the five-hundredth time, that we are attempting to establish the abrogated corn law. We have been kindly treated to a lecture on that subject by a Member of the Cabinet which proposed that abrogation. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Wiltshire (Mr. S. Herbert) described the attempt which I had made to alleviate the sufferings of the farmers by a moderate remission of taxation as one which was not adapted to the spirit of the ago, and could only be prompted by one not acquainted with the feeling of the times. I will not argue the question at present with the right hon. Gentleman. He has given his opinion to-night upon the important question of a duty upon foreign grain. He says some are for a protective duty, or, as he says it is the fashion to call it, a countervailing duty, although he is utterly at a loss to comprehend what difference there can be between a protective duty and a countervailing duty. I am not here to offer any arguments in favour of a protective duty or a countervailing duty. They may be equally good or may be equally bad; but of this I am quite certain, that there is a very great difference between them. If there were not, the opinions of the greatest men who have treated of the subject were all nugatory—the opinion of Ricardo, that great light of political economy, and of authors so instructive and so painstaking, so cautious and so well-informed as Mr. M'Culloch, and a long list of others that I could enumerate. A countervailing duty has always been held to be a compensating duty, as its name imports—a duty offering compensation for some peculiar tax borne by a class which the community does not bear. A protective duty, on the contrary, is a duty granted to a class in consequence of the general taxation which all share; and those who have objected on principle to a protective duty are, on the contrary, among the warmest supporters of a countervailing duty. You may think it much more judicious to remove a peculiar tax, for which you propose to institute a countervailing duty, than to establish the countervailing duty as the compensation for the peculiar tax. That is a matter for fiscal arrangement, which those who take a general view of the interests of the country can alone decide. A countervailing duty is a duty not demanded as a right by a class; it is a financial arrangement, invented and proposed for the general interest of the community, and which never can be asked for by the class who are suffering from the peculiar tax as a compensation, though it may be accepted as a compromise. I will only repeat, in conclusion, that the reasons why I support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose are those which I have stated. My object in supporting the Amendment is, that the assessment to the income tax should, if possible, be made more equitable; that I particularly, in this observation, look to the position of the tenant-farmers under the schedule constructed by the Government, and to the position of professional men. I feel persuaded myself that, whatever Members on either side may say, it will be impossible to maintain for any length of time the principles upon which the assessment of professional incomes to the property tax is based. All those anomalies and all those inequalities might well at first have been borne. When the Minister who introduced this law introduced it, as I believe most sincerely as a temporary measure for meeting an exigency and dealing with an exigency, it was useless to indulge in petty criticism, and the evils and grievances which time might soon remove. But when the temporary measure becomes permanent, and may even assume an everlasting character, then it is that the grievances become of a nature so serious that they enter into the calculation as to the management of the life of every man placed under their influence. There is also another reason why we ought to attempt vigorously to deal with these two points, especially with the latter one. The temporary measure which we supported at first, which introduced a greater degree of direct taxation into the financial system of this country, has induced hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House to submit to principles upon which direct taxation ought never to have been established; because those who are sincere in being supporters of direct taxation—those who wish to see direct taxation enter largely into the financial system of this country—may rest assured that, unless they make it universal, direct taxation will never be satisfactory. You must endeavour to make direct taxation as universal in action as indirect taxation, if you intend it to form an important point of your financial system. Nothing is more popular at present, out of doors, than direct taxation; but it is popular with those who are not directly taxed. The present system is not taxation, but confiscation; nor is the evil confined to the class that is taxed. Continue that system—continue it even on a greater scale, as is the tendency of our present legislation—and you are attacking the capital of the country—you are diminishing the capital of the country, and the means for the employment of labour. These are the reasons why I, for one, feel it my duty to support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose. If it were an Amendment from either side of the House, that would ask us in the present state of affairs to negative the imposition of the income tax, I could not sanction such a course. But because it does not interfere with the financial arrangements of either this year or the next—because it gives ample time to the Government to meet any difficulties—because I am sure no Government will attempt to meet those difficulties and redress the grievances which exist—unless we take such a course, I must support the Amendment.


said, if the Committee were placed in any difficulty upon the question now before it, it was, he thought, owing to the course which his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) had taken in endeavouring to promote his own views and propositions. The hon. Gentleman said, that he wished for a permanent tax upon property; he wished for direct taxes in preference to indirect taxes; he wished for a modification of the present tax on property and income. It would seem that the natural, the usual, the Parliamentary way of proceeding to effect such an object would have been, when the income tax was before the Committee, to have proposed such modifications as he thought equitable, to make the tax, if he could have obtained the assent of the majority, such as he should consider to be just, and, having obtained those modifications in the tax, then to have proposed that, instead of being for three years, it should be a tax of permanent duration. That was the natural, the Parliamentary, course for the hon. Gentleman to have taken; but the hon. Gentleman said that he could not take that course, for it was a matter of acknowledged difficulty to make this tax equal and just, and he could not make a proposition to that purport which was so complete as to enable him with confidence to recommend it to the Committee, and therefore he required inquiry. Well, but if the hon. Gentleman wished for inquiry, how came it that, during the time that the tax had lasted, from 1842 to 1851, he had never before proposed an inquiry? [Mr. HUME: Three times I have done so.] He certainly did not remember any occasion upon which the hon. Member for Montrose had proposed an inquiry on this subject. It was quite evident that, with the views entertained by the Government on the question, they could not propose an inquiry, because they agreed with the late Sir Robert Peel and their predecessors in office, that the tax could not be made equal and just by the modifications that were suggested. If the hon. Member for Montrose desired inquiry he should have proposed it, and should have conducted that inquiry; but having declined to do anything of the kind, having allowed the tax to be imposed in 1848 for three years, and not having proposed any inquiry either in 1849 or 1850, the hon. Gentleman now came forward and said, "Institute an inquiry, and impose the tax only for one year, in order that that inquiry may be made." It was, however, tolerably obvious that the hon. Gentleman could hardly succeed in that object, for in the present Session they could scarcely hope to arrive at any result with regard to so difficult an inquiry. The course the hon. Gentleman had pursued—he having neither proposed a modification of the tax nor an inquiry previously—had led to this very absurd consequence. If the hon. Gentleman wished the tax to be permanent, he was immediately supported by those who wished it to be done away with altogether. If the hon. Gentleman was anxious to establish direct in the place of indirect taxation—to abolish many millions of indirect taxation, which he said was excessive, and supply its place by a general system of direct taxation—he was immediately supported by those who were in favour of indirect taxation, who would carry it to a far greater extent than was the case at present, and who would abolish direct taxes with a view to increasing indirect taxation. He (Lord John Russell) thought the hon. Gentleman must have been rather alarmed when he saw the care that was taken of his child by those who differed from him upon all the views he held, and at the dandling and nursing which his infant had received during the whole course of the debate from those who were most strongly opposed to its existence. The hon. Gentleman must have been rather alarmed as to the future fate of that equal, just, universal, permanent tax which he had in his imagination. But there were other grounds upon which hon. Gentlemen opposite, in very considerable numbers, had supported the proposal of his hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) in the course of the debate. Those grounds, however much the hon. Gentleman who last spoke had tried to conceal them from the House, were founded on the necessity of getting rid of the income tax and of as much direct taxation as possible, with the view of imposing import duties upon foreign produce. The words of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Alderman Thompson) who rose so immediately, as the fugleman of his party, to support the Amendment, were "foreign produce," meaning, as the House perfectly understood, that foreign produce which was usually known by the name of corn. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), however, could not bear the eagerness with which his hon. Friend (Mr. Alderman Thompson) rushed forward in favour of the Amendment. They never had a question brought forward in that House with regard to local taxation, or the malt tax, or any matter affecting the landed interest or the general taxation of the country, but some of the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Disraeli's) supporters got up, and with the manliness which belonged to their character as a party, made the avowal, "After all, our real object is the restoration of protection." Then the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) always had to rise after them, and to say, "Don't take them at their word; whatever you may have heard, I did not hear it." Indeed the hon. Gentleman always happened to be in such a situation that he did not hear a word of protection, though most hon. Gentlemen on both sides might have heard the necessity of a restoration of protective duties frequently reiterated. He thought the hon. Gentleman would at length get tired if his Friends would not be more prudent, if they would always march forward when he wished them to keep back—if they would persist in getting out of the line, and if they would be always firing off their muskets when he wished them to reserve their fire. He thought the hon. Gentleman would at last say, one of these days, "Upon my word, you are too bad; I will not march through Coventry with you any more." The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire said, "What is most dreadful, and what is more especially matter of reproach to the hon. Member for the West Riding, is that he goes and makes speeches in other places." That was not a crime which could be imputed to him (Lord John Russell); but the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) said the hon. Member for the West Riding was open to the charge, which must be heavily upon the conscience of any man who made speeches in other places. He (Lord John Russell) thought, however, that there were other hon. Gentlemen besides the hon. Member for the West Riding who made speeches in other places. Members of the Protectionist party sometimes met in other places; and if the Anti-Corn Law League met in Covent-garden, was there not a party which met in Drury-lane? It had been said that the Members of the Anti-Corn Law League had sometimes carried their speeches boyond the bounds of dis- cretion; but had it not been said the other day that if the corn laws were restored, 100,000 men would be ready to follow a leader in supporting the laws so restored? If they heard similar hints sometimes given in that House, he thought it was not matter of surprise if they supposed that the object of the speaker was to restore protection. He considered, then, that the character of his hon. Friend's Amendment had been entirely changed by the support that had been given to it. The hon. Gentleman wished to have the tax continued for one year only, and that an inquiry should be instituted into its operation; but the hon. Gentleman's supporters did not say that was their object. They did not want an inquiry with a view of making the tax more equal, for no one but the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire had said that that was his object. The noble Member for Stamford (the Marquess of Granby)—a great authority among his party—had stated his opinion that the tax, unequal and faulty as it was, could not be made equal and devoid of faults; and the noble Marquess quoted with great emphasis and approbation the opinion of Mr. M'Culloch, who declared that, bad as the tax was, its faults were incapable of amendment; so that if the hon. Member for Montrose succeeded in carrying his Motion, he would be no nearer his object than he was at present. The hon. Gentleman would find that those who went with him into the lobby had a totally different object in view to that which he desired—that they did not wish for an inquiry for the purpose of rendering the tax equal, but that their real object was to put an end to the tax, and to create such a deficiency that they might accomplish that object which they pursued—no doubt most sincerely—a restoration of duties upon imports, and more especially a restoration of the duties upon grain and other foreign produce. One of the hon. Members for Devonshire (Mr. Buck), who spoke in support of the Motion, told them they ought to follow the example of the President and Legislature of the United States of America, where, he said, all native industry was protected. Every one knew, however, that none of the manufacturers of this country wanted any protection. When the protection upon wool and linen was removed many years ago, the manufacturers were not sufferers by the step, because they went into the markets of the world and competed with other producers upon equal terms. The only persons who now required pro- tection were the landed interest of this country, who demanded a renewal of the protection which was formerly afforded to them. In 1842, when the differential duties were very much diminished in regard to some articles of manufacture, many of his (Lord John Russell's) constituents urged him not to vote for the tariff then proposed by Sir Robert Peel. They said, as he thought not unnaturally, "We could bear this competition with foreigners if we were not obliged to pay an extra and increased price for our food in consequence of the corn laws." His answer was— I cannot comply with your request. I must vote for the diminution of the differential duties on your manufactures; but you may depend upon it that this country will not long suffer the injustice of which you complain—that you should be exposed to competition with foreign producers, while you are obliged to pay an antificial price for your bread in consequence of the Acts of the Legislature. His statement had been perfectly justified by the event, for a very few years afterwards the duty on foreign corn was removed. In the course of some of the debates on this subject frequent allusion bad been made to his (Lord John Russell's) opinions with regard to the income tax; and the noble Marquess the Member for Stamford had said to-night that he thought the Government would be justified in changing their opinions on that question. Now, his (Lord John Russell's) opinions with respect to the income tax had undergone very little alteration. He had opposed the tax in 1842, and he still thought he was justified in that opposition, though, if the differential duties upon corn, upon sugar, and upon timber had been then reduced, his objections to the tax might have been to a considerable extent removed. In 1845, however, he supported the income tax, on the ground of the great benefits that were to be received in compensation for bearing that tax. He then said he thought the tax was liable to the objection of inequality, and he could not deny that the tax was still liable to the same objection; but he did not see in what manner that objection could be removed. He believed those who thought it could be removed, when they came to examine the question of imposing a less tax upon professional men—when they came to compare the case of professional men with that of others who derived a life income only from land, and to consider the case of those who derived incomes from the funds, and what was required by good faith towards the fundholders, would admit the difficulties were so great that they would not be able to get rid of the inequalities. He had stated during the debate in 1845 that he desired, as the only way of getting rid finally of the income tax, a diminution of protection. His language then was— Of this I am confident, that if you wish to get rid of the income tax, you should take the mode of endeavouring to improve the condition and increase the prosperity of the empire by opening new markets and admitting large imports, increase your exports, and find a fresh demand for labour; and by augmenting the consumption of those articles which you restrict by your imaginary favour and protection. Then, indeed, you might look forward, at the end of three or five years, to the abolition of your income and property tax; but if the question be between a perpetual income tax and the continuance of monopoly and restriction, I declare for the income tax, and a diminution and final abolition of all monopoly." [3 Hansard, lxxvii. 557.] That was his opinion in 1845, when he did not conceal from himself the grave objections that existed to the income tax; but then he believed they would obtain more than an equivalent by diminishing those taxes which pressed upon the industry of the country. It was impossible to conceal from oneself that to-night, as on all other occasions when this question had been discussed, the object of those who opposed the tax was, that by rendering it less likely that the income tax could exist, they might obtain a return to protective duties. And let it be observed, that whereas in former times, when protective duties had not to be imposed, but only to be maintained according to an ancient system, the arguments which were drawn from national independence, from the necessity of the food of the people being derived from our own soil, in order that we might not depend for necessary articles of subsistence upon foreign nations—those and similar arguments were the chief objections urged against the change of our policy; now, we had almost nakedly the statement that for the purpose of doing justice to one interest in this country, to enable the farmers to continue their occupation with profit, and to pay their rents to their landlord, it was necessary to have protective duties upon corn. Now, these duties, whatever they might be, involved one or two consequences. Either, as the right hon. Member for Stamford (Mr. Herries) once argued in a very able speech, a moderate fixed duty would not raise the price of corn, and in this case the farmers would be disappointed, and would protest against our in- effectual legislation, and ask for further and more efficient protection; or, on the other hand, the duty would raise the price of corn, and enable the farmer to pay a larger rent than he could otherwise do; and then we had to consider the discontent we might excite among the great mass of the people. We had had, only on the previous day, a magnificent sight in this metropolis, a sight which was gratifying on many accounts. It was gratifying to see this nation and other nations of the world assembling in one place the various products of their talents and their industry; it was gratifying to see that the means had been found to place in a splendid and magnificent building those products of art and of industry. But what was most gratifying of all was to see the great mass of the people, some said 500,000, some nearer 1,000,000 of persons, in the utmost good humour, with content upon their countenances, with loyalty in their hearts, assembled to witness the spectacle that was exhibited be for them. Those people, some of them in the poorest and meanest habiliments, showing that they had great difficulty even by their industry to earn their daily subsistence, saw without envying, without repining, without complaint, the equipages of the rich and the splendid pass before them; they did so, as he (Lord John Russell) believed, because they felt that injustice was not exercised towards them. But if we were to tell the people that the rich were to have their incomes increased by adding to the price of the daily food of those masses, we could then expect no longer to see those cheerful countenances; we could then expect no longer that the institutions of the country would meet with ready and contented obedience; but we must expect the heartburning, the ill-will, and the discontent which must follow the imposition of unjust laws. He had felt it necessary to say thus much in consequence of the turn this debate had taken. He should have been quite willing to argue the question solely upon the ground of the continuance of the income tax for one year or for three. Upon that ground he should have argued that, as a nation, as one of the principal Powers of the world, it was improvident and unsafe to risk the duration of a considerable part of our income. He should have argued that, as this tax was liable to objections, which none of its promoters could completely gainsay, so much the more was it desirable that we should not have it year by year subjected to popular discussion. He should have said, at this time above all, it was desirable to know that our financial system was secure and solid. These were grounds which, as they affected the whole House, so they more peculiarly affected those who took Conservative views of the subject. The noble Lord the Member for Stamford (the Marquess of Granby) had asked him (Lord John Russell) to mark with attention the declaration of his hon. Friend that he wished for a direct tax almost universal and very large in amount, because he thought it would make those who paid it discontented with the amount of the establishments which the present Government considered necessary for the safety, the honour, the power of the country. He did not mark that observation; but the moral he drew from it was somewhat different from that of the noble Marquess. He (Lord John Russell) drew from it indeed the moral, that it was not desirable to lose our indirect taxation; but he drew from it also the moral, that it was not desirable to make this tax, giving mere than 5,000,000l. a year, a tax which should be only lasting for a short time—to expose it to perpetual criticism, to expose it to fresh examination in the course of a year, and thereby run the risk either of our income failing below our expenditure, or of reducing that expenditure below what he thought necessary for the safety of the country. Let the noble Marquess be assured that he (Lord John Russell) was not mistaken in this, that whatever views might induce the noble Lord and others to support this Motion of the hon. Member (Mr. Hume), if they succeeded in that Motion it would not tend to promote the maintenance of establishments necessary for the safety of the country; nor would it tend to the safety of those institutions which the noble Lord thought ought to be preserved. On the contrary, our system of finance, our system of taxation ought to be known to the world as a stable and settled system. Nothing-tended more to shako Governments, nothing tended more to shake laws, than to have the finances exposed to perpetual uncertainty.


said, he could not understand on what principle the Committee should grant a tax for three years when they had it in their power always to prolong it for an additional year if it was found to be necessary. Neither the noble Lord at the head of the Government nor the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer had assigned one valid reason why they should vote the income tax for three years at one time, any more than they should vote the Army and Navy Estimates for three years at once instead of for the current year. They were told that the inequalities and iniquities of the tax could never be removed. Were they then to say that all improvement was to stop, and no remedy for a crying grievance to be administered? Let them follow the example of the United States of America, which had been already referred to, and they would collect a property tax much more sound, equitable, and free from vexation, and therefore much more satisfactory to the people at large. Whatever the Government might think, he was sure that out of doors great anxiety was felt on this subject. The people said, with justice, that the tax was at first conceded for a limited period, and for a special purpose; and yet, time after time it had been renewed, and they could not see when there was to be any end to it. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) taunted the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) with receiving support from the opposite side. Pray, was the noble Lord never supported by the opposite side, and had he not many a time courted the assistance of hon. Gentlemen opposite? He (Mr. Muntz) intended to vote with the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hume), and he hoped he was determined to do what he believed to be right, and accept support in doing it wherever he could get it.


said, he had not reproached the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hume) with being supported by Members on the opposite side; what he said was that Members on the opposite side had supported him on reasons totally different, and in contradiction to his own views.


agreed with the hon. Member (Mr. Muntz) that there was a great desire out of doors that the inequalities of this tax should be adjusted. He would add that he considered it was borne with great patience by those who paid it, because they saw that a greater benefit resulted from its imposition to themselves and the mass of the community. He had supposed in his simplicity that in coming down to vote with the hon. Member (Mr. Hume) he should be carrying out the object that appeared upon the face of the Motion: but he had seen quite enough to satisfy him that by voting for that Motion, he should not get practically what he wished. He would support the Motion, if he could see a chance of thereby doing away with the inequalities of the tax; but he did not. It was necessary that a tax like this should he granted for a time certain, and that the question should not he under consideration year by year. Practically the House was keeping the power in its hands by voting the tax for three years. Under these circumstances he should vote against the Amendment of the hon. Member for Montrose.


said, he intended to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume), and he hoped the Committee would allow him to defend himself from what he considered the extremely unfair speech of the noble Lord at the head of the Government. Let him (Mr. Roebuck) put fairly before the Committee the mode of argument of the noble Lord. The noble Lord did not object to that which the hon. Member for Montrose made the groundwork of his Motion, namely, the inequality and injustice of the tax. He could not do so, because he himself had heretofore supported the same views. He said, "If you support the hon. Member for Montrose, you will bring back the old system of protection;" and he wished to fix upon every man who supported his hon. Friend (Mr. Hume), the imputation that they were endeavouring, not to do away with the inequalities of taxation, but that they intended to bring back the system of protection. Now, the proposition of the hon. Member for Montrose was this, "You are to raise a particular sum for the purposes of Government"—(the hon. Member always endeavoured to make that sum as small as possible)—"and if you are to raise this sum, for God's sake raise it fairly." Let him (Mr. Roebuck) ask the Committee to pay the slightest attention to the pinching, miserable injustice of the tax. There was no tax so bitterly unjust as this income tax. Why did the noble Lord come forward, night after night, with those pretences of policy? He would put this question, which he had put formerly to the late Sir Robert Peel, who said he could not answer it. Was the man, who derived 1,000l. a year from land, from funds, or some settled property, to be dealt with precisely in the same way as the man who, after many years severe mental toil, and battling against difficulties, came to possess 1,000l. a year? Take a man at the age of fifty, instead of sixty, who had acquired that income by the stretch of his intellect; and if he should become paralytic, where would be his 1,000l. a year? Was there no distinction to be made between him and the man deriving his income from land? The hon. Member for Coventry (Mr. Geach) spoke of the feeling out of doors. He (Mr. Roebuck) would meet him before any body of his countrymen to-morrow, and if they had a spark of justice in them, they would admit the injustice of taxing both such parties alike. The hon. Member for Montrose said, "Let us have this tax for a year. We all acknowledge it to be an unjust tax. Let us see if within that year we cannot raise the necessary funds for the State in a more equitable way." What did the noble Lord mean by saying—"You are endangering the Government." Now, was that so great, so terrible a result? Seeing the thorough injustice of the tax, if it were necessary to raise the amount of it, it was the duty of the Committee to devise some more equitable moans of doing so. He did not impute to hon. Members opposite that they were for their own party purposes taking advantage of a cry. When questions of economy arose, he hoped they would support economy. He could not see why the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cobden), who had proposed such sweeping schemes of economy, should put his thumb on the ways and means, and withhold his support from this Motion. If taxation were stopped, expenditure would be cut down. But he (Mr. Roebuck) was not to be frightened out of his just views with regard to this unequitable tax, by being told that Gentlemen opposite were about to take advantage of the proposal for the purpose of bringing in an illiberal Administration. He had been long enough in that House to know that the most liberal things were done by the most illiberal Administrations, with a liberal Opposition. But there was nothing so mischievous as a pseudo-liberal Administration with a downright liberal Opposition. He thought the people of this country would suffer nothing if there were a change of places—a shifting of cards with respect to public men. Those now in office were quite out of their place, except when in opposition. They would render more benefit to their country in that character, and it would not be to him anything like a painful circumstance which would place them in that position in which they would shine peculiarly, to their own great honour and to the benefit of their country. If this be a just tax, make it permanent. If it he not a just tax, adopt it annually, as long as it is absolutely requisite for the purposes of the State; but take those precautions that will enable you to take some more just means of providing for the exigencies of the State. Let not the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) shift his ground. He meant to make the income tax permanent. He dared not say so, though he meant it.


in reply, said that no individual ever made a Motion in that House, whose object had been more misrepresented than he had been on the present occasion. He could only account for the course taken by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) and the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the supposition that they had been absent when he made his speech; otherwise it would have been utterly impossible for them to have taken the course they did. The noble Lord attributed to him (Mr. Hume) a course against which, in the very beginning of his speech, he had taken especial care to guard himself. It had been admitted over and over again, that the tax was unjust; and for what did he (Mr. Hume) ask? That the noble Lord might meet the wishes of people out of doors? Let the Government take the tax for one year, and in that time they would have an opportunity of considering some plan which would make the tax more just and equal, if they should think that it ought to be continued. The noble Lord, in opposing his (Mr. Hume's) Amendment, acted with great inconsistency. Did not the noble Lord, on almost all occasions, submit Motions for reference to a Committee, when questions relating to the Army, Navy, or Ordnance, were before the House? Had he not consented to the appointment of a Select Committee even when a charge of misgovernment was brought against the Governor of Ceylon? The noble Lord had said, why did you not complain of this matter before? But did not he (Mr. Hume) support the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) for inquiry into the tax? Did he not do the same with reference to the Motion of the hon. Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Horsman)? And had he not himself, on a previous occasion, brought the subject under the attention of the House? The noble Lord had made it a matter of complaint that hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition benches had given him (Mr. Hume) their support on this question; but did the noble Lord think that he would be so fool- ish as to reject support because it happened to come from hon. Gentlemen opposite? He should willingly accept support from any quarter in a just cause.

Question put, "That the blank be filled with 'one year.'"

The Committee divided:—Ayes 244; Noes 230: Majority 14.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Damer, hon. Col.
Adderley, C. B. Dashwood, Sir G. H.
Anson, Visct. Davies, D. A. S.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Deedes, W.
Archdall, Capt. M. Dick, Q.
Arkwright, G. Disraeli, B.
Bagge, W. Dod, J. W.
Bagot, hon. W. Dodd, G.
Baillie, H. J. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Baldock, E. H. Duke, Sir J.
Baldwin, C. B. Duncan, G.
Bankes, G. Duncombe, hon. O.
Baring, hon. F. Dundas, G.
Barrington, Visct. Du Pre, C. G.
Barrow, W. H. East, Sir J. B.
Bateson, T. Edwards, H.
Bennet, P. Egerton, Sir P.
Bentinck, Lord H. Egerton, W. T.
Beresford, W. Emlyn, Visct.
Bernard, Visct. Farnham, E. B.
Best, J. Farrer, J.
Blair, S. Fellowes, E.
Blandford, Marq. of Floyer, J.
Boldero, H. G. Forbes, W.
Booker, T. W. Freshfield, J. W.
Booth, Sir R. G. Frewen, C. H.
Bramston, T. W. Fuller, A. E.
Bremridge, R. Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Broadley, H. Galway, Visct.
Brocklehurst, J. Gaskell, J. M.
Brooke, Lord Gilpin, Col.
Browne, H. Goddard, A. L.
Buck, L. W. Gooch, E. S.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Goold, W.
Bunbury, W. M. Gordon, Adm.
Burghley, Lord Gore, W. O.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Gore, W. R. O.
Burroughes, H. N. Granby, Marq. of
Cabbell, B. B. Greenall, G.
Campbell, hon. W. F. Greene, J.
Carew, W. H. P. Greenfell, C. P.
Castlereagh, Visct. Grogan, E.
Chandos, Marq. of Guernsey, Lord
Chichester, Lord J. L. Hale, R. B.
Child, S. Halford, Sir H.
Cholmeley, Sir M. Hall, Sir B.
Christopher, R. A. Hall, Col.
Clifford, H. M. Halsey, T. P.
Cobbold, J. C. Hamilton, G. A.
Cochrane, A. D. R. W. B. Hamilton, J. H.
Cocks, T. S. Harcourt, G. G.
Codrington, Sir W. Harris, hon. Capt.
Coles, H. B. Hastie, A.
Colville, C. R. Hastie, A.
Compton, H. C. Henley, J. W.
Conolly, T. Herbert, H. A.
Copeland, Aid. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Cotton, hon. W. H. S. Hervey, Lord A.
Cowan, C. Hildyard, R. C.
Crawford, W. S. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Cubitt, W. Hill, Lord E.
Hodgson, W. N. Prime, R.
Horsman, E. Prinsep, H. T.
Hotham, Lord Pugh, D.
Hudson, G. Reid, Col.
Humphery, Ald. Rendelsham, Lord
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Repton, G. W. J.
Jones, Capt. Ricardo, J. L.
Keating, R. Richards, R.
Kerrison, Sir E. Roebuck, J. A.
King, hon. P. J. L. Rufford, F.
Knightley, Sir C. Rushout, Capt.
Knox, Col. Sadleir, J.
Lacy, H. C. Salwey, Col.
Langton, W. H. P. G. Sandars, G.
Lascelles, hon. E. Scholefield, W.
Legh, G. C. Scott, hon. F.
Leonard, T. B. Scully, F.
Lennox, Lord A. G. Seymour, H. K.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Sibthorp, Col.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Sidney, Aid.
Lockhart, A. E. Smyth, J. G.
Lockhart, W. Somerset, Capt.
Long, W. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Lopes, Sir R. Spooner, R.
Lowther, hon. Col. Stafford, A.
Lowther, H. Stanford, J. F.
Lushington, C. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Stephenson, R.
Macnaghten, Sir E. Stuart, Lord D.
M'Gregor, J. Stuart, H.
Maher, N. V. Stuart, J.
Meagher, T. Sturt, H. G.
Mandeville, Visct. Sullivan, M.
Manners, Lord C. S. Sutton, J. H. M.
Manners, Lord G. Talbot, C. R. M.
Manners, Lord J. Taylor, T. E.
March, Earl of Thesiger, Sir F.
Maunsell, T. P. Thompson, Ald.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Tollemache, J.
Meux, Sir H. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Miles, P. W. S. Trollope, Sir J.
Miles, W. Tyler, Sir G.
Moody, C. A. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Morgan, O. Verner, Sir W.
Mowatt, F. Vyse, R. H. R.
Mullings, J. R. Waddington, D.
Mundy, W. Waddington, H. S.
Naas, Lord Walsh, Sir J. B.
Napier, J. Walter, J.
Neeld, J. Welby, G. E.
Newdegate, C. N. Whitmore, T. C.
Newport, Visct. Whiteside, J.
Noel, hon. G. J. Williams, J.
O'Brien, Sir L. Williams, T. P.
Ossulston, Lord Willoughby, Sir H.
Packe, C. W. Wodehouse, E.
Pakington, Sir J. Worcester, Marq. of
Palmer, R. Wynn, H. W. W.
Patten, J. W. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Pechell, Sir G. B.
Pigot, Sir R. TELLERS.
Plumptre, J. P. Hume, J.
Portal, M. Muntz, G. F.
List of the NOES.
Abdy, Sir T. N. Bagshaw, J.
Adair, H. E. Baines, rt. hon. M. T.
Aglionby, H. A. Baring, H. B.
Anderson, A. Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.
Anson, hon. Col. Bass, M. T.
Anstey, T. C. Bell, J.
Armstrong, Sir A. Bellew, R. M.
Armstrong, R. B. Berkeley, Adm.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Glyn, G. C.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Granger, T. C.
Birch, Sir T. B. Greene, T.
Blackstone, W. S. Grenfell, C. W.
Bowles, Adm. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Boyle, hon. Col. Grey, R. W.
Bright, J. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Brockman, E. D. Guest, Sir J.
Brotherton, J. Hardcastle, J. A.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W. Harris, R.
Bunbury, E. H. Hatchell, rt. hon. J.
Busfeild, W. Hawes, B.
Buxton, Sir E. N. Hayes, Sir E.
Cardwell, E. Headlam, T. E.
Carter, J. B. Heald, J.
Caulfeild, J. M. Heneage, E.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Henry, A.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Cavendish, W. G. Heywood, J.
Chaplin, W. J. Heyworth, L.
Charteris, hon. F. Hindley, C.
Childers, J. W. Hobhouse, T. B.
Clay, J. Hodges, T. T.
Clay, Sir W. Hogg, Sir J. W.
Clements, hon. C. S. Hollond, R.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. Howard, Lord E.
Cobden, R. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E. Howard, hon. J. K.
Coke, hon. E. K. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Howard, Sir R.
Collins, W. Hutchins, E. J.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Hutt, W.
Craig, Sir W. Jermyn, Earl
Crowder, R. B. Johnstone, Sir J.
Currie, R. Kershaw, J.
Curteis, H. M. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Dalrymple, J. Langston, J. H.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Lawley, hon. B. R.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T, F.
Denison, E. Lewis, G. C.
Denison, J. E. Locke, J.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. C. T. Mackinnon, W. A.
Divett, E. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Mangles, R. D.
Duff, G. S. Marshall, J. G.
Duff, J. Marshall, W.
Dundas, Adm. Martin, C. W.
Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D. Masterman, J.
Ebrington, Visct. Matheson, Col.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Ellice, E. Melgund, Visct.
Ellis, J. Milner, W. M. E.
Elliott, hon. J. E. Milnes, R. M.
Enfield, Visct. Mitchell, T. A.
Evans, J. Moffatt, G.
Evans, W. Molesworth, Sir W.
Ewart, W. Moncrieff, J.
Fergus, J. Morgan, H. K. G.
Ferguson, Col. Morison, Sir W.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Morris, D.
Fitzpatrick, rt. hon. J. W. Mulgrave, Earl of
Fitzroy, hon. H. Murphy, F. S.
Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Foley, J. H. H. Norreys, Lord
Fordyce, A. D. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Forster, M. Ogle, S. C. H.
Fortescue, C. Ord, W.
Fortescue, hon. J. W. Oswald, A.
Fox, W. J. Owen, Sir J.
Freestun, Col. Paget, Lord A.
French, F. Paget, Lord C.
Geach, C. Paget, Lord G.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Palmer, R.
Palmerston, Visct. Stuart, Lord J.
Parker, J. Tancred, H. W.
Peel, Sir R. Tenison, E. K.
Peel, F. Thicknesse, R. A.
Peto, S. M. Thompson, Col.
Pilkington, J. Thornely, T.
Pinney, W. Tollemache, hon. F. G.
Plowden, W. H. C. Towneley, J.
Ponsonby, hon. C. F. A. Townley, R. G.
Powlett, Lord W. Trelawny, J. S.
Price, Sir R. Trevor, hon. T.
Pusey, P. Tufnell, rt. hon. H.
Rawdon, Col. Vane, Lord H.
Ricardo, O. Villiers, hon. C.
Rice, E. R. Vivian, J. H.
Rich, H. Wall, C. B.
Romilly, Col. Walmsley, Sir J.
Russell, Lord J. Watkins, Col. L.
Russell, hon. E. S. Wawn, J. T.
Russell, F. C. H. Wegg-Prosser, F. R.
Scrope, G. P. Wellesley, Lord C.
Seymour, H. D. Westhead, J. P. B.
Seymour, Lord Willcox, B. M.
Shafto, R. D. Williams, W.
Shelburne, Earl of Williamson, Sir H.
Sheridan, R. B. Wilson, J.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Wilson, M.
Smith, J. A. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Smith, J. B. Wood, Sir W. P.
Smythe, hon. G. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Somers, J. P. Wrightson, W. B.
Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W. Wyvill, M.
Spearman, H. J.
Stansfield, W. R. C. TELLERS.
Stanton, W. H. Hayter, W. G.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Hill, Lord M.

House resumed. Committee report progress; to sit again on Monday next.