HC Deb 27 April 1853 vol 126 cc621-3

Order for Second Reading read.


said, that as the House, by adopting this Bill so far, had taken the management of it out of his exclusive control, it was fit they should be informed of the course he intended to pursue regarding it. Since the Bill was first introduced, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had declared his intention of dealing with the subject. On Saturday last he accompanied a deputation of the heads of the profession to the right hon. Gentleman, and laid before him the reasons on account of which they were dissatisfied with the measure of reduction that he had proposed. Before the time arrived when the Resolutions for the reduction of the duty would come before the House, he hoped the reasons then given would induce the right hon. Gentleman to accede to the wishes of the profession, or to state that it was the intention of the Government to propose the Resolutions only as a partial reduction, with a view to the total extinction of the tax. If neither of those alternatives were adopted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it would be his (Lord R. Grosvenor's) duty to propose an Amendment to the Resolutions, pledging the House to the total abolition. If the Amendment was carried, it would then be necessary to make some alterations regarding the registration of attorneys, the machinery for which was provided by the Bill which now stood for the second reading. Under these circumstances, he should beg to postpone the Motion for the second reading until Wednesday, the 1st of June.


said, that this subject had, within the last few days, assumed a degree of importance which it did not before possess. On every occasion when the noble Lord had brought it forward, he had felt it his duty to oppose the proposition for repealing the annual duty upon attorneys and solicitors' certificates, not because there was any special reason for it, but because so long as forty-two other classes remained subject to the impost, he could not conceive why attorneys should be the first to be relieved. But now, while the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer had assented to a reduction of the duty on attorneys' certificates, he had actually proposed upon seven other branches of business very important alterations or additions. The certificate duty which would be imposed upon Messrs. Barclay, Perkins, and Co., in their capacity as brewers and maltsters, would amount to no less a sum than 2,850 l. a year; whilst the total amount to be levied upon brewers and maltsters would approach 100,000 per annum. In addition, the right hon. Gentleman intended to levy a like duty upon five new classes of tradesmen; but he had to encounter so many impracticabilities that he had undertaken to reconsider the matter, so that he would either renounce the plan altogether, or endeavour to render it capable of being carried out. But the duty he now referred to was, in point of fact, nothing but an additional malt tax of 100,000l. a year, and therefore it was desirable the House should be in possession of the fact. He was not opposed to this sort of capitation tax if the Legislature deemed it a proper mode of levying an income tax, provided it was adopted as a general measure, and not exclusively confined to half-a-dozen or seven classes of tradesmen, for it then became a most obnoxious impost—a sort of confiscation approaching to socialism. If the right hon. Gentleman would consent to impose a duty upon ironmasters, cotton spinners, flax spinners, and the whole race of spinners, according to their assumed profits, or according to any other plan, he (Mr. Bass) should not object, provided the system was general; but he did object to a blow being thus aimed at particular callings. However, when the matter again came before the House, he should again call attention to the subject.


said, tobacco dealers were put under a heavy charge for licences under the right hon. Gentleman's plan, and he should take an opportunity of calling attention to their case.

Second Beading deferred till Wednesday, 1st of June.

Back to