HC Deb 01 March 1853 vol 124 cc805-34

said, it would be in the recollection of the House, that when the late Chancellor of the Exchequer brought forward his Budget, he (Mr. Williams) proposed as an amendment to that part which increased the duty on houses, that the deficiency should be supplied by an extension of the probate and legacy duty to real property. In deference to the expressed wishes of the House, he withdrew his Motion, stating at the same time that he would take the earliest opportunity of introducing it again as a substantive Motion. It had been to him a matter of great surprise that the country had so long permitted the exemption of real property, which consisted of freehold land, houses, lay and impropriate tithes, manors, quarries, and mines, from the payment of legacy and probate duty, while those duties were imposed on every other description of personal property. Thus when all other property was compelled to pay the tax, this property was exempt from probate. It was in consequence of this, legacies charged on land being generally left to the younger children of the landed aristocracy, that the owners were enabled to evade the law. But, although it was unjust to exempt these classes from the payment of probate duty, it was still a vast deal a greater hardship to exempt the first inheritor of land from the payment of any duty whatever. But in short the Acts of Parliament which imposed these duties were from the beginning to the end a violation of every principle of common honesty, to prove which, he would give one or two examples, out of a great many which he had prepared. The Act which imposed the probate and legacy duties was passed in 1796. Mr. Pitt, apprehending successful opposition from Members of both Houses of Parliament to subject their estates to those taxes, brought in two Bills—one to subject personal property to pay them, and the other to impose the same duties on real property. On the introduction of the first Bill, Mr. Fox objected to the separation into two Bills. He said— There was a great deal of force in the objection about not bringing forward the other Bill, with regard to the tax on landed property. He saw no good reason why they should be separated, but many why they should be kept together. Mr. Pitt agreed that the principle on which the two Bills was founded was much the same, and if this Bill passed it would be very desirable that the principle should be extended to real property. The first Bill passed with little or no objection, only sixteen voted against it. It passed the House of Lords without opposition, and soon received the Royal Assent. That Bill having been secured, the other Bill was proceeded with to impose the same duties on real property; on which occasion Mr. Pitt said that— The principle of the Bill having been already recognised in the personal property succession tax, and also on the duties formerly existing upon legacies, it never could be paid with reluctance, because persons would feel little or no hardship in paying a tax out of that property which they did not expect to enjoy. The Bill passed with little opposition to the third reading, when a Motion made by Mr. Pitt, that it be now read a third time, was lost by a majority of two. He then moved that it be read a third time next morning, when the numbers for and against were equal. The Speaker gave his casting vote for the Motion, but Mr. Pitt seeing no chance of passing it through either House, withdrew it—the Personal Property Bill having already become law. Lord Lauderdale brought in a Bill in the House of Lords to suspend its operation, "in order," as he said— That their Lordships might have an opportunity of preventing that injustice which must ensue if one sort of property was to be taxed, and land was not. This Bill was rejected, and he entered a Protest on the Lords' Journals, condemning in strong terms the injustice of taxing personal property, and wholly to exempt real property. In the years 1804, 1805, and 1815, Bills were passed to extend the area of these taxes. Prom 1815 they had continued the same to the present time. In the Act of 1805 legacies left by will, chargeable on land, and also the proceeds of sales of land, directed by will to be sold for the more convenient distribution among the family, were both made subject to the legacy duty, but not to the probate duty.

He would recapitulate some of the partial and unjust provisions of the Acts which impose these taxes:—Leases on land for a term of years, including outlay for improvements, must be valued, and both probate and legacy duty paid on their full valuation, while leases on land for lives, and the land itself, paid nothing. Another case still more worthy of reprobation was, that houses built on building leases paid both duties on their full value, but the ground landlords paid no duty. Neither were those taxes paid on the value of the same houses when they fell into the landlord's hands, after the expiration of the leases. He would ask, was there anything more unjust than such a system of legislation? Houses built by landlords on their own land were exempted from paying both of these taxes. Lands sold on a lease of 1,000 years for a peppercorn rent, although as good as freehold, paid both duties on their full value; this was accounted for by the estates of the aristocracy not being held by this tenure, having principally been acquired by confiscation of Church property. But there was another case still more oppressive. If a landed estate was left to a person, which was charged with mortgage or other debt, and along with it funded or any other personal property, he could apply the latter to pay off the debt on the landed estate, without paying upon it either of the duties. The value of a farmer's lease, including outlay on improvements, of his stock, crop, implements of husbandry, furniture, and even wearing apparel, must pay both probate and legacy duty, while the owner of the land paid nothing. Probate duty must be paid on the full value of an insolvent estate, and the whole amount is not returned. Property left by a husband to a wife, or a wife to a husband, paid neither of the duties. Personal property of every kind, of the value of 20l. and upwards, pays both duties. He had many more cases with which he would not weary the House, but merely mention one or two to show the way in which these cases were evaded. Numerous means were resorted to of evading the probate and legacy duties; for instance, persons possessing large landed estates save large sums of money for their younger children, which, to avoid the duties, they give to them generally towards the latter end of their lives. For instance, one of the most eminent Judges of modern times (the late Lord Stowell), the Judge of the Admiralty Court and Consistory Court of the Bishop of London, where wills are proved, in order to save these duties under his will, transferred large sums in the public funds to his son, whom he required to give him (Lord Stowell) a power of attorney to receive the dividends, which he did during his life. The son died a short time before him, and a Chancery suit was instituted to ascertain to which of the two the property belonged; so that the old Judge had to pay probate and legacy duty upon all. Property given by deed of trust or deed of gift was, after death, or by deed of settlement, exempted from these duties. Above all, he was told that fraud was carried on by funded or other property being registered in joint names, the survivor taking possession of the whole without paving any duty. The evasions from these causes going on in different parts of the country exceeded credibility.

Mr. Porter, in his work, The Progress of the Nation, states that less than three-tenths of heads of families who die annually leave property subjected to these duties. The fact was, that the probate duty, like our whole system of taxation favoured the rich, and threw its heaviest burden on the poorest class. A legacy of 20l. pays 2½ per cent probate duty, which is reduced as the amount increases to 1½ percent, but it is limited to 1,000,000l.: above that sum nothing is paid; and on letters of administration taken out, where there is no will, the probate duty is 50 per cent more than those which were taken out under a will. As a proof of the favouritism of this duty, be might mention, that in the year 1848, 26,463 letters of administration were taken out, and of that number, 17,600 were for property varying from 20l. to 200l.; showing not only that it pressed most on the poor, but also that they were more honest than the others. The House could not but admit that the exemptions he had pointed out exhibited an amount of oppression and injustice scarcely to be credited as existing in a free country that boasted of its institutions securing equal justice to all classes and to all men. The exemption of landed estate from those duties which were imposed upon the savings of a poor man, if they happened to amount to 20l. and came to be divided, was an injustice so palpable that it was, he believed, impossible to find its parallel in the history of any modern nation except, perhaps, during the ancient regime of France, under which the rich were protected from paying their due share of the taxes, and which produced consequences which, as they were historically known to every one, he would advert to no further than to express a hope that the example would never be followed in this country. But perhaps the most remarkable part of the subject was, that the exemption of the large estates of the rich from the tax, was urged on the ground that a large amount was levied upon that description of property in the stamp duties on conveyances, which fell exclusively en land sold. But the fact was, that the conveyance of land sold paid exactly the same duty as the conveyance or transfer of shares in railways, canals, docks, harbours, joint-stock banks, gas companies, water companies, steam navigation companies, and all other descriptions of property. The stamp duty on the transfer of shares in such properties was exactly the same as that on the transfer or the conveyance of land; they were so by Act of Parliament, and consequently there could be no dispute on that question. The only exceptions were the stocks of the Bank of England and Ireland, and of the East India Company, which paid only 30s. for the transfer of all accounts, however large or small, and the whole of which paid the duties of from 2½ to 1½ per cent on probates, and from 1 to l0 per cent on legacies. Why this exemption existed in favour of these great companies was well worth the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and as the Charters both of the Bank and the East India Company were about to expire, the right hon. Gentleman would have the opportunity of giving the subject the consideration it deserved.

But, talk of the charges on land, why, was it nut well known that a duty of 200 per cent was charged on ordinary insurances against fire, while farm stock and farming implements paid no duty whatever on insurances. He would now refer to the opinion of a gentleman whose authority would be received with favour and with confidence in that House: he meant the late Mr. Porter. That gentleman, who it will be remembered, for many years was head of the statistical department of the Board of Trade, and afterwards promoted to be Secretary of that Board, said, in his able work, The Progress of the NationThe probate and legacy duties are accompanied by the advantage which generally attends direct taxation, that a much larger part of their produce than taxes indirectly collected finds its way into the public treasury; they are also free from the evil effects commonly ascribed to direct taxation, that it engenders irritation, and is regarded as a greater burthen than the payment of duties to a greater amount on consumable commodities. The probate and legacy duties are, in truth, not felt as a tax; objections to them, as levied in this country, might be brought forward, namely, the partiality shown in excluding from their operation that description of property which, from its greater comparative value and security, is called real property. This partiality has always been felt as a grievance, and the sense of injustice which it is calculated to awaken is of mose moment than any temporary irritation that may accompany any demand for money taxes. This was a most important statement as coming from such an authority. Here they found Mr. Porter denouncing in strong terms the system as most unjust and demoralising. In the year 1851, the amount of property which paid the legacy duty was 51,837,000l., and the amount of the duty was 1,315,380l., varying according to degrees of consanguinity from 1 to 6 per cent, and 10 per cent where no relationship existed; the average was more than 2½ per cent. In the same year the amount of the probate duty was 1,063,400l., varying from 2½ per cent on 20l. to 1½ per cent on larger sums, but limited to 1,000,000l.; all above that sum pays nothing. In some cases the legacy duty only was paid; in others, only probate duty; there being no official return of the gross amount on which the probate duty was paid in 1851, it was taken at the same amount as that on which the legacy duty was paid, which gave an average of more than 2 per cent—together, more than 4½ per cent. This was a most important fact to bear in mind. And with regard to the probate duty, the House should recollect that the probate duty on letters of administration taken out without a will was 50 per cent more than those which were taken out under a will.

Next to the injustice of exempting real property from those taxes which were paid by personal property, was the amount on which the probate and legacy duties were imposed. He had made a calculation on this part of the subject, which he would presently read. It was a well-known fact that the probate and legacy duties were imposed on the gross capital—that was the principal—whereas the duty levied for the income tax was imposed on the annual rental of the property. Therefore, acting on the principle of the income tax, to arrive at the amount of real property which should be liable to the probate and legacy duty, that property should be reduced so as to ascertain its annual value. In the year ending the 5th of April, 1851, the rental of real property on which the income tax was paid in England, Wales, and Scotland, was 47,800,000l.; on messuages, 43,000,000l;. on manors, mines, quarries, and tithes belonging to lay impropriators, 4,430,000l., together 95,230,000l. Take the same description of property in Ireland at 12,500,000l., they amounted together to 107,730,000l., and it was important to bear in mind that no income tax was paid on incomes of less than 150l. a year; therefore the amount of the rental in Great Britain does not include land, houses, manors, mines, quarries, and lay tithes of less value than 150l. a year, except in cases of other property combined making up that sum. Now, to reduce these 107,730,000l. of annual rental to capital, and then to ascertain the amount which should be paid to the probate and legacy ducy, he had calculated this way. As the probate and legacy duties were paid on the amount of the principal, and the income tax was paid on the annual income, he took the 95,230,000l., the annual rental of Great Britain, at twenty-five years' purchase, and the average duration of lives in possession at twenty-two years.

He was aware that upon this point much difference of opinion might exist; he had taken all the pains of which he was capable to arrive at a strictly accurate conclusion, but had found no means of attaining that result. He had consulted numerous persons acquainted with such subjects, and amongst them some of the most eminent actuaries connected with the assurance companies; but they had no data which might form the basis of such a calculation. He had also obtained numerous returns relating to property which had been in the same families for as much as 200 years back, and from all those various sources he found that twenty-two years was more than the actual average. But he adopted that term for one reason, because, amongst other reasons he found that the average period during which the various Sovereigns of England had reigned, from William the Conqueror down to William IV., was something less than twenty-two years. Some persons would think the average value of the lives in possession was more than twenty-two years—others that it was less. But, whether one way or the other, the principle was the same. Taking, then, 95,230,000l., the annual rental of Great Britain at twenty-five years' purchase, and the average duration of lives in possession at twenty-two years—and taking the rental of Ireland, 12,500,000l., at fifteen years' purchase, and the average duration of life in possession at twenty-two years, the amount on which these taxes would be paid annually would be 116,738,000l., which at 4½ per cent, the average amount of the duties, would produce on real property 5,250,000l. annually. From which deduction should be made of the amount of real property which pays those taxes, which Mr. Trevor, the Comptroller of the Legacy Duty, estimates at 500,000l., being-two-fifths of the whole amount of the legacy duty; but which Mr. Pressly, Commissioner of Stamps and Taxes, estimates at less than 400,000l. in reference to which he said, "I have endeavoured to arrive at something like a conclusion, but it is very unsatisfactory." Against this should be placed the value of land, houses, manors, mines, quarries, and lay impropriator tithes under 150l. a year, which are not included in the income tax returns. The amount under 150l. in Schedule A was 9,994,000l,, of which 11 per cent was personal property, leaving of that property 8,847,400l., which at twenty-five years' purchase and twenty-two years in possession on an average gives 452,400l., being a medium between the estimates of Mr. Trevor and Mr. Pressly. If the probate and legacy duties had been imposed on real property in 1796, and allowed to accumulate with interest and compound interest to the present time, the produce would have paid off the greater portion of the national debt. The iniquity of the existing system did not escape the penetration of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, who when introducing his Budget, said on behalf of himself and his Colleagues— We have not neglected carefully to examine the question of the stamp duties and the probate duties, and we think it not impossible to bring forward on the right occasion a duty on successions that will reconcile contending interests and terminate the system now so much complained of."—[3 Hansard, cxxiii. 906.] The late Chancellor of the Exchequer had left this question as a legacy to his successor, and, if he should not discharge his duty faithfully with respect to it, let the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire come forward and say distinctly that he was prepared to do justice by equalising this most unequally distributed portion of the public burdens; and, if he did so, the national voice in demanding his re-instalment in the place of Chancellor of the Exchequer, would be too strong for resistance. He could state numerous instances of the unjust and unequal pressure of the tax, and of the amount which was in consequence lost to the revenue. Not to weary the House, he would only refer to one. The late Lord Rolle left an estate not long since to a relation of his wife, worth 40,000l. a year; the value of that estate at twenty-five years' purchase would be 1,000,000l, upon which the legacy duty would be 100,000l., and the probate duty 15,000l. if real property were subjected to pay these takes. On the other hand, if a labourer on that estate by frugal savings left behind him property to the value of 20l., including his scanty furniture, and even his smock frock, it would be compelled to pay both probate and legacy duty, at the rate of 2½ and 3 per cent respectively if left to a brother or sister, or if to a distant relation of 10 to 12 per cent, while the property of his wealthy landlord escaped. Yet we called this a free and a Christian country, where men acted on the principle of doing to others as they wished to be done by.

He called, therefore, on the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for whom he entertained the highest opinion, and whose high moral motives and great ability no man appreciated more than he did—he implored him to take the subject into his most serious consideration, with a view to the removal of that which was a stigma on both Houses of the Legislature, rendering them open to the charge of grasping selfishness and of screening themselves from taxes which they imposed on those who were far less able to bear them. If these duties were levied on all property alike, it would produce probably 8,500,000l. a year. When Sir Robert Peel laid on the income tax he did so as a basis upon which he could remove those taxes which pressed upon the manufacturing industry of the country and the food of the poor. Sir Robert Peel made that tax, which amounted to 5,283,000l., the basis of repealing or reducing 13,000,000l. of such taxes; and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer took the course he (Mr. Williams) recommended, it was difficult to over-estimate the great relief he might thus give to the country by the removal of those taxes which still pressed upon and fettered its industry. The division on the Resolution he was about to submit, would in some degree test the value of the Reform Act. The Parliament of 1796 had imposed these duties on personal property, but did not make them applicable to their own property, their estates. But that Parliament was said to have been returned by 180 Peers and other rich men, who consulted their own interest rather than the interest of the nation at large. But it would be said that was an unreformed Parliament. Well, since that period we had had reform in Parliament, and the division now about to take place would enable the country to judge of how much they had gained by the Reform Bill. He trusted the result would show that they had at least obtained in a reformed Parliament a majority against the continuance of such a gross and manifestly unjust system as that to which he had called attention.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That, in the opinion of this House, real property should be made to pay the same Probate and Legacy Duties as are now payable on personal property.


Sir, the office which I hold would naturally inspire me with every prejudice in favour of the Motion of the hon. Gentleman who has just resumed his seat. He does not propose, as is too often the case, to deprive the Exchequer of the funds which belong it, and for which it has ample employment, but he proposes to enlarge its funds, by imposing certain taxes not now universally applicable to the different kinds of property, upon a certain class to which they do not at present extend. Notwithstanding this, it is my duty to object to the Motion which the hon. Gentleman has made. And, first of all, with all respect to him, and frankly admitting the evident sincerity of his intention, and the perfect fairness of the manner in which he has stated the case, I cannot help pointing out to the House that there is much inconvenience and something like—I will not say evasion—but escaping from the rules of the House in discussions of this nature. The effect of a Resolution of the nature of that moved by the hon. Gentleman, is neither more nor less than to call on the House of Commons to depart from the work of legislation and practical business, and to content itself with the expression of abstract opinions. Supposing the House were to adopt the Resolution of the hon. Gentleman, the question of the probate and legacy duty would stand precisely where it did before. The hon. Gentleman knows that there are plenty of instances of Resolutions of this kind being adopted by the House, commonly with the same want of forethought; and which, notwithstanding that they related to measures of great importance, have taken no effect whatever. Now, these Resolutions are not merely of a neutral or negative character, but they do positive evil; because they tend to delude the country, and to make it suppose that we are doing the public business when we are in reality doing no such thing, but are merely expressing abstract opinions that do not affect that which should be done.

The hon. Member must surely be aware that the proper place to have proposed this Resolution would have been when the House was in a Committee of Ways and Means. The hon. Member brought this same Resolution forward in the month of December last, when the Budget of the late Government was under consideration, and he was then perfectly in order; but at present he calls on us merely for the expression of an abstract opinion; and though I do not intend to take advantage of that objection to escape in any degree the discussion of the case, yet I do not enter on it without a protest at least to this extent, and without endeavouring to point out to the House the practical inconvenience that attends this method of procedure. The hon. Gentleman has expressed a kind opinion of me, and I beg to reciprocate the hon. Member's feelings by saying that I am convinced that the motives of the hon. Gentleman in bringing forward this Motion are perfectly fair and just. We are not disposed, either on this or on the other side of the House, to contend for exclusive privileges in taxation of one kind or the other. Such a privilege needs only to be named to meet with universal reprobation. The principle on which all parties act is that of equality in the taxation of property; I will not say perfect equality, because, unfortunately, the necessary defects of human legislation in these matters render it impossible to attain in practice perfect equality in taxation; but it is now universally admitted that that is the object to which your legislation should be directed. But then I must represent—and I think that I may ask the assent of the hon. Member to this proposition—that that perfect equality must of necessity be the result, not of one of your taxes only, but of your entire system of taxation. It is impossible to lay on any one tax which shall operate with entire equality. You must consider each part of your system of taxation with reference to every other vital and essential part of it, and must strive to attain a general result which will fulfil the great ends of justice by laying the burdens of the public taxation equally on men's shoulders according to their strength to bear it; and that is the principle I shall endeavour to apply to the consideration of this and of every other similar subject. I must say in the first instance that I do not think the statement of the hon. Gentleman is accurate as a general fact, when he represents the question—the important and difficult question before the House—as being a class ques- tion or a question of class interests. He spoke at one time of the exemption that "the great" had secured for themselves as against "the small." Now, it appears to me that that is a distinction eminently in contradiction to the actual state of the case. If he means to speak of the great owners of real property as against the small—


No, no, the owners of real as against personal property.


Well, I will come to that part of the question presently. The present state of the law as amongst the different holders of real property is unfavourable to the great and eminently favourable to the small owners; because it is generally proved that the land of the country is under settlement, and in the process of putting it under settlement it has undergone considerable changes, and that portion of the land which is not under settlement, and which is a small proportion of the whole, is, with the exceptions usually to be found, the land which is held by small proprietors. The hon. Gentleman will say that this is a question between the landed class and the owners of personal property; but that would be very far from being an accurate representation, for this is indubitable, that where exemptions now existed, whether those exemptions be just or unjust, politic or impolitic, they are exemptions that it is in the power of every man holding personal property, to secure to himself just as much as it is in the power of the owner of real property to do so. I do not mean to prove that by any elaborate argument, but merely by a statement that lies upon the surface of the case, namely, this, that considering the mode in which land is usually dealt with, and the mode in which the great bulk of the land escapes the payment of legacy duty as under settlements, it is as much in the power of an owner of personal property to put his property under settlement as in the power of the landowner. And indeed, personal property in this country does go very extensively under settlement. I have been making inquiries to see the extent to which funded property is placed under settlement, and it is impossible to attain anything like perfect accuracy in the calculation; but I will venture to say that a considerable portion of the entire funded property of this country is under settlement at this moment. The difference between the settlement of landed and personal property is this: the settlement of landed property is always made with perfect bonâ fides—it is made in reference to family arrangements—it is commonly made in the early part of the life of the actual possessor of the property, with reference to the contingency of his death, which is not likely to take place for many years. Many settlements of personal property correspond essentially with this settlement of landed property; but there are settlements of personal property, such as by deeds of gift, that do not correspond with this settlement of landed property at all. Leeds of gift are executed by parties in trust to reserve the proceeds and capital of the property to the absolute and unrestricted disposal of the person who constitutes the trust, and with power of revoking the trust whenever he pleases, with no obligation to publish the trust, so that it is in the power of any man, by writing certain things down on a sheet of paper which he keeps in his drawer, and makes known to nobody, to execute one of those voluntary settlements by deed of gift by which he carries his personal property beyond the range and sphere of the legacy and probate duty.


That is part of my complaint.


I do not describe this practice to justify it, which is positive cruelty as far as regards the Exchequer, but for a most important purpose, namely, for the purpose of showing that this great, and momentous, and very difficult question is not a class question in the way it is supposed, because it does not give the landed property those advantages over personal property which are too commonly assigned to it. The bad state of the law I grant—the absurd state of the law I am willing to concede—each in due time will be remedied—but the law has not that most odious and aggravated feature about it, namely, that those laws are laws passed by the class of landed proprietors for the purpose of securing to themselves exclusive privileges, which the commercial classes and the holders of funds are not at liberty to enjoy. Having thus made material deductions from the statement of the hon. Gentleman, I shall now make a few remarks on his sanguine expectations with respect to the enormous amount of landed property that may be brought under the operation of the law by the change which he proposes should take place. I did not precisely catch the actual figures he stated, but I thought his calculation was that several millions were to proceed from this proposed taxation of landed property. But the hon. Gentleman has made a most serious omission, because it is not true that nothing whatever is paid by landed property to the legacy and probate duty. Annuities and all sums of money charged upon land pay legacy duty; all lands directed to be sold for the purpose of dividing the proceeds pay legacy duty; and an eminent solicitor, Mr. Baxter, gave in evidence before a Committee of the House of Lords, that out of ten wills disposing of unsettled landed property, nine directed the estates to be sold and the proceeds to be divided.


That was in a particular district in Yorkshire.


I am going through the deductions one by one. And this gentleman gave it as his opinion that this quantity of land was liable to be sold, and to pay the legacy duty. I have also had an opportunity of seeing Mr. Trevor, an intelligent witness who gave evidence before the Committee of the House of Lords, and I asked him the proportion he now forms of the legacy duty that is paid by real property under the provisions of the Act of 1805, and he computes it as seven-sixteenths of the whole amount. Your machinery does not enable you to state with perfect precision the actual amount paid by real property, but a good judge tells you that it amounts to seven-sixteenths of the whole. Though it is true that a great deal of real property escapes the legacy duty, yet this is also unquestionably true, that if you had the power to levy your legacy duty uniformly and equally over the whole property of the country, and if you succeeded in levying that legacy duty over the whole of that property, I doubt very much if you would get so good a proportion as seven-sixteenths out of the land as you do now under the present system. I think you might get more than nine-sixteenths out of personal property, and less than seven-sixteenths out of landed property. But another important deduction is to be made from the statement which the hon. Gentleman has made to the House. The hon. Gentleman has not adverted to one enormous deduction which he must make from the representations he has made to the House: he proceeds on the supposition that the great bulk of the landed property escapes altogether the operation of this duty; but those who adopt this line of argument appear to forget the subsisting mortgages upon land. Now what proportion of the land of the country is under mortgage? I believe I should be estimating moderately if I said the land of the country was charged with mortgages to the extent of a fourth part of its value. It may be more, but I assume it is one-fourth, so that the beneficial interest to that extent pays probate and legacy duty. Now, the hon. Gentleman could not intend to say that if this new system which he proposes were established, the parties should pay the tax twice over. Suppose there is an owner of landed property which is valued at 20,000l., and the income from which is 700l. a year; suppose, also, there is a mortgage for 7,000l. charged on that land on account of which the owner pays 400l. yearly; surely the hon. Gentleman does not intend to say that the owner of that land is to pay the probate and legacy duty on the 700l. a year and on the 400l. a year too. To come, therefore, to a true judgment in the case, you must deduct from the whole mass of the landed property of this country the portion of it that pays probate and legacy duty in the shape of interest upon mortgages. Thus far I have only spoken of the deductions that ought to be made from the statement of the hon. Gentleman; further, I will go on to say, that it is one of those subjects that cannot be viewed as an isolated question—we must take into view many other circumstances and provisions with respect to the landed property of the country. The hon. Gentleman also spoke of the stamps on conveyances. No doubt it was the policy of the Legislature comparatively to burden the transfer of land, and to facilitate the descent of land—on the other hand, to burden the descent of personal property, and to make the transfer of personal property easy. That statement has been often made, and the hon. Gentleman impugns it by stating that the same stamp duty is levied upon the transfer of railway shares that is levied upon the transfer of a piece of land. That is true, but he should recollect that there is between 70,000,000l. and 80,000,000l. of property—no small portion of personal property, namely, the funded property of this country—that pays nothing at all upon transfer, and when settled to a considerable degree pays nothing on descent. Although you may choose by your system of stamp duties to fix the same rates for landed and personal property, it will happen that your personal property will go scot-free as to transfer, where the landed property must pay the stamp on transfer. The reason is, that the great bulk of personal property is capable of passing by delivery, and being so capable it requires no legal transfer; it has no legal transfer, and the stamp duty is not paid. It is quite true it is paid upon railway shares, and on some limited descriptions of personal property; but as to the vast proportion of the transfers of real property they are subject to no tax whatever but the receipt stamps; and I believe it is but too true that that trifling amount is in many instances not paid at all. The sum of 10s. is enough to cover the transfer of 1,000,000l. of money, and the fact is that the great bulk pays nothing or next to nothing upon transfers. That the tax upon conveyances is a compensation for legacy and probate duty, is not entirely to be put out of view, and when you are adjusting a system of taxation for real property and personalty, you must not forget the facility of transfer which personalty so entirely enjoys, and that, although you may enact that an equal rate is to be paid upon it, yet in practical operation the great bulk of it escapes from the payment of the tax. You cannot put that out of view in considering what justice demands in dealing with the taxation on real property. I am the last person to claim any favour for real property—but it should not be subject to unequal taxation; and the amount should be estimated, not by any one duty, but by the operation of your general fiscal system, and it is utterly impossible to exclude from the view of that general fiscal system your system of local taxation. You cannot forget that in England alone 10,000,000l. a year is levied off real property, about which personalty knows nothing at all.


Houses are charged.


It is the realty pays. Houses may be real property as well as land.


Railways are also charged.


I always looked upon the case of railways, in respect to the rates they pay, as one worthy of consideration; and I agree with the hon. Gentleman entirely, that railways and the unfortunate holders of tithes are very unfairly treated, as com- pared with the owners of other property. In the consideration of your fiscal system you cannot put out of view the fact that in England something like 10,000,000l., and in the whole United Kingdom 12,000,000l. or 13,000,000l., are levied off real property for the purposes of local taxation, about which personal property knows nothing whatever. That is not the principle of your law; according to the principle of your law personal property is just as much subject to those local charges as real property. I do not, however, wish to see personal property subject to those charges. It would lead to confusion, tyranny, and a multitude of evils, if you attempted to subject personalty to those charges; but I do not doubt that if plans of reform are driven to an extreme extent, you may bring that personal property within the scope of local taxation. Instead of endeavouring to reach mathematical precision in each item of taxation, we should look on the result of taxation as a whole, and endeavour to establish fairness in its operation. The time will soon arrive for the discussion of the income tax, and at present I am not going to open it prematurely, but I wish to advert to a single point. I am not going to speak of the income tax at this moment in so far as it falls upon skill and labour, but I am only going to look at it in so far as it falls upon property, and upon property, too, which is the subject likewise of legacy and probate duty. Confining my view to that subject, I say boldly you cannot defend the present incidence of the income tax upon real property. The interest arising from money in the funds, and the interest payable on mortgages, pay the income tax according to the income actually received; but real property pays the income tax, not according to what is received, but it pays the income tax on repairs, it pays the income tax on arrears, it pays the income tax on vacant farms, and in half-a-dozen other cases where no income is received.


It will be very easy to amend that.


That is easier said than done. No man will be so grateful to the hon. Gentleman as I shall be, if he will produce a good and practical plan to amend it. The melancholy conclusion I am driven to is, that we must perforce make up our minds in many cases to put up with inequalities, and be satisfied that on the whole the ends of justice are attained if those inequalities are found to balance one another. I think these are all most important facts that bear upon this discussion, and without taking them into view, you cannot arrive at a fair estimate of the question. Therefore, to look at some isolated question—to look at the operation of the law with regard to one description of property, without considering the operation of other systems of taxation upon it, is, I will not say a reprehensible practice, but it is a practice that requires to be corrected and qualified, and, considered in reference to other topics, if we are to arrive at a general conclusion that will be a safe guide in practice. It is stated in the Reports of the Lords' Committee, that the land tax, the poor-rate, and the county rate, were equivalent to an income tax of 11 per cent. This is a most important fact to bear in mind in this discusion, and I hope it will be kept in mind in the consideration of all these questions. On one point I think the hon. Gentleman has made out a strong case, and that is as to the present scale for probates. The absurdity of that scale is admitted by all. Why are we to stop when we have reached 1,000,000l. of money, as if there were not in this great country fortunes made exceeding that amount? And if nothing else be done, that scale should be readjusted. It is clear that an immense amount of personal property escapes duty, which, according to the present law, should not escape, and especially through deeds of gift the operation of the present law is most unsatisfactory. There has been an enormous increase in the personal property of this country, but the legacy duty does not grow larger. The entire amount that has paid legacy duty for a series of years is about 45,000,000l., and there is very little doubt that if you did not alter the principle of the law, looking to personal property alone, instead of 45,000,000l., out of which seven-sixteenths is derived from real property, you should get something very near to double that amount. The hon. Gentleman has adverted to the case of the poor man; he says his property pays the full probate duty, and I agree that it does, and that it is a case of great hardship. The wealthy man, who has legal assistance, is enabled to avail himself of the means of escaping the burdens of the law; but the man who leaves 40l. or 50l. has no such means. The scale is so constructed that it falls upon him with a disproportionate weight. And these are all things which call for that serious investigation which he invites me to give the subject. With regard to the further question, whether or not the land ought to be subject to the payment of legacy and probate duty, it is impossible, in my judgment, for the House to come to any safe conclusion upon the subject until we have some fixed principles laid down and adopted with reference to the rest of our taxation. Before the House can consider the question as to what is to be done with the probate and legacy duty, I think it should have more fixed and definite intentions on the subject of the income tax than have been as yet expressed. The hon. Gentleman says, "Here is a system of law that operates in favour of real property against personal property;" but when you come to the income tax, and compare its effect on real property and personal property, it is quite as clear and undeniable that the income tax is unequal, in favour of personal property and against real property. It appears to me that the course which the House may take with reference to the income tax, must necessarily be made the pivot on which the whole of this controversy shall turn. As to the question of laying duties on land, I will say as strongly and decidedly as the hon. Gentleman himself, that the land has no claim to special favour. It has only a right to be justly taxed; but of course, in considering that question, it will be necessary to take a review of all the circumstances by which land is affected. I am sure the hon. Gentleman does not make it a matter of censure upon me, that after my recent accession to office, and when the whole of our system of taxation is open from one cause or another, I am not now prepared to state to him what may be the ultimate course of the Government. Much must depend—almost everything must depend, with regard to the fiscal policy of the next two years, on the course taken by the House with reference to the income tax. When the time shall come, it will be my duty to state the views of the Government. I assure the hon. Gentleman that the whole of the question shall undergo from me the most careful examination, and that the results which we may arrive at will be results to which we shall be led by no desire to favour this or that class, but by the desire to do full and impartial justice to all classes. Whether the hon. Gentleman ought or ought not to be satisfied with this explanation, I leave the question in his hands. It is from no disrespect to him that I point out the inconvenience of adopting this Resolution, and I hope it may be consistent with his views not to press it upon the House for adoption. At all events, I have done my duty by stating the principles on which we are prepared to deal with this question, and which has led us to the conclusion at which we have arrived upon it.


said, this was a most important question, and his hon. Friend (Mr. W. Williams) was quite right in bringing it forward. It had been his (Mr. Hume's) lot to hear many Chancellors of the Exchequer say that it was not convenient to bring forward such questions as this, in this shape. But he thought the time had come when it ought to be stated what was to be done with regard to these duties. The Government had taken time to consider what plan of taxation they should adopt; but, nevertheless, the present Motion was quite consistent with all practice, and his hon. Friend was quite justified in bringing it forward at the present time. His hon. Friend had very clearly shown the inequalities in those duties. There were one or two points on which he (Mr. Hume) differed from the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. His hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth said, that this was a class question, and that the law relating to these duties was passed by the landlords to benefit themselves. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer denied that. What was the real state of the case? Mr. Pitt brought in a Bill enabling the levy of probate and legacy duty on all property, real and personal. The Bill was read a first and a second time, and when it came to Committee then came the pressure of the landed proprietors, who compelled Mr. Pitt to divide the Bill into two parts, one relating to real and the other to personal property. When the question was put as to the part relating to personal property, the Bill passed; but when it was put as to landed property, there was a division, and the numbers were 30 to 30, and there it ended. A personal friend of Mr. Pitt's had assured him (Mr. Hume) that Lord Sidmouth, who was then Speaker, had declared that the Bill ought to have gone to another division; but such was the pressure put by the country Gentlemen on Mr. Pitt, that he was told that if he attempted to move further in the Bill, he must take the consequences, and so it was never brought forward again. The Bill relating to the duty on personal property was passed, but real property was never made liable. If the right hon. Gentleman said that was not a class proceeding, he (Mr. Hume) knew not what was a class proceeding. His hon. Friend (Mr. W. Williams) had shown the great inequalities of this duty. Take the case of bequests. If a man had 10,000l. in landed property left him he was not liable to these duties, but if it was left in personal property he was subject to them. It appeared by the calculations of Mr. Spackman that the value of real property in this country was 2,000,000,000l., of which 1,500,000,000 was the value of the land, and 500,000,000 the value of the farmers, and the necessary machinery for the cultivation of the land. Those 2,000,000,000l. passed without paying any of this tax, except on the portion which was the personal property of the cultivators. The whole proceeding therefore appeared to him to be of a class character. Since that time there had been various Acts passed exempting real property, while personal property—such as copyhold houses, railroads, and other species of property—was made liable to the tax. The result was, that while landed property escaped this peculiar taxation, personal property, on the other hand, had paid legacy duty in England during the year 1851 on a capital amounting to 49,402,000l., and in Ireland, during the same period, on a capital of 2,435,000l. If Mr. Spackman's estimate was taken, there were about 80,000,000l. of real property which ought to be subject to the tax. That amount therefore escaped, and 52,000,000l. of personal property was assessed. The House ought to know the extent to which personal property was subjected to this tax. The amount received last year for legacy duty was 47,502l., and for probate duty 38,360l. No less a sum than 85,763,000l. of personal property was levied on for this tax, and not one farthing of real property. The amount levied by these duties since their imposition had been 1,588,000l. This was sufficient to warrant his hon. Friend in bringing the subject forward for discussion. It was their duty to remove inequality of taxation. Taxation ought to be laid as equally as possible on all kinds of property. It was an insurance which persons of property paid for the maintenance of order, and they ought to pay that insurance equally, and in proportion, in the same way as they would pay a fire insurance. The large sum of 85,000,000l. had, however, been levied, on one description of property only, in consequence of one Act passing, and another Act not passing. He believed that personal property, if fairly valued, was equal to real property, if not more. With regard to local taxation he believed that personal property paid its full share, and that it was quite a mistake to say that landed property alone paid. He could substantiate the assertion that personal property paid as much as real property. But that was not the question. The question was, was there anything peculiar in this tax that land ought to be exempted from it. He could not think of anything. There were stamps, but personal property was equally affected by them; as in bills of exchange. He wanted to confine this tax to a tax on descent. With regard to mortgages, he could not understand the right hon. Gentleman. Mortgages were personal property, and were charged as such. How, therefore, he brought that in as an excuse, he could not understand. Then look at the increase of railroad property to the value of 200,000,000l. to 300,000,000l, which was all held to be personal property. He fully agreed with the right hon. Gentleman, that there were gross inequalities in our system of taxation. He had no hesitation in saying, that indirect taxation bore on the industrious and middle class so hardly that he scarce ventured to state it. It amounted, on the average, to 40 per cent on the consumption. A statement was published about two years ago, on the effect of taxation in the United States. The writer stated that federal taxation in the United States was raised by import duties, which in 1849–50 amounted to 29,000,000 dollars; and he showed that those 29,000,000 dollars amounted to 100,000,000 to the consumer. He proved it step by step and article by article, and showed how the increase amounted to that sum. In the same manner our indirect taxation fell very heavily on the middle and industrious classes. He fully agreed with the right hon. Gentleman, that no income tax they could impose could be considered truly equal, until an inquiry had been made into the incidence of all taxation, and all had been made as equal as possible. But he believed the House had no idea of the enormous amount paid by indirect taxation by the middle and industrious classes. It was on that ground that he invited the Government to institute an inquiry forthwith. With a taxation of 56,000,000l., it was their duty to see that it was levied in a manner least burdensome to the community at large. In the matter of transfers, the right hon. Gentleman said personal property was exempt. What property was exempt except stock, and that was one of the terms and conditions on which they borrowed the money? He thought the time had come when that House should declare that justice should be done. He should support the Motion of his hon. Friend (Mr. W. Williams) with the greatest pleasure, this being a question which over and over again in former times he (Mr. Hume) had endeavoured to press on the consideration of the House and the various Governments of the day with the view to a remedy.


said, he could not but think that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had omitted to state some of the elements which ought to be brought into consideration. He had no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman, in common with others who had filled his office, had a great sympathy with the public Exchequer, and looked with great disfavour on anything that would tend to empty it. He (Mr. Henley) believed that any alteration in the way proposed by the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. W. Williams), so far from benefiting the Exchequer, was calculated most certainly to empty it. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that with regard to personal property it had been the object to lay the tax on descent, and that on landed or real property it had been the object to lay the tax upon the transfer. He had no doubt that any one looking fairly at the subject would see that if the tax were laid on the descent of real property it would be unproductive, whereas the tax on the transfer of real property was very productive. The descent of real property passing as it did mainly under settlement, and not by will, could not be productive to the Exchequer, because they would get into the difficult question of reversions; and how were they to deal with them? With regard to personal property, the vast mass of it, not being under bonâ fide settlements, or even colourable settlements, escaped the tax on transfer altogether; still there was a good deal of that kind of property which might be brought within the operation of the tax, which did not now contribute anything to the Exchequer. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hume) had alluded very strongly to the case of America with regard to the incidence of direct taxation; but he thought the hon. Gentleman would hardly venture to quote the evidence they had before the Income Tax Committee on that very subject. The American witnesses, one and all, stated that the federal revenue of America was raised by indirect taxation, and that it was State taxation only that was raised by direct taxes, and which was as nearly as possible like what we called local taxation. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had spoken of the local taxation as being a tax distinguishable on real property. He (Mr. Henley) did not wish to go into that question, because he was prepared to deal with this matter on the question of Imperial taxation, and He believed that on Imperial taxation the balance would be found on the whole not to be in favour, but against, the real property of the country. The right hon. Gentleman also spoke of the stamp on conveyances of real property. If he mistook not, the large item on what were called deeds and instruments, amounted to something like 2,000,000l. annually. No doubt the whole of that did not affect real property. They had never in that House been able to obtain from the Stamp Office a return which would show how much of that amount affected real property; but he believed the opinion of many was that at least one half of it affected real property. That was mere opinion; but if it was one half, that was a large sum to be taken into consideration. The right hon. Gentleman had truly stated the evidence before the Income Tax Committee, and be believed before the Committee of the House of Lords, that seven-sixteenths of the existing duties were paid by land; and if they took that and the amount of stamps, there was a large gross amount. But the right hon. Gentleman had omitted one very important element, and that was the land tax. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman remembered that some 2,000,000l. a year was paid by the land tax, and principally by the Southern and Midland counties of England. That was a very important element to be considered. It was equal in amount to the whole of the legacy and probate duties. [Mr. W. WILLIAMS: No, no!] The hon. Gentleman said "No." [Mr. HUME: A portion of it was redeemed.] Well, if it was redeemed, those who redeemed it had paid hard cash for the redemption, and it was hardly fair that another tax should be laid upon them immediately afterwards. Putting the income tax wholly aside, he believed that the land of this country paid, under the three heads he had stated, a great deal more than compensated for the exemption from the probate and legacy duty. These were matters which could not be dealt with in a single tax. They must look to the whole incidence of the taxation of the country. He was one of those who thought that when it was fairly looked into it would be found that the land paid its full share; and he believed, taking the land tax into account, not only its full share, but a much larger share than its fair proportion. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hume) said the only personal property that escaped transfer duties, was the funds. Why, he surely could not be aware of the facts of the case. The whole agricultural produce of the country passed from hand to hand without any tax whatever, and the same took place with regard to all the merchandise of the country. It was very true that merchants, for their own convenience, by way of raising capital, chose to pay for all these transactions in bills, and therefore it answered their purpose to pay the stamp. But there was no necessity for them to do so, unless they liked. Agricultural produce, then, and merchandise paid no tax on transfer; but they could not sell a piece of land the size of that table without paying a tax, and not a very light one. He denied that landed property had escaped this tax in consequence of the opposition of the landed interest. The fact was that nine-tenths of all the land in the Kingdom was in settlement, and that was the reason why it escaped taxation. He was opposed to the proposition of the hon. Gentleman, and if the Motion was pressed to a division, he would certainly vote against it.


said, he rose merely for the take of stating one or two points which, it appeared to him, placed the probate and legacy duties on personal property in a particularly odious light with a large portion of the people of this country. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley) said they could not go against the feelings of the people. Now, he believed if there was one thing more than another in which the large majority of the people were agreed, it was on this very point that the taxes they were discussing to-night were laid on in a most unjust and unequal manner. Now, he understood—for he was not in the House the whole of the time—that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had fully admitted that, in the speech he had made; and he was not the only Chancellor of the Exchequer who admitted that. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Disraeli), in a speech he made on that side of the House, admitted that this tax was a very great grievance, and that a remedy was required; and, more than that, he intimated that if he had remained in office he would have dealt with this tax, or have made it equal on all property. Now, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley) had got some singular notions on this question. He seemed to think there was something in the stamp duties which made them, in some degree, a balancing tax; but the right hon. Gentleman seemed to forget altogether that leasehold property was liable to this tax, it being personal property, and was also liable to all the stamp duties of every kind to which freehold property was subject. Now, the great hulk of property in this metropolis was leasehold. Take the ease of Bedford Square or Belgrave Square, one the property of the Marquess of Westminster, and the other that of the Duke of Bedford. At this moment the property was leasehold. Mr. Cubitt, or some other builder or builders, had invested capital and built houses on it, and they had leases. During the whole time that these leases continued, the houses were liable to this tax. The leases continued, say for ninety-nine years, and during that time that property might pay two or three times over a probate and legacy duty of from 1 to 10 per cent. But at the end of the lease, the whole property being vested in the Marquess of Westminster or the Duke of Bedford—and he believed that in Bedford Square the property was rapidly falling in—when all this property, which had been paying probate and legacy duty since 1797 fell into the possession of the Duke of Bedford or the Marquess of Westminster, it would cease to pay this tax at all. Here they had men of colossal wealth, whose property, under this system, was exempt from the payment of this tax, which came down to 20l. on the property of poor men in every part of the country. But there was another point which he wished to state, because it happened to come under his own observation, showing how oppressive this tax was. He knew of a case in which an old man died in 1836, and left shares in a public company, and other property. He left the property to his son, who paid the duty of 1 per cent. The son died, and left it to his mother, and then it paid again. The mother died, and left it to another son, and then it paid again. That son died about a year ago, leaving the property to his children, who are now living, and then the legacy duty was paid again. There was a case in which the probate and legacy duty was paid four or five times since 1836. If it had been left, as might have been the case, to persons not in so near a degree of consanguinity, it would have been by this time half absorbed by the tax, which would have amounted altogether to 50 per cent; but in the case he had put it amounted only to 5 per cent, besides the probate duty. He maintained that that was a great injustice when other property in the neighbourhood, just as accessible to the tax-gatherer, was altogether excused. These things were happening constantly in all parts of the country, and men knew and felt the injustice of it; and if he were the possessor of property of any amount, he should say the cheapest insurance for the property he possessed was the most entire justice and equality in taxation that could possibly he obtained; for he did not know anything that could be more unfavourable to order than a general belief among all classes of the people that there was an interest in the governing power which laid the taxes heavily on one class, and lightly on another. The right hon. Gentleman alluded, he understood, to the question of local taxation as being in some degree a balance or compensation. He was glad that the right hon. Gentleman had alluded to it, not, however, because there was anything-in it. He was quite sure he would not have alluded to it if he had not felt what an exceedingly difficult question he had to argue. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Halifax (Sir C. Wood) always fell back on the question of stamps. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer fell back on local taxation. Neither of these arguments had any force in it. Local taxation was based very much as it now was long before the probate and legacy duties were imposed; and Mr. Pitt was as tender to the landed interest as any Chancellor of the Exchequer in that House. He had not intended to say a word upon this; but he had seen the greatest inequalities in this tax, and he thought it for the interest of the country that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should be encouraged, for he looked on all these discussions as encouraging to him to take the right course. The question he understood was going to be considered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the whole incidence of taxation was considered. That meant that the whole thing was to be shelved or ever. He remembered the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley) saving the very same thing when they were discussing the tax on corn. He said, there were a great number of things to be considered, and that it had a bearing on all our taxation. Well, they had got rid of that. They found that it was a question by itself. This was a question by itself; and when the right hon. Gentleman set about considering it, he wished he would consider the question of consanguinity. He thought nothing could be more barbarous than charging 1 per cent to one relative, and 5 per cent to another, and 10 per cent to a stranger, although the latter might be an illegitimate child. It was making such child pay for his illegitimacy. Nothing could be more barbarous. The right hon. Gentleman said the land was all in settlement; but that had nothing to do with the question. Did he suppose the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not get hold of property under settlement as well as property left by will? A tax on succession would be a tax on property changing hands by death, not by wills alone, but by settlement, or in any other way that legal ingenuity could point out. But the main question now before the public was, that within the last fifty or sixty years from 85,000,000l. to 90,000,000l. had been raised by this tax, the greater proportion of it being raised from a class very inadequately represented in that House. He begged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who he believed wished his tenure of his office to be useful to the country, not to be afraid of those hobgoblins which hon. Gentlemen opposite had raised, but that he would grapple with the question, and deal fairly with all the taxpayers in the country.


said, he was afraid that at the time the tax was imposed there was an intention to favour landed property, as against personal property, because they knew that the Legislature of this country then consisted of landowners. He should vote for the Motion.


said, he considered the speech of the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer required an answer. The right hon. Gentleman had displayed his vast fund of ingenuity, but he had failed to overthrow the case made out that it was unjust to impose a tax on one de- scription of property alone. He had referred to Mr. Trevor's evidence on the income tax. Mr. Trevor said he believed that as nearly as possible nine-sixteenths of the real property of this country was under settlement, and he came to the conclusion that the other seven-sixteenths paid the legacy and probate duties. Anything more monstrous could not have been uttered.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 71; Noes 124: Majority 53.

List of the AYES.
Alcock, T. Lacon, Sir E.
Anderson, Sir J. Laing, S.
Bell, J. Langton, H. G.
Biggs, W. Laslett, W.
Bright, J. Lucas, F.
Brotherton, J. M'Cann, J.
Brown, W. Miall, E.
Butler, C. S. Michell, W.
Cheetham, J. Milner, W. M. E.
Clay, J. Mitchell, T. A.
Clay, Sir W. Morris, D.
Cobbett, J. M. Muntz, G. F.
Cobden, R. Pechell, Sir G. B.
Coffin, W. Pellatt, A.
Collier, R. P. Phillimore, J. G.
Crook, J. Phinn, T.
Crossley, F. Pilkington, J.
Duncan, G. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Duncombe, T. Price, W. P.
Dundas, F. Scholefield, W.
Dunlop, A. M. Scobell, Capt.
Evans, Sir De L. Seymour, H. D.
Ewart, W. Seymour, W. D.
Geach, C. Smith, J. B.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Stuart, Lord D.
Goderich, Visct. Swift, R.
Goodman, Sir G. Thicknesse, E. A.
Greenall, G. Thompson, G.
Greene, J. Thornely, T.
Hadfield, G. Walmsley, Sir J.
Hall, Sir B. Whalley, G. H.
Heathcoat, J. Wilkinson, W. A.
Heywood, J Willcox, B. M.
Hume, J. Wise, J. A.
Hutchins, E. J. TELLERS.
Kershaw, J. Shelley, Sir J.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Williams, W.
List of the NOES.
A'Court, C. H. W. Bruce, H. A.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Cairns, H. M.
Ball, F. Campbell, Sir A. I.
Ball, J. Cardwell, rt. hon. E.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T. Cayley, E. S.
Barrington, Visct. Charteris, hon. F.
Barrow, W. H. Cholmondeley, Lord H.
Beaumont, W. B. Clinton, Lord R.
Bentinck, G. P. Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.
Bethell, R. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Biddulph, R. M. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Bland, L. H. Davies, D. A. S.
Brady, J. Denison, J. E.
Bremridge, R. Drumlanrig, Visct.
Browne, V. Dundas, G.
Bruce, Lord E. Evelyn, W. J.
Ferguson, Sir R. North, Col.
Fitzgerald, J. D. Oakes, J. H. P.
Fitzgerald, W. R. S. O'Connell, M.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Osborne, R.
Forbes, W. Ossulston, Lord
French, F. Palmerston, Visct.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. Parker, R. T.
Grace, O. D. J. Patten, J. W.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Percy, hon. J. W.
Greville, Col. F. Phillimore, R. J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Powlett, Lord W.
Hanbury, hon. C. S. B. Price, Sir R.
Heathcote, Sir G. J. Prime, R.
Heathcote, G. H. Robartes, T. J. A.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. Rolt, P.
Herbert, Sir T. Russell, F. C. H.
Hervey, Lord A. Sawle, C. B. G.
Hildyard, R. C. Sheridan, R. B.
Horsfall, T. B. Sibthorp, Col.
Hotham, Lord Smith, W. M.
Ingham, R. Smyth, J. G.
Kendall, N. Smollett, A.
Kirk, W. Spooner, R.
Laffan, R. M. Stanley, Lord
Lawley, hon. F. C. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Liddell, H. G. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Strutt, rt. hon. E.
Lowe, R. Tomline, G.
Mackenzie, W. F. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Mackie, J. Tyler, Sir G.
MacGregor, J. Vane, Lord A.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Vernon, G. E. H.
Malins, R. Vivian, J. E.
Martin, J. Walcot, Adm.
Miles, W. Wells, W.
Miller, T. J. Whatman, J.
Molesworth, rt. hn. Sir W. Whitbread, S.
Monck, Visct. Wickham, H. W.
Moncreiff, J. Wilson, J.
Monsell, W. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Montgomery, Sir G. Wyndham, Gen.
Morgan, O. Wyndham, W.
Mostyn, hon. E. M. L. Wyvill, M.
Mulgrave, Earl of Young, rt. hon. Sir J.
Mullings, J. R.
Murrough, J. P. TELLERS.
Newdegate, C. N. Hayter, W. G.
Noel, hon. G. J. Berkeley, C. G.