HC Deb 02 May 1853 vol 126 cc912-1004

The House in Committee of Ways and Means; Mr. Bouvevie in the Chair.

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

Debate resumed.


said, he trusted it was not necessary that he should preface the observations he was about to address to the Committee by an assurance that he should not have moved the adjournment of the debate on Friday night merely from the wish to gain an opportunity of taking a part in it; but as it was clear the adjournment of the debate was inevitable, it occurred to him that it might not be altogether useless that he should state the sentiments not only of the great constituency he had the honour to represent, but also, he believed, of other portions of the metropolis, with respect to the important question now under consideration. He had reason to believe those sentiments to be decidedly in approval of the financial measures of the Government. He believed great disappointment and regret would be felt throughout the whole of the metropolis, and throughout the great towns of the Kingdom, if those measures were rejected by the Committee. In those sentiments he heartily concurred. After the most mature consideration, the impression he entertained on first hearing the statement of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had been fully confirmed. He was of opinion that the financial scheme the right hon. Gentleman propounded was wise and expedient, as well as bold and comprehensive, and that it combined with the most important immediate relief in the articles of taxation, the prospect of laying a safe and solid foundation for our future fiscal system. In the remarks he was about to make he should confine himself wholly to the question immediately before the Committee, as to the question of the pro- perty and income tax. There could be no doubt that it was the most important question connected with the financial scheme of the Government, inasmuch as the entire scheme must be abandoned if the Committee refused to sanction that proposition. It was proposed to deal with the property and income tax on its present basis, extending it to Ireland, and holding out the prospect of its ultimate extinction. With regard to the present maintenance of the tax, he believed there was no very considerable difference of opinion either in that House or in the country. The abolition of the income tax would occasion a deficiency of about 5,000,000l, and he had not yet heard any man bold enough to state by what process of direct or indirect taxation the deficiency which would be caused by the abolition of the income tax was to be supplied. The question of the extension of that tax to Ireland he approached with embarrassment; but, entertaining the profound conviction with regard to it which he now did, and long had done, he felt it his duty to warn the Irish Members against causing it, by their acts, to become a prevalent opinion in England that there was an inclination among the representatives of Ireland to resist, on slight or insufficient grounds, an extension of equal taxation to their country. He did not for a moment question their right, or their duty, of defending the local and pecuniary interests of their constituents; but he would beg of them to remember their more sacred obligation to provide, by a just distribution of the necessary public burdens, for the maintenance of that great Empire, a part of which they represented, He would at the same time remind them of what fell from the hon. Member for Kerry (Mr. H. Herbert), who had said that it must be a strong case of necessity to warrant him in relieving himself, his neighbours, and his country, from their just share of the Imperial burdens. Had any such reason been shown? He thought not, nor any approach to it even. What were the reasons urged in the speech of his right hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, to whom he referred as to one by whom the best arguments would be adduced for any course he might think it right to adopt. The right hon. Gentleman had argued that whereas we were making a large remission of taxation with regard to Great Britain, we were making no corresponding remission with regard to Ireland, and had wound up his argument by a comparison of the proportionate gain to accrue to England and Ireland respectively between the present period and 1860. He stated that in 1860, while England would have been relieved, in the shape of assessed taxes and income tax, of 6,715,000l. a year, Ireland would only have been relieved of 245,000l. a year by means of the annuities. He (Sir W. Clay), however, should rather say that in 1860 Ireland would have been relieved of 245,000l. a year, and that she then would be, as she now was, in a highly favourable state in the matter of taxation as compared with England, inasmuch as she would continue to be more lightly taxed than England, notwithstanding the large remission in the latter country. But if the argument of the right hon. Gentleman were pushed to the extreme it would render the remission of taxation in England impossible, because there would be no means of remitting equivalent taxes in Ireland, simply for the reason that they did not exist. For instance, there was no soap tax in Ireland. Could they relieve her from a soap tax? There was no income tax; how could they reduce it? If they were asked to take off her assessed taxes, the reply would be, she had none. Should they equalise the duty on spirits in Ireland? Why, even after the addition proposed, the duty in Ireland would not amount to half that in England. It was clear, then, if the argument of the right hon. Gentleman came to anything, that there could be no tax remitted in England unless it also existed in Ireland. The conclusion was one to which he thought very few hon. Gentlemen would subscribe. With regard to the consolidated annuities, the question had been raised whether Ireland alone should be mulcted for what was said to be an Imperial calamity? He replied that this was only a partial payment, and that the Imperial Parliament had voted considerable sums, of which account had not been taken, nor repayment demanded. Irish Members, ought not, therefore, to think it right—ought not to condescend to allow the people of England and Scotland to pay Ireland's share of the Imperial taxation in addition to their own. He said this with confidence, though quite ready to admit that we had in times past done wrongs enough to Ireland which had still to be atoned. He admitted that with regard to her civil and religious liberties she had still wrongs unredressed; but he denied that those wrongs were financial wrongs. He had no wish to defend or to palliate our misgovernment in Ireland—but for that misgovernment the people of England had dearly paid—it would not be easy to count the millions it had cost to maintain in that country the Church of a minority; but were her wrongs to be counted in pounds, shillings, and pence? Would they discuss on such low grounds questions which they might decide on far loftier principles, and by far higher considerations? The hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. G. H. Moore) had urged, as one of the grounds why the income tax ought not to be extended to the Irish, that the people of Ireland had two Churches to maintain. The great Nonconformist classes of England might urge the same claim for exemption; but had anybody ever heard of their pressing it as a reason for being excused from their share of the burden of taxation? The hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. Cairns) had urged, as a reason for disapproval of this measure, that to some parts of Ireland, and especially to those whom he represented, the remission of the consolidated annuities would not balance the evil of the imposition of the income tax, inasmuch as they were burdened with no share of those annuities. The hon. Gentleman's course, to obtain justice to the aggrieved localities of which he spoke, would then be to request the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to take off the consolidated annuities, but yet to impose the income tax on Ireland, thus equalising the new burden, and showing no favour by any partial countervailing remission. There were many Members of the Opposition who would naturally support him in that proposition, having on a former occasion given their support to an hon. Baronet's (SirB. Hall's) Motion for an extension, not accompanied by any remission, of the income tax to Ireland. A main feature of the plan which had been proposed by the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer was the gradual reduction and final extinction of the income tax; and, without expressing any opinion as to what might be the fate of that tax in 1860, he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had abundant grounds, judging from past experience, to justify him in at least putting it within the power of the country to dispense with it in that year, when there would fall in about 3,000,000l. from the termination of the long annuities, the only opportunity—he was firmly convinced—when there would be a chance of getting rid of the tax. The whole tendency of our legislation for not a short period had been to lessen the burden of taxation borne by the working classes. He approved of that legislation; but was it necessary to proceed further in that course than was proposed by the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman? When, in addition to the remissions which had been already made, those important remissions upon soap and tea should be included, he was convinced it would he found—omitting tobacco and spirits—that but a very small portion of the working man's income would really go, in the shape of taxation, to enhance the public revenue. There was another class of considerations which bore on this very important question. Every one who had paid attention to the subject was aware that the comfort of the lobouring classes, or, in other words, their command over the necessaries of life, depended more on the state of the labour market than on any fiscal regulations. It had happened more than once, that when there had been a remission of taxation the wages of the working classes had been diminished to an equivalent amount. Now, what was the prospect of the labour market at present? Such as had not been known for half a century—probably never in the history of the country. The facility of communication with the rich and unworked portion of the earth's surface was drawing off a vast portion of our labouring population. Already this movement was being felt in the labour market, and he thought that no man could doubt that the prospect before the working man for the next few years was such that he was likely to be enabled to protect himself, and to secure an improved remuneration for his labour. He rejoiced in that prospect; but certainly it did bear upon the question whether they should or should not—he would not say at once abolish the income tax, but whether they should not—keep themselves in a position to repeal it as soon as possible. It ought also to be borne in mind that the income tax fell upon the profits of capital, and that the facility of communication with the new world, and the consequent draining off of the working population to which he had referred, rendered more and more perilous the competition of capital. This was an additional reason why they should at least pause before they rendered permanent a tax the immediate effect of which was to reduce the profits of capital. He had abstained from going into the general merits of the Budget; but his opinion was, that on the whole, it was a valuable scheme—that it combined, with an important present re- lief of taxation, the closing of more than one question of great financial difficulty—that it removed from large classes of the community a well-founded feeling of injustice—and that it tended to lay a sure and safe foundation for an improved system of fiscal administration. For these reasons it was his intention to give it his cordial support.


said, he might well leave the address of the hon. Member who had just sat down to the argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Portsmouth (Sir P. Baring) to whom he had referred; and at once call the attention of the Committee to that period of the debate when the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) became the worthy follower of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a course, the consistency of which—however it might have escaped criticism in that House—must, he presumed, one day be vindicated at Oxford, and justified at Montrose. The right hon. Gentleman in that gigantic oration—the parent of all the financial discussions that had followed, had pointed out, most convincingly, that the owners of land under the income tax were made to pay no less than 9d. in the pound, whereas by law and justice they ought to be assessed at 7d. only; and when they leant forward, arrectis auribus, to hoar the remedy the right hon. Gentleman was going to apply, they were met by the consolatory announcement that if the Committee would but consent to the Budget, he would heap upon the owners of the land additional and permanent burdens to the extent of some large but undefined proportion of 2,000,000l. a year, with a further increase of duty on malt and on maltsters. Such was the consistency of the right hon. Gentleman—who increased the only burdens which he declared to be already too great. The hon. Member for Montrose followed in this course, consistently declaring himself in favour of the income tax while voting for its extinction, and dwelling on the intolerable inequalities of many of its schedules whilst voting for their continuance, unmitigated and unreformed, for the unprecedented period of seven years. He (Sir F. Kelly) opposed these Resolutions. He opposed them on the ground that they were part of a scheme of taxation which was pregnant with new and intolerable burdens to the landed interest; he opposed them because they sought to extend the income tax to Ireland without any justification— without any political necessity—without any necessity at all; he opposed them because, without any ground, it was proposed to continue this tax, unmitigated and unchanged, for the unexampled period of seven years; and he opposed them also, mainly and principally, because they extended for this long time those unjust and unendurable inequalities which had brought discredit on the Legislature and suffering on the people ever since the income tax was imposed. It would scarcely be fitting on this first discussion of the scheme to enter at any length into the numerous questions which affected so many and such various interests. But he could not pass to the question of the income tax without adverting to some of the strange and peculiar features of the scheme laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman laid before the Committee a minute and detailed statement of the improvements effected in the tariff by Sir Robert Peel, and of the numerous reductions and remissions of taxation then made. He (Sir F. Kelly) had no hesitation in saying that he fully concurred in many of the propositions of the right hon. Gentleman. It might be that the remission of the soap duty amounting to more than 1,000,000l., and some of the other remissions proposed, were beneficial and open to no criticism. But it was a remarkable feature in the Budget, that the whole of the reductions, amounting to something like 2,500,000l., were to be made up by new taxes upon the owners of land and upon the people of Ireland. He thought it was not without reason that hon. Members more immediately connected with that country complained of the course which had been adopted by the Government at this particular period. He had not heard it suggested by the right hon. Gentleman, or by any Member of the Government, why at this particular time a tax, possessing such odious inequalities, should for the first time, without any proper machinery for levying it, be imposed upon Ireland. When, in 1798, and again in 1803, the tax was imposed—at a time when the nation was engaged in the most extensive and terrible conflict in the history of the world, and when no man could foresee the end or the consequences of the war—Ireland was spared. In 1806, when the prospects of the country had become still more dark and threatening—when the victory of Aus-terlitz had laid all Europe prostrate at the feet of Napoleon—at that time when the income tax was increased from 6 to 10 per cent, no statesman thought of extending the tax to Ireland. The tax was continued until the termination of the war, when it ceased for many years. He now came to the year 1842, when Sir Robert Peel proposed the reimposition of the tax. At that time there was a deficit in the Exchequer, the result of repeated deficiencies during a series of years, amounting to no less than 10,000,000l.; the deficiency in the year next preceding that in which Sir Robert Peel made his proposition being rather more than 2,000,000l. With that great exigency on the one side, and with the view of effecting a vast improvement in the financial and commercial policy of the country, Sir Robert Peel proposed the income tax. But at that time, as during the time of war, Sir Robert Peel never suggested the extension of the tax to Ireland. After an experience of the operation of the tax for eleven years, the Government, admitting its inequality, and with a surplus in the Exchequer, proposed not only to continue it, but to extend its operation to Ireland, and that without any inquiry to ascertain the ability of that country to bear it. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Ireland ought to bear her fair share of this taxation, because she had shared in the benefits derived from the new system. If that argument was good now, it would have been equally available in 1842; and there was no argument now used which might not have been used equally well at any of the periods to which he had referred. Looking to the condition of Ireland—looking to the fact that the land of Ireland was groaning under its local burdens—he did hope that some Gentleman more immediately connected with that country would move for a Committee to inquire into and report upon the capability of Ireland to bear this tax now for the first time sought to be imposed upon her. It was said, that his right hon. Friend the late Chancellor of the Exchequer contemplated a partial extension of this tax to Ireland. It was true that he proposed to tax the stockholders of Ireland in the same ratio as those of England, but upon a reformation in the scale of taxation, and the removal of some of the inequalities of the tax. There were several considerations which rendered it difficult to maintain for any length of time an income tax on the stockholders of England if those of Ireland were to be exempt. He did not admit that Ireland was in a condition to pay any increased taxation; but if the income tax was to be continued for a time, and if it was found that the funds in Ireland were higher in value than those in England, affording an inducement to remove capital from the English to the Irish funds, that would be a justification, if not for an extension of the tax, at least for some measure which would produce an equalisation. It was on this ground that his right hon, Friend (Mr. Disraeli) proposed to extend that portion of the income tax to the fundholders in Ireland. The proposition was met at that time by a strange argument on the part of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, who hesitated not to say that it was a breach of good faith, that it was contrary to the provisions of the many Loan Acts under which the public debt is secured to the public creditor, to tax the funds in Ireland in the manner proposed. He (Sir F. Kelly) thought that great misapprehension prevailed as to the nature of the pledges, if they were pledges, contained in the Loan Acts. He wished to call the attention of the Committee to the provisions of the Loan Act of 1803—and the other Acts were worded in the same manner—it was expressly enacted "that the said several annuities shall be free from all taxes, charges, and impositions whatsoever." He had no hesitation in saying that the sooner we ceased to tax the funds at all, or determined to remove that provision from the Statute-book, the better it would be for the credit of the country. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was said, had followed the example of Mr. Pitt. He (Sir F. Kelly) admitted that that "heaven-born Minister" sometimes yielded to an infirmity from which his less inspired successors were not free—of using a different argument on the Treasury bench from that which he advanced when in opposition; and he must say that, whatever might be the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer now, he previously insisted that the Government could not tax the funds without a breach of faith, by reason of the provisions in the Loan Acts. Now, if that provision had any authority at all, he (Sir F. Kelly) would venture to submit to the Committee that it operated against the imposition of any tax on the dividends in the public funds. There was no qualification whatever in the language used in the Act. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman was this—"You may impose a tax on dividends, on stock in the funds, if you will only tax the fundholders in common with other persons; but if you propose any disproportionate tax, you commit a breach of the public faith." Now, he (Sir F. Kelly) rejected that argument at once, and appealed to the Committee whether it was not a breach of faith to impose any tax whatever on such dividends. The provision to which he had referred applied to every description of taxation, and in his opinion the income tax ought never to have been imposed on the funds at all. He (Sir F. Kelly) believed that the fair and honest course would be to say to the public creditor at once, "You have submitted for sixteen or seventeen years during a time of war, and for eleven years during a time of peace, to have the dividends of the funds taxed, and you must therefore, for the time to come, endure taxation under such circumstances as the Government may deem it expedient to impose it." He should now pass to the question of continuing the income tax for a period of seven years. The observations which he had addressed to the Committee with reference to the case of Ireland, would also apply to the point to which he was now addressing himself. In the years 1798 and 1806, when the exigencies of the country were very great, and in 1842, when extensive financial reforms were to be effected, the imposition of the income tax for a longer period than three years had never been attempted. Yet at the present moment, when we were merely seeking to carry out to its completion the principles of reform which Sir Robert Peel had introduced—when there was, instead of a deficiency, a surplus in the national exchequer—it was proposed to levy the income tax for seven years, upon the understanding that it was at the end of that period to be abolished altogether. Now, many hon. Gentlemen who supported the scheme of the Government were favourable to the permanent imposition of that tax. If hon. Gentlemen held that opinion, how could it be expected that a future Parliament, of which they might form a part, would consent to its abolition? He must say, his own experience during the present Session of Parliament had not tended to increase his confidence in the pledges either of Members of Parliament, or of Members of the Government. He had seen that Ministers, to suit the purposes of the day, had—if not directly violated the solemn pledges made by Parliament— at least attained the same end by transferring to another party the power of doing away with a guarantee, which was in effect an act tending to destroy it. He should be very much surprised indeed if the Government could introduce any phraseology into the Bill which would bind the Government of a future day to put an end to this tax at the time mentioned. There was also another strong ground upon which he should oppose the continuance of the income tax even for the short period of three years. He did not think that tax, with its present inequalities, should be imposed upon the country even for a single year. By levying it with those inequalities, even for a short time, they would be setting a precedent which might furnish a future House of Commons with an argument for its permanent extension under the same objectionable circumstances. He trusted, at all events, that they would decide upon limiting the period for which the income tax was proposed to be levied, even if they were inclined to make no more radical improvement in the scheme which the Government had devised. He should now refer to that branch of the subject, the inequalities to be found under the different schedules of the income tax. The fundamental principle of all taxation was, that taxes should be imposed according to the ability to pay them of those upon whom the burdens of taxation were to fall. Now, he maintained, that by taxing precarious incomes the Government were acting in direct violation of that principle. If it were impossible to base the tax upon a fair and just ground, then it could not be contended that they ought to consent to its imposition; nor was it a good argument in favour of its being levied in its present obnoxious shape, that its inequalities could not be entirely removed, and its pressure upon the people at large rendered perfectly just. He would, as illustrating his argument, suppose the case of a member of his own profession making 2,000l. a year, and then he would suppose the case of a landholder or a fundholder in the receipt of a similar income. They were charged under the income tax to the same extent, although the landowner or the fundholder derived his revenue from a property which not only continued unchanged throughout his own life, but descended unimpaired to his children; while the income of the lawyer necessarily terminated with his life, and was liable to various deductions—from the failure of his health, from the success of some new competitor, and even from changes in the law. He had himself known ten or twelve instances of gentlemen of his profession who three or four years ago had been realising by their exertions upwards of 2,0002. a year, and who since that time had not, in consequence of the operation of the County Courts Act, been realising more than half that sum per annum. There was, therefore, a manifest injustice in subjecting the holders of incomes liable to those casualties to the same charge as the holders of similar incomes derived from permanent property in land or in the funds. But in the case of the tradesman the unjust operation of the system was still greater, for he was not only exposed to the same casualties as the lawyer, in consequence of the uncertain tenure of his health or of the favour of his customers, but he was also compelled to run the risk of finding his profits altogether destroyed by bad debts. But there was another point of view, in which the wide-spread injustice of this system of taxation became still more apparent. If they would tax people according to their ability—if they would consider, not what was the amount of income which a man might have realised in a single year, but how much of it he was prudently entitled to spend and apply to his own use—and if they would take that reduced amount, leaving him to save the difference for the benefit of his posterity, they would then approach at least the principle of justice; but when they took the whole of the income of a merchant or a tradesman, they in effect not only taxed the entire income itself, but they imposed upon that income an additional and double amount of taxation, by reason of the very act which, instead of discouraging, they ought to encourage by every means in their power. As an illustration of his argument, he would briefly refer to the case of a late eminent member of his own profession, the lamented and distinguished Sir William Follett. He spoke within bounds when he said that in 1842, when the income tax was reimposed, Sir William Follett was making by his professional exertions at least 16,000l. a year. Now, in the case of a fundholder with an income of 16,000l. a year, they taxed him to the full amount of his annual receipts, but he still retained his capital of 500,000l. untouched, and would pass it undiminished to his posterity. It was far different in the case of Sir William Follett. They taxed his income of 16,000l. to the same amount and in the same way as the other, though it was not worth more than two or three years' purchase at most, for Sir William Follett was in his grave in less than three years after the tax was imposed. But the injustice did not end here. Sir William Follett in 1842 had, by many years' successful practice, realised a capital, the interest of which was sufficient for his entire expenses. That interest was also taxed, so that they not only placed a tax upon his income of 16,000l. a year, but they also taxed the interest of his savings, and thus burdened with taxation that which they ought to have relieved. The consequence was, that while they taxed the fundholder with his capital of 500,000l. at the rate of 7d. in the pound upon an income of 16,000l., they taxed Sir William Follett, whose income was not worth three years' purchase, not only to the full extent of his 16,000l. a year, but also in respect of an additional sum of 800l. a year, the interest of the sums invested from month to month, or from quarter to quarter, by their owner. Such was an illustration of the injustice of the income tax. But let them look to the inequality which existed in the case of clerks and persons making small and precarious incomes of 150l. or 200l. a year, as contrasted with Government clerks, whose incomes were for life, or who, at all events, could only be deprived of them through misconduct. They taxed the incomes of both of these classes in the same ratio, though one class would lose their salaries from the bankruptcy of their employer, or from illness, or from any one of a variety of other casualties, while the other would enjoy their incomes at least for life. He mentioned these things to show that the injustice of the tax was not confined to merchants, bankers, and rich tradesmen, or to members of the liberal professions, but extended to every class in the country, and particularly to the more industrious, and, therefore, the more useful and meritorious, class of persons, whatever their occupations might be. He desired now to call the attention of the Committee to the various arguments which had been adduced in favour of the Ministerial proposal. The right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed, in the first place, to remit the tax upon life insurances. Now, he was not thankless even for that small mercy, but really the benefit of the proposed remission would be very limited. It would amount altogether to some 30,000l, a year or so, and the advantage would be confined to those who might effect insurances upon their lives during the remaining period of the existence of the tax—they who had already insured receiving no relief at all. He did not say that this was not a very commendable proposal, but it was too small and insignificant to afford the slightest consolation to those classes who suffered under the inequalities of the tax. But then the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked, why should they remove or modify Schedule D in order to give the benefit to rich merchants, banters, and brewers, who had almost hereditary fortunes? Now he could not avoid saying that he thought the argument of the right hon. Gentleman somewhat exaggerated. They must remember that the inequalities of the tax pressed upon every class of persons in the country, whether engaged in trade, commerce, or professions, and that the proportion of rich merchants, bankers, and brewers was very small indeed. When they considered the failures which had taken place during the last few years, and that what were thought to be among the richest and greatest commercial houses in the kingdom had, nevertheless, fallen into ruin and bankruptcy, who should say that any establishment, however great or rich it might be, or however long it might have been in existence, was perfectly secure against such a calamity? But even if it were so, he asked them, would they not rather that the tax should fall somewhat too lightly upon a few rich merchants, bankers, and brewers, than that it should press with crushing weight upon hundreds and thousands of small but honest and industrious tradesmen and clerks? They were next told by the right hon. Gentleman that the principle of self-assessment was essentially vicious, and that it led to fraud and falsehood, particularly among the persons comprised in Schedule D. He was utterly unable to see the bearing of this statement upon the proposal of the Government. He could understand the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he said that the vicious principle of self-assessment was inseparable from the income tax, and that therefore Schedule D ought to be suppressed, and altogether struck out of the Bill. He could understand him also if he argued that it was the principle of self-assessment which led to the inequalities in the tax, though he was convinced that what drove people to evasion and acts of fraud was the feeling that they were unfairly and oppressively dealt with in the imposition of the tax. If they attempted to impose an undue amount of duty upon French brandy, they immediately overran the coast with smugglers! and so, if they oppressed any class of the community with a system of taxation which all felt to be unjust, they necessarily compelled the sufferers to evade and violate the law. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in support of his argument, had referred to the case of a number of persons who, in making a return of their incomes to the Income Tax Commissioners, had placed them down at the aggregate sum of 9,000l. a year, while at the same time they claimed compensation, on account of street improvements, upon an aggregate income of 48,000l. a year, receiving 26,000l. by the verdict of a jury. He was sure there must be some mistake on the part of the right hon. Gentleman, for no jury in trying cases of compensation for street improvements estimated the annual income of the party complaining; and the alleged facts stated by the right hon. Gentleman could not appear as the result of any such proceeding. This was a matter upon which he possessed some experience, having the honour to be standing counsel for the City of London, where such claims had been made in great numbers, and he might venture, therefore, to inform the Committee that when a claim of this kind was made, it was a claim for compensation for the whole amount of the injury or damage sustained by the complainant, and that it was utterly impossible to ascertain from the verdict of any jury what was the precise amount of income realised by the complainant in a single year. The amount of damage sustained by a party in consequence of his being removed from his premises might be equal to three, four, five, or even six years' income, and there were a variety of other items of claim which a jury must necessarily take into consideration. Although, therefore, the parties referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer had returned their incomes at 9,000l. a year, at the same time making a claim for compensation of 48,000l., it did not follow that the 26,000l. awarded by the jury was intended as a fair estimate of their annual incomes, but rather as a discharge of a general claim for compensation, including numerous and different charges. It was not, therefore, on such grounds they were to take for granted that anything like the degree of fraud which had been represented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer had really been practised; but, even if all that had been stated were true, he was wholly at a loss to see how it could justify the Committee in renewing the income tax, with all its inequalities, for a further period of seven years. But the great argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was founded on the supposed impossibility of removing the inequalities which were admitted to exist. They were told likewise by the hon. Member for Stoke-upon-Trent (Mr. J. L. Ricardo), a Gentleman minutely acquainted with financial subjects, that having gone into the Select Committee under the impression that the inequalities in the tax were capable of correction, he left it with an entirely opposite opinion. Now, he (Sir F. Kelly) did not deny that the task might be a difficult one, but he submitted it was one from which neither the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer nor the hon. Member for Stoke-upon-Trent had any occasion to shrink. Although he believed it was absolutely impossible to arrive at exact and perfect justice in the imposition of the tax, yet they might at least approximate to justice, and so deprive the classes now labouring under oppression of the right any longer to complain. But it was said that if they looked to the nature of incomes realised from trades and professions, they would find it quite impossible to reduce them to any scale, or to impose a graduated or differential tax. He would take the most difficult incomes of all—those arising from professions. It was perfectly true that in the case of two professional men—barristers, for example—of the same age, and making precisely the same amount of income, there might be such a difference as would make an equal assessment partial and unjust. The one might be of sound health, likely to live for thirty or forty years, while the other might he consumptive, with hardly three years' life in him. The one might be a single man, and able to live on 500l. a year, or say the fourth part of his income; where as the other might have a wife and ten children, and be obliged to spend 1,000l. a year to enjoy the same degree of comfort. Here, no doubt, there were inequalities, but they were inequalities which defied legislation. What, then, was to be done? Let them look for a moment at the system of life insurances. No two lives were exactly the same, yet insurance officers, by a scale of ages, coupled with other considerations, imposed a certain degree of premium by which something like a fail-value of the insurance was obtained. So with respect to professional incomes. He did not say that at all times they could ascertain the exact value of professional in- comes; but whenever they were of the same amount they ought to be assessed upon a graduated scale for a period say of ten years. Undoubtedly there might be differences, for no two incomes were exactly of the same value; but if they made, in the first place, a sufficient and substantial difference between the assessable value of a permanent income from land or property in the funds, and that of a temporary and precarious income from a trade or profession, and if they then valued the professional income upon a scale of ten years in the age of its possessor, they would arrive at this result—they would tax precarious incomes upon a lower scale. It had been suggested that incomes derived from trades and professions should be subjected to 25 per cent less than incomes derived from permanent sources. Now he was of opinion that it would not be fair to the trades and professions to tax their incomes at a reduction of only one-fourth of the assessment; the difference ought to be one-third, or 33 per cent. There would be no injustice there, or, at all events, it would be much less than under the present system. But the other schedules were open to the same complaints, and he would now pass from Schedule D to Schedule B—the farmer's schedule. He did not hesitate to say, with all respect to the wisdom of Parliament, that it would have been scarcely possible to have adopted a more uncertain or a more fallacious criterion than that of Schedule B. They took a farmer, who paid a rental of 400l. a year, and at once assuming that his profits amounted to the half of his rent, they taxed him upon an income of 200l. There were some farmers, particularly those who were fortunate enough to have capital, whose annual profits were equal to the entire amount of rent; while, on the other hand, there were a great many, and he was afraid their numbers had largely increased of late, who made no profits whatever. Yet both classes were taxed to the same amount and in the same way, and the profits of the farmer were assumed to be invariably one half the amount of his rent. Schedule B ought, therefore, to be modified, and farmers ought to be taxed, not according to their assumed profits, which they never made, but according to their real profits, which it could be shown they had actually made. Schedules C and E also required reform, for it was shameful to tax the poor clerk or shopman in the same ratio as the owner of an independent and permanent income. He felt that in the arguments which he had urged for the reform of this tax, he spoke with the voice, and in accordance with the sentiments, of the great majority of the people of this country. Unless with these improvements, these attempts to approximate to justice, he should oppose the Resolutions at every stage at which the forms of the House would permit him to oppose them. He knew that hon. Members on his side of the House did not possess the experience or the abilities of those whom they saw combined in such strange harmony and concord on the benches opposite. They did not possess the faculty which hon. Gentlemen opposite possessed of influencing whole parties in that House to sacrifice or abandon principle to the stability of a Ministry. They did, however, upon this question represent, and were identified with, the interests, and feelings, and judgments of vast numbers of some of the most industrious, of the most useful, and of the most meritorious classes of the whole community. It was in the name of those classes, and in their own, that he and those who surrounded him, told the Ministry of the day that they would ultimately be forced to yield to necessity that which they now refused to justice, and that they would at last be compelled to own that these injurious and oppressive inequalities were a burden no longer to be borne—that the voice of the people had condemned them—and that the voice of justice demanded that they should cease.


said, he presumed, considering the quarter of the House from which the speech just delivered had come, that it was to be looked upon as made in support of the Amendment before the Committee, though by what possible course of legal or logical ingenuity the hon. and learned Member for East Suffolk could persuade himself that his speech could support the Amendment, he (Mr. Lowe) was at a loss to discover. The purport of the Amendment was, that it was unjust and impolitic to renew the income tax for seven years, and extend it to classes not now paying it, without redressing its inequalities. That was the thesis in support of which it was to be supposed that the hon. and learned Member had made his speech. But, if he had proved anything, he had proved exactly the contrary. What he should have established, was inequality between the different schedules—that persons in one schedule were better off than those in another; but what he had established, if he had established anything, was something that sounded very like a sermon on the vanity of human wishes, and the fugitive nature of human pleasures. He had taken the schedules one by one, and, submitting them to his microscopic gaze, he had come to the conclusion in each case, that those comprised in the particular schedule passing before him were of all men most miserable, and the best entitled to a reduction of taxation. But, that being the scope of his argument, he (Mr. Lowe) could not see how the hon. and learned Gentleman had shown "inqualities in the assessment," or supported the Amendment? Was not this description of his address borne out? He began with Schedule A; and did any one ever hear a more pathetic jeremiad than he uttered with regard to the miserable state of the land, as treated by the income tax? He was convinced, only too well convinced, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that land really paid 9d. when it ought only to pay 7d.; nay, so warm did he get upon the subject, that in order to enhance the miseries of this class, and make out a case for the land, he actually condescended to say what he could hardly avoid seeing, upon reflection, to be inaccurate, namely, that the whole weight of the legacy duty about to be imposed would fall upon land; whereas, a very large proportion, of course, would be paid by personal property. [Sir F. KELLY: I said a large and indefinite proportion of it.] He (Mr. Lowe) had not observed the expression; but, at all events, the hon. and learned Gentleman so deplored the state of the land, pressed by so many burdens, that he (Mr. Lowe) really thought at the time that he would wind up with showing that all the schedules were better off than this, that there was nothing hard in taxing professional incomes, and that realised property—land—was to be the subject of the reduction he had to demand. But then the hon. and learned Gentleman went on to deal with the farmers, and he said nothing could be worse than their treatment; no schedule required more revision than Schedule B. His argument was that some farmers had made large profits; but that he feared others had made no profits at all. However, the hon. and learned Gentleman should not have forgotten that the farmers who made no profits would not fall within the assessment. So Schedule B presented just as melancholy and wretched a case as Sche- dule A. Well, who came next in this army of martyrs? Why, then came the fundholder; and one could not but feel thankful that his argument on that head emanated from an ex-, and not a present Solicitor General, for if the strange and startling doctrine which the hon. and learned Gentleman broached were to go forth with official authority we should see such a change in the money market as might well alarm us all. For what did he argue? The literal and grammatical construction of the Loan Acts was, that the funds were not to be taxed at all; but we were in the habit of taxing them: then, said the hon. and learned Gentleman, "if you tax them at all, you may as well do the thing handsomely." So that, wretched as he made Schedule A, miserable as was the case of Schedule B, they were really better off, after all, than Schedule C, because, bowed down as they were, when you had taxed them, they still had something left; whereas the hon. and learned Gentleman had demonstrated that either we were to give up taxing the funds at all—as if no part of the debt was contracted under cognisance of the practice—or else there was nothing to stop us. How he could go on, and, contrasting the fundholder with the professional man, say that the former was free from anxiety, it was difficult to understand, for the hon. and learned Gentleman took away the shield of the rule laid down by Mr. Pitt—whose authority went for nothing now with Tory statesmen, and left him without any protection at all, to suffer from any foray that might be convenient to any Chancellor of the Exchequer. As to Schedule D, everybody knew the argument on that head; but, it was impossible to congratulate the hon. and learned Member on the selection he had made of the "miserable" case of Sir William Follett, who was one of the most successful lawyers that ever lived, and left behind him an ample fortune when he died; in fact, the hon. and learned Gentleman might, with as much propriety have invoked compassion on himself. He (Mr. Lowe) had now gone through the schedules after the hon. and learned Member. What he had proved was, that every person in every schedule was hardly treated, and, therefore, was entitled to a large reduction. Schedule A was a case of gross injustice; it should be put down at 5d. Schedule B was like it. As to Schedule C, he (Mr. Lowe) did not exactly know what was to be the rate; perhaps we were to come to that when we could get no money elsewhere. But how was a case made out of "redressing inequalities of assessment" if an equal amount was to be taken off every schedule? Now, having made these remarks upon the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument, he (Mr. Lowe) Would take leave to offer to the Committee a very few observations of his own. A great deal had been said about the injustice of the income tax. Hardly any tax was just and equal, taken per se; but taxation was upon a system, and taxes apparently very unfair might be just when all were blended into a system, and harmonised. He confessed he did not think the income tax unjust, when considered in this way. What did the complaint amount to? That more was paid on one schedule than on another—that in Schedule D you had nothing but income, whereas in Schedule A you were dealing with property and income—that the percentage ought to be larger when you added property. Then the inequality could be redressed by putting a tax upon property. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to think that the problem was to be solved by the application of some such principle as averaging lives in an insurance office; but that did not meet the case at all. It might suit the insurance offices to take the average duration of life and leave themselves sufficient margin for profit; the offices did not feel the inequalities, though there were great inequalities, for one man died after paying one year's premium, and another paid for sixty years, and the man who paid sixty years paid for the other. It went on a principle of compensation. But that was a voluntary compact which people entered into with their eyes open. The parties were willing to take the average, because they expected to derive advantage from it, and the insurance office was willing to issue policies because it made a profit by them. What had that to do with a case where the parties were not willing to take the average, but it was forced upon them by the Government? The hon. and learned Gentleman had divided his remarks by the schedules. What reason had he to think that the schedules offered a proper division for the graduation of taxation? What was the object of the schedules? They were not prepared with reference to any difference in the tax, but with reference to the difference in the manner of its assessment. It might happen that this division, made for one purpose, might serve another—that a division made for the purpose of fixing the manner of the assessment Wight also furnish the best criterion for regulating a scale of taxation; but it was extremely improbable, and the onus of proof lay upon those who asserted it. It Was far more likely that a thing made for one purpose should net be exactly fit for another. It did not appear to him (Mr. Lowe) that Gentlemen who talked about graduating the tax, and reducing Schedule D to 5d., did justice to the argument that an income tax-—not a property tax, ft tax upon income as income—was ah immense national resource, aft engine to be used in time of necessity. He was not going to give an opinion as to a property tax, for what they were discussing, as it had been propounded by the right hon, Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and as it Seemed to have been adopted by the Committee, was an income tax, and not a property tax. It was said that the proper course would be to take steps to make the income tax a just tax, and then to preserve it Until it was wanted. Now, there Was this fallacy about this proposition, that it was impossible to make the tax a just tax in that sense in Which the word "just" was used by Mr. Mill, namely, demanding equal sacrifices from all taxpayers. Graduate it as you might, you could never arrive at that result, and, therefore, to seek it was merely to indulge in an hallucination and to Waste time. Some of the more striking inequalities, indeed, you might remove; but as to a system of graduation which should produce what was understood to be a just tax, he did not think it could be framed. The attempt would only result in an entire revolution of all the schedules, present and possible. In Schedule A, for example, you had, among other payers, tenants of life estates—of leases for life. Admit the principle of a graduated scale, proportioned to duration of ownership, and all these persons would forthwith demand to be placed in some other schedule, with rates adapted to the probable duration of their particular lives. In another Schedule, c, were the fund-holders. Admit the principle sought, and the holders of terminable annuities would very properly claim to be transferred to a different category from those who were in the enjoyment of permanent stock. On the same principle, those who occupied the bench on which he had the honour to sit—holding office by a precarious tenure—whose official incomes might depend upon an indiscreet word uttered in debate, or upon the casualty of some half-dozen Gen- tlemen being shut out on a division-these income-tax payers might demand to be rated under a different schedule from those officials who remained in office, and who received their salaries through all changes on that particular bench. In short, once admit the principle required, and you threw the apple of discord into all the Schedules, and raised a conflict resulting in endless donfusion, There must be subdivisions of classes, subdivisions of professions, subdivisions of all sorts of circumstances, and all sorts of contingencies, until the schedules would be extended from Schedules A, B, C, D, E, to the whole alphabet. Nor would the matter stop there; subdivisions of ages would be insisted Upon; for the man of twenty-one, just entering upon a life estate, and the man of seventy, would raise the cry of inequality, and another subdivision must perforce be devised; So it would go on, until you were at length driven to the case of every single individual payer, to disjunctions of age, health—of every feature that characterised human life; and, when you had attained this conclusion, where would your income tax be? What would have become of all your modifications and graduations that were to place the tax in a fitting state to be preserved for future use? Why, the whole thing would be split Up into shreds—be frittered away to nothing. It appeared to him that the hon. and learned Gentleman's recipe for preserving the income tax was equivalent to a recipe for preserving a man's estate by putting it into the hands of the lawyers, the probable result of which would be its entire absorption.' The precepts of the hon. and learned Gentleman were extremely edifying, but what had been his practice? The moral dilemma which the hon. and learned Gentleman had so pathetically put before them, between virtue and vice, in relation to the income tax, had been submitted on a former occasion to the hon. and learned Gentleman, in relation also to the income tax, which then, with Schedule C in it, had been honoured with the vote of the hon. and learned Gentleman. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that night, that to take 7d. in the pound from the fundholder would amount to confiscation; yet the hon. and learned Gentleman had not scrupled a few months since to vote that the tax should be extended to the fundholder in Ireland when the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) proposed his Budget last year. The point was simply this: if we did not levy this tax upon Ireland, the service of the year must go on just the same, and to meet those services, if Ireland did not pay her proportion, somebody else must, and that somebody, let it be clearly borne in mind, was the people of England. Now, he wanted to know on what tangible argument it could be made out that the people of Ireland had a claim to render the people of Great Britain tributary to them for 460,000l. per annum, for that was the effect of the proposition—that the people of Ireland were to be forgiven the consolidated annuities, and to pay no tax in their place? He should be very ready to forego taxation altogether if it were practicable; but he did not see why one man should be forgiven a tax if another man had to make it good. The great reason for the income tax was, that it enabled them to carry out the principle of free trade. Now, the grand principle of free trade—far more valuable than free trade itself—was, that no one class in the country should be made tributary to another class. He desired to know how, on that principle, Ireland was to be exempted from a tax, and Great Britain be made to pay it for her? There were two classes of persons in Ireland: one class which were subject to the payment of the consolidated annuities, and one class which was free from it; but neither seemed willing to admit the income tax. Those who did not pay the annuities said that the income tax was a new burden upon them, and that it was not fair they should have a new burden. Now, he contended, on the contrary, that it was only fair to the United Kingdom that the portion of Ireland which had been prosperous, which had not suffered from the calamities which had led to the consolidated annuities, and which had not paid these annuities, should pay their share of the tax, which, for great Imperial purposes, the Imperial Parliament decided it to be expedient to levy from the country at large. He should say, indeed, that these particular portions of Ireland ought to be very grateful that they were not called upon for arrears. The taxes of this country were either imposed on England and Ireland together, or raised exclusively from Great Britain, or, as in this case of the consolidated annuities—quite an exceptional case—raised-wholly in Ireland. Now, the proposition of Gentlemen from Ireland was to remove these anomalies by rejecting the consolidated annuities, and paying no tax in their place. One of these Gentlemen, the hon. Member for Roscommon (Mr. F. French), on the same principle, protested against taking off the duty on soap, because that tax had never been paid by Ireland. Adopt these views of things, and you must give up all notions of financial reform. Many of the Gentlemen who opposed the extension of the income tax to Ireland, talked a great deal about tenant-right, by which he understood that, the landlords being too well off, and the tenants too ill off, something should be done to modify this contrast. Now, he begged to ask these Gentlemen, with what show of consistency they could resist a proposition which went to take the burden off the poor cottier, and to put it on persons having an income of at least 100l. a year? Another singular argument had been put forward; the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. Cairns) said, "Oh, don't take any credit to yourselves for letting us off these annuities; we never meant to pay them." ["No, no!"] Yes, certainly. That was the proposition, not only of the hon. Member for Belfast, but of several other Gentlemen opposite. In other words, Members representing Irish constituencies came to that House and said to the Imperial Parliament, "You overestimate the credit due to us; you think we are going to pay our debts; you are quite mistaken, we are going to do nothing of the sort; you may as well write off that debt at once, for you wont get it from us. You may impose an income tax upon us, but don't talk of it as a substitute for the annuities, for these we've determined not to pay." The right hon. Member for Portsmouth (Sir F. Baring) had earnestly appealed to the Committee not to introduce the income tax into Ireland, lest it should demoralise her people, and teach them bad habits, and the not paying their debts. The speech of the hon. Member for Belfast would relieve the right hon. Baronet from any further anxiety on that head. The hon. Member for Belfast said, that the income tax in Ireland would be only a rate in aid to lighten the poor districts. He (Mr. Lowe) deemed it an Imperial tax for Imperial purposes; but, suppose it a rate in aid, had the hon. Gentleman any right to complain of it on that score? Surely the hon. Member did not mean to say that a tax which lightened the poor was a tax to be resisted? The real question which lay at the bottom of the whole case was, were the terms constituting this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland a sham, a futility, or were they the truth? Let the Committee bear in mind that they were not here making a convention or treaty with a foreign country, or adjusting pecuniary rights with a people distinct from ourselves. It was wholly objectionable to keep up this system of debtor and creditor account with Ireland. He considered that they had no more right to look at Ireland as a separate part of the Kingdom than they had a right so to regard Devonshire or Durham in taxation or in any other matter. It was his wish, before he sat down, to express his feeling that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was entitled to great credit in this, among other respects—that his financial scheme was framed in no mean or servile spirit with a view to popularity. It would have been easy for the right hon. Gentleman to adopt the rough justice of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, and introduce a principle which would have pounded the income tax, and rendered it useless for future purposes. It would have been easy for him to propose the renewal of the tax for three years, as the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) did, not with the slightest idea of getting rid of it at the end of that period, but merely to make an unpalatable impost appear more tolerable; it would have been easy for him to get rid of three-fourths of the speeches they had heard in this discussion, by limiting the income tax in Ireland to the funds and to official salaries. But the right hon. Gentleman had not thought fit to adopt any of these courses; setting aside all thought of mere trumpery popularity, he had shown the Committee how, by the application of the joint energies of the kingdom, the means might be supplied in seven years for putting an end to the income tax; he had not, of course, pledged himself that it should be then extinguished—to have so pledged himself would be to insult the common sense of his hearers, who knew that one Parliament cannot bind another, and that when 1860 came, the question must be taken on its own merits; but he had clearly shown how the tax might then be taken off, and he had, greatly to his honour, urged the adoption of the principle, now so much opposed, in order that hereafter, should occasion call for a return to the income tax, its enactment should not be encumbered, as now, with the painful question between England and Ireland. It appeared to him very necessary that this question should be settled definitely before the income tax was now reimposed. It was this disregard for mere temporary popularity that, in his (Mr. Lowe's) opinion, entitled the right hon. Gentleman to the consideration of the Committee, and which, he believed, would do him more credit in the eyes of posterity than even the masterly ability with which he had stated his plans to that House.


said, he was anxious to justify the vote which he should give on the present occasion. The question before the House was, whether the income tax should be reimposed. He admitted it was impossible to look at that question without taking it in connexion with the general financial scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Before they voted against the proposal of the income tax, they must look into the other portions of that scheme and see if there were anything in them to reconcile them to the reimposition of the income tax. He (Mr. Butt) would endeavour to meet the question fairly in reference to both these points of view. He (Mr. Butt) must say that nothing but the strongest necessity would reconcile him to the reimposition of the income tax. Let him remind the Committee of the question before them. That question was, whether they would now adopt as a portion of their financial policy an income tax—an income tax not as it might be altered to obviate or mitigate its inequalities—the question was, would they adopt it without any attempt to correct its admitted injustice—an income tax with all its evils—an income tax imposed upon a class hitherto exempted—and an income tax extending to all parts of the United Kingdom. This was the proposition before them; and, further, he would show the Committee that the question was, would they adopt such an income tax so extended to a new class and a new country—an income tax so unaltered—as a permanent instrument of finance? Unless by voting for the Resolution of the hon. Baronet, he saw no prospect either of mitigating its injustice, limiting its application, or making any provision for its termination. He (Mr. Butt) did not intend to argue with the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down the question whether, if you reimposed this tax, it ought to be extended to Ireland. But he must say that the hon. Gentleman had done very little to settle that question when he told them that Ireland ought to bear her fair share of the burdens of the United Kingdom. Every one admitted that; but the question was, what was her fair share of these burdens? The hon. Member for Kidder- minster, one would suppose, had never read of an historical event called the Union—had never heard that Ireland and England had once been separate countries—with their separate exchequers and their separate debts—that they were united upon certain terms as to their relative contributions to the common expenditure—and that Ireland's quota of representation in the Imperial Parliament had been fixed upon the supposition that she must bear a certain proportion of Imperial taxation. These were considerations of some little moment in determining whether Ireland had any just claim to be exempt from taxation to which this country is subject; and of the existence of such questions the hon. Member for Kidderminster seemed wholly unconscious. He (Mr. Butt) was not about to discuss these questions. Nay, he said at once that if they were to adopt an income tax as a permanent instrument of taxation in England, he was not prepared to resist its enactment in Ireland. He (Mr. Butt) was resisting, not the imposition of an income tax upon Ireland, but its imposition upon the United Kingdom at large. But the proposition involved its imposition upon Ireland, just as it involved its extension to a new class in this country, those whose incomes were between 100l. and 150l. a year—a class, let him say—as numerous as those who were to be included by its extension to Ireland. He was perfectly justified in dealing with the proposal as a whole; and if he could show inconvenience and injustice to result from the application of the tax to incomes in Ireland, in using this as an argument against the entire proposal. Before he sat down he would advert to the results of imposing the tax upon Ireland in this view of the argument. All he would now say was, to ask every Member of the Committee to remember that, in determining the question of an income tax, they must decide on it as the proposal of an income tax extending over the whole of the United Kingdom, and bringing with it all the inconveniences that in any part of the United Kingdom would flow from the imposition of such a tax. He certainly felt himself in an extraordinary position in resisting the proposal. It was admitted on all hands that it was an unjust and unequal tax, and yet they were asked to re-enact it for seven years longer, making in all eighteen years since it was first imposed, and that during a period of profound peace, and without any attempt to remove its glaring inequali- ties. They were told by the greatest authorities that it was a tax that ought only to be resorted to in times of the greatest emergency; and yet at a period when they were assured that the country was in a state of unexampled prosperity, and during a period of profound peace, they were asked to sanction its re-enactment. They were told that its re-enactment was temporary, that provision was made for its early renunciation, and yet they were asked to extend this expiring tax, in the last year of its existence, to a new class, and to a new country. He could understand that course if the tax was to be one of the permanent burdens of the country; but he could not understand it when the measure was said to be only of a temporary character. He (Mr. Butt) had said that the question was one of a perpetual income tax: if it were not meant to be permanent, what was the meaning of its extension? Why bring new classes within a tax which was gradually to expire? The two things were utterly inconsistent. He had heard, he confessed with surprise, the statement of the President of the Board of Control, that in this financial scheme certain provision was made for the remission of the income tax at the end of seven years. The possibility of its repeal in the scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer rested entirely upon calculations which might or might not be realised, but which it was going a little too far to designate as a certain provision. The calculation was—and he (Mr. Butt) earnestly asked the attention of the Committee to this—the calculation of the right hon. Gentleman was, that all the remissions of indirect taxation which he now proposed, would, within seven years, be made up to the revenue by the increased consumption of the articles on which the duties were reduced. On this alone he rested his hope of dispensing with this tax. It was of importance that this should be clearly understood. Unless this calculation were realised, the country at the end of seven years would not be in a position to dispense with the income tax. If that anticipation were erroneous, all the hopes so confidently held out of the gradual extinction of the income tax were mere delusion. He must ask the attention of the Committee to this calculation. He entirely agreed with the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Viscount Jocelyn), that this question concerned the honour of Parliament and the honour of British statesmen. They had been from time to time going on renewing the income tax under the promise that it would be repealed. They had renewed it for periods of three years, and three years again, and each time promises were held out that the period for which it was asked, like the appearance of an actor, was positively its last appearance upon the stage of British finance. Did it not concern the honour of the nation, the honour of the British Parliament, that they should not be recurring to this everlasting cycle of obtaining the renewal of this tax under false pretences? They ought clearly to see their way to fulfil the promises they were holding out; and if they did not, he thought it would be much better for their honour and for the interests of the country that they should at once say that they would enact it as a permanent tax. In every discussion upon the injustice of the measure, they were met by its temporary character. If you pointed out the injustice of taxing alike the man of precarious income and the owner of landed estate, the answer was, that the tax was only imposed for a time. How was the case of Ireland met in this debate? When it was urged that you were imposing additional taxation upon that country, because the annual amount imposed exceeded the annual amount remitted, the answer was, that if you impose 460,000l. it is only for seven years—you remit the consolidated annuities, which are a burden for forty years. They were deciding questions as to the equity of taxation upon the faith that provision was made to enable Parliament to dispense with the income tax at the end of seven years. Upon this faith they were imposing the tax—upon this faith they were framing its provisions—upon this faith they were adjusting the distribution of their remissions and their imposts between countries and classes. Common honesty demanded that before they thus acted on these expectations, they should he satisfied that they rested on some reasonable data. Had they then any fair assurance that they were making such provision now for the public service that at the end of seven years the revenue raised from the income tax would not be needed? He (Mr. Butt) admitted that it was with great diffidence he dissented upon such a question from the right hon. Gentleman, Still he believed, as a Member of that House, if, after exercising the best of his judgment, he saw his way to a clear conviction in his own mind, he had no choice but to act upon that conviction: if he thought he could place the reasons of his own conclusions clearly before others, he felt persuaded that the House would judge of those reasons by their intrinsic weight, and not by the authority of the individual from whom they came. He (Mr. Butt) was bound to say, that on the calculations of the right hon. Gentleman, he could not see the slightest chance of their getting rid of the income tax at the end of seven years. Let them see what those calculations were. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to remit 5,400,000l. of indirect taxation, and expected that sum to be made up with in seven years by the increased consumption, so that the revenue yielded would be the same as it was now. What, then, were the taxes which they proposed to remit upon articles in which the reduction of duty was to be followed by so enormous an increase of consumption? Let them see the first loss of revenue which was to be made up. Of the taxes remitted there was more than 1,000,000l. for the soap duties,. Now the soap duties were entirely abolished, and therefore they would bring nothing more to the revenue, no matter how much the consumption of soap might be increased. There were many other taxes of smaller amount producing very considerable revenue which were totally repealed, but he would not trouble the Committee by going through the list. Of course where the duties were wholly repealed, the principle of increased consumption had no application. But even when they were partially remitted, there were many instances in which no increase of consumption could follow the decrease of duty, and in which, therefore, they must calculate the full amount of the reduction as a loss. Take the item of attornies as an example. The right hon. Gentleman proposed to remit 50,000l. a year in the reduction of their annual licences. Would he seriously tell us that this was to be made up by the increased consumption of that valuable commodity? He might go through, in the same way, many other articles upon which the duty was reduced, without the possibility of a corresponding increase of consumption. And if they excluded the two great articles of soap and tea, and calculated the remaining articles on which the duty was either abolished or reduced, he did not think the most sanguine expectations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer would go beyond this—that upon all the other articles and items of taxation with which he dealt, there should be no loss to the revenue by the re- missions he proposed. That was, calculating those upon which the duty was wholly repealed, and those upon which the duty was reduced without the possibility of compensation from increased consumption—that an increase of consumption on the residue would make up the loss of revenue upon all. Then, against the total remission upon soap and the partial reduction upon tea, they must look to the tea duties and the tea duties alone. He would ask the Committee was there any prospect that the reduction of the tea duties, as proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would produce such an increased consumption as would justify them in anticipating that not only would they be able to make up for the reduction of the duty on tea itself, but also make up for the 1,000,000l. and upwards that would be lost by the repeal of the soap duties? He thought he was dealing favourably with the Budget in supposing that all the other reductions and remissions of taxation would balance themselves, and that they need only look to the revenue from tea to replace itself and make good the loss of the duty on soap. Then the question of the tea duties stood thus. In the course of the next three years the right hon. Gentleman proposed to remit no less than 3,000,000l., by the gradual reduction of the duty on tea from 2s. 2d. to 1s. The consumption of tea in the year 1852 amounted to about 50,000,000lb.; therefore, to make that duty replace itself the consumption of tea in the United Kingdom must be increased from 50,000,0001b. to upwards of 110,000,000 lb. But, even with that enormous increase they would still have upwards of 1,000,000l. sterling lost by the abolition of the soap duties, to make good; and, therefore, they must have a reasonable assurance that upwards of 130,000,000 lb. of tea must be consumed, giving about 5 lb. to each man, woman, and child in the United Kingdom. And if they did not see their way clear to this enormous increase of consumption within seven years, then it was one of the wildest expectations that even a Chancellor of the Exchequer had ever entertained—that the increase of revenue derived from a diminished duty would enable them to dispense with the income tax. He would not presume to set limits to the tea-drinking capacity of the British public; but still the question remained, even if the consumption increased to the quantity required, whether many other excisable and customable articles would not be displaced? The public must drink nearly three times as much tea this day seven years as they did now; and they must at the same time drink as much coffee, as much beer, as much wine, as much spirits, and use the same quantity of every other article that paid a duty to the State. This was the "certain provision" of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Halifax. He now confidently asked the Committee could any man tell him seriously that they could calculate on the repeal of the income tax in 1860? There was another argument that he thought might fairly be urged—namely, if they were about, as was said, to repeal the income tax, why should they now propose to extend its operation? The current of the Budget, as first formed by the right hon. Gentleman, was evidently to maintain it permanently. When the right hon. Gentleman wrote to a Birmingham clerk to answer him that he was in a better position at present than before the imposition of the income tax, he did not tell him positively that the income tax would be repealed in 1860, but only that it would be repealed, unless the wisdom of Parliament in the meantime should say that it ought to be continued. He (Mr. Butt) thought he had now established his proposition that if they voted for the increase of the income tax upon this occasion, they voted for it as a permanent instrument of taxation; and that the scheme of finance propounded in the Budget would leave them in 1860 in just the same relation to that tax that they occupied now. Of course Parliament might then repeal the income tax by substituting some other means of raising revenue; and so they might now. But he repeated, in the arrangements they were now asked to adopt, there was no provision for its extinction. The question between him and the Chancellor of the Exchequer lay in a narrow compass. It was in fact reduced to this: The right hon. Gentleman professed to ask for the income tax merely as a temporary substitute of the 5,400,000l. of taxation he was remitting, until by increased consumption on the articles on which the duties were remitted, the revenue would replace itself. This was virtually the office assigned to the income tax in the plans of the Finance Minister. The right hon. Gentleman calculated that the necessity for this would come in seven years. He (Mr. Butt) could not see any rational foundation for the hope that the remissions of duty now contemplated could be replaced in seven years. If they were not, there was no provision in this plan for the extinction of the income tax at the termination of that period. But it was proposed not only to perpetuate the income tax—to perpetuate it with all those inequalities which were only to be endured on the supposition that it was a temporary and occasional tax—but it was proposed to bring under its operation a new class. The policy of Mr. Pitt, when he proposed the income tax originally, had been to reserve it as a war tax. He did so upon the very ground that if you made it a portion of your permanent finance the country would not endure those inequalities, which yet were indispensable to its efficacy as an instrument of revenue. This had been the argument and the policy of Pitt; the very same had been the argument of the noble Lord the Member for London, in 1842. Nay, the very same argument had been virtually used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer now. The House would remember his remarkable appeal to them not to destroy the efficiency of this great engine of taxation for times of necessity, by attempting to correct its anomalies and its inequalities. This was the argument of Pitt reversed. Mr. Pitt said, "Do not apply it in time of peace, because if you do, you will be forced from the feeling of the country, by altering it, to impair its efficiency in time of war." The right hon. Gentleman asked them to impose it in time of peace, and in spite of the feeling of the country not to alter its provisions. He appealed to them not to destroy its efficiency. He (Mr. Butt) warned them that the true way to destroy its efficiency was to make it unpopular, by imposing it with all its inequalities in time of peace. The true effect of, the right hon. Gentleman's argument was this—that it was a tax utterly unsuited to times of peace, and only to be used when the public exigencies would make every man overlook inequalities and anomalies, and more than this, when those exigencies justified us in resorting to the most efficient instruments of taxation, without stopping very nicely to weigh the equity of the distribution. Let the Committee try by this test, of the effect on popular feeling, the proposed extensions to new classes. They were asked now to impose it upon persons whose incomes ranged from 100l. to 150l. a year. This was extending it to a new community as completely as when they imposed it upon Ireland. It was imposing it upon the class in whose case all its evils would be most aggravated. If it was an oppressive tax, upon no class would it fall heavier than on this. If the tax was inquisitorial in its character, this was just the class that would cruelly feel the exposure of their position on the verge of competence. If it was objectionable on the ground of the temptation it held out to dishonesty, this was the class upon whom that temptation would most strongly press. The right hon. Gentleman calculated the proceeds of this extension at 250,000l. a year. To raise this sum, 100,000 persons must pay the tax on incomes under 150l. a year. They would teach 100,000 families to hate and curse the taxation which ought to be reserved for the time of national necessity unimpaired. To make this tax unpopular, was in itself a great evil. He hoped he would be excused for referring to observations that had been made in that House upon a former occasion. He presumed, indeed, that the most popular Motion that could be made in that House would be that Hansard should be burned by the hands of the common hangman. It was, however, in no spirit of reproach or unfriendliness that he quoted the remarks of the noble Lord opposite (Lord J. Russell) upon this subject on a former occasion. He was about to quote the observations of the noble Lord against himself. The noble Lord had on that occasion evinced prescient wisdom; and in 1842, when the proposition was made to impose the income tax, he had said, "Once put it on, and you will never get rid of it again." On the 8th of April, 1842, the noble Lord said— Lay your tax upon—say windows or carriages, and you can take it off again. But once impose an income tax which is to produce you, as I imagine, 4,000,000l. a year—for I think the right hon. Gentleman has under-estimated the produce of his tax—you might be quite sure there will be no hurry, on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to take it off again. It is certain to be continued for three years—it appears highly probable that it may be continued for five years—nay, it seems not impossible that it may be continued for five or ten years afterwards. Therefore, what I should urge upon the House, in the first place, is, that this tax has hitherto been imposed only in a time of extreme necessity of the State, and during perilous wars, and has been taken off immediately upon the restoration of peace—that Parliament, when such a measure has been proposed, has not thought fit to accede to it in time of peace. I would also urge that this tax is accompanied with inequality of pressure, and inquisition into private affairs, making it, as Lord Althorp said, odious."—[3 Hansard, lxii. 98.] The arguments he had urged against the continuance of the tax were, he acknowledged, some of them borrowed from a source from which no man need be ashamed to borrow—the speeches made by the noble Lord in 1842, when the proposition of an income tax was first submitted to that House. He feared that those arguments were divested of much of their force in his hands. But he must quote one other declaration of the noble Lord on the same occasion, in which he solemnly called upon the House of Commons to divide again and again upon every stage of the measure, To the Motion for the second reading of the Bill, the noble Lord moved as an Amendment the following Resolution:— That the income tax, having been first imposed in a period of extreme emergency, and during a most perilous war, was repealed on the re-establishment of peace, and having been again imposed on the renewal of war, was again repealed in 1816, on the termination of hostilities. That, considering the various means of supplying the present deficiency, without enhancing the price of the necessaries of life, or embarrassing trade, it is the opinion of this House that the renewal of a tax inquisitorial in its character, unequal in its pressure, and which has hitherto been considered as the financial reserve of the nation in time of war, is not called for by public necessity, and is therefore not advisable."—[3 Hansard, lxii. 103.] He would now ask the Committee, was the renewal of the income tax called for by any urgent necessity? It appeared to him that the arguments of the noble Lord were perfectly unanswerable. He asked the Committee to apply these warnings to the proposed extension of the income tax to this new class. They were about to bring it down to the struggling clerk, to the poor shopkeeper in country towns, to the better paid class of artisans. Did they think they could take in this large class of persons, who would most feel every one of the evils of the impost, and not make the tax unpopular? If war demanded national sacrifices, where were they to find the means of new taxation? Double their income tax, it might be said! If they had in peace taught their population to hate it, would this be endured? Was it wise, then, to incur the risk of its extension to a class who would spread the feelings of discontent among the populace? If they imposed this tax upon the poor struggling clerk with an income of 1002. per annum, the 2l. 1s. 8d. which he would have to pay would just make the difference of his being able to send his child to school or not. They were about to apply it with all its inequalities and injustice to a hundred thousand families who were by no means able to pay it, and who had been hitherto exempt; they were bringing it down, if not to the lower, at least into very close contact with the lower classes of the country. They were bringing it down to those struggling classes—and for what? For the sake of a sum of 250,000l. This was the extreme amount the Chancellor of the Exchequer calculated as the result of the extension. Well, let them look to some other items of the Budget. They were taking off a sum of 97,000l. per annum from the classes who could afford to keep more than one carriage—they were taking off 87,0002. per annum from the classes who were able to keep more servants than one—and they were taking off 50,000l. from the attornies. These three items of remission very nearly equalled the sum which they were about to extort from the struggling classes. Here there was no possibility of mistake. If they gave up these reductions, they did not want the sum they proposed to raise by lowering the area of the income tax. To make these reductions, they taxed the poor and struggling: they took taxation off the men who kept carriages, and men servants, and off attornies, and they placed it on the artisan and the struggling clerk—and this was their popular Budget! He now approached the question of Ireland. He repeated that if this was to be a permanent system of taxation, he should find the greatest difficulty in resisting its extension to Ireland. He would be glad to have an opportunity of getting rid of the cant of those who, like the hon. Gentleman the Member for the West Kiding (Mr. Cobden), were constantly starting up in that House and saying of Irishmen, "You object to paying your just burdens." If they were to have the income tax as an Imperial tax, then he would ask the Committee to go fairly into the whole question of the financial relations of Ireland. He would ask them to consider what was its local taxation, and what share of the national debt Ireland in justice would be said to owe. Let them appoint a Committee to inquire into that subject, and he ventured to say that no man would come out of that Committee without the impression that Ireland was over-taxed. Still he (Mr. Butt) was ready, for one, to say that he had no objection to see men in his own station of life taxed, but then let him have some remission for the poorer classes. He did not sue for Ireland informâ pauperis; but if men in Ireland, with incomes of 100l. or 150l. were to be subjected to income tax, he, for one, believed that they would not object to the burden, if they saw that it was to be made the means of affording relief to the poorer portion of their fellow-countrymen, or lightening the springs of the only industry left to them—their agriculture; but if it was to be imposed as an instrument of extorting from Ireland the means of relieving the taxpayers of England, he was ready to take all the odium and unpopularity, if any existed, of opposing the extension of the tax under such circumstances to Ireland. The argument was a plausible one, that the man with 100l. a year in Ireland was in the same position with the man who had the same income in England, and therefore an equally fit subject for taxation. But this was not true. The man of 400l. a year fallen from 600l. was not in the same position with a man who never had more than 400l. Almost every man in Ireland had his income reduced. The man with a falling income was not a fit subject for taxation. The plain truth should be told—that there was no man in Ireland, the professional man, the owner of an estate, except the mortgagee or the fundholder, who was not at this moment in the receipt of a reduced income as compared with his position ten years ago; and he asked, was it fair to choose this as the period at which they would extend this tax to such a class of struggling families, and compel them to expose their wounds, and disclose their impoverished condition? When a real necessity arose, he, for one, would cheerfully vote for Ireland contributing to the very utmost of her power; but he objected to an engine of war finance being used to carry out a crotchet of political economy, and to maintain a doubtful system of mercantile poliey. Men were, after passing through a severe ordeal, struggling to maintain their position, not yet despairing of their own fortunes or those of their country, not yet reconciled to abandon all hope of the return of good times; and at a time when they had a claim to be treated with indulgence, the Chancellor of the Exchequer came forward and proposed to apply the income tax. He could assure the Committee that the people of Ireland would feel it now much more than they would have done ten years ago, or than they probably would ten years hence. These were just the circumstances under which the inquisitorial character of the tax would be most cruelly felt. There were many proprietors of estates in the west of Ireland who had been reduced to the greatest straits, and compelled to struggle against the severest privations, in order to avoid having their property brought into the Encumbered Estates Court, which had been charitably established for the Irish landed proprietors. There was one other topic to which he must advert. It had been estimated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the tax would produce in Ireland 460,000l. This was his calculation of the net produce after paying that unknown amount, the expenses of collection. But on what amount of income did he expect to levy it? The tax was to be at the same rate as in England, 7d. in the pound on incomes above 150l. a year, and 5d. in the pound above 100l. That might be taken as equal to an average rate of 6d. Now, at that rate, not less than 18,000,000l. of Irish income would have to be assessed, to yield the revenue calculated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. And where would that be found? The whole rental of Ireland, in the best times, was calculated at 13,000,000l., the whole value of it now was not more than 11,000,000l. This 11,000,000l. a year represented all incomes derived in any way from the land interest on money lent, annuities, mortgages, judgments, and incumbrances of every class. And had it been estimated how much of it belonged to absentees who paid the tax in England, or parties who had lent money in England on land in Ireland? The dividends on funded property in Ireland liable to the tax would not amount to more than 1,000,000l. Where was the rest of the 18,000,000l. to be found? They must remember that the entire 11,000,000l. would not pay the tax. Besides the deduction for that which already paid the tax in England, that 11,000,000l. represented to a great extent incomes under 100l. a year, which would be exempt. There only remained the tax on tenants paying 300l. a year rent. How many of these were there—official salaries and the profits of trades and professions? Where was Ireland's trade? As to professional incomes in Ireland, every one knew how they had fallen; and as to the idea of obtaining income tax from 18,000,000l. in that country, it was a delusion and a dream. Well, then, what became of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's surplus? In England, again, the poor-rate did not affect the incomes derived from land. But in Ireland one-half of the poor-rate was to be deducted. Last year the poor-rate was upwards of 1,000,000l. In some districts it was at the rate of 12s. in the pound. Here he would correct a misrepresentation of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Lowe) with respect to what had been said on Friday by the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. Cairns), as if his hon. Friend had argued Irishmen were averse to pay their debts to the Treasury; on the contrary, Chancellors of the Exchequer had testified to their punctuality in so doing. But it was difficult to extract more than 20s. from the pound; and yet that was what literally was attempted in some districts in Ireland, where the local taxation, including these consolidated annuities, imposed a charge of 25s. in the pound upon the land. What the hon. Member for Belfast had said, was, that there was a fallacy in assuming that, if the annuities were not remitted they would be paid-—that there could be no security for their payment from the simple fact that they were to be paid by districts in which the local burdens often exceeded in amount the value of the fee-simple of the land. Had the case of Ireland, then, been fairly considered in this Budget? Take the case of the clergy of the Established Church. Put the case of a clergyman whose living was 400l. a year, and who had a rate of 10s. in the pound, so that his income was reduced to 200l. Was the income tax to be levied on the whole or on the half? So as to the Roman Catholic clergy, whose incomes were reduced by the emigration of their flocks? Had all these things been considered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in imposing the income tax on Ireland? In addition to the income tax, too, there was to be a duty upon successions imposed upon the landed gentry. Was the succession duty to be deducted from the income, or what duty was to be paid? When the Chancellor of the Exchequer told him that the income tax in Ireland would produce 460,000l., he (Mr. Butt) could only say that he earnestly hoped his anticipations might be realised. An income tax had at least this peculiarity, that every one would wish, either for himself or his country, that his liability to it might be large; the more every one paid the better would he be pleased; but when the right hon. Gentleman calculated that incomes over 100?. a year amounted in Ireland to 18,000,000l., he was bound to say that there was no one really ac- quainted with the country who did not consider the estimate a very exaggerated one. The Committee would observe he had in this calculation made no allowance for the expense of collection, and no allowance for losses by fraud and evasion of the tax. His estimate was a low one when he said that to bring into the Exchequer 460,000l. you must at least have 18,000,000l. of income liable to the tax. He would now request the permission of the Committee very briefly to refer to the general question of the Budget, so far as it was involved in the consideration of the question immediately before the House. What was the financial scheme for which the country was called on to make these sacrifices, heretofore demanded only in time of war? Was it to place their finances on a satisfactory basis? After the country had made all these sacrifices, the right hon. Gentleman estimated his surplus for the next year at only 480,000l. He (Mr. Butt) would venture to question the accuracy of the calculations on which that surplus rested. Those calculations rested on two estimates: first, the estimate of the probable produce of the newly-imposed taxes; secondly, of the extent to which within the year increased consumpton would make up for diminished duties. But, first, let him call attention to one remarkable circumstance connected with this estimated surplus. He remembered that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been in the habit of declaiming a good deal upon the importance of having a surplus arising wholly from the revenue of the year. But the surplus of 480,000l. was not all derived from the income of the year, for 200,000l. of it was money repaid on account of metropolitan improvements. And after the indignant denunciations which the right hon. Gentleman had lavished on the Budget of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Disraeli) for proposing a surplus not arising out of the income of the current year, he (Mr. Butt) was surprised to see the right hon. Gentleman proposing a Budget liable to the same objection. Then the right hon. Gentleman had calculated on a saving of 100,000l. a year from his new operations in the interest of the national debt. He (Mr. Butt) would not now stop to inquire whether those operations would certainly be successful; but he might remind the Committee that since his financial statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer had consented that a very con- siderable portion of those savings, amounting, as he (Mr. Butt) calculated, to 60,000l. a year—if the plan were successful—should be applied, not to the purposes of the year, but to form a sinking fund to liquidate the principal of the debt. Here, then, was a deduction from that surplus which the right hon. Gentleman had emphatically declared to be the very least which was consistent with prudence. But, he asked, were the estimates, on which the residue of the surplus depended, perfectly satisfactory? First, as to the amount to be realised from new taxation. He had already endeavoured to show that the amount to be expected from the Irish income tax was much less than that estimated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If he rightly understood the calculations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in estimating the amount to be raised by the increased duty on Irish and Scottish spirits, he had made no allowance for the diminished consumption consequent on the increase of duty, but had calculated that the same number of gallons would continue to pay the higher duty as now paid duty. If this were so, he feared he had already established deductions from the calculation under which the estimated surplus would wholly disappear. Upon the other part of the estimate—that relating to the compensation for reductions by increased consumption, he could only venture to detain the Committee by adverting to one item. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had proposed to remit duties which, on the present consumption of tea, would amount to a loss of 600,000l.; but he calculated that, within the year, this loss would be diminished by increased consumption to 300,000l. Unquestionably the additional consumption required to yield a revenue of 300,000l., bore no very extravagant proportion to the present amount consumed. Yet he could not forget that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had told them that within the first year they could not look from China for any considerable increase of supply. It was also the opinion of those best acquainted with the subject, that as it was proved that the greatest quantity of tea was sold to consumers in quantities not greater than half an ounce, no diminution of duty would tell sensibly on the consumption, which was not large enough to be felt in the price of the half-ounce. He owed the Committee many apologies for having trespassed so long upon their time; but he confessed he had been anxious by reasonable arguments to show the Committee that Irish Gentlemen might oppose the Budget upon other grounds than those which had been so lavishly, he could not say liberally, imputed to them. He trusted the Committee would permit him before he sat down to turn a moment from the Budget, to settle, or at least place in course of settlement, a little separate quarrel with the hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden). That hon. Gentleman, declaiming against declamation, and lecturing them on the necessity of adhering to this subject, had thought proper, of all subjects on earth, to indulge in a fierce attack upon the Irish Members, on the recent decision of the House upon Kilmainham Hospital. The hon. Member had said that this institution was a nest of jobbing; and when interrupted by the cries of Irish Members, he said he knew all about it, for that he had served on the Committee where he heard of the jobbing. Now, this matter he (Mr. Butt) would bring to an issue in a few words. He asserted that there was not one particle of foundation for the statement. He broadly asserted that the hon. Member for the West Riding was utterly mistaken in supposing that he had heard in that Committee one syllable of evidence establishing any abuse in Kilmainham Hospital. In a few days a vote would be taken for Kilmainham Hospital, in the miscellaneous estimates. Upon that occasion he called on the hon. Member either to verify his statement, by a reference to the evidence, or else to acknowledge the mistake into which he had fallen. It was not he (Mr. Butt) who had dragged this subject into this discussion; but he could not permit unfounded statements to pass unanswered, because they were irrelevant to the debate. Upon the question on which he was called on to exercise the high privilege and assume the deep responsibility of voting, he could sincerely say that he had endeavoured to form a judgment, not as a delegate of any local or provincial interest, but as bound to consult those of the Empire at large. He had come to the conclusion, with reference to those interests, that he ought to vote for the Resolution of the hon. Baronet—whether he understood that vote as one against the renewal of the income tax, or as a vote against the Budget as a whole. He admitted that the Ministerial scheme of finance was supported by men from whose authority he must distrust his own judgment in dissenting. Nay! injurious and unjust as he believed that scheme to be to Ireland, he yet saw it supported by Irish representatives, as capable of forming a judgment as he was, and whose motives, he said frankly, were far above suspicion. The vote which he was about to give might be a mistaken one; it was at least the result of an earnest effort to arrive at a right conclusion: and the opinion which he had deliberately formed he would unhesitatingly support by his vote.


said, he must express the reluctance he felt on rising to address the Committee on a subject of finance; but the peculiar situation in which he stood as about to give a vote in opposition to that of his hon. Colleague (Mr. Fagan) rendered it necessary that he should offer some explanation as to the grounds on which he intended to support the Government. The real question which in his opinion they had to consider was, whether there was any reason to induce them to suppose that the present was the only Government which sought to impose the income tax upon Ireland, and whether they might hot conclude that another Government, if placed in a similar position, would not have done the same as the present. The hon. and learned Member for East Suffolk (Sir F. Kelly) maintained that it would be a great hardship to apply this income tax to Ireland under present circumstances; but he begged to remind the hon. and learned Gentleman that the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, had proposed to extend the income tax to certain classes in Ireland, namely, to the fundholders, and to persons in receipt of salaries. Nor was this the first occasion on which a proposition had been made to extend the tax to Ireland, for in the year 1848 a proposition had been brought forward by the hon. Baronet the Member for Marylebone (Sir B. Hall) to extend it to Ireland; and the right hon. Gentleman the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had voted with him in that division. He was therefore justified in saying that it was not the present Ministry alone that sought to impose the income tax upon Ireland. If this were so, he saw no reason why, in May, 1853, he should endeavour to turn out the Government which he had assisted by his vote to bring into office in December, 1852. He did not regard this proposition merely as a matter of finance, for he thought they ought to look beyond the system of taxation. They ought to look to a future system of good government for the great mass of the community; and being con- vinced that it was essential to the well-being of Ireland (he made the observation in no feeling of want of respect for hon. Gentlemen opposite), that its affairs, in order to be usefully administered, should be administered by those who were now in the possession of power, and having no predilection for an income tax, but believing it to be sooner or later inevitable, he was more willing to accept it from the hands of those with whom he had been in the habit of acting than from their opponents. The hon. and learned Member forYoughal (Mr. I. Butt) had said that one of his objections to applying the income tax to Ireland was, that it was to be a permanent tax. In this opinion he (Mr. Serjeant Murphy) did not agree, as he had formed a conclusion directly opposite to that of the hon. and learned Gentleman. They had received the assurance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there was a fund which could be made available for the remission of the tax at the expiration of seven years; but, in addition to this, the fact of extending the tax to persons who had only 100l. per annum, and also extending it to Ireland, furnished the best guarantee for compelling the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or whatever Chancellor of the Exchequer might be in office, to extinguish the tax at the end of seven years. If he were asked on the present occasion, why he accepted the income tax from the Government now in office, his answer was, that the present Government offered something to Ireland which he thought was a considerable boon. The remission of the consolidated annuities was, in his judgment, a very important boon. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Youghal had said that they were so heavy in some parts of Ireland that they exceeded the fee-simple of the land. If this were really so—and the hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to speak as if he had made inquiry—the extinction of the consolidated annuities could not be regarded in any other light than that of a relief, and a substantial relief. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Belfast (Mr. Cairns) had also said that it was unjust to call upon Belfast to pay the income tax, because it had already paid its fair share of the consolidated annuities; but that if the whole of Ireland were compelled to pay the annuities, and that the income tax were extended to Ireland, Belfast would not refuse to pay it. Now, if this was the opinion of hon. Gentlemen opposite, was he (Mr. Serjeant Murphy) not justified in coming to the conclusion, that, if their friends were in office, they would not feel disposed to remit these annuities? He believed that the extinction of the annuities would be Considered a most important boon, and that the benefit of it would be especially felt in the agricultural districts. He looked upon the question of the income tax as affecting the whole of Ireland, and he considered it Was the duty of every person who was sent to that House as her representative not to view it with respect to his Own isolated case of locality, but to look to its general application to the country. It was not in the agricultural districts of Ireland alone that the effect of this measure would be felt, but in the towns also. It was Well known that the effects of the famine in the agricultural districts reacted upon the towns, and that they suffered to an equal extent by the stagnation of business. Therefore he concluded that that which was beneficial for the country at large, and that remission which would render the rural districts prosperous, would react advantageously upon the towns. It should not be forgotten, moreover, that Ireland ever since the enactment of the income tax, had been enjoying the benefits of free trade. Ireland was also about to derive further benefit from the remission of the tax on tea, the consumption of which, he was told, had enormously increased in Ireland in consequence of the temperance movement, and in many cases was made an actual substitute for whisky. All these were reasons which led him to the conclusion that he was justified in acting with the Government which proposed to impose this income tax on Ireland. Believing, as he did, that the Ministry would have a majority on this occasion, he might, deeming one vote more or less of no great importance, have kept himself aloof, and thereby have gained a little popularity; but he thought it more in accordance with his duty as a representative of the people, if he were convinced that the income tax must inevitably be imposed on Ireland, to accept it from a Government of which he approved.


said, the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Sir W. Clay) had made an appeal to Irish Members, to which he had listened with attention, and should not lose sight of. He would speak of what must be of paramount importance to Ireland—the way the question affected Ireland. The hon. Gentleman opposite had fallen into a fallacy in arguing the question as a question of equality of taxation. If there was to be equality of taxation the equality should have been established in the first instance. Was Ireland in civilisation, wealth, or improvements, on an equality with England? Not even an Irish Member would be bold enough to assert that this was the case. He could not help thinking, from the speeches that had been made on the other side, that there was a strong anti-Irish feeling in that House. He would read from one of the publications of the day what was thought and said of Irish Members. [The hon. Member here read an extract from some paper which he did not name, which stated that Irish Members, on questions regarding Irish taxation, raised a "howl" in concert, and that Irishmen were not willing to bear their fair share of taxation.] This, he was afraid, was a picture of the feelings of that House. He contended that, on its own merits alone, the income tax ought not to be applied to Ireland. Ireland ought to bear only her fair share of taxation, and not one farthing more. The income tax ought not to be applied to Ireland, simply on the merits of the case, for he disclaimed any idea of asking for any boon from England. At the time of the Union Lord Castlereagh laid down the principle that Ireland should bear her fair share of taxation, and he was ready to admit that Ireland should bear her due proportion relatively to her capabilities of sustaining public burdens, but not one farthing more. Adam Smith said that the subjects of a State ought to contribute towards the expenses of the Government, as far as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that was, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoyed under the protection of the State. During his tenure of office, Sir Robert Peel showed his recognition of this principle by exempting Ireland from the income tax. Statistics would show that that country already paid her full share of taxation, and that the claim for any greater amount was devoid of justice. The gross income of Ireland was calculated at-20,000,0002. a year, whereas the gross income of Great Britain, according to the authority of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Halifax (Sir C. Wood), then Chancellor of the Exchequer, was stated at 250,000,000l. He took that to be the proportion which the taxation of Ireland ought to bear to that of Great Britain, or about 1 to 12½. The gross revenue of the Empire was 52,000,000l., of which Great Britain contributed 47,840,00l. and Ireland 4,160,000l. Now, the net produce of the Irish revenue, on an ave- rage of ten years, from 1835 to 1844, was 4,164,000l., so that Ireland had been paying a small amount above her quota, in proportion to her gross annual income. And yet it was now proposed to violate the Union compact by materially adding to the burdens of Ireland, and thus destroying that relative proportion which ought to exist. He brought forward his figures to prove that Ireland was not open to the censure so freely bestowed upon her by Members opposite, of being unwilling to hear her fail-share of taxation. With respect to the debt incurred by Ireland, and fastened upon Ireland against the wishes and remonstrances of her representatives, it was an ungenerous thing to come down to that House and taunt Irish Members with this, that if they did not accept the income tax the debt should be enforced. Talk of the conduct of Irish landlords—why, was not such a proceeding similar in principle? It was impossible to find a more ungenerous use of an argument, and that, too, made by the stronger to the weaker. He asserted that it would not be equivalent to put on the income tax on condition of relieving Ireland from the consolidated annuity debt, The same parties would not have to pay. It was unjust to say to one set of persons. "We will take off a debt from your shoulders;" and to another, "Because we take off this debt from a particular class, we will put the income tax upon your shoulders." Where was the justice of this? The landlords of Limerick, Galway, and other parts of Ireland, would be benefited; but the hardworking people of the north of Ireland would have to pay. He would say, advisedly, that the charge for the consolidated annuities was a false charge; and if Government at the time knew that the money, when advanced, was to be spent improductively, they could not, on any principle of justice, claim it again. If such a proposition had been made cither in Scotland, or England, it would have been universally resisted. The rateable value of property in Ireland had been very much depressed within the last few years; and in the present circumstances of the country, the extension of the income tax would entail great hardship on Ireland.


said, he did not admire the income tax in itself, and felt sure it must he very uncomfortable to have to pay it; but he did not agree with hon. Gentlemen opposite, who said it was the most unjust and unequal tax that was ever imposed. He believed there were many more unjust and unequal taxes, and, indeed, al- most all indirect taxes, especially those paid on articles consumed by the great body of the people. All taxes were to a certain extent unjust and unequal; and taxes on the necessaries of life, such as sugar, tea, and tobacco, were most unjust and unequal in their pressure on the poor working man. So far, therefore, hon. Gentlemen who argued against the income tax argued against right and justice. The proposal to extend this tax to Ireland was resisted by Gentlemen opposite on two grounds: first, that of the amount of Irish taxation relatively to Irish resources; and, second, that of practical and local circumstances. As far as regarded the general grounds, namely, the inequality of taxation between the two countries, he believed there was no such great injustice as was supposed. The hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. G. H. Moore) calculated the amount which would be paid annually at 350,000l., which in seven years would be 2,450,000l. He would ask what became of the half of that famine loan already remitted to Ireland? No less than from 5,000,000l. to 6,000,000l. had already been remitted, and with the half now proposed to be remitted, he believed in 1860 there would be no balance against Ireland upon canning out the present proposal. It was said the half already remitted was money spent for Imperial purposes; but they could not blow hot and cold on the same subject—they could not keep a separate account when carrying things to the credit, and a common account when carrying things to the debit—and he believed, when fairly reckoned, the balance would be much in favour of Ireland, by carrying out the scheme of the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer. Hon. Gentlemen opposite said they would stand by the 7th Article of the Union; but they must, in justice, stand by it as a whole. They must wait until the powers of the two countries had been ascertained in the only possible way, by the imposition of an income tax, and then they might make a new arrangement, if a new arrangement were deemed necessary. But how stood the case if those Gentlemen would, to use a Scotch phrase, condescend to particulars? Acute and clever men might oppose the proposition on general grounds; but how any one could contend that it would press injuriously upon the people of Ireland really surpassed his imagination. The hon. Member for Mayo said this question of the annuities was a landlord's question, that it was a tax paid by the landlords, that the tenants had nothing to do with it; and the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Lucas) cheered concurrence in those sentiments. Those hon. Members professed great sympathy for the tenant-farmers; but he challenged them to deny that these annuities were positively and really paid by the tenants. The powers which the law gave the tenant to deduct half of those and of other payments were merely nominal, because when he went to the agent he was presented with a small account of arrears, which effectually settled the question. In Mayo this charge was 1s.d. in the pound, if not more; and in many Unions in the county of Cork it was as much as 1s. 6d. in the pound, and yet the hon. Member for Mayo ventured to predict that those who supported this proposition, and consequently relieved the people of those districts from so heavy a charge, would shake in their shoes when again seeking the votes of their constituents. To go from Mayo to his own county (Roscommon), though the annuities were not so high there, he felt that he would be doing his constituents an injustice if he were to refuse to relieve them from so great a pressure. He hoped and believed that the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer would agree to assess the income tax in Ireland on the same principle as in Scotland, namely, exempting all renting under 300l. a year, and only assessing them at 100l. a year for 300l. a year rental. If that was done—and he submitted it was only just to do so—he believed no tenant-farmer in Ireland would ever pay a single farthing to the income tax, whilst they would be relieved altogether from these annuities. Taking the case of the shopkeeper earning 150l. a year, it was fair to assume he lived in a house valued at 40l. a year. The difference by the exchange of the income tax for the annuities would apparently be 1l. 12s. 6d. a year; but he would save on his tea, on his stamps, and on his soap, although soap paid no tax in Ireland. ["Hear, hear!"] Soap, he contended, would be cheaper in Ireland, because if they removed the tax from the soap producers in England, they would bring into the markets of Ireland competitors against the Irish soap manufacturers, and the consequence would be, that the Irish consumer would have his soap at a cheaper rate. He (Mr. Roche) believed, indeed, that at the end of the year the Irish shopkeepers would find themselves gainers by the present Budget. He thought he was not at all over-estimating the advantages of the financial scheme in asserting that, instead of a loss of 1l. 12s. 6d. a year, the shopkeeper would gain at least 5l. in the way he had stated. It was objected that they were going to tax the mercantile classes in Ireland. But why, and under what circumstances? Really and truly they were going to tax the mercantile classes to meet the expenditure during the famine in Ireland, and what were the millers and merchants doing during that period? They were amassing large fortunes by importing corn into that country, and he did not begrudge them their fortunes; but he asked them to bear a small share of the taxation which now fell so heavily upon the land. The merchants of Belfast were protesting against the proposed taxation; but the landed proprietors and farmers of the south of Ireland sold their produce, not to the merchants of Belfast, but to the merchants and manufacturers of Liverpool and Manchester. Why, then, should they be ready to tax the merchants of the north of England, while they let the merchants of Belfast, with whom they had no connexion, go free? He (Mr. Roche) was himself engaged in the production of flax, which he sent to London and Liverpool for sale. Now, the company at Cork who conveyed the flax to London charged him 30s. a ton freight, and his only remedy was to get the shipowners of London or Liverpool to compete with that company. He was asked, however, not to tax the shipping company of Cork, while he consented to tax the shipowners of London and Liverpool. That, he thought, was very like cutting a switch to lay about his own shoulders. He did not believe that the Budget, as had been asserted in some quarters, could be injurious to the interests of Ireland. But taking the question upon the figures of the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Gr. H. Moore), and admitting, for the sake of argument, that Ireland would pay 350,000l. a year, he said it was well worth while to make that sacrifice to obtain not only equality of taxation, but identity of legislation with this country. The representatives of Ireland had been trying to achieve that object for many years, and how was it they were no nearer to it? Because they were not able to speak home to the feelings of the people of England. While there were many details in the income tax which he should be prepared to go into when the proper time came, such as the mode of assessment being made identical with the mode of assessment in Scotland, and all clergymen being exempted, which was desirable for many obvious reasons, he should give the Budget his undivided support, because he believed it to be a Budget for the shopkeepers, for the farmers, for the artisans, and a Budget which, heart and soul, he believed to be for the benefit of the people of Ireland.


Although Sir, I believe there are several Gentlemen, Members for Ireland, who wish to address you, and are desirous, and I have no doubt capable, of answering the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, still, as this debate has passed over a whole week, and as, perhaps, it is not presumptuous in me to take some part in the discussion, I think the time is come when I should express the opinions of some English Members on the question before us. And whether we divide to-night or not—and I hope we may divide to-night—it should be clearly understood that there will be many occasions on which hon. Gentlemen may offer their opinions on this subject, for at present we are only upon the threshold of the debate. Under these circumstances, Sir, I shall take the liberty of offering some observations to the Committee. After giving to the Budget of the Chancellor of the Exchequer all the consideration that so considerable a proposition deserves, I am bound to state that, to the general principles on which his financial policy is formed, I must give my entire approbation. I say that in no spirit of affected candour, and with no wish to obtain credit for a magnanimity which is not required by the occasion; but I say it because I find the principles on which he has formed his policy are identical with the principles which, only four months ago, on two occasions, on the other side of the table, I endeavoured to impress on the consideration of this House. Sir, I said, then, as the organ of the Government, that I thought the time had arrived when it was necessary to assimilate our financial policy to our now commercial system. [Lord J. RUSSELL, Hear, hear!] I do not know who it was said "Hear, hear;" I think it was the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell); but I remember that the noble Lord, four months since, when I gave expression to these opinions instead of crying "Hear, hear," rose in a spirit certainly of incredulity, if not of ridicule, and spoke of the idea of assimilating our financial policy to our new commercial policy as an absurdity, and a wild conception which could have nothing to do with the practical affairs of England. I said then, that in order to assimilate our financial policy to our new commercial system, we must make up our minds to commence and complete an entire revision of our taxation. Will the noble Lord say "Hear, hear," to that? Because I recollect when I made the observation only four short months ago, the noble Lord said it was most ridiculous to enforce a complete revision of our taxation; that our taxation had been revised more than once; that anything like a formal revision of our taxation was altogether unnecessary, and out of the question; that all we could do was to let the principles which had been established with respect to our finance operate in a natural manner; and that any proposal to have a formal or complete revision of taxation was one of those phrases which could never influence the affairs of the world. I am extremely glad, therefore, to find that the noble Lord on this subject has somewhat changed his opinions, and is so ready to encourage me at the commencement of my observations. But, Sir, it is not merely the noble Lord who entertained this opinion. We had a very able speech delivered to-night, when the House unfortunately was not so full as it has since become—a speech from a Member of the Administration, a Secretary of a Board, and I believe a Secretary of a Board because he did make a speech against the last Budget. What did that hon. Gentleman say? The hon. Gentleman, now Secretary for the Board of Control, saw no case made out for this remission of taxation in December last.

All they had to do, "he said," was to continue going on as they had gone on hitherto— ["Hear, hear!"] We shall hear several more of these assenting cheers before we have done— and that when the surplus should be disposed of by their making still further remissions of taxation, on the same principle as those remissions had been made which led to the wonderful extension of trade, commerce, and increasing revenue which all acknowledged, they would then have done all that a wise Government and a prudent Legislature could do under the circumstances."—[3 Hansard, cxxiii. 1349.] Now, Sir, remember that these words, for I may recur to them again, are taken from the speech of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Lowe). The hon. Member for Kidderminster has spoken to-night, mind you. The hon. Member has spoken, unfortunately in the absence of many who are listening to me now, and he spoke in a very different spirit to this extract and others that I might call to his recollection. Recollect, that while I said it was absolutely necessary to assimilate our financial system to our new commercial system, and that that could only be effected by a complete revision of our taxation, I said also that there were two things which a Chancellor of the Exchequer, under the circumstances, could not refrain from doing, and without having recourse to which this great object could not be obtained. And what were those two things? The one was that he was not to shrink from the proposal of new taxes in order to carry out his system—the other was, that it was absolutely necessary that he should not bound his observations to the horizon of the present year, but that he must attempt to regulate the financial operations of a longer term. And how were these propositions received by the noble Lord and his Colleagues? Why, no language can express the reprobation with which the heretical idea was received, that a Chancellor of the Exchequer might feel it his duty to create a deficiency, and to supply the vacuum by the proposition of a new tax. That indignation was not confined to the hon. Secretary to the Board of Control, who was then for standing upon the ancient ways; for what said the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Goulburn), that high authority? He described to the House the very unorthodox manner in which it was then proposed that the revenues of this country should be administered. He said— Mark how different was the basis on which this and former Governments proceeded. They proceeded on the basis of having first secured by a skilful management of the receipts and expenditure of the country a large available balance, out of which they could afford to make reductions. They did not, in the first place, create a deficiency and then call upon Parliament to make it by fresh taxation."—[3 Hansard, cxxiii. 1403.] Well, and what were the feelings of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the subject? I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is in the House or not, but I should be sorry to make any comments on him in his absence. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to be struck with sudden horror at my proposition. He said, speaking of me, almost in a tone of derision, "He is going to impose one tax in order to repeal another tax. Now that is a most uncommon proceeding on the part of a Chancellor of the Exchequer." But, great as was the indignation of the Members of the present Government, because I had recourse to the first method which was necessary to carry out my policy—namely, that I should create a deficiency and supply it by new taxation—their indignation was still greater that I should pre-presume to anticipate the management of our finances to a period more advanced than the termination of the current financial year. I must quote on this subject again the words of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Lowe), because, as he has shown us to-night, he is not only an hon. Member, but a very highminded Member; he has shown us that he is one of those who never will sacrifice anything for ephemeral popularity; that he is not a man who will to-day say one thing and tomorrow just the reverse, to gain a temporary popularity. Listen then to the words of the hon. Member for Kidderminister. I quote his speech, because it was a single speech till to-night, and because it was a speech which received a memorable reward. I said that to carry into effect a complete revision of our financial system, it was necessary to have recourse to two proceedings; the first was to create a deficiency by the remission of taxes, which could only be supplied by the imposition of others. That I have treated of. The other was that a Chancellor of the Exchequer engaged in such an enterprise must not shrink from attempting to deal with more than the current financial year. That was my proposition; but that was not the opinion of the hon. Member for Kidderminster. He said— The right hon. Gentleman"[my humble self]"had given them two Budgets to consider; one for] 853, the other for 1854. The wisest man would have enough to do in attempting to arrive at a correct view of the financial condition of a great country, even for a single year. But now we have a Budget for seven years; and not content with this, not content with regulating our commercial arrangements and taxes for that time, they are entering upon financial operations that fix the rate of interest for nearly half a century. Really, for statesmen who will not say one thing to-day, and another to-morrow, to win an ephemeral popularity, for men who will not sacrifice their opinions for an object of such a character, I think this is rather a troublesome contrast to have occurred within the space of four months, the only difference in the circumstances of the case being that the hon. Member for Kidderminster of four months ago is now the Secretary of the Board of Control. The hon. Gentleman will excuse these frank comments. I do not make these quotations to taunt the hon. Gentleman and his friends; but I think I have a right to make them to vindicate the course I myself took on the occasion to which they refer. And now, Sir, having given my approbation of the general principles on which the financial scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is founded—because, as I before observed, it is in fact the identical process by which I myself attempted—["Hear, hear!"]—the process, I say, is the same, though the application of the principles may be different—I come, then, to see whether I can give the same approbation to the application of these principles; and I will approach, first, the consideration of the first proposition before the Committee, to which an Amendment has been moved by the hon. Member for Hertfordshire (Sir B. Lytton). I come to the proposition for the continuance of the income tax. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes we should continue this tax for the term of seven years. It is a tax that has never, in our time, been proposed for a period of that duration. Irrespective, then, of all other considerations, I will now advert to the recommendations of the right hon. Gentleman as to this tax merely with regard to the term of it. The right hon. Gentleman objects to provisional Budgets; he objects to the finances being in a condition which is not established and confirmed, and he does not think that any item of our finances should be of a temporary and doubtful character. There is a great authority just published which seems to express the same opinion. This is from the leading article in the Economist newspaper:— The Budget—its Great Political Features:"—"Nothing could be more disgraceful to a great nation, nor injurious to its best interests, than to permit its financial condition to be exposed to the serious uncertainty which has prevailed in this country, at least since the expiry of the Income Tax Act in 1851. Since then more than 5,000,000l. of the necessary income of the country has been subject to an annual vote."…"The great advantage of Mr. Gladstone's Budget is, that it will settle for a period of seven years all these unseemly and damaging disputes. This, then, is the great political feature of the Budget, to terminate the dangerous and pernicious system by which so large a portion of our income as 5,000,000l. is dependent on an annual vote of this House. What new lights break upon us! Perhaps I may remind the Committee—although I confess that until I heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and read this authority, I should have thought it unnecessary to do so—that at no very remote period—no longer ago, indeed, than when I first entered this Assembly, a large amount of the annual revenue was always under the control of Parliament, and subject to an annual vote. But what is more extraordinary still, this state of things was held by high constitutional authorities to be one of the securities of the rights and liberties of the people. The system was then highly valued by all Gentlemen professing liberal opinions, not only as the safeguard of popular rights and liberties, but also as the best security for an economical administration of the finances. The sugar duties were voted annually, in order that Parliament might have a control over the annual revenue of the country. In amount, too, the sugar duties were little less than the income tax, which we are now discussing. Why, it was only at a very recent period that the Minister of the day, having to deal with the sugar duties, took the opportunity of appealing to the House, on account of the question of slavery, to concede that those duties should no longer be dependent on an annual vote, and entered into a compact with the House to substitute for the amount secured by those duties an equal sum, to be subject to an annual vote of the House. Who was that Minister? The Committee shall hear. On the 20th of July, 1846, the House resolved itself into a Committee of Ways and Means, like the present, and the noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord J. Russell) spoke in these words:— I do not propose to vary in any respect the constitutional practice of leaving a large, a considerable, amount of revenue dependent on a yearly vote of this House, as hitherto has been the case. I shall therefore propose some other source of revenue, which I will state before these Resolutions are formed into the shape of a Bill, to be yearly income, and for which, previous to the 5th of July, the Minister of the Crown shall every year be obliged to ask the consent of Parliament. I think that it would be unfortunate that the duties on sugar should be made the annual subject of debate, and, without departing from a constitutional practice, I shall endeavour to find some other duty, which it will be less objectionable to take as an annual vote."—[3 Hansard, lxxxvii. 1323.] The noble Lord, who will probably follow me in debate, will, perhaps, avail himself of the opportunity to inform us what is the branch of public revenue which, in conformity with the promise then given, he has provided for the annual decision of Parliament. The noble Lord, on a point of constitutional practice, speaks with the authority of a master, and he is bound, before the Committee shall come to a vote on the Resolution submitted to it, to explain upon what grounds he supports a proposition advanced for the express purpose, as was avowed, of setting aside the "constitutional practice of having a considerable amount of revenue dependent on a yearly vote of this House." We have been expecting every year that the noble Lord would produce the tax over which Parliament should exercise the control declared to be so valuable in a constitutional as well as in an economic point of view; but we certainly did not expect to be told that the enjoyment of this great constitutional privilege was a fiscal enormity; we did not expect to be told that when, by accident, an opportunity occurred of dealing with a branch of revenue equal in amount to, but not greater than, the sugar duties, if we exercised our power in this respect, we should endanger the finances and expose the country to peril. So much, then, for the Chancellor of the Exchequer's first proposition to renew the income tax for seven years on the ground that it was desirable a large branch of the national revenue should not be dependent on an annual vote of Parliament. I differ from the right hon. Gentleman on that point. The late Government having to propose the continuance of the income tax, indicated that the period should be three years, in deference to the precedent which had hitherto prevailed; but, if we had to choose between a period of seven years and a period of one year, I should vote for the latter. What I wish to impress on the Committee is, the error of these newfangled doctrines—that it is dangerous to have a large amount of revenue dependent on the annual vote of Parliament; for I believe that if we regained the exercise of the ancient constitutional privilege from which we have been too long debarred, it would be in the power of this House to ensure a better and more economical control over the finances. I come now to the second part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposition respecting the income tax, and that is, with regard to its assessment. The right hon. Gentleman proposes not only to continue the tax for seven years, but also that no difference shall be made in the mode of its assessment. Perhaps the Committee will not think it impertinent in me if I take this opportunity, and I shall do it very briefly, of explaining the reasons why the late Government fixed on the rate of assessment which they recommended the House of Commons to adopt. Remember, I have never had an opportunity of expressing my opinions on this matter. Our vote for the income tax never came before the House. In deference to the feeling of the House, and the general desire that the vote should be taken on the Budget as a whole, I placed the entire financial propositions of the late Government before it, and the income tax Resolution was included among the others; but I said, at the time, that in order that full time might be allowed for considering our proposition, I did not intend to ask for the opinion of the Committee of Ways and Means on the question of the income tax until after Christmas, and that all I then desired was, that the House should be in possession of the principle on which we wished to proceed. I mention this, because the noble Lord the Member for London, when a candidate for a seat in Parliament lately, said I had declared I had not had time to look over the schedules of the income tax. I suppose men may say anything when they are on the hustings. Great licence, we know, is permitted under such circumstances, and therefore I should have made no remark on that statement of the noble Lord, had I not heard it repeated on Friday last, in studied sentences of solemn propriety, that in debate my proposition respecting the income tax had confessedly broken down. Why, Sir, there never was any discussion on the subject. I never said that I had not looked over the schedules of the income tax; and perhaps those who make these assertions are not as well acquainted with them as myself. What I said was, that between the period when we publicly announced the rate of difference we proposed in the different schedules, and laying the Resolutions on the table, which was only one week, there was not time to refer to the official authorities to make an adjustment in harmony with that settlement; and as we were not going to ask for the vote of the Committee for a month, our only object being to assert the principle and announce to the Committee the degree to which that principle was to be carried, I said no Member was precluded from making any proposition for altering the schedules—only I warned them, whatever alterations they made, and they might he susceptible of some, they would find they would not in any material way change the financial results I had placed before the Committee. Let me now presume to remind the Committee of the circumstances under which we undertook the revision of the taxation of the country—the first step towards which was the propositions I submitted to the Committee; for I stated, at the time, that it was not offered as a complete system, but only a first stop. It was our opinion that the taxation of this country unduly pressed on the classes connected with the land. That opinion we expressed openly; we had no wish to conceal it. It was our opinion that, after the abrogation of a protective policy, the best mode of assisting a class subjected to unrestricted competition was to lessen the cost of production, and we thought that that could not be done without a general revision of the system of taxation. This policy was openly announced; nothing was hidden; our object was avowed, and the moans by which we intended to attain that object were publicly declared. If we could convince the country that our policy was just, we did not despair of attaining our object; but unless we could convince the country that our policy was founded in justice, we knew that it would not be accepted, nor did we desire that it should be. The principle of unrestricted competition having been recognised, it became our duty to commence the revision of our financial system, with the view—mind you—the avowed view, of removing its undue pressure on land. It was impossible for us to carry our measures into effect; it was impossible for us to sustain the operations which we contemplated without the aid of the income tax—that tax against which so much odium had been excited, and in our opinion, in a great degree, so justly excited. It was our opinion, having to revise the whole system of our taxation, with the avowed purpose of relieving the land from an undue pressure, that it was absolutely necessary we should appeal to the commercial classes in a spirit of conciliation, and evince our willingness to remove the injustice of the income tax on the trading, the commercial, and the professional classes. I make no contrasts now—our time is too precious—between incomes derived from realised property and incomes the result of intelligence and skill. We have no time for rhetoric now; but there is not a man in this House who has not contemplated the question, and who feels not the shame of the contrast, whatever his opinion may be on the general financial question. It appeals alike to the brain and to the heart of every man who has to come to a verdict upon that point. But I will meet the question of the trading and the commercial classes, and of those possessing terminable annuities. I shall put before the Committee in a brief and succinct formula, a contrast that brought conviction to my mind; and it is necessary to my argument, and in vindication of the course I am now detailing, that I should place before you briefly and clearly the considerations which led to our determination. A man with 20,000l. invests it in realised property. Well, I will suppose that he obtains 800l. a year for it, being at the rate of 4 per cent—a high rate of interest now. Another who has the same amount of capital, invests it in property perishable at the end of twenty years—in mills, in machinery, or in annuities terminable at that time. The one receives for his 20,000l. invested in real property 800l. yearly; the other receives for the same amount invested in property perishable at the end of twenty years, or in a terminable annuity, exactly 1,4732. per annum, the difference of 6732. being the interest, at 4 per cent, that at the end of the twenty years will supply the capital which has perished. Take that case; it takes in all. But how do you tax the two men? You tax the man who owns the realised property and who receives 800l. per annum, at the rate of 24l. a year, and you tax the man who receives 1,473l., which is really only the same amount of income as the 800l. derived from realised property, the rest being purely capital, at the rate of 44l. a year. And this is the system which you are going to support—which you, who profess to be the peculiar representatives of the commercial body, are now going to establish for a term of seven years, as you say, but, as I shall presently show you, most probably for ever. You are taxing the property of those classes whom you are sent here to represent nearly double the amount, and you do this for the interest of the trading and commercial classes. With these facts before us—with a conviction that the assessment was unjust—we felt that it was absolutely necessary, in order to induce the commercial classes to agree to the continuance of the income tax, that we might carry out a revision of our financial system, with the avowed purpose of relieving the land from an undue pressure—it was necessary, I say, that we should acknowledge the existence of inequalities in the system of assessment of the income tax. We never proposed the assessment at ¾ths as a perfect financial arrangement. We offered it only as the acknowledgment of a principle. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer says that land is now taxed more than other properties, and that the schedule in which land and all real property is included, is an assessment at a higher rate already than the other schedules. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says, when you take into consideration the cost of repairs, the burdens on land, the great weight of local taxations-land is higher taxed than other property. Startling phrases these, Sir, from the Chancellor of the Exchequer! Significant acknowledgments from that side of the House, when I remember the five years during which I endeavoured in vain to press upon this House an acknowledgment that there were burdens peculiar to real property. When I remember that I was told night after night, and by no one more earnestly, more continually, or more consistently than by the Members of the present Government, that the idea of local taxation being a burden upon land was a mere illusion, I say it is satisfactory to me to have lived to find an acknowledgment of its being true in being the basis, to a certain degree, of the financial arrangement now before the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, there is a difference of 2d. in the pound in the schedules between the assessment of real property and the assessment of other kinds of property. Well, Sir, I will not stop to analyse the data upon which the right hon. Gentleman has arrived at his conclusion; but he may rest assured that he will be reminded of his conclusion before these debates are over. But, Sir, I say that it was not as a complete financial arrangement, but as the acknowledgment of a principle made in the spirit of conciliation, that we made a difference in the schedules. We have now the income tax at a particular rate of assessment, but no security that that assessment shall not be changed. We have a Government that professes to deal more largely with the income tax than any other Government in our experience, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to deal with it for a period of seven years. This is an age of great financial operations. Suppose next year a Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to increase the rate of assessment—suppose that happens, which happened half a century ago, when we were governed also by "All the Talents"—suppose the Ministry come down to the House, and proposing to extend the income tax to 10 per cent, what answer would it be to the artist, the artisan, the merchant, and the tradesman, that the land was assessed 2d. in the pound more than they were? If our arrangement had been established, they would at least have felt that if at a future time the impost assumed a severer and more burdensome character generally, they, at least, must find considerable relief in the change in the assessment. And, Sir, I still maintain that in coming forward to ask the commercial classes to grant us the income tax, in order that we might carry into effect a complete revision of our taxation in order to relieve land from an undue pressure, we were taking a prudent and a conciliatory course. We were told by those who had a right to speak with authority on such subjects, that the plan we proposed would not diminish the revenue, while it would most certainly give satisfaction to the commercial classes. We believed in the inequality of the assessment as respected those classes; and we deemed it our duty to endeavour to adjust the inequality, because we were asking them to grant the income tax for the avowed purpose of relieving the undue pressure of taxation on the land of the United Kingdom. Well, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman opposite now proposes to continue the tax, without any difference in the assessment, for a further period of seven years. I may, perhaps, be allowed briefly to state the reasons why I do not think that at the end of seven years the incidence of the tax will terminate. The first reason why I am incredulous is, because I see that the spirit of the times in which we live is hostile to the abrogation of that tax. I beg the Committee to recollect the various aspects which the income tax has assumed since it was first brought under our notice by Sir Robert Peel. It was first brought forward to supply a deficiency, and in order that it might assist in the creation of a surplus out of which the indirect taxation of the country might be dealt with. The deficiency having disappeared, it was continued solely to sustain a surplus, which should allow you still further to deal with the indirect taxation of the country. Well, what is the case at the present moment? It is no longer proposed, in order to create a surplus, to enable you to deal with indirect taxation; but you are so far advanced that you must grant the income tax to support your revenue as at present established, and to provide for your necessary expenditure; while at the same time you ask us not only to grant the income tax, but to lay on other taxes to the amount of nearly 3,000,000l., for the purpose of dealing with the indirect taxation. Considering the circumstances which have occurred during the last ten years, a man must shut his eyes to all that passes around him, and be incapable of perceiving the temper and the signs of the times, the thoughts and habits of his fellow men, if he can suppose that the income tax will not take a perpetual place in our revenue. Your having recourse to fresh taxation in order still further to deal with indirect imposts, proves that there is little chance of our giving up the income tax which was first proposed for that purpose. Why should we suppose that the arguments which at present prevail with regard to taxation should so suddenly cease to have effect? What argument in favour of remitting the tea duty does not apply to the wine duty? What argument is there that is brought forward in favour of a remission of the Excise duty on soap, that does not equally apply to the Excise duty on paper? Cheap sugar is one of the blessings of the age. Why should you not have cheaper sugar? We have had the article of tobacco brought under our notice lately, and I have just been reminded that English smugglers have always made large fortunes so long as the immense impost on tobacco remains. Well, I have also a second reason why I think the income tax will not terminate at the end of seven years, and that second reason I find in the whole scope of the financial policy of the right hon. Gentleman—in all his antecedents—in the whole of his conduct and career. If the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman upon this and upon former occasions mean anything, they mean that we should find the means of supplying the whole of the revenue raised from the Customs duties by direct taxes. That is the natural and inevitable consequence of the right hon. Gentleman's arguments. I am perfectly willing to concede this, that when the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer held out the prospect, which he did the other night, that at the end of seven years the income tax would cease to exist, he was speaking with sincerity and acted with perfect conscientiousness. I have not the slightest doubt that the right hon. Gentleman is sanguine in his hopes, and anxious to effect a successful arrangement, and I am ready to admit that, should the year 1860 find him in the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer, but bring with it circumstances totally adverse to his commercial policy, the right hon. Gentleman is so conscientious a men that it is quite likely he would resign his office sooner than propose the continuance of the tax for a further period. We shall see him, as we did in the case of Maynooth, resign his exalted station in the Cabinet, and retire beneath the gangway, whence probably the right hon. Gentleman would again rise and recommend the renewal of the income tax. This he might do there with perfect honour—and so sacrifice himself to save his country. I have given at least two reasons, one being the character of the age, and the other the character of the right hon. Gentleman, by which I am induced to believe that the income tax will become a permanent tax if we consent to its retention for a period of seven years. If that be so, it appears to me that we have arrived at this dilemma: If this is to be a permanent tax, are we authorised, with the inequalities, the injustice, and the odious qualities that it possesses—are we authorised to extend it to new classes and countries without any attempt being made to mitigate these odious qualities, and to adjust those inequalities? If it be, as it avowedly is, the basis of the Government proposition that this is to be only a temporary tax, is it wise—is it politic, I ask again, to introduce for a brief space an impost so essentially unjust and odious to new classes and new countries? That, Sir, is the dilemma of the right hon. Gentleman. My opinion is, that our proper policy would be to renew the tax, and for a very limited time, as was proposed by the late Government, with as much of a mitigatory character as we can contrive. That was the proposition of the late Government, and it is the proposition of my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire (Sir B. Lytton), although, of course, the adoption of that proposition of my hon. Friend does not bind any Gentleman who may support it to the specific proposal of the late Government. But if this tax is not to be mitigated, and if its inequalities and its injustice are to baffle both Minister and Legislature, the best thing to do is to apply your surplus and accruing income as you receive it to the reduction of an impost which no Minister can manage, and no people can long endure. In the whole of this question, in considering this important arm of our national finance, which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer described with so much power, but which, I think, he described in a manner that conveyed an erroneous impression to hon. Members who are not experienced in financial matters—in considering this tax we should always endeavour, as accurately as we can, to ascertain whether the objects we are to gain by its perpetuation or continuance are worth the cost. The tax upon soap, there is not the slightest doubt, is a bad tax. As I have said before, the tax upon paper is a bad tax; and, as we obtain a surplus, these taxes, I admit, should early command the attention of the Minister of Finance. But, when you are asked to make the income tax a permanent portion of our finance, you are asked, not whether the taxes upon soap and tea are impolitic or not—of course all taxes are injurious, and these are particularly so—but whether it is worth your while to relieve yourself from the incidence of these taxes by perpetuating the income tax. You must follow the advice of Dr. Franklin, and see whether the whistle is worth its price. The right hon. Gentleman gave us the other day a description of the income tax and its great achievements. The hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) said it was declamatory. It was somewhat declamatory, but that I do not quarrel with. But it appeared to me to be inaccurate. This is a new House, and, I am happy to say, there are many young Members in it, some of whom were born since some of the great events occurred of which we are treating. To them the right hon. Gentleman may have conveyed an impression that, with the income tax, in addition to the ordinary sources of revenue, we produced a revenue nearly equal to all the expenses of the war, the revenue being 65,000,000l., and the expenditure 67,000,000l. Now, if that were so, unquestionably the income tax would be that colossal weapon which he so justly described it. But between 1806 and 1816, the year of the Peace, the right hon. Gentleman forgot to say, that although we had a revenue of 65,000,000l., meeting an expenditure of 67,000,000l., yet that there was simultaneously created a vast addition to the public debt, and that between 1806 and 1816 that public debt had increased from 600,000,000l. to about 840,000,000l. Hon. Gentlemen must remember especially this, when they hear of the efficacy of this colossal instrument, that there was a deficit, in 1814, 1815, and 1816, of 91,000,000l. That was the state of our finances. We had an increase of our deficit simultaneously with the use of this charmed weapon, whose qualities the Chancellor of the Exchequer so eloquently dilated upon. There is one other point in the income tax to which I must advert, and that is its extension. Assuming, as I do, the permanent feature of this tax, I think that no class or country should have been exposed to it without some mitigation of its injustice. But I must argue the case to-night as if the principle on which the Government system is founded is the correct one, and that the income tax will cease at the time mentioned. And now I have to consider its extension to Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control (Sir C. Wood) said that I had proposed the extension of the income tax to Ireland, and that I did not propose any measure for dealing with the consolidated annuities. I must say, Sir, that I see no connexion between the income tax and the consolidated annuities. I see no connexion between the incidence of Imperial taxation and the results of local arrangement; and I think it most impolitic, indiscreet, and unwise ever to mix them together. Sir, it is almost unnecessary to allude to another matter; but I have heard, not in the course of this debate, but in conversation within this House, of something like a compact relative to the income tax with the Irish Members. Now, of all the men in this House, I am the one who, perhaps, need less than any other to have a compact with any Irish Member as to the policy which I may feel it my duty to recommend with regard to the income tax and the consolidated annuities. Four months ago we had to consider the extension of the income tax to Ireland, and, after mature consideration, we unanimously came to the conclusion that it would be unwise and inexpedient to extend it to Ireland. We not only thought it unwise to extend it to Ireland at that time, but the considerable period which we proposed to Parliament to intrust us with this tax proved we had no immediate intention of changing our policy in this respect. It was our opinion, for reasons which I need not give, but it was arrived at after ample and anxious consideration by the late Government, that it was quite out of the question to extend the income tax to Ireland. Sir, I am prepared to support the same policy now that I advocated on the other side of the table. Now, Sir, it is not true that I was not prepared to make a proposition upon the consolidated annuities. I say still that these two subjects ought not to be mixed up with each other, and that they have no necessary connexion. On the contrary, I said that I would take the earliest opportunity to submit a Resolution to the House on the consolidated annuities. I said that, after I stated that the Government did not intend to extend the income tax to Ireland. The proposal I was prepared to bring forward with regard to the consolidated annuities was certainly not that which the right hon. Gentleman has made, but it was one founded upon equity, and which would, I think, have given satisfaction to all those who were interested in the affair. I have now touched upon the principal points of the first Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman. I might stop here, but I beg the permission of the Committee—and I will not abuse their indulgence—to allow me to express the general opinion which I entertain with respect to the financial policy recommended by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir, I have one great objection to that policy. It appears to me that the whole of the financial policy of the right hon. Gentleman is conceived in a spirit of injustice to the land. Now, Sir, that is a subject on which I have no wish to indulge in declamation, as the hon. Member for the West Riding said of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am ready, with the permission of the Committee, to establish the truth of my opinion by reasoning and by facts. And, as I plead for an interest which is not now surrounded by artificial legislation—as I give you credit for sincerely wishing that all classes of the community should, so far as is possible, receive from the Legislature, especially upon financial subjects, justice—I trust you will listen to me with temper and toleration, and that you will not permit the memory of ancient prejudices, or the recollections of former feuds, to divert your minds from the facts which I shall lay before you. Now, Sir, I would ask the Committee to view for a moment the state of our revenue, in its amount. If you look to the last returns you will find that the ordinary sources of our revenue, deducting that income tax which was only proposed as a temporary tax, and which as a temporary tax is the basis of the financial scheme of the Ministry—deducting that temporary tax from the ordinary sources of revenue, the revenue amounts to about 46,000,000l. sterling per annum. This great country, with the most extensive commerce of modern times, the most admirable manufac- tures, governed, as we are told, by the great towns—this country of progress raises an imperial revenue to the amount of 46,000,000l. sterling per annum from its ordinary sources, and one-fourth of that revenue is raised by a duty upon a single crop of the British farmer. The average of the united duties that you levy, directly or indirectly, upon barley is upwards of 230 per cent. Now, let me show you how this system operates—how it must operate under the policy recommended by Her Majesty's Government. You are called upon in this scheme to deal with the tea duties. It is unnecessary for me to say that that is a proposition which I can view with no repugnance; I have always considered that the tea duties, per se, were an excessive and impolitic impost, and one which a Minister of Finance, at a favourable opportunity, and in a proper spirit, ought to deal with; and I proved the sincerity of my views on the subject by dealing with them. I make no comment to-night upon the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with respect to the tea duties; I believe that the supply is illimitable which China can afford us of tea, and therefore, though I should have preferred my more prudent arrangement, I am not terrified by the arrangement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But if I were of the same opinion as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Goulbum), that the supply was limited, then I confess, if I were Chancellor of the Exchequer, I should not feel so easy as the right hon. Gentleman appears to be. But understand what you are going to do. You are going to reduce the duties upon tea more than half; you are going to bring tea into increased competition with those beverages that are prepared from the productions of the British farmer. Tea will probably become a substitute for spirits and beer which are produced from barley. Many Gentlemen opposite say that they have no objection to tea or even to wine becoming a substitute for spirits—for whisky, for gin, or for beer. Well, if that were the natural course of human affairs—if that change resulted from a concomitant change of habits and feelings and tastes in the people, he would be a very unwise man who should set his face against the change. But if that change is produced by the foreign products entering into competition with the English products, with the immense advantage of being taxed by one half less, then their substitution for the products of the British farmer is in fact not the consequence of a change of taste in the people, but of your fiscal injustice. And that is what I wish to impress upon you. Rely upon it, you may crack jokes about reducing the malt duties, and remissions of duty going into the pocket of the brewer, and maudlin philanthropists may denounce dram drinking, and say that they will not encourage legislation that gives any impetus to such a habit; but the jests and jokes even of a President of the Board of Control will be baffled by the inexorable principles of political economy; and the maudlin philanthropist who denounces dram drinking, but is nothing loth to receive the dividends which dram drinking supplies, is not a legislator who I hope will ever influence the decrees of the House of Commons. A sum of 11,000,000l. or 12,000,000l. a year can never be raised without being paid by the consumer, and, if paid by the consumer, must restrict the industry and restrain the trade of the man that produces. It is of very great importance, no doubt, that we should deal with the excessive indirect taxation that attaches to many foreign articles; it is of great importance that we should extend our commerce with India and China on a sounder basis; and that is one of the main reasons why we should deal with the tea duties. It is also of very great importance that we should increase our commerce with France and the south of Europe; and that is a very good reason why we should deal with the wine and brandy duties. But, irrespective of political justice, have you considered the fiscal consequences which must accrue if you persist in lessening the indirect taxation upon the Chinese tea or the French wine, and at the same time leave the enormous impost that exists upon the malt and the spirits that are made from British produce? That was the reason that induced the late Government to make up their minds to deal with the 11,000,000l. or 12,000,000l. that you raise from a tax upon a single crop of the British farmer. We were as desirous as the right hon. Gentleman opposite to increase our commerce with China, and to expand our trade with France; but we felt that we had a primary duty to fulfil, and that we were bound simultaneously to reduce the burden and mass of indirect taxation that pressed upon the industry of the British producer. Irrespective of political justice, I ask what must be the fiscal consequences of articles of foreign product, like tea and wine, coming in at reduced, and, if the system of the right hon. Gentleman be ever consummated, perhaps at nominal duties, and supplanting the beverages that are produced from the barley of the British cultivator of the soil? What will then become of your revenue of 11,000,000l. or 12,000,000l.? By every consideration of sound finance, irrespective of political justice (which is a higher consideration than sound finance even), you ought at least to take care, when you are bringing in articles which enter into competition with articles produced by the English cultivator of the soil, you must at least take care that the competition which he enters into is, as you say, "unrestricted competition." But what is the course recommended by Her Majesty's Ministers? While they are proposing to reduce by more than 50 per cent the tax upon tea; while they are prepared at a favourable opportunity probably to deal also in the same manner with wine; while they are allowing these foreign articles to enter into competition with articles of British growth that are subject to a duty of 230 per cent, the only proposition they make with respect to this amount of indirect taxation is to add 500,000l. to the amount which is already felt to be so oppressive. So much for the justice of the policy of the Government as to the land, with respect to dealing with indirect taxation. I am asking no favour, mind you, for the land in this behalf. I shall be glad if any Gentleman can get up, with the most extreme views of unrestricted competition, and vindicate such a policy. I say we are bound, if we admit foreign products like tea and wine at much reduced duties, to deal also with that immense mass of indirect taxation which we raise from English articles, for which these foreign products will in all probability be substituted. I cannot imagine that there is any one who will question the policy, or the wisdom, or the justice of that proposition. Now, if the financial policy of the right hon. Gentleman deals with the indirect taxation in so unjust a manner as regards the land, what is he doing at the same time with our direct taxation? Why, we find this—this is the first thing that meets us: a farmer finds, in the first place, that the duties upon barley indirectly affect the whole soil of the kingdom, and that his product with an immense impost is placed in unrestricted competition with his foreign rivals, who have to pay a much reduced rate; he finds, in addition to this, that the indirect taxation upon the article he produces is increased; and what more does he find when he leaves the domain of indirect taxation? He finds the right hon. Gentleman saying, "You will meet this increased competition with increased indirect imposts, and, in addition to all this, to sustain you in the contest, we are going to put upon you an income tax." That is the position of the cultivator of the soil. What is the condition of the proprietor of the soil—the proprietor of the soil who has been told to devote his capital to the improvement of his estate? You are going to propose a tax which you call extending the legacy duties to land, which will act as a direct tax of a very considerable amount upon all real property, and, of course, if upon all real property, in a very great degree, if not mainly, upon the land. Now, there seems, as far as I could collect the opinion of the Committee as the debate has proceeded, some little misapprehension on this subject. An hon. Friend of mine, the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Sandars), who has given in his adhesion to the project of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that he did so because the right hon. Gentleman was going to fulfil that which Mr. Pitt failed in doing; and another hon. Member opposite eulogised the right hon. Gentleman on the same score, and said that Mr. Pitt had only failed by one vote in accomplishing that which the right hon. Gentleman now proposed, and which he hoped he would succeed in accomplishing. Now, there is a very great error in this. Mr. Pitt never proposed anything of the kind. Mr. Pitt never proposed any tax upon settled property of any kind. [Laughter.] I have read the Act which Mr. Pitt brought in, and if the hon. Gentleman who laughs means to express any incredulity on the subject, I must refer him to that Act. Mr. Pitt introduced two Bills, one of which is the origin of our present legacy duties with reference to personalty, and the other was a Bill which would have extended the same system of legacy duty to landed property, which was not settled. It has been alleged that it was the selfishness of the landlords then in Parliament which threw out that Bill. It was nothing of the kind. Nine-tenths of the landlords in Parliament were possessors, as Gentlemen in this House are at present possessors, of settled estates, and the proposition of Mr. Pitt never touched them. It was thrown out on different grounds, and it was mainly thrown out from the influence of Mr. Fox. It was Mr. Fox whose opposition threw out that Bill, and it was he who opposed it on grounds to which I may hereafter advert—grounds which were considered sound and scientific, without doubt. The Bill, therefore, was not thrown out by the selfishness of the landlords; and the only persons whose interests were affected by it—and for whom the battle was fought—were the small proprietors of England, who were not Members of Parliament, and whose estates were not settled. Now, this is a subject of very grave importance. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control said, the other night, that the late Government were going to propose a tax on successions. Now, I am sure either the memory of the right hon. Gentleman must have been imperfect, or he must have spoken from inadvertence when he said this. It was the duty of the late Government, when they revised the taxation of the country, not to omit so important a subject as the duty on successions, or the legacy duty; and certainly it was our opinion that it was most imprudent to delay dealing with that question, and that it was a subject which, for a permanent settlement, ought, without unnecessary loss of time, to be brought before the House. What I did say on the occasion referred to is within the recollection of right hon. Friends near me—and certainly I could have intended to say nothing more—it was, that we did not think it impossible to make a proposal upon that subject which would terminate for ever the controversy in a manner which would be recognised as perfectly satisfactory by all parties. And that was not a vague phrase; that proposition was a matured proposition; and probably in the course of this discussion—though I will not trouble the Committee with it now—I may be able on some future occasion to submit it to the consideration of the House. But, Sir, in considering the question of a tax upon successions, there are many points to be considered before we come to a vote upon it. We must ask ourselves, in the first place, is it a just tax? Is it, abstractedly, a just tax? Is it a politic, a just tax, a tax that can be vindicated on principle? We must ask ourselves, in the second place, whether, if it be a tax sound in principle, it is a tax adapted to the country in which it is proposed to be introduced? Thirdly, we must ask ourselves what are the data which the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer has before him upon which he founds this estimate of its produce; and, above all, what is the machinery by which he means this tax to be raised? These are three important points which would well deserve consideration. For my own part, Sir—although I think that if the Bill of Mr. Pitt had passed it would have been unwise (unless the state of our finances justified us in doing so) to disturb that arrangement-for my own part, I believe that all taxes on successions, whatever shape they may take, are unsound in principle. They are taxes on capital. They are unsound in principle as regards personal property, but they are much more unsound in principle as regards landed property, because they lead to partition, which, in my opinion, is a very great evil, and much to be deprecated. But I am not going to enter into that important subject now. All that I can say is that you cannot deny, that by proposing this tax on successions with reference to landed property, you are proposing a new tax upon the land. I have shown you that in dealing with your indirect taxation you have commenced a system, and you have laid down a principle, which must immensely aggravate the national taxation upon the British producer. I have shown you, in the second place, that while you are about to pursue that unjust and injurious policy—a policy the propriety of which no man can vindicate—while you are aggravating the pressure of indirect taxation upon the British producer, you are inflicting upon the cultivator of the soil a direct tax in the shape of an income tax, and upon the possessor of the soil a direct tax in the shape of a tax upon successions. Now, Sir, I say that the whole scope of the Budget of the right hon. Gentleman is conceived in a spirit of injustice to the land. I will not touch upon the past. I will not ask you was it politic, was it wise, or was it generous to attack the land, both indirectly and directly, after such an immense revolution had taken place in those laws which regulated the importation of foreign produce. I will make no appeal ad misericordiam. What you have done, you have done—we have given our assent to it. I will not refer to the past, and upon that ground I refrain from appealing to you. But I will remind you that the Minister who has conceived this Budget—who has conceived it, as I maintain I have proved, in a spirit of injustice to the land—who is aggravating the burden of indirect taxation to the land, and is proposing new direct taxes on the cultivator and the proprietor of the soil, is the very Minister—the first Minister—who has come forward, and in his place in Parliament talked of the vast load of local taxation to which real property is exposed. The vast load of local taxation which real property endures! Well, then, this is an age of compensation—what is to be our compensation for that? I remember when I made an appeal to the sense of justice of the House of Commons on that head I was met by two kinds of opponents. One school denied point blank that there were any burdens upon real property which were peculiar to it, or which it was not bound to bear. But there was another class of opponents, who took a different ground. They said, "It is very true that there is an undue burden of taxation upon real property, and upon land as the most important portion of real property, but you forget you have not to pay the legacy duty." Why, Sir, I have shown over and over again that exemption from the legacy duty was no compensation for the weight, the great weight, of local taxation which your Minister has admitted. But let me remind you now that we are not only to have this great weight of local taxation acknowledged by the Government, but it is not to be remedied by the Government—nay, more, it is not only not to be remedied by the Government, but it is to be accompanied by the very tax an exemption from which they used to say was our compensation for those burdens. Sir, we have lived to see very strange things. I remember when Sir Robert Peel proposed his first income tax, and I remember the noble Lord, the leader of the House, sitting on these (the Opposition) benches rising, and, with the traditionary spirit of Mr. Fox, denouncing the impost as Mr. Fox denounced the legacy duties, because the noble Lord, as well as Mr. Fox, had some feeling for the land of his forefathers, and for the burdens which it had so long borne. I remember how the noble Lord admonished Sir Robert Peel. The noble Lord could not deny there was a deficiency in the Exchequer; for he had just left office, and knew pretty well the state of his treasury. The noble Lord said there were other means of supplying the deficiency—anything but this odious, this unjust, this inequitable, this inquisitorial income tax. [Laughter.] The epithets are the noble Lord's, and not my own. Do anything but this, the noble Lord said; if you have a deficiency, why don't you supply it by applying the legacy duty to the land? Well, Sir, he has applied the legacy duty to land, but he has given us the income tax too. That is the fate of England. And now what is the fate of Ireland? Sir Robert Peel did not propose an income tax for Ireland, though he proposed one for England. Sir Robert Peel thought that there were constitutional and local grounds which should forbid him, even if he wished it, to apply the income tax to Ireland; but he said, "I must have some substitute, and that substitute shall be a duty on spirits. The Irish shall have a duty on spirits instead of the income tax, just as the English were to have, if the policy of the noble Lord had prevailed, a legacy duty instead of an income tax; but now England had got the legacy duty as well as the income tax, and Ireland is to have the spirit duty and the income tax too. Strange fate that both countries from the Ministry of "All the Talents" should receive such accumulated blessings! But, Sir, it is not my intention—and it would be taxing the patience of the Committee, as we shall have so many opportunities of entering upon the consideration of this great subject—to go into all the details of the Budget, or even into all its main features. I am confining myself to show to you that the Budget is conceived in a spirit of hostility to the land, and I have endeavoured to substantiate that by arguments and facts which it is open for all to consider, and if possible to confute; and without allusion to any of those views or considerations which in former debates may have influenced us on the subject, I appeal with the same confidence to hon. Gentlemen opposite as to those on this side of the House—all I ask is, that you will deal with this great interest as you should deal with all interests, great or small, in the spirit of justice, and that if you cannot accomplish all that justice requires, you will at least show a desire to do so; and that you will not persist in legislating in a spirit which will sour the temper and irritate the feelings of a large portion of the most valuable subjects of Her Majesty. There is another point to which I am obliged to refer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has a project for the licences of trades, which, I dare say, many of his supporters have heard something about. Well, Sir, I have received between 300 and 400 letters on the subject; and, at first, many of them being really full of useful suggestions, it was my intention to have sent them to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But when I found that the right hon. Gentleman, with a devotion to public affairs for which I had not given even him credit, was in the habit of answering all his letters himself, I thought that he might have possibly misinterpreted what was really intended to be an act of courteousness on my part; and so I retained the letters and saved the right hon. Gentleman a certain amount of embarrassment. Well, Sir, the general tone of these letters may be described in this way: This project of licences is infinitely worse than your house tax. I should say, indeed, that the majority described it as a quadruplication of the house tax. Moreover, they all say they would much sooner—if they must have something—have my house tax than this system of licences, for it was but an aggravated house tax, and if developed, as it must be developed should the first step be conceded, they have got that which they wished never to obtain, and from which they thought the right hon. Gentleman had turned me out of office to save them. Well, there has been great clamour—there has been great discontent in the country on the subject; and, unless I misunderstood him, the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman on the subject is already shaken. I should have supposed a Minister of Finance would not have taken such a step as proposing licences for trades—I am not now giving any opinion as to the policy of the measure, which is unquestionably one of the most important in the province of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—but I should not have supposed that any Chancellor of the Exchequer would have brought forward a proposition of such a nature without well weighing its character and consequences. Such a plan is not to be taken up hastily; nor, one would think, is it a plan to be lightly relinquished. It is a very grave subject. It touches the retail trade—the most tender, the most irritable, the most lively, and the most sensitive to anything like an attack on their finances, of any portion of the community. The system of licences, involves too, some of the worst consequences of direct taxation. Some, indeed, have proposed it to us as a favourable substitute for the income tax. It appears, however, we are to have licences and income tax too, according to the original project of the right hon. Gentleman. But there are great murmurs and discontent in the country on the subject. And at the very first murmur we hear the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer rise and mutter something about the absolute necessity of the scale being altered! But, if rumour is true, even the plan itself is to be abandoned. Now, mark the difference when a particular class of the population of the towns is concerned in matters of taxation, and when you deal with those who are connected with the land. There is not the slightest doubt, I take it for granted, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would never have proposed the licences unless he believed them to be just and proper, and not only just but politic. Well, but he changes his opinion in twenty-four hours, when the trades rise and tell him they will not endure it. But the farmer must bear his income tax, the proprietor of the soil must bear his increased burden of direct taxation, the cultivator must find his burden of indirect taxation unnecessarily and enormously aggravated, while he has fresh rivals in the field in the articles he produces. He murmurs, but he is to get no relief. But the instant a particular class in the country are touched by the Minister of Finance, orders are given, the delegates wait, and the Minister trembles. Now, Sir, I have adverted to this subject before, and think it by much the most serious feature of our political condition. If it be the fact that certain classes in this country, because they have a certain portion of electoral power, are exercising that electoral power systematically to exempt themselves from just taxation, I cannot conceive anything more to be deprecated, more perilous, and more to be resisted. Why, what has been the cause of the disturbances of nations, and of the fall even of thrones? It has been the existence of classes exempted from taxation. I see no difference between a privileged noble and a privileged tobacconist. It is the same, whether it is the patrician who calls on the Chancellor of the Exchequer and adjures him not to touch him with an impost, or the tradesman with a 10l. vote. The circumstances are equally grave, equally full of political disorder. Nor can I doubt that what have been the consequences in one case will be the same in the other; for I feel it is the privileged which will be the class that will suffer in the end, though it may now reap an undue and unholy harvest from the power they possess. Nor can the electoral system endure which will permit such scenes which we now almost yearly see in the House of Commons, in consequence of this state of things. But when these great scandals take place, and when the owners of the soil and the cultivators of the soil complain that in the projects of the Finance Minister they are not justly treated, and claim from him nothing but justice—when, not only injured by his project, but irritated by those unwise concessions, they come to him by their representatives, how are they met? By taunts and by jeers. What said the right hon. President of the Board of Control the other night to some one who had made comments on the scheme of the Government? He said, "You had better take my advice, you had better take this measure, or you will get worse." "Now," said the President of the Board of Control, "remember the eight shilling fixed duty. You did not take that; you see what not taking the measure we brought forward led to." Well, that is a very favourite topic on the other side. [Sir C. WOOD: Hear, hear!] The cheer of the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to dwell on it a little longer. It is not merely the President of the Board of Control that takes this course. The President of the Board of Control is rather of an active and vigorous than of an original mind. The President of the Board of Control has followed the example of more eminent persons. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) is very fond of giving us his advice on this subject. At the beginning of the year I brought forward a Motion respecting our relations with France, and it fell to the noble Lord to answer the observations I made. The noble Lord, on that occasion—the subject being our relations with France—delivered himself of an oration in favour of free trade. Not a very uncommon habit with the noble Lord. And he said then that if I had followed his advice I might have been one of Her Majesty's Ministers at that time. So far as that was concerned, I believe it did not depend upon my following his advice: all that was necessary for me to have done would have been to follow his example. I dare say if we had submitted to what I have seen Ministers submit, that probably we might have been sitting on those (the Ministerial) benches at this very time. But that, however, is not the point to which I wish to call attention to the noble Lord. The noble Lord has said—and he has now been followed by the President of the Board of Control—"You never take our advice. I advised you to take an 8s. duty on corn, but you would not take it." Now, the noble Lord has reminded us of that several times. I should not, however, have now noticed it if the President of the Board of Control had not revived it. If the taunt had come from the right hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth (Sir F. Baring), who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, I might have allowed it to pass, because he might have been justified in making it; but the taunt has been so often repeated and stereotyped that I think it is time it should cease. I have, therefore, thus noticed it, in order, if possible, to prevent its repetition. I think it would only have been decent of the noble Lord to have remembered under whose advice, and at whose urgent instance, we did refuse an 8s. fixed duty on corn. Far be it from me to depreciate the colossal powers of the mind which could conceive so vast an idea as an 8s. fixed duty on corn. I give the noble Lord all the credit that is due to him in that respect. But at the same time, when the noble Lord remembers who was the statesman under whose advice and at whose instance that proposal was refused, and when he remembers who those are by whom he is now surrounded—when the noble Lord remembers that he has thrown aside the Whig party, and that he has accepted a subordinate office under a subordinate officer of Sir Robert Peel, I think he might have felt that the time has come when these scoffs and sneers should cease. The hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) said, the other night, that the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) had stated that this Budget was a great triumph to Manchester. Well, Sir, I had hoped that the old feud between town and country had ceased for ever. There exists no difference of material interests any longer between town and country. The very Motion which the Member for Hertfordshire has proposed to-night is somewhat significant of that, and is evidently conceived in a spirit of honourable conciliation. I could therefore have hoped, that, however you might have voted that you would have accepted that Amendment in the same spirit. The Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), when addressing his constituents some little time ago, expressed his amazement that the country Gentlemen should have made such a proposition, and added, that they were entitled in consequence to the kindly feelings of the working classes of the country. That was the way in which the hon. Member for Manchester had spoken of the proposition which has been treated so differently by the Secretary of the Board of Control. That hon. Gentleman had spoken of our proposition in terms—I will not say offensive, for if they had been offensive I should have called in the Attorney General to have taken a message to the right hon. Gentleman—because I recollect—it is still ringing in my ears—the glowing eulogium made by the first Crown officer upon the subject. The hon. Member for Manchester spoke in a manner honourable to himself and worthy of the occasion; and I tell the hon. Gentleman that there is no class which has struggled more for the rights and liberties of the people than the country Gentlemen; no class has less interest in the corrupt administration of affairs; and no class has a greater interest in an economical administration of those affairs. Gentlemen are very apt to tell us of the weight and importance of the great towns, and that this Budget was supported by the Members of those great towns. I have already said that there is no longer any difference of material interests between the people of the great towns and the people of the country. But I am told there are social and political differences. I am very loth to believe it. I cannot but believe that it will be remembered that these great towns are situate in a country of no considerable extent, with no excessive population, with a commerce, which, however great, has been equalled, and with manufactures, which however successful, have been surpassed. What then makes this country great? The national character of the country, created by its institutions and by the traditionary influences impressed upon those institutions. Those institutions are deeply and broadly planted in the soil, and that soil is not the possession of any exclusive class. The merchant or the manufacturer may deposit within it his accumulated capital, and he may enjoy those privileges to which its possession entitle him, on condition that he discharges those duties which its possession also imposes. Then why this hostility to the land? Every man is deeply interested in maintaining its influence. I therefore adjure those Gentlemen who are the representatives of large towns to condescend to ponder over these observations, and not to be led away by prejudices; remembering that we are all alike interested in maintaining the greatness of our country, and that that greatness depends upon its institutions as well as its material prosperity. Should, however, as I trust not, the representatives of towns take another course, then, of this I feel convinced, that if they are still alienated from us—if they still proceed in their illusory progress, they may perhaps arrive at the goal which they contemplate, they may perhaps achieve the object they have set before them, but I believe they will be greatly disappointed in the result, and that they will only find they have changed a first-rate Kingdom for a second-rate Republic.


Sir, at this late hour of the night, and after four nights of debate, I can attempt to do little more than set before the Committee as clearly as I can the question upon which they are now about to divide. They have a Budget before them comprising propositions of very great importance to the finances of this country, and the question which they have to decide is, whether the advantages held out by those propositions are greater than the burdens which are to be imposed, and whether it is the duty and the interest of this House to adopt that Budget. Now, Sir, in the first place, the proposition of the Government is, that an endeavour should be made to settle the question of the income tax—the assessment and existence of which, as a part of our financial system, have been for a long time in debate, and have given rise to difficulties most perplexing even to the minds of those who are most conversant with these subjects—and to enable Parliament to come to a final decision upon the question. I say this because I think it must have been evident to any persons who have followed the course of events and of the debates upon this subject, that although the original proposition of Sir Robert Peel in 1842 to impose an income tax for three years might have been very wise, and well adapted to the situation of the country then, yet it is impossible now to continue the tax from three years to three years without exciting at every renewal doubts and differences as to the mode in which that tax should be imposed, and as to the parties to be subjected to its operation. Such discussions and such differences cannot take place without disturbing and shaking our whole system of finance; and yet no Government since 1842, no House of Commons since 1842, has seriously contemplated the termination of this tax. Every Chancellor of the Exchequer in the interval of the three years has proposed various reductions of the tax; and other reductions which he did not propose were pressed upon him by Members on every side, and of every party in this House; and yet, while the Government made those propositions, and while Members of the House urged those reductions, it was not expected that the income tax should terminate at the end of the three years to which by law it was fixed. Such being the case, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has told this House that, continuing the tax for a certain limited period—I admit, no very short period—after that time the House will have the means, if it thinks fit, of putting an end to this tax, and relying for the future upon the ordinary resources of the country. I say, therefore, that there is, primâ facie, a great advantage proposed by this Budget. In the next place, Sir, it is proposed to take away one of the injurious duties of the Excise, which is almost the only tax that now remains upon what can be properly called the necessaries of life—I mean the tax upon soap, which interferes materially with the health and comfort of the people. It is proposed to part with no less than 1,000,000l. of revenue on that head. It is proposed further that the tea duties should be reduced from 2s. 2d. to 1s. in the course of three years. It is proposed that the system of reducing the protective duties should be carried further than it has been, and that many disputed questions—that, for instance, with regard to spirits, and the mode in which that duty is collected—should be settled by the legislation of the present year. To these must be added the proposal to adjust the assessed taxes, not upon the absurd sumptuary principle at present adopted, that persons are to pay for every increased number on their servants or horses, but on the principle that every person shall pay equally upon every servant, every horse, and every carriage that he may use. An hon. Gentleman said to-night, with considerable effect and with great emphasis, that this change was entirely for the advantage of the rich; but I must say that I believe it is no less for the benefit of the working classes. I believe the benefit will be much more extensive; for by the heavy tax on servants, by the heavy tax on carriages and the like, you do restrict very much the employment of those who labour. Well, Sir, this is a brief summary of the advantages that are now proposed. ON the other hand, it is an objection in the eyes of many that there is no alteration in the rates proposed for the income tax. It is an objection also in the eyes of many that a tax is proposed to be imposed upon legacies. Now, Sir, it is with these objections that I shall immediately deal; but first I must say that the spirit in which the propositions of the Government hare been received, does seem to me to be singularly at variance with the Amendment which has been proposed by the hon, Baronet (Sir B. Lytton). The hon. and learned Member for East Suffolk (Sir F. Kelly) has said to-night that new and enlarged burdens are placed on the land. The right hon. Gentleman who has just now sat down complains of the new tax upon land, and says that the whole Budget is framed in a spirit of hostility to the land. ["Hear, hear!"] Ah! hon. Members seem anxious to confirm the accuracy of the statement which I have made. Well, what is the proposition before the Committee? What is the engine by which it is proposed to throw down the whole of the monstrous and vast edifice which my right hon. Friend proposes to erect? Is it a proposal to tax land less, or to take off any of the existing burdens on land, or to impose new taxes on trade? Quite the contrary. The proposition made by the hon. Member for Hertfordshire is this, that whereas land is now taxed 9d., and trade 7d., land should he continued at the same rate, and that trade and manufactures should be taxed at a lower rate. Was there ever anything so contradictory? and yet the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) stated that he was gratified at the admission which had been made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the amount raised by the income tax upon the land amounted to 9d. instead of 7d., owing to the expense of repairs. That being the case, one would have thought that he would have voted in favour of some proposition by which that sum was to be reduced; instead of which he proposes that whereas the sums paid by the land and by trade respectively are 9d. and 7d., the sum paid by land shall continue at 9d., and that paid by other sources of income shall be reduced to 5d. Why, for Gentlemen who have been these last seven years declaring that land was depreciated and ill-treated by our commercial legislation, now to come forward, at the end of those seven years, with a proposition to aid manufactures and trade, of whose predominance and unfair influence they have been complaining all this time, is certainly one of the most wonderful anomalies that this House has ever presented. I believe that since the day when Marshal Marmont conducted his division of the army, which expected that it was going to fight for Napoleon, into the ranks of the hostile army of the Austrians and the Prussians, there has been no such military move as that of the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Therefore I do not wonder that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire, who is usually so clear, and who marks so accurately and shrewdly the points upon which he wishes to fix his blame, found himself so embarrassed that, instead of being clear and pointed, he was obscure and confused during the whole course of his remarks upon this subject. But what is the case? I will not detain the Committee long, but I must say a few words upon this question, because the right hon. Gentleman has hardly touched upon it, and in what he said he hardly represented the case fairly. What is the truth with respect to this equal rate upon all the schedules of the income tax? The real difficulty consists in making any change which will not expose you to further alteration, and that further alteration will force you to break down and finally abandon the tax. Nothing is more natural, nothing more plausible, than to say, "At least, let professions, lot those who live by the energy of their minds, and by their physical toil at the same time, and whose income in a great degree depends upon their physical wellbeing and vigour—let them at least be rated at a different rate from others." But then those who are carrying on trade come and say, "Let us be placed in the same position as those who are in professional life." Then follows the question of the salaries of public officers, which are likewise gained by mental exertion, and which depend on the continuance of their capacity for working. Then comes the question of the land, which has a claim of its own, of an allowance for repairs. Well, then, where do you arrive at last? Why, you arrive at this, that every schedule is altered excepting that which relates to the public funds; and that question of the public funds is one which I hope will never be dealt with by this House in the spirit in which it was treated to-night by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for East Suffolk. The hon. and learned Gentleman stated to the Committee that one principle was to leave untaxed incomes derived from the funds, but that if you did not take that course there was no limit beyond which you might not tax that in- come. That is a principle which would lead one at once to the brink of a breach of the public faith. There are two principles, the one a theoretical and the other a practical principle, included in the present system of rating of the public funds. The theoretical principle is that laid down by Mr. Pitt, and is a just principle; but I must say it goes as far as justice would permit in the taxation of this country. It is this:—We tax income, but not any particular income; we tax all income from whatever source it is derived, and treat it as income. Well, in that case the fund-holders may seem to have some security, but when you say to them—"We tax you at 7d. and others at 5¼d., because the source of your income is more permanent than that of others," the fundholder would be entitled to say—"If you come to the sources of income, you have no right to tax our property at all—you must abandon your tax on funded property altogether." But there is besides this a practical principle, and it is this:—the fundholder's security is, that if you lay a tax upon incomes equally, his tax will not be excessive, because he is guarded by the taxation of the rest of the community. If you say there shall be a general tax of 10 percent, it will be a security to him that you are not likely to go as high as 20, or 30, or 40 per cent. But if you tax the fund-holders alone, separating them from the other classes, there is no reason why you should not impose a duty of 5 per cent on other classes, and 50 per cent on the fund-holder; therefore his practical security is in equal taxation, and therefore it was that I viewed with alarm and apprehension the proposal which was made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, that, in the case of Ireland, funds and salaries should be alone taxed. That was a beginning, and a very serious beginning; the commencement of a plan by which the fundholder should be taxed alone, by which the interest of the fundholders should be separated from that of the rest of the community, and we should have an authority and a precedent at any convenient moment by which that large sum which we have to pay to the public creditors of this country should be diminished to any extent which Parliament, in its want of honesty and discretion, might think proper. These, then, appear to me the general principles by which my right hon. Friend and the Government have been guided with respect to the income tax. We have studied the question, and although the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) now denies that he ever said that he had not time to look into the schedules, he has almost confirmed that statement by the observations he has made to-night; he-cause he said that he did not go into the question of the way in which the variation of the tax was to be effected because he had two or three months' time to consider them, and that he reserved to himself the power of going into those principles during the recess which was to follow Christmas. But the right hon. Gentleman did not tell us then, and he has not told us now, in what way he was to make those just distinctions which he promised to make with regard to incomes. And therefore I must believe, I am sorry to believe, that, having the authority of Mr. Pitt, the authority of Lord Lansdowne in 1806, and the authority of Sir Robert Peel in 1842, all opposed to his own, he did not think it incumbent upon him, in regard to his duty as Chancellor of the Exchequer, nor did he think it worth his while, to go into the particulars of the change that he would propose in the rating of the income tax before he came down to the House and proclaimed a mode of levying the tax, from which, as I think, evil results would come. With regard to the extension of the income tax to incomes of 100l., that is a question on which the right hon. Gentleman himself made a proposal; but here I must remark on an observation that was made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth (Sir F. Baring), which seemed to have a great deal of force in it, but is not applicable to the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. My right hon. Friend says, "If you propose a term to this income tax, and see the end of it before you, it is not a fitting occasion to extend it to classes by which it is not now paid; it is," he said, "like a man who, owing 15l., borrows 5l. more, in order that he may have 20l. to pay;" but my right hon. Friend quite omitted from this calculation that the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is, that although there is a certain amount of revenue to be derived from the income tax at present, there is to be a diminution of it before we come to the termination, and that at the end of six years, instead of 6,000,000l. or 5,500,000l., the sum which the House of Commons will have to deal with will be 4,500,000l., and no more. So that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has, in fact, taken the precau- tion of making the sum with which Parliament will have to deal a smaller sum than that with which they would now have to deal if he proposed at present to abrogate this tax. There is another question in reference to this subject, on which my right hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth likewise touched, and which has been also commented upon with great force by the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. Cairns). The hon. Member for Belfast said, "You ought not to extend this tax to Ireland," and he gives his reason for it. He said, "You propose to take off the consolidated annuities, which is due, in justice to those who now pay them, and to impose an income tax on the whole community in Ireland to make up the deficiency;" but I would state the case precisely in the opposite way. I will say, in the first place, that there is no claim, in justice, for the remission of the consolidated annuities; but I would say the case is this: You have a tax which is the means and machinery which you use in order to obtain the remission of other duties, many of which have been already taken off, and some of which are going to be reduced or taken off, and which press upon the whole community of the United Kingdom. What is the reason that Ireland should not bear such a tax: if Ireland, like the rest of the United Kingdom, is to receive great benefits from it, though not in the same proportion as this country, why is she not to bear her part of the burden? The answer that has been given to that—and it was a sufficient answer in 1848, and I think might, under different circumstances, be a sufficient answer now—is, "Why, a great burden has been imposed upon Ireland in consequence of the calamity of famine, and the debts contracted to feed the people." Well, we say, we will take away the objection by removing from you that burden, and thus we immediately take away that reason for exemption. Then Belfast, which had no claim whatever to be exempted from the income tax, falls, like Liverpool and Glasgow, into the category of those communities on which the income tax should he imposed. The distress that had prevailed in the western and southern parts of Ireland has been urged as an objection against imposing the income tax upon that country by hon. Gentlemen opposite; but in the year 1848, when that country was far more distressed than it is now—when the remains of the famine were Still pressing upon that part of Ireland— an hon. Friend of mine, the Member for Marylebone (Sir B. Hall), made a Motion to impose the income tax upon Ireland. He proposed no remission of those debts, which then were heavier than they are now, and when the country was less able to pay them? and the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), and the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley), and many others of their particular friends and followers, voted with the hon. Member for Marylebone. Well, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) has to-night treated us with a dissertation upon the inconsistency which he finds in some Gentlemen sitting on these benches; but a more glaring example of inconsistency than that to which I have just referred, could hardly be found. With regard to the effect of the relief given to Ireland, and the burdens imposed on her by the Budget, I do not think that the figures will show that by this proposition so great a burden will be imposed as some hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to think. Taking the income tax for seven years at 400,000l., the succession tax at 60,000l., spirits 98,000l., the entire will make 558,000l. The relief from the consolidated annuities will be 245,000l., the tea duty 375,000l., small items 50,000l., making altogether 670,000l., from the payment of which Ireland will be relieved. In the year 1860, according to the figures, Ireland will be relieved from 670,000l., and the only duty imposed upon her will be the legacy duty and the spirit duty, amounting to 158,000l., leaving 512,000l. a year as the balance of remissions in her favour. But, Sir, I must say that I think upon this subject Gentlemen have looked rather too much to the value of these particular figures, and not to the general interests of Ireland upon the question of finance. I, at least, have long considered that the disadvantage of Ireland in questions of finance has been that the very high duties on consumption that have been placed on Great Britain, and have been hardly borne by Great Britain, were likewise placed upon Ireland, and that in Ireland they totally prevented consumption. I remember a remarkable illustration of this, that was stated by my lamented Friend Lord Sydenham, in a speech of his on financial subjects; he stated that in the year 1807 the revenue of Ireland amounted to 4,378,000l. Between that year and the conclusion of the war, taxes were successively imposed, which, according to the calculations of Chancellors of the Exchequer, were to produce 3,400,000l., or to augment the revenue to the extent of 7,700,000l. What was the result? In the year 1821, when that amount, less than 400,000l. for taxes afterwards repealed, ought to have been paid into the Exchequer, the whole revenue of Ireland amounted only to 3,844,000l., being 534,000l. less than in 1807. This was not the effect of the income tax, or of a direct tax—it was the effect of the taxes upon the great articles of consumption; and if such were the effects of taxes of that kind, I say, great as were the advantages to this country of the changes that were made in the Customs, in the year 1842 and in the year 1845, by Sir Robert Peel, and which have been since made by the Government that followed, they must have been of still greater consequence to Ireland than to England; and that the means afforded of consuming sugar and coffee, and of consuming, by the proposition now made, the article of tea, enables the people of Ireland to consume articles which hitherto they did not consume, and will thereby be of great advantage to that part of the Empire. Therefore, I do not consider the question of the immediate effect of direct taxation, but, more, the question of that sort of taxation that affects the consumer, and must affect the poor consumer far more than the rich. Having stated those views with regard to the income tax, I certainly shall not think it necessary to-night to go much into any other part of the Budget; though perhaps I may refer to certain former opinions of mine which have been quoted by hon. Members in this debate as making against the proposition that is now before the Committee-Several hon. Gentlemen have referred, in terms of which I cannot complain, to the opposition which I made in 1842 to the proposition for an income tax. It certainly was my opinion at that time that without an income tax the country might have derived sufficient income to replace the deficiency that then existed, and accordingly I proposed by Resolution that by a judicious alteration of the duties on corn, by a reduction of the prohibitory duties on foreign sugar, and an adjustment of the duties on timber and on coffee, the advantages of a moderate price to the community might be combined with increased revenue to the country. That was the only course which I thought at that time it was right to pursue. The House of Commons, however, took another course. They imposed an income tax and made other reductions of duty; but in the following years—in the year 1846 more especially—they went much further with regard to corn and sugar than I had proposed in 1842. And, looking back to what happened at that time, and seeing what has happened since, I am bound to say that I think, upon the whole, the course which has been taken by Parliament, comprising the repeal of the corn duty and the equalisation of the duty upon sugar, has been more beneficial to the country than the course proposed by me in the year 1842. The people of this country had indeed to pay for it that which I think was a very dear price, namely, the imposition of the income tax; but it is quite a different thing, having adopted that income tax, now to proceed upon the policy which the House of Commons would not pursue in 1842. As the matter at present stands, I believe the income tax to have been the means of relieving the country from very great burdens and from excessive duties; so likewise I believe it will be the means of relieving the country before 1860 from a very great pressure of duties which fall upon the consumer. In the year 1830 it was stated by Mr. Huskisson that the great evil of our taxation was, that such heavy indirect duties pressed upon the consumer, and that the rich did not pay an equivalent tribute to the revenue. In the last twenty-three years we have done much to take away that reproach, and to remove that evil; and I hold that we shall act wisely by continuing in the same course. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli), towards the conclusion of his speech, spoke much of the hardship of the legacy duty; but the hardship of the proposed legacy duty has been very much exaggerated. Even to-night one hon. Gentleman stated that 2,000,000l. of additional taxation were about to be placed upon land. Now really, the fact is, that there is already a heavy legacy duty upon a portion of the land, but there is another portion which is totally exempt from that taxation. Why, what can be more just and equal than to make that portion which has not yet contributed contribute also to this tax? It will not amount to 2,000,000l., as is asserted, but to 500,000l., or at most to 700,000l.; and be it observed, that when the tax comes to its full amount, the income tax will have been diminished to the extent of at least 700,000l. And let hon. Gentleman op- posite observe, that if they were to adopt the Amendment to-night, this consequence would follow. My right hon. Friend proposes, that the income tax in two years should be diminished one penny, and in four years another penny, and that you can do if you take a uniform rate; but if you say that you will reduce it, according to the tenor of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, to fivepence farthing upon certain classes, you can no longer afford to reduce it to sevenpence upon land. And what you are about to vote to-night by this Amendment is, not a proposal that will relieve the land, but one that will lay upon the land in 1855 a burden from which it would be free by the proposition of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir, in the course of these discussions, beginning with the plan of proposing the removal of prohibitions and of differential duties, we have come in the course of time to the abolition of those duties which press more especially upon the people, and which have deprived them of many comforts, many necessaries, and many enjoyments. I believe that this House cannot more worthily consult the interests of the people than by pursuing this course. It was said last year—I think it was a proof of little wisdom in him who said it—that we should endeavour to rule this country so as to check the advances of democracy. You may depend upon it that the ruler who sets himself to check the advance of democracy, will but increase, will but irritate, will but ultimately make more triumphant, that power which he seeks to resist. But if you consult the interests of the people, you will make the democracy conservative—you will carry that democracy with you, instead of having to oppose it as an enemy. That, it seems to me, is the true policy for Parliament to pursue—neither neglecting the interests of the land nor the interests of trade, but consulting all together—showing no undue favour to any class, but adopting a course which each must acknowledge to be just. Sir, I rejoice that towards the termination of this course which Parliament has now for nearly twelve years pursued, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had an opportunity of laying propositions before this House which, whether we consider those propositions themselves, or whether we consider the manner in which they were introduced, must give him a name to be envied amongst Finance Ministers of this country. And if, Sir, in order to achieve this, it has been his fortune to live laborious days, I trust that he will find his reward in the approbation and support of this House, and in the gratitude of an admiring people.

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

The Committee divided:—Ayes 323; Noes 252: Majority 71.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Cocks, T. S.
A'Court, C. H. W. Coffin, W.
Adair, H. E. Collier, R. P.
Aglionby, H. A. Colville, C. R.
Alcock, T. Cowan, C.
Anderson, Sir J. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Anson, hon. Gen. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Atherton, W. Crook, J.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Crossley, F.
Ball, J. Crowder, R. B.
Baring, H. B. Cubitt, Mr. Ald.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Currie, R.
Baring, hon. F. Dashwood, Sir G. H.
Barnes, T. Davie, Sir H. R. F.
Bass, M. T. Denison, E.
Beaumont, W. B. Denison, J. E.
Beckett, W. Dent, J. D.
Bell, J. Divett, E.
Bellew, Capt. Drumlanrig, Visct.
Benbow, J. Drummond, H.
Berkeley, Adm. Duff, G. S.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Duff, J.
Berkeley, hon. C. F. Duke, Sir J.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Duncan, G.
Bethell, R. Duncombe, T.
Biddulph, R. M. Dundas, G.
Biggs, W. Dundas, F.
Blackett, J. F. B. Dunlop, A. M.
Bonham-Carter, J. East, Sir J. B.
Boyle, hon. Col. Egerton, W. T.
Bramston, T. W. Egerton, E. C.
Brand, hon. H. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Bright, J. Ellice, E.
Brocklehurst, J. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Brockman, E. D. Euston, Earl of
Brotherton, J. Evans, Sir De L.
Brown, H. Evans, W.
Brown, W. Evelyn, W. J.
Browne, V. A. Ewart, W.
Bruce, Lord E. Feilden, M. J.
Bruce, H. A. Fergus, J.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W. Ferguson, Col.
Butler, C. S. Ferguson, Sir R.
Byng, hon. G. H. C. Ferguson, J.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Fitzgerald, J. D.
Caulfeild, Col. J. M. Fitzgerald, Sir J. F.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Cavendish, hon. G. Forster, C.
Challis, Mr. Ald. Fortescue, C.
Chambers, T. Fox, R. M.
Charteris, hon. F. Fox, W. J.
Cheetham, J. Freestun, Col.
Christy, S. Gardner, R.
Clay, Sir W. Geach, C.
Clifford, H. M. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Clinton, Lord R. Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E.
Cobden, R. Gladstone, Capt.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E. Glyn, G. C.
Goderich, Visct. Mackie, J.
Goodman, Sir G. MacGregor, J.
Goold, W. MacGregor, J.
Gordon, Adm. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Mangles, R. D.
Gower, hon. F. L. Marshall, W.
Grace, O. D. J. Martin, J.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Massey, W. N.
Greenall, G. Masterman, J.
Greene, T. Matheson, A.
Gregson, S. Matheson, Sir J.
Grenfell, C. W. Maule, hon. Col.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Miall, E.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Milligan, R.
Grosvenor, Earl Mills, T.
Hadfield, G. Milner, W. M. E.
Hall, Sir B. Milnes, R. M.
Hanmer, Sir J. Milton, Visct.
Harcourt, G. G. Mitchell, T. A.
Harcourt, Col. Moffatt, G.
Hastie, A. Molesworth, rt. hn. Sir W.
Hastie, A. Monck, Visct.
Headlam, T. E. Moncreiff, J.
Heard, J. I. Monsell, W.
Heathcote, Sir G. J. Moreton, Lord
Heathcote, G. H. Morris, D.
Heneage, G. H. W. Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Heneage, G. F. Mure, Col.
Herbert, H. A. Murphy, F. S.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Murrough, J. P.
Hervey, Lord A. Norreys, Lord
Heywood, J. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Heyworth, L. O'Brien, C.
Higgins, G. G. O. O'Connell, M.
Hindley, C. O'Flaherty, A.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Oliveira, B.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Osborne, R.
Howard, Lord E. Otway, A. J.
Hudson, G. Owen, Sir J.
Hughes, W. B. Paget, Lord A.
Hume, J. Paget, Lord G.
Hutchins, E. J. Palmerston, Visct.
Hutt, W. Patten, J. W.
Ingham, R. Pechell, Sir G. B.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Peel, Sir R.
Jackson, W. Peel, F.
Jermyn, Earl Pellatt, A.
Johnstone, J. Pennant, hon. Col.
Johnstone, Sir J. Peto, S. M.
Keating, H. S. Phillips, J. H.
Keogh, W. Phillimore, J. G.
Kershaw, J. Phillimore, R. J.
King, hon. P. J. L. Phinn, T.
Kingscote, R. N. F. Pigott, F.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Pilkington, J.
Kirk, W. Pinney, W.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Laing, S. Ponsonby, hon. A. G. J.
Langston, J. H. Portman, hon. W. H. B.
Langton, H. G. Powlett, Lord W.
Laslett, W. Price, Sir R.
Lawless, hon. C. Price, W. P.
Lawley, hon. F. C. Pritchard, J.
Legh, G. C. Ricardo, O.
Lemon, Sir C. Rich, H.
Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F. Robartes, T. J. A.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Roche, E. B.
Locke, J. Rumbold, C. E.
Lockhart, A. E. Russell, Lord J.
Loveden, P. Russell, F. C. H.
Lowe, R. Russell, F. W.
Luce, T. Sadleir, J.
Macaulay, rt. hon. T. B. Sandars, G.
Sawle, C. B. G. Vane, Lord H.
Scholefield, W. Vernon, G. E. H.
Scobell, Capt. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Scrope, G. P. Vivian, J. H.
Scully, F. Vivian, H. H.
Scully, V. Wall, C. B.
Seymour, Lord Walmsley, Sir J.
Seymour, H. D. Walter, J.
Seymour, W. D. Warner, E.
Shafto, R. D. Wellesley, Lord C.
Shelburne, Earl of Wells, W.
Shelley, Sir J. V. West, F. R.
Sheridan, R. B. Whalley, G. H.
Smith, J. B. Whatman, J.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Whitbread, S.
Smyth, J. G. Wickham, H. W.
Stafford, Marq. of Wilkinson, W. A.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Willcox, B. M.
Stephenson, R. Williams, W.
Stirling, W. Wilson, J.
Strickland, Sir G. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Strutt, rt. hon. E. Wise, A.
Stuart, Lord D. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Stuart, H. Woodd, B. T.
Tancred, H. W. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Thicknesse, R. A. Wrightson, W. B.
Thompson, G. Wyndham, W.
Thornely, T. Wyvill, M.
Townshend, Capt. Young, rt. hon. Sir J.
Traill, G. TELLERS.
Tufnell, rt. hon. H. Hayter, W. G.
Tynte, Col. C. J. K. Mulgrave, Earl of
List of the NOES.
Adderley, C. B. Burke, Sir T. J.
Alexander, J. Burrell, Sir C. M.
Annesley, Earl of Burroughes, H. N.
Anson, Visct. Butt, G. M.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Butt, I.
Archdall, Capt. M. Cabbell, B. B.
Bagge, W. Cairns, H. M.
Bailey, Sir J. Carnac, Sir J. R.
Bailey, C. Cayley, E. S.
Baillie, H. J. Chandos, Marq. of
Baird, J. Chelsea, Visct.
Ball, E. Child, S.
Baldock, E. H. Christopher, rt. hon. R. A.
Bankes, rt. hon. G. Clinton, Lord C. P.
Baring, T. Clive, hon. R. H.
Barrington, Visct. Clive, R.
Barrow, W. H. Cobbold, J. C.
Bateson, T. Codrington, Sir W.
Bennett, P. Coles, H. B.
Bentinck, Lord H. Compton, H. C.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Conolly, T.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Coote, Sir C. H.
Bernard, Visct. Corbally, M. E.
Blair, Col. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Blake, M. J. Cotton, hon. W. H. S.
Bland, L. H. Davies, D. A. S.
Boldero, Col. Davison, R.
Booth, Sir R. G. Devereux, J. T.
Bowyer, G. Disraeli, rt. hon. B.
Brady, J. Dod, J. W.
Brisco, M. Drax, J. S. W. S. E.
Brooke, Lord Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Duffy, C. G.
Bruce, C. L. C. Duncombe, hon. A.
Buck, L. W. Duncombe, hon. W. E.
Buller, Sir J. T. Dunne, M.
Bunbury, W. B. M. Dunne, Col.
Burghley, Lord Emley, Visct.
Esmonde, J. Macartney, G.
Fagan, W. Mackenzie, W. F.
Farnham, E. B. M'Cann, J.
Fellowes, E. M'Mahon, P.
Floyer, J. Maddock, Sir H.
Follett, B. S. Magan, W. H.
Forbes, W. Maguire, J. F.
Forester, rt. hon. Col. Malins, R.
Forster, Sir G. Manners, Lord G.
French, F. Manners, Lord J.
Freshfield, J. W. March, Earl of
Frewen, C. H. Mare, C. J.
Fuller, A. E. Maunsell, T. P.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Galway, Visct. Meagher, T.
Gaskell, J. M. Meux, Sir H.
George, J. Miles, W.
Goddard, A. L. Michell, W.
Gooch, Sir E. S. Montgomery, H. L.
Gore, W. O. Montgomery, Sir G.
Granby, Marq. of Moody, C. A.
Greaves, E. Moore, G. H.
Greene, J. Moore, R. S.
Greville, Col. F. Morgan, O.
Grogan, E. Morgan, C. R.
Guernsey, Lord Mullings, J. R.
Gwyn, H. Mundy, W.
Halford, Sir H. Muntz, G. F.
Hall, Col. Naas, Lord
Halsey, T. P. Napier, rt. hon. J.
Hamilton, Lord C. Neeld, J.
Hamilton, G. A. Neeld, J.
Hamilton, J. H. Newark, Visct.
Hanbury, hon. C. S. B. Newdegate, C. N.
Hardinge, hon. C. S. Newport, Visct.
Hawkins, W. W. Noel, hon. G. J.
Hayes, Sir E. North, Col.
Henchy, D. O. Oakes, J. H. P.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. O'Brien, P.
Herbert, Sir T. O'Brien, Sir T.
Hildyard, B. C. Ossulston, Lord
Hill, Lord A. E. Packe, C. W.
Hotham, Lord Fakenham, E.
Hume, W. F. Pakington, rt, hn. Sir J.
Irton, S. Palmer, R.
Jocelyn, Visct. Parker, R. T.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Peacocko, G. M. W.
Jones, Capt. Percy, hon. J. W.
Jones, D. Portal, M.
Keating, R. Potter, R.
Kelly, Sir F. Power, N.
Kendall, N. Prime, R.
Kennedy, T. Pugh, D.
Ker, D. S. Repton, G. W. J.
King, J. K. Robertson, P. F.
Knatchbull, W. F. Rushout, Capt.
Knight, F. W. Scott, hon. F.
Knightley, R. Seaham, Visct.
Knox, Col. Seymer, H. K.
Knox, hon. W. S. Shee, W.
Lacon, Sir E. Sibthorp, Col.
Laffan, R. M. Smijth, Sir W.
Langton, W. G. Smith, W. M.
Lennox, Lord A. F. Smyth, R. J.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Somerset, Capt.
Leslie, C. P. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Liddell, H. G. Spooner, R.
Lockhart, W. Stanhope, J. B.
Long, W. Stanley, Lord
Lovaine, Lord Sturt, H. G.
Lowther, hon. Col. Sullivan, M.
Lucas, F. Swift, R.
Lytton, Sir G. E. L. B. Talbot, C. R. M.
Thesiger, Sir F. Waddington, H. S.
Tollemache, J. Walcott, Adm.
Tomline, G. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J. Welby, Sir G. E.
Tudway, R. C. Whiteside, J.
Turner, C. Whitmore, H.
Tyler, Sir G. Wigram, L. T.
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Williams, T. P.
Vance, J. Wodehouse, E.
Vane, Lord A. Worcester, Marq. of
Vansittart, G. H. Wyndham, Gen.
Verner, Sir W. Wynn, H. W. W.
Villiers, hon. F. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Vivian, J. E.
Vyvyan, Sir R. R. TELLERS.
Vyse, Capt. H. Mandeville, Visct.
Waddington, D. Taylor, Col.

The House resumed.

Committee report progress; to sit again on Wednesday.