HC Deb 13 May 1853 vol 127 cc370-3

House in Committee.


said, he wished to explain that the reason why he had proposed that the House should go into Committee was to give effect to the intention which he announced last night, of passing the Resolutions on the assessed taxes in a general form in Committee, so that he might be able to found upon the Vote of the Committee a Bill in which the details of his plan would be described in a more complete manner than was possible within the limits of a Resolution.


then read the Resolutions on the Assessed Taxes.


Sir, perhaps the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer will have the kindness to explain what appears to be a matter of doubt with regard to packs of hounds. I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether masters of hounds are to be assessed at 12s. for each hound they keep, or whether they are to be permitted, as heretofore, to compound for the whole pack?


The question which is just put to me affords an apt illustration of the utility of the course which the Committee have been kind enough to allow me to adopt—of passing the Resolutions in a general form. When the Bill is introduced, the hon. Member will see it is not proposed to interfere with the system which at present prevails with respect to packs of hounds.


said, he hoped it would be distinctly understood by the Committee that the Resolutions were assented to pro formâ, in order to facilitate the despatch of public business, and that it would be open to every hon. Member to discuss any point they pleased when the Bill was brought under the consideration of the House.


said, he would lay on the table of the House an amended copy of the Customs Resolutions, containing certain modifications which the Government had thought right to make, which would be printed and circulated with the Votes tomorrow morning.


said, he would suggest to the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before he brought in his Bill, he would not consider the propriety of getting rid of those absurd taxes on armorial bearings and hair powder. Hon. Gentlemen cheered when the question of the hounds was under discussion, from a sympathy, he supposed, with that class of subjects in the realm. With regard to these taxes, he could not be suspected of any personal interest; but he knew there were a great many cases in which men who had happened to seal a letter with the impression of some animal, not to be found on the earth or out of the earth, were called on by the surveyor to pay a tax. The general impression was that this was a tax upon rich people, who could afford to pay—a tax on pride and luxury. For his part he thought, when a great country was laying on taxes to the amount of 50,000,000l. or 60,000,000l., when they were considering millions and not small trifles, it would be far better to abolish two taxes of this nature, which went very much to make our system of taxation ridiculous. He did not recollect the amount received, but it must be very small; whilst the irritation, annoyance, and vexation were oftentimes considerable. He did not submit any Motion then, but he would suggest that the abolition of those two taxes would meet the views of both sides of the House.


said, he had a suggestion to offer to the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer for a new tax, from which a large sum of money might be realised, at the same time that it would tend to the relief of native industry, a thing for which he would always stand up. His suggestion was, that the right hon. Gentleman should impose a tax—and a heavy one too—on the lamentable influx of foreigners into this country. [Laughter.] He knew he had been often laughed at in that House and out of it—and he did not know but that he might be mobbed, but he would always declare, that it was deplorable to see the sums of money that were carried out of England by foreign opera dancers and singers. Foreigners were encouraged too much in this country. They interfered with native talent. He was sorry to say that the higher classes encouraged all foreigners, whether of character or not—male and female. He was sorry to see enormous sums carried out of the country by a set of persons who only laughed at the English for being such consummate fools as to forget their own countrymen and women. He thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer had now a fair opportunity of taking native talent and industry into consideration, by putting a tax on those who dared to come into this country, and without a single claim on our regard, to overwhelm our own country people, who ought to be protected by that House.


said, he had understood he had the permission of the House to go into Committee for a merely formal purpose, in order that the Resolutions might be passed as the foundation of a Bill, and not to en- able them to enter into the merits of the propositions. He, therefore, hoped that his hon. Friend the Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) would not call upon him to enter into the question he had raised, and that his hon. and gallant Friend opposite (Col. Sibthorp) would also excuse him from entering into a discussion upon his propositions.


said, he could only tell the right hon. Gentleman then, that he should state the matter again on a future occasion; it should not be forgotten.

Resolutions agreed to.