HC Deb 15 May 1854 vol 133 cc325-97

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."


said, he rose to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. It was always a painful thing to resist a financial proposition made by the Government, and more especially was it so at a critical moment like the present. Impelled, however, by a sense of public duty, he was under the necessity of interrupting the harmony which had hitherto distinguished the proceedings and votes of the House in respect to the supplies which the Ministers had asked for to enable them to carry on the war in which we were now unfortunately engaged. The proposed increase of the malt tax was not only a measure unjust in itself, but inconsistent with the principles of commercial policy which Ministers had insisted on being recognised, and which the Opposition had assented to. In taking that course, however, he and those who supported him were actuated solely by a sense of public duty; and it was upon that ground that they based their opposition to what they regarded as an oppressive, an unjust, and an unequal tax. So indisposed had he been to undertake the office, that he had waited anxiously for several days in the hope of seeing same other Member notify his intention to oppose the proposition of the Government with reference to the malt tax: but no one having done so, he had undertaken the office, painful as it was. With regard to the war for which they were asked to vote supplies, he thought it was as inevitable now as it bad been unnecessary in the first instance; for no one who had read the blue books which had been laid on the table could come to any other conclusion than that it had been brought about by obsequious and vacillating negotiations, and that the means which had been intended to preserve peace had caused us to bump against war. He did not make the charge of vacillation against the whole of the prevent Government, because previously to the commencement of 1853 the negotiations had, in his opinion, been carried on with prudence and magnanimity by the noble Lords the Members for Tiverton (Visct. Palmerston) and London (Lord J. Russell), and by the Earl of Malmesbury. If, indeed, England had at that time chosen to adopt a selfish instead of a magnanimous policy, it would have been easy to allow Russia and France to battle out their differences together; for what was meant by the large forces which had been raised throughout Europe during the last fifty years? They meant the dread of the claw of the Eagle on the one hand, and of the paw of the Bear on the other. England, however, had the magnanimity to interpose its friendly offices between France and Russia in 1851, and France wisely and gracefully retired from the fatal course which she had been pursuing. He could not, however, quite exonerate the noble Lord the Member for London, because in the secret correspondence he appeared inadvertently to consider Russia's claim to a protectorate over the Greek subjects of the Porte as tenable, and had thereby indirectly given the Emperor a right to assume that that part, at all events, of his policy would not be opposed by Lord Aberdeen's Cabinet. But Lord Clarendon, immediately on succeeding to the noble Lord in the Foreign Office, had distinctly accepted the Emperor of Russia's policy throughout, and the conclusion of those secret negotiations was a memorandum of Russia, virtually clenching the English Government to the compact. If Lord Clarendon's language had been as firm during those secret negotiations and when Prince Menchikoff was at Constantinople as it had been in the present year —if Russia had been told in confidence in those secret negotiations, as she treated us so confidentially, that if her forces entered the Principalities we must at once enter the Black Sea and put an end for ever to the status quo—the Principalities would not have been entered, and no war would have taken place. It was clear to his (Mr. Cayley's) mind, that the language of the English Government at the beginning of 1853 had misled the Emperor of Russia—that no one intended or desired war less than the Emperor of Russia— and that if it had not been for the language and conduct of the Government of this country, and especially if Lord Aberdeen had not been Prime Minister, there would have been no war. This was conspicuous from the papers laid before us. But the Government, having bungled us into this war, now asked us to pay the expenses of it, and the House had voted Estimates for that purpose, believing that the money would be raised in an equal and just manner; instead of which, the policy that the Government had adopted was unequal and unjust, and totally opposed to those principles which it had itself laid down as politic. The House had cheerfully granted an income tax, although it was paid principally by real property, while incomes from trade and professions were notoriously to a great extent allowed to escape. But then the Government said that the limit of direct taxation had been reached, and it was necessary to fall back upon the policy of the last war—to tax the consumer. Circumstances had changed since that period; we had then a restrictive commercial policy and an unrestricted paper currency, which enabled the producer to charge the tax upon the price, and so repay himself; but he could not now do so. By the duties upon spirits and upon malt they obtained from the single article of British agricultural produce, barley, 12,000,000l. out of 15,000,000l. of Excise duties. And they now had the modesty—he said nothing of the insult, for insult it was—to propose that this 12,000,000l. should be increased to 15,000,000l. Do not let hon. Members suppose that the malt tax was a farmer's or an English question only. He (Mr. Cayley) could show that it was a tax upon every acre of cultivated land in this country, of from 20s. to 25s. an acre, from the Land's End to John O'Groat's. The Chancellor of the Exchequer might have obtained 1,000,000l. of additional revenue by staying the falling duty on tea, which he had it in his power to do. But, instead of that, he was now adopting a protective policy in staying the falling duty on sugar, the effect of which was to operate protectively towards the West Indian interest. The Chancellor of the Exchequer bore a high character for moral integrity, notwithstanding the failure of his financial schemes, and he believed that the right hon. Gentleman would be actuated by no undue motives; but it was a curious circumstance that, while he had it in his power to stay the fall of the duty on tea, he had preferred to stay the fall of the duty on sugar. He supposed the right hon. Gentleman was not now connected with the West India interest, but he remembered having heard in that House from the right hon. Gentleman, exactly twenty years ago, one of the most eloquent, convincing, and impressive speeches he had ever heard, and one which was then understood to have been delivered on behalf of that interest. His present plan would certainly act protectively towards the West India interest, which had, no doubt, been much injured, and therefore was entitled to any consideration it could obtain. But he could not understand why the right hon. Gentleman, with all his ingenuity, had selected malt for taxation instead of choosing something more novel. There could not be a greater interference with in- dustry than the malt tax. He should like to see the hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) or the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) amenable to those civil attentions which were now paid by the exciseman to the maltster, and see how they would bear the interruptions, penalties, and annoyances which encumbered the dealing with that article of produce. What the Government had promised them was freedom of trade, and surely freedom of trade meant an unrestricted trade. One of the great grievances, however, of which the agriculturists had had to complain ever since the repeal of the Corn Laws was, that the Government had not given them an unrestricted trade. They had begged of the Government to be true to their own principles, but they had never been so. They had contended that the malt tax and the hop duties were a violation of those principles, and now the Government not only did not relieve them, but actually aggravated them to the extent of a third or nearly a half. Was there no other commodity which they might have found to operate upon of equally extensive consumption? They said that they were about to tax the consumer; but they would not by this measure tax all the consumers. The mercantile classes would to a great extent escape, while the tax would fall upon the poor man, by whom this national beverage was considered as a staff of life. If they desired to lay a tax upon the consumer, they should lay it candidly, openly, and equally. There was but one efficient method of doing this under the existing system of finance; and that method would not be nearly so great a violation of their own principles as was involved in the present proposition. We now imported 100,000,000l. worth of goods into this country annually, and a tax of 5 per cent upon this would yield 5,000,000l. That sum would have sufficed for the Chancellor of the Exchequer's wants. This would have been general and equal, and would have fallen upon the trading classes as well as on the labourer, the farmer, and the landowner, without interfering with the industrial processes of the country. If 10,000,000l. even had been required, it might easily have been procured by a tax of 10 per cent upon imports, with little variation on the price, for the burden of such a tax would not have been borne exclusively by this country, but would have been shared by those countries from whence the importations come. He did not sup- pose that the Government would adopt any suggestion of his; but he told them what they might have done by a system which would have been more in conformity with their principles as well as more in consistence with equality and justice than that which they had adopted. Barley was to the agriculturists of this country what cotton was to the manufacturers. Barley was the pivot upon which improved and scientific agriculture turned, and it was the grain with which the foreigner could least interfere. He wanted to know, then, what greater interference it would be with the industry of the country to lay a tax upon cotton yarn than it was to lay it upon agricultural malt? One single reason, and only one, was given why malt should be taxed, and that was that it was an ancient tax, and a tax on the consumer. He (Mr. Cayley) would show how it was a much greater tax upon the producer. But, if that tax fell on the consumer, why did they make an outcry against the tax upon cotton yarn? Cotton yarn went equally into consumption with malt, and so a tax upon it would only be a tax on the consumer. But when a tax on yarn existed it was soon clamoured off. And why was it not now revived?—because they found it would hit the manufacturers, and the manufacturers were a body not to be trifled with. The repeal of the Corn Laws operated in favour of the consumer, and to the detriment of the producer. The effect of the repeal of the Corn Laws had been to introduce 8,000,000 or 10,000,000 quarters of foreign corn, and the result of that was to lower the price. The Government had told them that they could not have a Parliamentary price for wheat; but he objected to their present policy that they forced a Parliamentary price upon barley; for by their interference with malt they made beer four times dearer than it would otherwise be. If beer could be manufactured perfectly free, if there were no licences and none of that monopoly which this tax and the licensing system had engendered, beer which now cost 4d. per quart might be brewed for ld. The effect, then, if this tax were repealed, would be an increased demand for barley, and, if it followed the course of other articles of general consumption, after a reduction or repeal of duties, the increase would be at least threefold. From this it was evident that this was not merely a barley question, but that it was a wheat and oats question also, because, the present consumption of barley in malting being 5,000,000 quarters, if there were an increased demand for 8,000,000 or 10,000,000 quarters of barley, it was evident that the same amount of wheat and other grain must give way to it; for barley and wheat, it was clear, could not grow on the same soil at the same time, and barley for malting was an article almost exclusively of British supply; 8,000,000 or 10,000,000 quarters of wheat or oats, therefore, would be taken out of the market, and, the demand continuing the same and the supply less, the price of wheat and other grain would be enhanced; and, therefore, he had always contended that if the malt tax had been repealed, it would have gone far to compensate the British grower for the repeal of the Corn Laws. Instead of that, however, they were now going to aggravate the injury which they had already inflicted upon the agricultural interest; and so unjust, unequal, and oppressive was the proposition, that he was at a loss to what to attribute it, or to understand whether it were intended as a fling at a class or a blow to a party. In consequence of the numerous restrictions and oppressions produced by the malt tax, the brewer and the maltster took out of the public purse more than the Exchequer received, by upwards of threefold. The malt tax at present, therefore, cost the country, not merely 5,000,000l., the nominal amount which went into the Exchequer, but in reality 20,000,000l. He (Mr. Cayley) could prove, by the evidence of practical brewers, that ale which sold now at 5d. per pot could—if there were no tax, no licence, no excise, no penalties—sell, with profit, for 2d. Out of the extra charge of 3d., only a fourth went to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the remaining three-fourths being pocketed by the maltster and brewer, not in the way of ordinary profit, but in excess of the ordinary rate of profit, through the monopoly engendered by this tax and its accessories. So that, in fact, in order to raise 5,000,000l. of revenue, the public was mulcted to the extent of 20,000,000l.; and that was taken, not so much out of the pockets of the trading classes and the rich, as out of the pockets of the poor and hard-working man. Now, the malt tax affected the landed producers also indirectly in this way—an acre of land produced, say five quarters of barley, which could be converted into beer at a cost of about 10l. were there no tax; whilst at present it cost 50l., which, he did not hesitate to say, upon every cultivated acre of land in the kingdom—whether of the plains of Ireland or the hills of Scotland—was equal to a tax of 25s., because the effect of the malt tax was to diminish the consumption of barley, and to increase the growth of wheat. Repeal the malt tax—you would create an entirely new demand for at least 8,000,000 quarters of the British grain of barley, that would raise its price, at first, say 7s. or 8s. a quarter; but the next effect of it would be to diminish the growth of wheat and oats to that extent, namely, of 8,000,000 quarters, which would permanently raise their price, say 5s. a quarter. The average produce of grain in this country was not less than five quarters per acre. The rise on each quarter by a repeal of the malt tax of 5s. would be 25s. an acre. The maintenance of the malt duties, on the other hand, prohibited this advantage to the landed interest, and operated as a tax upon the land of 25s. an acre. For, if the repeal of the Corn Laws lowered the price of wheat 10s. a quarter, by admitting 8,000,000 quarters of additional supply, which it did previous to the gold discoveries, it was clear that a new demand for 8,000,000 quarters of grain must tend to raise its price; and 5s. a quarter increase was a moderate estimate; and this was what was called justice and free trade. Why not apply taxation in a more just manner? If individual articles were to be invidiously selected for the inquisition of the exciseman, and the pruning-knife of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, why was the produce of British agriculture alone doomed to the infliction? It really seemed as if a decree had gone forth from "William Ewart Augustus" (the Chancellor of the Exchequer), not, as of old, that all the world should be taxed, but that no one in the world should be taxed but the poor farmer and the poor labourer. Then see how this tax had operated in a moral point of view. In the year 1795 the tax on a barrel of malt in Ireland was 2s. 6d.; in 1801 it was raised to 6s. 6d., at which time the consumption of malt had diminished from 1,284,000 bushels to 173,500 bushels. In other words, there was seven times more malt consumed at the commencement than at the close of these six years. The Government of the day taxed out the consumption of beer in Ireland, and taxed in the consumption of whisky in that country, and compelled the Irish to become a whisky instead of a beer consuming people. In 1792, when the tax was 7½d. a bushel in Scotland, the consumption was 5,000,000 of bushels. In 1802 the tax was raised to 3s. 6d., and despite the increase of population in that country the consumption had then already become only 1,780,000 bushels. Before 1802 the Scotch were a beer consuming people, but the policy of the Government of the day also drove them to become almost exclusively a whisky consuming people. It was for these and several other reasons that he always honoured the attempts made by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) to rectify this great evil. It was for these reasons that he supported the able Budget of that right hon. Gentleman; because he saw and felt that it had but one animus, one aim, which was to do justice and to conform our financial condition to the new commercial system, without distinction of class, person, or party. Again, in 1822 the malt duty on beer in Scotland vas reduced from 28s. 10d. to 22s. 8d., and in 1823 a further reduction was made to 14s. 8d. The consequence was, that the consumption of malt, which was 147,000 quarters in 1821, rose to 490,000 in 1823, thus showing the abstinence from beer was not natural, but forced by excessive imposts. He was not there at that critical moment to argue for a decrease of the tax; although, under more favourable circumstances, his desire would be to have it abolished altogether. Apart from its injustice and oppression, it was one of the most fruitful sources of crime and immorality which afflicted society in driving thousands to the beer-houses. Legislation had much to answer for in that respect, because undoubtedly the evidence of Sir Richard Mayne and others connected with the police, both in London, Liverpool, and elsewhere, went to show that nearly all the crime of the country was hatched in these beer houses. In 1834 a Committee of that House sat to examine into the causes of the increase of drunkenness. A magistrate of Oxfordshire was summoned to give evidence, as also to state his opinion as to the best means to be adopted for its prevention. That gentleman stated, that before leaving home he consulted with fifteen clergymen in his locality on the subject, and fourteen out of fifteen declared the only remedy they could suggest was the repeal of the malt tax. Now, the testimony of these rev. gentlemen, coincident with that of the Commissioners of London and Liverpool Police, was very important, and should not be overlooked. He, therefore, entreated of Her Majesty's Government not to aggravate this serious evil. Were it not for the present state of the country, he would call on the House in every point of view, whether as regarded the producer or consumer, whether as regarded religion or finance, to repeal this tax. At present he only asked them not to increase or aggravate the evils of it. He (Mr. Cayley) would trespass on the indulgence of the House no longer. He lamented the necessity of the step he was now taking, but his sense of public duty left him no alternative. He believed this new tax was as uncalled for as the war had been in the first instance. He felt certain if either the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord John Russell), the Earl of Malmesbury, or the noble Member for Tiverton (Lord Palmerston), had continued to hold the foreign seals, we should not now be engaged in war. And if his right hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) had remained Chancellor of the Exchequer, we should not have had such an injustice as an aggravation of this tax to deal with. Other sources, if it had been necessary to raise additional taxation, could have been found, perhaps more productive and less unjust. He objected to this war, because it was unnecessary, though now inevitable; and he objected to this tax because it was unequal, oppressive, and unjust. On these grounds, he begged to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.


said, that he felt in a time of war those in opposition ought to be most careful as to how they opposed the financial prospects of the Government, and he felt that the course he had taken was the more difficult because he agreed with some of the propositions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman in thinking that they should as far as practicable abstain from raising a loan; he also agreed with him in thinking that it was not advisable and perhaps not safe, to raise so large a sum as that required by direct taxation; admitting this, he deemed it incumbent to show strong reasons why he considered that the present tax should not be resorted to. He objected to it on three grounds— firstly, because it was extensive in amount; secondly, because it was laid entirely on one class, and on one class only; and he objected to it lastly, because there was no necessity for such a tax arising out of the exigencies of the war, and the only reason that they were called upon to bear this additional burden was to remedy the financial errors made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the last Session. One of the most grievous hardships on the farmer was, that he was not allowed to convert his own produce into the liquor which he himself and his servants and labourers consumed. With regard to the supposed increase in the consumption of malt, his belief was that in consequence of its enhanced value less malt would be put into beer, and thus there would be a check placed on the consumption. The whole course of their legislation for some years past had been to reduce the taxation on articles that seemed to be prejudicial to commerce; but he was borne out by facts when he stated that in no case had they reduced any tax that was prejudicial to the farmer. He maintained, therefore, that it was unjust and wrong in policy, when a time calling for increased exactions came, to impose a tax like the present upon the farmer. They were rather bound to review the policy they had been pursuing, and lay on again a small portion of the various taxes they had remitted during the last few years. Then, if, unfortunately, the war should be continued so long as to make additional exertions necessary, the agricultural classes would, no doubt, be ready to respond to any call that could reasonably be made upon them. But the point on which, in his opinion, the whole of the question turned was, that this sum of 2,400,000l. was not required for the exigencies of the war, but simply and solely to fill up the vacancy which was caused by what he must consider the most injudicious conduct of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in remitting such an amount of taxation at a time when he saw the political horizon so threatening. It appeared to him that it would be very unwise to reimpose the vexatious restrictions to which this part of the trade of the country was subjected. A large remission of the duty on tea was to be made, which was to be spread over four years—in the present year they would lose 600,000l; at Lady-day, 1855, they would lose another 500,000l.; and at Lady-day, 1856, they would lose a still larger sum, being a prospective loss of upwards of 1,000,000l. Under existing circumstances, the first step the Government ought to take would be to stop the further remission of the duties on tea. It appeared to him to be a gross absurdity to raise a large sum of money with the right hand, while they were remitting another large sum with the left. Whatever might be the result of the present Motion, he trusted the House would compel the Government to stop the reduction of the tea duties. He could assure the House that there was no disposition on the part of hon. Gentlemen on his side to offer any factious opposition—there was no disposition on their part not to give the necessary supplies for carrying on the war, but he wished those supplies to be granted through a better and a wiser system of taxation. Believing that this was a national war, undertaken for the honour and glory of England, he regretted that its expenses were not distributed more equally over all classes of the community.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, he must thank the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken for the spirit in which he had addressed the House. If he had preceded him, he should have been tempted to make some strong observations on what had been said with reference to the course taken by Her Majesty's Government, hut after the speech of the hon. Gentleman he felt it would be unbecoming to reopen that question. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment (Mr. Cayley) had made an admirable speech for repealing altogether the malt tax, whereas the proposition before them was not to repeal, but increase the malt tax. A good deal had been said about the policy pursued of late years by that House in their commercial legislation. Now, he had looked at the Resolution of 1852, and found that there were two points mainly contemplated in it—the one being unrestricted competition, and the other the abolition of taxes imposed for protection, as contradistinguished from those imposed for revenue. The proposition before the House violated neither of these principles; this tax could not, on any ground whatever, be said to be opposed to the principle of competition. It was a tax imposed solely for purposes of revenue. It could not be for protection, because there was nothing to protect—for foreign barley would be taxed to the same extent as home-grown. The hon. Gentleman who introduced the Amendment based his speech on the supposition that it was a tax on the producer. The hon. Gentleman who seconded it said the tax would he altogether on the consumer. He did not believe in either of these statements. In considering this point, they had to ascertain whether the tax was likely to have such an effect on the consumption of beer as to affect the price that the farmer received for his malt. Barley was different in this respect from almost all other raw materials. He believed that no stimulus they could apply would increase the cultivation of barley in this country. They did not find the consumption of malt increasing with the diminution of duty in the same proportion as other articles, therefore there must be something in the production of barley that made the difference; and it was just because the field for producing barley was so limited that it required a large imposition of taxation to diminish the demand for it, and, on the other hand, a large diminution of taxation to increase the demand. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment argued as if this were an agricultural question, and not a barley question; he could not agree with him in that view, but, on the contrary, thought that it was simply and solely a barley question. In fact the amount of land that was cultivated for the growth of barley in this country was comparatively so small that this tax, as applying to it, could not in any way be construed as a pressure upon land generally, and it was very unfair to argue on such an hypothesis. It was well known that very much of the land in agricultural counties would not grow barley at all. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had talked a good deal about it being our duty to tax the untaxed foreigner, and not to press so constantly and so heavily upon our home industry, and in the increased imposition of the malt tax these hon. Gentlemen would have an opportunity of carrying out the principles they professed to venerate, inasmuch as this was a tax which such foreigner would have to pay. Again, it had been said that by the proposed increase of the malt tax we were departing from the principles upon which we had been of late years acting relative to articles of consumption, and the removal of taxation from them; but hon. Gentlemen who made so much of this point should bear in mind the particular time at which it was proposed to increase this tax, and to remember, at the same time, that it was only to be a tax for the purposes of the war, and not to be a permanent tax. When the remission of this tax was proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), in his character as Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was then argued by him as if it were a consumers' tax, and, taking it as such, the conclusion would be, that if the consumer were benefited by its remission, the consumer also would have to pay the increase, if any such were made to it. It was for this reason, among others, no doubt, that the right hon. Gentleman the present Chancellor of the Exchequer had selected this particular tax at this particular time, when all parties must be made to contribute their quota towards the sustentation of the war. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire proposed to reduce the duty by onehalf—the precise measure of the addition which was now contemplated—it was calculated that the effect of that would be to reduce the price of beer by one farthing per quart. Surely it could not be seriously intended that a rise in the price of beer to that extent would have any appreciable effect upon the price of barley, the supply of which was so limited from the nature of our soil? He hoped that the House would consider well before they threw out so important a portion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's measure as the increase of the malt tax undoubtedly was, and he believed, if they did throw it out, that the notion would go abroad that the House of Commons were unwilling to meet the necessary expenses and face the exigencies of the present war.


said, that, as the representative of an agricultural county, and as one who had had an opportunity of consulting his constituents, as well as many other persons connected with the agricultural interest, since the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been laid before the House, he could bear witness that the uniform feeling among them was antagonistic to the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman, and that, in their opinion, the imposition of an increased malt tax at the present time would fall most heavily and unjustly upon them. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to forget, while he was imposing a fresh injustice on the agricultural interest, that he himself had admitted that the income tax, as already imposed, pressed unequally on the landed interest in comparison with other interests, and now it was sought to inflict a further injury upon them in the shape of an increased malt tax. An increase of the malt tax was a means of raising a large sum with very little trouble, and no doubt the right hon. Gentleman gladly availed himself of it. But with free trade in corn, to tax home-grown barley to the extent of 7,000,000l., could not be called an act of justice. One great objection he had to the tax was, that it would not produce the amount contemplated by its imposition, inasmuch as he had already found, and he thought experience proved, that when taxation on a generally consumed article was increased, the consumption of the article invariably diminished. He did not think that the present Government effectually exemplified the principles of liberality they professed by the way in which they endeavoured to treat the landed interest, whom they had first of all forced into competition with all the world, and now proposed to increase their burdens, hitherto all but insupportable. The only principle, in fact, upon which he believed the Government acted was that of putting their much-talked-of principles into their pockets, and extracting all the money they could out of the pockets of the landed and agricultural interests.


said, he was not one of those who had felt much enthusiasm about this war, or much sympathy for the cause which it had become the fashion to call that of our ancient ally. It was surprising to him that those who had been most eager in calling for the declaration of war, were the first to raise difficulties and objections when Ministers were really attempting to carry it on. The Chancellor of the Exchequer explained the other night how Mr. Pitt's wars were popular, because of the great opportunities which his loans afforded for making enormous fortunes. Perhaps this war had lost something of its popularity, when hon. Gentlemen heard there was to be no loan. If they would go back a little further than Mr. Pitt's time, to they would find that in that most dishonourable and disastrous war which we carried on with our American colonies, the Ministers were hounded on by the country gentlemen, who had been told, and believed, that by taxing the Colonies they might relieve themselves from the pressure of the land tax. We were not quite so ignorant now; perhaps not quite so unjust. Still it would appear, even now, that the means of carrying on war were to be made a secondary question to the reduction of the malt tax. It had been said that the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer's policy could not be trusted, because of the failure of some of his financial schemes of last year. He (Mr. Warner) still believed that the plan proposed for the creation of new stocks was a wise and well-considered measure. It would have turned to the advantage of the public revenue that unreasonable and ridiculous panic which existed at that time about the depreciation of gold. He believed, too, that that measure would have been successful had it not been for the discussions raised by the Member for Suffolk (Sir F. Kelly). To be sure, the right hon. Gentleman was unfortunate in his arithmetic. He laboured to prove that the scheme would cause a loss to the Exchequer, but it turned out, in the course of the discussion, that the gain would be all on the side of the Exchequer, and the loss for those who accepted the new stocks. Of course, the public took alarm, and the scheme failed. But it had been said that the scheme must in any case have failed in consequence of the fall in prices which would follow from the war; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been charged with recklessly putting forward his scheme, when, as a Member of the Cabinet, he must have been acquainted with the contents of those secret papers which had only just been made public, and must have known that war was inevitable. But those secret papers did not prove anything of the kind. Where did all this righteous indignation against Russian aggression come from? We stood by when America invaded Mexico, when France occupied Algeria, when our Government, with more shameless injustice than all, confiscated the revenues and annexed the territory of the blameless Ameers on the banks of the Indus. We had always shown a special sympathy for Russian ambition. Hon Members who so loudly denounced the massacre at Sinope, and called upon our Government to avenge it, seemed to forget that there was once a massacre at Navarino. It had been said, with great truth, that this country had for a long course of years acted the part of executor to the will of Peter the Great. It seemed to him that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might fairly have expected that the present policy of Russia would be looked upon in this country as we had looked upon her former aggressions, with indifference, if not with approval. However, the question of to-night was simply this—would the House provide the necessary supplies for the existing war or not? We could not have war without taxes. The property tax reached one class of the people, the malt tax another; and both were properly to be increased together. If the war continued long, no doubt further additions must be made to both. He was glad to find that in this discussion it had been generally admitted that the malt tax, like other excise duties, was a consumer's tax. If, however, hon. Members were sincere in wishing to relieve the burden on the consumer, why did they not rather attack the licensing system. This was a tax on beer four times heavier than the malt duty. It was a subject to which he had given much consideration, and he believed it was perfectly practicable to do away with the licensing system without doing injustice to vested interests, with advantage to public morality, and with considerable benefit to the public revenue. He trusted that this Amendment would be withdrawn. It was not for the honour of the nation to have a division on it. The want of unanimity on the present occasion would be most injurious to our national reputation on the Continent, where the nature of our institutions was not understood. If the war was to be carried on in earnest, and the prestige of the British name maintained, they must vote this and all the necessary taxes not only with unanimity, but with acclamation. If they were not prepared for this, they must be ready to surrender their ancient liberties to the contempt of nations and the mockery of despots, and to proclaim to their enemies and the world that they were unworthy to exercise their boasted and blood-bought right to tax themselves.


said, he felt some difficulty in giving any other answer to the speech of the hon. Member who had last addressed them, than that one part of it answered the other. In one part of it the hon. Member declared no one could refuse to vote the taxes for the war, as just and necessary; and in another part of it spoke as if no one could support it as just and necessary, and talked of Sinope as a set-off for Navarino. For himself, he begged to say that his opposition to the tax was not an opposition to the war. Individually he believed it to be neither just nor necessary. He believed it to be a war which had been occasioned by the exaggerated confidence exhibited towards the Emperor of Russia at one time, and the no less marked and needless bitterness and animosity displayed towards him at another. These were the real causes of the war, which he believed might in their absence have been avoided. But now we were engaged in the war, he was certain no one on his side of the House would attempt to obstruct the Government or withhold from them the supplies necessary to carry it on with vigour, so as to bring it to a glorious and successful issue. But they were bound to consider what were the means by which they should best raise the supplies necessary so to carry it on, and which would prove the least oppressive to the people whom they represented. He quite agreed in the principles which had been propounded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the war was, whether just and necessary or not, at all events national; and that it should be paid for by all classes of the community. And it was because this principle was not carried out by the proposal for increasing the malt duty 50 per cent that he felt himself bound to resist it. The Government proposed to impose this enormous amount on one portion of the community—the one more heavily taxed than any other; and which had been deprived of protection, but relieved of none of its burdens. And it was on this ground he should certainly feel bound to oppose the imposition of this new duty. It was said, indeed, by some of the supporters of the right hon. Gentleman's measure, that the malt tax was not oppressive to the agriculturists; for that it fell upon the consumer. The noble Lord the Member for Portsmouth (Viscount Monck) had said, that it fell partly upon the producer and partly upon the consumer—that it was an exception to the rule that a tax levied on consumption restricted production, and that a tax upon malt did not tend to limit the growth of barley. That, however, was plainly not the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who so far felt that an increase of 50 per cent on the malt tax would affect consumption and limit production, that he actually allowed an average of 5 per cent as his calculation as to consumption. If there were a diminution of consumption, it was clear there must be a diminution of production, and a diminution of production must fall upon the producer. What did Mr. M'Culloch say upon this subject, and no one would dispute his being an authority:— It is needless to say that the malt tax, like any other tax on commodities, falls on the consumer. Still it must be admitted that it is indirectly, if not directly, especially injurious to the agriculturist. Barley is a crop that is peculiarly suited to light lands, and which may be reproduced to the greatest advantage in an improved rotation of green crops. But if there be a duty of 20s. a quarter upon malt—the produce into which barley is almost universally converted—the demand for malt is materially diminished, and the farmer is in consequence prevented from sowing barley, when, but for this, it might be more suitable than any other variety of corn. It was not easy to estimate the injury which this indirect influence of the malt tax inflicts upon agriculture; but the fact of its inflicting an injury is indubitable. And if a duty of 20s. a quarter inflicted an indubitable injury, much more must be the injury inflicted by a duty of 32s. a quarter. It would be unjust, seeing that the tax, by narrowing the demand for barley, obliges the farmer to adopt certain measures inimical to his interests, to expose him without corresponding protection to competition with the foreigner. Perhaps it would require a duty of ls. 6d. or 2s. a quarter on foreign corn to countervail the unfavourable effect of the malt tax. Thus, then. on the united authority of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. M'Culloch it was established that the malt tax diminished consumption and inflicted an indirect injury on agriculture. He would now beg to draw the attention of the House to the difference between the incidence of an Excise duty and a Customs duty. If a Customs duty was imposed on an article which was produced in England, it might be that the price paid by the consumer in this country would be raised; but there was this set-off against the increase in price, that the production of the home article was stimulated, and the production of it was enlarged, so that the consumer had that benefit; and if he were a producer, not only had he not to pay the whole amount of increased price, but he had more money in his pocket to pay for it, owing to the increase of demand for an article which he himself produced; whereas, if an Excise duty were laid upon an article produced in this country, the consumption of the article was diminished, and the price increased, without the set-off referred to, so that the whole weight of the measure fell on the consumer. This was a material difference, which ought to regulate our legislation in regard to taxes. It was remarkable that a person of the astuteness of the Chancellor of the Exchequer should be reduced, upon a great emergency like the present, to propose the doubling of a tax which inflicted such signal hardship on one class of the community, especially as the right hon. Gentleman professed the principle of placing the burden of the war equally and fairly on all classes in the community alike. This showed the difficulty in which the Government were placed to find means for carrying on the war. And it was impossible not to remember the time when the Members on that (the Opposition) side of the House night after night warned the supporters of the financial policy of free trade that the day would come when they would discover that they had pursued a wrong course of legislation —that if at any future time the country should be plunged in war, they would miss the duties which they then were so recklessly and needlessly abandoning — that they were employing an engine unnecessarily which had always been reserved for seasons of emergency — that they were using a war tax in time of peace, and in time of peace dissipating the resources which ought to be husbanded against a time of war. Those who gave these warnings were disregarded and derided; they were told that they knew nothing about the subject they talked of—that nations would not now go to war as they did in former times—that the relations of States were altered— that since the system of free trade a pacific spirit had sprung up, and that a sense of mutual interest would prevent any danger of war. Little had he thought to see, and sorry was he to find, so speedy a realisation of these warnings, so rapid a fulfilment of these predictions. Such were the views and such the reasons on which he should give his cordial support to the Amendment.


said, he might vindicate his support of the Amendment upon the principle once appealed to and avowed by the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) the leader of the Government in that House, that it mattered not, so that men agreed to act together on any measure, by what reasons they arrived at the result. On this principle the noble Lord would hardly quarrel with him for voting, although a firm Free trader, with the opponents of free trade in resisting the present measure. He had often heard free trade supported on the principle that the agriculturists might be allowed to make the best use of their produce. Now barley was a very valuable article of their produce, and one for which the soil and climate of this country peculiarly fitted it; and it was a great hardship, by an increase of the duty on malt, to limit the production of this kind of corn. It was absurd to argue that the tax did not fall on the producer. It was a common argument with free traders that the reduction of a duty increased consumption—an argument which must hold good as to malt as well as to tea or coffee. There was no reason to doubt that the consumption of barley would be diminished by the increase of duty on malt. The agriculturists had suffered more severely than any other interest during the legislation of the last few years, and now it was to have an addition to its taxation, while deprived of all protection. Some years ago, when the repeal of the Corn Laws was first clamoured for, it was said that the repeal of the malt tax must follow it; and more recently it had been said that if the malt tax were repealed, the income tax must be renewed. Well now the Corn Laws had been repealed, and we had both the income tax and the malt tax. It had been always urged when the repeal of the malt tax was asked, how would it be possible to dispense with a tax which produced 5,000,000l. to the revenue? and now it was to be increased to 7,000,000l. If it was difficult to get rid of it when it was worth 5,000,000l., how much more difficult would it be to get rid of it when it was worth 7,000,000l.


said he had expressed, upon a former occasion, his opinion that we ought not to have been mixed up in this war, and he had then given his reasons for that opinion. He should not therefore, detain the House further upon that subject, except to say that, if the country and the House had agreed with him, they would not have been reduced to the necessity of putting on new taxes, but would have been engaged at that time in the much more agreeable duty of making remissions of taxation. Their trade also, instead of being crippled, would have been extended. But they had now gone beyond the question whether they should go to war or not. They were actually at war already; and he for one should not stand in the way of Her Majesty's Ministers carrying on that war with vigour, and bringing it, if possible, to an early and succesful termination. He believed there were not many "total abstainers" in that House, but he happened to be one of them. And he must express his opinion that, of all indirect taxes, there was not one that could be found that would inflict so small a hardship on the payer of the tax, and at the same time confer so great a benefit on the revenue, as this proposed addition to the duties upon spirits and upon malt. The hon. Mover of the Amendment had called beer the bread of life; he (Mr. Crossley) should have been better prepared to agree with him if he had called it the death of life. He believed that there was no strength in these intoxicating drinks; and the tax upon them was self-imposed, because any man might avoid paying it by abstaining from consuming them. A good deal had been said about this being a farmer's tax. To be sure it was a farmer's tax, in the same way as it was everybody else's tax who thought proper to consume the article upon which the tax was laid, but not otherwise. It might just as well be said that the tax of 30 per cent which was levied upon carpets manufactured in this country, on their importation into the United States, was a tax upon the manufacturer. But it was no such thing. The manufacturer did not charge his American customers 30 per cent less than he charged to his customers in England. On the contrary he charged them the same price; and if the Americans thought proper to put on 30 per cent more, for the purposes of State Government, it was the purchaser of the carpets who paid it, and the manufacturer had no right to complain. Nor had a grower of barley any right to complain if the consumer of malt chose to pay a tax to the Government. Of course, the tendency of every tax was to enhance the price of the article on which it was laid, but he had yet to learn that this country could not take the whole produce of its own soil. So far from that being the case, the demand was greater than the supply; and England, her colonies, and foreign countries together could scarcely get us enough. In his opinion, this was altogether a consumer's tax, and the Amendment had come from the wrong quarter. It ought to have come, if from anywhere, from the consumers in the large towns; but the large towns had made no complaint upon the subject. He would not detain the House at any length, but he should give his vote in favour of the Government.


said, the subject before the House was so closely connected with a question upon which he held, and had always held, very decided opinions— he meant the question of Protection—that, however difficult he might feel it to abstain, he was afraid it would be almost impossible for him to enter on the topics on which he had intended to address the House, without making, directly or by implication, observations which, however readily or unhesitatingly he might have made them if the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been present, he might regret extremely having been induced to make in his absence. He should not, therefore, enter upon those particular points to which he had intended to refer, and he regretted this the less because all the details of this much-vexed question had been so ably gone into by the hon. Gentlemen who had preceded him that there was really nothing to be said upon the subject. There was only one remark of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of a more general and historical nature, to which he would permit himself to advert. The right hon. Gentleman, in introducing this measure, had stated correctly, as one of the arguments in favour of the imposition of this tax, the fact that a very large addition to the malt duty had been made during the late war. No doubt, the right hon. Gentleman was perfectly accurate in that statement; but he had no right to read a page of history, for the purpose of advancing his argument, without turning over to the following page, to see what had happened afterwards. Now, if the right hon. Gentleman had gone further, and had remembered what had occurred on the termination of the last war, he would have found that, although during the continuance of the war a large malt tax had undoubtedly been imposed, yet, after the war was over, not only had the malt tax been reduced, but protective duties upon corn had been imposed, in order to protect from a ruinous foreign competition that class which had borne so large and so disproportionate a share of the expense of the protracted struggle in which the country had been engaged. If hon. Gentlemen opposite who used to call themselves Protectionists would promise, on the termination of the war, to reimpose protecting duties as they stood in the year 1846, he would promise to give his vote in favour of these present propositions. He would not detain the House, except to protest against the measure now before the House, as a measure at variance with justice, and irreconcilable alike with honesty of purpose and with consistency of principle. It was a proposition from a freetrade Government to impose additional protective duties, and it proved one of two things—either that the principles of free trade were utterly hollow and fallacious when subjected to the test of an emergency like the present, or that all the professions of attachment to those principles which had been made by the present Government had been in fact a systematic deception, and that this was only the first step towards the completion of a system by which they hoped to withdraw all the principal burdens of taxation from the towns, and to throw them upon the country.


said he had listened, but had hitherto listened in vain during the debate, for some explanation of the means by which the war was to be carried on, if the taxes proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer were not to be sanctioned by the House. It would be very delightful, no doubt, to have beer cheap as well as tea and other articles of general consumption; but in order to secure this, we must have a cheap war, and the progress of science had unfortunately not gone so far as to enable us to have that. He had felt some alarm and anxiety during the Chancellor of the Exchequer's recent statement, lest the right hon. Gentleman should have been tempted, by the exigency of the occasion, to go back from two of the great measures which had been carried last year— the reduction of the duty on tea, and the repeal of the Excise duty on soap. He had felt greatly relieved himself, and had felt convinced that the working classes would feel greatly relieved also, by the right hon. Gentleman's declaration that he had no such intention. But if the principle which had been laid down in the financial statement were a sound one, and if the great body of consumers were to contribute in some measure towards the expenses of this war, he could not avoid the inquiry, "in what manner is this contribution to be obtained?" He believed that the working classes, generally, had made up their minds to contribute, and that there was no way in which they would so cheerfully do it as by submitting to the additional tax which it was proposed to levy upon malt. As an Irish Member, he would admit he felt some little disappointment at the proposal to increase the duty which was levied upon Irish spirits. There were some special circumstances connected with that tax, and there was reason to fear that any increase of its present amount might stimulate illicit distillation to an extent which would far more than counterbalance any probable addition to the revenue. But he would not upon this ground take part in any opposition, which might have for its object the defeat of the general measures of the Government. He hoped, however, that, when the war ceased, the position now to be taken would be abandoned, because the additional duty, although it might be successful during the continuance of the war, and in periods of high prices, would be sure, when prices became low, to bring about a return of that most mischievous and destructive system of smuggling and illicit distillation to which he had referred. Finding that Ireland, which paid one-sixth of the tea duty, and one-fifth of the tobacco duty, paid only the thirteenth of the malt duty, he could not, as an Irish Member, attempt to persuade the House that there was any financial injustice towards Ireland involved in the propositions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If he had thought with the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), or with the noble Lord opposite (the Marquess of Granby), that this war was not a just and necessary war, he should have brought forward any arguments he might have been able to lay hold of, in order to carry his point with the House, but he thought that even then he should have had some hesitation in endeavouring to persuade the House that this was in reality a tax upon the agriculturist. Every one must know that it was a tax on the consumer; and although some part of it—perhaps a twentieth or a thirtieth— might have to be borne by the farmer, he thought that the farmers of England must be very different men from what they used to be, if they would complain of having to contribute so small a proportion towards the expense of carrying on a war which was so just and necessary, and so essential to the honour and interests of England. He believed the agriculturists would dissociate themselves from the opposition which was making to this measure; and for himself—having in vain endeavoured to find out a way of providing for the expenses of the war which should not involve greater hardship and injustice—he should feel himself not only justified, but bound to give his vote in its favour.


said he should support the Amendment. He had understood the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer to propose the addition to the income tax as one which would affect those classes whose incomes exceeded a certain annual amount; and the addition to the malt tax as one which would affect the main body of the consuming community whose incomes were below that amount. He apprehended, however, that the broad injustice of this tax consisted in the fact that it fell upon the farmer, both as a producer and as a consumer; and that it fell most severely upon those classes of small farmers who had only recently been brought within the operation of the income tax. He was surprised to hear any doubt expressed as to the malt tax being injurious to the producer as well as to the consumer. If it bad any effect whatever in limiting consumption, it must reduce the demand, and, of course, also reduce the price. The difference between a duty levied upon an article like malt, which was the produce of our own soil, and a duty levied upon foreign produce, consisted in this—that in the one case that portion of the duty which was paid by the producer was paid by our own countrymen, while in the other case it was paid by the foreigner. He had been surprised to hear it stated in that House, that this was not a proposition which affected the question of unrestricted competition. He wanted to know how the farmer was to pay a tax of cent per cent upon his produce, and yet to compete with the foreigner who was subject to no such encumbrances as those to which he was exposed. The malt tax impeded the free action of the farmer in reference to the feeding of his cattle, and interfered with the free cultivation of his land for those purposes for which it might be most beneficially employed. He believed that, if the growth of barley were encouraged by the repeal of the malt tax, a very large amount of land not now producing barley would be found applicable to that purpose. These were his reasons for giving his support to the Amendment. He did not consider himself bound to suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as had been hinted at by the hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. J. Ball), what were the articles on which he ought to impose taxes, but he entertained no doubt that they should be articles of foreign produce. He attached considerable weight to the objection that by increasing the price of malt liquor, they would drive the consumers of it to make use of a much more injurious beverage. He had closely watched the effect of both ardent spirits and malt liquor on the population, and the injury produced by the latter was infinitely small as compared with the former. If only for this reason, although he admitted that funds should be forthcoming to enable the Government to carry on the war in a proper manner, he should feel bound to vote against the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


said he thought hon. Gentlemen opposite had wholly misunderstood the question. Free trade had nothing to do with the imposition of this tax. He did not understand that the imposition of a duty upon tea, which was wholly produced in a foreign country, or a duty upon malt, which was wholly produced in this country, was at all inconsistent with the principles of free trade.


thought the hon. Member (Mr. Wilkinson) had accepted a very curious definition of free trade. In his (Mr. Newdegate's) opinion, free trade meant a trade unfettered by Excise or Customs duties. Those two words, "free trade," surely meant a trade unfettered by fiscal regulations; but hon. Gentlemen opposite said that was not what they understood by free trade. Those hon. Gentlemen had never contemplated real free trade, except with regard to certain articles of Customs. True, whenever an Excise duty operated injuriously upon any department of trade, which they represented, they were clamorous for the repeal of it, of which the repeal of the Excise upon printed cottons and upon soap were instances. Whenever a duty affecting their own interest came under view, they were for striking it off; but their co-operation was withheld when the interests of agriculture were concerned. He humbly submitted that the definition of free trade as propounded by hon. Gentlemen opposite, was simple nonsense; for the restrictions under Excise regulations were far more interruptive of industry than any Customs duties. After an article, subject to a Customs duty, had been delivered from the Custom House, there were no further restrictions upon the manufacture of it—no delays in the several processes to suit the convenience of Government officers—no measurements—no interruptions, as in the case of Excise duties; besides, it had been admitted that in many cases the burdens of taxes upon articles were shared between the producer and consumer. This was true, and in the case of Customs duties the burden of them was often, if not generally, shared between the foreign producer and the English consumer; but in the case of Excise duties the whole burden must of necessity fall upon the people of this country, who were both the producers and consumers of the articles subject to the Excise. With regard to the proposal of the Government with respect to malt, he sincerely lamented it, because he believed it would be found most unpopular in the country. This, at least, the Government must have known, after the repeated proposals for the modification or repeal of the malt tax, that it was impossible for Members on his (Mr. Newdegate's) side of the House to vote for the increase of it. The Government had maliciously cast this bone of contention upon the floor of the House of Commons. He had no desire to interfere with the arrangements of the Government for carrying on the war; but when he considered the wanton manner in which they had selected this tax, he could not help doubting their sincerity in wishing that the country should be unanimous as to the means for carrying on the war. Since the time of the Commonwealth the malt tax had been regarded by the people as an unmitigated burden and harassing restriction. While the agricultural classes had an especial right to feel that the conduct of those who now held office had created the necessity for the increase of taxation, which was to them especially obnoxious, what had been the course of the Government with respect to the repeal of taxes during the time of peace? Year after year they had been repealing taxes, until they had succeeded in casting 15,000,000l. or 16,000,000l. aside. Still, although they had this mass of articles from which to choose, they had had recourse to malt for this contribution of 2,400,000l. The very reason why the soap tax had been repealed should have stood for the repeal of the malt tax, namely, because it was an Excise duty. But last year the Government threw away 600,000l. of Customs duties on minor articles, on which the duty might well have been retained, as they were articles of luxury. To complete, as the Government called it, the Customs list, they had repealed the duty on pictures at so much a foot; on pickles, on turtle, and on truffles. True, those were minor articles of consumption, but they were articles strictly of luxury, and he adduced them as affording a fair illustration of the wanton sacrifices of duties to the extent of 600,000l. a year, duties of which no one complained, and which had yielded a considerable revenue; by the abandonment of which no saving in the expense of the Customs establishment had been made, for the packages containing the articles had to be examined just as much as though the duties were still levied. He confessed he could not reconcile the professed wish of the Government to carry the country with them in their scheme of increased taxation with the circumstance of the present increase in the burdens bearing indirectly upon agriculture. Last year the Government had imposed a succession tax, and they reimposed the income tax, the former bearing chiefly upon landed property—the latter in an unfair proportion—notwithstanding the assertion of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), which had never been contradicted, that real property already bore 17,000,000l. more in the shape of taxation, from which other property was exempt. The succession tax and income tax were taxes that were properly war taxes, that ought to have been reserved to meet extraordinary emergencies, but they had been used to supplant, and for the destruction of, the ordinary sources of revenue in a time of peace. When the Government had commenced the destruction of the ordinary sources of revenue, they were warned that the time would come when they would regret that they had dried them up. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been pleased to speak in terms very disparaging of the measures of Mr. Pitt. In the absence of the right hon. Gentleman he (Mr. Newdegate) would not touch upon certain historical references made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or upon the comparison between his policy and that of Mr. Pitt, which he had ventured upon. But he (Mr. Newdegate) could not avoid some reference to the contrast between the conduct of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer and the manner in which that great statesman, Mr. Pitt, had carried the country through the great struggle of the last war, which manifested the completest consideration for the interests of the whole community. He took care—by the relaxation of the monetary laws, by favouring trade in every way he could, and by the adoption of a protective policy—to create and develope the power and resources of the people from whom it was intended to draw taxation. The right hon. Gentleman's policy, however, was the reverse of that. He had diminished the balances of the Bank, and thus had prevented the wealth and resources of the country being made available to promote its commercial interests. The Members of the present Government had supported the Bank Act of 1844 at the very moment they were adopting a system of free trade, which tended to drain the country of its bullion—["No, no!"] Hon. Gentlemen opposite denied that conclusion. Well, let them look to the state of the Bank of France—of protective France—and let them compare its condition with that of the Bank of England during the last seven years, and would they still contend that free trade had not drained the country of bullion? Yes, let them contrast the position of the Bank of England with that of protective France; let them consider the difficulties of France, the circumstances of the times, and compare the position of that great national institution with that of the mighty establishment of this country, and remember that the fortuitous discovery of gold had afforded the means of enabling the Bank of England to protect the trade and resources of England against the crippling tendency of their banking laws, which the framers of those laws could not have foreseen. No, it was vain and idle to deny that while Mr. Pitt adopted every means to ease the pressure of the taxation he required, and to strengthen the national resources from which he drew his means, that the Government are pursuing an opposite policy.


said, he was not about to dispute with the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down what was the precise meaning of the term "free trade." Whether the proper phrase was free trade or unrestricted competition was a matter of indifference, as long as the principle of protection was agreed to be abandoned. Nor was he disposed to follow the hon. Gentleman, and others who had preceded him, into the various topics which had been started, either as to the policy which had led to the war, or as to the general question of free trade, or as to the propriety of an Excise duty on malt, because all these questions had been formerly fully discussed, and because they were not now before the House. The policy of the war especially had been repeatedly assented to by that House; and he thought he might take it for granted now that they were all agreed that the war was to be carried on with spirit and vigour. The only question, therefore, before the House was this, in what manner were the expenses of the war to be furnished? Now, one great principle laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was this—that at the commencement of the war, at least, it would be unworthy of that House to have recourse to the loans in which their forefathers indulged. The principle, therefore, he thought had been fully assented to by the House, that in the beginning of the war, at least, the expenses should be raised as far as possible within the year. He said for the present, because he did not mean to say that some other proposition might not be necessary hereafter. There was another principle which had been laid down and generally assented to, namely, that direct taxation should take precedence of indirect taxation. On that point, he thought the House had acted with a great degree of liberality, and had set an example which all other classes might follow, in so freely accepting an increase of the income tax. The first experiment in the increase of taxation which his right hon. Friend proposed, was an addition of 3,250,000l. to the income tax; and now a further increase was proposed of 3,250,000l. more; making a total increase to the amount of direct taxation of 6,500,000l. within the year. But, as his right hon. Friend had very properly stated in his speech, he thought it necessary also to propose a large amount of indirect taxation to be paid by those who were not touched by the income tax, but who ought to contribute their share to the expenses of the war. The only question which the Government and the House had to consider was this. Supposing that 2,500,000. were to be raised by indirect taxation, what was the least prejudicial the mode of raising it? Various substitutes had, no doubt, been recommended. One hon. Gentlemen had suggested that 5 per cent additional duty should be levied upon all imports. But the hon. Gentleman had surely forgotten the great experiment made in 1841, when at a period of financial difficulty the House agreed to levy 5 per cent upon all imports; but instead of gaining the amount anticipated, it was found that the Customs duties had scarcely, if at all, advanced beyond their amount in the preceding year. Now, on a question of war expenditure, it was all important that they should be assured of the results of an increase of taxes, and he believed that in no case had an increase of duty been attended with an increase of revenue so much as in the case of malt, which showed how little the consumption of beer was affected by an increase or decrease in the duty. The hon. Member who spoke last upbraided the Government for having thought it right to reduce the Customs duties last year, and said that if these duties had been retained any additional impost would now have been unnecessary. Were these hon. Gentlemen aware that, notwithstanding these reductions, both in the Customs and Excise, instead of any loss, the revenue had increased? ["Hear, hear!"] He understood the meaning of those cheers, and he would advert to them by and by. But he might state that while the Customs duties in 1852 produced 20,551,000l., last year, after the reductions were made, they produced 20,902,000l., or an increase of 350,000l. The same might be said with regard to the Excise duties. In 1852 the Excise duties amounted to 14,835,000l.; in 1853, in spite of the repeal of the soap duty, they amounted to 15,337,000., being an addition of 500,000l. to the revenue. He knew very well that hon. Gentlemen opposite would say—then why increase the malt duty? But he had already stated that while every experiment on the Customs duties by way of increasing the impost had failed, the experiment of increasing the malt duty had not failed. The hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had also read the Government a severe lecture, because the general tendency of legislation of late years had been to repeal Customs duties, by which many millions of revenue, he contended, had been thrown away. But surely the hon. Gentleman, who he knew was one of the most industrious readers of Parliamentary papers in that House, had omitted to look into a most valuable paper lately laid on the table of the House by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, which showed that from 1842—the year in which these vast reductions in the Customs and Excise had begun to be made—up to the present moment the increase of revenue from ordinary sources was 2,000,000l. more than in 1841. The total net revenue in 1841 was 48,000,000l.; in 1853 it was 54,500,000l., being an increase of 6,500,000l. If from the income of 1853 there were deducted 5,500,000l. income tax, the net revenue would be 49,000,000l., derived from the same sources of Customs, Excise, and assessed texes, being 2,000,000l. more than before these reductions of 16,000,000l. sterling, of which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Newdegate) complained. The effect of the alteration in the sugar duties proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be, that, instead of being equalised at 10s., they would be equalised at 12s. Where there was a difference—and no doubt there would be a slight one—it would not be of a protective nature, inasmuch as it would apply just as much to foreign as to West India sugars; and, indeed, he should be deceiving the West India interest if he threw it out as a boon, for he was disposed to let them know all the truth—it would apply in larger proportion to the Manilla and Brazil sugars than to the West Indian. So far, therefore, as the principle of protection was concerned, he denied entirely that anything of the kind was to be found in the present measure. The hon. Gentleman also said that the Government, having last year repealed the duty upon soap because it was an Excise duty, were now acting diametrically opposite to their own principles, inasmuch as they now proposed an increase in an Excise duty; but hon. Gentlemen who had listened to the debates in that House must be well aware of the distinction between removing an obstruction altogether and adding to a duty without causing an addition to the obstruction which already existed, and that was his reply to the taunt of the hon. Member when he charged the Government with getting rid of one Excise duty one year and increasing another the next. With regard to the question, which had already been worn so threadbare by discussions in that House, as to who paid the tax, it was one which he had hardly expected would have been raised on the present occasion. The argument on the other side was, that the increase in the duty would cause a reduction in the price of barley. What had been issued by all the metropolitan brewers that morning? Was there any reduction in the price of malting barley? If there was, the Mark-Lane market showed none, for it was quoted that day at from 38s. to 41s. per quarter, and he asked, was not that a fair price? But had they not an increased price of beer? Was it not true, as had been stated to the House by an hon. Member, that the brewers had issued a circular raising the price of that article to a sum that rather more than covered the increased duty upon malt? The duty upon malt was to be increased by 2s. 10d., but the increased price of beer was 3s.; and therefore the brewers not only repaid themselves for the increase of duty, but charged somewhat more for the interest upon advances. The whole question of why paid for the increased duty was at an end, for the Mark-Lane quotations had told them the producers did not, and the brewers' circular that the public did pay for it. What, then, was the use of discussing speculative opinions upon this subject, or the conclusions based upon such opinions? This question had received the earnest consideration of the Government, and he assured the House that the principle was adopted with an honest view, and a full determination of laying the duty on the consumer in the fairest possible way, so that it should be distributed among the whole community in a manner that would inflict the least injury upon the industry and trade of the country. This duty had been selected above all others in order that the whole community should contribute towards the taxation in the same proportion in which they consumed the article.


said, after four hours of discussion, it was a matter of congratulation that at last they had been able to get one Member of the Government to stand up in support of the tax, though, at the same time, he must say they were not much enlightened on the subject immediately before them by the speech which they had just heard, for almost every other matter had been discussed by the hon. Secretary for the Treasury except the precise question at issue. Now, what was the objection of his hon. Friend the Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley), who had proposed the Amendment to this tax? He said, that it was exceedingly unjust towards a large class in the country; nevertheless, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Westbury (Mr. Wilson) had never dealt with the question of its injustice, but had rather endeavoured to draw the attention of the House to the question of the sugar duties, and several other points connected with the revenue of the country. He believed that it would have been only fair if the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in considering the articles proper for taxation, had borne in mind that the malt tax was one on which no reduction had ever taken place, and that he might have shown more consideration by proposing the reimposition of some of the duties already removed, rather than the augmentation of one so unjust and oppressive as was the malt tax. Why, for instance, could they not have arrested the reduction of the duties upon tea? He was sure, at all events, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not have opposed such a proposal, because he must know very well that the peculiar condition of China at this moment prevented the increased consumption of our manufactures —that with reduction of the duty upon tea an immense quantity of silver had been drawn from India, and that thus the exchanges had been very much disturbed. Much had been said in the progress of the discussion as to whether it was the consumer or the producer who would have to bear the burden of the tax. Now, the fact was, as was clearly stated by his hon. Friends the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment, it would fall upon both those parties. But he would ask the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Wilson), who were the great consumers of malt throughout the country? The great consumers of malt were the labouring classes—the peasantry of the country; to which might be added the farmers—the very producers of malt. And, therefore, when his hon. Friend and Colleague (Mr. Newdegate) argued that by laying a tax upon malt the Government was contravening the principles of free trade which they had adopted, he was perfectly correct in his position. For was not malt to the farmer what cotton goods were to the manufacturer? Was it fair to tax the raw produce in one case, and release it in the other? But, independently of that consideration, did this not deprive the farmer of the ability to furnish his labourer with a good and proper subsistence in thus augmenting the price of beer? for, although they had it from the hon. Member for Halifax (Mr. Crossley)—who, however, confessed that he never used the article himself—that the use of beer was not beneficial to the labouring man, he (Mr. Spooner) would affirm that there was hardly a workman throughout the country that could not testify to the benefits he had derived from the use of good and wholesome beer. He would tell the Government that the effect of increasing the duty would be to render all private brewing in cottages impossible, which would have the effect of driving the working classes throughout the country to resort to the public-house. The noble Lord the Member for Portsmouth (Visct. Monck) had stated he did not believe that, after all, the tax would fall upon the producers of barley; and he went on to utter a most extraordinary argument—namely, that the tax affected the agricultural interest to but a very slight degree, because only the superior qualities of land were capable of producing the superior qualities of barley. Now therein exactly was to be found the grounds of their complaint. The best qualities of barley could only, it was perfectly true, be grown upon certain qualities of land; that was necessarily limited, and they therefore, by imposing an equal duty upon all kinds of barley, rendered its cultivation upon poorer soils impossible, and the consequence was, they enhanced the price of beer, and narrowed the field of the farmer's exertions. And, besides, this was to be considered, that if there was no tax upon malt, the farmers would use it for the feeding of cattle. It was all very well for hon. Gentlemen opposite to be led away by the foolish theories of speculative professors, one of whom had gone to Edinburgh and experimentalised as to the effect of malt upon two young heifers that were full of milk, and which they tied up by the neck in a stable. Now, he ventured to tell the hon. Gentleman, having had a little experience himself in the matter, that if the farmers were permitted to use their own malt untaxed, they would be able to produce meat for the consumption of the country at a far cheaper rate than they could now do. Not by giving the cattle dry malt, but what was termed sweetwort —boiling it and mixing it with hay. But the hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. Wilson), quoting the prices of Mark Lane, would have the House believe that the price of barley had not fallen, and that the price of beer had risen. Why, every one who knew anything of the subject, was able to tell the hon. Gentleman that the malting season was over, and consequently the barley market was also over, and, therefore, that no account could be taken of what was happening just then; but they must wait and see what would be the effect in future times. He maintained that the result would be, that much less barley would be grown, because the consumption would be less. It was not long since they had heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer admit—and it was a subject which his right hon. Friend the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Disraeli) had some years ago demonstrated in the most decided manner—that the landed interest was most unjustly treated under the income tax. And yet here they were, notwithstanding that they were about to double the income tax, which pressed so unequally upon one class of the community, about, in addition, to place the burden of the malt tax upon the same interest. It was most untrue to say that those who opposed the imposition of this tax manifested an unwillingness to defray the expenses of the war. He would ask, was there ever a time when Ministers received such general support in entering upon the prosecution of a war as upon the present occasion? But the question now to be determined was not whether the war was politic or not; it was what was the best mode of raising the taxation necessary to carry on that war? He maintained that, as far, at least, as the increased malt duties were concerned, they were adopting the very worst means, and which would have the effect of rendering the great bulk of the population of the country dissatisfied with its prosecution. The people of England were ready to defend the character and safety of their country, as well as the dignity and happiness of the Crown. But at the same time they would require that every interest be considered, and that the burdens should not press unequally. He could, therefore, tell right hon. Gentlemen opposite, that if they used an argument which he had heard adduced both there and elsewhere—namely, that those that cried out for war should be made to feel the evils of war—he warned them not to carry out the principle too far; he warned them not to oppose themselves too much to the patience and forbearance of the people, who, though they might be patient and forbearing in other respects, would not bear to be unjustly dealt with. In conclusion, he would only say, that, failing to be convinced by anything which he had heard in the course of the discussion, and believing that the tax was most unjust and unequal, he would most cordially support the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley).


said, he entirely coincided with the observations of his hon. Friend who had just resumed his seat. All were aware of the bad harvest which they had last year, and of the evil consequence to agriculture. Looking forward, it was impossible to determine what kind of a harvest they would have this year, and, therefore, he warned the Government as to what might be the results of an augmentation of taxation upon produce which fell short of that of ordinary seasons. The determination of the Government of a former day to carry the Beer Bill had been productive of the greatest immorality. He should give his cordial support to the Amendment.


Sir, as I differ in opinion on the question of the malt tax from most hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House, I am desirous of saying a few words to explain the vote which it is my intention to give in favour of the right hon. Gentleman's proposition. I have at all times been in favour of a retention of the malt tax, contending that no other tax could be substituted to raise so large an amount of revenue, and at the same time be so little felt by the public at large. Nor do I agree with hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House that this is chiefly a farmer's question. On the contrary, I contend it is mainly a consumer's question; it is the consumer who will have eventually to pay the higher duty, and I believe that the higher the duty is, the better is the farmer able to contend against the introduction of low priced and inferior qualities from abroad. Depend upon it, with a high duty, the best barley—such as are produced in our favoured barley-growing counties—will be those that are sought after by the maltster, as he cannot afford to pay the same duty on an inferior quality, as on the best qualities. For instance, suppose the best barley is worth 40s. per quarter, add duty 32s., is 72s.; a secondary quality worth 35s., add duty 32s., makes 67s. per quarter. Now it is probable that the former would be worth 10s. per quarter over the latter in point of produce to a brewer, though it cost within 5s. per quarter, thus giving to the maltster from fine barley a great advantage over the producer of a secondary quality. Sir, we are unfortunately at war, and the ways and means of carrying on that war effectively, so as to bring it to a speedy and successful termination, must be found. For my part, I am not disposed to throw any obstacle in the way of Her Majesty's Government, and I think those hon. Gentlemen who object to the raising of some 2,500,000l. by the increase of this tax should show how an equal amount can be levied with so little injury to all the great interests of the country, not omitting even the agricultural interest. One feature of great importance, also, is that every penny levied will go into the public exchequer. The machinery for collecting it is already in force. 4s. per bushel can be as easily collected as 2s. 9d. No doubt this increased duty will entail a serious loss on the maltster. I have had complaints from many amongst my constituents, and have had occasion to lay those complaints before the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I am bound to admit that the right hon. Gentleman has paid the greatest attention to them. Some of those complaints have been removed, others are in a fair way of redress; but should those not be met it will be my duty when the Bill goes into Committee, to propose such alterations and amendments as will meet the just complaints of the trade. They did not wish to throw difficulties in the way of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's scheme. All they wanted was, that their reasonable objections should be met in a fair and liberal spirit. For these reasons, Sir, believing that no better mode can be found for raising so large an amount of revenue, and believing, as I do, that it is a consumer's tax, and that those pay most who consume most, and believing, Sir, that it will not injuriously affect the agricultural interest, it is my intention to vote for the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


said, the speech of the hon. Member who had just sat down went to this extent—that now, as we had arrived at a period when we have unlimited competition, the position of the agriculturist would be less burdensome, if a heavy duty were to be placed upon the principal article of his produce. The hon. Gentleman, then, in adopting the views of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, seemed to say he thought that one great recommendation of the tax now proposed was the fact that it would not operate to give or impose any additional restriction upon the capital employed in commerce and in the industrial resources of the country. He (Mr. Floyer) did not know why that argument should be restricted to that tax in which the agriculturists were so deeply interested. Why was it not applied to the general body of taxation? If the argument be carried out to a logical conclusion, we should arrive at that point when we should have only one gigantic tax most oppressive and ruinous to that particular interest. He knew not why the Treasury bench had been this night so long silent. Surely, when the question was one involving a large amount of taxation, to be raised from a body that was admitted even by the occupants of the Treasury bench to be already grievously and unequally pressed, he thought it hardly courteous to that great interest to propose to levy such a tax as this with so little of argument, and opinion, and reason to justify such an imposition. Some twelve months ago he listened to an elaborate and ingenious speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when that right hon. Gentleman stated that the opinions and views by which the Government would be guided in adjusting the taxation of the country were, that the duties should be leviable upon those commodities which were not in themselves necessaries of life, nor such as en- tered largely into the conveniences and comforts of the people; and that those duties then in existence would be subject, if not to abolition, at least to a reduction or diminution. The right hon. Gentleman then went on to carry out his views by proposing the reduction in the tea duties, and the abolition of the soap duties. Upon what principle, then, he (Mr. Floyer) asked, was that important commodity of beer excluded from such a revision? How could the right hon. Gentleman now ask to augment the tax upon malt, instead of diminishing or abolishing it, as he had promised? Not only is beer an important article in the class of comforts, but to a large portion of the labouring classes it is absolutely an article of necessity. When it is said that beer could be dispensed with, he asked those who thought so whether they had witnessed the condition of the agricultural labourer "from sunny morn to dewy eve?" Could they believe it possible that the poor labourer could go through his toil, with safety to his health, without being able to have some wholesome beer? He had heard some hon. Member recommend the labourers to drink water. Now, that recommendation put him in mind of that ingenious gentleman Peter Pounce, who, while travelling along the country in all the luxury of a post-chaise, and looking around at the beautiful landscape that met his eye, expressed his surprise that the people should ever be in want of food and of good beverage, when he saw the cool and refreshing salads spreading out on every side of the meadows, and the delicious potations which the streams of the country could offer. They were told that the agriculturists were now in a flourishing condition—that the position of the farmer was so changed that he had now no right to grumble at having to bear this additional portion of taxation. He fully admitted that the position of the farmer was much improved to what it had been. And happy was it for the country that his condition was so much improved within the last two or three years. There was, however, a time when that great body was in such difficulties that if the pressure had continued much longer, it was impossible that the greater portion of them could meet their claims. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the last harvest was the worst harvest that they had had since 1816. The crop of wheat in the last harvest was one-third less than the usual average amount. Supposing, then, that the average price of wheat per quarter was 72s. It was only fair to deduct one-third from that for the shortness of the crop. It could not, therefore, be considered that the position of the farmer was so prosperous as to warrant any Government in selecting the agricultural interest for additional taxation at this particular time. He believed that the Government would have proceeded more wisely and prudently if they had endeavoured to act upon the opinions expressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year, when that right hon. Gentleman wound up his great and powerful speech by saying that the object of the Government was to administer the financial operations of the country with the most perfect impartiality to all parties. Now, he (Mr. Floyer) did not recognise in the present position any such impartiality or fairness. The party with which he acted were most unwilling to throw any obstacle in the way of the Government at a time when a great emergency had arisen, and when they were called upon to promote objects to which they were unanimously engaged; at the same time, they demanded and required, with full justice and fairness towards themselves, that the Government should deal with those interests which were represented on his side of the House with the same consideration for their difficulties and for their wants as the Ministers gave to the interests represented by those with whom they more generally acted.


Sir, I cordially concur in the desire expressed by all Gentlemen who have risen on this side of the House to assist the Ministers of the Crown in providing the necessary means to carry on with vigour and effect the war in which we are unhappily engaged; and as all that may weaken the Government by party disputes on matters of domestic policy would, in my judgment, be injurious to that aspect of moral power which this country should present to Europe, I rejoiced when the noble Lord the Member for London—much, I think, to his credit, and with the respectful sympathy of the House —withdrew from discussion a Reform Bill which must inevitably have provoked a most determined opposition. I did hope that opposition itself might remain dormant during the rest of the Session. I was not prepared to expect that the dispute which the leader of the Goverment in this House so patriotically forbore would be forced upon us in another shape by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That right hon. Gentleman is too experienced a politician not to know that he has deliberately introduced into his Budget the very item that must revive the most bitter resentment of the class against which it operates, and that most of us on this side of the House would be traitors to our constituents if we submitted to it without a struggle. The issue of that struggle may be against us, but I fear that the very proposition of the right hon. Gentleman will materially weaken the hands of the Government in the fitting conduct of this war, because it elaborately tends to create the deepest dissatisfaction in that very portion of our people upon whom for the endurance of war all Governments must proverbially depend. I shall imitate the example of those who have preceded me, and refrain from discussing the general propositions of the Budget. With respect to the proposed duplication of the income and property tax, however, I must at least enter a strong demur against the assertion so glibly made by the right hon. Gentleman that it is impossible to reconstruct it upon a more equitable basis; but, whether this be or be not possible, I say that a direct tax in which the whole mass of the public complain of anomalies and injustice, not rendered more tolerable by your assertion that they are not susceptible of mitigation, and avowedly to be continued for the whole duration of the war—maintained, as it were, upon that tenure—is precisely that tax which the Emperor of Russia will rejoice to hear that you have doubled. However, there is at least this consolation left to those who are to pay the income and property tax, that its anomalies and injustice are fairly parcelled out among the wealth and industry of the community down to those whose incomes reach the limit of 100l. a year; while the right hon. Gentleman then proceeds to select an especial article of home production, and with a complacent eulogium on the principle of fair distribution, calculates to raise from the additional tax—which, if finally paid by the consumer, particularly affects one single department of industry—a sum, a third in amount of all which he calculates to obtain from his fresh demand upon the united property and income of the entire community. The right hon. Gentleman thinks the malt tax a duty which combines all those features that should determine his choice in selecting it. "You can raise it," he says, "without additional expense, and collect it without additional machinery." In this he was followed by the hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. Wilson) appending to the broad assumption a supplement of small details. I think the hon. Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley), who moved the Amendment on this measure, has rather proved the contrary; but, grant that it be so, the reasons alleged are very well for a mere tax-gatherer, or even a Secretary of the Treasury, but there are other reasons—reasons of policy and justice—which should weigh more with a gentleman of such lofty pretensions to the character of a statesman. And I say that all such reasons combine to make this tax one of the very last you should have thought of. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in proposing this additional malt tax, spoke only of making the general consumer pay his fair share of the burdens necessary to carry on the war. He spoke only of the general consumer; not one single word did he condescend to say of the effect of the tax upon agriculture. He spoke as if there were no persons in this country engaged in the cultivation of land—he seemed to ignore their existence. But the right hon. Gentleman need not have looked deeper than into the familiar pages of Mr. M'Culloch—whom he afterwards quotes with deserved respect as high authority—to have known the injury to agriculture which the malt tax, even without an addition, inevitably inflicts. What says Mr. M'Culloch, in his Principles of Political Economy: The malt tax, like other taxes on commodities, falls wholly on the consumer; still, however, it must be admitted that it is, indirectly at least, if not directly, especially injurious to the agriculturist. Barley is a crop that is peculiarly suitable to light lands, and may be introduced with the greatest advantage in an improved rotation after green crops. But it is obvious that by imposing a duty of 20s. 8d. (that is the present duty) per quarter on malt (the produce into which barley is almost wholly concocted), the demand for the latter is materially diminished, and the farmer is in consequence prevented from sowing barley, where, but for this circumstance, it might be more suitable than any other variety of corn. It is not easy to estimate the injury which this indirect influence of the malt tax inflicts upon agriculture; but the fact of its inflicting an injury is undeniable. Suppose such a high duty were laid on bread as would lessen the demand for wheat, would any one presume to say that was not especially injurious to agriculturists? or suppose a high duty were laid on calicoes and broadcloths, is it not clear that it would be a serious injury to the manufacturers engaged on it? Nay, Mr. M'Culloch goes further; for, while he thinks, nevertheless, that it may be a tax in case of necessity which you might increase, yet, even as it now exists, he thinks it entitles the farmer to a compensation. And what is the compensation this eminent free-trader insists on? Why, he says— The peculiar pressure of the malt tax upon land gives the agriculturist a peculiar claim— though all claims on account of tithes were abolished—to have a certain fixed duty imposed upon foreign corn. It would be unjust, seeing that the malt tax, by narrowing the demand for barley, and obliging the farmers to adopt imperfect rotations, is especially inimical to their interests, to expose them, without any corresponding protection, to the competition of foreigners. Perhaps it might require a fixed duty of ls. 6d. to 2s. a quarter to counteract the unfavourable circumstances alluded to. That is the malt tax! So that here, after you have abolished all duties on foreign wheat, you select the very burden which, according to political economy, entitled the grower to some protection, and add to it 50 per cent. The hon. Member for Westbury conceives that an Excise duty on malt is very different in effect from an Excise duty on soap. He can reduce the duty on soap and yet increase the revenue. On malt, on the other hand, he thinks he can increase the duty without diminishing consumption. But the facts of the past are against him there. We know that, notwithstanding the increase of wealth and of population, the consumption of malt varied little for 100 years, until the duty on malt was reduced in 1822—when even before the beer duty was repealed, it rose from more than 26,000,000 bushels in 1821 to more than 30,000,000 bushels in 1828; and since the repeal of the beer duty in 1830 it has risen to more than 40,000,000 bushels. Now, I am opposed to all taxes that fall more upon one class of industry than another; but if the stern necessities of war compel you to violate this strict rule, and some class must be partially affected by your burdens, we might regret it less if it were that class who have a paramount interest in bringing the war to a speedy close by vigorous and effective military operations. What is that class? Why, obviously the mercantile and manufacturing —the class engaged in foreign interchange, which war, in proportion as it spreads, must impede and cripple. The produce of land Which is consumed at home, not exported, the domestic exchange in retail trade, the profits of professions, are not so vitally interested in the suppression of a distant war as those sublime departments of industry which distance itself the more developes, and which enrich the manufacturer and merchant wherever they can find a friendly shore and an open sea. One might suppose, then, that the Government, if it be unhappily compelled to call upon any class more than another to contribute to the expenses of war, would look naturally to that class to which the restoration of peace is so essentially important. And it would do so in this case, the more reasonably, not only because of the comparative wealth of those great members of the corporate state, but because no class during the forty years' peace thus abruptly terminated has been so largely benefited by fiscal reductions. No one can deny that the main spirit and effect of all our reliefs since the Reform Bill, and even before, have been to favour our mercantile and manufacturing interests in preference to any other. It, therefore, might be supposed, that the class which has most benefited by the reliefs afforded in peace would most willingly co-operate in the means necessary for the termination of war. Yet it is not to this class the Chancellor of the Exchequer looks for the burdens he resolves to impose. Out of the whole community he selects for a special infliction that special class which has had the hardest struggles, has had the slightest share in the mitigation of taxes, has recently been mulcted of a large portion of its capital for an experiment, mainly intended to promote the success of manufactures, and according to frank avowals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself, and equally frank avowals by the noble Lord who leads the Government in this House, was entitled to some compensation, if compensation could have been found for them. Now, this is the compensation you give them! They asked you a year ago to reduce the malt tax; your reply is to add to the malt tax 2,500,000l. This is not all; besides money, there is something else which a people must contribute to the dreadful necessities of war. They must contribute their sinews and their blood. The heaviest tax of all is that of human lives. Now, of all classes, which are here spared the most? It is surely the population of great mercantile and manufacturing towns. It is not there that the recruiting sergeant beats for recruits. It is in the agricultural districts, it is in the rural population, that you principally find the soldiers that man your armies; it is there that fathers will most mourn their children. But this is the class to whom the Chancellor of the Exchequer goes hand in hand with the recruiting sergeant. The one asks for money, the other for life. In the ordinary laws of conscription for military service, if the man decline service, he is bound to find the money that provides a substitute. But these laws you reverse; you press into the military service the inhabitants of the rural districts, and from the rural districts you take, again, the money that is to find substitutes for the denizens of the manufacturing towns. I cannot conceive a greater injustice than the one you propose in the malt tax, nor one that—under all circumstances, all the recollections, embittering class against class, connected with the repeal of the Corn Laws—will be more gallingly felt, both as an injustice and as an insult, by the agricultural body, upon whom it will mainly fall. It will affect that body in all its gradations. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cayley) who moved the Amendment treated the question in a very able manner; but there were one or two points that he only partially touched upon, with regard to which I will beg leave to make a few observations, Of course the increased price of beer will tend to diminish the demand for barley; but it will do something more than that. Already the high price of bread has diminished the consumption of beer, and has, therefore, tended in some degree to check the cultivation of barley; and now comes your new tax to discourage altogether the cultivation of the ordinary barley, for your tax falling alike on all qualities of barley, the price of the inferior barleys will sink much below the present proportion to the superior barleys, and there will therefore be a tendency to cultivate none but that of a superior quality, Again, your tax necessitates increase of capital by the maltster, and whatever necessitates increase of capital tends to restrict trade and brings fewer purchasers into the market. There is, however, another and a stronger reason against the selection of a special tax bearing so markedly upon a special class. Upon entering into this war, which, no doubt, does require all our united energies, it certainly would be wise to forbear whatever tends to create or reopen all class grievances and all class contests among ourselves, and this would be the more especially wise with regard to the agricultural class, because you know perfectly well that an angry excitement has long existed in that class in consequence of that change in your commercial policy as to which I will not now argue whether it was right or wrong; and you must remember that the only boon or mode of conciliation proffered to that class was the proposition for the reduction of the malt tax. Upon the failure of that proposition, a party, supposed to be not very friendly to the landed interest, came into power, and now your attempt to add 50 per cent to this tax, which the friends of the agricultural interest desire to reduce, will be regarded as a fresh blow, as a new humiliation; it will exasperate those feelings which it was desired to extinguish, and, by damping the ardour with which the war should be prosecuted, it is calling in the exciseman to be the ally of Russia. Farmers, like all other Englishmen, will readily submit to taxes, however onerous, provided you can convince them that they are fair, but I ask you whether any farmer can upon any principle look upon this tax as a fair one? You force on him free trade, by which you concede that he has been a sufferer; you refuse to retract your steps by a single import duty, and, when he asks you for free trade for himself to enable him to cultivate that crop which he prefers, you not only refuse his request, but add 50 per cent to the tax upon the only article in which he conceives that free trade would be desirable to him. Why did the Government decline to proceed with the Parliamentary Reform Bill? It was not so much because they could not find time to deal with it on account of being so much occupied with the details of the war— it was not so much because the public mind was distracted from all such considerations by the idea of the war—as it was because the Bill contained provisions affecting agricultural constituencies, which could not be discussed at a popular hustings without reawaking the division of classes, without raising the mischievous cry of "Town and Country;" but what you could not effect by your Reform Bill you are resolved to effect by your Budget, for where you proposed to increase the franchises of the great towns, you now propose to exempt them from all partial burdens, and to throw those partial burdens upon the agricultural constituencies, which you proposed by your Reform Bill to enfeeble and deluge with an inundation of urban voters; so that it does seem as if you desired to justify the suspicion that you have some determined hostility against the cultivators of the land. [Mr. OSBORNE: Hear, hear.] Oh! you grant that. The hon. Gentleman has the courage to avow what his superiors disguise. You have a determined hostility against the cultivators of the land, and you carry on a party warfare against them, now against their political influence, now against their pecuniary interest. I must say that the whole proceedings connected with this war and with this War Budget do invite one to inquire whether we have really gained so much by that stupendous sacrifice of private inclination which the public virtue of our Ministers induced them to make when they consented to share among them the disagreeable fatigues of office. Most Governments have been formed by the combination of opinions, but this Government was formed upon the grander principle of the diversity of talent. Great men, long rival and antagonistic statesmen, consented to act together. Lord Aberdeen announced himself as a Liberal Conservative; the noble Lord the Member for London as a Conservative Liberal; but until we saw those great men acting together we should no more have supposed that a Liberal Conservative in one House was the same thing as a Conservative Liberal in the other, than that a horse chestnut was identical with a chestnut horse. But what has this talent done for us? Where and how have these wonderful capacities, this extraordinary experience of public affairs, been displayed? The First Lord of the Admiralty evinces his remarkable sagacity and foresight by entering office with a vehement invective against the Emperor of France, whose flag now sails beside our own. The Ministers who undertake our foreign affairs can only exonerate themselves from the charge of having taken in the Emperor of Russia, by lamentable complaints that they were egregiously taken in themselves. The domestic genius of this incomparable Cabinet is shown in the preparation of a Reform Bill, for which you are compelled, even before war was announced, to own the ungrateful apathy of the people; and your experience in practical affairs is thus evinced by being as blind to the temper of the English public as you were to the designs of the Russian enemy. And now, in that department of finance, on which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been so severe a critic upon his predecessors, from William Pitt to Lord Monteagle, and from Lord Monteagle to my right hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), what have been all your fiscal operations? A series either of fallacious promises or costly blunders. Where was the stateman's prophetic eye when last year the right hon. Gentleman based all his calculations upon the removal of the income tax in seven years; when he would not listen a moment to the possibility of war? What has become of the cheerful complaisance with which he replied to that inquisitive clerk who complained of his income tax; and what was at least one-half of the right hon. Gentleman's speech the other night composed of? Why, an eloquent vindication of what the world still believes to be mistakes. Now, Sir, I do not pretend to be a competent judge of the right hon. Gentleman's financial schemes. But let me put an analogous case, more in my own way. If I were to publish a new book, and I prefixed to it a preface that would occupy three or four mortal columns of the Times newspaper, tending to show that the three books I had last written were not the notable failures which, whether through ignorance or malignity, the public had been led to suspect, sure I am that I could not give a greater triumph to hostile critics, or take a course more likely to make the friendly infer that I had some misgivings on the subject myself. One thing is clear—success never needs an excuse. The right hon. Gentleman was pleased to flavour the compliments that he bestowed the other night on Mr. Pitt with a sarcastic reproach on the errors of that Minister. I am not Mr. Pitt's apologist. Errors he may have committed, no doubt; but of all defects, what is that which the right hon. Gentleman selects for his censure? Why, that Mr. Pitt did not see the war at a distance; that Mr. Pitt was short-sighted. And this charge comes from a Gentleman who was the only man out of his own Cabinet who could not foresee the war which he has now to provide for—from a Gentleman who converts stocks and can't foresee the results—who has one Budget in March, and another in May,— this is the Gentleman who sneers at Mr. Pitt as short-sighted! Sir, whether Mr. Pitt did or did not commit an error by his system of loans is not that very easy question to decide which the right hon. Gentleman presumes it to be on Mr. M'Culloch's authority. Mr. M'Culloch's was no authority for the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the malt tax; but, Sir, whether as a political economist Mr. M'Culloch be right or not in censuring Mr. Pitt's financial policy in the earlier years of the French war, there are other and grander views than those of political economy and finance involved in the Government of mankind and the safety of nations. On entering into war with a formidable Power, Mr. Pitt may have reasonably supposed that it was not wise to discourage the people by onerous measures of taxation in the first instance. He may have thought, as an Englishman and a patriot, that his first duty was to maintain the spirit of his countrymen, and that posterity would pardon the loans he raised in return for the ample remuneration of interest he secured—remuneration in extended empire—augmented commerce —imperishable honour. And these were our returns when at the close of the war England emerged the first State in that Europe her arms had freed and delivered, and so lightly shook off from her shoulders the burden of these loans you have the ungrateful arrogance to condemn that every year throughout the peace we have increased in wealth and resources, and since 1831 almost every year has seen some vast diminution of taxes accompany the payment of debt. So much has been said about our not saddling posterity that it seems as if it were intended to insinuate that this is not a war to be waged on behalf of posterity, but for some fleeting and selfish purpose of our own. If that be so, I call on our Ministers to recall our fleets, and to disband our armies—a war which is not for posterity is no fitting war for us. But, surely, if ever there was a war waged on behalf of posterity, it is the war which would check the ambition of Russia and preserve Europe from the outlet of barbarian tribes, that require but the haven of the Bosphorus to menace the liberty and the civilisation of races as yet unborn. It is not our generation that need fear if the flag of Russia waved to-morrow over the ruins of Constantinople. The encroachments of Russia are proverbially slow; it would require a quarter of a century before she could recover the exhaustion of her own victories and tame into convenient serfs the brave population she had conquered. It is for all time that we wage the battle. It is that the liberties of our children may be secured from some future Attila, and civilisation guarded from the irruptions of Scythian hordes. On this ground, then, we might fairly demand the next generation to aid us in the conflict we endure for their sake. Into that question in all its bearings I will not at present enter; it is complicated and difficult; but, at least, my plain common sense makes me sure of this—that if you desired to make the people as reluctant to proceed with the war as you were slow and blind to prepare for it, you could not take more effective means than by such speeches as the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered at Manchester, and such taxes, derived, at the very first commencement of military operations, from sources the most direct, palpable, odious in themselves, and unfair in their assessment—as you propose by this Budget to create.


said, he desired to recall the House from the regions of fancy to the consideration of the sober realities of the case, from which it had been too much withdrawn. From much that had been said that evening, it appeared to him that they were not grappling with the awful condition into which the country was at present drawn. He need not, for the tenth time, repeat in that House all he had said concerning the malt tax. It was not because he was interested personally in this thing, or because the farmers and all his constituents were interested in it, that he had ever opposed the malt tax, whoever might he the Minister, but because it was his firm conviction that the depriving the labourer of his drink, beer, was productive of more immorality than all their reformatory schools could ever prevent. He agreed in everything the hon. Gentleman who opened the debate had said respecting this tax. It was one of the worst that could possibly be imposed; and he entirely approved of the Budget of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the late Administration. That was a bold and manly Budget; and it was to carry out principles which they (the Ministerialists) had falsely inculcated, but which they never had the courage to carry out in the face of their own supporters. There was no expression condemnatory of this tax in which he would not join. He repeated his belief that it was the very worst possible tax; but that was not all. They had on all sides of the House cheered on the war; they had said to others, "Go and bleed on the battle-field, and sacrifice your health, while we sit at home at ease;" and now, when, for the first time, they were brought to grapple with the realities of war, they began to shrink from them. He had told the Minister before that the Opposition would lead him into a mess, but would never assist to get him out of it. It was impossible to propose any single tax against which the very stupidest man in the House could not find some valid objection. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) proposed the very best tax that could be proposed—the most just and the most fair—namely, the house tax; but they had given the power in this coun- try into the hands of the householders; and the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) if he had his own way, would give it ten times more still. Well, then, the question was, were they going to raise money or not, and whose pocket did they mean to pick. The householders had told the right hon. Gentleman opposite that he should not pick theirs, and he (Mr. Drummond) said that they ought not to pick the pockets of the agriculturists. But the latter were in a minority, and could not help themselves; and so their pockets would be picked. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was perfectly right when he spoke of delusions practised on this subject; and he believed the right hon. Gentleman spoke of the difficulties which a Chancellor of the Exchequer experienced in the City. But he ought to know by this time that a popular Chancellor of the Exchequer was a man who let the loan contractor rob the public. Let them beware of a popular Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) was not a popular Chancellor of the Exchequer, and that was one great reason why he (Mr. Drummond) supported the right hon. Gentleman. If the manufacturer turned useless cotton, by his labour, into something that could be worn, and if the farmer took a few grains of corn, and turned them into many quarters, or converted a lean beast into a good fat one, they did their country some service. But what did a loan contractor do? He merely took their money out of their pockets, and put it into his own. The loan contractor added nothing to the public wealth. And then some Gentleman said, "Oh, give us paper; carry on the war by a paper currency." That would be doubly cheating posterity. He thought the manner in which the present Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke of Mr. Pitt amounted to a most indecent sneer. If the right hon. Gentleman expected to be Minister at the close of the present war, he certainly must calculate on living to the age of Methuselah. But let him be tender of the reputation of Mr. Pitt; let not one who was just beginning to buckle on his armour sneer at the man who had taken his armour off. It was a most ill-advised sneer. He was sorry to say that they had made that House such, that except for the purposes of destruction and opposition to everything that was right, he knew not for what it was effective. How on earth they were going to carry on this war, passed his comprehension. In all things unity was essential for every practical purpose. Where was the unity in the Cabinet? And where was the unity in that House? "Oh," they said, "we are all for war, and we will give money for the support of the war;" and yet they did not like tax A, or tax B, or tax C; and so he might go through all the letters of the alphabet. But they had entered into a partnership. He had heard of a partnership where one man found the money, and another the brains. Now, he did not know, in this partnership between the Emperor of the French and the Ministers of England, who found the money, but he was sure it was the Emperor who found the brains. The Ministers most certainly had gone on in his wake; he was the head, and they were the tail. He had led them from first to last. He (Mr. Drummond) did not wish to make comparisons, for comparisons, as Dogberry said, were "odorous;" but all he wished was, that this country had a Foreign Minister who could write a despatch as well as M. Drouyn de Lhuys. He suspected that their new ally saw into them quite as keenly as they saw into themselves. He strongly suspected that their new ally saw, what he (Mr. Drummond) took the liberty of stating at the beginning of this question, that that House and the country would not support the war; for he heard accounts of a camp of 100,000 about to be formed at Boulogne. They were told that this was for the purpose of watching Prussia. Let them tell that to the marines. It was, however, satisfactory to know that there was a select set, a pleasant club, meeting in Downing Street, and dining together every Wednesday, that was firmly persuaded that the camp at Boulogne was for the purpose of watching Prussia. He did not believe it, and his advice was that they should embody the militia, and have three good permanent camps—one in the north of England, another in the midland counties, and a third in the south—of 30,000 men each; and as to their getting rid of the malt tax, they might think themselves lucky if they escaped a double malt tax and a double income tax, with the addition of the house tax. After all, he said that they might be well content if, by such means, they could save England from being the battlefield of Europe.


who rose amid loud cries of "Oh! Oh!" and "Divide," said, that he begged to assure those hon. Gentlemen who not only then, but during the last few hours, had endeavoured to stifle the discussion and to interrupt the debate by more indecorous and unseemly conduct than he believed he had ever seen in that House, that he should not stand for many minutes between them and the division for which they professed to be so anxious. He had risen principally to express his astonishment that a Government which had asked for 2,500,000l. of new taxes had not condescended to rise to vindicate their proposition. The objections to this tax had been stated at the beginning of the evening in a most able and elaborate speech by his hon. Friend the Member for the North Riding (Mr. Cayley). It was true that his hon. Friend had been answered by the noble Lord the Member for Ports- mouth (Viscount Monch), and the hon. Member for Norwich (Mr. Warner), but he did not think that the House had heard from either of those hon. Members any very forcible reply to the speech of his hon. Friend; and he thought that even the arguments of the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. J. Wilson), such as they were, had been more than disposed of by the able and powerful speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire (Sir B. Lytton). He asserted that they had a right to call upon the Government to answer these powerful arguments, which had not been met, and that they were justified in expecting some explanation of the reasons why they had selected this tax, which had been shown to be most unjust in its operation, as one of the modes by which they intended to defray the expenses of carrying on the war. Were they deterred from entering into that explanation by the speech which had just been made by his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond)? What the vote of his hon. Friend would be he found it difficult to collect from his speech. He confessed he did not know; but a more severe censure of a tax than he had passed upon that now proposed by the Government he had never heard. When his hon. Friend, however, went on to say, after passing a most just censure upon that proposition, that he felt in the present condition of that House that whatever tax might be proposed, whether it were A, B, C, or D, objections would be raised to it, as they were now raising objections to their proposal for increasing the malt tax, he must say that he thought his hon. Friend had not fairly met the question before the House, or done justice to the motives by which the Opposition were animated in the objections which they now made. He (Sir J. Pakington) felt the difficult and painful position in which he and his Friends were placed by being compelled to object to the proposition which had been brought forward by the Government for meeting the expenses which would be incurred by the war; but he would assert that the blame for that difficulty rested with the Government, on account of the selection which they had made of the particular impost which they had proposed to the country. The Opposition had endeavoured from the commencement of the Session to meet the Government in the fairest possible spirit; they had given them all the support which any Administration could expect from an Opposition in the proposals which they had made connected with the war; they concurred with the Government in the justice of the war in which we were embarked; they concurred with them in the principle which they had laid down, that so far as possible the expenses of the war ought to be defrayed from the income of the year; and they agreed with them that the country should not be involved in further debt if it could be avoided; but, while so concurring, they had a right to expect in the taxes which they were about to impose upon the country, first, that the Government should so shape them as to be equal and just to all classes of the people; and, secondly, that they should so devise them that there should be a fair and reasonable prospect that the taxes imposed should realise the amount of money that was required, and which the Government expected to derive from them. He believed that the increased malt tax proposed by the Government was deficient in both those conditions. He would not at that hour (ten minutes past eleven) detain the House by going into the past history of the malt tax, but he thought that a reasonable doubt might be inferred from it, whether the increase of 50 per cent now proposed would not so diminish the consumption that the Government would fail to derive the revenue which they anticipated from the increased tax. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that he had made an allowance of 5 per cent for the diminution of con- sumption. He (Sir J. Pakington) believed that allowance to be quite insufficient. Apart from that, however, he objected to this tax more broadly and distinctly on account of the impolicy and injustice of thus selecting the landed interest for this additional impost. He thought it a most impolitic act on the part of the Government at this moment, when unanimity was so desirable, and when the Government had themselves made sacrifices of their views and feelings to ensure that unanimity, that they should have selected for augmentation the particular tax which they knew must revive old feelings and that sense of class legislation which had given so much offence, and caused so much painful difference in this country. It was only last year that he and his Friends had raised well-founded objections against the impost which the Government had placed upon land by the succession duty. The answer which at the time was made to that was, that personal property was already saddled with the legacy tax. In reply, the Opposition showed the Government that 17,000,000l. of taxation was borne by real property in this country, and that that was more than a compensation for the legacy duty, or any other duty borne by personal property. Nevertheless, for the sake of such popularity as the Government could catch by that proposition, they had forced that impost upon the land. They now proposed to double the income tax. The Opposition had offered no objection to that, although the Chancellor of the Exchequer had admitted last year that real property paid 9d. in the pound, while other property paid 7d., so that now, when it was doubled, real property paid ls. 6d. in the pound, while other property only paid ls. 2d. That excess of 2d. in the pound had been admitted to amount to 460,000l., and the tax as it was now proposed, therefore, would throw 920,000l. a year upon real property beyond that which other property would bear. Notwithstanding that, however, they now proposed, after all that the land had suffered, to impose an increased 50 per cent upon the same interest through the medium of the malt tax. He must say that such a course was most unwise and impolitic; and he thought, when the Government had selected a tax which was open to these grave objections, that the House and the country had a right to expect from them some vindication of their proposition, and some answer to the objections which had been urged.


I cannot, Sir, permit the debate to close without declaring that I think that the question now before the House is a much wider one than the right hon. Gentleman opposite and those who preceded him upon the same side have been willing fully to admit. They have said, and I admit the justice of the allegation, that with regard to the measures calculated for carrying on the war, which they as well as we think just, they have given their support to the present Government, although differing from them upon many points of public policy. I am willing to admit that support, and if it be proper or necessary to thank Gentlemen for performing their duty, I am ready to thank them for so doing. But the only question upon which the Government were likely to meet with difficulty, upon which they had to call on the patriotism of this House, and upon which they had to appeal to the spirit and feelings of the country to support them, was in the measures of taxation which they had to propose; and I cannot believe that it is a consideration of the nature of this particular tax which really induces hon. Gentlemen opposite to object to our present proposition. Well, they tell me that we are engaged in a just war—that we are engaged in a war with a mighty Power which now threatens to swallow up the dominions of one of our allies—which is moving mighty armaments over the face of Europe; and that, in contemplation of that circumstance, and of the danger consequent upon it, they are in readiness to make an effort to preserve to this country its character and station; that they are willing to render great services to Europe, and are ready to involve immense sacrifices, but that 1s. 3d. per bushel upon malt is really too great a sacrifice to make. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir J. Pakington) and the hon. Baronet the Member for Hertfordshire (Sir B. Lytton), who preceded him, absolutely spoke as if the whole of this taxation were to be laid upon the land. The right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Baronet have reminded the House of a question which arose when we considered the income tax last year, and which they say we ought to bear in mind in considering it this year. The right hon. Gentleman the late Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed when in office, and the hon. Member for Hertfordshire proposed when out of office, that we should make a discrimination with respect to incomes; that there should be discrimination in favour of trade and of income derived from trade and commerce; that persons deriving incomes of 20,000l. or 30,000. a year derived from commerce were to pay at a less rate than those persons who derived an income of 200l. or 300l. a year from land. That was the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman, against which we protested, and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is now represented as being so hostile to the landed interest, pointed out that, if such a distinction were made, it would be adverse to the land, and would become more and more so, if it should ever become necessary to increase the income tax in order to carry on a war. My right hon. Friend pointed out that, if such a necessity arose, the difference of 7d. and 5d. would become a difference of 10d. and 1s. 2d. I, on that occasion, ventured to point out that, if we once began to make such a distinction, it might be carried still further, and that nothing could be more dangerous to the landed interest, if engaged in war, than that the commerce and trade of the country should feel that the system of taxation was one which would fall lightly upon them, and of which the evils would fall upon the land, and that they would, therefore, be inclined to support an increase of taxation. Those who are opposing the present proposal may be those persons who declare themselves to be the friends of the farmer; but I believe that no more dangerous proposition to the land was ever made than that which was made that year. We have preserved the income tax such as Mr. Pitt framed it and continued it throughout the war. But my right hon. Friend said, after all, the income tax could not be carried to the lowest incomes, and there must be a point from which every arrangement on grounds of convenience and practical utility must stop. But are those who have an income less than 100l. a year to be entirely free from taxes increased in order to sustain the honour and character of the country? My right hon. Friend said that, in his opinion, it was unwise to adopt such a principle. Then we come to taxes upon articles of consumption; and it seems to me that, in the first place, unless you impose taxes upon articles of general consumption, you will not obtain a revenue, and if you impose taxes upon articles of general consumption, but which are at the same time articles of prime necessity, you will, in my opinion, commit an act of injustice and inflict a very considerable hardship; and therefore the maxim should be to impose a tax upon articles of general consumption which are not articles of prime necessity. Now, Sir, I know no articles to which this description so well applies as the articles mentioned in the Bill before us—malt and spirits. Both these articles are articles of very general consumption, and are articles upon which we are sure to raise a very considerable revenue, and of which it is not likely that there will be any very great diminution of consumption, and yet they are articles which no man can say are such articles of prime necessity as candles or as soap, from which we last year removed the tax, or that any great hardship is inflicted by this additional tax. If this be the case, if we are to add to the income tax, there can be no better article upon which we can impose some additional taxation than the article malt. To impose that additional taxation is only to raise the taxation to one-half of what it was in the latter part of the last war. It is not very much greater than it was in the year 1775, when Adam Smith pointed out the policy of taxing beer and malt. But, Sir, there is another question to which the hon. Member for Hertfordshire referred, and to which the hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond) has alluded, and to which, having now risen to address the House, I cannot omit to notice. I refer to the observations which were made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the policy of Mr. Pitt during the first year after he took office. Nothing could be more unjust than to say that those observations were made without any necessity, or that they were not intended to have a bearing, a most important bearing, on the debate in which we are now engaged. My right hon. Friend pointed out that a large sum of money was collected by loans during the first year of the great revolutionary war, and that the small sum of 480,000l. was raised by additional taxation, and he went on to show that that course was proceeded in till it had added very greatly to the national debt. My right hon. Friend also pointed out that the result of Mr. Pitt's proceedings was that 200,000,000l. was to be received in money for the purpose of carrying on the war, and inscribed on the national debt, and that is a sum for which we are now paying interest. He also pointed out that that was a most impolitic course, and that Mr. Pitt afterwards changed that course. Can anything be more true? The loans of Mr. Pitt were raised at 4 and 5 per cent, and in the years 1797 and 1798 at about 6 per cent, and that 6 per cent was not to be reduced when he arrived at peace, but it was payable for ever. My right hon. Friend pointed out that such a course was a ruinous course, and he expressed a hope that it would not be imitated, but he did not attempt to pledge this House, or the Government to which he belonged, never to contract loans for the support of the war; but what he said was, that we should make a great effort, by raising 10,000,000l. additional revenue in the course of the year—and this is surely not too great an effort for a country which is about to engage in a great war, to defray the expenses incurred by the war, and to save the country from those evils which resulted from the debt so improvidently contracted by Mr. Pitt. I am not, like my right hon. Friend, a very great admirer of Mr. Pitt, but I must say that I think that the effort which he made in the years 1797 and 1798, and which was afterwards pursued by Lord Lansdowne, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the Government of Lord Grenville, was conduct worthy of all admiration. I do not think that if, in the face of war, you cannot make an effort to sustain the war by taxes levied during each year to defray the expenses of that war, you ought to leave the whole burden of the war to posterity. This is, in fact, the question which is now before the House. Don't tell me that the malt tax is a tax so objectionable that you would be ready to vote any other tax, but that you cannot vote this. Don't tell me that the landed interest cannot bear 15d. additional duty upon malt. Tell me —what I should be sorry to hear, but what, at least, would be more fair, more manly, and more candid than your present declaration—tell me that you are in favour of the war, that you are ready to vote increases to the Army or to the Navy, but that you are not ready to pay the necessary taxes to defray the expense. Tell me that you shrink from the unpopularity which belongs to any proposal to lay considerable burdens on the country. Tell me that you would wish to escape that obligation by means of loans, or by any other means, but don't tell me that the small addition in the duty upon malt from 2s. 9d. to 4s. will prevent you from supporting the Government at the beginning of a great war. I can imagine what will be the consequence if, the very first time that you are asked for additional taxes to carry on the war—I say the first time, because the tax you have already voted was only for the purpose of defraying the necessary preparations—you refused to support the Government. I can conceive what the effect would be if, when you are called upon to make a great effort to raise, not 2,500,000l., but, on the whole, about 7,000,000l. or 8,000,000l., to support the war, you were to deny to Government your support in carrying on that war. Would not the effect be that throughout Europe a feeling would arise that you did not mean to engage heart and soul in the prosecution of the war—that you meant to give the Government a temporary support, but to shrink from us at the very first opportunity; that you were ready to forego the declarations you had made, and to abandon the opinions you had expressed—in fact, that you were ready to involve the country in a necessarily dishonourable peace. I am not telling you that these are your intentions, but I am asking you whether this would not be the impression which would be produced. ["No, no!"] I will venture to say that no proposition can be more clear, more indisputable. No person will believe that it is merely on account of the increase of the malt tax from 2s. 9d. to 4s. that you refuse to consent to this Bill. It would be said, that as you have refused to agree to a tax which is necessary for the support of the war, the war will not be carried on with energy and perseverance. ["Oh, oh!"] That certainly is my proposition. With regard to the malt tax, we have debated it for the last ten years, and its merits and defects have been canvassed over and over again. Mr. M'Culloch, who is cited as an authority against the tax, recommended in time of peace that the malt tax should be increased, as it was a tax peculiarly well adapted to our system of taxation. Such is the case with regard to the malt tax; and I must say that, if the House intends to support this war, and to maintain the declaration they made when they answered the message from the Crown, they will assent to the second reading of this Bill.


Sir, I have listened to the remarks of the noble Lord with great regret, and, at the same time, with great surprise. The noble Lord has just laid down one of the most extraordinary doctrines of finance ever expressed in this House. The noble Lord has laid it down that if an Opposition approve of a war in which a Government has engaged, it is bound to vote for every war tax that Government proposes without criticism and without cavilling, at the expense of their patriotism if they object. I am of the same policy, so far as the war is concerned, as Her Majesty's Government. I do not want to go into the cause and merits of the war; it is enough that we are involved in war, and, as I said on the first night of our meeting, it is our duty to support Her Majesty. But I reserve to myself, and I hope that all Gentlemen in this House—not merely because they happen to sit on the benches behind me—reserve to themselves the right of criticising the means by which the Government propose to carry on the war, even if we be unanimous in thinking that that war ought to be prosecuted with vigour and effect. The noble Lord says, "You have given in your adhesion to the warlike policy of the Ministry, and, no matter what your opinions are, you are bound to give an uncompromising adhesion to every financial proposal which they bring forward in order to carry on the war." Was there ever such an extraordinary dogma? "What is 15d. a bushel upon malt?" asks the noble Lord. Does the noble Lord forget that, in considering the incidence of taxation, there is something more which a statesman ought to consider than the amount of the burden. A statesman should consider, also, its justice. The tax now proposed is in my opinion, unjust, and for that reason I oppose it. The noble Lord has attempted to withdraw the consideration of the House from the subject immediately before it, by referring to the income tax. Now, the income tax must come before us shortly, and I think it will be a more convenient time to discuss that question when the Resolutions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with respect to the assessment of incomes are laid upon the table than on the present occasion. I confess, therefore, that I do not see the exact point which the noble Lord had in view when he introduced into the debate the proposition of the late Government with respect to the income tax; but, as he thought proper—unnecessarily, as I think—to enter upon that subject, I may, perhaps, be pardoned if I briefly touch upon it. The noble Lord said that the late Government, in their scheme of assessment under the income tax, acted unjustly towards the land, and that it is the present Government who are devoted to the interest of the agriculturists. Why, the late Government, in their scheme relative to the income tax—which by the by they never had an opportunity of propounding to the House—did not think of proposing an assessment which would be favourable to one class or to another, but they attempted, as far as lay in their power, to make an arrangement which, upon the whole, would be advantageous to all classes with reference to the whole scheme of taxation. They did not ask themselves—whether their proposal was for the special advantage of the land or of trade; but they asked themselves whether there should be a difference of assessment upon temporary and permanent incomes, and they resolved, so far as they were concerned, that it should be recognised. In introducing this scheme with reference to the income tax—a subject upon which I wish scarcely to dwell, because the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not present, the late Government, I say, brought forward that scheme with reference to the whole system of our finance. The measures which they brought forward were avowedly only a portion, and a small portion, of the changes which they thought ought to take place in the whole system of our finance; and as much as a matter of policy as of justice in asking the House to enter into a comprehensive revision of our system of taxation, they thought the time had arrived, was ripe and opportune, when a difference of assessment between temporary and permanent incomes should be recognised by the Legislature. It has been said in the course of this debate that this malt tax is not an unjust tax, as we on this side of the House complain of its being. Sir, we complain that it is not only unjust towards those who pay it, but that it is impolitic on the part of the State to have recourse to it. Let the House consider calmly the character of our financial system. One-fourth of our whole ordinary revenue is supplied by a tax upon a single crop grown by the British farmer; and you have now a Bill upon the table which is greatly to aggravate, to the extent of 50 per cent, the amount of that enormous taxation. Never forget, when you are asked to discuss the duties upon spirits and upon malt—never forget that those duties furnish the fourth part of the ordinary revenue of this country. But then it seems, according to the doctrine of to-night, that you may raise from a single article—and that not the supreme and principal crop of the cultivators of the British soil—a sum as large as the entire revenue of important empires, and yet not produce the slightest ill effect upon their profits, upon their skill, and their industry. I have marked some symptoms of late that there is a considerable reaction from those economical opinions that have been so long prevalent and predominant in this House; but I did hardly believe that I should live to hear that an increase of 50 per cent on a tax which now produces the fourth part of the ordinary revenue of the British Empire would not be such an increase of impost that it would diminish the profits or embarrass the skill of the producer. But then, it is said, this is only a tax upon the consumer. "Who cares for the consumer?" says a Free-trader. Well, a little while ago, if any Gentleman on these benches had ventured to refer to the burden of taxation that pressed upon the productive classes of the country, he was treated with jests and jeers. Then we were told that the consumer, that the great consumer—as he was described by a distinguished Member of this House—was the person alone to be considered; that the consuming power was the basis of modern finance; that that was the consideration which ought alone to influence the controversy; and that no tax was now to be considered without a reference to his interests. Now, however, we are assured with a nonchalance that is admirable, and a sang froid quite sublime, that this immense impost is not for a moment to be considered, because it is only a consumer's question. Well, I think it is something to have brought them to that. I think, after all their panegyrics passed upon the consuming power — after the years during which they have too successfully destroyed the laws that protected the productive interests of England—that we should now have it acknowledged that the plea upon which they advanced their doctrines was fallacious—that the object which they wished to cherish was an unfair one— that the great point they wished to achieve was one unworthy of being accomplished —this, I think, is a result which we may look to not without gratification. But then, we are told, when hon. Gentlemen on these benches demand for the British producer the benefits of that unrestricted competition which both sides of the House have now accepted as the principle of our commercial code—we are told that the question of unrestricted competition cannot affect the agriculturist as a producer or manufacturer of malt; and for what reason? Why, because it is said he meets with no competition, whatever be the amount of the impost. With no competition! It may be very true that foreign malt cannot compete with English malt; but the question is, whether beer does not meet with competition in the market from other beverages which may please the palate and claim the patronage of the public? Why, the competition with which beer has to contend is the competition of tea. You know very well that there is no article which comes more into competition with beer than tea, and there it is that the immense tax you are placing upon malt places the domestic producer at an unfair advantage in his competition with a foreign beverage. And then you say that he is entirely free from competition! You must consider the amount of the tax upon malt in comparison with that upon the beverages with which malt conies into competition. It was always felt by successive Governments to be a most difficult thing to deal with the tea duties, because it was impossible to act justly to all parties unless you dealt with the malt duties too. That consideration always prevented the tea duty from being touched. The Government of which I was a Member dealt with the tea duty, and also with the malt tax, while the present Government have dealt with the tea and have not reduced the malt duties. You have thus, of course, increased the severe competition between tea and beer, and now you increase—greatly increase—the duty upon malt, at the very time you are carrying out a system which every year greatly diminishes the duty upon tea. I ask, Sir, is that justice? There is another point which the House ought to consider with reference to this question, and that is the local taxation of the country. The effect of that local taxation has been acknowledged by the highest authorities on both sides of the House. I can point to Ministers of State, and I can even refer to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as acknowledging the peculiar burden of that class of taxation. Well, the House will remember that there was an attempt to compromise the question by diminishing the duties upon malt, and now you are attempting to revive that contro- versy—a controversy at any time most embarrassing, and especially so when you are increasing the general taxation of the country. There is one remark made by the noble Lord so singular, that, as I suppose he must still be looked upon as the leader of the Whig party, I cannot pass it over entirely without notice. The House has not forgotten, and the country will long remember, the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) recently referred to Mr. Pitt. It has been alluded to to-night, and the noble Lord, with an unhappy chivalry, came forward to vindicate the right hon. Gentleman. Now, what did the noble Lord, of all men in the world, say? The noble Lord naturally, and quite consistently, disapproved of the policy, and of course the financial policy, of Mr. Pitt. The noble Lord approves only of the financial policy which doubles the income tax, to which he referred with so much pride and upon the memory of which glory reposes my Lord Lansdowne. He said, "Mr. Pitt may have been a great man in 1797. At that time he had twinges of remorse and salutary repentance;" and, following the recent observations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the noble Lord absolutely recalled the attention of the House to the important fact that in 1797 there was a salutary change in the financial policy of Mr. Pitt. Now, Sir, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was bred and educated a Tory—who may in moments of rhetorical emotion still fancy himself a Tory—that he should criticise—still as he informs us, with feelings of veneration —Mr. Pitt, and that, by an adroit arrangement of periods, he should endeavour to harmonise his criticism of Mr. Pitt's finance with his prepossessions in favour of Mr. Pitt's policy and patriotism—this is all intelligible enough. But how stands the noble Lord in this matter? What was this year 1797, which the noble Lord —I should think to the great astonishment of the Fox Club to-morrow—has chosen this night to refer to? What was this year 1797, and what was this happy period, to which the noble Lord has given in his adhesion, as the moment when Mr. Pitt's eyes were at length opened to the sin of his former ways? Why, I suppose the House has heard—nobody here has forgotten—that in a moment of patriotic disgust at the conduct of Mr. Pitt in raising those terrible loans which we have heard recently so much deplored from the Treasury bench, Mr. Fox, followed by Charles Grey (afterwards the great Lord Grey), and the principal leaders of the Whig party, left the House of Commons, in hopelessness to save the country, and remained for a long time absent from it. But it so happened that in 1797, on the very night referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the very occasion alluded to by that right hon. Gentleman— Mr. Pitt's eyes being, as we are told, at last opened to the error of his ways— on going down to the House of Commons (where he expected only to meet his followers and his creatures), with a large proposition for a measure of direct taxation—such was the indignation of Mr. Fox, such was the indignation of Charles Grey, such was the indignation of that brilliant and eloquent band who had for a long time seceded from their places in Parliament, that (awful apparition!) they suddenly reappeared in their places before the astonished Chancellor of the Exchequer! Why was Mr. Fox there? It was because he was resolved, though he felt how painful, more than painful, was his reappearance in the Senate which he had long relinquished—painful as it was for him to return to his seat and to reappear in the House of Commons, he felt that it was a duty which he owed to the great historic party of which he was the recognised leader, even in its adversity, to come forward in the House of Commons, to denounce the new principles of financial policy brought forward by Mr. Pitt, and to seize the occasion to deliver one of the most eloquent, one of the most thoughtful, and one of the most memorable speeches of his life, in which he laid down what he called and considered the true and permanent principles of Whig finance—principles utterly opposed to the repenting policy of Mr. Pitt—principles which Mr. Fox never deserted or relinquished, and which, notwithstanding the comparative degradation of the office which the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) now fills, I did not believe that he, in deference to the Chancellor of the Exchequer or to my Lord Aberdeen, would have himself relinquished in the House of Commons. There is, Sir, another point to which I feel it my duty to call the attention of the House before a vote is called for on this measure. I object to this tax which we are now called upon to vote, not merely because it is un- just, not merely because it restricts the industry, and diminishes the profits of the agricultural interests of the country, not merely because it is a grievous burden to the consumer—for I acknowledge that in a period of war the consumer must be prepared to bear burdens—but I object to it on account of its grievous impolicy. It is most impolitic that at this period, when you are selecting taxes, you should select one which presses on the cultivators of the soil and on the general interests of the proprietors of the soil. Though I am willing to give credit to every class in the country for being ready at this moment to do their duty to their Sovereign, yet I ask, without fear of contradiction, is it not the fact, from the nature of circumstances, from the character of the constitution, and from other causes, that you have been obliged particularly to appeal to the patriotism, to the resources, to the exertions, and to the energy of the landed interest of the country? We heard a good deal of declamation some time back against the territorial constitution of the country. I ask any Gentleman, in what country could you have found those means of defence which you have found in England, under the influence and by the immediate aid of the territorial classes of this country? Having raised and armed such a militia, I want to know in what country of Europe excepting England, you could have found leaders to whom to intrust such a force. You are, at every moment during which you are advancing in this struggle, more and more obliged to appeal—this is a necessity from which you cannot escape—to the classes connected with the land, and which are at this moment the surest source of safety and security to England. Whether it be the recruit whom you induced to quit his home— or the cultivator of the soil, whose industry you are obliged to disturb, or the proprietor of the soil—these are the classes to whose exertions, sacrifices, and energy you appeal for organising the country? Yet you have so managed your finances that the only odious tax which you have put forward is a tax which, more or less, and, in my opinion, in a great degree does press upon the industry of the soil, which does interfere with the employment of the capital of the cultivators of the soil—and embarrasses, prevents, and restricts the industry on whose resources you mainly rely. It is most impolitic that there should be a reawakening at this mo- ment of a controversy which, if not for ever terminated, would not at a period like the present have been raised by this side of the House. You have come forward and demanded this great amount of 2,500,000l., and not a Minister of the Crown, but upon extreme compulsion, has expressed a word in favour of the proposition. What was the motive of your silence? Did you shrink from discussion? Did you think a debate on ways and means impolitic? Did you think it would give a bad impression if the House of Commons had discussions and divisions on taxation? If such were your feelings, do you not think that the credit of the Government and the resources of the country were much more injured by the way in which the Treasury lately attempted to raise a loan? Is it not more calculated to injure the credit of the country—is it not more calculated to damage you in the eyes of foreign countries—that the Minister of Finance could not go into the City and obtain 2,000,000l. at 4 per cent, than that the Parliament of England should frankly deliberate on the taxes about to be imposed on the people? In my opinion it is better that our foes should see that sums so vast as these—greater than those furnished by the largest provinces of our Imperial foe—should be frankly discussed; in my opinion it is better, rather than see sums given in the churlish, undignified, and unmanly manner in which the Government attempts to filch this measure, that our foes should see that we exercise our functions as representatives of the people, and that, while prepared to support even a Government to which we are opposed, we will to the utmost do our duty to our constituencies in u seein that the, ways and means are adjusted according to the principles of eternal justice.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 303; Noes 195: Majority 108.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Beamish, F. B.
A'Court, C. H. W. Beckett, W.
Adair, H. E. Berkeley, Adm.
Anderson, Sir J. Bethell, Sir R.
Atherton, W. Biddulph, R. M.
Bagshaw, J. Biggs, W.
Baines, R. hon. M. T. Blackett, J. F. B.
Ball, J. Bland, L. H.
Baring, H. B. Bonham-Carter, J.
Baring, T. Bouverie, hon. E. P.
Barnes, T. Bowyer, G.
Bass, M. T. Boyle, hon. Col.
Brand, hon. H Goderich, Visct.
Brocklehurst, J. Goodman, Sir G.
Brockman, E. D, Goold, W.
Brotherton, J, Goulburn, rt, hon. H.
Brown, H. Gower, hon, F. L.
Bruce, H. A. Grace, O. D. J.
Buckley, Gen. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Butler, C. S. Greenall, G.
Byng, hon. G. H. C. Greene, T.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Gregson, S.
Castlerosse, Visct. Grenfell, C. W.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Greville, Col. F.
Cavendish, hon. G. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Challis, Mr. Ald. Grey, R. W.
Chambers, M. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Chambers, T. Grosvenor, Earl
Cheetham, J. Hadfield, G.
Christy, S. Hall, Sir B.
Clay, Sir W. Hankey, T.
Clinton, Lord R. Hanmer, Sir J.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E. Harcourt, G. G.
Cogan, W, H. F. Hardinge, hon. C. S.
Collier, R. P. Hastie, Alex.
Cowan, C. Hastie, Arch,
Cowper, hon. W. F. Heard, J. I.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Heathcote, J.
Crossley, F. Heathcote, Sir W.
Currie, R. Henchy, D. O.
Dalrymple, Viset. Heneage, G. H. W.
Dashwood, Sir G. H, Heneage, G. F.
Davie, Sir H. R. F, Herbert, H. A.
Denison, E. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Denison, J. E. Hervey, Lord A.
Dent, J. D. Heywood, J.
Divett, E. Heyworth, L.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Higgins, G. G. O.
Drummond, H. Hindley, C.
Duff, G. S. Hogg, Sir J. W.
Duff, J. Horsfall, T. B.
Duke, Sir J. Horsman, E.
Duncan, G. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Dunlop, A. M. Howard, Lord E.
Egerton, W. T. Hughes, W. B.
Egerton, E. C, Hume, J.
Elcho, Lord Hutchins, E. J.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Hutt, W.
Ellice, E. Ingham, R.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Jackson, W.
Emlyn, Visct. Jermyn, Earl
Esmonde, J. Johnstone, J.
Euston, Earl of Johnstone, Sir J.
Ewart, W. Keating, R.
Fagan, W. Keating, H. S.
Feilden, M. J. Kershaw, J.
Fergus, J. King, hon. P. J. L.
Ferguson, Col. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Ferguson, J. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
FitzGerald, Sir J. Laing, S.
Fitzgerald, J. D. Langston, J. H.
Fitzgerald, W. R. S. Langton, H. G.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Laslett, W.
Fitzwilliam, hn.C.W.W. Layard, A. H.
Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W. Legh, G. C.
Foley, J. H. H. Lemon, Sir C.
Forster, C. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F
Forster, J. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Fortescue, C. S. Lindsay, W. S.
Fox, R. M, Locke, J.
Fox, W. J. Lowe, R.
Freestun, Col. Luce, T,
Gardner, K. Mackie, J.
Geach, C. Mackinnon, W. A.
Glyn, G. C. M'Cann, J.
MacGregor, Jas. Roche, E, B.
MacGregor, John Roebuck, J. A.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Rumbold, C. E.
Mangles, R. D. Russell, Lord J.
Marjoribanks, D. C. Russell, F. C. H.
Martin, J. Russell, F. W.
Massey, W. N. Sadleir, Jas.
Masterman, J. Sadleir, John
Matheson, A. Sandars, G.
Matheson, Sir J. Sawle, C. B. G.
Miall, E. Scholefield, W.
Milligan, R. Scobell, Capt.
Mills, T. Scrope, G. P.
Milner, W. M. E. Scully, F.
Milnes, R. M. Seymour, Lord
Mitchell, T. A. Seymour, H. D.
Moffatt, G. Seymour, W. D.
Molesworth,rt.hn.SirW. Shafto, R. D.
Monck, Visct. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Moncrieff, J. Smith, J. A.
Monsell, W. Smith, T. B.
Montgomery, Sir G. Smith, M. T.
Morris, D. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Mostyn, hn. T. E. M. L. Smollett, A.
Mowbray, J. R. Stafford, Marq. of
Mulgvave, Earl of Stanley, hon. W. O.
Mure, Col. Starkie, L. G. N.
Murrough, J. P. Stirling, W.
Norreys, Lord Strutt, rt. hon. E.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Stuart, Lord D.
North, F. Sutton, J. H. M.
O'Brien, Sir T. Talbot, C. R. M.
O'Brien, C. Tancred, H. W.
O'Connell, D. Thicknesse, R. A.
O'Flaherty, A. Thompson, G.
Osborne, R. Thornely, T.
Otway, A. J. Thornhill, W. P.
Owen, Sir J. Townshend, Capt.
Paget, Lord A. Tynte, Col. C. J. K.
Paget, Lord G. Uxbridge, Earl of
Palmer, Roun. Vane, Lord H.
Palmerston, Visct. Vernon, G. E. H.
Patten, J. W. Vivian, J. H.
Peehell, Sir G. B. Vivian, H. H.
Peel, Sir R. Walmsley, Sir J.
Peel, F. Walter, J.
Peel, Col. Warner, E.
Pellatt, A. Waterpark, Lord
Perry, Sir T. E. Watkins, Col. L.
Philipps, J. H. Wells, W.
Phillimore, J. G. Whatman, J.
Phillimore, R. J. Whitbread, S.
Phinn, T. Wilkinson, W. A.
Pigott, F. Wilcox, B. M.
Pilkington, J. Williams, M.
Pinney, W. Williams, W.
Ponsonby, hon. A. O. J. Wilson, J.
Portman, hon.W. H. B. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Price, Sir R. Wise, A.
Price, W. P. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Pritchard, J. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Ramsden, Sir J. W. Wrightson, W. B.
Ricardo, J. L. Wyndham, W.
Ricardo, O. Wyvill, M.
Rice, E. R. Young, rt. hon. Sir J.
Richardson, J. J. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Robartes, T. J. A. Berkeley, G. C.
List of the NOES.
Adderley, C. B. Archdall, Capt. M.
Alexander, J. Bagge, W.
Annesley, Earl of Balley, Sir J.
Bailey, C. Gore, W. O.
Baird, J. Graham, Lord M. W.
Baldock, E. H. Granby, Marq. of
Bankes, rt. hon. G. Greene, J.
Barrington, Visct. Grogan, E.
Barrow, W. H. Gwyn, H.
Bateson, T. Halford, Sir H.
Beach, Sir M. H. H. Hall, Col.
Bective, Earl of Hamilton, G. A.
Bellew, T. A. Hamilton, J. H.
Bennet, P. Hanbury, hon. C. S. B.
Bentinck, Lord H. Harcourt, Col.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Hawkins, W. W.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Hayes, Sir E.
Bernard, Visct. Heathcote, G. H.
Blair, Col. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Boldero, Col. Herbert, Sir T.
Booker, T. W. Hildyard, R. C.
Booth, Sir R. G. Hill, Lord A.
Bramston, T. W. Hume, W. F.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Irton, S.
Bruce, C. L. C. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Jones, D.
Burke, Sir T. J. Kelly, Sir F.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Kerrison, Sir E. C.
Burroughes, H. N. King, J. K.
Butt, G. M. Knatchbull, W. F.
Campbell, Sir A. L. Knightley, R.
Carnac, Sir J. R. Knox, Col.
Cecil, Lord R. Knox, hon. W. S.
Chelsea, Visct. Laffan, R M.
Child, S. Langton, W. G.
Christopher, rt. hn.R.A. Lennox, Lord A. F.
Clinton, Lord C. P. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Clive, R. Leslie, C. P.
Cobbett, J. M. Liddell, H. G.
Cocks, T. S. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Codrington, Sir W. Lisburne, Earl of
Coles, H. B. Lockhart, W.
Colvile, C. R. Long, W.
Compton, H. C. Loraine, Lord
Conolly, T. Lowther, hon. Col.
Cotton, hon. W. H. S. Lytton, Sir G. E. L. B.
Davison, R. Macartney, G.
Deedes, W. Malins, R.
Dering, Sir E. Mandeville, Visct.
Devereux, J. T. Manners, Lord G.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. March, Earl of
Dod, J. W. Maunsell, T. P.
Duncombe, hon. A. Meux, Sir H.
Duncombe, hon. O. Miles, W.
Dunne, Col. Michell, W.
Egerton, Sir P. Montgomery, H. L.
Elmley, Visct. Munday, W.
Evelyn, W. J. Naas, Lord
Farnham, E. B. Napier, rt. hon. J.
Farrer, J. Neeld, John
Fellowes, E. Neeld, Jos.
Filmer, Sir E. Newark, Visct.
Floyer, J. Newdegate, C. N.
Follett, B. S. Newport, Visct.
Forbes, W. Noel, hon. G. J.
Forester, rt hon. Col. North, Col.
Forster, Sir G. Oakes, J. H. P.
Frewen, C. H. Ossulton, Lord
Fuller, A. E. Packe, C. W.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Galway, Visct. Palk, L
Gaskell, J. M. Palmer, Rob.
George, J. Parker, R. T.
Gilpin, Col. Percy, hon. J. W.
Gladstone, Capt. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Gooch, Sir E. S. Pugh, D.
Robertson, P. F. Vansittart, G. H.
Rolt, P. Vernon, L. V.
Seymer, H. K. Vivian, J. E.
Shirley, E. P. Vyse, Col.
Sibthorp, Col. Waddington, D.
Smijth, Sir W. Waddington, H. S.
Smith, W. M. Walcott, Adm.
Somerset, Capt. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Spooner, R. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Stafford, A. Welby, Sir G. E.
Stanley, Lord West, F. R.
Stunt, H. G. Whitmore, H.
Sullivan, M. Williams, T. P.
Taylor, Col. Willoughby, Sir H.
Thesiger, Sir F. Woodd, B. T.
Tollemache, J. Wyndham, Gen.
Tomline, G. Wyndham, H.
Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J. Wynn, Maj. H.
Tudway, R. C. Wynne, W. W. E.
Tyler, Sir G. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Tyrell, Sir J. T. TELLERS.
Vance, J. Cayley, E. S.
Vane, Lord A. Stanhope, J. B.

Main Question put, and agreed to; Bill read 2°, and committed for Thursday.

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