§ SIR HENRY HALFORD
said, he 535 wished to inquire of the hon. Secretary of the Treasury whether the attention of the Government had been directed to the difficulties which had occurred in the collection of land tax in the hundred of Gartree in the county of Leicester? whether they were a ware of the interference of the Board of Inland Revenue, tending to the increase of those difficulties? and whether there were any means in contemplation whereby the uncertainty of the law on the subject of the land tax assessment might be removed?
§ MR. J. WILSON,
in reply, said, that the state of the law upon the subject to which the hon. Baronet's question related, though for some time considered doubtful, had, by a recent decision of the courts of law, been made clear. The attention of the Government had not been drawn in particular to the case referred to; and, so far as he knew, the Board of Inland Revenue had not interfered in a manner to create difficulties, or to increase difficulties which might have previously existed; but it appeared that the Land Tax Commissioners for the hundred of Gartree had taken upon themselves to alter the assessment to the land tax from the legal assessment, as settled in the year 1798. The matter stood thus. The parties liable objected to pay upon the altered assessment; the Commissioners refused to receive payment upon any other, and the Board of Inland Revenue, upon being appealed to, had not thought it right to insist upon an assessment which they considered illegal. There was no necessity for any alteration of the law on the subject, as there was no doubt of the assessment of 1798 being the only legal assessment, and it would be illegal to enforce any other. If, however, the Commissioners thought differently, it was their duty to attempt to enforce payment according to their own interpretation of the law, and if they did, the Board of Inland Revenue would have to apply for a mandamus, calling upon them to raise the tax according to the legal assessment.