§ MR. GROGAN
said he rose to move,That this House do resolve itself into a Committee to consider of an Address to Her Majesty, praying that she will be graciously pleased to give directions that the ratepayers of Ireland be relieved from one-half of the expenses of the annual revision of the valuation, in such manner as she may deem fit, and to assure her Majesty that this House will make good the same.He wished to explain that the valuation in Ireland was carried on under an Act of 1828, and since by several other Acts, originally for merely local purposes, the expense having been about £360,000. The ratepayers did not object to its original cost as it was of great local use, but the minute annual revision of it, costing at present £8,300, and likely to cost £12,000 when the whole of Ireland was brought within it, was really of greater use for imperial purposes, as the Government at present, for the expense of copying the documents already framed at the cost of the ratepayers, obtained what formed the basis of their taxation. Upon that was founded the license duty, all levies for Exchequer purposes, the Succession and Legacy Duty, the elective franchise, and to a very large extent the operations of the Incumbered Estates court, and on that 912 ground he thought the ratepayers were entitled to be relieved of part of the expense of making that annual revision.
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, that it was not competent to the hon. Gentleman to move that the House do go into Committee at once; and he should put the Motion, introducing the words "Thursday next."
Motion made and Question proposed,—
That this House will, upon Thursday next, resolve itself into a Committee to consider of an Address to Her Majesty, praying that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that the Ratepayers of Ireland be relieved from one-half of the expenses of the Annual Revision of the Valuation, in such manner as She may deem fit, and to assure Her Majesty that this House will make good the same.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that his hon. Friend had stated his case with great fairness, and he thought that those who had paid attention to this subject would agree that his hon. Friend was justified in bringing the case under the consideration of the House. No doubt this, which might be called a tax for a peculiar interest, was employed for Imperial purposes, and had become part of the machinery by which the public business of Ireland was carried on. When notice of the Motion was given by his hon. Friend, he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) told him that he would consult Sir Richard Griffith on the subject—having received a deputation on the subject—and request that gentleman to draw up a Report, in which the matter might be brought before the Government in all its bearings, and that he would give his sedulous attention to that Report, which would very much influence any determination to which he might come. That Report he had received, but he would honestly say that such had been the pressure of public affairs during the last week, and the demands on him in the conduct of the business of the House, that he had not been able to give that attention to the subject which a question that concerned the Consolidated Fund demanded. He could not undertake to sanction a change which would affect the Consolidated Fund, without giving it a greater scrutiny than he had been able to give it. He would assure his hon. Friend that he would give the subject all the attention it so eminently deserved, and inform him, as soon as it was in his power, of the decision of the Government. He admitted that the subject deserved attention, but he thought it would not be becoming in him to call on the House to permit an addition to be made to the charge on the Consolidated 913 Fund without having had sufficient time to consider the subject.
§ MR. M'CANN
said, he thought that they could not press the Chancellor of the Exchequer further than he had stated, and he had no doubt when the subject was considered justice would be done.
suggested to the Chancellor to consider whether there might not be a saving of expense to the country by making a septennial instead of an annual valuation, from which no particular advantage was derived.
§ MR. GROGAN
said, he was quite satisfied with the statement of the right hon. Gentleman and was content to leave the matter in the hands of the Government. He would therefore withdraw his Motion.
§ Motion by leave withdrawn.