HC Deb 27 April 1871 vol 205 cc1780-810

Order for Committee read.


Mr. Speaker—I rise, Sir, for the purpose of moving that you leave the Chair, and I think it may be for the convenience of the House that I should accompany that Motion with a very short statement referring to the present position of the financial plans of the Government, and our intentions with regard to them. On Tuesday the Cabinet, considering the state of opinion which prevailed with respect to the financial proposals of the Government, and especially with reference to a tax upon matches, authorized my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state that we did not intend to persevere with that proposal. At the same time, however, we were not aware that there was any intention to challenge, or, at least, further to challenge, after the debate of Monday night, the Budget as a whole, or the Government through the medium of the Budget. But on Tuesday evening the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli), in the exercise of a discretion which was perfectly legitimate on his part, as it would have been on the part of any other Member of this House, gave Notice of a Motion challenging the whole of the financial proposals of the Government. Her Majesty's Government was unaware of the fact that this Motion was about to be brought forward until the Notice was actually given; and when we had time to consider it, it appeared to us greatly to alter the situation of affairs. Before that Notice was given our intention was to deal with the Budget in detail, upon the principles we had explained—that is to say, that while we felt ourselves bound to adhere to what we considered to be the main bases and fundamental principles of the scheme, we were ready, so far as was in our power, to consider the opinion of the House and the state of public feeling with respect to any proposals not essential to the object we have in view at the present time. That was, I think, a course perfectly legitimate for us to take as long as the Budget was before the House for consideration in detail; but if the Budget was to be challenged as a whole we did not think that that course could be pursued. We were of opinion that, in such a case, it was our duty at once to make known to the House, who were to be invited to pronounce upon it as a whole, what precise course we intend to pursue in reference to the changes that have been or might be made in it. It has been made known to me quite recently that there is a doubt—though, probably, the right hon. Gentleman opposite is better informed on the subject than I am—as to the regularity of the Motion of which he has given Notice, considered as a Motion to be made in Committee of Ways and Means. That, however, I do not consider very material to my present purpose, as there are plenty of means afforded by the forms of the House which will give the right hon. Gentleman, if he is so disposed—and I must now assume absolutely that he is so disposed—an opportunity of challenging the financial plans of the Government. If we are to consider the Budget in the point of view to which I have alluded, I think it is fair that, without waiting for the incidents of the debate, I should state to the House distinctly what it is that we now deem it our duty to adhere to, how it is proposed to fill up the gap made by the withdrawal of the intended tax upon matches, and what modifications we propose to make in the plans which were announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We cannot depart from what we consider to be the basis of the whole proposal—namely, that we should look in the main, if not wholly, to the income tax for the purpose of providing what is required by the Estimates as they at present stand, and as we mean to adhere to them. With respect to the Estimate of Expenditure, it has already been stated, on the part of the Government, that we shall be too happy if, in the course of the year, we find that the state of circumstances does not compel us to lay out the whole of the money at the disposal of the Government; but we are not prepared to depart from the proposals as they now stand before the House. With reference to the expenditure of the nature contemplated by the present Estimates, and which has been described as belonging to a state of things which we regard as transitory, we do not and shall not think it right to provide for any portion of this expenditure by disturbing the duties that are now imposed upon articles of consumption, with the additional disturbance of all the relations and transactions of trade in connection with the distribution of those articles of consumption all over the country, which would inevitably follow. Lastly, Sir, we must adhere to our view, which is that the interest of the country and the soundness of our financial system require that this expenditure, which the Government has proposed, and a large portion of which the House has voted, should be met by means drawn from the taxation of the country, and not by means drawn from any other source. Having settled that, Sir, it will be asked what we intend to do with the particulars of the Budget. It was the intention of my right hon. Friend, had the matter been considered without prejudice in detail upon the merits of each proposition, to have stated the arguments which, as we think, may very properly be used in favour of our proposals with regard to the legacy, probate, and succession duties, where we framed proposals which we thought to be conducive to the public interest and founded on principles of justice. ["No, no!"] I am not asking for criticism, nor am I endeavouring to filch any sort of admission from hon. Members as to the proposals, and if hon. Members will be content to wait I shall resolve their doubts in a very few moments. We have thought it our duty to look at the state of opinion with regard to this proposal, and we have arrived at the conclusion that, in the state of opinion which prevails, it would be impossible for us to obtain a fair judgment upon the proposal on its merits. ["Oh, oh!" "Hear, hear!"] I am always glad when hon. Members opposite can find relief for the occasional tedium that attends debates in this House in the slightest ray of what may afford amusement; but it does not appear to me that what I have just said suggests any particular ground for amusement, or the reverse—at any rate, I will endeavour to make my meaning clear. In regard to all public topics, there are questions of abstract merits and questions based upon the particular period at which they are brought forward. At the present moment, as at all periods, there are many hon. Members in this House who are indisposed to any augmentation of the burdens upon property, and such Members we have always to reckon upon as the natural and permanent opponents of proposals such as these to which I am now referring. But besides these, we have another set of opinion prevailing more upon this side of the House than on the other, which has reference not so much to the general principle of imposing duties upon property as to the circumstances of the time. I quite admit that an illegitimate combination was contemplated and about to be carried out on last Monday night; but here, between the two classes of opinion I have described, we have what must be admitted on all hands to be a combination of a perfectly legitimate character. We have Gentlemen who are very jealous of the expenditure proposed, and who naturally cling to and interpret strictly any declarations we have made to the effect that the expenditure is of a transitory character, and we have also Gentlemen opposite who urge with no inconsiderable force that they are entitled to object, if they think fit, to proposals involving expenditure and an enlargement of the permanent sources of Revenue. In fact, the House appears to say, and I admit its perfect right so to speak—"We are ready to make provision for the wants you have submitted to us, but we require that the provision shall be made in such a way that we shall be able to keep the subject in our own hands, and shall not place at the disposal of the Government any such enlarged resources as may have a tendency to render permanent an expenditure which you have encouraged us to hope need not be invested with the character of permanency." Under these circumstances, we consider that between those opposed to the proposal on principle and those who are opposed to it on the ground that the time is inopportune, we should have to meet a combination the perfect Parliamentary legitimacy of which we cannot deny, but which would certainly render it quite impossible at the present moment to obtain an entirely unbiassed consideration of the proposal on its own merits. We therefore, Sir, do not intend to submit to the House at the present time the Resolutions relating to the probate, succession, and legacy duties. I hope nothing that I have said can be taken by anyone as indicating that there is any change of opinion on the part of the Government with reference to the justice of the principle upon which that proposition was founded. Well, Sir, we think that our course is a very plain one. It is to make provision for the present exigency from that source which is of all sources the most available for any purposes of a more or less temporary character, and which is likewise recommended by the circumstance that it is easily borne while it lasts, and easily removed when the time comes for the Government to make the surrender. We shall therefore propose that the income tax be increased by 2d. in the pound, and the plan of computing it by percentage will stand over for an impartial expression of public opinion. If, on consideration, we come to the conclusion that its trifling disadvantages are counterbalanced by the flexibility which it unquestionably possesses, Parliament will certainly hear of it again; if, on the contrary, it is found that it introduces labour and complication to an extent which would more than counterbalance the flexibility, I am able to say, on the part of the Government, that we have never considered it so vitally associated with our candour, consistency, or honour as to put us under the imperative obligation of pressing it upon the attention of Parliament. The Budget will therefore stand in such a form that it will be easily intelligible to those who may hear it, and I trust that a favourable hearing and consideration will be given to the alterations and modifications which I have sketched out, and which will be explained more in detail by my right hon. Friend. I have now, Sir, to move that you do leave the Chair.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—(Mr. William Ewart Gladstone.)


I gave Notice, Sir, on Tuesday last, as the House has been correctly reminded by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, that it was my intention to ask the opinion of the House generally upon the Budget proposed by Her Majesty's Ministers. I thought at the time that Budget was not satisfactory, and that the decision of the House might possibly induce Her Majesty's Ministers, on the whole, to re-consider their scheme. Shortly after giving that Notice the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer rose and announced the relinquishment of an important portion of the Government proposals, and it was therefore quite clear that my previous Notice was, under those circumstances, brutum fulmen. And, although it might possibly still become my duty to ask the opinion of the House on the general scheme of the Government, inasmuch as it would be necessary for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make new propositions, to supply the place of those he had relinquished, it was quite clear that it would be impossible for me to proceed, if at all, until the new propositions were before us. The new propositions might be satisfactory; or they might, as a whole, partake of a very different character from the original propositions of the Government; and therefore I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman the First Minister of the Crown should suppose I was bound immediately to proceed with a Resolution which was framed when all the circumstances of the case were so widely different. It had also transpired—and I believe with the knowledge of the right hon. Gentleman—that the highest authority had intimated that by the forms of the House, the Resolution I proposed to submit could not be put; and now the right hon. Gentleman, to-day, expecting I should proceed, or take some opportunity of virtually proceeding with the Motion, announces a number of changes which entirely alter the character of the Budget, in respect to which I intended originally to solicit the opinion of the House. The right hon. Gentleman has given up the succession duties, together with that original proposition of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the tax on matches. The right hon. Gentleman, in intimating the substitute that will be proposed—namely, an income tax at the rate of 2d. in the pound in addition to the present tax, has given up the proposed new mode of assessment, against which I myself, and I believe the majority of the House, had great objection. It will, therefore, be evident to any candid mind that I am not bound, even if I had the opportunity, which I have not, to bring forward my original Notice. But, Sir, it requires time for us to consider the propositions of the Government, and I should be glad to know what period of time the right hon. Gentleman proposes should be given the House for that purpose. [Murmurs.] If there is anybody in the House who can doubt the propriety of such a course, I must make one or two observations upon the position in which the House finds itself in regard to its finances generally, and in regard to the changes proposed by the right hon. Gentleman. Let me make one or two observations on the position of the House. In the first place, we have a Budget, which proposes to provide for the whole deficiency of the year, a deficiency amounting to £2,700,000, by direct taxation. It must be at once acknowledged that that is a plan differing very much in principle from the scheme which the right hon. Gentleman announced in the Budget last week. It was not only announced that a portion of the deficiency should be supplied by means of direct taxation, but a mode of raising that direct taxation was submitted to the House by the right hon. Gentleman. At this time last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer reduced the indirect taxation of the country to the amount of nearly £3,000,000, and this year he is proposing to increase the direct taxation according to this new suggestion by nearly the same amount. Such a proposition of extreme gravity demands some time for the House to consider whether they are prepared to sanction it, and I would not ask for an immediate judgment on the matter at issue. But, besides this, there are other circumstances connected with this question, which appear to me to make it most urgent that time should be allowed us to consider the new Budget—for this is a new Budget. The right hon. Gentleman cannot forget that the real deficiency which the Government ought to consider and contemplate is not measured by the precise sum of £2,700,000, as estimated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but that this year there have been declarations made by that right hon. Gentleman in his Financial Statement, and that there have been proposals by Bills now lying upon the Table, which will very much increase the liabilities of this country in future years, and which liabilities they would be shortly called on to meet. Now, Sir, I am not myself generally inclined to mix up the financial arrangements of one year with those of its successors; sufficient for the year are the burdens thereof; but there are cases, and such cases must be familiar to Gentlemen in this House, when it has been necessary to take that course, and the present Prime Minister, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, on more than one occasion produced financial schemes which connected the finances of one year with the finances of those that succeeded. In addition to this deficiency announced, which, in round numbers, amounts to £2,700,000, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Speech, calling attention to the enormous Estimate under the heading of "Miscellaneous," told us that that £900,000 will consist simply of return money expended on the Abyssinian Expedition, and will not occur in the years to follow. The right hon. Gentleman also very properly referred to the increased liability for which we must be prepared hereafter, if the abolition of purchase in the Army is decided upon by the House, and he very properly reminded the House that the £600,000 provided for that purpose in the Budget of this year must be at least doubled next year. Well, £900,000 and £600,000 make £1,500,000, and I think the House will remember that there is a Bill upon the Table of the House, to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer also very properly referred in his Budget—a Bill respecting local taxation, containing, as I think, a monstrous proposition for the transfer of a branch of Imperial taxation to satisfy the local cravings of obscure bodies, who, if they are known for anything, are known for the painful notoriety of their general administration of local funds. If the £1,200,000 which is thus to be transferred is added to the £1,500,000 I have already referred to, the House will see there is another sum of £2,700,000, which we must contemplate when we are considering the Ways and Means. My right hon. Friend near me reminds me that the cost of retirement must also be provided for, but I shrink at this moment from the contemplation of a subject so vast. Cursorily adverting to it, I will, on this occasion, confine myself to the figures with which we have been furnished by the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. Well, now, Sir, I take the Estimates of the right hon. Gentleman for what they declare themselves to be, and I do so sincerely, and with the hope that in any discussions we may have on these financial subjects, we shall not find, on either side of the House, that loose style of debate which does not accept the Estimates of the Minister of Finance. Taking, then, these Estimates as genuine, and therefore not having any right to trust to the increase of the Revenue, and not having, as I think, under the circumstances, any very strong reason to hope for the reduction of expenditure, we really have before us the prospect of a deficiency of between £5,000,000 and £6,000,000 to encounter the year after the current financial year. Now, some may say—"Let us shut our eyes to these contingencies." It would not be prudent, I doubt whether it would be just to do so, considering that they form part of the Financial Statement of the right hon. Gentleman. I doubt whether we should be justified in omitting them from our consideration; but there are two most weighty reasons which in my mind render it imperative that we should take them into consideration, and immediately, in consequence of the observations made this evening by the First Minister of the Crown. We must recollect that the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave us some intimation of resources which he contemplated and to which he gave his approval. And what were they? Of all the Ministers on that Bench the Chancellor of the Exchequer—I am not speaking of the right hon. Gentleman personally or individually, but of the office—is the one who should most weigh his words, for an incautious phrase from the Chancellor of the Exchequer may seriously affect the commerce of the country, the course of trade, the mode of investment, the legitimate speculation and enterprise of the country. I am quite sure that no Chancellor of the Exchequer is insensible to that responsibility, and I am certain that the distinguished Gentleman who at present occupies that office is too conscious of the weight attached to the words of a Chancellor of the Exchequer to have used any expression of that kind without having well weighed and matured it. Now, what were those intimations that he made to the House? The Chancellor of the Exchequer, of course contemplating this possible and probable deficiency of between £5,000,000 and £6,000,000, and assuming, as he had a right to assume, that he would retain his office, and have to face this deficiency, told us in his Budget Speech that there were means of taxation which had his entire approbation, though they might be regarded with some little prejudice in the country. In the first place, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said—"We have an excellent mode of supplying this deficiency, and that is to tax machinery employed in the cultivation of the soil." And that is what the Chancellor of the Exchequer calls putting an end to exemptions. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says the tax which he approves is a tax upon the horses and carts of the farmers, and, I believe, the carts of other traders, which would produce little less than £2,000,000; and he further said that it had the merit of fixity, and therefore that it could be depended on. I heard some one ask the other day—"What is the use of Chambers of Agriculture?" I have an opinion that Chambers of Agriculture are very useful, and if their proceedings are regulated with discretion may be of great benefit. But no doubt Chambers of Agriculture will now have something to occupy their time, when they find that by the plans of Her Majesty's Government our finances are brought into such a state that in the course of 12 months we shall probably have a deficit of between £5,000,000 and £6,000,000, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is of opinion that a rational and politic mode of largely supplying that deficiency is to tax machinery required for the cultivation of the soil. In this case, I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in laying down this principle, he would extend it to the horse-power of manufactures generally? If so, I can assure him he will find in me a determined opponent. This being the first intimation of the taxes of the future, I would ask, what is the other? It is a very serious one, and it refers particularly to the tax which the right ton. Gentleman has withdrawn from the Budget this evening, but with the significant communication that the principle of that tax will be brought before our notice at another time. Let us look at what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his speech. The proposition, speaking generally, was to double the duties on succession. A great deal may be said against such a tax upon grounds of impolicy and injustice. I will, however, say nothing about it at present, as it is withdrawn; but must call attention to the extraordinary declaration made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Speech, because it is one of the most remarkable announcements that ever was made by a Chancellor of the Exchequer in this country. He told us that he had deeply considered this question of succession, and the taxes upon it, and, in his opinion, the quality of consanguinity in the arrangement of such taxes ought not to be recognized by the State. It would appear that this is a course which the right hon. Gentleman, in furtherance of his financial views, is prepared to pursue at another time. Now, in this announcement, I believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer has put himself in entire opposition to the traditions, and even the passionate convictions, of the people of this country, and has identified himself with a principle of taxation which, as far as I know, has never been recognized by the laws of any State, ancient or modern, at least by none laying claim to civilization. Such is the position, then, in which we find ourselves. If the Estimates of the Chancellor of the Exchequer unhappily prove true—and so we must treat them, because they are founded on authentic information, and after consideration by eminent men—we must look forward to more than a possibility of a deficit of £5,000,000 or £6,000,000; and we have a Ministry which has already officially intimated to us that it is ready at any time to bring forward measures to supply such a deficiency which, as far as succession is concerned, will not recognize the principle of consanguinity, and, so far as the machinery for cultivating the soil is concerned, that it shall be subject to a tax from which every other trade in the country is free. These are grave considerations, and I cannot doubt but that they will fall deep into the minds of the people of this country. It is impossible to avoid the consideration of them, when evening after evening we have parts of the original Budget withdrawn from our attention in this perfunctory manner. What is our position? We have a new Budget. The indirect taxation which was proposed has been given up, and, as I think, most properly. The scheme for doubling the duties on succession has been relinquished somewhat hastily, but in a manner very satisfactory to the House and country at large. The mode, too, of assessing the income tax, novel and vexatious as it was, has already disappeared. I have read somewhere of the sweet simplicity of the Three per Cents. There is a sweet simplicity in the present Budget which, at any rate, will not allow any person to be mystified as to its character or contents. Then let us clearly understand our position, after all the schemes which we have for the last two years endured. We must remember it was only this time last year that in the most wanton and unnecessary manner, in a manner which very slightly benefited any class, and, so far as one branch of the Revenue was concerned, benefited none, we lost by the advice of the Chancellor of the Exchequer £3,000,000 of indirect taxation, and now this identical Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to inflict upon us £3,000,000 of direct taxation. This is the proposition which ought, in my opinion, to be gravely considered; and I cannot doubt but that the Government, under the altered circumstances of the case, will propose such a day for its consideration as will give us, and perhaps the country, full opportunity to consider the best course to be pursued. Before I sit down I wish to make a remark which when I entered Parliament would have been unnecessary, but which, to my surprise, has become necessary in in the Parliament of which I am now a Member. Sir, I protest against the doctrine which, if it has not been directly enunciated, has at least been inferentially impressed upon the House, and that constantly—I refer to the doctrine that because we have agreed to Votes in Committee of Supply we are bound to approve the Ways and Means proposed for those Votes. Nothing could be more unconstitutional and unreasonable. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] The right hon. Gentleman says, "Hear, hear!" I do not say that the right hon. Gentleman impressed that upon the House with as much decision as the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but the right hon. Gentleman inferentially led the House to believe that it was our duty, unless we proposed preferable Ways and Means to his own, to accede to them. What is that but the doctrine I have described? So far as I am concerned, I have no wish to shrink from the responsibility of having agreed to the Votes in Supply, and I believe there is no Gentleman on this side of the House who at all shrinks from such responsibility; but we will vindicate our right to question and criticise the Ways and Means of the Ministry; to ask ourselves whether they are adequate, whether they are just, whether they are politic. We have questioned your Ways and Means; we did not think they were adequate; we did not think they were just; we did not think they were politic. It was politic, I suppose, in the estimation of the Government, to propose a tax upon matches? It was just, in their opinion, to put a tax upon the home and the orphan—the tax upon succession. The income tax comes next; and that, I suppose, is in their view, an adequate tax. We are prepared to consider the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman: his Ways and Means are now simple. What has occurred with respect to this Budget shows the wisdom of the course the House took in questioning the Ways and Means; for the proposals of the Government have been all withdrawn, to the satisfaction of the House, and I am sure to the unspeakable relief of the country. Let us now consider the new Ways and Means of the Government, and I will not doubt but that her Majesty's Ministers will give us time to accord to them that consideration they deserve.


Like the diminutive hero of whom we were told, to our great delight, in our nursery days, the right hon. Gentleman has just been engaged in the cruel slaughter of a giant of his own creation. He has accused my right hon. Friend and myself of having laid down this doctrine—that the House, having passed certain Votes in Supply, is thereby precluded from objecting to the Ways and Means by which the services thus voted are to be met. The right hon. Gentleman has certainly had an easy victory over his own phantom. But supposing the proposition to have been differently stated, and supposing that the assertion had been that my right hon. Friend and myself had said—what we really did say—that the House having agreed, after consideration and after Divisions, to certain Votes in Supply, and other Votes which necessarily imply expenditure, is bound to make provision somehow or other for that outlay—would the right hon. Gentleman have found that so easy of refutation? And yet that was the champion he had to encounter, and not the giant of his own imagination. I have, however, to thank the right hon. Gentleman for doing what I am bound to say very few persons in the House except himself have done—namely, for making a most eloquent, and I think I may add, really successful defence of those parts of my Budget which have been abandoned. The right hon. Gentleman has pointed out what had not been very much thought of or dwelt on, and that was the great advantage that would have been derived from them for purposes of prospective finance. But I will not enter into this subject now: I am not going to offer any defence of what is gone. I can only say that my firm belief is, the time will come when, the heat and passions of the present moment having passed away, these matters may perhaps be considered in a different light to what they are at present. But the right hon. Gentleman has brought against me two distinct accusations which I am bound to meet. He has credited me with saying that it is my intention to, as I think he said, put taxes on all the machinery employed in husbandry. He did not understate his case; in fact, he very seldom does. Spades, harrows, flails, thrashing machines, all are involved in one common description. What was really the case? Before I proceeded to the imposition of new taxes, I thought it my duty to point out to the House that there was a large class of articles known under the name of "exemptions," a tax on which would, if the House were pleased to tax them, raise a very considerable part of the deficit. I did not make to the House any proposition of the kind stated by the right hon. Gentleman; I did not hold out to the House that the Government had the least idea of taxing those articles; but I only pointed out the facts of the case, just as I pointed out many other things which did not make very much for me, such as the item for £874,000, which will not occur next year, and the increased Vote for Army purchase, but which I thought it my duty candidly and fairly to notice, and which might have escaped observation if they had not been placed before hon. Members. These were matters which it was not necessary for me to state, yet, in calling attention to them, I never pledged either myself or the Government to any proceeding of the kind mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman. His second point was with regard to the succession duties, and on that I expressed my own individual opinion, which I am bound to say I retain—that the scale of consanguinity which is peculiar to this country is not in itself founded on any very sound principle of taxation. ["Oh, oh!"] I may be quite wrong, but I am only stating what was the opinion I expressed. For that opinion I gave my reason, which was that I believe the essence of taxation to be equality, and a scale by which two persons who are bequeathed equal sums are taxed, the one to the extent of 1 per cent and the other by 10 per cent, certainly sins against that canon of taxation. But, in doing so, I accompanied my opinion with the declaration that the feeling in favour of this scale was very firmly rooted in the country, and stated that the Government had no intention whatever of disturbing it, but that they thought they might be right in trying to make some little further approach to equality by raising that scale in two of its five degrees. ["Oh, oh!"] I may have been totally wrong in that opinion. ["Hear, hear!"] Opinions, however, are not decided by cheers or counter cheers, but by reasoning. I may have been totally wrong, but I never committed either myself or the Government to any intention of adopting the policy to which the right hon. Gentleman objects. I am not aware that it is necessary for me to say anything more, except that the right hon. Gentleman, having complimented us on the "sweet simplicity" of our Budget, might have drawn the inference that so simple a matter could have been discussed at once. That inference, however, does not appear to have occurred to the mind of the right hon. Gentleman. I should have thought there was another reason why he would have been willing to go on; and that is, that this fearful proposal of placing 2d. on the income tax, in order to meet a transitional expenditure, is like his own act in 1867, when he had to meet the expenses of the Abyssinian War. I think, however, he has a perfect right to claim the delay he asks for, and that it will be employed to advantage, and I hope it will be satisfactory if I propose to go into Committee on this subject on Monday next.


said, he had no doubt he was expressing the opinions of those around him when he said that he greatly rejoiced that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government and his Colleagues had not allowed any false pride to stand in the way of the withdrawal of their proposition as regarded the succession duties, and the other items of the Budget. Looking to what had occurred, he could only account for the production of such a Budget on the theory of the first Lord Shaftesbury, who used to say that everyone had within him a wise man and a foolish one; that each must have his turn, and that if the wise man were always allowed to prevail the individual would become disordered and fit for nothing; so that it was necessary at times to allow the foolish man to run his course and play his frolic. That seemed to be the case with regard to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who for two successive Sessions had brought in, as they, the Liberal party thought, very wise measures; but now something within him, either the foolish man telling him not to be satisfied, or the idea of the wise man—"Vanity of vanities, all is vanity," urged him not to be satisfied with having acquired a great character for wisdom, but to bring forward this time a foolish Budget. In this instance, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that he would not only be foolish, but frolicsome also, for 18 jokes had been counted in his speech. Moreover, he not only proposed to inflict heavy burdens, but he went out of his way to exasperate the landed interest by pointing to the farmers' horses, and saying that although he did not desire to tax them this year, yet on another occasion the subject might be well worthy of consideration. Those who on the Government side of the House belonged to the landed interest, had supported many measures that had led almost to the annihilation of representatives of their class. Feeling the smallness of their present number to be a misfortune, he desired that some remedy might be found, so that more of the representatives of the landed interest would be found on that side of the House, which was now so largely occupied by hon. Members for boroughs. The existing evil was greatly to be deplored; but if the House passed such measures as those which had been hinted at, the evil would be increased by many who now represented land on the Ministerial side of the House being excluded from the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to him to be like the Nottingham man who was recently mentioned in the newspapers as having acquired a reputation for great wealth, which enabled him to live on his relatives, who thought they were to receive large bequests. The right hon. Gentleman had this year been reputed to be possessed of great wealth, and by even the best-informed it was believed that he would have a surplus of £2,000,000; but during the last week of the financial year there was an "ugly rush" for the money. Although knowing this, either from some infatuation, or in his rollicking reckless manner, the right hon. Gentleman had this year encouraged applications for money to be made to him which led to the deficit. First came the Secretary for War, who asked—"Can you spare me £600,000 this year?" The right hon. Gentleman replied—"Oh, yes; and what shall you want next?" "£1,200,000," was the reply. Next came the First Lord of the Admiralty, who, while at the Poor Law Board, was asked by the landed interest to consider the subject of rating personal property. He thought—"Before I leave this office I should like to do something to snub these country gentlemen." Therefore he resolved not to give them anything, but he went to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and said—"If you can spare me £1,200,000 next year, I will then relieve house property to that amount," though nobody had asked for it. If business was to be conducted on these principles; if the landed interest was to be treated in this manner; it was time for some of the few remaining representatives of that interest on the Government side of the House to enter their protest against such measures. He was very glad that, as in the case of the man at Nottingham, the Friends of the right hon. Gentleman had given him, or rather his Budget, a decent burial, instead of calling on the rest of the House to attend his obsequies; and he trusted that, if the observation of Lord Shaftesbury were true, the right hon. Gentleman, in the character of the foolish man, having played his pranks and run his rigs, would return, as the wise man, to the wisdom and gravity of a former period.


said, as it might be supposed that the new Budget just introduced would be popular among persons of advanced Liberal opinions, he was bound, considering his views on taxation, to enter his earnest and decided protest against the principle contained in it. He had never concealed from the House that he held extreme democratic opinions; nevertheless, he had not lost sight of the dangers of democracy, and no one who had considered the subject could doubt that, among the many advantages enjoyed by democratic institutions, there was this disadvantage—that, if not properly checked, they sometimes tended to make government expensive. Now, the House would remember the debates two or three years ago. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister fought nightly over that historic animal, the Trojan horse; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer warned the House that inside it there was a great democracy, which, if once let loose, would issue forth and sway the Government, regardless of the true principles of finance, and involve the country in unwonted extravagance. Well, three years had passed; but it was the extravagance of the Government, not the extravagance of the democracy, that the country had to fear. There was a large exceptional expenditure of £3,000,000 this year, and the House was asked to provide the whole of it out of direct taxation. Now, who paid direct taxation? A small minority in each constituency. If, therefore, the new Budget were sanctioned, we said, in effect, to the democracy—"Be as extravagant as you like, sanction any expenditure you choose, there will be a Government who will tell you the expenditure is transitional, and you, the majority, will not pay the bill, but every farthing of additional taxation will be thrown upon the minority." The authority of Ricardo, Mill, and other writers on political economy might be quoted against him to show that taxation, whether direct or indirect, in the end fell, to a great extent, upon the working classes; but the great fact you wanted to bring home to the people was, that if they desired extravagant armaments the money must not come first out of other people's pockets, but must come directly out of their own. Although this might not be a popular doctrine, yet he believed it was the true one. He, therefore, protested earnestly and solemnly against the plan for throwing the additional expenditure entirely on the income tax. In this country, no doubt, the working man was heavily taxed; but still more heavily taxed than the skilled artizan with £2 or £3 a-week were the clerk and the poor widow, struggling to bring up a family and maintain a certain appearance on £100 or £150 a-year. Upon these persons the pressure of local taxation was constantly increasing, and now that the working classes had a majority in almost every constituency, were they to lay down the doctrine that additional expenditure should be paid by the minority out of direct taxation? He might, perhaps, be in a minority in expressing these opinions, but considering the state of Europe, and that owing to the encouragement given to a wicked rivalry in armaments, country after country was running with inevitable certainty into financial embarrassment, he thought it was the duty of that House, now that they had a democratic suffrage, to relax not a single check which might tend to prevent extravagance. He ventured the other night to make a suggestion to the Government, and he would venture to make another. On that occasion he asked them to withdraw their Budget, and he now asked them to revise it. The country did not accept the doctrine that because some sums had been voted in Supply, that the House was pledged to the expenditure; and he ventured to predict that if the Government attempted to carry out any financial proposals which involved the expenditure of £72,500,000, they would find they were not carrying out the wishes of the country. He should be false to the principles he held, and unworthy of a seat in that House, if he did not do everything in his power to protest against what he regarded as a fatal doctrine, which would lead the country to disastrous ruin—the fatal doctrine, that additional expenditure was to be borne entirely by direct taxation.


tendered his thanks to the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) for the principles which he had just enunciated, and at the same time he wished the House to consider what was the pretext of the Government for meeting the deficit of the year wholly out of direct taxation. The Government said it was transitional expenditure, but what security was there for it; because experience taught them that expense incurred for defensive purposes was a lasting expenditure. To say that was but throwing dust in the eyes of the House, of which the erection of fortifications was an instance in proof, and therefore it was that he asked what security was there that this increased expenditure would not become permanent. He was glad they were to have two or three days in which to consider the new proposal of the Government, and he hoped that in the meantime what had been said by the hon. Member for Brighton would go to the hearts and homes of the vast majority of the people. It was but just that some part of the expenditure of the year should be met by indirect taxation.


protested most strongly against the doctrine which the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) had attempted to lay down; because, so long as over £40,000,000 were raised by indirect taxation, it could not be said that the largest portion of the expenditure of the country was met by direct taxation. So long as the majority of the House was elected by classes altogether above the working classes, there would be no fear of the democratic power becoming omnipotent here, and therefore it appeared to him premature to meet such a danger as the hon. Gentleman had pointed out. It would have been more to the point, however, if the hon. Member had been able to produce an instance where the democratic form of government had proved to be the more expensive form of government.


AS, Sir, "my poverty, and not my will, consents" to sit on these benches of advanced Liberals and retrogade Democrats, I rise to say, or rather to make my protest—not being that anomalous thing an advanced Liberal, or that almost extinct animal a Tory Member—that I can agree neither with my hon. Friend opposite the Member for South Northumberland (Mr. Liddell), nor with the hon. Professor, who, I believe, is the only man among us who would adopt the Phrygian cap. I must add that I very much condole with my right hon. Friends on the Treasury Bench. I know it has been said by a French cynic that there is something in the misfortunes of our best friends which is agreeable to us. I do not experience that feeling myself; but I do condole with them in the incident of the noble Lord the Member for North Derbyshire (Lord George Cavendish), who, I thought, was a Ministerialist beyond Ministers, helping a lame dog over the stile as he has done to-night. I was, indeed, somewhat surprised to hear the sentiments enunciated by the noble Lord; but I confess I was not able to follow him through the whole of the likeness which he drew, when he compared my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a gentleman at Nottingham. To whom he referred I cannot say; but it seems to me that the resemblance was not so true as he might have made it if he had likened him to a gentleman whose name we meet with in the Old Testament—I mean Jonah. Of the other side of the House my right hon. Friend has assuredly no cause to complain, and if he has been thrown overboard with all his sins upon his head—he tells us he has not repented—if he has been thrown overboard to the fishes—and I must say I do not envy the fish that got him—if he has been thrown overboard by the captain of the vessel, it has been the work of his Colleagues—I was going to call them his confederates. It is worthy of notice that the new Budget which has been proposed to us, assumes, we are told, the appearance of a simple Budget. If I am glad it assumes that simplicity, I must not be supposed to agree with the extreme doctrine which has been laid down by the Tory-Democratic Member for Brighton. I am of opinion that, if the upper classes of this country are to enjoy the luxury of periodical panics, they should be prepared to pay for them. I think that the only way to bring about a reduction of expenditure is to make them pay for it; for until they feel the screw pressing on them depend upon it we shall never see that reduction of expenditure of which the hon. Member for Brighton is so great an advocate. Feeling this very strongly, and that it is a thing above all others that we must ultimately effect, I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman would candidly tell the House that there would not be another alteration in his scheme before Monday—yet, if it comes before us, as at present framed, on that day I hope we shall have a proper discussion of the incidence of taxation, and that when we are called upon to vote the Ways and Means for the year, the House will not be actuated by a false shame, as the Ministers have not been actuated by any false shame in assenting to withdraw their Budget, and will press for the withdrawal of their Estimates also. They are about to plunge the country into an expenditure for what they call their Army Regulation scheme, of which none of us knows the fullest extent. The House of Commons has in consequence been placed in a most unprecedented situation. You have been called upon to give your assent to a Bill without any definite statement of the cost which it would involve having been laid on the Table. I trust, therefore, that when you re-consider the Budget you will be prepared to go further, and to re-consider your vote on the Army Regulation Bill. However, whether you do so or not; of this I am sure, that the money which you will be called on to pay, in order that the Minister of War and his subordinates may ride their military hobby-horse, will be found to have been laid out on a project which is not worth the cost. I am delighted to be told the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had to yield to the pressure which was put on him by his Colleagues on the Treasury Bench. I am sure he means well, and I would throw out to him a suggestion which he might consider before Monday. He has gone to considerable expense—I do not mean that he himself has, because we shall have to pay for it—in preparing a new stamp with the motto, "Ex luce lucellum" which, for the benefit of the successful capitalists whom I see around me, means, I may observe in passing, "From light a little gain." Well, that stamp is ready, and why should he not attach it to a tax which was recommended the other night by an hon. Gentleman who sits behind him, and who, although he attacked his Budget, walked into the same Lobby with him— I allude to the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford)? Why should he not, I say, attach this Ex luce lucellum to a tax on photographs, which is a most objectionable impost, being a tax on the vanity of men and women, and not on the necessities of life? For that reason, Ex luce lucellum being ready, let him place it on photographs, and take something off the income tax.


expressed his apprehension that, although the succession duty was for the present withdrawn, yet that it would not only be reproduced on some future occasion, but that they would also seek to place a duty on the motive power of manufacture in agriculture. Should such a contingency occur, they might depend upon it that the motive power in manufactures would not long escape.


thought the time was come when the House should be informed what the meaning was of the phrase "transition Estimates," for, as far as he could perceive, the only Estimate answering to the description was that the country was to be called upon to pay only £600,000 this year for the abolition of purchase, and which would change to £1,200,000 next year.


said, that while he had felt it to be his duty on a previous occasion to make some strong observations against the original Budget, he had done so with regret. He had now a more pleasant duty to discharge, to congratulate the Government on having taken the course which as wise and honest men it became them to take—that when they found they had committed an error, to retrace their steps at the earliest possible moment. The wisest men might make mistakes, and it was only fools who persevered in them when discovered. The present action of the Government would, he believed, strengthen their position in the estimation of the country.


said, he must take the earliest opportunity of protesting against the idea of transferring the house tax from Imperial to local taxation. They all knew perfectly well that London was the place which would be most benefited He happened to have a freehold property of three or four houses in a town in Wales, and a] so of a house in the City of London. Not one of the houses in the town in Wales to which he referred paid the house tax. He was sorry for it, because if they did he would have an increased rent. In the City of London, for a house of a similar size, he received a rent between nine and ten times greater. Every man who had to pay 9d. house duty was well recouped by getting £1 additional rent. He protested against transferring such a tax from Imperial to local purposes.


expressed a hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would deal firmly with the exemption of corporations from legacy duty, if not this Session, at all events in some future one.


said, that while expressing dissatisfaction at the new scheme propounded by the Government, he entirely approved the course taken by the Government in throwing over the eccentric taxation proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He hoped this would be the last Budget of that character which the people of this country would see, and that, at any rate, it would afford a lesson to the Government not to permit one of their Members to indulge his desire of producing something of an unusual and startling nature, but rather to adhere to those old-fashioned and more simple principles of finance which had hitherto maintained their ground. He was especially pleased that the match tax had been thrown over, and the succession duties also, with the proposal to substitute percentage for poundage in levying the income tax; but he was not at all satisfied with the imposition of an increase in the direction of that tax. There was no necessity for resorting in so large a degree to an increased income tax for an expenditure which was said to be transitional and temporary. If it was, why not meet it as other transitional and temporary expenses were met not by a loan, but by the simple plan of suspending the reduction of the National Debt? He hoped, however, the Government would not be prevailed upon to abandon their scheme for the abolition of purchase. Within the last few years several Acts had been passed for converting sums of money in the Post Office Savings Banks into Terminable Annuities. The Trustees for the Reduction of the National Debt were empowered to devote the surplus funds, which were not required for meeting the demands of the depositors, to the purchase and cancelling of stock. He believed we were at the present moment applying more than £2,000,000 per annum to the reduction of the Debt. Well, if the expenditure of this year were really exceptional, let it be met by the simple means of suspending the reduction of the Debt, instead of putting additional burdens on the people.


shared, the general feeling of satisfaction that many of the items of the Budget proposed the other day had been modified. Her Majesty's Government had shown a very wise discretion in yielding to the expression of opinion which had made itself heard throughout the country, and the course which they had now chosen would be generally approved; but he could not, however, agree as to the propriety of an additional 2d. in the income tax by way of substitute for the proposals they had abandoned. That tax might have all the simplicity attributed to it; but he concurred in a great measure with what had fallen from the hon. Member for Brighton, that the tax, however simple, fell with an undue weight and pressure upon a class already sufficiently burdened. He was one of those who from the first had felt it his duty to oppose one part of the expenditure which had been proposed by the Government, and he could not but think if that expenditure were now abandoned all the difficulties in which we were involved, and in which the Government were evidently involved, would disappear. If the Bill for the Regulation of the Army were either withdrawn or considerably modified as regarded the abolition of purchase, the whole question would be simplified, the present difficulties of the Government would, in some degree, disappear; and we should not be reduced to the expedient brought forward by the Government to-night. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had intimated that he would not have ventured on the imposition of an additional 2d. of income tax were it not that the expenditure which it was to meet was of an exceptional and temporary nature. He disputed the statement that this expenditure could be transitory or exceptional. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, it was true, set aside a suggestion made to him while speaking, that we should in future years have to provide for a scheme of retirement in the Army; but the House could not shut its eyes to the fact that money would have to be procured year after year to carry out a retirement scheme, and they had not had even a hint from the Government of the amount which would be required for that purpose. If the abolition of purchase were for the present relinquished we should have a respite; we should not only not have to provide £600,000 in this year's Estimates, but should be relieved for a time at least from the contemplation of the large sums which the retirement scheme would cost. He therefore agreed with those who had suggested that the Government should re-consider the Estimates which they had submitted to the House in this particular; in doing so it could not be supposed that they would suffer in the opinion of the country if they adopted this course, which would be a manly, straightforward, and proper one. The Estimates were framed at a time when the Government had, no doubt, turned over their Ways and Means in their mind, and had arrived at certain conclusions. Now, Government acknowledged that their Ways and Means, which they had thought were acceptable to the House and the country, were not so, and with perfect straightforwardness and with perfect honour they re-modelled their scheme. Why should not they with equal straight for ward ness and equal honour re-consider the Estimates which rendered those Ways and Means necessary? If the Army Organization Bill were withdrawn, we should be relieved from all the embarrassment which it had caused in our finance.


tendered his most hearty thanks to the Government for the manner in which they had re-modelled their financial scheme. With reference to the suggestion of the noble Lord who had just sat down, as to the Army Organization Bill, it seemed to him to be too late, after the House had actually voted money for carrying out the abolition of the purchase system, to ask the Government again to revise their Estimates; and if there was one thing more than another he trusted the Government would not do, it was to follow the advice of that noble Lord with regard to the question of Army purchase. He thanked the Prime Minister for the pledge he had given, to take the advice of the hon. Member for Sheffield and those who voted with him, to reduce the expenditure when the state of Europe warranted that course; and he much hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would leave the question of agricultural horses alone on all future occasions.


said, he would remind the House that when the Budget was introduced, he suggested that the deficit should be obtained in the mode now adopted by the Government. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to hold to his sliding scale of the succession duties; but he (Mr. Collins) was of opinion that the taxing of successions on personal property, ranging from 1 to 10 per cent, would never have been achieved but by a Parliament of landlords. This was an anomaly that ought to be got rid of. In an equalization of the succession duties, it should begin from the top, and 5 per cent should be the maximum in any case of succession; while, with regard to personalty, 2 per cent should be the maximum with reference to nearest relations, and 5 per cent in the case of strangers, and this should include the tax on successions which is now levied in the shape of Probate Duty. He held that if the people of this country were determined to add materially to the defences of the country they should know that they would have to pay the bill. The pressure of the income tax on incomes below £200 had been much lessened by the reduction of £60 from the assessed amount. The House ought steadily to keep in view the reduction of the National Debt, and, except in times of war or great peril, they ought not to suspend the action which was now going on for decreasing that Debt by means of Terminable Annuities. Though, in principle, he thought it was objectionable to obtain an increase of Revenue by increasing one tax only, yet this was only a transitional period so far as concerned increased expenditure, and it would not be sound policy to obtain an increase of Revenue by increasing the duties on tea and sugar, which were comforts, he might almost say necessaries, of the poor. Under all the circumstances of the case, he thought that the Government had adopted a wise plan.


said, he had been an Income Tax Commissioner, and was of opinion that that tax inflicted great injustice on the poor. He admitted that considerable improvements had been made in the income tax by which the injustice was not felt so much by the very poor; but, still, there were a great number of professional men and people who derived their income from limited sources, who felt the injustice of the tax most keenly, while by more wealthy people the injustice was hardly felt. It seemed to him that we were in danger of falling on the income tax because the wisdom of the Legislature could think of nothing else. When the income tax was first proposed by the late Sir Robert Peel, it was intended as a merely temporary measure to raise the country from the condition into which it had fallen; and he (Mr. Brooks) thought it would be impolitic in the highest degree to allow Her Majesty's Government to impose an additional income tax for the purpose of accomplishing measures which many on the Opposition Benches disapproved.


said, he did not suppose that the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) cared much when the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne), in commenting upon his (Mr. Fawcett's) honest, frank, and courageous speech, spoke about Democrats. The remarks of the hon. Member for Waterford upon the hon. Member for Brighton would not lessen the confidence which a very large part of our working people had in him. The hon. Member for Waterford, no doubt, was a frequent source of amusement to the House, and if he (Mr. A. Herbert) were a giver of dinners, he would feel so much indebted to him for the favour of his company to dinner, that he would always keep an empty chair for him. [Mr. OSBORNE: It does not follow that I should come.] Then, in that case, the loss would be his own. While perfectly ready to acknowledge this debt which they all owed to the hon. Gentleman, he could not help observing that if the hon. Member wished to forward any political object, or if he saw in politics any meaning whatever, beyond their affording a fighting arena in which every man was to stand on his own hand, and joke on every subject, he would become more useful to the country and to his own constituency if he would imitate the hon. Member for Brighton. [Mr. OSBORNE: Hear, hear!] He was delighted to hear that the hon. Gentleman had a talent for music, in addition to his other accomplishments; but, notwithstanding the interruption, the hon. Gentleman should hear the end of his sentence, and receive the advice he was about to offer him, which was that he should become a retrograde Democrat as soon as possible. The only difficulty that lay in the way of his (Mr. Osborne's) adopting that advice, was the impossibility of his retrograding from a position he had never attained, because the speeches of the hon. Gentleman never contained a single Democratic or Liberal sentiment, and might just as well have been delivered from the opposite as from the Liberal Benches. The hon. Member had instanced the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) as being the only man in the House ready to adopt the Phrygian cap. Caps were dangerous subjects for the hon. Gentleman to refer to; because there were different kinds of caps; there was one which "makes music as it goes," and which had a highly professional character; and if ever there was a subscription raised in the House to present any hon. Member with a cap of that kind, he should be glad to add his name to the list of subscribers. ["Oh!"] He did not agree with what had fallen from the hon. Member for Brighton, for this reason, because he did not think that the money levied in the form of taxes throughout was expended in the interests of the working population. At the present time, pounds were expended upon the Army and the Navy; while only pence were devoted to educational purposes, and the endowments throughout the country, great as they were, were not applied in such a way as to meet the real wants of the population. As soon as the money raised by taxation was expended in forwarding the real interests of the working population the suggestion of the hon. Member for Brighton could not be too closely or too faithfully followed.


said, he must congratulate Her Majesty's Government on having retired with so much grace and frankness from a false position, in acknowledgment of which, no doubt, the country would award them all the more honour. Hon. Members near him shared his regret—a regret increased by the fact that he had found himself compelled to vote against the Government—that the Prime Minister had felt it to be necessary to spend £26,000,000 this year upon the national armaments. The right hon. Gentleman would, doubtless, have preferred that the cost of those armaments should have been reduced rather than increased; but he had been compelled to yield to the pressure that had been put upon him by the country. The political horizon being at present without a cloud, he could not see the necessity of adverting to the heavy expenditure of years gone by, and he hoped and trusted that the Government would soon be able to alter their policy on that head of expenditure.


congratulated the House and the country upon the course that Her Majesty's Government had thought fit to adopt in withdrawing the most objectionable features of the Budget. He wished to second the suggestion of the hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs (Mr. Sinclair Aytoun) that this was a fitting opportunity for the suspension of the action of the machinery for the reduction of the National Debt, in place of throwing the whole expenditure upon the direct taxation of the country. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, in introducing, in 1866, the measure under which that reduction of the Debt was effected, had recommended it on the ground that its operation might be suspended whenever the requirements of the country should demand it.


As this subject has been referred to in several quarters, I may, perhaps, be permitted to state that in bringing forward the measure to which the hon. Baronet alludes, I did not use the expression that its operation could be suspended in the event of certain contingencies happening. I have not the words before me that I actually used, when laying the principles of the measure before the House; but, speaking entirely from memory, what I believe I said was this—that the system proposed to be established by the measure would provide us with a most ready and convenient means of borrowing without our going into the money market. By resorting to this fund, therefore, we should be borrowing in the strictest sense of the word, and not merely suspending the operation of the system.


would urge that the present, at all events, was an occasion when we should be justified in availing ourselves of the resources that the system offered us. He approved the suggestion for the taxation of photographs, by which a large sum might be raised without putting pressure upon anybody.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Committee deferred till To-morrow.

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