HL Deb 13 August 1838 vol 44 cc1166-7
Viscount Melbourne

moved the second reading of the Tin Duties Bill, which would be of equal advantage to the Crown and to the trade and commerce of the country.

The Duke of Wellington

objected to the bill, because, as one affecting the property of the Crown, it ought to have been brought in earlier in the Session, when the House could investigate the returns on the subject, to see that the calculations upon which it was framed were correct. He should like particularly to see that the arrangement entered into with the Crown was a fair one.

The Earl of Wicklow

concurred that the House should have ample means of inquiring into all measures brought before it. In the present instance, however, he did not think that any objection could rest on this ground. This bill related almost exclusively to the remission of a tax, and was, therefore, within the privileges of the House of Commons, where it had been unanimously agreed to.

Lord Brougham

said, that this bill, so far from remitting taxation, imposed 19,000l. upon the consolidated fund for the immediate advantage of a particular interest. He thought also that there would be a great risk of difficulty and injustice in passing this measure, on account of the manner in which it would affect the rights of a Duke of Cornwall whenever he should be in esse. He had not as yet seen any sufficient grounds for their Lordships concurring in this bill.

The Marquess of Lansdowne

said, that if there was any reason to apprehend that the interests of the Crown, or of the Duke of Cornwall when in esse, were injuriously dealt with in this bill, their lordships would do right to pause before they passed it. But he believed, that there was not the slightest danger of this kind, the Crown being amply indemnified upon an average of the net receipts of the last ten years. With respect to the imposition of 19,000l. a-year upon the consolidated fund, he thought it very well applied as a substitute for two taxes very odious in character, and very detrimental in their effects—the one a local tax regarding Cornwall, the other a general tax affecting the whole community, and tending naturally to keep up the price of an article of very common use. He urged their lordships, therefore, not to refuse a remission of taxation which the House of Commons had almost unanimously acquiesced in, and which was looked forward to with confidence by all the commercial interests affected by it.

Bill read a second time.