HL Deb 11 April 1842 vol 62 cc174-5
Lord Brougham

presented a petition from attornies of Dundee, complaining that they were subjected to heavy taxes from which other classes of the community were exempted. They had to pay in the first instance very heavy stamp duties on their articles of indenture, and they were also obliged to pay an annual sum on taking out their licence. These, they said, operated like an Income-tax on them, and they therefore prayed that their Lordships would not sanction any bill on the subject of taxation which did not make some provision for having their case duly considered. The noble and learned Lord said, that he concurred in that part of the prayer of the petitioners which sought relief from unequal taxation. The view which led to laying a tax on one portion of the community from which all others were exempt was manifestly unsound; but, nevertheless, it seemed to have found favour in the eyes of the Legislature when it was first proposed. It was somewhere about forty years ago when Mr. Pitt, adverting to his intention of taxing the class of professional men to which the petitioners belonged, said, he bad a proposition to make which he was sure would meet with the approbation of men of all parties. It was a plan to lay a tax on attornies. The announcement was received with loud cheers, and eventually the measure was passed into a law. He (Lord Brougham), however, did not think it was a just one, and he hoped the case of the petitioners would be considered.

Petition laid on the Table.

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