HL Deb 28 April 1843 vol 68 cc1014-5
The Earl of Wicklow

wished to call the attention of their Lordships to a return, a very extraordinary one, which had recently been laid on their Lordships' Table. Some time before Easter he had moved for a return of the amount of Property-tax paid by persons residing in Great Britain on property drawn from Ireland. The noble Duke stated at the time that he had no objection to the production of the return, but that it would require a considerable time to make it up. Nothing could have induced him to press for such a return, but the wish to ascertain accurately, for an ulterior purpose, the amount of Income-tax paid in this country by persons whose property was situated in Ireland. By the provisions of the bill all Irish property, possessed by persons residing in this country, or who resided here for more than six months in the year, were subjected to the tax. Members of Parliament for Ireland, if they resided here after the Session had closed, although their whole income was drawn from that country, were also liable to the tax. Now, he was perfectly aware, that many individuals thus situated had been called on to furnish, and had furnished returns under the act, and had contributed largely to the tax. But what was the answer to the order of that House, directing such an account to be furnished, as he had called for? It was this, "there are no returns in this office to enable the board to comply with the order." Now, it appeared to him to be most extraordinary, when a large proportion of this tax was paid in this country out of funds drawn from Ireland, that the parties who were at the head of the Tax Office should have no knowledge whatsoever of the matter and should he unable to supply the information that be had called for. It would, therefore, be impossible for him to ground any observations upon such a return if it were-really a correct one, which it was scarcely possible to believe.

The Duke of Wellington

recollected what passed on the occasion when the return was moved for. He had stated that as it was to be made after examining into a greet number of the districts in this country in which a very considerable num- ber of Irish proprietors resided, therefore there would be considerable difficulty. He could not, however, account for the manner in which the present return was made, but he would endeavour to obtain information respecting it against their Lordships' next meeting.

Subject at an end.