§ LORD BEAUMONT
nominated the fol- 1044 lowing Peers as Members of the Select Committee appointed on the previous evening to inquire into the Burdens on Real Property, and the impediments on agriculture caused thereby, as well as by the present system of Excise, Poor Laws, and Poor Taxation: — Lord President; Lord Privy Seal; Dukes Richmond, and Buckingham and Chandos; Marquesses Lansdowne, and Salisbury; Earls Hardwicke, Radnor, Clarendon, Malmesbury, Grey, Stradbroke, Lovelace, and Ellenborough; Lords Dacre, Beaumont, Redesdale, Dalhousie, Colchester, Brougham and Vaux, Stanley, Ashburton, Cottenham, and Monteagle of Brandon.
was obliged to his noble Friend for his kindness in placing his name upon the Committee. He had no objection to the inquiry, though he had no very sanguine hope of its leading to any very practical result. The subject was one rather of discussion in their Lordships' House than of inquiry by a Committee.
The LORD CHANCELLOR
Perhaps my noble and learned Friend may be able to persuade the Committee at once that they can arrive at no practical determination?
§ The DUKE of RICHMOND
thought that the points which would come before the Committee were very simple; the statement which had been put forward was, that land was taxed to a greater extent than any other property. He apprehended, to decide that matter, it was only necessary to call upon a farmer to produce his books in order to show what was the amount of taxes to which he was subject; and then to call upon a manufacturer and upon a tradesman to do the same, and the fact, one way or the other, would be seen at once without any discussion. Until now he had never heard that there was any difference of opinion upon the subject. Which was the best investment at this time? Was the largest interest to be got upon money invested in the funds or in land?
The EARL of MORLEY
observed that it would be easy to get information on the question as to the result of the same amount of capital invested in land or in trade.
§ EARL GREY
, as the Committee was to be so numerous, suggested that it would be well if their Lordships were to adopt a regulation which had been for some time in force (with the best results) in the House of Commons—that was that a Minute should be kept, showing the attendance of each Member of the Committee on each day of the Committee's sitting; so that when the 1045 Report should be presented, the House should know upon whose authority it rested, and that a Report, resting upon the authority of perhaps only three or four noble Lords, should not be supposed to carry with it that of the whole Committee.
The LORD CHANCELLOR
thought that the Minute should not only state the names of the noble Lords who attended the Committee each day, but how long they remained in attendance. He had known Committees on which some noble Lords had attended for four or five minutes only.
said, there was another practice in the House of Commons' Committees which might be adopted with advantage—which was, that the name of every Member who put a question should be prefixed to the question in the Report of the evidence.
§ The DUKE of WELLINGTON
considered that the suggestion of the noble Earl was well worthy their Lordships' consideration and adoption. If the noble Earl would move it as a Standing Order it would receive due consideration.
said, he was just told by the Clerk, that already the name of every Peer who asked a question of a witness in a Committee was taken down. All that was required further was to have it printed.
After some further conversation, the Committee was appointed, the name of the Earl of St. Germans being (at his request) omitted.