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ftitution of some other in its place. A difficulty in form, however, had suggested itself to the immediate developement of his whole plan, and all he could do, at present, consistent with the rules of the House, was to propose the repeal of this tax, after which the Chairman might report progress, and ask leave to sit again on Friday, when he would bring forward fome propositions more in detail. However, to prevent any mistake or misconstruction, he thought it necessary to state, that the duty intended to be repealed was confined to the duty imposed upon perfons using clocks and watches, and was totally unconnected and had nothing to do with the assessment in aid of the supplies for the present year, of which it had been made among other particulars the criterion.
The resolution then that the duties on clocks, watches, and time-keepers be repealed, was unanimoully agreed to. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, March 15. Mr. Hobart brought up the Report of the Resolution of the Committee of the whole House on the expediency of repealing the Clock and Watch duties, which was agreed to.
HOLIDAY BILL. The House in a Committee on the Holiday Bill, several Resolutions were proposed, purporting that from the 5th of July, 1798, all days proclaimed as general fasts should be regarded as holidays, in addition to those already specified; that the Commissioners of the Customs Thall have the power of regulating the hours of attendance, and of making compensation to Officers for their additional trouble, or any loss sustained in consequence of such regulations ; but that the provisions of the act were not to extend to the compelling of the personal attendance of such persons as are now authorised to execute the duties of their officers by deputy ; all which Resolutions were agreed to, and the Report ordered to be received next day.
The Bill for increasing the rates of subsistence allowed to Innkeepers and others for quartering soldiers, was committed, several Resolutions agreed to, and the Report ordered to be brought up next day. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Friday, March 16. The Duke of Bedford rofe for the purpose of expressing his thanks to the House for the indulgence shewn him, in allowing him on a former day to put off his intended motion for the dismiffal to his Majefty's Ministers. It now ftood for Tlonday the 19th instant, and at that time he should have been
to his Majeto, put off his thien him, in nobis
prepared to have brought it forward, but he had received an intimation from the Secretary of Sate, that it would be inconvenient to his Majesty's Ministers to attend to the motion on that day ; they rather wished it might be postponed till Turfday or Friday. He was for himself perfectly ready to acquiesce in the wishes of his Majesty's Ministers, but there were certain of his friends with whom he had advised as to the bringing forward the subject, and it was necessary he should have an opportunity of consulting them; if they approve of cither of the days mentioned, he could have no objection. He would therefore move to postpone his motion till Thursday the 22d, trusting if that day should be inconvenient to his friends, the House would permit him to appoint some other. If it was neceffary to put the motion off beyond Thursday, he would mention it to the House on Tuesday.
Thursday was therefore appointed.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, March 16. The Bill for increasing the rates to Innkeepers upon whom soldiers may be quartered, was reported.
Sir C. Bunbury gave notice, that on Tuesday or Wednesday next 1:e should make the motion of which he had given notice fomc time ago respecting the 35th of the King, for imposing a duty upon carts.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer declared himself under the necessity of deferring till Monday the 19th instant the detail of the resolutions which it was his intention to submit in a Committec in lieu of the Watch and Clock Act. These resolutions were as numerous as those of ihe last Window Duties; and as they were to be upon the same scale, were complicated and progressive, according to the amount of windows, therefore further time was requisite to prepare them. Alluding to the notice given by Sir Charles Bunbury, he expreiled a con. fident hope that the Honourable Baronet, after he had heard his proposition in lieu of the Watch and Clock Act, would think such a motion unnecessary. If, however, any specific plan was meant to be brought forward, he would with to hear the outline stated now.
Sir Charles Bunbury declared that he should not think it necessary to propose any measure, if the Right Honourable Gendeman would bring in a Bill to amend the Act in question.
I be Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that he thought the Honourable Baronet was acquainted with his intention of making fome alterations in the Aet alluded to. If he should not be fatisfied with those alterations, he could take the sense of
the Houle. He hopid, however, that upon a subject of this fort, relating to revenue, Gentlemen would not deem him cap. tious if re afferred that it ought not to be decided merely upon local considerations.
HOLIDAY BILL. The Report of the Holiday Reduction Bill was brought up and read. Upon the q eftion for the Bill being engrosted,
Sir John Sinclair wished the further confideration of the Bill to be delayed, for the purpose of allowing time to propose fome amendments.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer wished the Honourable Baronet to stale what amendments or alterations he wished to propise.
Sir John Sinclair stated, that they related to points impli. cating in them the accommodation of the merchants. He had no doubts with respect to the propriety of leaving a power of increasing the fees to the Commifiioners of the treasury. The Committee of Finance had proposed the reduction of the nuraber of holidays, which he did not think were diminished bv the present Bill. For these reasons he wished the further con. fideration to be deferred.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer conceived the grounds fuggested by the Honourable Baronet for postponing the Bill to be very extraordinary. The Committee upon the Bill had been delayed from time to time. A considerable period had been allowed. The Bill came now to be reported. The Honourable Gertleman had suffered it to be gone through, and then he discovers, that if further delay should be granted, he may have time to suggest some amendments. Now with refpect to the statements made by the Honourable Gentleman, the Lords of the Treasury had no power by the Bill to increase fees ; but they had a power, pursuant to the ideas of the Committee of Finance, to grant compensation, in consequence of such extraordinary attendance as might be given for the accommodation of the merchants. The next object to which the Baronet had alluded, was, that the number of Hollidays was not reduced. He believed the contrary to be the case; but whether it was or not, surely the Honourable Gentleman had had iufficient time to inquire. Yet that, fupposing it to be a difficulty, was not such a one as not to be guarded against upon the third reading of the Bill. But where the party, from whom the application for delay proceeded, had had fuch opportunites of stating his sentiments before, and had made fo little use of thofe opportunities, he could not help thinking that much advantage was not to be expected from that party even if the desired delay should be granted. He begged the Honour
able Baronet to believe, that he meant no personal incivility to hin, and indeed he should have felt very little inclination to obi ct to delay, if the Honourable Baronet had not given his reasons for asking for it.
Sir y hn Sinclair replied, that the Bill had been so often delayed that he did not think it would be brought forward that day. He ftül conceived that some limits should be placed to the power of granting extraordinary allowances.
The question was put, that the motion for engrossing the Bill be withdrawn. It was negatived, and the Bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time on Tuesday, May 23d.
Mr. Speers presented the Disposition Paper up to the 16th of larch, 1798. L'pon the motion of Colonel Porter, it was orders to be printed. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, March 19. The Report of the Committee to which was referred a Pe. titi n from the City of London against frauds and abuses in the ad neaiurement of coals, was brought up, and leave given to bring in a Bill accordingly.
Leave was given to bring in a Bill, to amend and explain the laws for the recovery of small debts within the City of London.
TAXES. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that he had already fiated to the House the general nature of the plan which he meant to submit, in lieu of the Watch and Clock Act. It consisted of a consolidation of the different rates, and most particularly of a consolidation and augmentation of the rates upon inhabited houses upon the scale of the number of windows. It was proposed to put all these into one Table, and to increase most of the articles, in order to make the general scale more regular, to avoid fractions, to prevent any sudden rife, and the stopping up of too great a number of windows. The prefent amount of the duties was 1,259000l. The increase would amount to 186,0ool. It was allo proposed to consolidate other duties upon housekeepers, in the articles of servants, horses, dogs, and carriages. He did not mean to do any thing more with respect to these than to avoid fractions. The addition that would be made by this consolidation, added to the sum of 186,000l. would produce a total of about 205,000l. Gentlemen would be aware, that there must be very detailed reso. lutions proposed in the Committee of Ways and Means. The most desirable mode would be to move those resolutions that
day. He held in his hand a Table of the present rates, and of the future rates to be proposed. He should wish that this Table should be printed, in order that it might be delivered, with the votes, before the consideration took place. It would, he conceived, be more satisfactory to discuss them in that way, than at the present moment, and upon a mere verbal statement. Supposing that the substitute which he mcant to propose would be deemed a proper one, he should now move, that the Speaker do leave the Chair.
*The Speaker left the Chair, and the House resolved itself into a Committee of Ways and Means.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved his first resolution, that it is the opinion of this Committee, that the duties upon inhabited houses imposed by the 19th of the present King do cease and determine.-Agreed to.
The heads of the other refolutions moved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer were read.
Sir Matthew Ridley enforced the propriety of forming a plan to make the collection of the taxes less vexatious, particularly with respect to one class of men---the farmers. Under his own cognizance he had known one hundred farmers dragged from their homes in the midst of winter, upon the fuppofition of a furcharge which was supported by no evidence. This circumftance caused such discontent and murmurs, that he did hope it would be remedied. He threw out these observations for the consideration of Government.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that no addition was meant to be proposed in this tax to the duties upon horses used in agriculture. With respect to what had fallen from the Honourable Baronet, it was impossible to prevent furcharges without destroying the whole principle upon which the taxes were collected. He was not aware that any legal provision could be suggested; but if the Honourable Baronet would state what officers had surcharged in a vexatious manner, he could assure him that the most impartial inquiries would be set on foot with respect to them.
Sir Matthew Ridley did not state any particular instances ; but he alledged the great difficulty to be, that the officer received half the surcharge, and no damages could be adjudged againft him, if he did not succeed in substantiating such surcharge. The collector goes into a town and leaves his surcharge ; if the party has no recollection of a particular day, or has failed in giving due notice, he is forced to pay the surcharge ; and he was frequently not called upon till eighteen months after the transaction. It did not become him to point out a mode ; he merėly submitted these facts to Government.