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Right Honourable Gentleman suggested another answer, which was, that a part of the Revenue, now existing, and made perpetual, should be made annual. Now, to say the truth, he hoped he had not correctly comprehended the Right Ho. nourable Gentleman in that particular. If he had, to be fure nothing could be more extraordinary than such a statement. It amounted to this, that those taxes, which were made annual for the security of the power of the House of Commons over the King's Ministers were to be made perpetual ; and that which was made perpetual, for the security of the State, was to be made annual; this was, the Minister's dextrous management to answer purposes of his own; by which the constitutional power of the House of Commons was invaded, and by which the public creditor was deprived of the security which Parliament stood pledged to preserve in violate. If he was in an error he should be glad to be corrected, because he did not see that he could alter any thing that the Minister propored in that House, and the Minister, he supposed, had already given a tone to the measure. It would be great satisfaction, at least to him, to find that the Constitution was fafe. The point was of too much magnitude to be passed over, and he should be obliged to the Right Honourable Gentleman if he would have the goodness to explain the matter. .
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he did not merely complain that the Honourable Gentleman had misunderstood him, but that he also had misunderstood the nature of the question. Upon the constitutional part of the question, whether the House was to possess some check upon the money fo applied, the Honourable Gentleman had not said one word, and therefore to that point no answer was required. As to the question as relating to the consolidated fund, that certainly was an important one, nor did he mean to under ratc it. That, however, was not the constitutional question, but one arising out of the situation of the country, and being part of the situation of the country. Whether there was any infringement of the security of the public creditor was another question. He would ask, was it not in the power of Parliament to repeal any of those duties, which had from time to time been carried to the various funds, and at length to the consolidated fund, for the purpose of paying the national dividends? Did that Honourable Gentleman conceive he violated his duty as a Member of Parliament, when he voted for the repeal of any one of the duties which had been carried to the consolidated fund? The duties on spirits, which were appropriated for the payment of the public creditor, had always been voted from time to time, sometimes for not more than three years. If
the the Honouratle Gentleman would take the trouble to look into the history of the revenue, he will find that all the various duties from time to time voted, were many of them temporary, though voted as the security for permanent, debrs; and even at this day a large part of the revenuc was temporary and not perpetual. The result therefore was this, that the faith of Parliament was pledged, not for the continuance of any particular duties, but to make the consolidated fund effective either by temporary or other taxes for the payment of the publie creditor; and therefore, in making a part of it temporary though now perperual, no acknowledged principle was departed from. The tendency of the measure was this; to free the consolidated fund to the amount of 400,000l. per annum, which would be the saving to the country by the new arrangement. The Honourable Gentleman would therefore see, that if his argument cven was correct, it would only require the introduction of a more strict clause to effect his intention.
The Honourable Gentleman had said, that one motive for his spcaking at this stage of the business, when discullion would be premature and useless, was to prevent his silence being con. strued into unanimity. Why the Honourable Gentleman should be apprehenfive of that he was unable to conjecture. He assured the Honourable Gentleman that he knew him too well to take his filence for concord or unanimity--for he had often found his opposition most obftinate when preceded by a firent acquicfcence in the first stages of his measures. So far from having mc.lt to imply that that was the Honourable Gentleman's habit, he had spoken morely of his conduct on the late meafure, now in its paílage through the House, for the detence of the country; and he affur d the Honourable Gentleman, he had alluded to it in a w'y that he thought would have been extremely confolatory to his feelings, as the Honourable Gentleman bad on tht occafive taken infinite pains to make a display of his acquiefccnce, and to proclaim to the world that he had added ro thc unanimity with which that meafure had been adopted. He profilieci to be at a loss to divine what was the tendency of the Honourable Gentleman's ebjc&tions: one half of them the Honourable Gentleman had contented him ulf with leaving to other support than his own, having argued only on the proposition that the measure would injure the public creditor, and resigning to more able hands the maintenance of his other proposition, that it would be injurious to the landed gentleman. ,
This task had been undertaken by a Noble Lord (of vast ability no doabt, Lord Sheffield) who had pronounced the
measure to be the most extraordinary, the most rash, and the very worst that had ever been brought before Parliament, without having condescended to allign one fingle reason for that weighty denunciation. Now, how the Noble Lord could make up his mind to apply such terms as he had done to a measure which carried in it no compulfion, and which, fo far as it related to the landed gentlemen, was perfectly optional, and which created no new burdens, he should have been vastly puzzled to conjecture, were it not that he knew the Noble Lord sometimes expreffed himself with more ill-humour than he felt at bottom-that he was in the habit of speaking very positively without thinking very deeply, and, in his ardent zeal for the propagation of his cun haity notions, frequently laid down propositions which on cooler reflection he thought proper to retract. Making this allowance for the Noble Lord, and convinced of his Lordihip’s zeal for the public good, he would say nothing further on the subject, but intreat that his Lordship would do himself the justice to read the refulutions before he again undertook to censure them. He would, therefore, leave the Noble Lord, and turn again to the lionourable Gentlemen (Mr. Tierney) whom he did not know, whether he Thould most thank, that one part of his argument contradicted the other, or that a great portion was so completely in favour of the measure, that it might save him the trouble of answere ing his objections. The Honourable Gentleman had made a sort of humourous allusion to persons of a different religion, who, he said, had a longer ken than he had; but it was evident that the Honourable Gentleman's own ken was not long enough to cnable him to discover the palpable contradiction in his specch. He had said that the proposed plan would have no effect in raising the funds; and then, he said it was a terrible proof of a connexion between Government and the monied men, and that its great object was to give them a bonus on a new loan. But how could this be done, except by raising the funds? It was rather a curious mode of arguing which the Honourable Gentleman adopted, when he said that the mea, sure would not produce any good, because the notice he gave on Thursday had produced none already. And then he went on to allert, without any foundation, that the public always thought that any measure proposed by him was the same as it it was adopted. In answer to this affertion, he could only lays that he had brought forward a great variety of propositions te Jarive to finance in that House, which had not been carried into effect as they had been originally proposed, but, in conie: quence of the suggestion of Gentlemen in that House, undera wene so many modifications shat the nature and form of them
were often totally changed. Now, in his mind, he had, in doing so, exactly done his duty-for it was, in the first place, his official duty to urze whatever he thought neccffary, and if, when it came to be discussed, he was thewn that it was defechve, or very unpopular, it was certainly his duty to conform to that which he found to be right, and to yield to the public opinion. A striking proof of chis occurred since the beginning of the present feffion, when he had introduced the Bill for inCreating the afefied taxes. Then he consented to alterations to different from what he had originally proposed, as to render The Bill not near so productive as it otherwise would have been. At that time he had been violently atracked by the HonouraDie Gentleman (Mr. Tierney) who ftill persevered in his at
CKS, even after the modifications had been made in the Bill. Not lels extraordinary was the Honourable Gentleman's argument that the measure could not raise the funds, because the port that it was in agitation had not vet had any effect upon
He believed the House would agree with him that an argument was at least premature. When the measure undergone a little more confideration, it would be time an for the Honourable Gentleman, and he would be beta bie, to make such a remark. It would be strange, indeed, bare announcing of a measure was to produce the same s the accomplishment of it:-had that ever been the a hingle instance. The announcing of the plan for the
of the national debt did not produce any immediate but in fome time afterwards its effects were so powerhat the funds rose to par. If, however, the Honourable meman could contrive to verify, and make good his allegations, that is to say, if on the one hand, the measure would Operate as a bonus to the monied men, and, on the other, the country was benefited, and the landed interest accommodated, not only without taking from, but actually adding to the pubhte purse, lo far from having cause to fear, he would have to thank the Honourable Gentleman for his observations; for the measure would go abroad with much greater advantage from the Honourable Gentleman's short specch, than it could poffiDly derive from the long speech with which he himself had
effect as the accomp
Mr. Tierney observed, that if it was true his short speech nad served to recommend this measure of the Right Honoura. ble Gentleman; another short fpeech could not but be regarded as fome proof of respect. But he was not very much inuned himself toimagine, that, with the unfophifticated and candid part of the Committee, his short speech would pass merely a recommendation of a measure of which he could not ap
prove. The Right Honourable Gentleman, however, had in very plain terms accused him of using unparliamentary language, and it was on this account chiefly that he again addreffed himself to the Committee. Certainly it was in the nature of an attack on his Parliamentary language, to be told that he had said that the Members of the British House of Commons were so wholly mechanical, as that any measure the Minister might think fit to propose would unfailingly experience their suppirt. And what other had been the purport of the Right Honourable Gentleman's misconstruction of his words? But the Committee would remember, he had not said that that House voted always with the Right Honourable Gentleman. What he said was, that ignorant people out of doors, who could not, from their situation be supposed to know any thing of the independence of certain Gentlemen, or that the House of Conmons was filled with fo virtuous a class of men, often believed, that any measure the Minister proposed would be adopted by Parliament. Large bodies of men, ia situations, were not wanting of means to offord them information, were also too apt to think that the Right Honourable Gentleman no fooner proposed a Bill than it was passed. With respect to the accu. fation made against him--of having adopted a strange mode of argument-all that was strange in it, had been the result of the Right Honourable Gentleman's dexterity at misrepresentation. When the Right Honourable Gentleman itated him to have said, “ that the funds would rise, and that they would not,” all he had meant distinctly was, that if the measure was intended to benefit the country in its present difficult struggle, it would most certainly not have that effect. Instead of any advantage or profit arising from such a transaction to the country, the money would all go into the pockets of the monied people, and not into that of the public. Undoubtedly the ftocks might experience a rise in the progress of such a scheme of finance as the present; but that rise would, he contended, be temporary, while in the end the effect would be to depress them, or, if they did ultimately rise, only individuals would benefit by it. Thus did he consider himself warranted in saying, that if this was not a bonus, at Icast it held out a lure to those who might be desirous of contracting for a loan. The Right Honourable Gentleman had equally mistated him with regard to what he had said on the subject of the consolidated fuid. He had not great pretenfions to talent, but he did think, poor as might be his capacity, he had understand. ing enough to know, that the consolidated fund and taxes were not the constitution. So far from having confounded these, he well knew that thcy were in all respects different, and he was