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year would abridge him of many to resist the demands of this councomforts, and he might almost say try, and thus further increase the of many necessaries; and at any expense of the China war? As a rate his sacrifice was immeasurably proof that the tax was not met greater than that of the rich pro with dislike, he observed that the prietor nominally paying ten times Opposition journals at first apthe amount. Therefore, if it were proved of it; and when they fit to make any reserve whatever turned to a different opinion, the of incomes of 1501. a-year, it provincial journals of the same would be proper to permit a similar party very slowly followed the advantage to incomes above 1501.example. He vindicated the part a-year.
which he and others had taken in Viscount Sundon declared, that resisting the proposal to reduce the the Whig Budget had not received half the condemnation it deserved;
Mr. O'Connell argued for a it was utterly unworthy, and not Property-tax in contradistinction one single item of it could be re to an Income-tax. Nothing could lied on. For instance, there could justify the latter but the most abhave been no revenue from corn ; solute necessity,--a necessity which for, if the harvest had been good, must rest upon a double assumpnone would have been imported— tion, the want of money, and the if bad, the fixed duty would have want of means to supply the want been taken off. Thien as to the of money; and they must try proposal to return to taxes re other sources already pointed out, pealed, was it for the comfort of especially timber and sugar, and the people to reimpose taxes on have practical demonstration that glass, soap,
or other articles of a revenue could not thence be domestic use ? The attempts to raised to the extent required, before raise a popular cry against the they resorted to an Income-tax. Income-tax had failed ; a petition It was not wise to depreciate the against it lay in the Liverpool national resources in the eyes of Exchange for five or six hours foreign countries, while peace was before it received a single signa- as yet unsafe with Russia, France, ture; and that was before it was and the United States ; but the known to be a rule of the House Income-tax ought to be hoarded not to receive petitions against up in terrorem. Ministers ought pending measures of taxation. to recollect what enemies they Attempts were made to throw were raising against themselves by difficulties in the way of the tax, the operation of such a tax; arby undervaluing the emergency raying against themselves all the but the war in Affghanistan was active talent of the country,--the not to be measured by the loss of rising lawyers, the rising phylives : they could not compare sicians, the skilful clerks, whose lives lost in a defeat, to lives lost superior talents enable them to in a victory,—the loss of 10,000 obtain larger salaries. For his men, under circumstances shaking own part he objected to the tax on our moral hold over India, with account of its gross injustice, and that of 10,000 men in a hospital. because it was imposed to maintain And might not the event even the landed interests in possession influence the Emperor of China of their high rents.
Mr. Hawes cited the authority would not timidly abandon them; of Sir Francis Baring in 1798, and it only remained for the and Mr. Huskisson, in 1830, in House to determine whether they opposition to an Income-tax, and should be adopted. “You need in favour of a Property-tax; in- expect no Appropriation-clause sisting that the Income-tax would shirking from us ; you need expect fall on the productive industry of no Jamaica Bill resignation. That the country. With respect to the which we believe to be right we tariff, the step taken was in the will manfully maintain ; and we right direction, but towards the place our reliance for support in mass of the people it was an in our present financial measures on justice, because it retained the the wisdom of the Parliament, and great monopolies; for the diffe- on the patriotic spirit and virtue rence between the present plan of the nation.” and that of the late Ministry was, Mr. F.T. Baring contrasted the that the latter sought to obtain manner in which the present Mirevenue by grappling with great nisters magnified the difficulties of monopolies, while the former think the time with the calm spirit of it their duty to maintain those Mr. Pitt's speeches, when he monopolies, and to impose great brought forward an analogous additional taxation upon the coun measure. He accepted Sir J. try.
Graham's wish to see meetings Sir James Graham said, that composed of persons who enjoy Mr. Labouchere had made the less than
a-year, as a proof important admission, that although that the Income tax was an exa revenue were obtained from an cellent bidding for the “physical alteration of the corn and sugar force” of England ; but he threatduties, there still would be a ened the Ministers with a future deficiency to be supplied by direct agitation among the shopkeepers taxation. It was hinted that re
and industrious classes-an oppopealed taxes might be reimposed; sition so strong as either to force look at the most productive of them to give up the tax altogether, them, the taxes on beer, malt, or to exempt incomes and lay burleather, candles, soap, printed thens upon property alone. He cottons, or coals carried coast- went on to discuss particular points wise; would Mr. Baring who in the tariff, comparing it with was about to address the House, his own Budget, which he declared specify which of those he would would not be unpopular. He did have reimposed ? Sir James Gra- not see how with a yearly deficienham wound up with a declaration cy of 1,200,0001. made by the that the Ministers would stand or tariff
, amounting in three years to fall by the measure of taxation 3,600,0001., the Income-tax could which they had imposed, so as to be taken off at that time. He bear upon the rich and powerful, entered into some details to show and to spare the humble and poor. that the late Ministers had not They were quite satisfied that the saddled the country with a debt measures they proposed were pru- of 41,000,0001., as they had been dent; they believed them to be accused of doing; the real increase indispensably necessary. They had of the debt from 1835 to 1841 was not lightly proposed them; they only 8,500,0001. ; or, leaving the
20,000,0001. of West-India com- posed a graduated Income-tax, pensation out of the account, there varying with the extent and nature was a decrease of fully 13,000,0001. of incomes; but he made no formal But a sinking fund had been at motion. The report was then work; 2,500,0001. a-year had brought up and read. been paid for converting perpetual Mr. Labouchere now into terminable annuities. Mr. mended that the Income tax should Baring denied that he had ever be postponed, in order that the condemned the principle of taxing tariff might be proceeded with. the succession of land; he had Sir Robert Peel was quite sure only objected to making good the that Mr. Labouchere had no apPost-office deficiency by that prehensions with regard to his inmeans, because that was in effect tentions respecting the tariff. He unfairly transferring the burthen to had no wish to press the Incomethe agricultural interest, which did tax Bill with any haste ; but the not benefit so much as others by House would agree with him, that the reduction. He called on the it was necessary that he should House to appeal to past experience have the Income-tax Bill so far of the various kinds of taxation, advanced as to give him a reasonand they would find that of all able hope of its being agreed to, taxes the Income-tax had been the before he introduced the tariff, most odious to the people, for in which depended upon it. He was 1816 the agricultural, commercial, as much bound to the Tariff as to and manufacturing classes exclaim- the Income tax ; and he should ed unanimously against it, and de- feel himself bound to relinquish manded that, before all the rest, it the office he had the honour to should be repealed. He reverted, hold, as much if the House did however, with satisfaction to the not agree with him upon the fact, that anid all the discussion, Tariff as upon the Income-tax. nowhere was there a single word Leave was then given to bring of the breach of national faith. in a bill founded on the resolutions
Mr. Ferrand reproached the moved by Sir Robert Peel, . Opposition with opposing Sir Ro On the motion for the first beri Peel, in his efforts to give reading of the bill on 18th April, food to the poor.
Lord John Russell, observing that Lord Worsley declared that he as yet there had been no decision could neither support the Govern in the Committee of Ways and ment measure, Lord John Means on the question of the InRussell's resolution, which involved come-tax, moved as an amendment the principle of a fixed duty on that the bill be read a first time corn. The House then divided, that day six months. He referred when ihe numbers were-For to some of Sir Robert Peel's former Lord John Russell's Amendment, speeches in Hansard's Debates, in 202; Against it, 308; Ministerial which the odiousness of an Income. majority, 106.
tax was described. He said, he Mr. William Williams then would not now object to the prinmoved a resolution, which he had ciple of changes in the Tariff, but before given notice of; but after- these changes might much more wards withdrew it.
easily have been carried through Lord Robert Grosvenor pro- Parliament, and with less panic in
the country, if Sir Robert Peel tail a further yearly loss of had stated last year that these 1,200,0001., a total deficiency on were the principles on which he the year of 4,200,0001. He could undertook the Government. Speak- discover no mode of making good ing to the country generally, the that deficiency so proper as that of Prime Minister said, that the calling upon the comparatively Tariff would diminish the cost of affluent to contribute a considerable living; to those interested in agri- portion of the additional taxation. culture he said, that prices would He was confident, if the measure not be materially diminished; the received the sanction of Parliaaccomplishment of both results ment, that there would be, amongst would be impossible ; and it would the great consuming classes of the be much fairer, if Sir Robert country, a feeling of satisfaction at Peel, instead of shuffling between the example thus set, which would the two great interests of the in the end have a tendency to country, were to tell them boldly compensate the holders of property and candidly, what he really con- for some of the inconveniences to templated as the result of his pro- which they might be subjected. positious. If Sir Robert Peel A debate of some length ensued, abandoned the restriction on the which, however, consisted for the importation of foreign copper, he most part, of a repetition of argumust abandon his argument against ments before urged for or against the importation of foreign sugar, the measure. From this description that it would encourage foreign must be excepted a speech delivered slavery, since the copper mines of by Mr. Rajkes Currie, a Member Cuba were worked by slave-labour. who usually voted on the Liberal Lord John Russell had no new side, who now addressed the House proposition to make; therefore, with great ability and earnesthe simply moved as an amendment ness, and whose speech created a that the bill be read a first time powerful impression. that day six months.
Mr. Currie said, that he came Sir Robert Peel vindicated the forward with reluctance, having, consistency of his present and during the five years he had sat former opinions. When he stated there, scarcely troubled the House the strong objections he had to with as many sentences; with the imposition of an Income tax sincerity, because he feared that in 1833, the financial state of the his sentiments would find little country was
was widely different. acceptation in that focus of party There was then a net surplus of spirit, “ I feel it my duty, after 1,500,0001. over the expenditure. the best consideration I can give It was said, that the tax would the subject, to support the proposoon be very unpopular; granted : sition of the right honourable Bawhat then, but a strong sense of ronet. (Ministerial cheers.) I am public duty could induce any Min. by no means insensible to the seister to propose such a tax?rious objections to an income tax ; Leaving India entirely out of the I am by no means blind to the deaccount, there was now a gross fects and short comings of the deficiency of 10,000,0001., to be Tariff; but, taking the Governincreased in April, 1843, byment propositions as a whole (and 3,000,0001. The Tariff would en as a whole I think we are called
on to consider them), they appear to till a deficit of ten millions stares me bold, honest, comprehensive us in the face when I see the required by the circumstances which miserable expedients to which we they are brought forward to meet, have resorted—when I remember and at all events, not more objec. the paramount duty-I will not tionable than any substitute equally say of upholding public credit, for effective, which could be carried in that no one will deny—but of the existing constitution of Parlia- placing all your financial provisions ment. I think this measure a bold above the shadow of suspicion, I measure, because in the discharge cannot think that you have made of public duty the right honour too great an effort. When I look able Baronet braves the odium of across the Atlantic, and see the imposing a tax which, whatever it shameless course which men who may seem to be at present, will spring from our race, speak our lanbecome doubtless peculiarly un guage, and suppose that they have popular with that middle class, improved upon our institutions, who form the bulk of your con have pursued, I feel more than stituencies; its inquisitorial attri ever that this country is called on butes will secure for it their ex to exercise her high vocation as a treme aversion. Ithink it an honest teacher of nations, and that the measure, because, while we impose best teacher is example.” no direct burthen on the work Mr. Currie went on to say, that ing-classes on the great body of he had looked forward to protectthe people-we severely tax our. ing and enlarging the Suffrage, as selves. No other impost would the means of righteous legislation, hit so hard the class to which I when he first came into Parliabelong : you take 3 per cent. from ment in 1837. How had his funded capital, and 3 per cent. hopes been met ? By a manly from profits-no small inroad, let and candid declaration from the me tell you, in a large commercial noble Member for London, that or banking business. I think this
I think this the Reform Act, advisedly and is a comprehensive measure, be with premeditation, gave the precause, while you take money from ponderance of power to the land. the public, you do something at owners of the kingdom ; and that least, something in the right di if any changes were to be made in rection to unfetter commerce, and it, he could be no party to them, to invigorate and expand trade, as he considered the measure a the source of all revenue. I be final settlement of the question. lieve that those who most strenu Meanwhile, all history taught him, ously oppose the measure, acknow that no dominant class ever volunledge that it will be effective for tarily gave up that which they the purpose it professes ; but say deemed to be profitable to their that it is not required by the exi own class - interests. Thus the gencies of the public service. This, friends of Liberal principles and of indeed, is a most weighty argu free-trade were placed in a comment; for if this be true, your tax plete dilemma. After four years is downright spoliation and injus- not very well spent, the noble tice. I cannot come to this con Lord came forward with his attack clusion. When I see our expendi upon monopoly in a Parliament of ture annually exceeding income, monopolists; and however chival