Imágenes de páginas

4th of William and Queen Mary, were preserved, it was because the Parishes were all equally assessed then in proportion, and because the Legislature did not at that time think the wording of the Act could afterwards work such monstrous injustice as it had done. In 1739, the county-rate was only fool. per annum. It afterwards role to 1,200l. and it had risen to the enormous amount of 15,000l. per annum. In the mean time, the rental of the Strand was no more than 70,000l. per annum, out of which it contributed the yearly sum of 215l. to the county-rate, while the rental of Mary-le-bonne was 320,000l per annum, out of which it contributed no more than 541. whereas, according to an equal proportion between the rental and the rate, the parish of Mary-le-bonne ought to contribute more than four times that sum, while the Strand should pay no more than 40l. per annum. The same fort of argument applied to the parishes of Spital Fields and Shoreditch, where numbers of the poor industrious people are compelled to contribute with difficulty a larger proportion to the county-rate than parishes where scarcely any but the rich and the idle have their residence. As to the objection, that every county would have a right to expect a limilar assessment if this Bill pafled, he denied the fact, because other counties are not liable to incur the same increasing expences. The prosecution of felons in the county of Middlesex is attended with an additional expence to that of other counties, and to fuch an amount do these expences sometimes rise, that in a recent trial of two persons for forgery, the prosecution cost no less a sum than 6661. 18s. 6d. Now as the large Parish of Mary-le-bonne must be more inítrumental in caufing these expences than smaller Parishes, it was but just it should contribute a proportion. The expence of building a House of Correction had also encreased the county-rate in the sum of 20,000l. to which was to be added, the yearly expences attending it, of 1000l. and to this was to be added, the expence of building a new prison in Clerkenwell, for which the sum of 60,000l. was borrowed at an interest including the other expences attending it of 3000l. per annum.

All these expences had been incurred since the passing of the Act; none of which the Legislature could possibly foresee. To thew further how extremely hard the present rate bore upon Jome of the smaller parishes inhabited by the poorer classes of the people, he stated, that by a dreadful fire in Radcliffe two or three years ago, the greater part of the houses in the parish were consumed, together with the property of the inhabitants ; and consequently they were no longer able to contribute to the county-rate; yet according to the letter of the law, the Magistrates of Middlesex might have distrained the goods and chattles of the overseers for the payment of it, which was a species of humanity he did not expect to hear of, even from the parish of Mary-le-bonne. To conclude, he contended that if the Bill did pass, the parish of Mary-le-bonne would not have a great deal to complain of, as an equal county-rate would not alleis it more in addition to the trifle which it now contributes, than one penny in the pound.

The Solicitor General and the Master of the Rolls both spoke in favour of the Bill, after which the House divided.

For the second reading - - 82
For the postponement - - 71

Majority II It was then moved that it be read on Wednesday the third of May, and carried on a division of 80 to 77.

Mr. Rose'moved, « That the following Accounts be laid “ before the House, preparatory to the opening of the Bud. « get ;" which were ordered and immediately presented :

An Account of the Produce of the consolidated Duties of the Stamp Revenues, from the 5th of April, 1795, to the 5th of April, 1796.

An Account of the Produce of the Duties of i per cent. upon fums insured on property consumed by fire.

An Account of the Produce of the Duties on Bills of Exchange.

An Account of the Produce of Duties on wrought Silver and Gold Plate.

And an Account of the Produce of Duties on Solicitors and Attornies Certificates.

MAROONS. Colonel Walpole moved for Copies of the printed Proceedings of the Assembly of Jamaica respecting the Maroons---of their numbers arrived in America--and a Copy of the Observations of Commissioner Quarel. Which Motions passed without a division.

BUDGET. The Order of the Day was then read, and the House resolved itself into a Committee of Ways and Means, Mr. Sylvester Douglas in the Chair.

The Report of the Sele&t Committee of Finance being previously referred to the faid Committee.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer. « In the great and extensive prosecution of the business which it is my duty this day to submit to the consideration of the Committee, it is impossible for me not to feel the weight and importance of the burdens which our exigencies have occasioned, and still less is it impof

[ocr errors]

sible for me not to feel considerable regret, and great personal disappointment in being compelled, however reluctantly, to propose an addition to the ampie and large provision already made towards defraying the expences of the country in a wide and calamitous war, and add to the present burdens which are borne with unexampled patience, and to which nothing but the most rigorous necessity could force me to impose fresh burdens. I am conscious the sensations of every Gentleman in the Committee will be hurt on this occasion, and I truít, whatever may be their feelings upon this subject, they will give me credit my sensations are not less alive. But it is not my duty to dwell on those sensations. Much as I regret the causes of the war, and the calamities with which it has been attended; much as I regret the manner in which the hope of a speedy termination has been obstructed, and additional expences thereby incurred; much as I regret increasing expences, where expences have already been so much and almost so insufferably increased; and whatever may be my own personal mortification and regret in being obliged to come forward at such a distressful period with new burdens; I feel it, notwithstanding, to be my first great duty to come forward, as I hope and trust the House and country will do with me, with a firm and manly spirit, to convince the Enemy that however great may be our pressure, however embarralled our circumstances, we are determined to contend with them as long as we are able, rather than submit to haughty and dishonourable terms. Though we may not be successful enough to accomplish the means by which we can terminate the fatal contest in which we are engaged, consistently with the honour, security, and permanent and essential interests of the nation, let us yet convince our Enemies, that our spirit does not desert us in our trials, but that, in spite of every difficulty, we will ftill be just both to ourselves and to our country. In this sentiment I trust to meet the sense of the House and the people at large, whose patriotism, justice, and magnanimy, as they never have failed in the most arduous conflicts, will not, I trust, fail now; but manifeft, on the contrary, that whatever may be the event, they have but one duty to pursue, the safety, honour, and happiness of the kingdom.

“Without hesitation, though certainly not without anxiety and regret, I shall now proceed to submit to the Committee what I have to propose. In doing this, it is with pleafure I declare, that I shall not only derive great advantage, but that my labour is materially diminished also by the very able and impartial statements of the first Report of the Select Comunittee of Finance, which has been printed and this day laid before you. However, in particular parts, I may be justified in differing No. 33

7 P

from these statements, however favourable those statements may be to the general wishes of the House and of the Country (and I am ready to confess they are inore favourable than what I have to propoie) I shall guide myself by their direction, and render that Report the basis of the plan of my proposal. Í shall follow the usual mode of proceeding upon subjects of this nature, and first take a view of the transactions which have caused the expences for which we are now called on to provide, and state what sums remain to be provided for; I shall then compare thele provisional demands with what have been already provided for in the course of the present year, and submit the plans which I propose for a further provision, and in this process I shall be as Thort and explicit as I can. For this purpose, therefore, and according to the usual practice, I shall first call the attention of the House to the whole amount of services for the present year, with the amount of the sums already voted for defraying them, and the amount of the sums remaining to be voted ; and after that I shall detail the Ways and Means by which these services have already been defrayed, and by which the remainder may be defrayed ; and finally I shall state the specific measures which I mean to ground upon those statements towards the provision for the accumulated interest and charges. For the sake of being clear and intelligible, I shall proceed article by article, under various heads; and, to pursue the customary mode, I shall of course begin with the

NAVY. The Committee will recollect, that for the Navy service of the current year, there has been already voted the sum of 7,661,000l. in addition to which the Committee of Supply has vored 5,000,000l. more. Gentlemen will recollect, that altho' I estimated the expences of the Naval departmet at 7,661,000l. I then stated my intention to propose the provision of a further fum of 2,500,cool, in order to remedy an inconvenience which heretofore had arisen, and thereby have 10,161,000l, in Cash towards defraying any excess of Navy Debt. Such, however, have been the extraordinary exertions and expences of the war, that there yet remained an un unded Debt of the Navy unprovided for to the amount of 4 millions. In the statements of the Select Committee a comparison has been given between this outstanding Navy Debt and the outstanding Navy Debt in 1783, and the Committee has made an allowance for 3,000,oool. In the Select Committee it appears by the best estimates, that as far as they can be ascertained, the expences of the Navy Service would amount to 12,900,000l. which is short of what I have stated them to be, but exceeding what I formerly conlidered them. By way of reducing this amount, though I ought to state that

a sum

a sum of 800,000l. went in aid of the Navy Services of 17961 and consequently left the provision for the Services of 1797 deficient in that sum, for, however careful we may be, a part of the expences will be carried on in Navy Bills, though certainly to lets extent than formerly. In the provision of 12,000,000l. four shillings per month would be carried to the ordinary expences of the Navy, whereby about 110,oool. would be taken away from the unfunded Debt. As I fuppose there will then be a million, or a million and a half of Navy Debt afloat. Such was my former statement, and compared with the statement of the Committee, there is this difference, that it supposes 1,500,oool. of floating Navy Debt, instead of 3,000,000l. as the Select Committee of Finance has calculated. I do not know whether I have expressed myself clearly upon this point; but if not, I shall be happy to give any Gentleman a further explanation.


« The next head of service is the Army, upon which there has been already voted the sum of 10,913,000l. The accounts for foreign corps are not yet made out, but they foon will be, and I have reason to hope their expences will be less than were calculated in my original statement, and less than they appeared to the Select Committee. I have reason to think this diminution will amount to one half; and that the sum of 370,000l. will be sufficient; 6,000,000l. was the total amount estimated for the Army establishment, independent of the extraordinaries, which is less by 297,000l. than the estimates for the ensuing year by the Select Committee. In 1796 there were some extraordinary expences of the army incurred which at present remain unprovided for, to the amount of 3,287,000l. and in the interval of the 8th of December and the ist of January, there was another out-standing demand made evident of 100,ocol. which, in confequence of not being paid, is to be added to the other, and makes a sum of 3,387,00ol. out-standing army debt to be provided for. It appears by the Report of the Select Committee, moreover, that by Treasury Bills paid at the Bank, and warrants for army service due and unpaid, a further sum of 2,088,000l. remains to be provided for, inasmuch as Treasury Bills paid at the Bank previous to the 5th of January 1797, and those which were due on the 8th of January, but not included, amounted to 1,660,oool. to which were to be added 428,00ol, for Army Warrants. So that the sum total would be as before stated, 2,088,oool. The estimated sum to be incurred by the Army Extraordinaries for 1797, according to the Report of the Secret Committee, and for the amount of which it is my intention to provide is 4,000,000l. It was not proposed before Christmas to 7 P 2


« AnteriorContinuar »