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exempted altogether. The greatest addition is to be laid on those which go under the general denomination of Consolidated Duties. These are of that description, where stamps of the fame denomination have been applied generally to different kinds of instruments. They include a variety of articles. The principal of these relate to the transfer of property, to deeds, adjudications, and proceedings in the Ecclefiaftical Courts. My object, as I have just observed, is to see what augmentation may take place by levying a tax on the whole mass of stamps. But it is my intention to exempt from the general tax all instruments that relate to law proceedings in Courts of Justice. I know that an opinion has prevailed, and with some degree of justice too, that by taxing articles of this description, and by that means increaling the expences of lawsuits, the frequency of litigation between parties might in a great measure be prevented ; but this rule is not in general true. If the costs of a suit are increased to a large amount, it may fall very heavy on persons who only sought to recover their property ; and particularly on several of the lower classes of the people, who are often under the necessity of appealing to Courts of Justice against those who would wish to take advantage of their inability, and refuse the payment of debts which may be juftly due. I would allo except from taxation all probates of wilts under certain sums; nor do I mean to propose any tax upon legacies, because a recent duty has been laid upon them in another form ; . under the same class, I would also include policies of insurance. On the general bulk therefore of stamps, I would propose to double the present amount, and that will produce annually a sum of 320,000l. But I mean to exempt from this general plan, skins of parchment which have been itamped, and, instead of doubling the duty on, I shall propose that where one skin has paid a duty of 75. an additional duty only of 35. fhall be laid upon it. From the fullest information which I have received from the different offices on this subject, it has appeared to me, that this is the best mode of taxing the article in question, and that by such means it will be equally productive with the other taxes of the same description.

TAX ON TRANSFER OF PROPERTY. " With respect to the Duties on Transfers of Personal Pro· perty, where itamps may be necessary to give it validity, there

is no subject of taxation which ought more freely to give a contribution to the public, than that which must fall fo lightly on every individual who may happen to be in possession of ample means to defray a charge that must, in such circumstances, be comparatively trilling, and no ways burdensome to the indivi. dual who pays it. Over and above the duty upon this branch, I

mean

mean to propose fome scale for transfer, according to the amount of the property transferred. In offering this tax, I am only extending a principle which has been already adopted by Parliament. A duty of 6d. in the pound in every 100l. has already been laid on all property transferred by public Auction : and if it be admitted that a tax on Auctions is a fair tax, what objection can there be to laying a similar tax on property fold by private contract? The only objection that has occurred to me on this subject is, that of the tax operating in cases of distress, against which, I shall, when the Bill comes in its proper stage before the House, make a provision. The duty I mean to propose, therefore, will be 4d. a pound on every rool. obtained for property transferred in this way. I cannot form any very accurate estimate of the produce of this tax; but from the great increase within the last three years of the Auction Duty, I do not believe that this additional tax will prevent the transfer of property. If all the Duties were paid on Auctions, the property transferred by Auctions annually would not be less than four millions. But when I consider the proportion which Auctions bear to Private Contracts, I have reason to believe that a much larger sum than 100,000l. would be procured. I shall take the produce at 170,000l. supposing no more than ten millions of property to be sold in. each year.

AUTHENTICATED COPIES OF DEEDS. « In addition to this, no Deed is now valid that is not stamped; but Authenticated Copies of Deeds are admitted as evidence. If the principle of stamping Deeds be a good one, I shall propose, that no Authenticated Copy be admitted as evidence until it has previously been stamped. This, I calculate, will produce 40,000l.

PROBATES OF WILLS. “ The next article relates to Probates of Wills. I mean to make no addition to sums under 3001. but a moderate advance on all above that sum, and also to enforce the Probates of Wills. This tax I estimate at 40,0001. ADDITIONAL TAX ON NEWSPAPERS AND ADVERTISEMENTS.

“ The next subject I have to offer to the Committee, is one that will produce a great deal of discussion out of this House. It relates to a certain species of property well known in this country; but it will be the vehicle (and that not a verbal one) of conveying to the different parts of the country, what I am now stating, When I consider the great prevalence of this vehicle of general intelligence; when I consider the amazing extent to which it has been carried; that the luxury of it has been so very generally felt and practised; that the taste of the public is not likely to be shaken, by any trifling increase in the price of an article

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fought after with such universal avidity; when I consider also the immense profits produced by these articles of luxury, which are of a nature that ought not to exempt them from their share of general taxation, I conceive that the laying an additioual duty on Newspapers, is a measure that cannot be in any manner objectionable. This might be done without any injury either to the Editors or the Authors of such publications. The present duty is 2d. on each paper; in addition to which I shall propose a further tax of one penny halfpenny; and even in that case, considerable gains will be produced to the proprietors of papers. I should conceve that the price to customers ought not to be raised any higher than this additional duty ; becaule on a former occafion, in consequence of an increased duty on paper, the price of newspapers were raised far beyond that proportion, and has continued so ever since; therefore, I do not imagine the proprietors of thein can now have any equitable claim to an increase in their price. The fum produced by this duty will amount to 114,0001. The next thing I have to propose, is a modification of the duties on advertisements publified in newspapers. According to the regulations that exist at present, there is no distinction in the duty between an advertisement of three lines, for which fix fhillings are paid, and an advertisement of any length, which rises to the dignity of pounds. I shall propose to vary the present mode, and according to the regulations which I shall of fer, there may be advertisements the duty on which shall amount only to some shillings, while on others the duty shall rise up to some pounds sterling. The estimated produce from this source will amount to 20,000l.

ATTORNIES' CERTIFICATES. « In addition to this, I propose an augmentation of the tax on certificates of Attornies and Solicitors. This will produce 15,000l.

PLATE. « There is one more article of luxury which I shall propose to lay a tax on ; that is, all Plate that fall be manufactured for the purpose of orinamental use, which will produce the sum of 30,000l. All those taxes which I have just enumerated will produce 834,000l. press as lightly on the general bulk of the people as any I could think of; and tend least of all to increase the national difficulties.

TOLE DUTY. " There still remains one more to be added. I have endeavoured to find one, which, although I confess it is not free from fome speculative and practical objections, will not, however, be found inconvenient to the public at large. It is a subject which has often been thought of before this time; which has been once

before

before this House, but was withdrawn. This is a tax on carriages of all forts, and on goods of all kinds conveyed by carriages which pass through turnpike-gates, where the tax is to operate by an increase of the tolls. To this it will be right to make some exemptions ; such as exemptions on all new tolls, till they shall have risen to a certain amount---general exceptions to be provided for by general laws---and local exceptions in certain districts. The same exceptions that now prevail in tolls ought also to prevail on the part of the public; and I shall propole that the same duty may be taken for the public, that is now paid for tolls. I cannot exactly tay how much this will produce; but I know that when it was brought forward here about fifteen years ago, it was estimated at no less a sum than berween 4 and 500,000). I have had an opportunity of knowing the amount of the tolls of the gates about the metropolis, which are not a tenth part of those throughout the whole kingdom. By this means I can in some manner ascertain the ainount of the present tax; and I think it will produce between 4 and 500,00cl.--With respect to the principle of this tax, it may be objected to on the ground of its being a great hardship to lay a burden on passengers and the conveyance of goods; but I hope when Gentl men will consider how small a portion must fall to each individual, that they will not look upon this as a grievance, but rather as a manner of lightening the general burdens.

“I have now ftited every thing which I conceived material in as concise a manner as I could; and I return my thanks to the Committee for the indulgence they have thewn me during the length of time I have trelpassed on their attention. I have no other excuse to make than that I am pleading the neceffity of dwelling on a subject which I did not with to bring forward ipperfectly. And I now lubrnit this plealing circumstance to the consideration of the House, that in the midst of difficulties, and apparently surrounded by calamities, we have still been able to find such ample resources, as those which have been stated to them this day. I call upon them to reflect, that at the moment when we are struggling with a great contest--- while we are labouring under pressures as heavy as they are unexampled; we still see the strength and powers which we possess; and that if we are not to be alarmed at imaginary evils; if we are not to be disa pirited by events which are not so calamitous in themselves as ther have been conceived to be; we shall find the radical wealth and the ample means of this country fully fufficient to support us in every conjuncture of our affairs, and ultimately to restore us to that situation from which we have been removed for a time, by circumstances as extraordinary as they have been unavoidaNo. 33.. 7 R

ble

ble. He then concluded by moving Resolutions founded on his statements, as follow :--

SUMMARY OF THE NEW TAXES. The Consolidated Duties on Stamps in general doubled

320,000 Tax on Property transferred by Private Contract

170,000 Tax on Copies of Deeds

40,000 "On Probates of Wills above the Sum of 300l.

40,000 Addition of i{ on each Newspaper Stamp

114,000 Increased Duty on Advertisements

20,000 On Attornies Certificates

15,000 On Ornamented Plate,

30,000 Duty equal to the Tolls on all Carriages passing ; through Turnpikes

450,000

.1,199,000 Mr. Fox.---" Though I cannot but express my concern at feeing Gentlemen, at such an important cvilis, to ready to leave the Houle; yet, the subject now before them is of such a nature, that during iis discussion, I wiih rather for an attentive than a 'nunierous audience. The subject now proposed to the considesation of the Committee, is of luch vast and ferious importance, that I think it unnecessary to apologize for following the Right Hunourable Gentleman through some of the various statements and calculations he has made, and offering my reasons for diifering most effentially in opinion with him, not only with re. gard to the state of the Finances of the country, but also with respect to the deductions which he has endeavoured to establish from the positions which he has brought forward. The road, Sir, we have to travel, is not beset with flowers, but opens to our view a comfortless and dreary prospect, and, while we raihiy continue to pursue it, we are deprived of every mcans to avoid the impending precipices with which it is on every side surrounded. I intreat Gentlemen to consider and compare the statements they have heard this day from the Right Honourable Gencleman, and those with which he has, on former occasions, but too successfully deluded them. But however specious and unfounded his financial calculations have formerly been, they are even exceeded in delusion by his statements made this day, which I maintain are altogether unprecedented in the history of Finance.

« The Right Honourable Gentleman came forward in the month of December last, and having succeeded in obtaining a supply of 18 millions, he now repeats the experiment, and calls on us for the same sum. But how has he prefaced this sudden and extraordinary demand? He has declared, that the task of applying to the House, after so short an interval, and for so

large

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