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large a fum, is irksome and painful to him, and that he has been disappointed in his views. That he has disappointed us by this unexpected application, I most readily admit; but what, particular difappointment the Right Honourable Gentleman may have experienced, which compels him to have recourse to our liberality, after the recent and m. It convincing proot we have already given of it, or which can justity his applying for this enormous fum, I am, Sir, at a lots to conceive. Dous he forget the language which he uied in th's House on the 7th of last December, and must he be reminded, that 18 millions then advanced were given not so much with an idea of profecuting the war, as with an earnest hope of enabling him to forward the great and desirable work of peace? Can it be necellary for me to recal to him the public wiihes at that period for a speedy termination of the war; and that the Loan was accomplished on the general hope of a successful issue to Lord Malmsbury's embally? He told us then, that the advance of 18 millions was an ample supply, for such were his words, for the exigencies of the state, and adequate to the pressure of every circumstance. Yet no disappointment has since happened to induce him so suddenly to repeat the experiment. I can not for my part perceive any disappointment which can have compelled him to this unprecedented application, except the state of Ireland alone, and the sum required for the embarrassnients of that kingdom amounts to a million and a half. What other disappointments the fanguine expectations of the Right Honourable Gentleman may have suffered, he has not condelended to inform us, I clearly exposed the illusions with which he amused the House when he called on us to provide for the last Loan of 18 millions and the event has fully verified what I then pressed so earnestly on the attention of Gentlemen.
“With respect to the statements made in the report of the Select Committee, of the produce of the permanent taxes for the years 1793, 1794, and 1795, I am willing to give the Right Honourable Gentleman every benefit he may wiln to desive from that report, however I may differ in opinion with the subject matter of the report, and object to the documents on which it is founded. In speaking of the produce of the taxes in 1796, as stated in the report of the Select Committee, on which he builds his calculations, (I stop here for a moment, and requeft it may be remembered, that I do not agree to the extent of that part of the report, or to the use which he makes of it). Not knowing the amount of the hat and legacy duty, I allow them to produce what he himself thinks fit to staie; but when I come to the wine duty, there, Sir, I beg leave to oblerve, that I differ both with the Committee, and with the Right Honour7 R 2
able Gentleman. The stock in hand cannot, in any respect, be considered as an annual tax, and, indeed, the Right Honourable Gentleman leems, by the very arguments which he introduces in favour of that opinion, to admit, that it cannot be viewed in that light. The fair way to estimate the produce of the wine duty is to calculate it for 1796, on the same ground as if it was conlidered in 1795; and I will, Sir, by a parity of reasoning, argue for the produce of 1797 by the experience we have had of the preceding year. Thus, having given the Right Honourable Gentleman full credit for the hat and legacy duty, and admitting that a duty of 201. per ton will produce in 96 what it has produced in 95, I still maintain that there remains a deficiency of no less a lum than 357,000l. in the produce of the taxes brought forward by the Right Honourable Gentleman. I will not argue that because he was minus 357,000l. he should have immediately proceeded to provide for it; but I will contend, that for him to maintain that he had a surplus when he was actually minus 357,000l. is an allusion of too gross and palpable a nature to impose on the understanding. But if even the taxes of 1796 produced the sum it was intended they should, there would still be a deficiency of 88,000l. and that according to the report of the Select Committee. Let us then consider, that at the beginning of the Session we were 357,000l. Ihort; that in October the Right Honourable Gentleman funds his Navy Bills, and immediately after, in December, makes his Loan; should he not then have said that the interest of the taxes was not equal to meet the public exigencies? Instead of the taxes which have been propoled, it appears that a sum of 1,800,oool. in taxes would not be too much for the various calls of the present moment. The deficiency on my calculation amounts to 470,000l. and not to 210,000l, as stated by the Right Honourable Gentleman, and in the Report of the Select Committee.
“ And here, Sir, I think it necessary to declare, that the report of that Committee does not merit the eulogium which has been lavished on it. I believe it has originated from, and has been conducted with good intentions; but that it is particularly clear---that it is founded on convincing documents, and that it is supported by evident and accurate calculations, I can by no means admit. For I beg leave to ask, what has been the line of conduct pursued by the Members of the Committee? They sent to the public offices for the calculations in the respective departments : and on these papers, so supplied through the very channel of Government, they proceeded to form a decisive opinion ; and here I must notice, that in delivering their decision to the House, they have merely grounded their proceedings on the authorities furnished incontestibly by Government, and which alone we are thus called upon to sancton In stating the produce of the permanent taxes, they have recourse to the stoppage of the distilleries, for the purpofe of accounting for the deficiency which took place in them, and proceeding on the same lystem, they also allude to the bounties granted to seamen in 1796, when it cannot be denied, that the bounties were in reality issued not in one year, but within a year and a half. This conduct was therefore prejudicial to the produce of the permanent taxes in 1795, and to that of other years. They say, that the stoppage of the distilleries between June 1795, and November 1796, must have materially affected the amount of that part of the produce which arises from the duty on British spirits, They do not venture to state the precife deficiency, but on comparing the produce of the duties on British ipirits in 1796, with the average produce of the fame duties in the three preceding years, the deficiency is said to be 557,7931. They immediately after admit, that upon this computed account of the loss upon the distilleries, an allowance should be made in consideration of any increase of duties upon beer which may have taken place within the fame period; but what the amount of that allowance may be, they do not attempt to point out.---Thus, Sir, it is evident, that they estimate a deficiency in one instance with respect to the stoppage of the distilleries, on the system of a computed average, and reject any substitute for that deficier.cy in the instance of the duties on beer, which they clearly admit have increased, but which they do not think proper to estimate by comparing it with the average produce of other year, as they have done in the case of distilleries.
« Let us for a moment take the average produce of the beer tax for the three preceding years, and we ihall find, that there arises a sum of 270,000l, in favour of last year, which has been entirely overlooked in the Report of the Committee, This sum, I therefore contend, ought to have been added to the produce of the permanent taxes. They have also, Sir, stated their estimate of the Navy Service for the ensuing year to amount to 12,935,000l. but the Right Honourable Gentleman differs in this very material consideration from the Committee, and fixes it at 12,661,000l. to which if we add, as we are justified in doing, the floating arrears of 1,500,000l. the estimate will then appear to be 14,161,000l. Thus the Right Honourable Gentleman; instead of making his estimate, as he says it is, less by 1,100,000l, than that furnished by the Committee, will in fact make it greatly exceed that which we find in the Report. I wish to know, Sir, on what principle he has calculated the probable increase of the Navy Debt for the ensuing year. In my opinion the best, and certainly the most satisfactory way would be, to calculate it by the experience we have had of the expences incurred in that department of the public service during the laft year. I must observe, that in every estimate of this nature he has been always disappointed, and the cause is obvious : he has continually acted on erroneous principles, and has therefore been continually mistaken. What is the line of conduct then which he should adopt? Why, Sir, instead of confining himself to narrow and circumscribed statements, instead of implicitly regulating his judgment by the standard of official accounts and trifting calculations, he ought to take matters on a larger, and unqueltionably a more secure basis, since it is cstablished by the experionce of the past. Let us take a short view of the effect of those eftimates on which he prides himself. On the 7th of December 1795, the Right Honourable Gentleman stated, that the proba. ble increase of the Navy D. bt would be 2 millions, and this he called a very ample estimate. Then it arole to 4 millions : then to 7 millions; and now, in the month of April, which feems to be a fixed term for bringing forward a second Budg: t, he calls for 8,764,000l. more.. The Right Honourable Gentleman next tells us, that he has all his documents from the respective offices; and this I believe to be true: but he ought to suppose an increase not merely from official papers, but from the conftant experience of facts. The expences of the Navy are at this moment on a much larger scale than any time during the war. 110,000 men were voted for the service of last year, we have this year voted 120,000. Instead, therefore, of making the increale less than it was, he should make it proportionably greater and it ought to be 6 or 700,000). more than what it is now fixed at. With respect to the Army Extraordinaries, the Right Honourable Gentleman says, they are included in the common estimate, but will he not admit that many after payments have frequently taken place? And if fo, is it not very likely that fuch expences will be incurred on future occasions? I feel myself juftified in declaring, from the various views which I have taken of these important subjects, that notwithstanding all the heavy burdens, and all the dreadful taxes we are about to impose this day, we have still one million more to provide for the exigencies of the public service.
« On the subject of affording pecuniary succours to the Emperor, the Right Honourable Gentleman expresses his defire to have a certain sum reserved for that purpose, and in that point I perfectly agree with him. Yet, what is not a little extraordinary, he wishes to have 200,00ol. voted as a Loan to his Imperial Majesty immediately ; nay, Sir, if I rightly understand him, he wishes to have the measure agreed to this very night. I hope the Right Honourable Gentleman will let me right, if
I have misconceived his intention, or if I mistake what I take to be a moft alarming proceeding (Mr. Pitt here signified his intention of moving the 200,000l. in the course of the night.) Then, Sir, I maintain such a proceeding to be a direct infringement of the declaration made by the Right Honourable Gen. tleman, that he wished to have the pecuniary succour intended for the Emperor, reserved to a convenient opportunity. I will not pretend to say how far the credit of the country may be hurt by the measure, but let me ask, is there any material difference between exporting 200,000l. sterling, and not receiving 200,000l. which this country was to receive ? Did the Right Honourable Gentleman speak of this extraordinary manner of paying the interest of the Loan, when he asked us to be fecurity for the House of Austria, and when he extolled the good faith of the Bank of Vienna? But having in compliance with his arguments and intreaties guaranteed the Loan, he now with fingu. lar feeling laments, it is extremely hard to think that the Emperor could pay the interest, as he says, to a day. To a day, Sir !--With more propriety may the Right Honourable Gentleman say, it is hard to fuppose that the Emperor can discharge it to a year, or to a far more distant time. But when will it be paid ? The Loan was made to him in critical circumstances, and yet he is not to pay the interest because he is now in critical circumstances. There has not been hitherto one shilling of the interest discharged, and I fear this country will ever have caule to repent lending money to the Emperor. The Right Honourable Gentleman must be aware that if the interest remains unpaid, he must come to the House and provide taxes for the sum guaranteed by us to his Imperial Majesty, and thus add, by more permanent taxes, to the burdens already too heavy to be borne. With respect to the specious argument which is held out that the restoration of peace will, by restoring commerce to its full extent, also make the produce of the taxes more confi. derable ; I, on the contrary, maintain that peace is much more likely to diminish than increase the amount of our taxes. For when we look over our taxes, we find upwards of one million arising entirely from articles which could not be taxed in peace. I cannot agree that the state of our manufacturers is more fourishing than it was last year, for the assertion is positively contradicted by the manufacturers themselves. When the Right Honourable Gentleman proposed last year to lay a tax on landed and personal property, he stated the landed rent to amount to 25 millions sterling. I am, however, one of those who think he undervalued it, but taking it at his own estimate, I feel myself justified in saying, that when we have passed the taxes now proposed, and when, after the winding up of the war, we come to