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the dignity of the house to ascer, position than might have been extain the fact, before they adopted pected from its obvious necessity. the bill, to which, however, he pro The same bill passed the lords fessed himself friendly. The ho on the 24th of the same month, nourable member concluded with having undergone several amende moving for an address to his ma ments. jesty, praying that copies of the A more general attention to the patents of the admiralty and navy finances of the nation was soon after boards should be laid before the displayed by the ministry; and on house. After a little opposition, the 25th of February, lord Auckthe motion was carried. Accord- land rose in the house of lords ingly, on the 16th, Mr. Garthshore to move for certain papers exbrought up copies of the said pa- planatory of the real state of tents.
the finances. His lordship then On the motion for the third read- moved for the following accounts: ing of the bill, an amendment was An account of the net produce proposed by Mr. Sheridan, in order of all the permanent taxes, and also to guard against the influence of of the duties granted annually, addthe crown, that in case of any va- ing thereto the payments on ac, cancy among the commissioners, count of bounties on corn, and from death or resignation, his ma other bounties and drawbacks, for jesty should not be at liberty to ap- three years, ending the 5th of Janupoint any member of that house to ary 1803, distinguishing each year supply their places.
and each quarter. Also The chancellor of the exchequer An account of the duties on suthought the object of the honour- gar remaining on bond on the 5th able gentleman would be answered of January 1801, 1802, and 1803, by leaving out that clause of the respectively. Also bill which allowed the appointment An account of the duties on beer of members of parliament.
and malt, postponed and outstand. Mr. Sheridan replied, with re- ing on the 5th of January 1803, gard to the amendment he pro- and which would have been paid posed, he could not consider the at that time, if the ordinary course suggestion of the right honourable of payment had taken place. gentleman sufficient to answer his After a few words from lord purpose ; for the clause referred to Rawdon and lord Grenville, lord must be expunged, should his Auckland likewise moved for an amendment be adopted, and he account of the permanent annual wished to have the jealousy of the charge on the consolidated fund, house, relative to the influence of existing on the 5th of January the crown, marked on the face of 1803, exclusive of the part payable the bill.
by Ireland, and distinguishing such After some conversation between part as is applicable to the reduce the chancellor of the exchequer, sir tion of debi. All these motions William Pulteney, the attorney-ge- were agreed to. neral, Mr. Kinnaird, and Mr. Dent, On the 2d of May, his lordship Mr. Sheridan's amendment was also moved for an account of the adopted, and the bill passed, after net produce of the duties on malt, of having encountered far more op- the public taxes, and permanent re
venue, from the 5th of January amount of the revenue to be up1802 to the 5th of April 1803, &c. wards of 33 millions, with such a &c. be laid on the table. His lord. charge upon it as left a very in. ship said, this account would prove, considerable surplus in the hands beyond all question, that the net of government to the public ex. amount of the whole revenue was penses
year. It was evident, thirty-four millions, and the ex- however, even from the papers on pense upon that was only seventeen their lordships' table, and from the millions five hundred thousand speech of the chancellor of the expounds; so that there would re. chequer lately published, that this main a surplus of better than six- statement was not correct. His teen millions applicable to the pub- lordship then, after a number of lic service, for the support of the calculations to prove his point, royal family, and for defraying other contended, that the amount of the necessary charges.-- The account revenue was, in fact, no more than was ordered, and soon after pre- somewhat beyond thirty-one mil. sented at the bar.
lions; which made a difference of These financial statements were about two millions between his taken into consideration on the 13th calculations and those of the noble of May; when lord King rose, and lord to whom he alluded. His said, it was a subject highly inter- lordship then adverted to the erroesting and important, and of the neous statement made by the chan. last consequence, that the erroneous cellor of the exchequer, and the ideas which had been spread among fallacious views of the proportion the monied interest of the country, between the revenue and the exand the public in general, in con- penditure of the country, which he sequence of the noble lord's state- had held out to the public. He ments, should be corrected. With then turned the attention of the this view, he had for some time house to the ruinous consequences been particularly anxious to have that must result from the practice this subject discussed, that the si- of peace loans, and asserted that tuation of the country, with respect the only remedy was to equalise to its finances, and the proportion the revenue with the expenditure, of its revenue to its expenditure, however great. After some severe might be clearly ascertained. The animadversions on ministers, for noble lord (Auckland) had ex the gross and palpable mistakes pressed himself in terms of exulta- which these
and the statetion upon
what he was pleased to ments of ministers betrayed ; his call the astonishing increase of the lordship concluded by moving, revenue of the country. Whether that the financial papers on their this exultation was well founded lordships' table should be referred was another point, not perhaps so to a private committee, who should evident as his lordship might ima. examine the same, and report their gine. His lordship then entered conclusions and opinions respecting into a series of calculations, in or- them to the house. der to prove the errors of the noble Lord Auckland said he conlord's
's statements respecting the re- ccived that their lordships had amvenue and the charge upon it. The ple materials already on their table, noble lord then stated the total and therefore would negative the
appointment of a committee. He ful. The natural demand of the had ventured, on a former occasion, market, aided by the commanding to assert, from some acquaintance opulence of the country, would, in with the subject, that the whole ac. all instances, best effectuate the tual income of Great Britain, for the supply of provisions from foreign current year, was not less than countries. 2. The next sum, thirty-four millions sterling : cer- 165,7631., was an increase, within tainly a magnificent receipt if it the year, of balances in the hands should appear to be accompanied of the receivers, and evidently a by a general and progressive prosa part of the revenue accruing with perity. He had stated this at a in the year.-3. Beer duties postperiod when the French writers and poned on the 5th of April 1803, journals were most actively employ- in consequence of the credit given ed in decrying our means of exer- by law to the brewers, 245,8711.tion, and exhibiting us as sinking 4. Land-tax unredeemed, and an. rapidly into a gulf of national mual malt, 2,000,0001.; to which bankruptcy. It had been his pro- myst be added 125,611l. paid in fessed and sole object to give a true transitu by the country receivers, state of the actual revenue and per- for the militia and other purposes, manent charge, prepared and veri- making together 2,125,6111. fied, and signed by officers of ac 5. The arrears outstanding on the knowledged accuracy and inte- beer and malt duties imposed in grity; by those equally respectable 1802, being 557,4931. – 6. The for their public services and private amount of the new additional ascharacters. He would now briefly sessed taxes, according to the asrecapitulate the results, which were sessments actually made, though not matters of debate and dispute, not yet received, 835,6461.-7. The as they rested on the evidence of further produce of the new inties facts, and the deductions of plain imposed in 1802, of which three arithmetic. With these views he quarters only were yet received. would confine himself to the abs. The accounts on the table stated tract of the public income and per- the fourth quarter at 1,052,1161. manent charge for the year ending
These several sums 29,357,575 the 5th of April 1803. The first
165,763 article in that abstract showed that
245,971 the net produce of the permanent
2,125,611 taxes for the year had been
557,493 29,357,5751. The whole of that
835,646 sum had been received in the exche
1,052,116 quer, except about 470,0001, which had been paid in bounties on corn Formed a total of 4.34,340,069 and rice, and which might clearly be considered as revenue; for, with He must also add the annual out too prefumptuous reliance on profit of the lottery, which was the goodness of Providence, he stated at 370,0001. making altomust observe, that there had been gether an income of 31,710,0001. no instance of our paying bounties And here he must observe that he on corn previous to 1796 ; and the had taken no credit, either for the expediency of ever recurring to progressive increase of every branch such bounties was at least doubt. of the revenue, nor for the East
India contribution. He would in a period of peace, nor for an. next proceed to state the perma. nuities to the amount of 450,0001. nent charge on the revenue, in which would expire within the next doing which he would take no five years. credit for the reduction of interest Permanent charge on the unredeemed debt
£. 17,674,794 Actual amount of the sinking fund
5,806,121 Civil list and parliamentary annuities
He had not included the impe- sixteen millions. And with re. rial loan, because as yet it made spect to the commerce, that the no part of the permanent charge, total annual value of the British and rested on the good faith of exports and imports, 'taken on the the court of Vienna, which we had same scale of valuation, was nearly no reason to doubt. . On the other doubled since 1793, and trebled hand, however, he had not taken since 1783. The total real value credit for any casual receipts, which, of British produce and manufacunder the various heads of repay- tures exported in the year 1802, ments of loans and imposts, ba- had been 48,500,0001. The reve. lances, arrears of taxes, &c. were nue applicable in 1792 to the army, very considerable. Deducting the navy, ordnance, and miscellaneous permanent charge 24,631,0001.from services, was 4,700,0001. In the the total income 34,710,0001. the present year it was 10,069,0001. balance, being 10,069,0001., would He was again aware that he should be the sum applicable to the an be told, that great as this revenue nual expense of the army, navy, might be, it was three or four mil: ordnance, and miscellaneous ser- lions below the expenditure of the vices. And we had this large sum year. If it were meant by that exclusive of what was paid for the insinuation, that the budget of the civil list; and exclusive also of the year ought to have brought for5,800,0001. applying itself to the ward additional taxes to that daily reduction of the debt: by amount, he could not hesitate to the excellent operation of which say, that such a proposition, if it system, the debt was gradually had been made by the chancellor converting itself into revenue. He of the exchequer in November last, would next show that the great would have been treated with disincrease of our revenue had gone regard and derision. He trusted, hand in hand with the augmented that he was as desirous as any man prosperity of cur trade and maniu- living to avoid the creation of new factures; he might add, with our debt, and to resist any system that agriculture and population, and might counteract the gradual diswith every circumstance that con- charge of the old debt. But surely stituted national strength. It would we could not be considered as hav. be found in the papers before the ing attained a peace establishment. house, that in the 20 years from From the treaty of Amiens to the 1784 to 1803, the annual produce present hour, the person who di. of the old permanent taxes had in- rected the councils of France had creased from eleven millions to done every thing possible to de.
stroy the blessings of peace, of public at large knew well, that which he talked so much. He they had greatly increased since had uniformly acted as if his go- that period. And what had been vernment could not subsist and be the fruits of this great and unnamaintained except in a state of agi, tural increase of the expenses of tation and convulsion. We had the country? What was our posiborne this treatment till the cup tion as a state, after all this vast of provocation was filled to the expenditure of public money? Had very brim. Such a state of things it produced any real peace or tranmust now resolve itself, said he, quillity, any real solid security, any into settled peace or open war. He hope even of rest or repose, after concluded by saying, he should ne- the agitation we had experienced? gative the motion.
In what sort of state had it really The earl of Moira considered left us at last? In his (lord Moira's) the papers moved for by the noble calculation and statement, he had lord, voluminous as they were, not included any thing relative to together with the inferences he the present irritation and consedrew from them, as tending to quent armament; which, however, form a delusive representation to might and would add so much to the eye of the public. He could our expenses. But the noble lord not but recall to the attention of himself had told them, that he had the noble lords one gross error in not seen, since the conclusion of a paper laid upon the table, where the treaty of peace, the signs of the by an over-statement appeared, spirit of conciliation. Why then, amounting to 900,0001, on the and he would take the liberty of asknual revenue. The noble lord had, ing him, how he could think of however, properly rejected the er- preserving peace? What rational Toneous paper, and moved for a grounds could he have for his cal, vast variety of other accounts, into culations ? What solid reason for which he should not for the pre- indulging hopes of the diminution sent enter at any length. His of the peace establishment ? But lordship then went into several still, he (lord Auckland) consider. statements and arguments, founded ed the increase of revenue as con. upon lord Auckland's speech, in solatory : in one respect, he did so which he endeavoured to show the too. It was consolatory to him, it fallacy of that noble lord's reason was a matter of rejoicing to him, ing. He observed, that' the noble to see that the wonderful and unlord had only brought forward, by ceasing industry and skill of this his own statement, nine millions, to great country carried on our ma. meet an expense of thirteen mil. nufactories, and pushed forward kons. There was therefore a de. pur trade and commerce, in spite ficit of four millions~ a glaring de- of all the burthens that had been ficit indeed, more especially when imposed upon them. This was, we compared it attentively with indeed, a consolatory and noble the awful circumstances of the view of public affairs. present times. But what could be liarly characterised the country, more preposterous and improper and made us hope for every thing. than to make our comparison be. But to such a people he would use tween the state of our finances now a different tone. * He would not and in 1787? He knew, and the talk to them in triumphant lan.