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perty; unless the operation of the tax could be shown to be more directly oppressive, then it was impossible to prove the existence of any violation of the public faith. He finished by declaring his opinion that the proposition for instructing the committee was unnecessary and irregular. It could only embarrass i. proceedings of the committee, without at all binding their decisions. He expressed oil. that his right honourable friend would not insist on pressing his motion. Mr. Pitt, so A. from having heard any reasons to induce :lim to withdraw his proposition, declared his express determination to take the sense of the house on the subject. Sir Henry Mildmay observed, that the present bill imposed an income-tax upon the full produce of landed property, without any deduction for interest or annuities charged upon such property. This
was a principle which he considered
as extremely unfair; and, unless he was assured that there was a disposition on the part of his majesty’s ministers to obviate this objection, he should vote against the speaker leaving the chair. There was one point on which the bill would have a most severe and unequal operation, contrary to its avowed principle; namely, that of a fair, equal and proportionate tax; for, it made no exemption whatever in favour of persons having large families, if their income exceeded 150l. a-year; so that, whether a man was single, or had a family of twelve children to support, there was no difference in the operation of the tax, though it must fall with a weight infinitely more oppressive in the latter than in the former case.—The chancellor of the ex
chequer wished to apprise the ho
nourable baronet, that a provision was intended for the purpose he proposed; and desired to know, if an exemption from the house and window-tax, in favour of persons with large families, would not go a great way towards the object he so earnestly desired. Lord Hawkesbury expressed some regret at the resolution taken by his right honourable friend (Mr. Pitt), to press a motion for instruction to a committee, which, if even it were consistent with parliamentary forms, was still unnecessary, because it would give the committee no powers which they would not have without that instruction. The cases wherein it was necessary to vote instructions to committees, were those wherein some new provision or clause, different from any thing in the bill referred for their discussion, was necessary to be adopted. In this case, however, there was nothing in the nature or substance of the regulation proposed by his right honourable friend, which the committee might not adopt as amendments to the bill, without any such instruction; and, therefore, in his mind, it would be the better way to let the house go into the committee unembarrassed by an instruction, which would be mandatory upon them, if they did not think fit to adopt the proposition. When, however, the report was brought in, Mr. Pitt rose to make his promised motion; which stat
ed, “that it be an instruction to
the committee on the bill, to insert a clause for exempting all incorne arising from lands, or from property in the funds, in the same manner as income arising from any other species of property, profes
sion, or employment.” A Pretty long conversation then ensued ensued betwenthe speaker, Mr. Pitt, the chancellor of the exchequer, sir William Pulteney, the treasurer of the navy, Mr. Giles, Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. H. Lascelles, Mr. Tyrwhitt, and sir E. Hartop. After which, upon the question being put, a division took place, when there appeared—against the instruction, 150—for it, 50. The house then went into a committee on the bill. The several clauses not objected to were gone through. The next day, the house having again resolved itself into a committee on the bill, it proceeded some length in considering and discussing it paragraph by paragraph. After which, the chancellor of the exchequer rose, and said he considered the sentiments which had been thrown out last night, with regard to exemptions; and he was decidedly of the opi. nion he was then of — that no breach of good faith could possibly attach on the supposed distinction between income arising from trade and other species of income. He would beg the committee to advert to the principles of the bill, in considering of the propriety of the alteration about to be submitted to them. It was proposed to make a distinction, between the income arising from capital, and that arising from bodily labour and skill. In those cases where the income was produced by a combination of interest from capital and that arising from bodily labour, it was his wish to
grant indulgence, so that no person
should pay more than 5l. when his income amounted to less than 1501. The interest arising from capital was then one which might be fairly fixed with the tax. He meant to propose an exception from the principle of the bill, in so
far as regarded that sort of income which arose not from bodily labour, but from the learned professions, which was even more extensive than that arising from capital. Of all the cases of hardship to which this tax could apply, he conceived that it was most severe on the income arising from that species of industry. It would not be the policy of parliament, at this time, to exclude the income arising from that source, however, from contributing a fair sum towards the present exigencies. There was no one who arrived to great attainments in such professions as he alluded to, who had not acquired a considerable proportion of capital; and you are, therefore, said he, to combine the advantages which he thus derived, not from bodily labour, but from the labour of the mind, with the income arising from his capital. Almost every person engaged in trade may carry on that trade by means of representatives; but persons engaged in the learned professions must give in person that advice which was necessary; for no proxy could possibly be admitted. It was absolutely impossible to apply, an unobjectionable mode of taxation. He felt the difficulty of extending the exemptions on account of creating a prodigious addition to the trouble of the commissioners. It did not appear to him, however, to be unjust or irrational to make a distinction between capital arising from trade yielding a large interest, and that which j a moderate income. No defalcation of any consequence would arise from the proposed exemption. There was no ground for a charge of violation of faith. It might be a matser of surprise to the committee,
O 3 that,
that, after considering the subject with great anxiety, he should now feel disposed to think, that, under the present circumstances, the public creditors should erjoy some exemption from the present tax. He was inclined to join in the wish, which was pretty generally expressed last night, to extend the exemptions to persons deriving their incomes from land to the amount of 150l. and to propose a scale for that purpose; but he must fairly own that he did this with great difficulty. It was a difficulty, however, which he was satisfied might be got the better of at the expense of what was highly important towards the preservation of the bill—the avoiding disclosure, and contributing towards the ease of collecting the tax.
Mr. Pitt, and several other members, each made a few observations; after which, a long conversation was carried on between the attorney-general, Mr. Calcraft, Mr. Plummer, &c. on the subject of the improvement of farms on lease, which improvements it was proposed to tax according to their value. Mr. Plummer at length notified his intention to move, in a future stage of the bill, an amendment; as he considered the present clause a most serious discouragement to farmers, and, consequently, as being likely to injure the interests of agriculture.—Mr.
Calcraft, 1)r. Lawrence, Mr. Pitt,
Mr. Sturges, Sir H. St. John Mildmay, the chancellor of the exchequer, the attorney-general, Mr. Vansittart, Mr. Giles, the lord mayor, and several members, shared in a long and desultory discussion on some clauses, and proposed amendments. In the course of which, speaking on the head of
cstates principally productive by fines, M. Pitt observed, that suc fines did not fall properly under the denomination of capital, but did certainly constitute a part of income, as they formed the means of subsistence, upon which, undoubtedly, an average could be easily made out. Such, for instance, he said, were the lands of the church, of the deans and chapters, of the bishops, of public schools, and of that respectable body whom he had the honour to represent in that house. All these different descriptions of property. must necessarily be liable to the operation of the tax upon income, according to the average ascertained. The consideration of the bill was resumed on the 15th. When the clause which required the occupiers of land to pay at the rate of 9d. in the pound on their rent, was read, Mr. Pitt observed that the principle now admitted on all hands was, that every person should pay at the rate of 1s. out of every 20s. of his income. It appeared them, that, when the bill proposed to take 9d. per pound from the tenants, it was assumed that that would amount to the same sum as Is. in the pound on his profits; or, in other words, it was calculated that his annual profits were equal to three fourths of his The bill, however, ought to declare the ground on which this estimation was taken, in order that the principle might be rendered manifest. The rent alone, however, could not show the value of the tenant’s profits; for, of two farms producing the same average crop, one might pay a much #. rent to the landlord, on account of its paying less or no tithes and poorrates. In such a case, the estimation of the profits by the rent would be very unfair. The bill proposed very justly that the tenant in Scotland should pay 6d. in the pound, because, there being no poor-rates or tithes in that country, the landlord received a higher rent than in England. As it was presumed by the bill that the En#. tenant's profits were equal to ree-fourths of the rent, so it was supposed that the Scotch tenant's F. were equal to one half of is rent. The principle of the estimation, however, ought to be declared, that it might not appear there was a boon given to Scotland where none was intended. A better criterion of the profits of the farmer ought also to be adopted ; and he believed that would be found in the aggregate of the rent, tithes, and poor-rates. A good deal of conversation ensued upon this suggestion. A discussion at length took place between the chancellor of the exchequer, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Calcraft, and others, respecting the manner in which the value of land was to be ascertained, and concerning the propriety of taking the poor-rates as a criterion. It seemed to be agreed that this method was very uncertain, and ought to be resorted to only in case of necessity. Mr. Calvert proposed that houses not taken for the purpose of farming should be exempted. The attorney-general saw no objection to the amendment at present, but reserved to himself the liberty of altering it, if it should appear improH. upon further consideration. he chancellor of the exchequer moved the abatements, of which he the preceding day gave notice, with respect to the scale of charges to be fixed upon landed income from 60l. to 150l. a-year, which was agreed to.
In the committee, the next day, several very important alterations were made. The clause for empowering surveyors to examine property in order to estimate its value, was so amended as to do away the power of entering dwelling houses, which was originally given by the bill. All the clauses
relative to the mode of collectin
the tax at the Bank were struc out, in consequence of the chancellor of the exchequer declaring it to be his intention to substitute others in their stead when the committee should have gone through the bill. He stated, that upon consideration it had been thought advisable not to require that the portion of the tax to be paid by funded property should be stopped out of the dividends at the bank. It would, therefore, be the object of the new clauses to direct that the stockholder’s return should be made in the same manner as those of other persons. If, however, after the expiration of six months, no return should be made, it was intended in such cases to give the power of collecting the tax at the bank in the manner first proposed. The chancellor of the exchequer also introduced an amendment, which not only exempted stock already purchased by foreigners from the tax, but also all funded property which might, during the operation of the act, be acquired by persons not subjects of his majesty, and not residing in the British
dominions—which was agreed to. On the 27th, the chancellor of the exchequer, among other exemptions from the tax, mentioned one in favour of persons having numerous families upon incomes from 60l. to 400l., for each child above two, or for three or more children, 4 per cent. ; upon income from 400l. to 1000l., for ditto, 3 per O 4 cent. ,
Irish Finances.—Proposal for the Prpetuation of certain Taxes there— withdrawn.—Irish Budget.—Loan.
HF, only financial measure of importance respecting Ireland, which took place at an early period of the session, was the perpetuation of certain taxes there. Ou the 2d of March, Mr. Corry moved the order of the day; and the house accordingly resolved itself into a committee, for the purose of taking into consideration K. Corry’s intended proposal for rendering permanent several taxes, usually passed by the parliament of Ireland from year to year, Mr. Co rose and observed, that the usual taxes he should move to render permanent, were those voted annually, as the funds for paying the interest of loans borrowed, from time to time, for the public service; and for which interest they were the appropriate security to the public creditor, and must necessarily continue so to be, for the maintenance of the public faith until those loans should be paid off, or until parliament should, in its wisdom, think proper to devise some other fund. The object of his proposal then would be, to render those taxes permanent, which, as the law then stood, would expire on the 25th of the present month.
The interest, to the payment of
which they were devoted, was that
of all the debts contracted in Ire
land during the whole of his ma
jesty's reign, to which none of the
consolidated fund of Ireland was
liable, without recurring to parlia
ment. The taxes he would propose to continue the same as usual, with some very trivial difference; and the several resolutions he had to propose he would class under the several heads of import duties, export duties, bounties, drawbacks on foreign goods to be exported, tonnage duties on foreign vessels, and all inland duties of every description, whether of assize or assessed taxes; aad any trivial difference in the schedule he had then to propose, from those of the last and former years, he should be ready to explain, if any member desired it. One point in particular, was some small rise upon the rate of licence charged to grocers, tobacconists, and other persons trading in large towns, which he was confident would not be considered excessive, or in any degree incompatible with the circumstances of those persons. . With respect to the drawbacks, it was a provision made in favour of the importer,