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that it would be necessary to add a sum which, calculating it on the best authority, he estimated at about 20,000l.—namely, the amount of arrears due to bishops, corporations, and to other persons who had not availed themselves of the relief afforded by the act of last session. That would make the total amount of arrears due for the year 1831, 112,1857. With respect to the arrears due for 1832, the total amount of the ecclesiastical tithes in Ireland was calculated at 600,000l., by the best informed authorities on the subject. In the year 1832, in consequence of the great difficulties and embarrassments that had arisen in 1831 with regard to the collection of tithes, their collection was rendered still more difficult. A very small proportion of the tithes due for that year was collected in the southern counties of Ireland. A much larger proportion was collected in the northern counties; and, according to the best accounts which he had received from various parts of Ireland, he had every reason to believe, that no less than 300,000l. of ecclesiastical tithes remained due for the year 1832. It appeared, then, that the total amount of arrears due for 1831 was 112,185.; for 1832, 300,000l.; making a total, due for those two years, of 412,185.; to that was to be added the sum of 600,000l., being the amount of tithes due for the current year; thus leaving the gross amount of ecclesiastical tithes due and unpaid for the years 1831, 1832, and 1833, at 1,012,185l.; and adding such lay tithes, as were not collected along with the rent, the whole amount would be 1,234,763. 17s. 3d. subject to certain deductions which would
reduce it to 993,5211. For this sum it was proposed to provide by an issue of exchequer bills to the extent of 1,000,000. As to the mode of reimbursement, the value of the tithes for the three years was to be allotted rateably, in proportion to the amount of composition on each portion of land; the amounts already paid were to be deducted from the sums due and imposed upon each such portion of land, and the residue was to be the sum chargeable thereon. The residue so remaining due, and so charged, was to be payable in ten half-yearly instalments by the persons liable to composition to the persons entitled to receive the same, such payments to be enforced in like manner as such tithe composition, and as paid out of it. It was also proposed, that wherever the tenant who had incurred the debt was still on the land, the landlord should be entitled to recover, on each occasion of payment, onetenth of the arrears due from such tenant, such tenth to be considered as rent. The resolution moved was, "That his Majesty be enabled to direct exchequer-bills to an amount not exceeding 1,000,000l. to be issued for the purpose of advancing, under certain conditions, the arrears of tithes due for 1831 and 1832, subject to a deduction of 25 per cent; and the value of the tithes for 1833, subject to a deduction of 15 per cent, to such persons as may be entitled to such arrears or such tithes, and as may be desirous of receiving such advances, and that the amount advanced shall be included in the tithe composition, so as to be repaid in the course of five years, being payable by half-yearly instalments."
It was strongly opposed, principally on the ground that the money would never be repaid, for repayment was still to depend on a collection of tithe, which never would succeed. The pretended loan would be converted into a gift; and England, besides paying its own tithes, would like wise be paying those of Ireland. The resolution was carried by 87 to 51. A bill founded on the re
solutions, having been brought in, passed both Houses without any important alteration. The conservatives regarded it as a mis'chievous precedent, any existing necessity for which had been produced, they said, only by the misconduct of ministers themselves ; but they submitted to it from a conviction, that otherwise the clergy would remain almost totally unprovided for.
The Budget-Mr. Attwood's Motion to inquire into the existing Distress -Motion in favour of the Agricultural Interest-Repeal of one-half of the Malt Tax carried against Ministers-The Vote rescinded, by coupling the Malt Tax with the House and Window Duty-Motions for the Repeal of the House and Window Duty-Popular Movements in consequence of the Votes on these Motions-Motions against Military and Naval Sinecures—Against Pensions-Small Majorities in favour of Military Flogging and the Impressment of Seamen.
EXT to the affairs of Ireland, the most important topics during the Session, and the most dangerous to the popularity of ministers, if they fell short of what was looked for by the multitude, were those connected with the alleged distresses of large classes of the population, with taxation and expenditure, trade and manufac
The Chancellor of the Exchequer opened the Budget on the 19th of April. On this, the first occasion of bringing any financial statement before a Reformed Parliament, he thought it right to state what progress had been made in redeeming that pledge of economy on which the administration had taken office. The total number of places abolished by the present administration was 1,387; and the total amount of salaries done away with, 231,4067.; but from this 231,4067., there was to be deducted 38,000l., the amount of the retired allowances,-which left a saving of about 192,000l. Among the places abolished there were three offices which were usually accompanied by the possession of seats in Parliament, and of which the salaries amounted to 21,8947.
The diplomatic expenses had been reduced by 91,7357., including reductions to the amount of 34,000l. effected by the regulations made by the late Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Earl of Aberdeen. During the last two years 506 persons had been brought from the retired list in the revenue department and placed on active service, by which a saving in retired allowances had been made of 28,000l.
The amount of the income and expenditure for the year, between the 5th of April, 1832, and the 5th of April, 1833, was 46,853,000l.; the amount of the expenditure, 45,366,000l.; leaving an excess of income over expenditure of 1,487,000l. In the estimates of last session, the probable excess of the income over the expenditure was calculated at only 800,0001. ; so that the increase of the excess of income would be more than sufficient to cover the deficiency of 1,240,4127. of the preceding year. For 1832, the income of the country was 46,618,000l.; for 1833, it was 46,853,000l.; showing an excess in the latter year of only 235,000l., and proving, that the surplus on the year arose from the expendi
ture being considerably reduced. The expenditure for the year ending April, 1832, was 47,859,000l.; for 1833, 45,366,000l.; the diminution being 2,493,000l. for the last year. The income last year from the Customs was 16,769,621.; from the Excise, 16,529,1317.; from Stamps, 6,857,540l.; from Taxes, 5,003,9371.; from the Post Office, 1,453,900l.; from miscellaneous sources, 238,5261.; making a total of 46,852,6501. The sum, including interest on Exchequer Bills, charged to the Consolidated Fund for the Debt, was, 28,225,8917. The other charges on this fund were 1,859,2487.; making the whole charges on the Consolidated Fund 30,085,2391. The expenditure of the Supplies was-for the Army, 7,006,496l.; for the Navy, 4,505,000l.; for the Ordnance, 1,634,8171.; for the miscellaneous service, 2,138,9531.; making a total of 45,365,5071. The expenditure for the preceding year was, for the Army, 7,551,000l., which last year was reduced to 7,006,498.; the expenditure for the Navy in the preceding year was 5,842,8351., and in the last year 4,505,000l.; the Ordnance for the preceding year was 1,478,9441., and for the last year 1,634,8127.; being an increase of 155,8787.: the miscellaneous was 2,900,4301. in the preceding year, and in the last year it was 2,133,953l.; showing a diminution of nearly 800,000l.
His lordship then proceeded to calculate what was likely to be the balance of the ensuing year, supposing no alteration in the duties, and that the revenue should remain as at present. The whole amount of the revenue for the year he estimated at 46,494,1287. He did not take the revenue at so large a sum as
in 1832, because the arrears of the Malt-duties, which were due at the close of last year, were much greater than were due at the close of the present year. The charges on the Consolidated Fund for the present year would not be less than 30,300,000l. The Supplies, the estimates of which had been laid on the Table, though they had not been all voted, were, for the Army, 6,673,2517.; for the Navy, 4,658,6351.; for the Ordnance, 1,455,223l.; for the miscellaneous services, 1,835,1107. Including the additional charge on the Consolidated Fund, the whole expenditure would be 44,922,219/., which, being deducted from the estimated income for the year, 46,494,128l., would leave a calculated surplus of 1,571,909l., say 1,572,000l.
To the extent of this surplus, it was, in his opinion, desirable that a reduction of taxes should be made. With respect to the reductions, the principle on which he had always acted was, to make the reductions as much as possible on taxes which fell on industry. One of these taxes, which it had been proposed to reduce, and which, it had been stated, pressed very much on the industry of the country, was the tax on malt. The duty on malt last year amounted to 4,825,1287., and the total reduction of the malt duties at present was, therefore, quite inconsistent with the state of the revenue. In 1830, they amounted to 3,813,3044.; in 1831, they amounted to 3,436,271.; and in 1832, after the duties on beer were taken off, they amounted to 4,359,332.; while, in the year ending January 5th, 1833, they amounted to 4,825,1251. Was it not apparent, that this tax did not
press so hard on the article as to reduce the consumption? Looking at the question both in reference to the amount of the tax, and as the interests of the consumers and producers were concerned, and seeing that there was no unfair depreciation of the price of barley, he could not consent to the reduction of the duty. The noble lord next adverted to the stamp duties on newspapers. He thought that tax productive of many evils, because the effect of it was to give great advantages to persons who evaded the law, and to confer a monopoly of cheap publications on disreputable persons. It was argued, that the reduction of this tax, which yielded 440,000l., might be compensated by another mode of taxation; and that, in abolishing the tax on newspapers, it was not fair to calculate the loss to the revenue at 440,000l. The loss would not amount to the whole of that sum, because something would be gained by the increased consumption of paper; still, the loss. to the revenue would be considerable. Some gentlemen thought, that this loss might be compensated by substituting for the Stamp-duty one penny postage on each paper. But the expectations of what the government would gain by the postage were much over rated. In carrying newspapers, the government would have many rivals; the stage - coaches would carry newspapers, and carry them for a far less sum than one penny each paper. The question, then, which he had to decide was, whether he should take off the tax upon newspapers upon speculative grounds, and sacrifice a revenue of 440,000l. less by the increased amount of the duty on paper; or should he apply that 440,000l. to reduce taxes VOL. LXXV.
which pressed more immediately on the industry of the country? On a former occasion, he had held out an expectation, that he would reduce this tax. After much consideration, however, he had altered his opinion.
The first tax which he proposed to abolish, because it regularly came first before the Committee as part of the Excise, was, the tax on tiles, which amounted to 37,000l. When, on a former occasion, he removed the duty from slates, he felt that the tile manufacturers were exposed to great hardships'; but he could not then take off more taxes. The next was the tax on ad_ vertisements. The tax was 3s.6d. for every advertisement, and however often the advertisement was repeated, the duty was not altered. The consequence was, that the advantages of advertising, which were generally only obtained after two or three insertions, were lost or were burthened with a heavy duty. He proposed to reduce the duty for the first insertion to 2s.; for the second, to Is. 6d.; and for the third and every subsequent insertion, to 1s. This would not cause a loss to the revenue proportional to the whole amount of the reduction, because the consequence of the reduction would be to cause the advertisements to be oftener repeated. The whole revenue from advertisements amounted to 150,000l., and he calculated the reduction at only 75,000l. or onehalf. The next tax in which he proposed to make an alteration was the duty on Marine Insurance. The present rate of duty on the coasting trade was 1s. 3d. per cent. when the premium did not exceed 20s., and 2s. 6d. per cent. when it did exceed 20s. On the foreign trade it was 2s. 6d. per cent, when