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thought that such a Company might have that additional and beneficial effect, were this a time of peace"; but now that we were involved in war, he begged the House to recollect, that in the instruction of two hundred boys proposed by the bill, a great number of men werealso requisite for that very purpose of instruction. He might venture to say, that at least 150 men would by this means be prevented from affording their aslistance in the present situation of the country, at a time when the aslistance both of men and boys, however unintereited the latter might be, was so loudly demanded by the exigencies of the late. He therefore begged leave to move, that instead of this bill being now read a second time, it should be postponed till this day three months.
Sir William Geary opposed this motion, and supported the principles of the bill. He thought it would neither tend to injure the fishermen of Harwich, nor the Marine Society. He approved highly of the mode proposed to lellen the price of fiih, which he thought was far greater than it ought to be. Though the capital of this Company was intended to be 50,000l. yet that circumstance was not, he thought, to occafion a monopoly of any trade whatever. He had no idea, however, of excluding that ser of people employed by the Company from being liable to be pressed into his Majesty's service. 'He thought that the means held forth by the present bill of sending 200 boys to be thus educated, for the service of his Majesty's navy, was an object of confiderable importance, and worthy the attention of the House, notwithstand. ing that the advantage was considerably narrowed by the war. He knew, that in the latter end of last war, the Marine Society were the means of furnishing a great number of useful seamen towards manning the navy; and he therefore thought that such an obje&tion against the present bill might be done away. If the sum of 50,000l, should be reckoned too great a capital, he would rather agree to limit it to some other sum, but the more limited that capital was the less good would arise from the Society.
Mr. H. Browne approved of the object and the principles of the bill.
The Allorney General faid, that he could not doubt but that the measure proposed by the bill would tend to reduce the price of filh; but he took this opportunity of stating, that he thought great inconvenience would arise to the Houre were they to admit of applications of this sort being made 10 Parliament, without a charter in the regular form. It was on account of that irregularity that he begged to be silent in segard to fupporting the bill.
The bill was ordered to be committed to a select Comé mittee above stairs, consisting of the Members for the city of London and the maritime counties; and the petitioners against the bill were to be allowed to be heard, either by themselves or counsel.
WAYS AND MEANS: -Mr. Alexander presented ilie report of the Committee of Ways and Means, on which
Lord Folkstone rose, for the purpose, he said, of making a few observations upon the taxes, which had been resolved upon by the Committee. He, for one, had great objections to the fyftem of what are called war taxes, or such as were only to be continued during the war. Such taxes miglit, he said, be very proper and confiderate, but the giving their such an appellation was, he thought, the very means of creating a reluctance in the people to pay them. When people are very anxious for war, it was, no doubt, fuir, not to burden their pofterity with a continuance of fuch a mode of taxation; but as the inhabitants of this country seein raiher willing to submit to insults, and bear : with Ministers, who were willing not to remonstrate, or wlien they did remonftrate, to acquiesce with the filence and total inattention with which their remontrances were treated, he thought it was absolutely wrong to lead people into a disinclination towards that war, or to create selfish feelings to render it unpopular. This was the reason of his objecting to the principles of war taxes, as at present broug!ic forward. With reípect to the detail, he said, he would not at present enter into it; but he only wished to avail himself of the opportunity of taking a view of the conduet of his Majesty's Ministers. He objected in toto to the lyftem propoted, of laying that we must provide only for a defenfive war. The faying fo only tended to discourage the people, and everyone knew, that Rome was never better detended than when waging offensive war. The only means of offentive war which he could discover that we at present pof. efied, were three :- The tift was, either openly to attack the power of frarce: or, fecondly, that we should attempt to connect ourselves with the powers of the continent, and to excite iben to attal kuurcomm neileny; or, thirdly, that we should endeavout to attack th: Government of France, and the principles of that Government. With respect to the first, he thought that our treasiere very foall videed, and cons fequently very little bope of fucceis could be entertained.
We might, no doubt, plan expeditions against France, and Succeed so far as to get poffeffion of a town, or even aq itland; but that would do ways tend to protect us, and would be attended with very little advantage to us in regard to injuring the enemy. As to the second and third modes of offer live war, he contended that his Majesty's present Ministers were, of all others, the least qualified to inspire, the continental powers with any degree of confidence, in order to excite them to join ing or espouse our cause ; and they were also the most improper fet of men to inspire confidence in any of the royalists in France, for the purpose of procuring their co-operation with this country, to ftrike at the Government of that country. He faid, he had found, from a view of the whole transactions of the Administra tion, that they not only by their words, but by deeds, had abandoned all the allies of this country on the one hand, and the royalists in France on ihe other. Were a negotiation at present to be entered into betwixt this country and any of the continental powers, for the purpose of co-operation, he would ask any man, if the ministers of such powers would not be juftified in refusing to place any confidence in the present Administration, from the manner in which they had already acted? They would say, how can we be sure that vou will not abandon us in the same manner in which you abandoned the King of Sardinia? In the fame manner noighit the royalists in France object to reposing any confidence in such Minifters, as they have feen how they abandoned others in such a crucl manner. Though offensive war would be the best calculated to animate the people of this country, our principal means of doing to are thus in a manner destroyed by such a conduct; but still they are bis Majesty's Ministers; and on that account they still have the confidence of his Majesty, and the support of this House. He, for one, wilhed principally to aim at the deItruction of the Government of France, and therefore was an advocate for a more spirited conduct. He was far from imagining that the peace was a peace of experiment, as had been fiaied, but he had all along been convinced, and the event had row justified his conviction, that peace could wot-long sublitt betwixt the two Governinents. In our prea, Icnt situation, however, he was inclined to think that fuccels miglit yet follow our underiakings against our ambitious foe, could we inspire all the continental powers, as well as the people of this country, with confidence and ardour in our caule,"by openly and avowedly, without any concealt Vol. IV. 1802-3.
nient whatever, publishing it to the world, that our fixed determination was the destruction of the Government of France
Mr. Gregor rose, and ftated to the House fome particulars of the proposed taxes, which he did not perfedtly understand from the speech of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and begged to have a further explanation.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in explanation, said, that it was proposed to raise 4,500,0001. as voted in Jaft Parliament for war taxes; and it was proposed in the pre-, fent feflion to add the sum of to 6,100,0001. the former, as the growing produce of the confolidated fund to the 4th of April 1804. He faid, that this was not the time for entering into a minute confideration of what the bon. Member had alluded to ; and he owned that he could not at present do it with fufficient aecuracy to satisfy the House as to every particular information which might be required; but he was perfefly ready and willing at preient, if it was infifted on, to Itate the grounds on which he founded the ftatement whichi he had fubmitted to the Comınittee of Ways and Means, previous to the Christm.s vecess. The hon. Gentleman wlxi had fated, that he (tbe Chaneelivr) bad held out to Parliament expectations of a surplus arising from the confolidated fund of 1,500,0001, had been miltaken in making fuch a statement, for no such expectations were ever held out by him to that effect. There were two resolutions which he begged to advert to more particularly As to .the duty on wine, it was proposed to make it the faine as in the year 1795, and he had therefore stated it at 101. per tun, which would produce no less than half a million to Government. As to the duty on tea, he had before stated that it was intended to propose an augmentation equalto the whole amount of the tublisting duties, which would make it 45 per cent. ad valorem on the finer kind, and 15 per cent. on the coarser, which would produce one million
tree hundred thousand pounds. He begged, however, to mention, that from the present resolutions it would appear, that a duty of no less than 45 per cent was at first intended to be imposed upon all teas, both fine and coarse, by which it was left in the power of the Committee to reduce the taxution, if they thought proper, in the manner which he had proposed, and which he had just now. re-stated. The rafon why this duty had been put to down in the result. tions was, that it had been at first fuggested to him, that by making a difference in the taxition on the fine and the coarse rea, it would be a means of affording an inducement to dealers in that article to adulterate the fine, so as to com, prehend it within the inferior description. This, however, he had thought molt proper to leave to the confideration of the House.
Mr. William Smith rose, he faid, only to lay in his claim to oppofe, on some future day, several of the taxes in deiail; for however much he might approve of the lyttem of war taxes in general, he was still inclined to think that there were many articles of luxury, .cven pernicious articles of luxury, which ought with equal propriety to be taxed, as well as those which had been itated to the Houte.
Mr. Bastard obferved, that he fincerely, hoped the right hon. Member would prove hinseit to be as vigorous and determined in spending the inoney properly, as he had been in ftating and calculatjag the sum which he had found prudent to exact.
Mc. IV. Dündas stated, that as the barlev.in Scotland was of an inferior quality when compared with that produced in England, if the duty on that article were to be the lame in both countries, it would injure the agriculture in Scotland, by discouraging the cultivation of it. He therefore should propofe, that the duty on barley in Scotland shouid be half of that to be imposed in England.
Sir R. Buxton said, he was one of those who would vote fufficient funts for carrying on the war, but he thought it 1hould be done with as much regard to public convenio ence as poffible. Instead of the tax on barley, he would recommend an additional stamp duty on country bank notes.
Mr. Fergusson adverted to the inferiority of Scotch barley, and thought the tax was too higii.
Sir W. Elford found fault with the tax on land.
General Gascoyne faid, every Gentleman took that oppor, tuniiy of mentioning liis disapprobation of such taxes as they did not like, and be Nould therefore express his obicction to the tax on lugar, which he thought was now becutie a necefiary of life, and which he thought was infinitely too higli.
Lord G. L. Gower expressed his disapprobation and surprise at the duiy on mali. After the number of pensions which had been presented aiutt it lait year, he was aftonished the right bon. Geniieman thuuld think of making fo bcavy an addition to it.