« ZurückWeiter »
would be taxed to the same amount? The right honourable, Gentleman had declared that it was not his desire to embarrass or to thwart the intentions of his Majesty's Governmeni.
He gave the right hon. Gentleman the most ample credit to the full extent of such a declaration; but he would put it to the candour of the right hon. Gentleman whether, at the present crisis, it would not be more considerate and more patriotic to suppress a sentiment like that, the meaning and intention of which was so liable to be perverted in another place? After the observation which had come from Such high and respectable authority, he put it to the feelings and the candour of the right hon. Genileman, whether it was right to perlift in urging the propriety of his motion, after the information he had received of its irregularity from the Chair? (No, no, no! from all sides of the House.) The right hon. Gentleman resumed. It was not his wish to misrepresent the sentiments of any Gentleman, but more para ticularly those which were delivered from such high authority as that of the person to whom he then alluded. At all events he could not agree that it would be becoming in that House to be the foremost, except the city of London, in refifting the operation of the bill at such a crisis as the present. In this tou it might be observed that, though that corporation, on all other occasions, was considered as almost the leader of all the other corporations of the country, yet it was worthy of remark, that in this instance, not one city, not one county, nor one borough throughout the whole country had followed their example. Some Gentlemen had observed, that the present was to be considered as a tax arising from capital only; if that were to be the case, Government and the country would be deprived of the assistance of a great part of this important measure.
There was a very considerable number of persons who, though engaged in trade, yet were not possessed of any capital whatsoever, they were merely dealers on commission, and possessed' no properry, no article of the trade in which they dealr, and yet there were many of those received an income of more than 150l. a year. In fact, taking it in every point of view, he could not see the neceflity which existed for the House adopting the terms of the instruction then moved to be given to the Comınittee; and he thought that the right hon. Gentle man Chould have paused before he uttered the expressions to which he then alluded-he lamented that they came froin such authority.
Mr. Pitt offered a few words in explanation. The right hon. Gentleman had appealed to his feelings and his candour, and he had said, that he should have paused before he ultered” the expreflions he had made use of respecting that measure. He trusted that neither his candour nor his feelings would ever induce him, or indeed any other Member of that House, so far to forget the dury and the independence of a British Member of Parliament, as to refrain from expressing in plain and unequivocal terms whatever might be his opinion of any measure which was brought before that. House. Some mention had been made of opposition to his Majesty's Minifters, and indeed fome Gentlemen appeared to him to have contracted such a regular babit of opposition, that they continued the same course in one Administration which they had traversed in another. He was happy to see, however, that there was one Gentleman, at least, who did not remain fo inflexible, that some were capable of seeing the necessity there was for their lending their allistar.ce to his Majesty's Ministers at this important crisis.
Mr. Giles observed, that the clause which had been objected to referred only to the small landholder and the stockholder. The clause, however, would be found to extend to others who fell within the description given only to them. The clause, in fact, went on a general principle to regulate the taxation of all capital not arising from industry. He, on the whole, thought ihe present tax much less objectionable than the late income tax, which an honourable Baronet had termed his old friend. He should, therefore, vote against the instruction which had been moved for the Committee.
Mr. Wilberforce spoke in favour of the instruction. He contended, that the principle of it was to take care that those who derive their incomes from public funds should stand on as good a footing as those who had incomes of other kinds. There was nothing more dangerous than admitting nice distinations, when the public faith is concerned. He would, therefore, support the instru&tion.
Mr. H. La celies thought the case of small proprietors required the attention and consideration of the House as much, or more, than any other description of persons. He paid a high compliment to the character and talents of Mr. Pitt, and said, he should vote for the instruction.
Mr. Tyrwhitt said, all our proceedings had evinced 2 Spirit of unanimity to the present moment, and as the right hon. the Attorney General had mentioned that some exemprions were to be made in the Committee, he hoped that unanimity would not be interrupted, by persisting in the present motion.
Sir E. Hartop requested to know of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he meant to stand by those exemptions men. tioned by the Attorney General?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer answered, that he meant to propose to the Committee an exemption to the extent mentioned by his hon. and learned friend.
Mr. Pite said, that would not remove his objection; for then it would remain in the proportion of 10l, a year to 601. on other income.
On the question being loudly called for, a division took place. Against the instruation,
150 For it,
50 > The House then went into a Committee on the bill, Mr, Alexander in the chair. The several clauses not objected to were gone through, and the Chairman asked leave to fit again next day. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
THURSDAY, JULY 14.**
BRISTOL PORT BILL. Mr. Serjeant Hayward was heard as counsel for the thip owners against this bill: two witnesses were examined; and it was ordered to be further heard next day.
The Clergy provision bill, was committed.
Lord Suffolk ftated, that on the third reading of this bill he would submit to the House a few observations respecting its principle and object.
Lord Radnor moved, that the Committee on the woollen manufacturers' biil, which stood for next day, be postponed fo Monday nexi, Ordered.--Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
14. Sir C. Pole moved the order of ihe day, for the second scading of the bill for transferring the Chatham chest ta
Greenwich, Greenwich.- Read a second time, and committed for the next day.
The London coal market bill; the friendly focieties' bill; the Irish joftice of peace protection bill; the Irish fhip burning bill, and the Guernfey corn bill, were read a third time, patred, and ordered to the Lords.
Sir W. Geary presented a petition from the debtors' confined in Maidstone gaul.Ordered to lie on the table.
The Lord Mayor moved, that the order of the day for the House resolving into a Committee on the City addicional force bill fhould be postponed till the next day.-Ordered.
The volunteer forps bill was read a second time, and commirred for Monday.
The further confiderarion of the report of the cotton bill was postponed vill the next day.
Mr. Vanfittart moved, that the further consideration of she report of the asTefled tax bill, and the Scorch affefed tax bill, Bould be postponed till Tuesday.-Ordered.
The House in a Committee, went through the Thames police bill. Ordered to be reported the next day.
Mr. Alexander brought up the reports of the longitude bill, and the Grenada loan bill, which were ordered to be read a third rime the next day.
Mr. H. Addington bronght up a bill for more speedily completing the militia of Great Britain, which was read a first-time, and ordered to be rud a second time the next day.
INCOME TAX. The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order of the day for the House resolving itself into a Commitree of the whole Houfe, on the property and income tax bill.' Re: folved, accordingly.
After the Committee had proceeded fome length, in confidering and discolling the bill, paragraph by paragragh,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose and said, “Sir, 1 rife at this time in the hope of thortening the discussion. I have confidered the sentiments which were thrown out last night, with regard to exemptions; and I am decidedly of the opinion I was then of, that no breach of good faith could possibly attach on the supposed distin&tion between income arising from trade and other species of income. I would beg The Committee to advert to the principles of the bill, in conSidering of ihe propriety of the alteration about to be submitted to them. It is proposed to make a diftinction between
the Almost every
the income arising from capital, and that arising from bodily labour and skill. In those cases where the income is produced by a combination of interest, from capital, and that arising from bodily labour, it was my with to grant indul. gence, so that no person should pay more than Sl. when his income amounted to less than 1501. The interest arising from capital is then one which may be fairly fixed with the tax. I mean to propose an exception from the principle of the bill, in so far as regards that lort or income which arises not from bodily labour, but from the learned professions, which is even more extenGive than that arising from capital. Of all the cases of hardfhip to which this tax can apply, I conceive that it is most severe on the income arising from that species of industry. It will not be the policy of Parliament at this time to exclude the income arising from that fource, however, from contributing a fair fum towards the present exigencies. There is no one who arrives to great atfainments in such profeffions as I allude to, who has not acquired a considerable proportion of capital; and you are, therefore, to combine the advantages which he thus derives, pot from bodily labour, but from the labour of the mind, with the income arising from his capital. 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 is neceffary, for no proxy can possibly be admitted. It is absolutely impoffible to apply an unobjectionable mode of taxation. 1 fee! the difficulty of extending the exemptions, on account of creating a prodigious addition to the trouble of the Commillioners. . It does not appear to me, however, to be unjust or irrational to muke a distinction between capital ariling from trade yielding a large interest, and that which yields a moderate income. No defalcation of any consequence would arise from the proposed exemption. There is no ground for a charge of violation of faith. It may be 2 matter of surprise io the Committee, that after conlidering the subject with great anxiety, I should now feel disposed 19 think, under the present circumstances, that the public creditors hould enjoy some exemption from the present tax, I am inclined to join in the wish which was pretiy generally expressed last night, io extend the exemptions to perfons deriving their incomes from land to the amount of 1501. and 10. propose a scale for that purpose. But, Sir, I must fairly own, that I do this with great difficulty, It is a difficuly, Vol. IV. 1802-3,