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or the amended criterion was demonftrably the trueft. It is proposed to apply the rate to che rent alone. He contended, however, that as the value of a farm can alone be estimated by its outgoings, of which rent only formed a pari, it was better to apply the rate, say three-fourths, to the aggregate of rent, lythe, and poor rales, which would belt how the utmost capacity of the land, and probable interest of the tenant. This was a principle of such indisputable justice, thar he Mould be obliged to perlilt in it, and Mould be sorry to find Government, in a moment like this, when the uimoft zeal and'unanimity Mould be called forth, capable of opposing it.
Sir W. Pulteney conceived rent the belt criterion of value, as it was molt confidered, and best understood by farmers.
Sir F. Baring was for increasing the proportion of the fare mers by the aggregate raie. He was convinced they could bear it. Many of them, during last war, had made great fortunes.
Mr. G. V'anfittart thought the case quoted by Mr. Pitt, as to the difference of rent from one to two hundred a year, on account of one paying the tythes and poor rates, unfounded in fact; farmers, he said, never took tythes or poor rates into confideration when they took their farns.
Mr. IV. Smith could not agree to this; he was acquainted with a towni, even in which the rents were profeffedly low, on account of the great amount of poor rates. This was, in fact, the ground on which the present bill proceeded in making the rate lower for Scotland. It assured us, as there were no tythes or poor rates in that country, the rents must neceffarily be bigher.
Mr. N. Vanfittart objected to the rate on the aggregate, conceiving it would diminish the amount of the tax.
Mr. Pita said this could not be. The bill proposed to take on three-fourths of the rent. Now his proposition took on the rent and also the account of tythes and poor rates. That it would therefore produce more instead of less was fonething as like certainty as he could conceive.
The Attorney General admitted that the aggregate rate would certainly increase the amount of the tax, but as they already took it on a rack rent, this mode might produce inore than they meant to take.
Mr. Pitt observed, that this was new shaping the argument. All objections were at firft confined to the effect of diminishing the tax; and when he had answered them, the learned Gentleman arraigned the justice of his suggestion,
and contended it would produce too much. As, however, it was the most perfect criterion, the result would be most consonant to the purposes of the bill.'
Mr. Bragge did not think it sufficiently proved that the defect complained of in the amount of a fiinilar plan, under the amended inconic act, proceeded from a defective rate, or too great complexity of the plan.
Mr. Cowen thought rent, in fome cases, a very imperfect criterion of profit, as in the cases of accommodation ground near large towns.
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 improper upon farther confideration.
Mr. Pitt proposed, that the principle of the former income tax should be adopted in the manner of collecting the tax, by the value of the tythes, and moved, that a clause to this purpose should be introduced. The House divided : For the amendnient 24 | Against it
91: The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the abatements, of which he the preceding day gave notice, with respect to the fcale of charges to be fixed upon landed income from 601. to 1506. a year, which were agreed to. ? Mr. Plomer faid, that there ought to be fome allowance for those tenants who had raised the value of their lands by their own industry.
The Attorney General contended, that this ought to be equally taxed with any other fort of property railed by indaftry.
A discussion 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 atcer. tained, 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 only to be resorted to in cafe of neceffity.
After fome farther conversation and immaterial amendments, Mv. Alexander reported progress.
The vther orders of the day were then disposed of, and the House adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
SATURDAY, JULY 16. An account was presented of the rates of freightage paid by the East India company, pursuant to an order of the lith inftant.
The Caledonian canal bill was reported, and ordered to be read a third time on Monday.
Sir W. Scott brought up a bill for encouraging the refidence of ftipendiary curaics on their cures. Read a fiut, and ordered to be read a second time on Wednesday, and to be printed.
The Thames police bill was passed.
The longitude bill was read a fecond time, and ordered to be cominitted on Monday.
The militia ameniment bill was committed. A clause was added, declaring that substitutes of the height of five feet two inches thould be accepted. The report was ordered to be received on Monday.
MAGISTRATES INDEMNITY. Lord Archibald Hamilton hoped, that previously to the question being put, he might be indulged in aiking a queftion, the answer to which might fave fome future trouble. What lie willied to know was, whether, confiftently with parliamentary order, there would now be an opportunity of revising the provisions of the magiftrates indemniy bill? He considered it as introducing quite a new principle in the laws, which he conceived to require more discussion before it ought to be adopted, if adopted at all.
The Attorney General replied, that understanding the noble Lord, and others, entertained fome objections to the bill, he had abstained from moving the order for its third reading, left it thould produce a discussion which might interfere with the other important business of the day. However, considering the prefent advanced stage of the bill, he believed there was no other way in which any alleviation could be made in it, except by holding a conference with the Lords. As it was highly necessary that the bill should proceed without delay, he should move the third reading of it, Thould any opportunity occur in the course of the day, either by the property bill being deferred on account - fathin attendance, or from any other caufe which might admit of the intended difcuffion. But if even the objections alluded tu lhould be supported on a better foundative than he con
ceived them to have, they did not appear to him of fufficient moment to defer a bill of lo much urgency. He believed, however, that on more mature consideration, the noble Lord would be convinced that the objections proceeded only from a misconception of the law, and that so far from introducing any new principle, the bill was perfectly confistent with every old one. The present bill would only fave trouble and expence, and give to magistrates and conftables that indemnity which the law would afford. A magistrate may be induced from inadvertence, misinformation, or false charges, to issue bis warrant, and a constable of course to execute it, upon a person quite innocent of the offence. This man had his remedy at law, and might bring his action against both or either of them for false imprisonment, but if he could not prove that the proceedings were malicious, be could not possibly succeed; and the main purpoit of this bill was to prevent such litigious and vexatious tions, as it prceted no person who misconducted himielt evilfolly or with malice.
The Speaker put an end to any further conversation on this tubject, by ubfcrving, that there was no qucftion before the House.
PROPERTY AND INCOME TAX. The House having refolved itself into a Committee on this bill, the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that he was par, ticularly desirous every clause shouid receive the mot minute attention and discussion. He also informed the House, that before their final decision was asked on the bill, it ihould again be printed.
Mr. Kinnaird expressed much satisfaction at hiearing iblis ftatement from the right hon. Gentleman.
The Committee then proceeded to the consideration of the bill, and several very important alterations were made.
The clause for empowering surveyors to examine property, in order to estimate its value, was so amended as in do away the power of entering dwelling houses, which was originally given by the bill.
All the clauses relative to the mode of collecting the tax at the Bank were ftruck out, in consequence of the Chan. cellor of the Exchequer declaring it io be his intention to fubftitute others in their stead, when the Committee thould have gone through the bill. He stated, that upon conlider. ation it had been thought adyiseable par to fcquire thai the VOL. IV. 1802-3!
portion of the tax to be paid by funded property fl:ould be stopped out of the dividends at ihe Bank. It would therefore be the object of the new clauses to direct that the stock. holder's return should be made in the same manner as those of other persons : if, however, after the expiration of fix months no return should be made, it was iniended in such cales to give the power of collecting the tax at the Bank in the manner first proposed. He trusted this arrangement would obviate all the objections which had been made to the clau'es in their present shape, and at the same time afford fufficient security to the revenue.
A long conversazion took place on the clause relative to foreign stock holders.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced an amendment, which not only exempts stock already purchased by foreigners from the tax, but also all funded property, which may, during the operation of the act, be acquired by perfons not subjects of his Majesty, and not residing in the Britih dominions.
Mr. Pitt expressed his fatisfaction at finding the right hon. Genileman was at last convinced of the erroneous principles on which the bill was originally founded, with relpect to funded property. It was now not only acknowledged that a violation of public faith had been avoided, but the righe hon. Genileman had extended his correction of the evil to poinıs which were not hinted at in the argumen's he had thought it his duty to submit on this subject to the Committe.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer could not admit that the bill, as it originally stood, contained any breach of faith. In the present instance it was not any doubt in his mind respecting the right of the Legillature to extend the tax to funded property, which might hereafter be acquired by foreigners, that had induced him to suggest the amendment. The proposition was folely founded on considerations of policy; for it was certainly of importance to encrease the number of buyers in the funds, and this amendment he conceived would be a farther inducement to foreigners to purchase Britich stock.
The fitturney General also contend d, that the principle upon which the bill at first went implied no breach of faith. Dilindions had indeed been made with respect 10 the nature of property. It had buen thought just to make