Gambar halaman
[ocr errors][merged small]

fion for all the expences of the en- net produce of the taxes last year
suing year. Since that time no un- amounted to 15,735,8761. which,
foreseen necessities had arisen, no together with the land and malt, ef-
new demands had occurred, to jur. timated at about 3,000,000l. will
tify the imposition of fresh burdens make out a standing annual reve.
upon the people. Mr. Grey then nue of 19,000,000l. still leaving
went into an examination of the 2,500,00ol. a year to be provided
statement which Mr. Pitt had given for by annual permanent taxes.”-
of the unfunded debt, in which he Hedeprecated comparisons between
pointed out much fallacy and error. the situation of this country and
In 1794, he said, there was funded that of France, as infallibly leading
about 1,500,000l. and in 1795, to error, as a means which had de-
1,600,oool. and on the 31st of luded the people of this country
December last, there remained due into a contest, conducted without
for navy service, 12,335,00ol. in- ability, and not to be terminated by
cluding 10,350,000l. incurred in the present ministers with honour.
the course of the last year : so that He concluded with pledging him-
though the taxes proved as produc- self to the house, if they would go
tive as was expected, there would into a committee of inquiry, to
be left unprovided for, instead of prove that the interest of the public
1,640,000l, near 7,000,000l. This debt, to a great amount, still re-
event, however, rested upon the mained unprovided for.
supposition of the taxes answering

The chancellor of the exchequer the minister's expectation; which replied to several of the observawas much to be doubted. He urged tions made by Mr. Grey. The that the expectations of the chan- latter had asserted that the navy cellor of the exchequer upon the debt'incurred in 1795 amounted to produce of the wine tax were un- near 10,000,oool. Mr. Pitt main. warrantably high; he thought that tained, that instead of such increase, as much wine would not be con- the sums incurred for that period sumed as before.

amounted only to 6,000,oool. the He next called upon the com- interest of which had been promittee to go into an inquiry into vided for. The navy debt for 1796, che state of the finances, and said, the minister calculated at 4,000,000l. that if the honourable gentleman, but Mr. Grey estimated it at double instead of fine speeches, would only that sum. This was a proposition furnish him with a few papers, he to which Mr. Pitt could not agree; would pledge himself to Mew, not. but allowed there might be fome withstanding the enormous loan of variation in the navy debt, more or twenty-five millions which had less, not, however, to an amount been voted, that he had not pro- so great as 4,000,000l. He called vided interest for the outstanding the attention of the house to the debt. He then re-stated what he prohibition of the distilleries, which had observed on a former occasion occasioned a falling off, on an arespecting a peace establishment, verage, of one-third of the duties; which might now be estimated but this accidental defalcation would at twenty-two millions. 6 Now, be retrieved; and the duties, on the let us consider for a moment,” laid fair average of four years previous Mr. Grey, “ the means we have to the last year, were in a progressive to fupport this establishment. The fate of improvement, 'Mr. Pitt 7

L 4


[ocr errors]

concluded withi entering into a de- allowed to the French emigrants, tail to shew that Mr. Grcy had mis- who existed from day to day upon calculated the probable peace eita- that pittance, and whom we had blishment, and vaguely allerted that fo fcandalously deluded, was not there were resources sufficient to punctualiy paid. answer all future demands which Vir. Alderman Newnham rose, could be foreseen.

not to oppose any part of the miMr. Fox supported, with his nister's speech, but to make some usual ability, the fame side of the observations upon the loan. It question as Mr. Grey, and agreed was to all intents and purposes, with the generality of the excep- and contrary to the approved fyftions taken by him to the ftate. tem, a fhut up and close loan; a ments of the chancellor of the ex- competition had been, to his own chequer. He said that much vehe. knowledge, offered by fifteen or fixmence of language had been em- teen rapectable houses in the city; ployed upon former occasions to and they had received no answer, Thew to that house. the desperate nor any reason why their offers situation of the French finances. were not attended to. Messrs. Boyd The minister had exclaimed, " Hear and Benfield seemed to have a what the French say themelves, fort of claim from the terms of and see whether they are not in the former loan; but while they their last agony!"The house had insisted on this claim for themselves, been told that the French were they denied it to others who had not on the verge but in the been subscribers to the former gulph of bankruptcy,” God for loan; thus refusing to persons bid, faid Mr. Fox, that we equally entitled what they claimed 1hould fight a country under the to themselves. hope, and no other, that such a Mr. Grey as proved of what had country was in the gulph of bank- fa'len from the alderinan; and, to ruptcy: nothing could be obtained use a falhionable phrase, he mould

from such a contest. By such like to know when the Luan Levifolly we had added to the capital athan was to be satisfied, or how of our enormous debt from thirty long he was to have lans upon his to forty millions in the course of

Mr, Grey here allittle more than a year. These luded once more to the difference very people of France who were in between Mr. l'itt and him, on the the gulph of bankruptcy a long annount of the peace eftablish nent, time ago, had made it necessary for the navy debt, and the misapplithe midifter to borrow 7,000,000l, cation of money;-contending that more in the course of one seslion his statements were established by than he said he had occasion for facts, and the right honourable genwhen he brought forward the sumn. tleman's only relied on speculation. mary of the public expenditure. He inlified, that, when money was Mr. Fox took notice allo of the voted by parliament for any speciarrears which government had in- fied purpose. it was a gross violation curred in various branches of the of law to appropriate it to any public service. He understood, that, other; and the perfon who did lo even in the smallest penfions, go- ought to be subject to an impeachvernment were in arrear.

Even ment. the miferable pittance which was Mr. Sheridan concurred in the


own terms,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

observations made upon the state of distinction alluded to, only about
the finances by Mr. Grey, and soool. had been stated as the ex-
contended, that, upon the event of pence of temporary barracks. In
a peace, new taxes would be necef- the same way in England, out of
sary for more than three millions; 250,000l. expended, he only found
and, instead of the usual peace etta- 9,500l. put under the head of tem-
blishment of seventeen niillions, porary barracks. The excess must
he could prove, did not the lateness therefore have gone in fupport of
of the hour prevent him, that our permanentbarracks Hefaid he could

establishment would not reit satisfied with the official amounnto no less a sum than twen returns made to the house. Fortyiy-three millions.

eight thousand pounds had been subGeneral Smith asserted that the mitted in February lait, as the exEast-India company would not be tra-expences from June 1792 to able to pay annually the sum of December 1795; and afterwards 500,000l. He also pointed out the an account was brought forward, Spirit of disobedience and discon- amounting to 243,000i. as the actent which had been generated in tual extra-expence of : 795. the army in the East-Indies by our To there obfervations Mr. Steel late regulations.

replied, that out of 314,000l. given Mr. secretary, Dundas said, that, in estimates, 246, ool. had been when the East-India finances came expended in temporary barracks in under discussion, the general would England, together with yoool. of have a fair opportunity of stating contingent expences. In Guernthe inability under which he sup- fey and Jerses, for the fune article, posed the East-India company to 64,000l. amounting in the whole labour. He denied the other infi- to the sum estimated. These ac. nuations thrown out respecting the counts were furnished in confe. disposition of the army in that quence of his orders to the barrack, country.

master; and he could not juriber The resolutions were at length account for their inaccuracy,though put, and agreed to without a divi- he was ready to contefs his own befon, and the report ordered to be lief that they were fair and accureceived on the following day.

He observed that he miglit, On the 19th of April, previous to confiftently with his place, decline the report of the committee of giving any aniner to the questions ways and means being brought which had been put to bin, if he up, Mr. Grey rose to ask some did not feel himself called upon explanations from the paymaster from respect to the character of of the forces respecting the ex- ministers. Mr. Grey said that anopence of temporary barracks. He ther day he fhould have occasion to found it stated that 314,000l. had go at large into the businessh

. been employed entirely in this fer- Mr. Hobart then brought up the vice, in Great Britain, Guernsey, report of the comunittee of ways and Jersey. And yet he saw a kind and means; and, upon the firit of distinction drawn in the accounts resolution being put, 'Mr. Williain between barracks and temporary Smith fta ed that he intended to barracks. He found the estimates have made fo:ne observations upon of Guernsey and Jersey put at the terms of the loan the preceding 64,000l. and agreeable to the fort of night, but was prevented by the



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

length of time occupied by other concluded, the best way would be gentlemen. He argued that the to put their unanimity into prac. bargain for the old loan, for so it tice, and pass the resolution. 'Re. was to be distinguished, although specting the terms of the former so recently contracted for, was half loan, he was guided in his judge a million unfavourable to the pub- ment by a general view of the cirlic, inasinuch as three per cent. more cumstances existing at the time. was given to the contractors than Those circumstances were such as another gentleman would have tak. induced him to give the contractors en it at, and the bonus upon it was a higher bonus upon the loan of exactly 3 per cent, more than upon December. He was aware of the this second loan. It was necessary reserve of unfunded debt, and had to inquire under what circumftan. some idea of an imperial loan, ces both the loans were bargained whence he had expected a fall in for, that the profit should be so the stocks from one and a half to much more at one time than ano. two per cent. which certainly would ther. If the parties who purchase have been the case, if his majesty's a loan give less for one in April message had not arrived at the time than they did in the preceding De. it did, and of which he had then cember, it was necessary to account no apprehenfion. This made the for it. A premium of seven per difference between that loan of cent. came out in the market upon eighteen millions, and the present the loan bargained for in Decem- one of feven and a half. If he had ber, without any rise in the funds. known beforehand that the stocks It was true, the chancellor of the had Mewn a tendency to rise, he exchequer had given the market a should certainly have made the temporary rise, by bringing down premium lefs. the king's message immediately after Mr. Francis noticed in pointed the loan was contracted for; but terms the two acts of parliament this favourable hope was of short which had been paffed in that duration; and at the time the new session, to enable government to loan '

was made, the hope, which issue 3,500,000l. exchequer bills, to had been afloat ever since, was en- replace the same amount held by tirely destroyed by the answer of the bank. “ It is now,” said he, the directory respecting peace. “found necessary to relieve the bank Mr. Smith used many strong and from this load; and money is raised urgent arguments, to prove that a by the present loan to pay off the better bargain upon the old loan 3,500,000l, exchequer bills, which might have been made ; that if the bank hold. This, then, makes ministers had gone to open como

the issue of that fum in exchequer petition upon the old loan, they bills, according to the two former might have had it taken off their acts of parliament, unnecessary for hands by the very fame contractors, that purpose.” He then contendon the identical terms they had ed that as those acts, being made taken this last loan.

this feffion, could not be repealed, Mr. Pitt said he was extremely the minister might still issue this happy to find that the merit of the sum in exchequer bills, for services present loan received the appro- which were not in the contem, bation of so nice a critic; and there- plation of that house. He therefore, since they were unanimous, he fore hinted at a parliamentary re


[ocr errors]

ftraint over the possible exercise of withdrawn, and a new one ordered
such a power. Mr. Grey also urged to be brought in.
the dangerous tendency of such a On the sth of May, previously
power in the hands of the minister. to the house resolving itfelf into a
Mr. Pitt, in reply, said, that to re- committee on the above bill, Mr.
move all fufpicion, a clause might Grey said he should mention some
be inserted in the present loan bill, particulars which had come to his
or a resolution moved to a similar knowledge, respecting the conduct
effect. The first resolution passed. of revenue officers, in the mode of

The other resolutions of the collecting the additional duty on
committee were then read; and wine. He conceived there was no
Mr. Pitt, Mr. Rose, and Mr. Ho- authority whatever of fufficient
bart, ordered to prepare and bring power legally to enforce the pay-
in bills upon the same.

ment of duties about to be levied On the 21st of April, the bill for by an act of parliament, until such the better regulation of hats was act had passed into a law; yet he read a first time, and ordered to be was informed, and from good auread a second time the next day. thority, that upon the arrival at

The house on the 26th resolved Leith of the ship Peggy, belonging itself into a committee on this bill; to Mr. Murray, laden with Spanini and it was determined, that, after wines, the additional duty upon the 5th of April 1797, every person one ton of Port had been demanded wearing a hat with the tining un- and paid. He mentioned a similar stamped should be liable to a pe- circumstance which had happened nalty. A clause was brought up, at Bristol. He thought such cases by which the owner of a hat is demanded the serious attention of compelled to prove that his hat the house, as they were certainly paid the duty.

unjustifiable in the highest degree. Several debates took place in the Though it might be right for bills commons upon the dog-tax bill, in to have a retrospective view in the course of which, Mr. Sheridan, some instances, it was nevertheless in a strain of the most poignant highly dangerous to the principles wit and irony, amused the house of the constitution, and the liberty for a considerable time upon this of the subject, for that retrospection fubject.

to operate previous to the bill being Mr. Rose, on the 25th of April, passed. He said he had observed, observed, there was an irregularity with deep concern, the latitude in in the wine-duty bill, which would which ministers had indulged them. perhaps render it necessary to with. selves of late, in dispensing with the draw it, and to introduce a new laws of their country; and it cerbill. A clause respecting auctio- tainly was the incumbent duty of neers selling wine had been by the house of commons to watch mistake inserted in the bill, with their conduct with a jealous eye. out the consent of the house. These observations brought on aHe had intended to have obviated conversation between Mr. Sheridan this by inserting a new clause; but and the chancellor of the excheas the necessary form was not ob- quer, in which the former observed, served, he moved for leave to that when the bill went into á withdraw the bill. The bill was committee, he should propose two


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »