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the golden calf and worship it, he is to be bound and and cast into the furnace; I do trust in God, that there is a redeeming spirit in the constitution, which will be seen to walk with the sufferer through the flames, and to preserve him unhurt by the conflagration. *
After Mr. Curran had concluded, there was another uni. versal burst of applause through the court and hall, for some minutes, which was again silenced by the interference of Lord Clonmel.
MR. PITT'S SPEECH
ON REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE
OF COMMONS, FEBRUARY 17, 1792.
The house having resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to consider so much of his majesty's speech, on the opening of the session, as related to the publick revenue and expenditure, and these parts being read, Mr. Pitt, then chancellor of the exchequer arose, and delivered the following speech, which, with singular precision and luminous order reviews the finances of the country, and unfolds the hidden sources of its wealth and prosperity.
It belonged to his genius to mould the roughest materials into symmetry and proportion, and to smooth the deformities of every subject it touched. Into the dead carcase of a budget, which was always before his time loathsome and repulsive to the house, his eloquence infused so much animation and grace as to render it attractive. The present speech of this exalted statesman is one of the happiest examples of publick speaking; where the minute details of business are blended with the ornaments of imagination, and the fascinations of style.
majesty' has been referrer
cenmittee, * nas already announced to us,
piblick, the most wel. come intelligence whicn'ns possible for us to receive. It has raised the pleasing expectation, that, after all the difficulties with which we have struggled, the period is at length arrived, when, by the flourishing state of our finances, we may be enabled to enter on a system which will afford immediate and substantial relief to a large proportion of our constituents, and at the same time give additional security and effect to that important, and, I trust, inviolable system which has been adopted for the reduction of the national debt.
In proceeding to detail the measures which I shall propose with a view to these important objects, I shall consider it as my first and most indispensable duty to state, as distinctly as possible, every circumstance
* “It will, I am persuaded, give you great satisfaction to learn, that the extraordinary expenses incurred in the course of the last year have, in a great measure, been already defrayed by the grants of the session. The state of our resources will, I trust, be found more than sufficient to provide for the remaining part of these expenses, as well as for the current service of the year, the estimates for which I have directed to be laid before you.
“ I entertain the pleasing hope, that the reductions which may be found practicable in the establishments, and the continued increase in the revenue, will enable you, after making due provision for the several branches of the publick service, to enter upon a system of gradually relieving my subjects from some part of the existing taxes; at the same time giving additional efficacy to the plan for the reduction of the national debt, on the success of which our future ease and security essentially depend.
“ With a view to this important object, let me also recommend it to you to turn your attention to the consideration of such measures as the state of the funds and of publick credit may render practicable and expedient, towards a reduction in the rate of interest of any of the annuities which are now redeemable.”
which can be necessary for enabling all who hear me, not only to form a satisfactory judgment on the general result of our situation, but to examine the various calculations and reasonings on which that result is founded ; and in attempting to execute so extensive a task, it is no small relief to my mind to reflect, that the repeated discussions which have taken place on questions of finance, have rendered them, in a great degree, familiar to the house and to the publick ; and that, by the measures which have been adopted for simplifying the nature and form of the publick accounts, they are at length freed from that obscurity and intricacy in which they were formerly involved ; and are rendered so clear and intelligible, that there is no man who may not, with a small degree of attention, become as fully master of the subject, as those whose official duty has led them to make it their peculiar study.
The first point, to which I wish to call the attention of the committee, is the amount of what may be conșidered as the probable future income of the country; and I will begin by recapitulating the result of the accounts for different years, which have been already stated. The produce of the permanent taxes in the last year, from the 5th of January, 1791, to the 5th of January, 1792, appears to have been 14,132,000l. ; which, with the addition of 2,558,01 01. (being the average amount of the annual duties on land and malt, as stated by the select committee last year) would make the total revenue of the year 16,690,0001. To this there must be added a sum, which, in the accounts on the table, has been included in the produce of the separate and temporary taxes imposed last year, for the purpose of defraying the expense of the Spanish armament, but which, in fact makes part of the general and permanent revenue.
It will be recollected that an addition was made last year to the duties on bills and receipts, and the addition was consolidated with the old duty. The whole of this consolidated duty has been carried to the account of the separate fund; but only the excess beyond the