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portant sources of revenue, where. rious changes in our taxation by we had lost at least 2,637,0001. had been demanded of the GoWe had likewise to encounter the vernment by different interests, difficulties created by the Ameri- the reduction of the duty upon can blockade and a deficient har- spirits, an alteration of the sugar vest; and, as we must expect, duties, the malt credits, the our revenue was declining, though minor charges upon imports and not in an alarming manner. exports, the wine duties, and The expenditure for the coming the duty on hops. Mr. Gladyear, 1862-63, he estimated at stone indicated certain minor 70,040,0001., and the revenue at changes he proposed to make in 70,190,0001., leaving a surplus of the inventory duty in Scotland, 150,0001. Under these circum- a moderate charge of an eighth stances, the question was—there per cent. upon all loans raised being so close a balance between in this country, and upon supplerevenue and expenditure—whe- mentary licences to publicans to ther any new taxes should be supply fairs; and he then adimposed. In considering the verted to the spirit duties. He causes which influenced our re. had expected, he said, somewhat venue, they might all be ex- more than he had got; but all pressed in one word, “ America;" the evidence showed that the and the main question in relation cause of the deficiency was not to our export trade was, whether illicit distillation, and that the a large portion of the population diminution of duty resulted from of this country was to be sup- diminished consumption, complied with the raw material, with- bined with the increasing sobriety out wbich they would be deprived of the country. In Ireland there of employment. The great ex. was an increase in the year's tension of our trade with France revenue that was perfectly satisgave reason to hope that the factory. The Government, therecommercial relations between the fore, would be in error if they two countries would be valuable failed to maintain the spirit to us, not only in an economical duties. With regard to sugar, view, but as & guarantee of the question was complicated ; friendly feelings and the best but the West Indians were satissecurity for the peace and tran- fied, and, like the refiners, proquillity of the world. The Go- tested against any change. His vernment had not considered it conclusion was that, if any change their duty to propose the impo- were to be made, it must be after sition of any additional taxes, re- a careful and protracted inquiry, serving to themselves the right and the Government would not to consider in what mode they oppose such inquiry if it were should meet any emergency in asked for. With respect to the the public service that might malt credits, he must dispose of possibly arise. As to the re- that question in the same man. mission of taxation, it must be ner. With reference to the minor remembered that, though no charges upon trade, he admitted taxes were remitted, the burdens that the charge upon bills of of the country would be lighter lading had a strong claim for by 600,0001. or 700,0001. Va- remission when we had a larger surplus than 150,0001. He was of accommodating the duty to willing that the subject of these that remitted. The brewer would minor charges should likewise derive a benefit from the remission undergo an impartial inquiry. As of the duty on hops, and would to the wine duties, according to be allowed 3d. per barrel draw. the experience of the revenue back on the export of his beer. department, and to the convic. He explained the new scale of tions of the Government, there duties on the licences, and the would be difficulties in intro- mode in which he proposed to deal ducing a fundamental alteration with private brewing. He would in those duties, and the prin exempt persons residing in houses ciple of an alcoholic test, to dis- under 201. rent (he subsequently, tinguish what he would call na. however, intimated his readitural wines and brandied wines, ness to reconsider his limitation), would, he thought be found charging 128. 6d. upon licences a satisfactory basis for charging for private brewing in houses the duty. It did not follow, howpaying a higher rent. The result ever, that the scheme might not of this financial operation would be improved. Inquiries had been be a loss of revenue of 45,0001. made in wine-growing countries, The House was now, he said, in and the result was, that he pro- possession of the views of the posed to alter the scale of duties. Government. The prominent feaAt present there were four rates: tures of his statement were, that under 18 degrees, 18.; 18 to 26, the year was to commence withls. 9d. ; 26 to 40, 28. 5d.; 40 to out any real surplus over expendi. 45, 28. lld. He proposed to re- ture, and that the circumstances duce the four rates to two; up in which the country had been to 26 degrees, ls.; and from 26 to placed were exceptional. He then 42, 28. 6d. Above 42 degrees he proceeded to call attention to proposed a virtually prohibitory matters of a larger and more duty of 3d. for every additional comprehensive character. The degree of alcohol. The financial impression that the public exresult would be a net gain of penditure was growing was, he revenue of 15,8001. The case said, not correct. He showed of the hop duty had, in his that, in point of fact, the exopinion, been very much expenditure had of late years been aggerated; but he admitted that decreasing. At the same time, there were difficulties in the he adınitted its amount to be trade. Having, however, a sur- such as ought to attract serious plus of only 150,0001., he could not attention. The cause was due to part with 300,0001. a year. The the growth of the real and perquestion arose whether it was manent wants of the country; not possible, with equity to all to apprehensions as to the se. parties, by a commutation of this curity of the country, and an duty, to set free the foreign as anxiety to make provision for it ; well as the British trade in hops, to the establishments and ex. He proposed, as such commutat penditure of other countries, and tion, to remit the Hop Duties, to special demands. He enlarged and to re-adjust the sale of upon these topics, specifying the brewers' licences on the principle balance of taxes imposed and repealed, observing, in conclusion, sent. Our trade was not inthat we had passed through ex- creasing, our revenue was deceptional years, and without clining, and the state of affairs going into the market for loans; in America and Europe was not and that if we hoped to effect a encouraging. It was, therefore, remission of taxation, it was not much to be regretted that the to be had except by judiciously financial year should commence and gradually, but resolutely, ap- with only a nominal surplus. plying to every department of Why is there not a surplus ? was the public service the principles a question asked in and out of of true economy. He then ex- the House. The Chancellor of plained the Resolutions he had the Exchequer had told the prepared for carrying his pro- House that he had contemplated positions into effect, and placed a loss by the repeal of the paper them in the hands of the Chair duty of 655,0001., but that it had man.
proved to be 850,0001. Had that A long, but somewhat desul. duty been retained, there would tory discussion ensued, em- have been a surplus of 1,400,0001. bracing a variety of points, re. Its repeal had been opposed on specting which the Chancellor of two main grounds,-first, that the Exchequer entered into. ex- there was no real surplus; and planations.
second, that, looking at the Civil A few days afterwards, on the War in America, it was more motion being made for going into than probable that there would a Committee of Ways and Means, be an increase in our naval and the financial condition of the military expenditure. The result country and the propositions of had been that the Civil War had Mr. Gladstone's budget, under led to an increase in our exwent much discussion, the leaders penditure exceeding the amount of the Conservative party ex- of the paper duty. Then it had pressing on that occasion their been contended that the estimate distrust of the soundness of Mr. of the receipt of the China moGladstone's financial measures, ney, which the Chancellor of the and their apprehensions of future Exchequer had guaranteed at difficulty, in consequence of the 750,0001., was fallacious, and remissions of taxation which he that he would not receive more had made.
than half that amount; and he Mr. Disraeli commenced the had actually received less than debate by observing that there 400,0001. Mr. Gladstone was was considerable misconception not responsible, Mr. Disraeli acin the public mind in regard to knowledged, for the finances of the financial position of the coun- the year 1859-60; he would, try, which, in his opinion, af- therefore, take the two succeedforded cause for anxiety. There ing years, and the result in the were circumstances, he admitted, years 1860-61 and 1861-62 was under which a Minister of Fi- a total deficiency of 4,000,0001. nance might be justified in com- In addition to this deficit, Mr. mencing the year without a Gladstone had anticipated the surplus. Unhappily, those cir- resources of the country to the cumstances did not exist at pre- extent of 3,500,0001., so that he
had exceeded the ordinary reve. The Chancellor of the Exchenue of the country in those two quer, after explaining the modifiyears by 7,500,0001., although cations proposed of the scheme he sustained the revenue during of brewing-licences, and the mode that time by war-duties. Even in which licences for private this was not the full extent of brewing were to be obtained, rehis prodigality, for this was done plied to what he termed the hisat a period when the national torical review of Mr. Disraeli, debt had been diminished by who did not, he remarked ironi2,000,0001., the amount of the cally, resort to rhetorical artifices. Terminable Annuities. How was He had said things that were this deficit supplied ? By reckless true, and things that were new; draughts upon the balances in but, unfortunately, the things the Exchequer to the amount of that were true were not new, and 2,684,0001., and by other expe- those that were new were not true. dients, which carried the total There ran through his whole sum up to 4,026,0001. All the speech a fallacy which vitiated rhetorical arts of the Chancellor the arguments of those who had of the Exchequer could not dis- no faith in our late commercial guise the critical position of our policy, as to the effect which the finances. And how did he pro- remission as well as the reduc. pose to extenuate this result ? tion of duties bad upon the reBy alleging that the two years venue. Mr. Disraeli had giren were exceptional years. He (Mr. the financial results of three Disraeli) denied that they were years, absolving him (Mr. Gladexceptional. Then it was said stone) from all responsibility for that the national debt had been the first year. But it so hapreduced by 4,000,0001.; there pened that that year was one of was an apparent diminution, but a considerable surplus, and he no real reduction; on the con- proceeded to quote assertions of trary, he insisted that there had his (Mr. Gladstone's), made with been an increase of the public reference to the three years, as if debt. But there was another he had made them in relation to source of consolation in the an. the two years. Mr. Gladstone nouncement that the epoch of re-asserted that the two years retrenchment had commenced. were exceptional years, or he did How retrenchment was to be not know, he said, what was an effected Mr. Gladstone had not exceptional year. He pointed pointed out. He had now placed be out errors which, he insisted, fore the House (Mr. Disraeli said) Mr. Disraeli had committed in our financial condition and pros- charging him with exhausting pects, and had shown that tho by anticipation the ordinary reexcuses offered to calm the public venues, and with respect to the mind were utterly fallacious. failure of the China receipts he
Mr. Bass asked for some ex. met him he said, with a positive planations as to the new scheme contradiction. He denied that of brewing-licences. He disap- he had given any personal guaproved of this part of the Budget, rantee of the amount; he had and suggested, in lieu of it, an founded his estimate upon the augmentation of the malt duty. safest authorities, and had stated the grounds of it. In the only these years the deficiency had two cases in which Mr. Disraeli been 6,144,0001., and in two years had prepared estimates, not for there was a surplus of 2,400,0001., China, but for England—the tax leaving a net deficiency of on checks and the duty on Irish 3,744,0001. The question was, spirits-be had egregiously erred; he observed, whether this excepthey had not realized one-third of tional state of things was going to the sums he had reckoned upon end, and whether we should not receiving. Then the proposal to retain any resources we had in repeal the paper duty was said hand. Unless the House made to be improvident. Mr. Disraeli prudent provision for the year, seemed to be incapable of appre- either by an increase of the reciating the effect which such re- venue or a reduction of the missions of duty had upon the expenditure, it would not, he general revenue by their repro. thought, do its duty to the counductive energy. But Mr. Disraeli try. said it was improvident to part The House then went into a with 600,0001. or 700,0001. Committee of Ways and Means, What, however, did he and his when certain resolutions, embodyparty propose ? To part with ing the principal alterations intro950,0001. by a reduction of the duced by the Budget, were agreed tea duty. If there had been to. any blame in the financial policy The proposition of imposing a of the Government, he was ready, licence duty on brewers, which as the Financial Minister, to bear was intended by Mr. Gladstone it. He should be content, he to afford a substitute for the loss said, if the result of this discus. of the hop-duty, underwent a sion should convince the House good deal of adverse criticism. that the condition of the country Mr. Bass, on behalf of the trade, with reference to its finances was objected to this as exceptional deserving of grave attention ; legislation, directed against a that its temporary resources were particular class. He thought that nearly exhausted, and that it was if brewers were required to pay the duty of the House to consider for a licence, other manufacturers what should be the future scale ought to be subjected to the same of our taxation.
obligation. Brewers already paid The discussion was continued a duty on hops, and should not at much length, involving a com. be required to pay again in the plete survey of the various parts shape of a licence tax. Mr. of the financial scheme, Mr. Ben. Locke, Sir John Trollope, and tinck, Sir H. Willoughby, Mr. other members, expressed likewise Ayrton, Mr. Lindsay, Mr. Ball, strong objections to the proposed and Lord R. Cecil taking part in licence. The Chancellor of the the debate.
Exchequer replied to these objecSir S. Northcote, in the course tions, denying the alleged ground of an elaborate criticism of the for some of them, and proposing Budget, urged upon the House to obviate others by provisions that during the last eight years, which he intended to introduce. since 1854, there had been large The proposed licence duty upon deficiencies of revenue ; in six of private brewing he consented, in