« ForrigeFortsett »
Parliamentary Proceedings respecting Ireland. Motion concerning the
Chief Secretaryship. Flar Seed. Malt and Spirits Bill. Distilleries. Mr Beauchamp Hill.“ Irish Revenue Regulation Bill. Paving and Lighting Board. Budget. Inland Navigation and Draining. Tithes.
The parliamentary proceedings re. expences, which he did not feel himspecting Ireland were of little ime self in a condition to afford. Mr Whitportance this year ; but many points bread then said, he should feel it his were touched upon which tended duty, on a future day, to submit a remore and more to display the strange solution to the House, that the office state of society in that country, and of chief secretary for Ireland was an the anomalies of its government.
efficient office. Early in the session, Mr Accordingly, a few days Feb. 2. Whitbread inquired of Sir afterwards, Mr Whitbread Feb. 6.
Arthur Wellesley, whether, rose to make his promised while he was fighting the battles of motion. “ During the last cam. his country on the continent, he had paign,” he said, “a most extraordistill continued to hold the appoint. nary circumstance had taken place, ment and salary of Secretary to the both here and in Ireland. The chief Lord Lieutenant of Ireland ? Sir secretary for Ireland, and the under Arthur replied, it undoubtedly was secretary * of state for the war de. the wish of the noble personage now partment, both gallant and distinat the head of the Irish government, guished officers, had been employed that no one should be appointed to in the military service of their coun. that situation during his absence; and try, and suffered at the same time to during the two months he was absent, retain their civil employments. In he certainly received part of the sa: either capacity, he admitted that the lary of that office. But then there country could not be better served ; was some part of the time for which but he contended that no office ought he did not receive the full pay at. to be held by any person when ab. tached to his military situation, and sence rendered it impossible for him every man who considered the nature to execute its duties, and it could not of that situation, must be aware that be maintained that these officers could it was liable to very heavy increase of be absent from their civil offices
* General Stewart.
without material injury to the pub- ved a resolution, that the office of lic service. Concerning General Stew. chief secretary for Irelard is au efart, he had received an answer from ficient office of the highest responLord Castlereagh, which was per. sibility, which ought not to be held fectly satisfactory,—that from the by any person absent from the realm, moment he quitted Portsmouth he and that the emolument of it ought had declined receiving any of the not to be paid to any person unable emoluments arising from his secreta- to perform the duties. ryship ; on this, therefore, he should Sir Arthur replied, that when he be only observe, that he thought the was first appointed to the secretarynoble lord ought to have filled up the ship, it was clearly understood that that appointment during the absence of appointment should not exclude him his relative. The answer respecting from accepting any military employthe other gallant officer was not ment. Under these circumstances he equally satisfactory ; and that officer had beenemployed, both on the expediwas too much alive to true glory to tion against Copenhagen, and in that wish that any injurious precedent to Portugal, and in both cases it had should be established by any circum- been clearly understood also, that he stance connected with his individual relinquished all claim to the civil ofinterest. He might appeal to the fice, if a successor were appointed. chair, respecting the duties and emo. He had retained the office solely at luments of the chief secretaryship: the desire of the lord lieutenant, who for it had been held by the distin- thought that he could assist him efguished person in the chair, whose fectually, as he had already done by mind had ever been more fixed on the regulations which he had sugthe duties than the emoluments of gested. Mr Whitbread's resolution the offices. It was to him that the went to declare, that a certain effipublic was indebted for having the cievt government ought at all times duties defined, and the emoluments to exist in Ireland: he would ask the brought forward to public inspection. House before they voted such an abThough the emoluments were consi. stract proposition, to inquire whether derable, he did not mean to say that there had not been an efficient go. they were greater than the situation vernment there during his absence ; merited; but he must insist that if he would ask the honourable mover no duties were performed, the public himself, whether any public business ought not to be called upon to pay. had been detained for four-and-twenty Sir Arthur Wellesley had said, he hours, or whether all the affairs of was not richer from his salary ; this the government had not gone on he believed, as he did not suppose without interruption. Had not the that any person accepted an office regulations which he had arranged with a view to pecuniary gains, but for the various departments of the rather as an object of honourable am- state been carried into effect, and bition. The resolution which he was the public service been thereby proabout to submit would, he trusted, moled without intermission - The be placed in the journals, and prevent salary he allowed to be large ; but any person hereafter, whatever his it was given, not so much for perabilities might be, from filling two forming the duties, as to enable him incompatible places.” He then mo. to maintain the situation and charac
ter that belonged to it. When he tion of the linen board, went abroad, the lord lieutenant, who for which purpose he March 22. was desirous that he should retain moved for a grant of the office, told him, that if he did 20,0001. It was objected to by Mr not return within a certain time a Barry, upon the ground, that the successor would be appointed : it was climate was not calculated for produ. uncertain whether he should ever re- cing seed, -osherwise, he argued, it turn; but when he did, as no suc- would never have been the practice cessor had been appointed, he cer- to import it ; by Mr Horner, who tainly considered himself entitled to said, that as a temporary measure it the emoluments of the office, and as, was nugatory, and as a permanent one whether absent or present, the ex. bad. If the American embargo were pences of the establishment had been taken off, the Irish would immediately defrayed by him, he had taken the be plentifully supplied as before, and salary. The example of his gallant would of course revert to their usual friend, General Stewart, he most mode of traffic, while he supposed the certainly approved; but he had not grant was to be continued as an annual thought it right to return the emolu- burthen upon the people. Mr Parnell ments which he had received, because also opposed it, and deprecated boun. he would not have it supposed that ties altogether, as originating in a mis. he shrunk from the discussion of taken policy. Besides, this gentleman any act of his in that House. He said, if any branch of Lrish trade could had now trespassed too much upon bear interruption with less injury than their attention ; and would only as- another, it was the linen trade, besure them, that he should, in no fue cause the manufacturers were also ture instance, consent to hold his of agriculturists, and could consequentfice in the event of his being appoint- ly convert their lands and labourers ed to a military command.Then he to other uses. On the other hand, the bowed to the chair and withdrew. measure was supported by Sir John Mr Perceval repeated, that if any Newport and Mr Grattan. The inconvenience had been felt, a suc- country, they argued, depended on cessor would have been appointed, the staple manufacture, that manuand declared, that if blame was impu- facture depended on the seed, and to table any where, it was not to Sir secure a supply of that seed, a boun. Arthur, but to his majesty's mini- ty was necessary ; if they had no listers; and he moved the previous nen they had no trade. The embarquestion, which was carried without go and the orders in council might a division. The object of the motion, be rescinded, but the same circumhowever, was effected.
stances might again occur, and the Before the present interruption of manufacturers of Ireland ought not commerce, Ireland used to receive its to depend upon the caprice of another supply of fax-seed from America country. As to the objection from and the Baltic ; there had been a the unfitness of the climate, Mr considerable failure in this important Foster said, experiments had been article, and to remedy this Mr Foster tried and not the smallest doubt ex. proposed to allow a bounty per isted, but that seed might be grown bushel upon all seed grown in Ire. there. The bounty was to extend land, to be disbursed under the direc- to 15,000 bushels, and unless the seed were perfectly sound, the party as unlicensed distilleries could only be furnishing it would subject them- put down by the establishment of selves to penalties.--The grant ac- small stills, he thought the best cordingly was voted.
means of encouraging these would The Irish chancellor was opposed be, by giving a part of each fine as with more success upon the malt a bounty to them instead of to the
and spirit:-bill. Sir John informer. Some cogent arguments March 21. Newport moved that the were adduced against the system of
consideration should be survey upon which his bill proceeded. adjourned to that day six months. This system, it was argued, was the « The principle of increasing the origin of the illicit trade, and while malt tax," he said, “was radically it continued, so long would that trade wrong.
How often had it been continue to flourish. The commisstated in that House, that it was a sioners of inquiry had recommended most desirable thing to tranquillize the license system, under which a Ireland, yet if ever there was one distiller had only to take out a license, measure more calculated than ano. and pay for it according to the num. ther to prevent that desirable object, berofgallons which it was presumed he it was this, which would drive the could make in a year, by which means people back again from beer to the he was left at liberty to work withuse of spirits. Men who got drunk out the vexatious interference of the upon beer could sleep off the effects, excise officers, and the revenue was but spirits set them mad. If the sure of being very considerable. The augmentation was imposed, the peo- commissioners also reported, that in ple would apply themselves to spi. one country the fines imposed for ilrits, and it would cost more than licit distillation amounted, in one any little increase of revenue to sup- year, to 80,0001., but that only 6001. port a military force adequate to re- had been collected, and that the exstrain their violence. It happened pence which it cost the public to to be a thin House when the discus- make the seizures for which these sion took place, so thin, indeed, that fines were to be levied was 50,0001., so Mr Foster's original motion was to that the whole benefit of the system postpone the consideration of the was that of the excise officers, and subject on that account; but Sir J. no stop was put to the illicit pracNewport prest his amendment, and tice. The only remedy was to set succeeded in throwing out the mea- up legal stills over the whole country, sure by a majority of 43 against 30. by suffering them to work with small
The existing regulations respecting capitals and without the vexatious Irish distilleries gave a bounty of Ở oppression of the powers granted to per cent. to stills of 1000 gallons revenue officers ; for so soon as large contents, and of 16 per cent. to those distillers were established, it would of 1500; they imposed also a fine of be so much their interest to prevent 501. upon the parish in which any the illicit trade, that they would soon private still should be detected. Mr clear the country of it. The policy
Foster proposed to relieve of this method of proceeding had May 24. the parish from the bur- been fully established in Scotland.
den for the first offence; Before 1786 the system of collecting but to double it for the second; and spirit duties there was exactly the
sáme as it now is in Ireland, and, in only be worked by persons of large consequence, the whole country was capital in seaport towns, where there supplied by illicit distillation. In was a supply of sea-coal; and by that year the license system was the bounty which favoured them, to adopted, and it was proved in the evi- the exclusion of others, the whole dence given before a committee of the interior was deprived of the demand House, that in the first year 18,0001. for grain which distilleries would was collected, whereas 18s. had never occasion if they could be established been collected before ; that the licen- there: in fact, there were none in sed distillers detected and punished the those parts of Ireland where tillage illegalones, and that the increased de. Aourished most, in Waterford, Clonmand for grain soon contributed to mel, and the county of Kilkenny. the general improvement of the agri. Sir J. Newport, therefore, moved that culture of Scotland, and altogether the bounty should be repealed; but changed the face of the country. it was negatived by a majority of 78
But in addition to the evils inhe. to 21. Mr French moved an amendrent in, and inseparable from, the sys. ment to prevent the double fine upon tem of survey in a country so barbar. the parishes ; and in support of this, ous as Ireland, it was argued, the it was represented, that the collusion bounty on large stills rendered it im- of revenue officers was punished by a possible for any small ones to be fine of 101. only, or by rendering them worked. The large still paid less by incapable of retaining their office, a shilling a gallon than the small one, while the fine upon the parishes was though it had already great and ma- 501. at present, and to be doubled nifest advantages, the expence of by the present bill. Even this penal. working being diminished in propor- ty for collusion, inadequate as it was, tion to the size. The notion of en- was not inforced, for 375 applicacouraging small stills, by giving them tions were made at the quarter sesa share in the fines, was mere folly sion, to fine the county of Cavan for and delusion ; for what man could be illicit stills, while not one prosecution fool enough to contend against the was instituted against a revenue offi. bounty on the large ones, upon the cer; and the fines laid upon that speculation of such a profit! The county were so great that it would best way to prevent' breach of laws, be impossible to levy them. In an is to take away the temptation for swer to this, it was contended, that breaking them. The farmers en- the power of fining could not be tacourage illegal stills, because they ken away while the evil was so great. get a high price for their corn from The revenue was materially injured them, and as small stills cannot be by illicit stills, and the morals of the set up in competition with the boun- people corrupted. There were iniy, if these were destroyed, their stances of town lands being fined market would be destroyed also. three times over for the same still. Enable small stills to flourish, and Severe enactments were required, and the inducement to illegal practices unless informers were rewarded, no is taken away. Farther, the oppo- discoveries would be made. The senents of the bill urged, it was false verity of the law was partly the fault that large stills were advantageous to of those gentlemen who did not ex. the tillage of Ireland; they could ertthemselves to put these stills down. VOL. II. PART I.