« ForrigeFortsett »
or other officer, or person authorized to conduct such inquiry or examination, as the case may be, to attend on the hearing thereof at the time and place to be specified in such summons, to give evidence upon oath of the truth of any facts appertaining to such inquiry, or any other matter relating thereto ; and every person so summoned, having his reasonable expenses for such attendance, if required, tendered to him at the time of service of such summons, who shall neglect or refuse to appear according to the exigency thereof, or who, having so appeared, shall refuse to take the oath, or shall refuse to give evidence, or to answer according to the best of his knowledge and belief any question when thereunto required, shall for every such default or offence forfeit 201. § 39.
Regulations for Conduct of Inquiries.—The Commissioners of Customs shall from time to time make such rules for the proper conduct of such inquiries as may be expedient, and as in their judgment shall be necessary or proper ; and such rules 'shall be observed on the conduct of such inquiries, until annulled or varied by the authority of the commissioners. § 40.
OPEN COURT OF COMMISSIONERS OF CUSTOMS.
By C. O., Nov. 26, 1853, the Commissioners of Customs have made the following rules as to complaints and disputes between merchants and others, and the officers of customs, the public investigation thereof, and inquiries touching matters relating to the customs, and the conduct of officers or others concerned therein :
1. A room on the ground floor, at the eastern end of the Custom House, London, shall be appropriated to the hearing of complaints and appeals under the Customs Consolidation Act, 1853.
2. One commissioner will sit in the court, at eleven o'clock, on Tuesdays and Fridays in every week, when necessary, to conduct such inquiries as may have been demanded, and on such other days as the Commissioners may appoint, on special application, in cases requiring more urgent dispatch.
3. In order to such inquiry it will be sufficient for the party requiring it to apply to the board by letter, addressed either to the commissioners or their secretary, stating his place of abode or business, the case to which he refers, and the substance of his complaint; or, if it have reference to any decision of the board, the reasons of his dissatisfaction with such determination.
4. On receipt of such application the case will be heard on the next possible open court day, without further notice to the party, who will be required to attend with his witnesses, if any, on such day, at eleven o'clock, unless in cases where on special application any earlier day is appointed, in which case he shall have notice thereof personally, if he attend for that purpose, or by letter addressed to him at the place of abode or business stated in his application.
5. Any party demanding such inquiry will be entitled to have a summons, requiring the attendance of any witnesses necessary to establish his case, on application to the board.
6. Any party feeling himself aggrieved, and who may be desirous of stating his case to one of the commissioners, instead of demanding an inquiry in open court, may do so on applying to the secretary of the board.
7. All parties concerned are referred to the provisions of the law in extenso, contained in sections 31 to 40 of the said Act.
8. With regard to the outports, the like rules are to be observed as far as practicable, the collector, comptroller, or other officer deputed for that purpose, presiding at the inquiry instead of a commissioner ; and complaints may be made by letter addressed to the collector. But any complainant will be at liberty, and is requested, if time will admit, to address his application to the commissioners, in order that they may have the earliest intimation of the case, and issue any directions which may appear desirable for facilitating the inquiry.
PART THE TENTH.
“ Far as the breeze can bear the billows' foam,
From the official accounts, in the year ended January 5, 1854, it appears that the number of vessels employed in the foreign trade of the United Kingdom was 35,303 ; the burden of these was 7,797,550 tons.
From the same source we find, that the gross amount of the customs duties on imports, for the year ended January 5, 1854, was 22,419,3081.: the exports of British and Irish produce and manufactures, in that year, were in value 87,357,3061. Can any other nation or people show us anything like this? Well may we say—“Her merchants are princes, her traffickers are the honourable of the earth.” The past history of mankind does not record an empire so extensive and so powerful, so wealthy and so great, as that of the United Kingdom. On her vast territories, during every season of the year, the sun never sets. As the evening rays forsake the groves of Honduras his morning beams strike the spires of Calcutta, and three hours before they sink from the population of Montreal and Jamaica—they gladden the British subjects on the western shores of New Holland. Can we then refrain from exclaiming in the language of Sir Walter Scott in the “Lay of the Last Minstrel":
“ Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
POPULATION. The gross numbers of the population were contributed from the chief divigions of Great Britain as follow :-England, 16,921,888 ; Wales, 1,005,721 ; Scotland, 2,888,742 ; and the “Isles," 143,126 ; in addition to which it was computed that 162,490 were at sea or serving abroad in the army.-Census, 1851.
BRITISH SUBJECTS IN FOREIGN STATES.
There were (males and females together) in Greece, 1,068 ; in Russia, 2,783 ; in the Sardinian States, 1,069; in European Turkey, 611; the Two Sicilies, 1,414; China, 649; Persia, 33; Alexandria, 155; Cairo, 85; Tripoli, 23 ; Belgium, 3,828; France, 20,357 ; Saxony, 321 ; Asiatic Turkey, 624; Mexico, 755. From other countries no returns were received.–Census, 1851.
HOUSE OF COMMONS, MONDAY, MAY 8, 1854. Mr. Gladstone developed the views of the Government respecting the existing state of the finances. The statement he had made on the 6th of March showed that, with the additional half-year's income-tax, the total revenue would be 56,656,0001., and the expenditure 56,189,0001., leaving a surplus of 467,0001. Since then, new estimates had been framed for the navy, the arıny, the ordnance, and the militia, which left an amount to be provided for of 6,000,0001. Some provision must be made besides for unknown charges; he put down for this a sum of 850,0001. (in addition to 1,250,0001. already estimated under this head), for which sum he should ask a vote of credit, applicable to services which might arise in the course of the war. The result was, that the amount for which he asked the committee to provide, in addition to the sums already granted, was 6,850,0001.; and the conviction of the Government was, that this amount ought to be provided by an addition to the taxation of the country. They proposed to execute the intention they had formed in case of a further demand, namely, to repeat the income-tax operation already made, and to double the tax, asking the committee to grant this augmentation for the period of the war. The produce of this tax would provide for two-thirds of the expenditure, and then came a grave question-how the remainder was to be provided for. Although aware of the value of the income tax for the purpose of war, the Government were not inclined to push it at once to an extreme point, nor was there any other direct tax to which they were disposed to have recourse. With respect to indirect taxes, they did not intend to alter the rate of postage, to reimpose repealed duties, or to meddle with the duties on tea or tobacco; and, in resorting to articles of consumption, they selected those in which the taxes would least interfere with trade or innocent enjoyment, and would make the smallest deductions from the comforts of the people. First, they proposed to augment the duty on spirits in Scotland 18. per gallon, and on spirits in Ireland 8d. per gallon; the estimated gain was 450,0001. In the next place, they proposed to classify and re-adjust the sugar duties, which would involve no present increase of duty, but would add to the duties that would be otherwise payable after the 5th of July from 1s. to 1s. 6d. per cwt. The gain upon this modification of the sugar duties would be 700,0001. These three sums amounted to 4,400,0001., leaving still 2,450,0001. to be provided for to meet the additional charge of 6,850,0001. There was therefore yet another step to be made, and the Government proposed to make that step by the augmentation of the duty on malt, being convinced that, in combination with the increase of the spirit duties, and the modification of the sugar duties, it was the fairest mode of giving effect to the principle upon which they had determined to act_namely, that this war having been undertaken not for the benefit of any particular class, but with a view to national interests and the national honour, the charge ought to be fairly distributed among the different classes of the community. In increasing the malt duty from 2s. 9d. to 48., the rate would be still lower than before 1801, much lower than in 1802, and less than half of what it was during the war from 1804 to 1816. The net receipt from this additional duty (deducting 5 per cent. for diminution of consumption) would be 2,450,0001., and, adding this to 4,400,0001., the total would be the sum he asked the committee to vote,-namely, 6,850,0001. The gross amount of taxes asked during the present year was 10,157,0001.; and, setting against this sum 1,474,0001. of repealed taxes, the real augmentation of the public burdens in
the present year would be 8,683,0001., two-thirds of which would be raised by a single direct tax upon the wealthier classes, and the remaining one-third by indirect taxation, affecting the whole consuming population, comprehending all classes. The Government proposed that the income-tax and the malt duty should be granted for the term of the war, the spirit duty, without limitation, as a permanent duty; and, with regard to the sugar duties, they would require particular consideration hereafter, but it was proposed that these should be war duties. There was another point. Out of the 6,850,0001., the produce of the additional taxes, he could not expect to receive before the 5th of April, 1855, more than 2,840,0001. ; so that he should be in arrear at that date, 4,010,0001., and this sum the Government, in order to have a command of cash, ought to have the means of raising ad interim, and the proper mode was by temporary securities, which might be in the form of exchequer-bills or exchequer-bonds; and the right hon. gentleman explained, in much detail, the course which the Government proposed to pursue with reference to the issue of these temporary securities. He concluded by moving certain resolutions. After a brief discussion these resolutions were agreed to.—The Times, May 9, 1854.
ASPECT OF TRADE.
In the month, ending April 5, 1853, we exported nearly eight millions' worth of goods ; in the corresponding month of the present year nearly nine millions' worth; the exact returns of the two periods being respectively 7,887,2331. and 8,880,8051. Inasmuch, therefore, as the declaration of hostilities was made at the end of March, we have gained 993,5721. in the returns of a month of actual war. If, again, we take the whole quarter of the current year now last past, we find that the aggregate of our exports has been 21,361,3311., whereas in in the first quarter of last year, it was only 20,391,7231., so that there stands a difference of nearly a million in favour of our progress. If we take the year 1852 for comparison in this respect, the gain is still greater, being no less than 4; millions. There is no aspect in which the results do not present a favourable appearance. The particulars
the return exhibit two or three notable features. In the article of cotton yarn there is a considerable decrease, traceable directly to the effect of the war in checking purchases for continental use. The exports, too, of oil and seeds have declined in value from 71,2841. to 30,4301. These commodities have heretofore been furnished largely by Russia, and, now that such supplies are likely to be intercepted, the stocks are naturally reserved for home consumption instead of being sent abroad. Silk and woollen yarn show also a decrease, but with these exceptions the current flows entirely the other way,
Metals have increased from 1,269,9171. to 1,662,515)., and cotton manufactures, which had recently been declining, have now taken an upward turn, and risen from 2,409,8501. to (2,553,7517. The value of our exports in machinery has almost doubled (193,9811. in place of 105,602.); in beer and ale they have risen from 130,0361. to 170,3361., while other articles of colonial use show that those markets are still as serviceable as ever.
With respect to imports, the consumption of provisions in general, and of many articles of luxury in particular, is sufficient to prove that there has been no falling off in the prosperity of the community. In tea, it is true, there is a very large decline, but the fact is reasonably explained by the reluctance of people to make their purchases until after the impending reduction of duty had trken effect. Coffee in the meantime had risen, as had sugars in general, especially West India and Mauritius. East India was alınost stationary, and in foreign produce there was a diminution. The importations of grain are remarkable in the extreme. In the month of April, 1854, we took twice as much wheat, and twice as much grain of other descriptions, as we did the like month of 1853 ; and, although the first quarter of the year last mentioned showed returns double those of 1852, the first quarter of the present year has exhibited a prodigious increase even over that excess.- The Times, May 9, 1854.
THE CRYSTAL PALACE.
On Saturday, June 10, 1854, Her Majesty the Queen opened the Crystal Palace. The ceremony was witnessed by the Prince Consort and the Royal Family, by the King of Portugal, and his Royal brother, the Duke of Oporto, by the Foreign Ministers, the leading Members of the Administration, the Royal Commissioners of 1851, the Royal Commissioners of the New York Exhibition, the Committee of the Dublin Exhibition, the Representatives of the Imperial Commission for the French Exhibition next year, General Morin, Count Lesseps and M. Arles Dufour, by a large number of Peers and Members of the House of Commons, with their families, by the Mayors of the different corporate towns in the kingdom, by the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the chief learned societies in the metropolis, and, finally, by an assemblage of about 40,000 spectators.
The procession round the building, was duly marshalled in the following order by Mr. Belshaw, who, by prescriptive right at such ceremonials, himself led the way: SUPERINTENDENTS OF WORKS AND PRINCIPAL EMPLOYES.
Mr. E. Campbell.
Mr. J. Campbell.
Mr. G. Paxton.
ARCHITECTS OF INDUSTRIAL COURTS.
PRINCIPAL OFFICERS AND HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS.
Dr. R. G. Latham.
Mr. Digby Wyatt.