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be the early product of the land of money granted to the island of tu, which otherwise would have Grenada, 150,0001. had not been gone to the consolidated fund. sent, and therefore the gross sum Besides, in the distribution paper, of 2,994,0001. was left as an exit appeared that of the whole sura cess.
Summary of the Ways and Means for 1799.
Annual produce of the land and malt - - - 2,750,000
Voluntary contribution ------ 1,500,000
Hie assessed taxes ------- 4,500,000
A duty upon imports and exports, which Mr. Pitt supposed"
would be saved to the merchant by the diminution of 1
the insurance which would take place in consequence > 1,500,009
of regulations which were to be made respecting the I
sailing of convoys - -.
Bank advance on exchequer bills . 3,000,000
The loan, exclusive of two millions for Ireland- - - 15,000,000
Lottery --------- 200,000
Total £. 28,450,00©
The next object to which be called the attention of the committee was the loan, and the advantageous terms upon which fie had agreed for it. Messrs. Boyd and Co. being the lowest bidders on the annuity, were the purchasers of the Joan on the following terms: vis.
For every 1001. subscribed, the snbscribers had 1501. of'
Also each subscriber of tool, had 50 of reduced at 47-|i
And 4s. lid. of long annuities at 13| years, valued at
This bargain, he said, was concluded at eight shillings interest less than the bargain of the preceding year. As eight millions of the loan were mortgaged on the general produce of the increased assessed taxes, the permanent addition to %k national debt was only seven millions'. He had therefore seven millions to find raxeyfor; and adding to this 200,0001. to be applied to the sinking fund, and taking the interest of the whole sum of 7,200,0001. at 81. 5s. per cent, he had 577,0001. to provide for annually. He had thought of funding two or three millions of the
navy debt, but had since concluded that it would be better to leave it in its actual situation until peace* In the year 179- it amounted to 2,745,0001.; but at the present timeit exceeded (i,000,000l.; so that the interest to be provided for would be 186,0001., which ad>!ed to the above mentioned sum of 577,OOOl;. amounted to 7b'3,000l. for the interest of all the charges of the prew sent year which was to be provided for by new taxes. The first tax for this purpose which he proposed was an additional duty of five shillings per bushel upon salt, the produce of which he estimated at 502,0001,602,0001. annually. He supposed opposite grounds, and was con
tint the salt consumed upon an vinced that the country, instead of
average annually in every family entertaining such sentiments, would
comDOsed of the labouring class of be found ready to set a value upon
people amounted to no more than that which was one of the most im
kalf a bushel. He proposed, there- portant links in society. Fashion
fore, to lay only '2s. 6d. on each and reason would therefore concur
family of this description. He in giving effect to this measure,
then proposed a duty of five pounds He therefore proposed that a tar
per cent, upon tea which sold for of two guineas be imposed upon all
more than half a crown per lb.; persons using carriages decorated
waich tax, he said, would not touch with armorial bearing; one guinea
that species of tea in general use on those who were house-keeper*
among the poorer classes of the and made use of plate decorated in
people. This tax he estimated to the same manner; and 10s. 6*d. on
produce the sum of 111,5001.; for all other persons who were not
it was an deniable that the tea va- house-keepers using their armorial
lued at above 2s. tid. per lb. had bearings in other ways. The data
considerably increased Hi the quan- upon which he proceeded to make
tity of its consumption. The next an estimate of the produce of this
subject to which he alluded as pro- tax were founded upon the in»
per tor taxation did not effect the spection made by the heralds be
necessaries of life, and the persons tweeu 1015 and lb'70, when it ap
payiag would have a choice either peared thai the number of the heads
to make use of the article or not, of families, by the last return given
which was a principle he wished to in the year 1670, amounted to
encourage. He wished to impose 8-105.—But allowing for many who
a dutv upon every person using ar- had assumed armorial bearings since,
roorial bearings. He observed that he took the whole number at 9453,
rt might be said, that he was a con- and the whole tax he estimated at.
*ert to the system of levelling, but L50>000. he certainly proceeded upon very
Xew duty on salt 502,000
On tea Ill,500
Armorial bearings 150,000
Total amount . . ■76'3,500 The interest for which these new taxes were to provide was the interest on 15,000,0001. at 81. 5s.
On 3,713,000 navy debts, at 5 par cent . 763,150
Mr. Pitt concluded by moving would bear harder upon the lower
resolutions pursuant to the state- orders of the people tnun the chan
MP-nts in his speech. cellor of the exchequer bad stated;
Sir Matthew White Ridley, and and that by the adoption of that
Sir William Pultency, contended, tax, several manufacturers would be
that the proposed duty upon salt obliged to enlarge their capital, in
order to carry on their business. Mr. Samuel Thornton thought that the pressure of the new duties upon imports and exports would be much too severe upon the East-India company.
Mr. Tierney made several observations upon the subjects of this second budget of the minister. He said, that if this loan was a proof of the high and flourishing situation of this country, and of the confidence of monied men in its resources, he was very glad to hear it. But he objected to the tar on salt, as falling too heavily on the lower classes of the people. The ta\- on armorial bearings he rather considered as whimsical ; until that moment he never had-learnt the utility of the right honourable gentleman's having created so many peers. He advised him, however, to class the orders of distinction; to charge, for instance, a certain handsome sum for a coronet, a smaller sum for a crest, and so on; by which the lower orders of society might be relieved from some of their burdens.
The resolu ions were then severally jiut and agreed to. On the next day the report of the committee upon those resolutions were agreed to, and the bills ordered to be brought in, which were afterwards severally passed in la laws, with very Utile variation from the shape in which Mr. Pitt first proposed them.
Before we conclude this chapter, we have to notice another measure of finance adopted this sesson, at the suggestion cf the chancellor of the exchequer, nan.ely the repeal of the tax Ujwi. clocks and watches, and the consolidation of the several
duties upon houses and windows. Agreeably to notice he had given, he moved the repeal of the abovementioned tax on the 14th of March. And as the exigencies of the state required that the deficiency should be made up by other means, he had the satisfaction of stating to the house, that the substitute he meant to propose in lieu of this tax, would be such as would afford as little discontent as possible. He remarked that the watch and clock duty had been calculated at about 200,0001. It was therefore requisite that whatever might be adopted instead should at least produce that sum; for this purpose he proposed an increase of the assessed taxes, in such way as would nearly accomplish this object. The produce of these taxes already amounted ,tr» about 1,400,0001. if therefore the intended increase was taken at a seventh of the whole, the sum thus obtained would a* mount to the sum required. But as he could not move for a repeal of a tax, and also introduce another in lieu of it on the same day, it was therefore postponed a few days. Accordingly on the 19th of March, he informed the house that it was his intention to consolidate, and insert into one table, the various duties now existing upon houses and windows, and he wished ihem to be regulated according to a table which he then held in his hand, and which was alterwards printed for the inspection and consideration of the members.*
When the report of the committee on increasing the assessed taxes was taken into consideration on the 21st of March—the chancellor of the exchequer stated to the house the principle on which lie hid brought forward his plan. The ratio which he had adopted, was that of laying an increased rate on each house in proportion to the number of windows. But in order to prevent windows from being stopped up, it had been found necessary in some parts of this scale to have a decrease instead of an increase. To use an uncommon expression, he observed, that the intended tax increased in a decreasing proportion.
* .eee the sca!e for consolidating the above-mentioned duties iu the Ctb volume of Debiett's Dcbatii, page 252.
Mr. Rose (the house having formed itself into a committee of ways and means on tiie lCth of May} remarked that the chancellor of the exchequer, when opening the budget to the house, and stating the ways and means, had taken credit for various sums, and among others, for a sum to be produced br some proposed new duties upon exports and imports. He first proposed a duty of one half per cent, opon British goods exported to European markets: it had been at first intended to have made this duty much higher; but, upon deliberation! it had been found that it would be injurious to lay a large duty upon goods for those markets, because io some instances it might ejahle foreigners to undersell us. With respect to goods sent to America and the West Indies, he proposed a higher duty, because there was no danger of any competition. Upon goods exported to those places he therefore proposed a duty of two per cent. Goo's exported to Ire-land and the Kast Index be meant to exempt from any aew duties. He estimated that the amount of the duty upon exports to European markets would produce the sum of 256,0001. including mne regulations respecting sugar a«d cotfee. With respect to the • mports, he meant to propose a
greater duty, viz. one of three per cent. With regard to the imports from the East Indies, he meant that the duty should fall upDn those articles which came in competition with our manufactures, such a cotton, &c. V\ ith respc t to sugar and coffee, articles which were re-exported, this addition would not be prejudicial, because there was no danger of any competition with us as to those articles in the European market. The whole of these duties he estimated at the sum of 1,170,0001. In addition to this, he proposed a duty upon tonnage, whether British or foreign, varying in amount according to the place of destination. This duty he estimated at 208,000). which, added to the duties upon exports and imports, would amount to 1,378,0001. This sum was short of what the chancellor of the exchequer had estimated these chit.es at. This difference had taken place from imposing a less duty upon the exportation ol British goods to European markets than had been at first intended.
The resolutions he had to propose, he siid, were exceedingly numerous, because it was the wish of the merchants that the rates should he as specilic as possible. Mr. Bryan Edwards, sir Francis Baring, and Mr. Tierncy, made some ooscrvations upon the proposed duties: the first contended that the West-India planters, who imported to the value oi eight millions annually into this country, were so far from having given their approbation of this measure, that tney did not even know of it. Sir 1'"ratios urged, that these duties would fall very heavy upon goods sent to America ; this he thought impolitic, because America was our best customer. With respect to tiie continuance of these duties, Mr. Rose assured