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bo requisite (o make good that deficiency. Those supplementary loans must increase in proportion to the increasing deficiency, if the war should bo continued, but will never amount, even in a period of twenty years war from the present time, to more than five millions in any year, b.'yond the amount to which the sinking fund of that year will have been raised by this plan. It is proposed that the supplementary loans shall be formed on the established system of a sinking fund of one per eent. on the nominal capital. The charge so created will be provided for, during the first three years, by the expiring annuities; and diving that period the country will have the great benefit of an exemption from all additional burthens. A new spring may thus be given to the energy of our commerce tfall events it will obtain a security from the increased pressures which it roust otherwise experience. From 1810, and for the six following years, a charge must be provided for, amounting on the average of . those seven years to not more than J£2.93,000 annually; a sum in itself so small, in comparison with the great additions which have necessarily been made to the taxes in each year, for the last fourteen years, that it can scarcely be felt, and cannot create any difficulty as to the means of providing for it: but even this comparatively small amount may probably be much diminished by the increasing produce of the actual revenues, and by regulations for their further improvement. And thus provision is made on the scale of actual expenditure, for ten years of war, if it should be necessary, without any additional taxes,- except to the inconsiderable
amount above stated. At the close of that period, taking the three per cents, at 60, and reducing the whole of the public debts at that rate to a money capital, the combined amount of the public debts will be .€3S7,360.000, and the combined amoiiit of the several sinking funds then existing will be j£'2'2.7'26,000; . whereas the present amount of the whole public debt taken on the same scale of calculation is £35 2,793,000 and the present amount of the sinkii's fund is no more than j£8,335,000. If the war should still be continued beyond the tea years thus provided for, it is proposed to take in aid of the public burthens certain excesses to accrue from the prtscnt sinking fund. That fund, which Mr. Pitt (the great author of a system that will immortalize his name) originally proposed to limit to four million! annually, will, with the very largJ additions derived to it from thii new plan, have accumulated in 1817 to so large an amount as 24 millions sterling. In the application of such a sum, neither the true principles of Mr. Pitt's system, nor any just view of the real iuteirrti of the public, or even of the stockholder himself, can be considered as any longer opposing an obstacle to the means of obtaining at such a moment some aid in alleviation of the burthens and necessities of the country. Dut it is not proposed in any case to apply to the charge of new loans a larger portion of the sinking fund than such as will al. ways leave an amount of sinking fund equal to the interest payable on such part of the present debt ti shall remain unredeemed. Nor ii it meant that this or any other op'rati 11 of finance shall ever prevent
the tha redemption of a sum equal to the prescut debt in as short a period as that in which it would have been redeemed, it this new plan had not been brought forwards. Nor will the final redemption of any supplementary loans be postponed beyond the period of 45 years prescribed by the act of 1792 for the extinction of all future loans. While each of the annual war loans will be successively redeemed in 14 years from the date of its creation, so long as »ar shall continue; and whenever peace shall come, will be redeemed always within a period fax short of the 43 years required by the above-mentioned act. in the result therefore of the whole measure, there will not be imposed my new taxes for the first tiiree years from this lime. New taxes of less than .£300,000, on an average of seven years from 1810 to 1816, botli inclusive, are all that will be necessary, in order to procure for the couutry the full benefit and advantages of the plan here described; which will continue for liteniy years; during the last ten of which again ho new taxes whatever will be required. It appears, therefore, tbat parliament will be enabled to provid- for the prolong. cd expenditure of a necessary war, without violating any right or interest whatever, and without imyounr further burthens on the country, except to a small and limited amount: and these purposes will be attained with benefit to the public creditor, and in strict cou. fortuity both to the wise principles on which the sinking fund was established, and to th.e several'acts of parliament by which it has been regulated. It is admitted, that if the war should ba prolonged, certain
portions of the war taxes, with the exception of the property tat, will be more or less pledged for periods, in no case exceeding fourteen years. IIow far some parts of those taxes arc of a description to remain in foice after the war; and what may be the provision to be made hereafter for a peace establishment, piobably much larger than in former periods of peace; are considerations which at present need not ba anticipated. It is reasonable to as. sunie, that the means and resources which can now maintain the prolonged expenditure of an extensiva war, will be invigorated and increased by the return of peace, and will then be found amply sufficient for the exigencies of the public service. Those exigencies must at all events be comparatively small, whatever may still be the troubled and precarious circumstances of Europe. Undoubtedly there prevails in the country a disposition to make any farther sacrifices that the safety, independence, and honour of the nation may require; but it vould be an abuse of that disposition, to apply it to unnecessary and overstrained exertions. And it must not pass unobserved, that in the supposition of a continued war, if the loans for the annual expenditure should be raised according to the system hitherto pursued, permanent taxes must be imposed, amounting, in the period assumed, to 13 millions additional revenue. Such an addition would add heavily to the public burthens, and would be- more felt after the return of peace than a temporary continuance of the war taxes. In the mean time, arid amidst the other evils ef ■war, the coontry would be aubjeeted to the accumulates pressure Rra af of all the old revenues, and of the war taxes, and of new permanent taxes.—The means of effectuating a plan of such immense importance, arise partly from the extent to which the system of the sinking fund has already been carried in pursuance of the intentions of its author; and partly from the great exertions made by parliament, during the war, to raise the war taxes to their present very large amount. It now appears that the strong measure adopted in the last session, by which all the war taxes, and particularly the property tax, were so much augmented, was a step taken not merely with a view to provide for present necessities, but in order to lay the foundation of a system which should be adequate to the full exigencies 'of this unexpected crisis, and should combine the two apparently irreconcileablc objects, of relieving the public from all future pressure of taxation, and of exhibiting to the enemy resources by which we may defy his implacable hostility, to whatever period it may be prolonged.—To 'have done this is certainly a recompence for many sacrifices and privations. This is a consideration which will enable the country to submit with cheerfulness to its present burthens, knowing that although they may be continued in part, for a limited time, they will be now no further increased.
Copy of a Letter from the Right Ho. nnurable Lord Grenville, to the Herniary vf the Society for promuting Christian Knowledge.
Dosming-street, May % 1807. Sir,
TH E Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, of whkh I am a member, has thought fit to publish, during a general election, a resolution declaratory of its opinion respecting a political measurt recently submitted to parliament.
That measure, brought forward for purposes of peace, onion, and public security, by men who yield to none of their fellow-subjects in loyalty to their sovereign, and at. tachment to the civil and religions constitution of their country, i* there stigmatized as hostile to th» established church and ecclesiastical constitution of the realm, and as subversive of those principles which placed his majesty's family on tat British throne.
It,is natural for those whose characters are thus aspersed, to in. quire by what right any person! have taken upon themselves, in th» name of such a society, to gat countenance and currency to an injurious and groundless calumny, calculated for the watch-word of a party, and calculated only to excite and to uphold popular clamour?
The society was instituted, as its annual publications declare, ror the increase of the knowledge ana practice of our holy religion, by the support of charity schools, and by the distribution of bibles, prayer, books, and religious tracts. Thoss who have directed the present proceeding, can best explain in what manner Christian knowledge, or Christian practice, will be increased, by promoting religious animositis and civil discord; by stirring op the blind prejudices and nngoternable passions of the ignorant; and by circulating amongst our fellow, subjects, lobjecU, instead of the word of truth and charity, the libellous and inflammatory calumnies of clec. tioneering contests, and party violence.
As a member of the society, solicitous for the promotion of its genuine objects, I desire to enter my dissent to a resolution purr porting to express its unanimous opinion. I object to the propriety of its taking part at all in the political divisions of the country: I object to its labouring to extend aitd to prolong those divisions with respect to a measure publicly withdrawn, and of which there is consequently no longer any ques. tiou: but, most of all, 1 object to the truth, and, may I net add, to the decency, of a censure, which, if it were founded either in justice or in reason, would apply to almost every description of public men, and would even implicate all those authorities which are the most entitled to our respect and reverence.
If to permit the king's subjects of all persuasions to serve him in his army, be "an unconstitutional innovation," — with whom, and when did it originate? It was first made the law in Ireland fourteen years ago, at the express recommendation of the crown, delivered from the throne by one of his ma. jesty's present ministers, than lord, lieutenant of that kingdom.
If the adoption of a similar law in Great Britain would be "an act of hostility to the established church," to whom shall that hostility be ascribed ?—To those who now proposed, or to those who long ago engaged for that concession ? — To the framers of lord Howick's bill, or to those members and supporters of the present go.
vcrnment, who, in the year 1793, gave and authorized that promise to the catholics of Ireland?
If the employment of catholic officers and catholic soldiers in the general service of the empire; if the permitting them to hold and exercise, at his majesty's discretion, all military commissions, the rank and station of a general not ex. cepted; if the relieving them in this respect from all penalties and disabilities on account of their re. ligious persuasion ;—if these things be matter of just alarm "to the ecclesiastical constitution of this country,'1 when was the moment of alarm ?—In the year 1804, all this, and more than this, was done in an act proposed by Mr. Pitt, with the concurrence of his colleagues, now in administration, passed by the British parliament, and sanctioned by his majesty's royal assent.— That act legalized a long list of military commissions, antecedently granted by his majesty, with the advice of the same ministers; and it enabled his majesty prospectively to grant, at his discretion, all military commissions whatever to catholics—not indeed to British or Irish catholics, but to foreign car tholics—to men who owe his majesty no allegiance, and who arc not even required to disclaim those tenets which all our fellow, subjects of that persuasion have so. Iemnly abjured!
What ground of difference will then remain to justify those outrageous calumnies against the late proposal ?—Is it that men were permitted to aspire to the rewards and honours of a profession, to the toils and dangers of which the legislature of their country had long since invited them ?—Is it that the
R r 3 «"• lame indulgences which had been pre/mined and granted (o catholics by others, were not withheld by ns from Protestant dissenters ?—Or is it, lastly, that we judged our own countrymen and fellow-subjects entilled, under his majesty's discretion, to the same confidence and favour which parliament had so recently extended to all foreigners of all nations and all descriptions?
And let me further ask, if these, concessions, all or any of them, • re subversive of the principles "which placed his majesty's illustrious house upon the throne," ■what is to be said of the far more extensive indulgences proposed in 1801, by that great minister, now no more, whoso name I have already mentioned ?—Were his pi in. ciplcs also subversive of the established church, and of the civil Constitution of the monarchy ?— And if he too must be involved in this" indiscrimitiating and injurious , censure, what condemnation will not those men deserve, who, in the Tcry moment of pretended danger, have advised his majesty to call to bis present councils, the authors, the partisans, and the supporters of Mr. Pitt's plan ?—a plan including nil that has been now proposed, and extending very far beyond our measure.
On the expediency of these measures, statesmen may differ. To stigmatize them as hostile to our establishments, or dangerous to our constitution, is to libel both the throne and the parliament—to ca. lumniatc the existing Ians—and to impute to the most considerable public characters of our age, both the living and the dead, principles and purposes disclaimed by themselves, aud contradicted by the
HI S majesty's Roman.catholie subjects ([altered thenrelves, that the declarations they had already made of the integrity of their religious and civil tenets—the oaths they had taken to his majes'y's person, family, and government; the heroic exertions of a con>iderablc proportion of them in his majesty's fleets and armies—the repeated instances in which they have come forward in their country's cause — their irreproachable de. meanonr in the general relations of life; and, above all, the several acts of parliament passed for their relief, avowedly in consequence of, and explicitly recognizing thiir meritorious conduct, would have been a bond, to secure to them for ever the affection and confidence of aH their fellow subjects, and to make any further declaration of .their principles wholly unnecessary. But, with astonishment and concern, they observe, that this is not altogether the case.—They are again publicly traduced, and attempts arc