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the pocket of the proprietor of the n.”

He alluded to the effect of irregular importation on the currency, referring to a return of the fluctuations in the amount of bullion at the Bank since the enactment of the last charter. At one period in 1838, when the importation of foreign corn was at the rate of 562,000 quarters a month, it appeared that there was only 2,800,000l. bullion at the Bank to meet all the liabilities of the country. Every British statesman ought to congratulate himself that this demand for foreign corn did not occur simultaneously with the American disasters. But what an illustration did this case afford of the boasted independence of foreign nations which these Corn-laws were to bring about. They could not much longer support with any safety a system which separates classes, and places the highest personages in the State in the position of making laws apparently for their own benefit, and against the interests and welfare of their fellow countrymen. Lord Brougham approved of Lord Melbourne's resolution, comparatively; for the preference of a fixed duty must depend greatly on the amount, nor could he in any case regard it as sound legislation. Taking it, however, at 8s., he thought it somewhat the better proposition of the two; but there was no difference between them in extending the markets for our products abroad, or increasing the growth of corn for this market. The latter trade must depend upon its profits, and the dealer could not tell whether he could afford to bring in his corn with the addition of 8s. duty, until he should know what the price is here. But

was corn a fit subject for taxation at all P He declared it was not a fit subject for taxation at all, because it was a poll-tax, paid alike by the poor and the rich; and it fell most heavily on those whose resources were the most slender. It was also a poll-tax eminently uncertain in its operation ; as it depended on the wind, and the weather, and the seasons, whether one farthing of the duty should be paid. The necessity of the treasury, however, could not depend for supply on the vicissitudes of the seasons. The Duke of Wellington repeated some of the recommendations of the Ministerial plan ; and insisted, in contradiction to Lord Monteagle, that the price of corn had always been steady under the Corn-law of 1829. Lord Monteagle had said, that the slidingscale was an absurdity only known to the Corn-law : “It might be an absurdity; the noble Baron might have good reason to think so ; but, begging the noble Baron's pardon, the principle of a slidingscale had always been known in the corn-trade of this country. The Corn-law of 1794 contained a graduated scale of duties, depending on the state of prices in this country. It had invariably been the principle acted on, and was always applicable to any article that was produced, the quantity, quality, and value of which depended on the state of the seasons in which it was produced.” He said that Lord Melbourne need not go back to the Greeks and Romans in search of experience as to dependence on foreign nations; in our own time, we had seen the Emperor of Russia impose a duty on the export of corn, avowedly to raise the price in this country; and only last year it had been forbidden. The supply of Britain depended on the tranquillity of the countries lying on the banks of two or three streams that run into the Baltic. It remained to be proved that the Corn-laws produced drains of gold from the Bank in payment for sudden imports of grain. Those inconveniences were produced by other circumstances. Certainly, if large sums were required to be sent abroad at once for the payment of corn, the deficiency of bullion must be aggravated; but he believed it was found that corn, under ordinary circumstances, was constantly in the course of being imported, and that a demand for the introduction of a supply into the home market, arising from any failure in the harvest, did not require the transmission abroad of large sums of specie, Corn was brought into the market only by opening the doors of the public storehouses, and it was paid for by the money circulating in the interior of the country. It was true that the replacement of the corn so consumed would require the transmission of large sums; but that was done by degrees. Lord Lansdowne followed up Lord Melbourne's arguments, and ridiculed the successive attempts to amend the Corn-laws six times within a few years, and each time with confidence as to its being a final settlement; yet foreign corn was not excluded, and no “remunerating price” was secured. Lord Fitzgerald followed, combating the doctrine of the mutual dependance of foreign countries; pointing to Russia, who sends us

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large exports and refuses to import our products in return; and then he enlarged on the advantages of the sliding-scale. On a division, Lord Melbourne's motion was negatived by 117 to 49: majority, 68. Lord Brougham then moved these resolutions:— “l. That no duty ought to be imposed upon the importation of foreign corn, for the purpose of protecting the agriculturist, by taxing the introduction of food. “2. That no duty ought to be imposed upon the importation of foreign corn, for the purpose of regulating trade, by taxing the introduction of food. “3. That no duty ought to be imposed upon the importation of foreign corn, for the purpose of raising the revenue, by taxing the introduction of food.” The resolutions were rejected by 87 to 6. Upon the House going into Committee, Earl Stanhope moved the omission of clauses 12 and 13, which related to the appointment of inspectors in the City of London; objecting to exclude London from the list of towns returning averages. The clauses, however, were affirmed without a division. Lord Beaumont moved to omit clause 17, under which dealers in corn were to make returns to the inspectors; proposing that the return should be made by the growers, and not by the dealers. The original clause was affirmed ; other amendments moved by Earl Stanhope, Lord Beaumont, and Lord Mountcashel, were rejected in a manner equally un

equivocal, and so the bill passed.

CHAPTER IV.

Financial Measures—Embarrassing Circumstances of the Country— Sir Robert Peel's bold and comprehensive Plans of Reform—His Speech on introducing his Budget—Its Reception by the House— Remarks of Lord John Russell–In the House of Lords Lord Brougham moves a String of Resolutions respecting the Income-tarThe Earl of Ripon moves the previous question, which is carried— Debate in the House of Commons on Finance—Speeches of Mr. F. T. Baring, Mr. Goulburn, Lord Howick, and Lord John Russell— Sir Robert Peel vindicates his Measures, and explains the Machinery of the Income-Taz Bill—Reception of the Measure by the Opposition in the House of Commons—Notice given by Lord John Russell— First Debate on the Subject–Objections against the Tax urged by different Members—Some of the Liberal Party support it—Speeches of Mr. Smith O'Brien and Mr. Roebuck—Sir Robert Peel defends his Measures against the Objections urged—Speech of Lord John Russell—Attempt to postpone the Decision of the House by Motions of Adjournment—They are negatived, but, ultimately, it is deferred till after the Easter Recess—The Subject resumed—State of Public Feeling respecting it—Mr. Blewitt moves an Amendment on Sir Roberi Peel's Resolution, but afternards withdran's it—The First Resolution carried nithout a Division—Debate on the Second Resolution—The Second and Third Resolutions carried—Lord John Russell moves an Amendment condemnatory of the proposed Tar— Speeches of Mr. Goulburn, Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Macaulay, Lord Stanley, Mr. Labouchere, Sir R. H. Inglis, Wiscount Sandon, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Harves, Sir James Go. Mr. F. Baring, Mr. Ferrand, and other Members—The Debate continued for Four Nights, after nhich the Amendment is rejected by 308 to 202—On the First Reading, Lord John Russell moves the Rejection of the Bill–Speeches of Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Raikes Currie, and Mr. Roebuck—The Amendment is negatived on a Division by 286 to 188—Progress of the Bill in Committee—Amendment of Mr. Ricardo for exempting Terminable Annuities is rejected—Discussion on Schedule D–Mr. Roebuck moves an Amendment to reduce the Amount payable on Profits of Trades and Professions—It is opposed by the Government, and rejected Rapid Progress of the Committee with the Clauses of the Bill—Mr. F. Baring's Proposal to exempt Foreign Fundholders, and various other Amendments, are defeated by large Majorities, and the Bill passes through Committee —On the Third Reading Mr. S. Cranford moves an Amendment nhich is negalived—Mr. Hume, and Mr. F. Baring oppose the Measure—Speech of Mr. Goulburn–The Third Reading is carried

by 199 to 69.

HE difficulties which Sir Robert Peel had to encounter in framing a measure of finance, adapted to the exigencies of the country, were of a more than usually formidable nature. He had not, like many other financiers, as Mr. Goulburn in 1830, or Lord Althorp on more than one occasion, a considerable surplus revenue at his disposal. Sir Robert Peel was embarrassed by a certain deficiency for the ensuing year of 2,570,000l., with contingencies in China and India of uncertain amount. And even this deficiency was not the mere temporary result of a sudden pressure, but a decline in the receipts of some years standing, in despite of an increase both of duties and of population. Under these circumstances, it was obvious that mere temporary expedients, and such petty devices of financial dexterity as had served the turn of Chancellors of the Exchequer in easier times, would now but aggravate the evil. The present juncture demanded a remedial measure of a bold, comprehensive, and substantial character, going to the root of the mischief, and applied rather to the basis than the details of our financial economy. In this respect, the measure produced by Sir Robert Peel and his colleagues showed no disproportion to the emergency. On the contrary, the breadth and boldness of the scheme took the House of Commons, and the country by surprise. Whatever other objections might be alleged against it, and many were urged from various quarters, it was safe, at least, against those of

feebleness and inadequacy to the occasion. The reasons and policy on which this great fiscal reformation was founded, the principles on which it was framed, and the calculations on which its details were adjusted, were set forth in a speech which, for luminous statement and thorough mastery of the complicated subjects involved in it, has seldom been surpassed in Parliament. Though the great importance and ability of this oration well entitle it to be perpetuated in its entire shape, the limits of this work render it necessary to confine ourselves to such a condensed summary of its principal features as can be presented within a narrow compass. On the 11th of March, pursuant to previous notice, the long-expected development of the Ministerial plans was made in a Committee of Ways and Means, before a full and anxiously attentive House. Sir Robert Peel commenced with a short preliminary appeal to his audience for a patient and impartial hearing of the whole measure that he was about to propose, avowing at once his own unfailing confidence and composure of mind in proceeding with a full consciousness of the integrity of his motives to the discharge of a great public duty, and his conviction that a full and unreserved disclosure of all the difficulties in which the nation was placed, and a manful resolution to look all its embarrassments boldly in the face, was the course which wisdom and duty alike dictated, and the first step towards improvement and recovery. . He then at once pro

ceeded to a statement of the actual

circumstances of the country, and

the alterations proposed. The late

Chancellor of the Exchequer had

calculated the probable revenue

for the year ending April, 1842,

at 48,310,000l., and the probable

expenditure at 50,735,000l. ; and

that calculation had proved to be very nearly accurate; the actual result being only 160,000l. below

that estimate of revenue, and a little, he knew not precisely how

much, below that estimate of expenditure. For the year ending April, 1843, the estimated revenue would be 48,350,000l. , the estimated expenditure 50,819,000l., and the consequent deficiency 2,469,000l. A further probable outlay must be provided for in respect of the war in China. Something must be made good for Australia, and something in Canada, and a considerable addition must be made to the army estimates on account of the war in Afghanistan. The finances of India too, required attention. If Indian credit were shaken, the credit of England would be affected; and the present state of Indian finance was not a consolatory one. He feared, that the deficit thereupon in the two years ending May next, would not be less than 4,700,000l. How then were these deficiencies at home and in India to be met P Should we persevere in the system of the last five years—the system of loans and Exchequer-bills, the system of permanent addition to our debt? Was there a prospect of any considerable reduction in expenditure? or was the present deficiency an occasional one 2 No; it had been proceeding for the last six years. In such circumstances, he could not resort to the miserable expedient of continued

loans. When the Post-office revenue was abandoned, a surrender which he had dissuaded, the Parliament which gave it up, engaged to grant some other supply in its stead. Should he, then, impose a tax on articles of consumption, on the necessaries of life 2 He could not consent to place burthens upon the labouring classes; and if the House attempted that, recent experience proved, that they would be defeated. The late Government had proposed an additional per centage of 5 per cent. on the Customs and Excise, and of 10 per cent. on the Assessed Taxes. In last year, the additional per centage on the Customs and Excise, instead of producing 5l. on each 100l., had produced but about 10s. ; but the per centage on the Assessed Taxes had produced considerably more than the estimated result of 10l. for each 100l. ; a new survey, however, having been made for the purpose of the increased assessment. These facts proved that the country had arrived at the limits of taxation on articles of consumption. All these resources, then, being set aside, should he revive old taxes Should he go back to the Post-office At present, the new packet expenses being added, the Post-office produced no revenue at all, but rather occasioned a charge; but he did not think the recent reduction had yet had a sufficient trial to justify as yet an increase upon postage. Should he revive the taxes upon salt, upon leather, or upon wool P Upon the faith of their abolition various contracts had been entered into, and salt particularly had been applied to various new purposes. Should he resort to locomotion for the purposes of taxation? He was reluctant to tax

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