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CHAPTER III.

Finance. The Annual Budget is brought forward by Mr. Gladstone on

the 15th of April-His Speech and Financial Propositions : remission of id. on Income Tax and Repeal of the Paper DutyRemarks of Sir Stafford Northcote, Lord Robert Cecil, and other MembersThe Motion for going into a Committee on the Budget leads to protracted Debates-- The proposed Repeal of the Paper Duty excites much Opposition from the Conservative Party-Speeches of Mr. Thomas Baring, Mr. Bentinck, Sir S. Northcote, Mr. Seymour Fitzgerald, Mr. Milner Gibson, Mr.Whiteside, Mr. B. Osborne,' Mr. Horsfall, Mr. Hors. man, Mr. Bright, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Disraeli, and Lord Palmerston-No Division takes place, and the House goes into CommitteeFurther objections urged at this stage by the Opposition

-Mr. Hubbard proposes a Resolution, which is withdrawn-On the Proposition to renew the existing Tea Duties, Mr. Horsfall moves, as an Amendment, to reduce the Duty to 1s.-A Debate ensues, in which the Marquis of Hartington, Sir S. Northcote, Sir George Lewis, Mr. Disraeli, and Lord Palmerston take partThe Resolution of the Government is passed by a Majority of 18–The other Resolutions are carried, the remission of the Paper Duty exciting strong protests from the Conservatives The Chancellor of the Exchequer announces his intention of including all the financial arrangements of the Budget in a single BillObjections taken to this mode of proceeding-Mr. McDonough argues against the form of the Bill on Constitutional grounds-He is powerfully answered by Sir James GrahamSir William Heathcote, on behalf of himself and Mr. Walpole, expresses dissent from Mr. McDonough's viewsMr. Rolt, Mr.Whiteside, Lord R. Cecil, and Mr.Horsman support the objections to the Bill-Mr. Puller, Mr. Mellor, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Lord Palmerston justify the course taken by the GovernmentThe Bill is read a second time and committedFurther discussions on the Paper Duty-On the 4th clause repealing that impost, a warm and protracted Debute arises After Speeches from the leading Members on both sides, a Division takes place, which exhibits a Majority of 15 for the Government-The result is hailed with acclamation by the Ministerial partyThe Bill goes up to the House of Lords-- Earl Granville proposes the Second Reading in a temperate SpeechThe Duke of Rutland moves the rejection of the Bill-- The Earl of Derby strongly condemns the Budyet, and disapproves of the mode of proceeding by a single Bill, but advises the withdrawal of the AmendmentSpeeches of the Duke of Argyll, Earl Grey, and Lord Monteagle-The Duke of Rutland withdrars his Motion, and the Bill is passed, nem. con.--Various motions for financial reductions and enquiries---Mr. Hubbard moves for a Committee to enguire into the means of mitigating the inequali. ties of the Income Tax - The Motion is carried against the Government by a majority of 4, but the enquiry by Committee leads to no result Mr. W. Williams mores a Resolution in favour of assimilating Probate Duties on Personal and Real Estate-Negatired by 167 to 51-Mr. Dodson brings forward a Motion for the Repeal of the Hop Duty--The Motion meets with some support, but it is resisted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and rejected by 202 to 110-Mr. H. B. Sheridan asks the assent of the House to a proposition for Lowering the Duty on Fire Insurance-The Motion is opposed by the Government, and throuen out by 138 to 49-Mr. Arthur Mills proposes the Appointment of a Committee to enquire into the Colonial Expenditure of Great Britain - After some show of objection, the Gorernment gives way to the wish of the House, and concedes the Committee.

THE annual statement of the penditure by 822,0001. The re

1 Chancellor of the Exchequer venue of 1860-61 amounted to was awaited this year with great 70,283,0Col., showing a decrease anxiety, and the financial debates of 806,0001. as compared with which arose from it furnished at the revenue of 1859-60. Last once the keenest occasion for year taxation had been remitted party struggles, and the subjects to the extent of 2,900,0001., while of most exciting interest to the new taxes had been imposed public. On the 15th April Mr. nearly to the same amount; and Gladstone made his statement there had been temporary reto the House of Commons, com- sources last year which reduced pressing his exposition within a the absolute diminution to rather smaller compass than in 500,0001. The expenditure having some preceding years. It was been 72.842,0001., and the remarked, like his former Budget venue 70,283,0001., there respeeches, by great lucidity and sulted a deficiency of 2,559.0001. argumentative power. The right But, allowing for drawbacks on hon. gentleman began by ob. stocks belonging to the accounts serving that the retrospect was of the former year, and for other unfavourable, and that whatever deductions, the real differenee might be thought of the legisla was 865,0001, which he thought, tion of the past year, it was no under the circumstances, not an ordinary year of the financial unfavourable state of things. He policy of this country : and he then showed the result of the then proceeded to lay bare to the actual receipt of the revenue in view of the Committee the ma. its details, compared with the terial facts exhibited by the estimated amount. The Stamps, financial history of the year. The Taxes. Post-office, Crown Lands, expenditure estimated and pro- and iniscellaneous sources, which vided for was 73.661.0001. The had been estimated to produce actual amount was 72,812,0001., 27,457,0001., had actually yielded being less than the estimated ex 27,5 12,0001.-a difference of only

85,0001. From the new duties on duty-paid stocks, but he was imposed he had expected to re- convinced that the experiment ceive, at first, 900,0001., an was likely to be successful in a amount ultimately reduced to fiscal point of view, as well as 690,0001., and he showed the useful in a moral aspect; it result in the returns of the Cus had not led to the evil of illicit toms and Excise. The Customs, distillation. After stating the which had been estimated at balances in the Exchequer, and 23,430,0001., had actually pro- the application of 1,000,0001. to duced only 23,305,0001.,-a differ the payment of Exchequer bonds, ence of 125,0001., arising princi- and of a portion of a second pally from the fact that the 1,000,0001., which he had been operation of the changes in the allowed at the close of last SesCustoms had been affected by sion to borrow, which had made the diminution of consumption, an addition of 461,000l. to the owing to causes to which he had debt, Mr. Gladstone reviewed previously adverted. The result the existing condition of our of the change in the duties on finances, compared with the year wine,—which, of all other Custom 1853, pointing out what he chaduties, was the most difficult to racterized as the enormous and make, and the slowest in working inordinate growth of the expendiout a result, - was, however, he ture, and suggesting that there observed, the only one of the was some relation between this changes which had escaped the increase of expenditure and the unfavourable circumstances of diminished elasticity of the rethe year. The loss on the wine venue. He then adverted to the duties (that was, the relief to the effects of the Commercial Treaty consumer,) he had calculated at with France, and to the general 830,0001., whereas the actual loss improvement of our import trade. had been only 493,0001. He ex. Dividing the imports into three pressed his conviction that this classes,-first, those untouched change would be effectual for its by the legislation of 1860; second, main object; that the incon- those on which taxation had been veniences were few compared reduced; and, third, those the with the advantages attending it. duties on which had been reThe Excise duties had been pealed,-he showed that while estimated at 21,361,0001.; the the amount of the first class had actual amount was 19,435,0001., been nearly stationary, the imshowing a difference of 1,926,0001. ports in the second class had inThis difference arose on three creased 17 per cent., and those articles-namely, hops, on which in the third 484 per cent. He there had been a deficiency of proceeded then to give an esti300,0001.; malt, 800,0001. ; and mate of the finances of the year spirits, 900,0001. These defi. 1861-62. The total expenditure ciencies represented the real for the year he estimated at sources of the failure of the Ex- 69,900,0001., or, in round numcise duties. With regard to the bers, 70,000,0001. The revenue, spirit duties, the main cause of including the duplication of the the failure was the material re- duty on chicory, certain alteraduction which had taken place tions and modifications of the stamp duties, and the duties on ld. of the income tax, reducing the licenses, and 750,0001. which he 10d. to 9d. and the 7d. to 6d., expected to receive from China, would cost for three-quarters of a he estimated at 71,823,0001., as- year 850,0001. With respect to the suming the continuance of the tea paper duty, the Government be. and sugar duties and an income. lieved that, happily, the time had tax. This sum, he remarked, arrived when this question might was the largest estimate of re- be entertained without the revival venue ever proposed to the coun. of the painful discussions of last try. Comparing it with the esti. year. Considering the yet unmated expenditure of 69,900,0001., redeemed pledge under a resolu. there would appear an estimated tion of the House, the difficulties surplus of 1.923,000l. ; and he attending the existing law, the then stated how the Government declaration of the department proposed to dispose of this ba- which collected the tax, and that lance, remarking that it was not the proposal for its repeal had & balance they possessed; the received the sanction of a large income tax had actually expired, majority of the House last year. and the tea and sugar duties the Government believed that would soon expire, and they had this proposal would receive the to ask the House to renew these approval of the Committee. The taxes in order to adjust the ex- financial result for the year would penditure with the revenue. The be as follows : The balance of Government, he said, had come revenue would be 1,923,000l. to the conclusion that they could The Id. taken off the income-tax not expect to be allowed to keep in would reduce the amount of the hand this surplus revenue, and tax by 850,0001.; the repeal of they proposed to apply a portion to the paper duty would occasion a the remission of taxation by the net loss in the year of 665.0001., reduction of the tenth penny of making together 1,515,0001.; so the income tax and the repeal of that there would still remain a the paper duty. With reference moderate surplus of 408,0001. to the comparative merits of With respect to the minor charges direct and indirect taxation, he on trading operations, of which observed that Parliament had not complaints had been made, the committed itself to a condemna- Exchequer was not in a condition of the latter : it had not de- tion at present to surrender the cided to root up, but to prune sum they amounted to. He prothe tree. He would not alto posed to re-enact the tea and gether abandon the hope of sugar duties for one year, and he getting rid of the income-tax explained the form of proceeding altogether, but he considered this by which it was intended to bring a question of expenditure. If the several questions before the the country was content to be House by a series of resolutions, governed at a cost of 60,000,0001., one as to the income-tax, another he did not see why the tax might for the continuance of the tea and not be dispensed with ; but if sugar duties, and a third for the there was to be an expenditure repeal of the paper duty. of 70,000,0001.. there must be an In conclusion, Mr. Gladstone income-tax. The remission of spoke of the general financial

condition as satisfactory; declared that the spirit of the nation had not declined; and that if there was any danger it lay in our recent tendency to unbounded excess in expenditure. There had been a tendency to break down all limits. It was not only a pecuniary waste, but a great political and moral evil, which stole on, unseen and unfelt, until it reached an overwhelming magnitude. Deprecating rash reductions, he hoped they would grapple with public expenditure. “For my own part, I say that if this country will but steadily and constantly show herself as wise in the use of her treasure as she is unequalled in the production of her wealth and moderate in the exercise of her strength, then we may well believe that England will, for many generations yet to come, continue to hold her fore. imost position among the nations of the world.” A desultory discussion ensued. Sir Stafford Northcote maintained that his party were right in the last year when they declared that the Budget did not make sufficient provision for the wants of the country. Mr. Dodson urged the importance of repealing the hop duty. Mr. Hadfield wished to relieve fire insurance. Mr. Ball desired a relief for malt. Mr. Glyn approved generally of the proposed measures. Mr. Cave thought that a reduction of the duties on tea and sugar would be preferable. Mr. B. Osborne congratulated Mr. Gladstone on his skill and courage in combining the remission of the paper duty with the penny of income-tax. Mr. Bentinck complained that nothing was done for the agri

cultural interest. Lord Robert Cecil took exception to Mr. Gladstone's remarks on the excessive public expenditure. He said that a Chancellor of the Exchequer was bound to protest in the Cabinet, and if he cannot carry his views, to resign. If he did not do so, he was bound not to discredit the estimates. After some remarks from Mr. Gladstone, the further discussion was postponed. The motion for going into a Committee of Ways and Means on the propositions of the Budget was made on the 22nd of April, but it led to long and animated debates, which were continued for several nights by adjournment. It was evident that much resistance would be made by the Conservative party to some parts of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's financial scheme, and especially to the remission of the paper

duty, which was objected to on

several grounds by the leading members of the party. The opposition was commenced in an able and temperate speech by Mr. T. Baring, who observed that it was most desirable at the present moment that the House and the country should perfectly understand our financial position, and that it was neither satisfactory nor safe to meet a deficiency by expedients which were practically an increase of the national debt, asked whether it was wise to remit taxation when the remission would not make the taxation reproductive by means of increased consumption, and when the taxes could not be reimposed when once removed. If there was any time when prudence in dealing with our finances was especially neces

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