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a delusion, and that the effect of the of the day for the prevention of whole was too fallacious to deserve smuggling, as the principal cause of their reliance, as the ground of a the supposed increase of the public proceeding of so serious and impor- incomu. Mr. Sheridan contradicttant a nature. Mr. Sheridan beg- ed this position. He mentioned ged leave, once for all, to be un- sugar and several other articles, the derstood as not meaning to convey revenue ipon which could not be any imputation on the persons who supposed to bave been affected by compoled the commitiee; at the these measures. Indeed he knew same time that he must confess, that not how those measures could in he thought the manner in which any refpect be said to have tended the committee had been formed li- to the increase of the revenue, unless able to grear objection. Mr. Pitt had it was in the effect of the commu. gone the length of avowing, that he tation-tax. The operation of that lijould not be ashamed to deliver lifts regulation was to increase the couof his own friends to be ballo:ted suinption of tea in this kingdom, for to form the committee. He and particularly of teas of the fincr should have imagined, chat a fair and fort, and thus to extend a trade, the impartial committee, composed of balance of which had already been men of different scntiments, inen, so bighly disadvantageous to this who were as likely to have drawn
country The immediate conle. out the dark side of the question as quence of this measure was, that the the favourable one, would have East India company was placed unbeen the best adapted for such an der the necessity of taking up from occasion. .
the public according to the citimate The committee, ir
, the exordium of one of her most active inembers of the report, observed, that the Mr. Baring, four millions ol money. large amount of the taxes proposed This was doubtless an overilaiesince the commencement of the late ment; but whatever were the sum, war, ihe difficulties under which the the company inuft borrow it of the different branches of our commerce bank, and parliament be the curilaboured during the continuance ty, which was exactly the same as of that war, and the great and in- if they had sent it themfelves. creasing prevalence of illicit trade Mr. Sheridan pointed out several are previously to the meatures recently sicles which appeared to him to adopted for its suppression, appeared have been erroneously calculated ; to render any averages of the amount the game duties, the post-horse tax, of the revenue' in any former peri- the duty on gloves, the duty on ods, in a great degree inapplicable to medicines, the top-tax, and the the present situation of the country, tax on attornies. To what a rast The very reverse of this reasoning number of years must parliament ought to have prevailed. The com- look forward, even admitting that mittee would have done much more the committee had been founded in wisely to have stated the averages of its arguments, for the completion of former periods; and where, Mr. Shen their wonderful designs ? The preridan asked, was the difficulty, fince sent members of the house would peace was no new situation to this be departed, and their political excountry? The favourite object of istence terminated. They, the old the report was to hold up
grey-bearded fiewards, who had sures, recently taken by the minister rack-rented the tenants, distrained 7
their goods, and levied executions, royal family must be added to the would be then no more ; they general eltimate. There was anwould have left the new parliament other subject which could not long like a young heir to come into the be deferred, and that was the inpoffeffion of an unincumbered eitate. crease of the income of the prince of
Mr. Sheridan observed, that there Wales. These additions to the were many expences that would expenditure, together with several probably come upon the public be. others which Mr. Sheridan enufore the year 1791, of which the merated, amounted to 4,000,000l.; committee had not taken the least to pay which he saw nothing in notice in their report. He declared, the report which deserved to be dethat he thought 1,800,ocol. too pended upon. At present it was low for the peace establishment of clear there was no surplus, and the the vavy. He reminded the house, only means which suggested themthat our situation was now very dif- felves to him for procuring the sum ferent from what it had been at the wanted to commence the system, end of the war before the last. We was a loan of a million for this could then rest in security with a special purpose. For the minister much smaller naval force than was inight say with the person in the now necessary for our protection. comedy, “ If you will not lend me The national glory and honour the money, how can I pay you !" were at that day a fufficient guard; Certain he was, that to rely on the but, though our efforis had been report on the table, and to proceed wonderful during the late war, with a bill founded upon so fallacistill it was to be remembered, that ous principles and so erroneous reawe had been unsuccessful. When sonings, would be the height of the system of fortifications had been rashness and presumption. It would reprobated, the house would recol. be trusting too much to chance ; lect, that they were all agreed in and, if Mr. Pitt were imprudent the premises that it was right to pro- enough to risk it, it would ill be. tect the dock-yards; and that, when come that house to countenance the new-fangled mode of protection such a conduct. If they did, they was rejected, it was determined to would act like a fchool-boy, who, defend them in the old fashioned, vul- for the sake of getting at the fruit, gar way, by a strong navy. He at grasped at the first branch which he the time, and he believed many o- could reach, and not only pulled down thers had expected, that a part of the unripe fruit, but destroyed the the money refused for the fortifica- blossom, the bud and the bough, the tions would have been demanded hopes of a future crop. for the purpose of strengthening the Mr. Sheridan's resolutions were navy. Beside, though the proposed as follow : “ That the expected anfortifications had been rejected, yet nual amount of the national income some fortifications there would be, stated in the report of the committee, and they certainly would cost some appeared in no respect to have been thing. Another expence was, the calculated upon the average receipts civil list, for it was pretty generally of a number of years, but was fixed understood, that the king food in at the amount of the produce of one ņeed of the whole 900,000l, for his year only, with the addition of the own expenditure. The eltablish. probable increase of the new taxes : inent of the other branches of the That it appeared, that the account
of the annual expenditure, as opposed national debt : That a surplus into the amount of the income so cal- come in the ensuing quarters could culared, was not a statement of the arise only in the renewal of a loan present existing expenditure, or of for an extraordinary million, borthat which must exilt for some years rowed upon exchequer bills in the to come, but was formed froin the last year, and which it would be probable reductions, which it was al- unneceffary to make but for the ledged would have taken place in purpose of securing that surplus : the profpect of permanent peace to- That an exıraordinary increale of wards the end of the year 1791: exchequor bills was an inexpedient That the different branches of the anticipation of that aslidance which revenue, in the period upon which government might receive in the the future was calculated, appeared event of a peculiar emergency: That to have been fingularly productive, the faving to the public upon the particularly in the customs: Thar it interest of m ney borrowed in this did not appear, that any means had way, was rendered precarious by been taken or information called for, the neeellity of rhe more speedy if. in order to ascertain whether such fuing of such bills, in order that the an increase of revenue had arisen object for which the loan was made from caules which were likely to might be effettuallyanswered : That, have a permanent operation of admitting, that by the foregoing otherwise ; and that such an in- means the expected surplus would vestigation was indipentably neces. arise upon the three ensuing quarfary : That the uncertainty of efti- ters, it appeared, that there would mating by such a criterion the ex. then be an interval of nearly four pected future produce of the revenue, years, before the commencement of was still more evident upon a com- that permanent pencc establishment, parison of the quarter day ending which was to furnith in the reducthe fifth of April laft, with the same tion of its fervi es the expected lur. quarter in the preceding year upon plus: That is this period it appearwhich the future income was calcu- ed from the vouchers ànnexed to the lated ; by which it appeared that report and other papers that a sum the amount of the latter quarter amounting to 4.000,000l., besides was inferior in the article of customs 2,000,cool. due to the bank, would by the sum of 188,2151. 135. 4d. be wanted above the stated annual to the former: That in the said re- income : Finally, that for this sum port there were certain articles of re- of 6,000,ool, there appeared to be ceipt erioneously stated, as proper to no adequate provision or resource." be added to the future annual in. The resolutions were carried in the come, and other articles of expence negative without a division. erroneously omitted to be added to the It was not discovered till the linkexpenditure: That the sums voted, ing fund bill was in a committee, that and to be voted for the present year a part of the powers delegated by considerably exceeded 15,397,4711.: that bill to the new commilioner's That the means by which the de- ran counter to preceding acts of parficiency was to be made good arose liament. The matter was thus ex. from aids and debts that belonged to plained to the house by fis Grey the present year only: That there Cooper. The bill affumed and des was no surplus income ow existing legated a “ power to pay off and reapplicable to the reduction of the deem the redeemable public an
nuities nuiries at or above par upon fuch farte. An amendment was made to notice, and on the payment of such remove this objection. sums, as were prescribed and direct. A farther amendment was made ed by the said clause.” The error by Mr. Fox in concert with Mr. probably arose from a negligent Pitt. Mr. Fox repeated the objecand inattentive construction of the, tion, which he had originally made words “ redeemable annuities.” It to the circumstance of making the might have been expected, that the finking fund unalienable in time of person, who proposed this most im- war, and stated that his objection portant bill, ihould have known or rested upon the difficulty into which been instructed, that the public an- the country might consequently be nuities were not redeemable in the thrown in the negociation of a fuunlimited sense of the word, but on- ture loan. What he should will ly in a certain manner and under therefore was, that, whenever a new specific terms and conditions; with loan should hereafter be made, the refpe&t to the formalities that thould minister Mhould not only propose precede, and the amount of the suis taxes, which were efficacious and that should be paid off at each pe- productive to pay the interest of the riod of redemption. If the claute loan, but allo sufficient to make had remained as it then food, the good to the honking fund what had commissioners either could not have been taken from it; and that at the applied any portion of the money same time the commissioners should to be vested in them, towards the he empowered to accept the loan, or redemption of any part of the public so much of it, as should be equal to debt at par; or if they should have the cash of the public which might taken any tieps or given any notices be then in their hands. He meant, for that purpose, all such proceed- that, if, when a new loan of fix milings and transactions would have lions was proposed, there should be been null and void. This would one million in the hands of the comhave been an inauspicious opening millioners ; in such case the comto a great plan for the reduction of millioners should take a million of the national debt. The credit of the loan, and the bonus or douceur this country had been maintained by of that million should be received a regular observance of the plight- by them for the public ; fo that, in ed faith of parliament, and by an fact, the public would only have invariable adherence to the compact five millions to borrow. Mr. Pitt of the public with its creditor. Thic was peculiarly happy to find a momost minute aberration from this tion of this nature come from Mr. line of conduct, the least rendency to Fox, because it proved to him, that obliquity or indirection in any trans- the idea which he had entertained action with the stockholders, the most of Mr. Fox's opinion upon the subdistant suspicion that an implied or a ject was erroneous. He had, he partial content could break one fibre confessed, imagined, that his objec. of the public engagements, would tion was built upon grounds much affect the future state and condition less politic and liberal. He had of the kingdom in its resources, and apprehended that Mr. Fox's princiin its loans when neceflity should ple had been, that the whole of the demand them, infinitely more than fund, as well the annual million as the most prosperous success of the the accruing intereft, should be lipresent measure could ever compen. able at all times of difficulty to be
applicd applied to the current service. Mr. fund was finally to accumulate, Piit added in recommendation of would enable a minister to obtain she amendment, that the chief ap- 80,000,000 by way of loan. He prehenfion, which could arise in the alluded to the speech of Mr. Pitt, aniods of those who wished well to in which he had stated it as a recothe inftitution, was that it might commendation of Mr. Fox's clause, afford a temptation to future mini. that it tended to diminish the tempt. sters in times of distress, to apply ation to divert the finking fund. the fund to the exigencies of gover- Earl Stanhope said, that any man, ment, in order to relieve themselves who could use such an argument, from the painful necessity of doing absolutely abandoned the defence of their duty in railing the supplies. the bill. The plan he proposed was, Now this amendment would prove that books Mould be opened at the a mcans of preventing any tempt. bank in order to receive the names ation, because, without interfering of such holders of stock bearing wiih the main purpose of the efta- three per cent, interest, as should be blishment, every advantage, which willing to fignify their consent to ac. could result to a minister by divert. cept of gol. for every 10cl. of their ing the money to the current fer- present capital, whenever the public vices, might be obtained. Mr. Pirt Dould be desirous of redeeming the hoped that poscrity would take an said capital at that price ; and that cxample from the present moment, all holders of this new three per and persevere in the perfection of the cent. ftock, should be entitled to be obječt which was now begun; and he paid off, before any part of any other thought it no inaufpicious omen for public stock fhould be redeemed. It the ultimate success of the plan, that was not however carl Stanhope's its propriety and neceffity had been intention, to deprive the commiffiun. so obvious, as to overcome the spirit ers of the power aiready delegated and prejudice of party, and to create to them of purchasing stock at the an unanimity and concurrence of market price during a certain period, sentiment in persons, who, more, he but merely to pledge the public torewas sure, from accident than incli. deem the new three per cents. at nation, were in general of different gol. whenever it should be judged opinions. The amendment was re- expedier.', prior to their redeeming ceived.
any other portion of the national The other objection of Mr. Fox debt. In recoin mendation of his was pursued with some variatica in scheme, lord Stanhope produced the the house of lords by earl Stanhope. letters of several eminent brokers, This nobleman suggested his idea bankers and merchants, and of doce to the house upon the second read. tor Richard Price. ing of the finking fund bill, which There was no situation, said lord took place on the twenty-second of Stanhope, however unfortunate, Alay. He thought that no appre, which did not afford fome species hension was more alarming, than that of consolation ; and, such had been of the diversion of the new linking the goodness of providence towards fund in time of war, and that the mankind, that circumstances of milonly way to encounter this objec- fortune generally carried some alletion was by the subscription of indi. viation along with them. The previduals. He stated that 4,000,000l. fent fituation of our finances affordof free revenue to which the linking ed an instance of this. If we were