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used in the manufacture of woollen when he could afford it, from the goods, was the common olive oil; foreign market. He believed that and the rate of reduction which he it would also be an encouragement intended to apply to it would leave to the manufacture of low-priced the manufacturers of England in woollens to reduce the duty on a a better condition than they were species of foreign wool used for in 1790. There was another coarse cloths still lower than it species of oil, made from rape-seed, was reduced already. Our manumuch used in the manufacture of facturers were in the habit of imour coarser woollens, on which he porting a great quantity of lowalso intended to alter the duty. priced wool at about a shilling a By a measure, which the House pound; and it was in that branch passed during the severest period of our manufacture that they most of the agricultural distress, they of all feared competition. He had laid a heavy duty, amounting therefore proposed, that the duty almost to a prohibition, on rape- on all foreign wool imported into seed and flax-seed oil, and had this country, which was under the thus enhanced the price of it very price of one shilling a pound, should considerably. That was not, how be reduced to a halfpenny a pound. ever, the only injury which they Mr. Huskisson proceeded, lastly, committed by that unwise and ill- to propose some measures which advised measure: they destroyed would tend to relieve the commerce the manufacture of oil from rape and navigation of the country. in this country; for by prohibít- There was already laid on the ing the introduction of the raw table one bill which was intended material, they increased the diffi- to do away with all the quarantine culty of making, and consequently duties. The amount of those duthe expense of purchasing rape-oil. ties was considerable; and they Rape became so dear, that the mar were unfairly placed on the shipnufacturer would not purchase it ping interest, since the alleged to make oil : without the oil, no reason for imposing them was the oil-cake could be made, and the protection of the country. On consequence was, that the farmer, that account he was of opinion, who wanted the oil-cake for agri- that the committee on foreign trade cultural purposes, was not able to had acted with no less prudence procure it. The oil-cake manu
than propriety in advising that the facturer could not afford to get the expense of these duties should be rape from abroad, and the farmer borne by the country at large, and could not afford to purchase the not by any particular class in it. oil-cake at its advanced price from Another measure which he intendthe manufacturer. Mr. H. there- ed to propose was, the abolition of fore proposed to revert to our fees on all commerce to our coloancient policy upon this point, and nies. These fees formed a heavy after allowing a certain time to the tax on persons engaged in that dealers to get rid of the stock they commerce, and were considered had in hand, to take off the duty more irksome than many taxes on this oil altogether, and to give which in point of money were the manufacturer the power of much larger. Another measure supplying the farmer with cake, was the removal of the duty which instead of compelling him to get it, was payable on the transfer of any
share of a ship, or of a whole ship, who were entitled to drawbacks. from one person to another. This He proposed to remove the stamps duty was an exception to the gene- upon them altogether, because they ral stamp duties, and grew out of assumed the shape of indirect this anomaly--that we compelled, taxes, when they were intended to for reasons thought to be conducive release the subject from the operato our navigation, all British ships tion of direct ones.
Such were to be registered by their owners. the direct measures, which Mr. Now, to take advantage of a law Huskisson proposed for the relief which compelled the names of all of the shipping interest. the owners to be registered, in As conducive to the same end, he order to fix a stamp to every trans- also proposed an alteration in the fer that might be made in the system of our consular establishownership, was a great injustice in ments abroad. Those establishments itself, and an unnecessary aggrava- were regulated by no fixed princition of an inconvenienee, which, ple, were guided by no certain rule. even if it were necessary, was still In some places they levied fees on an inconvenienice. He should the ships, in others on the goods, therefore relieve the shipping in- and in others, again, on the docuterest from this annoyance, and ments. There they levied fees on should allow a ship to be trans- ships with reference to their tonferred or exchanged, either in whole nage; and here on ships without or in part, like any other chat- any reference to that consideration, tel, without any payment of duty. claiming them equally from the There was another article in which smallest and from the largest ships. he should also be able to afford con- Not only was there no fixed prinsiderable relief to the shipping in- ciple with regard to the payment terests. There were certain goods of our consuls in general, but there which were allowed to be ex- was even no fixed principle with ported only on certain conditions. regard to their payment in the Bonds were required from the ex- same country. For instance, at porters for the due delivery of the Rotterdam our consul had no sagoods at the place to which they lary, but derived the whole of his were to be exported ; and these emoluments from fees; whilst at bonds were subjected to heavy Antwerp he had no fees, but destamps. A great difficulty often pended on his salary alone for his arose in the Custom-house respect- emoluments. At Bourdeaux our ing them, since the stamps were consul had a salary ; at Marseilles ad valorem. The discussions they he had not; and so in other places. created led frequently to fraud and To call upon the shipping interest perjury. Several goods to pay exclusively for consular
proplaced under the same entry for tection was unfair, and founded no other reason than to save the upon no just principle. We owed stamps. These stamps, which to the shipping trale, and to the were as high as 40s., he should individuals engaged in it, protection proposed to reduce in future to 49. in all their transactions in foreign He would apply the same princi- countries, whether they carried ple also to debentures; which were them on under the faith of particudocuments given by the Custom- lar treaties, or in the courtesy house as a sort of security to those usually extended by one nation to
another in time of peace : and it Levant company. That company was quite as hard to make traders was established by royal charter, pay for consular protection at the in the reign of James the 1st, when seaports of a friendly nation, as it considerable privileges were bewould be to make avellers pay stowed upon it; and, in consefor the support of the ministers quence of those privileges, consiwhom we maintained at the dif- derable duties were imposed upon ferent courts of the continent. He it. They were allowed by their proposed, therefore, to grant to all charter to appoint all the consuls the consuls a reasonable fixed sa- in the sea-ports in the Levant: lary, to be paid out of the public they were subsequently allowed purse. He should retain, "how- by act of parliament to levy for ever, certain fees for acts which the maintenance of their consuls were extra-consular, such, for in- duties on all English ships which stance, as notarial facts, but their came to those parts. They exeramount should, in no instance, ex- cised, also, a certain jurisdiction ceed two dollars. With regard to within the territories of the Ottothe other expenses of consular es- man Porte, which was reserved to tablishments, such as the main- them by several treaties made betenance of the church, the pay- tween the government of this ment of the chaplain, and the country and that of Turkey. support of the other duties of reli. These powers and trusts had been gion, British merchants would find exercised by the servants of the no difficulty in levying, by a spe- company, for two centuries, often cies of voluntary tax, a rate upon under very difficult circumstances; themselves, calculated to cover and and, generally speaking, with defray hem: particularly, as go- correctness, fidelity, and discrevernment would be empowered to tion. In the present state, howsubscribe a sum to aid them, equal ever, of a great part of the counto half the sum which they should tries in which those consuls resided, subscribe among themselves, to pay and looking to our relations the chaplain's salary, or defray the with Turkey as well as with other erection of a church.
powers, to the delicate and imporThough some members of the tant questions of international law, House expressed an apprehension which must constantly arise out that the consequence of the propose of the intercourse of commerce ed changes in our commercial po- with a country in a state of civil licy might be injurious, yet in ge- war-questions involving discusneral the propositions of Mr. Hus- sions, not only with the contending kisson were extremely acceptable parties in that country, but with both to parliament and to the other trading and neutral powers— country.
The resolutions, in it was deemed expedient upon powhich they were embodied, were litical considerations alone, that the adopted without a dissenting public servants of this country, in voice, and they were afterwards Turkey, should hold their appointcarried into execution by bills ments from the Crown. It was to framed in conformity to them. the Crown that foreign powers
Connected with these changes would naturally look for regulatin our commercial policy was the ing and controlling the conduct surrender of the charter of the of those officers in the exercise of VOL. LXVII.
their authority; and it was cer- from the shipping of this country tainly most fit, not only on this ac- to that of other states. Accordcount, but for the due maintenance ingly, in consequence of a comof that authority, that they should munication from the ministers, a be named, not by a trading com- meeting of the company was called pany, but, like other consuls, di- in February last ; a letter from Mr. rectly by the Crown. Besides, the Canning was read ; lord Grenville, dues which the company was au- the governor of the company, prothorised to levy, were very con. posed the surrender of their charsiderable, amounting to a tax not ter, and to this proposition the much short of two per cent upon
company acceded. That surrender the whole of that trade; a charge was accepted, and an act of parliaquite sufficient, in these times, to ment was passed, for carrying it divert a considerable part of it into effect.
CHA P. VII.
Financial Situation of the Country-Income-Expenditure-Reduction
of Duties on Hemp, Coffee, Wine, British Spirits, Rum, CiderDiminution of the Assessed Taxes--Motions for the Repeal or further Diminution of Taxes negatived.
N the 28th of February the 900,0001., of which it was anti
gave an exposition of the financial lost to the revenue in 1824, his situation of the country, and of the calculations would have been vepecuniary arrangements for the rified, if the actual receipt had been year. In the former session he 11,100,0001.: in addition, however, had assumed that at the expiration to the loss sustained by the immeof 1824, there would be a clear diate effect of reduced duty, the surplus of about 1,050,000l.; nett receipt of the Customs was and upon that assumption the still further lowered by the payHouse had made a reduction ment of no less than 460,0001. in our taxes to the amount of upon the stock in hand of silk, in 1,260,000l., of which sum it was order to give more immediate efficalculated that the revenue would cacy to the change of system in rein that year lose about one half, or gard to that article: and yet, in 630,000l. ; so that, if, at the end spite of these two circumstances, of the year, the surplus had been the nett produce of the Customs for 420,0001., his estimate would have 1824 was no less than 11,327,0001. been realized. However, notwith- “What are the causes" said Mr. standing the reduction was made, Robinson which have produced this and notwithstanding that a more important result? The proximate immediate effect was given to that cause, doubtless, is the increased reduction, and greater loss conse- capacity of the people of this counquently sustained than had beenori- try to consume the produce of ginally contemplated, the actualsur- other countries, aided and invigoplus of the year was 1,437,744l., rated by the reciprocal facility exceeding even that surplus which which our consumption of foreign might have been expected had articles gives to other nations in there been no diminution of the the extended use of the products taxes. Mr. Robinson made some of our own industry. That inobservations upon the different crease may arise in some degree from branches of the revenue in which the demonstrated tendency of poputhis increase had taken place. In lation to increase : but indepenthe Customs, the receipt had been dently of that cause, there is a estimated at 11,550,0001.; and as principle in the constitution of Customs duties were afterwards re- social man which leads nations to pealed to the amount of at least open their arms to each other, and