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taxes were great, and burdens heavy, fixty-four thousand pounds; and as it the means of procuring the necessaries, was not meant to load the finking fund and all the reasonable comforts of life, with any burdens, for which it does were easier to be obtained, and enjoy- not stand absolutely engaged, the inte. ed in greater security, than any other rest money, as he observed before, mutt under the sun.

be raised and paid by new taxes. On the other operation of finance, Taxes, he observed, in all countries, that of railing one million five hun- should, as much as it was practicable dred thousand pounds by exchequer with any prospect of success, be laid bills; he begged the indulgence of the upon luxury and the elegant conveHouse, to perinit bim to explain him. niences of life: in countries particu. self, how that loan could with propriety larly the trade and consequent opube encreased. The circumftance on lence of which, depended upon the which it depended, was not, he allow, wisdom of its commercial regalation, ed, properly before the House ; but it In the taxes he now meant to submit was connected with it, and was this. to the confideration of the committee, In the year 1773, government issued he intended to keep this great object one milion four hundred thousand steadily in view. He was aware, that pounds exchequer bills, to enable the when great sums were wanted, such a East India company to discharge its mode of procuring them would not engagements to the bank, and to ex. answer, because, not being proportricaie it out of its other difficulties. tioned to the magnitude of the de. One million one hundred thousand mand, in such cases, the burdens must pounds of which has been fince paid, be borne by the bulk of the people, To that three hundred thousand pounds who were only capable of bearing cnly of that loan now remained in thein; but in every financial opera. circulation, which gave government a tion, similar to the present, luxuries favourable opportunity of issuing two ought to be taxed, in preference to hundred and fifty thousand pounds the necessaries of life; the rich, idle, worth more than they did last year with, and disipated, in preference to the out running the risk of a glutted mar. laborious, industrious, and necefli. ket. On this ground, therefore, it was, tous; besides, another powerful conii. that he encreased the exchequer bills deration pointed out the propriety of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, such a conduct, because every tax, ihat that is, from one million two hundred tends to enhance the value of our na. and fifty thousand pounds, to one mil. tive manufactures at foreign markets, lion five hundred thousand pounds. ought to be studiously avoided, for in

He repeated that the money to be such cases, we run the risk of not only borrowed and funded, would be two losing the tax, but the manufacture, millions one hundred and fifty thou- which was the object of it. sand pounds. In this operation, he The tax on four-wheeled carriages, had two points principally in view; though vehicles of necesary conveone was to make the best bargain he nience, as well as luxury, might, on çould for the public; the other, to give the grounds of taxation now explained, the stock holder a reasonable profit and be properly considered solely as a lux. encouragement to subscribe: both ury, because none kept them, but such those he fattered himself would be as were really or nominally opulent. Satisfactorily obtained. It is true, The tax upon two wheeled carriages there would be a nominal loss to the came under the fame description, in a public cf 15 per cent. but it could not secondary degree; but on inspecting posibly be otherwile, nevertheless the into the produce of the last mentioned subscriber would be no real gainer, on tax, it was discovered, that it decreaaccount of the very low price of sed while the former proportionably tock; for the premiuin of seven pounds encreased. The number of fourten Shillings on every hundred pounds wheeled carriages, he informed the subscribed, and the profit on the lot. committee, which paid the last year, tery tickets, would not amount to more was 18,600 ; but supposing that gentlethan a fair market price, or equivą. men who had several, would lay down lent.

one or more of them ; or that a con. The interest on the stock would be liderable number of four-wheeled

çarriages

1776. PARLIAMENTARY History.

571 carriages might from other causes ac- yet he could not help remarking, that tually decreale, he would, in his com- they inculcated one thing, which could putation, strike off lixteen hundred, be contradicted by almost univerlal 1o that the number, at the most mo- experience, which was, that the liberderate estimate, might be computed at ties of this country were in danger, from feventeen thousand, which, ai twenty cruel, ambitious and cyrannic minifThillings each, would produce seven ters, when under this terrible opprefa thousand pounds.

five and tyrannic government, newsThe next proper object of taxation, writers were daily permitted to mire. would be itage coaches and machines. present the public conduct, and to ynHe said, that gentlemen who paid the justly asperse and calumniate the charactax for their own carriages, thought ters of those very men with confidence it a little levere that hackney carriages and impunity. He said he would inform should be exempted; particularly when the Committee of a fact that must attro they saw four, five or six insides, and nifh them; it was scarce to be credited, eight or ten outsides daily passing them that those calumnies and falloods were on the road, without contributing a propagated in the course of a year, in Thilling towards the public expence. no less than 12,230,000 News-papers, The number he suppoled amounted to as appeared by the last returns received about four hundred, tho'he had tome from the Stamp Office. It was difficult reason to believe they were considerably to determine whence this avidity for more, which at five pounds each, would reading News-papers arose. He could produce iwo thousand pounds a year. not say, that it was from a thirit of

There had been already stamp duties knowledge or improvement. He preimposed upon all deeds and paper fumed therefore, it was from a desire writings sealed ; but he imagined from of knowing what was palling, of walla the easy manner in which those duties ing and mis-spending half an hour, that were collected, the benefits that are lay heavy on their hands, or from an supposed to mutually arise to the par- idle, vain, trifling curiosity.-Let the ties at the time, with the smallness of reason however be what it might, it the demand, rendered them a very was a species of luxury, that ought to be proper object of taxation, and fit to taxed, and from the ungovernable pro. bear an additional shilling. The thila pensity just mentioned, would, he made ling Itamp laid on in 1736, produced no doubt, well bear it. He said, by he said the last year thirty-two thou- the last returns into the Stamp Office, sand pounds; but taking the average the amount of the penny Itamp was number to be thirty thousand, the fifty thousand pounds. "He proposed additional filling be proposed to lay to lay on an additional halfpenny, on, would bring thirty thousandpounds which, if the sale were to continue the into the Exchequer.

jame, would produce twenty-five thouCards and dice were known lie fand pounds : but as the sale mignt said to be just objects of taxation, in suffer fome diminution, so as to enthe list of luxuries. One hundred crease the returns of papers unsold at fixty four thousand packs of cards had the Stamp Office, which decrease of been stamped the last year, which at

sale must of course affect the penny sixpence each would produce four stamp, he would compute the additithousand pounds and upwards, includ- onal tax at no more than eighteen ing the half crown stamp intended to thousand pounds per annum. Taking be imposed upon dice; there were fix- those several sums together, they would teen hundred pair stamped the last be tound to make about seventy or year, which at half a crown would leventy-two thousand pounds, from produce two hundred pounds. which the interest of the proposed loan,

News-papers in general, he thought fixty-four thousand pounds, being devery proper objects of taxation. He ducted, there would remain a surplus said it was the opinion of many, that of fix thousind pounds to be carried they do more harm than good, while to the credit of the finking fund, proothers thought them of great public vided the taxes proposed Tould pro. beneft, and utility. For his part, he duce the sums now stated. did not at present pretend to decide He next reminded the committee, upon this effect, one way or the other; that while new taxes were confessed

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on all hands to wear a very disagree. tile preparations of the French and able appearance, that they were in Spaniards in that quarter, in consethe prelent instance the creature of ne- quence of which, the Governor ceflity; a necessity, however, he flat. thought it necessary to issue a proclatered himself, that would terininate mation to put the island under martial happily to the honour of this country, law, in order to collect its military to the restoration of peace and govern- and established force for its defence. mental protection of America, and to He could not think of passing over the mutual prosperity and advantage such a report entirely in filence, or of both. That he was proud to re. suffering it to remain uncontradicted. peat with pleasure, because he was This one circumstance alone, is there authorized by truth, that the power were not innumerable others, was and wealth of this country were great, sufficient to Mew its fallacy, and des and its fpirit high, unbroken, and tect the imposture, which is, that the undismayed; notwithstanding the pains Governor would never have permitted that had been taken, day after day in the vessel to fail for Europe, which that House, to depreciate one, and was said to have brought over this traduce and vilify the other. Though pretended intelligence, without sendEnglishmen were degradingly held out ing an account of it to Government. to the eyes of the public, and all Eu- He was ashamed to trespass on the parope, as tame, daftardly, and spiritless; tience of the committee ; he could though this country had been describ- only overthrow it by one clear comed by the same persons, almost finally pendious answer, that it was totally exhausled, borne down by taxes, and false, and unworthy of public atten. on the eve of a general bankruptcy; tion. though the disappointments of the last The bank of England, its fupport, campaign had been with a kind of and resources in seasons of difficulty, malignant pleasure magnified into so and the general state of public credit, many actual defeats; and though A. were the next objects that drew his merica had been represented by them attention. He contended, that the to be the seat of virtue, liberty, cou- bank of England was no less supportrage, and the most unexampled hero. ed by its own ability, than its ftciet ism; he trusted fill, that Britain had adherence to its engagements, and its the spirit left to afferi her rights, 10 unsullied, unspotted, punctilious ad. resent the unprovokud, ungrateful in- herence to all its engagements, and sults she had received, and to convince prelervation of public faith. These, her public and domestic enemies, that he said, were matters so well known, as the bad the will, so she had the that they not only secured to it a cremeans of repairing her injured honour. dit and reputation within the ifland, When this country, was roured to a and the empire at large, but throughproper sense of her injusies, the never out the mercantile and trading world. failed to chastise the insolence or trra- He alluded to the political and financhery of her foe:, whether foreign or cial disquisitions of Doctor Price and dovesic. However flow or indecisive Lord Stair, several of whose argu. the might have been in the beginning, ments were built on mere hypothetical which was an inevitable coniequence reasonings, he said, or on facts misariling from the nature of the consti- ftated or misconceived. Those kind tution, experience had repeatedly of inquiries frequently, he allowed, taught her enemies to their cort, that contained matter well worthy of pubte was not to be injured or insulted lic and private attention ; but there with impunity.

was one observation that experience He observed, that the proposed loan uniformly taught him on their peruwould turn out inore advantageous to fal; that however their facts might be the public, than would have done a true, their reasonings plausible, and few days fince, because the 3 per cent. their conclusions apparently pertinent consolidated annuities, had fallen an and just, their predictions on the whole į or à per cent. within three or four were seldom verified by the event.-days,-011 account of a pretended, he When even men, the best verled in prelumed, fabricated account, said to business, occupying the most weighty be received from Jamaica, of the hors and responsible itations, trained in all

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1776.
PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY.

573
the details of office, having indeed who compose it, would have no more
the whole subject, from its very origin influence or interest with the Bank,
to its conclution, as it were before than any odber set of men whatever.com
them within a fingle glance of their On the whole, he could not, he sai',
eye ; whenever they quitied practice recollect a fingle instance in which the
for theory, probability for fact, and Bank had asisted government, which
remote speculation for actual experie was in fact aslifting the public, but in
ence, they were no less liable to fall circulating the Exchequer and Navy
into error than more abstract reasoners. bilis.-That neceffary accommodation
Such was the case of a great minister, threw them with more facility into
who had long fat in that house, (Sir circulation, brought them to market
Robert Walpole, Created, on his resigwith greater advantage, and lowered
nation in 1742, Earl of Orford) and by that means the premium full balf
who was often heard to say, that when- per cent.
ever the national debt amounted to It might be objected, that the sums
a hundred millions, it would become already granted, and the services al-
bankrupt, and would consequently be ready provided for, would not be suf-
undone. The event falsified the pre- ficient, particularly that no provision
diction of that able statesman, for in had been made for the army extraor-
less than thirty years after pronounc- dinaries, which by the experience of last
ing this authoritative sentence, the campaign, as well as all preceding
nation owed nearly one hundred and ones, would be a certain expence. He
fifty millions, and was neither bankrupt foresaw the objection, and it something
nor undone.

material had not prevented him, he He said great pains had been taken meant to have taken his Majesty's diin print to decry the Bank and depre. rections on that point. He would ciate its credit; but he hoped the at- however take the earliest opportunity tempt would prove as fruitless as he to mention it to his Majesty, the conwas convinced the charge was ill. sequence of which he presumed would founded.-It had been called a bubble; be, having it in charge to deliver a but to apply the words used on ano- message to that house, defiring a vote ther occasion, if the Bank was a bub- of credit the next day. ble, fo was the world.-Many argu- The events of war he said were unments mad been used both within and certain ; he had nevertheless every without doors to prove that an im- reason to be satisfied that such meaproper connection subsisted between sures liaci been resolved on and were , Government and the Bank, which meant to be carried into execution, as gave the minister a dangerous influ- would bring America back to a sense ence over that company ; if by the of her duty, and to that ftate of conminister was meant the first commissi- ftitutional obedience, which he owed oner of the Treasury, he could fairly this country. There was nothing he answer, that no such influence existed; more earnestly defired, nor nothing he if it had, he hoped he would exert it more fincerely wished to avoid, than to effect the best purposes, in pro. to be obliged to compel either, by curing the welfare of the public. It force of arms, were it poflible to effect was allerted too, that the Bank had it otherwise. --He desired accommodajoined adminiftration against the peo- tion, in preference to trusting to the ple, than which nothing could be more events of war, if it could be obtained fallacious and absurd, both in point consistently with the dignity and hoof fact and application ; for by fup: rour of the nation, and the legislaporting and co-operating withi govern- tive rights of parliament.--He was ment, they essentially ferved the people. heartily disposed to accommodate or -He need not adduce a stronger proof treat with America in the purelt prinof the absurdity of the charge, than ciples of tenderness and aftećtion, but this single supposition, that the people he trusted to the spirit of the people by their representatives in parliament, of this country, that they would not hould withdraw their confidence and submit to behold their most valuable support from their present administra- and important rights wrested from tion but for one day; he would pledge them before their face, by open force, himself that thevery next the individuals violence and rebellion, but that they

would

would call forth that strength, which this country wanted courage, and was known at all times to be invincible spirit; but it was that the war was when fully exerted,

unpopular, and the people in conteIn reply to a passage on Dr. Price's quence of its injustice and unpopupamphlet on Civil Liberty, which larity, were languid, divided, and treated of the dangerous itate of paper irresolute. They observed, it was credit, and which threw out soine con- happy for Ministers that the people jectures relative to the ainount of the were thus affected, for if it had been current specie of the kingitom, he said a foreign war, supported by the pubthat the writer, was totally mistaken ; lic voice, that had proved thus unfor so far from the current specie de successful, they would probably, ere creasing, he was confident and could then, have answered for it with their prove that it had considerably encreased heads. They complained, and with within the last fifty years. He faid great julice in our opinion, of the nine millions had been coined since conduct of the Minister. It was well the calling in of the gold at the Tower; oblerved by them, how very unfair that four millions of light and cut gold it was, for the Minister by his influence remained at the Bank ready for coin- and agents, to jhut out itrangers dur. ing; that the next proclamation would ing the whole course of that session at least bring in three millions; that almost, but that day; and on that the heavy old gold in circulation day, when those who were to be might reasonably be estimated at a worked upon were present, to make million; and that the filver coin was charges which it was impoflible to disa never computed at less than three mil- prove, at least to the Jatisfaction of lions; the whole of which amounting those on whom they were intended to twenty millions, was at least five to make an impression.--For three millions more than any accurate au months, on a ftretch, the public are thoritative computation of the current precluded from knowing a syllable that fpecie of this kingdom had ever passed within these walls; at the end amounted to.

of that period, they are admitted He concluded a speech of full three purely to mislead them, by informing hours long, with a grand political and them of matters which never passed. ministerial varnih, in which he re- They urged, it was no less unparliaturned' once more to the wealth, mentary, than uncandid, that the strength and: bigb spirit of the nation doors were opened merely to let the when roused; observing what a pitie public hear the Minister pronounce ful aukward figure we made at the his own Eulogium, to misrepresent commencement of the late war; mark- his adversaries, to mislead his auditors, ing arong y at the same time the ill, and to create a popular disapprobation founded predictions and exaggerated of his opposers, upon facts as illmisconceived picture, drawn by the founded as the conclusions, were the grand estimator of the times (Dr. premises true, would have been forced, Brown) and reininded the committee unnatural and unjust. - It was urged how vigorously we supported that with remarkable propriety, that the war, which was so feebly and dis. gallery, as far as the personal conve. gracefully commenced, and how glo- nience of the members would permit, riously and honourably it was ter- ought to be left open for the admiffion minated.

of Itrangers; that the pretence of the Several of the gentlemen (Mesfis. not dispensing with a Itanding order, Barre, Fox and G. Johnstone) sup- was a trite absurd subterfuge; and posed to be alluded to in the Minister's that it was plain, that the rigid obserspeech, which allerted that the nation vance of the order of late, was not had been vilified, its spirit and ability so much the sense of the House as of a questioned, its condition misrepre- few individuals, and their subordinate lented, and several unfavourable and instruments. mortifying comparisons made between The speaker feeling himself very it and America, rose to exculpate sensibly hurt by what was now objected, themselves ; they direally denied the said he could not fit filent and hear charges thus obliquely, and they said, the shutting of the gallery doors against inlidiously made, It was not, that ftrangers, imputed to him ; that what

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