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* certain time, that pledge had been" moving a resolution, that it was expe“
given in this instance. The country “ dient to present a Petition to the House " had performed its part of the contract, " of Coinmons against the revival of those " and submitted to the tax with unex
“ taxes. "ampled patience, as long as the war “Sir W.HEATHCOTE shortly second“ continuerl. They had now a clear and “ed the Resolutions, and observed that he “irrefragable right to the benefits of the “had voted against the new Malt Duty,
engagements on the other side, and to This motion being made and seconded,
expect that the tax should not be re- Mr. Hunt rose to speak; but was called * newed.
If the tax were now renewed, to order by Mr.PORTALL, and the Sheriff " it woull nt only be a grozs violation decided, that he could not be permitted " of the contract, but it would be an ag- to speak till Lord NOTHESK had read a peti, “ gravated breach of trust, by making tion; that is to say, Mr. Portall was perof the very violation of their contract mitted to make a long speech and a motion, "a sort of precedent for further viola- which motion was seconded, and Lord " tions. It was bis firm opinio.1
, that if NORTHESK was to make another motion, " the tax were bat submitted to for an- and that was to be seconded also, before other
year; it would never be taken off. any person on the other side was to be “ New circumstances and new pretences permitted to speak! If this was fair and s “ would then arise: and rather than regular, it must be acknowledged, that "give up the tax, Ministers would pre- Hampshire has its peculiar mode of con“ fer another war, perhaps with the Dey ducting debates and discussions.
of Algiers, the Nabol of Arcot, or some The petition was then produced and “ of those gentlemen. He should object moved, and, having been read, was se: * to any modification of the tax. If it conded by SIR HARRY TICHBORNE.
were reduced to one per cent. or one- Here Mr. Hunt requested that the first - fourth per cent. he should equally requisition might be read. It now ap
object to it, as an unfit tax to be intro- peared, that that requisition included, * duced into a free country. Every man by name,
the War Tax upon Malt, * who is now summoned before the sur- which, as the reader will perceive, had
veyor goes up like a culprit, and feels been enabodied into the Whig Petition, "like one. The difference is, that by though not mentioned in the thig requi" the law of England, every man is pre- sition. The motive for this act of irre“ sumed innocent until he is found gularity was clearly this : that the Whigs "guilty; whereas, before the surveyors, knowing that, if they left it out, an
every man is presumed guilty, until he amendment would be moved, and that, " is found innocent. He did not mean thus, they would be defeated upon their “ to cast the slightest reflection on the own dunghill, seeing that the Malt Tax
surveyors personally, but without such is full as burdensome and as odious as
a course the tax could not be raised.- the Property Tax. The getting over this "There was another subject which af- irregularity by " taking the sense of the "fected the people of this country al-Meeting.” as it was called, amounted to
most as much as the property-tax. just nothing at all; for, by the same rule, Among those taxes which were called any thing might be introduced into the war taxes, and which by law would Petition; and yet, as the reader will
expire about the same time with the presently see, great efforts were made to s property tax, there was one of no less set my Petition aside upon the ground, “than two shillings a bushel on malt. that it contained matter of complaint, "This bore no less on the comforts of the not specified in the requisition. "poor and middling orders, than it did Having thus shewn the tactics of the
upon the interests of agriculture. He Whigs this far, and exposed the inotive, “had, therefore introduced into the peti- whence they were led to introduce the * tion a prayer, that this tax also should Malt Tax, I now proceed to the discussion
I not be revived. As this was not regu- of the Petition, into which we were per“larly introduced in the requisition, it mitted to enter, though we had not been
was only by the pleasure and sufferance permitted to oppose Mr. Portall's resolu" of the Meeting, that he could incorpo- tion. The Whig Petition, as the Times
rate it with his petition. (The sense of newspaper observes was then read ** the Meeting on this point was testified by the Under-Sheriff. It was of con" by loud applause.) He concluded by
“siderable length, as it embraced the that of highway robbers. But, I observed, “ different points of Mr. Portall's speech, if this was really the case, who were " and the preambles of the different Acts the highwaymen, this being a question « of Parliament on this subject. It also of very material importance to the Coun" alluded to the new creation of Knights, try, who had, dyring all this time, " and observed, that as the Prince Re- elected and re-elected the men who im
gent had been advised to reward the posed and supported this tax; that Sir
splendid services performed by the navy WILLIAM Heathcote, who had se" and army, his civil subjects also, who conded Mr. Portall's motion, was one of " had discharged all their duties during the first imposets, one of the supporters; “the arduous contest, and patiently sub- that the party, whose friends had now “mitted to such heavy burthens, con- brought forward the Petition, had raised “ceived themselves entitled to some con- the tax from six and a quarter to its pre“ sideration for their discharge of duty, sent amount, and that they had done it, " and an alleviation from this most op- too, in the most odious, insulting, and un“pressive tax.".
feeling manner. --(Here I was called to opposed this Petition, which I repre-order again, though I was only asking sented as more resembling a lawyer's who the highwayınen were, if it was a brief, in form and language, and a bill in highwayman's tax.)- next observed, Chancery against the Regent, in matter, that, seeing that the Gentleman thought than a County Petition against a Tax. the imposing of the tax the act of highI observed, that the passage, alluding to waymen, and, as it is well kuown, that the new creation of Knights of the Bath highwaymen generally begin by stepping was peculiarly objectionable; that it sig- the mouth, that they next bind the persons nitied to the House of Commons a sort of their clients, and conclude by ramming of envious and vain feeling; a poor their hands into their pockets, I should sneaking after a share in the baubles of not wonder if the Gentleman were to tell Knighthood, which was very disgusting, us, that the Parliament who imposed this and in which I was sure the Meeting tax had proceeded in soinewhat the same did not participate.--[Here I was inter way, and that the laws shackling the rupted by Mr. Portall calling to order. Press and diminishing Personal liberty, I was told, that I was wandering from the passed during the same period, ought, at subject before us." The reader will judge any rate, it we abstained from such irrewhat the Order of the Bath had to do with verend descriptions of them, to receive a Petition against the revival of the Malt our reprobation as well as the law impoand Property Taxes; but, he will, I am sing a tax en property. Upon this sure, clearly see, that, as the alhision ground I was proceeding to state what formed part of the Petition, I was strictly those laws were, and to shew how lawin order, while I was objecting to that making proceeded, step, by step, until part of the Petition.) -I next observed, it arrived at that stage, when, as the that the name of highwayman's tax, ap- Gentleman had asserted, it assumed the plied to the Tax on Property by Mr. Por- character of a highwayman's conduct. I TALL, formed a curious contrast with was beginning with the law, which inade it another part of leis speech; for, there he high treason to send a bushel of potatoes had told us, that the tax was imposed or a pair of shoes to the Republicans of at a moment, when the enemy was at France who, by the bye, had now some our door, and chat the tax was necessary food to spare for us.--[Here I was stopped " to the safety of his Majesty's Crown, this matter being wholly inadmissible, " the security of our holy religion, our having nothing at all to do with the sub“ laws, lives, and properties!" What! 1 ject of the Requisition; though, as the observed, and do the Meeting, then, really reader will perceive, it had quite as much believe, that the king and our holy reli- to do with it as the Order of the Bath gion stood in need of highwaymen mea- could possibly have.)-I next observed sures to insure their safety? And, can upon what Mr. Portall had stated as to the Meeting, can the people of Enyland, the cause of the tax, and how it came te look foreigners in tlie face, and prate be laid, and said, that it was a false alarm about English liberty, while they confess, that prevailed at the time; that the enemy that we have lived for nearly twenty years was neter at our door; that he never did under the operation of power, resembling attempt to land, and that there never
was a time when the people of England, a system of economy and peaceful of their own force, were not able to de
government were adopted in place fend the country; that no army, and, of
of the enormous expenditure, and course, no tax, was wanted to preserve the country against any enemy that it
that immense military establishment, ever had; and, that it was very clear, and which was wholly unknown to our had long since been so, to the whole world, forefathers, and which now threatthat the war was made, and the tax raised, ened to swallow up all the civil powfor the purpose of crushing republican li
ers and distinctions of the country: berty in France, and of stopping, by that means, its extension all over the world.
---That all pretence for alarm having I was proceeding to shew, that, in part, now ceased, the laws passed during this object had been accomplished; but, the late war, cramping the liberty of that we had ruined ourselves by the suc- the Press, and also personal liberty, cess.(Here, however, I was stopped;
ought now to be repealed : That though, I thought, that I had as much right to go into this matter as the other therefore, we prayed, that all the war side had to state their notion of the cause taxes might cease, agreeably to law; and object of the tax.)-I next observed, that no other taxes might be imposed that the Petition on the table, though it
in their stead; and that all the laws, included the War Malt Tax, did not go
passed during the war, which diminearly far enough for me; that I should
nish the liberties of the people might move an amendment, including all the war taxes, in the first place, being of opi
also be repealed. nion, that it was a matter of indifference Mr. Hunt seconded the motion, and iņ what shape, or under what name a though many attempts were made by Mr. tax was raised, if raised all; that, in the PORTALL to interrupt him even while he end, it must be paid by the public at large, was answering the arguments of that genand that it signified not one straw to any tleman, he proceeded in a way, and with man, whether he paid it, as the old say- an effect that made faction feel very sore, ing is, in meal or in malt." But, that I did He observed, that the war malt tar not stop here; that I was for praying, was introduced by the other side, not that no other taxes might be imposed from choice but from compulsion; that instead of the war taxes, and was for ex- they had foreseen, that antess they pressing the opinion of the Meeting, that introduced it, they would be beaten there was no necessity for any other ou their own ground. He observ
All this, however, I observed,was ed, that the worthy Baronet, (Sir Wil. a trifle, in my estination, compared with liam Heathcote) had taken great credit the laws, passed during the war, respect for having opposed the war tax upon malt, ing the Press and respecting personal but, perhaps, that might be accounted liberty, some of which were still in exist- for by the fact, that this was a great ence, and, theretore, I should propose to barley country, and that the worthy pray for the repeal of these laws also.-- baronet was owner of no small slice of After a great deal of further interruption this same country; that as to numerous from the opposite party, I moved a Peti- other laws that he had assisted in passing tion, the substance of which only I can and supporting, though of infinitely more give, having been deprived of the docu- consequence to the people, he had apment itself in the manner hereafter to be peared to feel less acutely.--He obser. described. The Petition, moved by me, ved, that he heartily, rejoiced at the was in substance as follows:
conclusion of peace with America, and
thanked the King's ininisters for having That the war taxes had now no longer acted so wisely; and that, though the
any pretence for their continuance, Meeting would feel with him deep regret seeing that peace with all the world that the war had not sooner terminated, had been happily restored: That no and before so many disasters had taken
-pew taxes in their stcad would be would feel consolation in reflecting that, pew taxes in their stead would be place, he was sure that every Englishman necessary
support the credit and if the trident of the seas had been snatchhonour of the nation, provided that led frono us in a few instances, if we had
now and then suffered defeats on an (the Government, to approre of the unelement called our own, it had been dertaking and the continuing of the late from the arms of free men, and not from wars, in the prosecution of which they those of the hirelings of despots.-In offered and pledged their last shilling alluding to Mr. PORTALL's assertion," and their last drop of blood." And that the Income Tax, being laid on in a yet, said he, though the government do time of great public peril, it was suffered not ask, and never have asked, for a sin to pass with little opposition or comment; gle drop of their blood, being contented he observed, that the contrary was the with the shilling alone, this singular fortruth; that no tax ever met with such bearance is repaid by the virulent and strenuous opposition ; that the nowRight gross abuse, which we have this day heard HONOURABLE GEORGE TIERNEY, in bestowed upon it, and that; too, by the particular, called it by names almost as party, who had its full share in the very odious as that now applied to it by Mr. measure now so bilterly coviplained of. Portall; that he even weót so far as to Mr. PORTALL şose to answer what had declare, that the people would be fully been said on our side. lle objected to justified in resisting it by force of arms; the amencent because it included mat. but that this was the out of place søn- ter, not notified in the requisition, and timent of Mr. TIERNEY, who afterwards, insisted strongly, that, in asking for so when in place, voted for raising this same much, we ran a risk of losing all
. He tax from six and a quarter to ten per complained, that an unfair advantage cent. [Here Mr. PORTALL mado 'a had been taken of him in the comments very streniious effort to stop Mr. Hunt; made on his expressions respecting the but the Sheriff said he was in order; as highwayman; said that the words dropwell lie might, seeing that Mr.Hunt was per from him incauticusly, and that they only shewing that what Mr: PORTALL certainly called for an apology. But, it had stated as to the silent acquiescence is but justice to observe, that no part of of the country, when the tax was laid his speech was so much dppl.juded as this. on, was not truc.] ---Mr. Hunt con- When I came to reply I was interrupto tinued by observing, that the gentleman ed. It was contended that the business deprecated all enquiry into the conduct was now closed; that Mr. Portall had of those who had laid on, or raised, the made his motion, that we had answered, tax; but, that it was material for the that he had now replied, and that there meeting to recollect, who it was that the discussion closed: Eut, the reader had inposed and angmented what liad wil'sce, that it was not his motion but heca called a highwaymun's tax, and es- mine, which was now under discussion. pecially when the faction,who had brought Pis had been made, secondod, put, and Järvsard this charge, were heard endea- carried, without our being permitted to oiring to throw the blame upon the pre- speak. Then came Lord Northesk's mo. Seilt ministers, and to excite and keep up tion. That was put aside for a while by suspicions against them.---He entered my amendment, which was now about to into a curious and interesting calculation be put. What right, then, in this stage as to the tax upon Barley,before its juice of the proceedings, could Nr. PCRTALI reached the mouth ; 'shewing that every have to the la speech? Load or Barley (40 bushels) paid nearly The quest's Avas now to be taken upon srcenty pounds in tax before it came to my amendment; but before the question: the lips of the labouring man, though the was pui, I did obtain a heariny, it price now received by the farmer was amongst other things, I said early white not more than seven pounds; so that in is, as follows, stateri by the COURIER. every pot of beer which the labourer" In the Hampsbire Bleeting ca Tues
.، bought at a public house (if the propor
cel day, Mr. "COLBETT, among other tion of the farmer's taxes were included) thungs, said the Gentlcmen who he swallowed more than four-pience in “ brought forward the Petition had acteck tur.-But, 'he observed, in conclusion "disingenuously; they had said nothing after a varietj of other observations), " of the difficulties of the Government, this meeting presen's a very cnrious " Did they incan' to say, that the Gospectacle. He said, that he had many "“ vernment could go on without the Propersons in his , eye, who, in that very “perty Tax? Did they wish to substitute place, bad frequently met to address other tax ?-ferils oj, sve love
* nothing to do with that! and, order!) | PETITION, moved by the Earl of North“ He would ask them if they were ready esk, was carried by a like majority. It “ to vote that the army should be dis- was then voted to be sent about for sig“ banded ?"--The Higu SHERIFF said natures, to be presented by the County " he must take the sense of the Meeting, Members, who, by a vote of the Meet“ whether Mr. COBBETT should be al- ing, on the motion of Mr. Hunt, were “ lowed to go on in this manner. Mr. instructed to support it, when presented, " COBBETT said, he was ready to shew The thanks of the Meeting. having been " that Government could
not go on with- unanimously voted to the High Sheriff, “ out this Tax.-Mr. PORTALL said, (Mr. Norris of Basing Park) hə, in an“ they had nothing to do with that at swer, observed, that he hoped, the next ¢ present-MrąCOBBETT said, they could time he met the County, he should have “ not shew him that Government could to congratulate them on the Death and “ go on without this Tax. It was there- Burial of the Property Tax.
fore from the factiousness of party Whoever was at the Meeting, and who “ that the question was brought forward. reads this, will say, that I have here " It was the trick of a party to impose given, substantially, a fair account of the
upon the people, by telling them that proceedings. I had not the smallest hope " they were to get this Tax off; but they of carrying my motion. I had not sign! could not get it off, without having ed any requisition; I had consulted no“ another, equal in amount, substituted body; I had not talked upon the subject “ for it." --I said this, or nearly this ; ( to more than four persons out of my own but, the COURIER has realt as unfairly family. I cared not a pin about the reby me as the Whigs dealt by the Meeting; peal of the Income tax, unless all the war because, I said, along with this, some taxes and all the laws about the press thing which the COURIER has taken care and personal and political liberty were to leave out: I said that I would defy included; and the only disappointment the Gentlemen to shew, that the Govern- that I met with, was, that so large a ment conld pay the public creditors, or part of the Meeting were with me.
. go on at all, without the two taxes men- What has been said of the disingenuoustioned in their petition (amounting to a ness of the Hampshire Petition will apfull third part of the present revenue), ply to almost all the other petitions unless the whole of the army, about all against the Property Tax. Westminster the navy, and a part of the sinking fund and the City of Worcester (and there may into the bargain, were, at once lopped off; be some others) are exceptions. But, and that, therefore, to stir up the people to with these exceptions, it is a clamour pray for the taking away of the revenue, against a tax, and merely against a tar. without stating, at the same time, the It is an outery for relief, without a word means by which the Government might said as to the causes of the burden, or as go on without it, as I had stated in my to the means of doing without it. Mr. motion, was to act factiously, was to de- PORTALL, at our Meeting, said that he lude and deceive the people. -Strange to should approve of taking away a part of say, this was deemed out of order. One the Sinking-fund; the same has been man proposes the abolition of taxes, ano- said at other Meetings. Perhaps this ther objects to his proposition because may be practicable; but, if it be done the Government cannot go on without without a total disbanding of the army the said taxes, and yet the second is and a discharge of nearly all the navy, deemed out of order !-1 was for taking will the funded property retain its vae off the taxes, but then I was also for saying, lue; or, any value at all? If the fundat the same time, and in the same Petition, holders saw, that the taxes were so rethat it was our conviction, that the Credit duced as to enable the country to prosand Honour of the nation might be per under them, they need not care about maintained without those taxes ; because, the Sinking-fund; but, what will be their if the Meeting did not think this, their prospect, if, out of 40 millions of revepetition must proceed either from faction nue, only 20 millions are wanted for the or ignorance.
army and navy alone, while their own The Ainendment, moved by me, was share of that revenue, exclusive of the put and lost, not by a “ large," but by Sinking-fund, amounts to 25 to 28 mila very small majority; after which the lions ? The remedy is, then, a reduction