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INDIA AFFAIRS.

knowledged to be good and just. So often revenues supplied by India, but out of the as they agitate this question, with all its cant, pockets of the people of Great Britain ; and for the relief of 500,000 blacks; so otten when it also comes to be considered, that by will I remind them of the 1,200,000 white the system of aggrandizement carried on by paupers of England and Wales.

the late governor-general, the patronage of the Court of Directors has proportionably

been increased, it will scarcely be expettei SIR,—The ministry and their friends in that they, deriving such advantage from the their opposition to the inquiry chat is called system that has of late been pursued, and for into the conduct of the late governor-ge- that too without being at the expense of the neral of India appe:ar, of late, to have shified altainnot of it, should, by heartily suptheir ground of opposition, and now resist porting an inquiry, appear to discountenance an impeachment, not on the score of its not a similar line of conduct by any tuture go-, being warranted by the facts that have al- vernor-general-But, sir, by stifting the ready ten brought to light, but because the present inquiry we do not merely give inloss of time such a niode of inquiry sonid. punity to one alleged delinquent, but to deoccasion to the public functionaries, would Tinquents as unlimited in number, as in the produce greater inconvenience than the suf- enormity of their crimes. We cannot contering Lord Wellesley's conduct to pass al- sider this merely as an insulated case; we together uninvestigated. In regard to the cannot say, that by sitting quiet on this occase in question, there seems a doctrine so casion, the only loss we shall suffer will be monstrous, and 0 pregnant with public that of a clearly liquidable sum ; a sum commischief, that it seems matter of surprize posed of the difference between the sum to the public should so long have failed to re- which the expenditure ought to have been ceive the beliit of its exposire from

your

confined and the actual expenditure. No: nervous and luminous pen. Noman can for you are offering a premium for delinquency, a moment doubt that the suspension of other for delinquency in proportiou to its inagnibusiness, occasioned by the prosecution of teide. For what is it but saying to every future an impeachment, is a great and serious governor-general,

is Whatever criine you grievance; but will any nian say tha the comunit, take care that you involve your concase in question is a case of this mature ? duct in a sufficient degree of complication, Will any man say that in this instance, the and we shall never be able to reach you : violation of the laws, and the ostentatiouis such is the nature of the constitution, that if and lavish expenditure of the public money, the facts to prove your delinquency are inhas not been carried to a sufficient extent, to

tricate and difficult to be coine at, we have entitle the public to know, under what pre- no means of bringing you to punishment." tences those laws have been violated, in Upon this occasion Mr. Hasting's case has what degree such an expenditure has been been appealed to as an unanswerable arguwarranted, and to be satistied whether or no ment against the adoption of a similar mode they have a right to call upon the late go- of inquiry in the present instance. Unforverner-general to refund any part of such tunately, Mr. Hasting's case, like the French money? We have just witnessed an im- revolution, seems likely to serve as a scarepeachment, in the course of which it was crow to terrify all future ages from prosesaid, that the non-observance of the law cuting measures for the atiainment of juswas the only point necessarily to be attended tice. We boast of our glorious constitution: to, and were that satisfactorily prored, con- but is it not a most alarming defect in it, that viction must follow of course. And has the the nature of it is such, as that without suflaw been observed in India ? At least the fering great public inconvenience, it is imsuspicions in the public mind are so strong possible to bring great public offenders to of its having been violated, as to entitle them justice ? Seeing this defect, the Legislature to know, wbether those suspicions are well has attempted to remedy it. But you, sir, grounded or not. The Court of Directors have observed, that the act having for one of are, it seems, against impeachment: they its objects the providing a means for bringhave, by their organs in the House of Com- ing East-India delinquents to justice is inmons expressed, it appears, their unwilling- adequate to its object, because the persons ness to carry things so far; and an opinion for constituting this judicature thereia dicoming from such a source would raturally rected to be chosen out of the two Houses have considerable weight. But when it of Parliament, would be of the nomivation comes to be considered, that the expenses of the minister. This, to a certain degree, for carrying on the wars in India come (as would probably be the case, An opinion you, sir, have so ably shewn) not out of the coming from you an this, as or any other

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SIR ;

subject; cannot fail to have considerable

INCOME TAX weight. But supposing an iinpeachment to

-There are two objections to the be decided against, such a mode of inquiry Property Tax, which in my mind never can as this, however insufficiext it might be, be satisfactorily apologised for; one of them would at least in some degree operate as a for striking at the root of our independence preservation against the mischief that no in- and liberty, and the other as being notorious. quiry at all be calculated to occasion. The ly unjust. The first :is our being subjectsd expectations of the public might not per- to a complete disclosure of our most private haps be completely disappointed by this concerns. To this, however obnoxious, we

Board of Judicature. It is scarcely to be are now arrived, we are told, at that state, presumed that the present ministry would that there is an absolute necessity for our display less candour than the late. During submitting to it. Be it so: but there certhe late ministry, Mr. Whitbread was ap- tainly is no necessity for our submitting to pointed one of the managers to conduct the injustice, nor do I think the legislature, if impeachment of Lord Melville : could the they saw it in the light which I do, would present ministry refuse the giving Mr. Paull, impose it upon us; and I trust that the bill, were he disposed to accept of it, and the which I imagine is now on its way through undaunted perseverance he has already dis- the House of Lords, will be amended in this played forces one to be persuaded he would) particular. What I complain of, is, the a place in such a Board of Judicature ? Ten making one set of the people pay two hunof this Board are to form a quorum; and dred times more than another; or, in other among such a nuniber (for probably no more words, making them pay one-tenth of their than absolutely required by the act would whole property, while ihe other pays only actually sit), the influence of one mian, one-tenth of the annunl produce of their prowere there to be but one among them, de perty. This is an objection which I have termined conscientiously to do his duty, never yet seen fairly stated ; and, I think if could not fail of giving the public, if not a it had, it is impossible that the House of fair chance of seeing substantial justice ad- Commons could have authorised such a law, ministered, yet of knowing at least to whom at least the supporters of the bili must have and to what causes they were to ascribe the changed their ground, and bave used very failure of the means of bringing an offender, different arguments in support of it than accused of great crimes, to the punishment they did. Lord Henry Petty, Mr. Vansitto which, if those crimes were satisfactorily tart, Mr. Fox and others, repeatedly remindproved, he might merit. And even the in- ed the House, and desired them to keep it quiry itself, were nothing to come of it, constantly in view, that it was a tax not upon would not be altogether without its use : for income, but upon property.--Now, Sir, besides that it would shew the futility of re- allow me to put the case, if a man who from sorting to any such means in future, and the his industry has during the year earned a necessity of preparing, if the nature of things sum of money amounting to 2 200, and that admits of it, a real efficient tribunal, the this is the whole property he has in the · vexation occasioned by such an investigation world (hundreds of which cases could be

(and merely the suspicion is strong enough adduced). This man, by laying out his to warrant the infliction of such vexation) & 200 át legal interest, would receive by the would of itself operate in the way of punish- year 10, and were he to pay the tenth part ment, and would thereby act as a warning of this last sum, or £ 1 of property tax, he to all future gorerpors-general. Providing would pay equally and at the same rate with nieans for investigating into the public ac- the most opulent man in the country. But counts, and thereby securir:g the public what does this bill, which is now fast hastenagainst future loss, appears to be the order ing into a law, do? It takes from this man's of the day. Why Indiau accounts are to be hard earned property. no less than 120, beexempted from passing such an ordeal is not ing one-tenth of all that he has, while from altogether clear : the most obvious, and the the man who has £4000 lent out upon motive to which it will accordingly be as- mortgage or otherwise, and which yields him cribed, is party friendship; a couduct, the od 200 a year, it takes no more than 20, adherence to which is represented in private being one-tenth of the annual prodace of his life as a virtue, but which ceases to be a

property, leaving his capital untouched. No virtue, when a great public mischief, or man surely, will say, that what you or I get even the apprehension of a gseat public mis- by our labour is not as much our property as chief, is the consequence of the observance this man's £4000; nor can any one mainof it-I am, sir, your's, &c.- Decius.- tain that it is just to take from me one-tenth

. 26th May, 1806,

of my property of £200, while they take

INCOME AND BREWING TAXES.

from this man a'sum equal to the two-hun- nually due by them to the country). · Undredth part only of his 4000. We have less this good old plan be followed, I ain always been taught to look up with respect much afraid that the discontent occasioned and coutidence to the dignity and justice of by this inquisitorial, unjust, and obnoxious the House of Lords, and should they view law, will daily increase, till the British spirit this bill as I do, it is not possible that they can no longer endure it. No wise ministers can give it their sanction. If it is necessary for a paltry sum of mouey, should put to risk that, besides all other taxes, we should pay the unanimity of the great body of the peoto the extent of one-tenth of our property, ple, particularly at a period when our whole let it be laid on all, but do not take from

support is so necessary. Little do they know, one set of the subjects one-tenth, while while cheering and congratulating each from others the two-hundreth part only is other upon the excelleat qualities, and taken, and that from the most opulent. great benefits to be derived from this law, There is one part of the bill which does not the real sentiments of the people upon it, fall under my objections to it, but which I nor are the many groans and execrations notice, merely to remark upon Lord Henry which it occasions communicated to them. Petty's answer upon this point. This is the

If they were, I am fully convinced that both scale of the tax, some contending that it the proposers and supporters of the bill, ought to increase with the property to the would see the propriety of instantly arresting extent perhaps of twenty per cent. Lord the further progress of it. I am, with Henry's reason for all having £150 and up- great esteem, your obedient servant,-D. wards paying equally; panely, one-tenth, Edinburgh, May 31, 1806. was, that this is proper on account of the different ranks in society, the distinctions in which ought always to be attended to. (I SIR; ----Entertaining as I do the highest have not at present access to his precise opinion of your very valuable Political Rewords). Can his lordship from this mean, gister, I am induced to request the insertion that those with small fortunes are more inte- of a few remarks, not only on the oppressive rested in the welfare of the state than those tendency of the income tax, but also on that who have great ; and, therefore, that they of private treuing, should you think them ought to be more heavily burdened? I con- worthy of a place therein. Before I profess I do not see any sound reasoning in this. ceed, it appears to me necessary to question I am rather inclined to think that his lord- the accuracy of your correspondent Lex, who, ship said this, because upon some other oc- in your last number appeals to you, by askcasion he had heard the same thing said being you whether landed property, houses, fore, and thought it would sufficiently an, &c. have not within the last twenty years, swer his purpose, which it certainly did. I advanced in value at least one-third; he should imagine it to be the duty and interest presumes to think, not only that you will adof the man of rank and fortune, possessed of mit it to be really the fact, but that every 260,000 a year, to pay under this tax £12,000 body in answering his question, whether the which would leave him £48,000 a year to war taxes together with the depreciation of spend, and his estate untouched, as much as money, exceed the above one-third rise in it is the duty of a man possessed of an estate landed property, will say no.--Now, Sir, as of £150 a year to pay $15, which would a proprietor of land, I njust not only be perleave him only £135 for all other taxes, and mitted to doubt, but to express my decided for the annual maintenance of him and his opinion to be, that land has not in general family. But, as the bill at present stands, increased in value equal to that proportion, the man of £60,000 a year will pay only and further, that the depreciation of money, 26000, leaving him the immense sum of added to the increased expense of necessary £54,000 for his taxes and other expenses reparations belonging to a landed estate, are within the year.--To advise the obstinate is in fully equal to the rise that has actually taken vain. But, were advice to be listened to, place in the value thereof. With regard to and if it be really necessary to raise annually houses, from all the circumstances that have the ten millions proposed to be got by this come within my knowledge, I have always bill, I would decidedly recommend at once understood ibat the renis, so far from inLo abandon this abominable tax, borrow the creasing in the degree above mentioned, ten millions each year as we used to do of have actually decreased, and from the cirold, and levy by taxes for payment of the cumstance of the enormous window duty interest. (Even without any new tax this (nearly amounting to a rent) to which the interest might be discharged, were the East occupier is subject. When I reflect on the India Company to pay the of 500,000 an- comparison of the two widow's, in a former number, I am inclined to think that your the rate of charge on the rich, agreeably to sentiments correspond with mine, and that every principle of equity and houjour, would you will think with me, that if the gay lady have an equalizing tendency with regard to had expended no more of her income from the different classes of society. I am very the funds, than the landed widow could af. much mistaken if the pain that all commisford to do, from the same capital in land, sioners, who are independent men, will exthat the saving from the former would cer- perience in thus reducing the property of tainly, have increased in a greater degree their poor neighbours, is not considered by than that of land has done. I have no other them as a sufficient embarrassment to compel motive for these observations than that of them to withdraw from such a scene of opplacing the landed interest on a footing with pressive taxation; and should it unfortuthat of the fund holder and mortgagee, and I nately happen, that the people have nobody have formed a most erroneous opinion, if to look to in the management of the tases, the clear income of the two latter, from a but those who are the tools of government, I capital of the same amount, is not nearly shall tremble for the fate of my country: double; if so, why wish to favour one part With regard to the duty on beer brewed in of the community at the expense of the private families, the first observation that other? In these times of public difficulty all will naturally strike an Englishman, is, the ought to bear the burthen equally, of what- hint thrown out by the Chancellor of the ever description their property may be. All Exchequer, that the obvious method would I contend for at present is equity in adjust-be to carry the excise into every privatı faing this oppressive tax, which in the plan mily, but on account of the odium that his proposed by the Chancellor of the Exche-lordship confesses would attach on such a quer respecting small incomes, does not ap- measure, permission is given to enter into a pear to have been attended to, or be never composition by way of assessed taxes. The under any circumstances could have pro- bare mention of such a detestable proposition posed to take from the small income of coming from a quarter that I so highly re£100, so large a proportion as a 10th, nor spect, I must confess fills my mind with could he have expected that an income of consternation ; I have, however, too high an

L 50 shond contribute to the support of the opinion of the present ministers, to think state, when it must be admitted by every im- that they will ever consent to carry it into partial man, that in these times it is barely effect; for where are our boasted liberties sufficient to provide necessaries for a mode- to be looked for, should the homes of Enrate sized family. The principles upon glishmen be made familiar to the inspection which Mr. Fox argued in support of this tax of excisemen?--This odious tax is nothing (as reported in the public papers) is what I less than an additional burthen on the barley Jittle expected ever to hear fall from the lips counties, which will scarcely be felt in these of this liberal, enlightened, and humane where cider is in general use, and with what statesman, for it seems to convey an idea propriety this proposition comes, when the that every thing might be taken from the duty on malt has been so lately doubled, is person of small income, but what was ac- very far beyond my comprehension. The tually necessary for his existence; in short, duty also of 10s. per bushel appears to me so that he was not driven to public or pri- enormous, and when the different materials vate charity for support; this is elucidated of bome brewed, and brewers' beer is conby :7stances, that if a person possessed of sidered, I presume the balance will be very 21000, from which he derived 130 a year, much in favour of the public brewer; I was called upon for the tax, it could not be cannot, however, for a moment suppose that said that with a capital of 41000 he could this truly respectable nobleman would wish set up a title to your charitable assistance ; to benefit the publio brewer at the expense and he turther said, that to levy the tax on of the public at large. I am free to grant this description of people could not em- that the imposing of taxes in a country al. barrass commissioners.* Shocking reflec-ready so drained, is a most difficult and tion! The honest, industrious, saving indivi- odious task, yet I cannot but think that there dual, who, willing to lay by a part of his is one privilege enjoyed by our representaearnings for his support in old age, should be tives, as well as the peers, which at this thus reduced to the necessity of taking every time of public distress and difficulty, it would year, a part of his little capital to supply the reflect much honour on them to give up; exigencies of the state ; and whilst this op- it would, I presume, produce a very consi· pression is exercised on the most valuable derable sum, and could not be attended with part of the community, we are told by the even a serious inconvenience to any one indiChancellor of the Exchequer, that to increase vidual; it is obvious that I allude to the prio

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vilege of franking. There is a description ple. This too," they add, “ is one of the of property, which if taken proper advan- first measures of their administration, tage ot might be converted to the most es. " Where will this system end? The step sential service, both of his Majesty and the “ from the cellar to the parlour is a very people; I mean the sale of the crown lands, " short one; and in the next year a governIn viewing this subject there does not appear ment appraiser treading upon the heels of to me one single objection, and the benefits “ the exciseman, will be introduced into are so many and visible, that it does strike

every room, and secret chamber of our me as strange that no one of our great pa- houses, to assess the value of our furnitriots (to whom the country are now look- ture, our moveables and stock of every ing up with doubt as to their views) bas “ kind."--Such, but clothed in moderate preferred this measure, to one so ruinous and terms, is the language of every man residing oppressive as the tax on private brewing ; in the country; it would be indecent to add measure that would add so essentially to the the invectives, the execrations, the compariproduce of the necessaries of life, by bring- sons to our French neighbours, which are ing into cultivation large tracts of good land, beard on every side. If this measure be less and at a time too, when we seem to be shut unpopular in ihe metropolis, and other large out from the Continent for supply. One towns, where individuals seldom have the very great advantage that this proposition conveniencies requisite for private brewing, possesses is, that instead of considering it a and of course will not be affected by it in Lurther, the people would in parting with their purses; it is because unfortunately in their money for the support of government the evil days on which we are fallen, the receive an actual valuable consideration in selfish principle is too apt to prevail over the return. I really cannot discover any possible patriotic, and makes men blind to coliseobjection to this proposition, unless the de- quences. The inhabitants of manufacturing priving the minister of the day of the power towns too, are led to accede to this odious of inticencing gentlemen by grants of these imposition, from a naturally entertained aplands, or the giving salaries, taken out of our prehension, that if this tax be laid aside the pochets by taxes, to persons for the supposed substitute will probably atlect soine branch management of them, can be considered as of trade with which they are connected. such.--I arn, Sir, your most obedient, Shutting their eyes therefore, to the extent servant.-AN ENGLISHMAN. --Godulming, of the threatened evil, they affect to be surMay 22, 1906.

prised at the indignation of their country neighbours, telling them that if they are

averse to the exciseman's visits, they may -There is something so revolting | avail themselves of the modifications proto the feelings of an Englishman, in the es- posed. But vain is the attempt to soften tablishment of a private excise, that it is pre- down a measure so radically bad, by the desumed Lord H. Pety will gladly adopt any lusive and treacherous palliative of a comviber mode of collecting the tas, proposed mutation. No modification, no qualificato be laid upon private brewers, that may be tion whatever, can ever render it palatable to less obnoxious to the public than the domi- the free and independent yeomanry of the ciliary visit of the exciseman. The good kingdom, they know that it is decidedly hosold saying, “ That every Englislıman's house tile to the whole spirit of the British censti, “is his Castle, not to be attacked or violated tution ; and, they feel that if it is once

except in cases of crime," is deeply rooted adopted all their honest pride is gone, a vital in the minds of the country gentlemen and stab is given to their liberties. As to the yeomanry of this kingdom. Their cisgust is proposed commutation they turn from it already vehemently excited, at the bare pro- with horror, they dread, and not without position of this abominable inquisition, and reason, that it is only an artifice to make the their decided hostility is not to be brared measure pass, and that it will subsequently with impunity by any minister. "Is it to be found convenient to withdraw it. What, “ be born,” they exclau, " that we nlist it may now be asked, will some members of surrender

u}} the dearest of the rights be- his Majesty's present government have to queathed to us by our forefathers, or sub- urge in their defence, when their declama" mit to pay an exorbitant, an unequal, a tions on a former occasion (a measure of

disgraceful commutation. And, who are somewhat similar nature being under discus“ the men who demand from us this sacri- sion) are brought up in judgment against " tice? Those whom we have been accus- them? How will they explain away the doc' tomed to look 1: to as the champions of trines they have held concerning the right of

Qar libertios, the best frieds of the peo- resistance? But, let it be hoped they will

BREWING TAX.

SIR;

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