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it had been proclaimed in another relieved of much of the weight of place that the object was to turn local taxation ; land was not rated out the present Government, to at its real value; railroads, which dissolve Parliament, to return to were subject to every local rate, protection, and to restore the Corn were rated to the last shilling. Law; and this frank avowal must And were there not exemptions in be taken in connection with the favour of land, in the duties upon motion before the House. Limited descent, insurance on farmingas the proposition professed to be, stock, &c.? These exemptions the relief it would afford to the must be taken into the account; landed interest would be almost and even the commutation of the imperceptible, whilst it would vio- Land-Tax was a boon to the land. late the principle of local check Dissenting, as he did, from the and incur the risk of prodigal ex- course proposed in the motion, he penditure; but the amount of the still thought there were modes, burden, he admitted, was insigni- which he pointed out, whereby the ficant, if the claim was founded landed interest might be relieved, in justice. He did not hesitate and if the Income Tax should be to avow that recent legislative renewed, he should urge the changes had affected the landed in- farmers to press their claims to terest with considerable difficulty relief from its unequal pressure. and distress. Mr. Disraeli had Feeling confident that whilst the contended that, since protection revenue rested upon solid foundahad been withdrawn, it was imma- tions the prosperity of the country terial whether relief was given to would be general, he was equally the owner or the occupier of the convinced that the owners and ocsoil; but the tenant-farmers would cupiers of the soil would be parthink very differently. He (Sir takers of that prosperity. James) was a landlord, and he con- Mr. Gladstone, concurring with fidently said that, excepting tenants Sir James Graham in the opinions under lease, the proposed relief he had expressed as to the effects would be inoperative, and tenants of our recent commercial policy, under lease, when their leases ex- and having voted with him in pired, would pay in rent what they questions affecting our trade-atsaved in rate. With respect to taching, moreover, weight to his owners, he doubted the policy, in the authority-felt it incumbent upon long run, of opening the question him to state the grounds of his of the redistribution of burdens present vote, since it differed from He had always impressed upon that of Sir James, which appeared the class to which he belonged to be guided, not by what was in the impolicy of pursuing their the motion, but by what was not in exclusive interests as a class; and it. He did not take the same Sir James, reading a list of arti- view as Sir James of the effects of cles affecting equally the comforts the motion upon our recent comof the agricultural and manufactur- mercial policy, or upon the staing poor, asked whether there was bility of the Administration. It justice or equity in transferring, was plain that Sir George Grey in effect, a burden from realized had entertained no such alarm, inproperty to these humbler classes. asmuch as he had frankly declared Landed property had, in fact, been that, when the financial statement Vol. XCII.






of the Government was before the Mr. Gladstone combated Sir James House, these propositions might be Graham's theory as to the class considered and conceded. which would be relieved by the No one by voting for the motion transfer of the rate, and expressed would be committed to either of his belief that the farmer and the the three propositions. He (Mr. independent yeoman would be the Gladstone) did not intend to sur- parties benefited by the change ; render his discretion to bind him. even if the whole benefit, after a self to either; he only pledged certain time, should be reaped by himself to this-Mr. Disraeli's ar- the landlord, that fact, in his opigument was, that a considerable nion, would not of itself be a fatal portion of the poor-rate might be objection to it. There were, moreadvantageously transferred to the over, considerations of policy which Consolidated Fund, and he (Mr. should recommend the proposition Gladstone) was ready to go into a to a favourable hearing; the claims consideration of that question. So of the agricultural labourers in far from believing that the motion England and Ireland demanded menaced a return to protection, the careful attention of Parliament, he thought it had a tendency to in connection with those of the weaken the arguments in favour of farmer. a retrograde policy, and to draw off Mr. Wilson was at issue with the moderate Protectionists. He Mr. Gladstone on the question of voted for the motion upon the same justice, and he denied that proground that Sir James Graham tection had ever been beneficial voted against it-namely, the to the landowner. He read a ground of justice. It was impos- mass of statistical documents in sible to look at the poor-rate with- support of his argument, that the out being struck with the ine- present prices of agricultural proquality of its incidence. The rate duce in this country were not to be was levied locally-first, for the acted upon by the farmer, the landpurposes of police, connected with lord, or the Legislature; that they the poor; and, secondly, for the were exceptional and accidental. discharge of a sacred obligation He did not believe that those imposed by religion; but this was prices would be permanent, or that an old obligation which applied there was any reason to fear foreign to the community at large. As competition. an abstract proposition, the rate Mr. Buck considered that the should fall upon all descriptions of bulk of Mr. Wilson's speech was property: this might be impracti- nothing to the point, and opposed cable, but the objection of imprac- to his theory an allegation of facts ticability did not apply to the pro- stating the actual distress of the position before the House. It agricultural class in this country, had been said that landed property upon which he founded his support came by inheritance charged with of the motion. this burden; but the burden was Mr. Grantley Berkeley replied accompanied by a system of pro- to some of the arguments of Sir tection which gave produce an arti. James Graham, and enumerated the ficial value, contrary, indeed, to grievances and difficulties of the abstract justice, but not more so farmers, and the sufferings of the than the inequality of the rate. labourers, showing the general depression of agriculture in Glouces- adoption of this motion would tershire, Wiltshire, and Hamp- either compel the continuance of shire.

the Income Tax or the alternative Sir R. Peel, after paying a tri- which Mr. Drummond advocated, bute to the ability and moderation the imposition of a duty upon displayed by Mr. Disraeli, acknow- every foreign product, in order to ledged that the agricultural interest maintain public credit. On the was suffering considerable distress, other branch of the question, he from causes, however, which ap- observed that the proposed transfer peared to have pervaded other of 2,000,0001. of rates to the excountries of Europe, where prices chequer would relieve the land of had been depressed notwithstand- only 900,0001., the

remaining ing protection, and with the ad- 1,100,0001. being now borne by vantage of free importation into other descriptions of real property; England. But the increase in the yet all must be made up by the consumption of grain in this coun- occupying tenant (in common with try was a consolatory fact. With other classes), who would not gain out diminishing the demand for a greater remission than 3d. or 4d. our own grain, we had last year in the pound. He objected to imported, paid for, and consumed, the scheme on another ground5,600,000 quarters of foreign namely, that it would be a reversal wheat. And who had been the of our successful commercial and consumers of this additional quan- financial policy for the last six tity of grain? Not the upper years. The wisdom of that policy classes, but those who lived by he vindicated; and repelled a labour; and there was no surer charge which had been made indication of the prosperity of the against him by Lord H. Bentinck country-in which the agricultural out of the House, that, in the interest had the best chance of an changes of 1842, he had been augmented demand for their pro- actuated by motives of private and duce. Sir Robert then proceeded personal interest. to state the grounds upon which he Lord J. Russell felt it to be his came to a conclusion different from duty to state why, as a Minister of that of Mr. Gladstone. The pro- the Crown, he was bound to resist posal was to transfer 2,000,0001. of the motion. He objected to it, taxation to the Consolidated Fund, first, because the allegation that it as the first of a series of measures was founded in justice had not which would appropriate the sur- been proved : that position would plus of this and of succeeding years; have affected the whole 12,000,0001, and he considered, first, the effect But he did not believe that, lookof this measure upon the finances ing to the whole charge upon the of the country, and then, whether country, there was an unfair presit was really for the benefit of the sure upon the agricultural class. agricultural class itself. Upon the Then, if the claim was not just, was first question, he showed the im- it nevertheless expedient to concede policy of so appropriating the it? He should not be justified, as surplus revenue as to preclude a Minister of the Crown, in asthe Legislature from the remission suming that there would be always of taxes affecting the industry and an annual surplus of 2,000,0001., the comforts of the people. The and if not, additional taxes must

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be levied to make up the deficiency. measure of Parliamentary Reform
Even if there should be such an would be proposed by the Ministers
amount of annual surplus, it would of the Crown. The anticipation,
not be wise to give it to real pro- however, proved to be unfounded;
perty, and thereby preclude the and finding that the Government
Legislature from remitting or miti- had no intention of stirring the
gating taxes which impede con- question, the Member for Mon.
sumption, or oppress the industry trose brought it formally before the
of the country. Lord John insisted House on the 28th of February, in
upon the increased expenditure the shape of the following resolu-
that would be consequent upon tion:-
the change, especially with respect “ That leave be granted to bring
to the casual poor, the amounts of in a Bill to amend the national
which item of charge it would be representation by extending the
impossible for the Poor Law Board elective franchise, so that every
to check. The logic of Mr. Glad- man of full age, and not subject
stone, he contended, was faulty to any mental or legal disability,
when he argued that by conceding who shall have been the resident
this motion the cause of Protection occupier of a house, or part of a
would be damaged. The object of house as a lodger, for twelve
Mr. Disraeli, who pursued fair months, and shall have been duly
game, was intelligible; but he rated to the poor of that parish for
could not understand those who, that time, shall be registered as
although against the end, were in an elector, and be entitled to vote
favour of the means. With refer- for a representative in Parliament;
ence to the vindication of his own also, by enacting that votes shall
motives offered by Sir R. Peel, Lord be taken by ballot, that the dura-
John, in very handsome terms, bore tion of Parliaments shall not ex-
testimony to the disinterested spirit ceed three years, and that the
which had dictated his policy; de proportion of representatives be
claring that nothing but what he made more consistent with the
believed to be a prevailing and amount of population and pro-
paramount sense of duty to his perty."
sovereign, his colleagues, and his Mr. Hume founded his motion
country, could have induced him on the avowed admission that the
to take the course he did.

present state of our representation After an explanation from Lord is grossly defective, and on the H. Bentinck, and a few words of necessity of bringing back the comment upon it by Sir R. Peel, constitution to its ancient prin

Mr. Disraeli made a reply- ciples, and establishing a system skilful, pointed, and facetious; of rigid economy. The principle and the House then divided, when of the Reform Bill was not one of the motion was negatived by 273 taxation, but the occupation of to 252, the majority being only 21. houses of certain value, and of

The subject of the extension of paying taxes: he proposed to adopt the elective franchise was mooted the simple test of respectability. by Mr. Hume at an early period He would require residence during of the Session. A report had pre- twelve months and being rated to vailed some time previous to the the poor-expressly excluding any meeting of Parliament, that some reference to payment of the rates;

and would make it compulsory on He recounted from memory the the officers to send in a list of the disturbances of 1796, when Fox names of all qualified to vote. and Grey congratulated the French This would extend the present people on their revolution number of single voters from (* Hear!” from Mr. Henry Drumabout 800,000 in a total popula- mond)--and when at every meettion of about 16,000,000, to a ing the toast given was, “The body which he estimated at about People, the only source of all 3,232,762. Taking those only power;" the subsequent disgraceassessed to the rate, he should ex- ful measures by which reform clude about a million of persons principles were put down; the equally respectable with those in- war in which 600,000,0001. was cluded; therefore every lodger spent to put down such a commonmight register or be registered for wealth in France as pow exists the poor-rate for the house in notwithstanding. The demand for which he lived, and so become reform in 1842 and 1843 was met entitled to the franchise like the by increased estimates, augmentaowner.

tion of the army and police, and a The present time, argued Mr. doubling of the expenditure: if Hume, was most opportune for ex- such a time as 1842 should again tending the franchise, the working occur, the people, with their in. classes being fully employed, and creased intelligence, would not the nation free from alarms. Mi- consent any longer to endure such nisters have strengthened the case injustice. by the concession they have made Having moved his resolution, of a reformed franchise in Ireland, Mr. Hume added, that though the and by producing the correspond- abolition of the qualification of ence on their proposed constitution Members was not named in his for the Cape of Good Hope: the motion as it stood on the paper, Bill of Rights for that colony. yet he hoped there would be no Lord Stanley had advocated, and it objection to its being included. was now proposed to concede, the Sir Joshua Walmsley seconded, suffrage to every person assessed and briefly advocated, the resoluto the road-tax among the mixed tion. population of that colony-Dutch Sir George Grey gave the mover settlers and their descendants, and seconder credit for praiseEnglish colonists, free Aborigines, worthy intentions, but avowed that Fingoes, and liberated Negroes. he was not prepared to remodel The duration of the Representa- the House of Commons by a new tive Assembly was to be five years. Reform Bill. Such a large and Receding, on more mature con- indefinite extension of the suffrage sideration, from his former agree- would be inconsistent with any ment with Major Cartwright in effectual check; the guard of refavour of annual Parliaments, Mr. gistration might be evaded by colHume now proposed three years. lusive occupations, parcelling a The Colonial Representatives were house among an indefinite number also to be paid: in this respect the of " lodgers." Sir George went Government went beyond his pro. over the points of the proposed posal. In conclusion, he referred Bill, with comments to show how to the past in a tone of warning. little the scheme differed from that

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