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servants, carriages, and horses, and on those he meant to propose a much more considerable increase. He intended to propose on this class of the assessed taxes, an increase on the average of 80 per cent. : in some cases rather more, in some rather less. This might appear a large augmentation on the first view of it ; but he begged those who might be disposed so to consider it, to reflect on the small proportion which it bore to the tax on income from which they would be relieved. The amount of this increase, he calculated, would be-on house servants (of various denominations) 409,000l.; on servants used in trade, &c. 148,000l. ; on carriages (about 75 per cent.) 363,000l.; on horses for pleasure (about 80 per cent.) 632,500l. ; on trade horses (about 40 per cent.) 85,500l. ; on dogs (about 30 per cent.) 105,500l. ; and on game certificates (about 30 per cent.) 42,000l. It was not his intention to propose any increase in the duties on horses used in husbandry. He meant further to recommend that Bachelors, who already paid an additional rate on servants, should now be compelled to pay an additional rate of 50 per cent. on servants, carriages, and horses --[a laugh]—which he computed would produce 120,0001. The total increase, therefore, of the assessed taxes he calculated to amount to 2,503,000l.
He would now proceed to state the intended increase of the excise and customs duties. He meant to propose an additional duty on tobacco. It was evident that the return of peace with America would soon render tobacco, notwithstanding this new duty, cheaper to the consumer than it was, at present. The duty which he intended to recommend was 24d. a pound customs, and 3d. a pound excise duty. Each of these, he conceived, would produce 150,0001. making 300,000l. The other excise duty which he should propose was, a duty on wine, of 201. per tun on Portugal wine and
in the usual proportion on other wines, in addition to the duties already existing. He was aware that this duty was not without objection; yet he conceived, under existing circumstances, the House would be disposed to admit the policy of the suggestion. The amount which this duty was likely to produce was, 500,000l. The next source of revenue to which he would have recourse, was one which he conceived was capable of considerable increase: he meant an addition to the duties on licensed dealers under the excise. This he was ready to admit might appear to bear hard on many ; yet, when it was recollected, that throughout the whole war this duty had never been increased, he thought much ground of complaint would not be found to exist. It would be seen, on reference to the Act of the 43d of Geo. 3, c. 69, that this duty at present was but moderate. The persons upon whom it would fall were all liable to return under the property tax, and were subject to very vexatious inquiries. He had no doubt, therefore, that they would consider the change of the one for the other as a very advantageous commutation. The amount of the sum likely to be produced from this duty he calculated at 300,0001. which would make the whole of the increase on customs and excise amount to 1,110,000l. The only remaining tax which he should
propose that evening was in the department of the Post-office. It was a tax of one penny upon every newspaper conveyed by the general post. This tax had been recommended by the commissioners of inquiry so far back as 1788, but had never been acted upon, from an apprehension that it would prejudice the stamp duties. By the Act of the 48th of the King, a power was given to the two-penny Postoffice to charge one penny for newspapers
delivered through that medium ; but that power had never been extended to the General Post-office; and, from experience, he was now
induced to believe, that the British public residing in the country would not be disposed to sacrifice the luxury of a newspaper for the sake of one penny. He had not meant to have included the members of parliament in this arrangement; but as the House appeared disposed to pass a self-denying ordinance on this occasion, he, at least, could certainly have no objection. This duty, he expected, would obtain 50,000l. Beside this, on a future occasion, he intended to submit a further increase of Post-office duties, not af. fecting inland correspondence. His plan was that of extending the establishment of the Post-office to the East Indies, and appointing packets for the conveyance of letters from one country to the other. There was another improvement, too, in contemplation, respecting the transmission of shipletters, in consequence of the Act of last year, which, with the former, at a loose calculation, he imagined might produce about 75,000l. Taking the Post-office duties, then,‘at 125,000l. the total amount of the new taxes which he had mentioned would be 3,728,0001.
He had already stated, that the sum which he should want under this head was five millions. On some other day he would state certain other articles upon which it was intended to extend the duties, and which would supply the deficiency. The first article to which he alluded, was an increase on stamp duties, excluding, however, the stamps on proceedings in the courts of law in England, which he thought might give from 7 to 800,000l. a year. A complicated schedule of these duties, however, was to be made, which required much consideration, and therefore the House would be satisfied that the subject could not well be introduced in perfect detail at the present moment. The remaining 600,0001. which would be necessary to make up the five millions, he was in hopes would be furnished by new regulations with respect
to bounties and drawbacks. There was another article
upon which he was rather called upon to apologize for not imposing a duty, than otherwise; he meant the article of beer. The House well knew that a considerable increase had taken place in the price of this article, and he believed it was equally well known, that it was now sold at a price much higher than it ought to be. The public, he thought, had not fairly participated in the advantages to which they were entitled in this respect. He was unwilling to impose any charge upon the necessaries of life; and, in the present instance, he would rather be the means of relieving the public from such a tax than of imposing it. He was also aware of the general objections to any interposition of government between the producer and the consumer of any article of trade : but in the present instance it was impossible for him to be neutral. When the rise in beer was intended, the gentlemen who were concerned in that proceeding called on lord Liverpool and himself, and having stated the circumstances which led them to propose an increase of price, their intention was approved. Having thus become a party to the rise, he thought it proper to disclaim all responsibility as to its continuance at that price. (Hear, hear !)
Having now gone through the whole of his statements, he would, for the convenience of the House, and in order to bring the whole clearly to their recollection, recapitulate the different heads of tax which he had detailed. They were as follow:
* Wine 20i, per tun .
* ASSESSED TAXES, viz.--
101,500 Trade Servants and Servants for hire, ditto . 148,000 Carriages, about 75 per cent.
363,000 Horses for pleasure, about 80 do.
632,500 Trade Horses, about 40 do.
. 85,500 Dogs, about 30 do.
. 105,500 Game Certificates, ditto, ditto.
* NEW DUTIES. Windows in Warehouses and Hot-houses, 3s. 6d. per window.
50,000 Rent of Warehouses, same as Houses . . . . 150,000 Bachelors, 50 per cent. additional on Servants, Carriages, and Horses. .
He was now about to submit to the committee his suggestions with respect to the provision for the charges of the loan, and of the unfunded debt. Adverting to the sum in the hands of the commissioners for the reduction of the national debt, which now amounted to 60 millions, it might naturally occur for consideration, whether under the authority of the Act of 1813 that sum ought not in the first instance to be applied to make good the charges in
* The taxes marked * were given up when the Property Tax was revived.