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calculated to inspire, but yet from its mag-cite such a degree of interest in your minds, nitude and its importance, I derive some con- as will procure me that of wbich I cersolation, as they afford me a stronger claim tainly shall stand in need, a patient and upon the indulgence of this comınittee. I unwearied attention on the part of the can indeed have no fear that such indul- committee.--Although not quite unprecea gence will be denied me, when you consi- dented, I am aware that it is an unusual der the arduous nature of the task, which course for the person filling the situation I my duty calls upon me to perform: and have the honour to hold, to open to the above all when you reflect, that the state- house, a detailed statement of the supply pients of our resources, which are the re- and ways and means for the year before sult of the accounts, for wbich my right the loan has been contracted for; but I hon. friend has moved, and which are to trust that from what I have to offer this be laid upon your table, cannot now be night; I shall be able to satisfy the cominitregarded, only, as the subject of idle boast tee of the propriety, and indeed of the aband self-congratulation, but contain all the solute necessity of adopting such a course elementary principles, and compose the upon the present occasion. Without theresolid foundation of our greatness that fore detaining the committee by any furthey afford the means to which we are to ther preface, I shall proceed to state as the look, the instrument we are to employ, in foundation of what I shall bave afterwards maintaining and securing all that we pos- to submit to you, the supplies and ways sess of national independence and indivi- and means for the present year, as far as dual freedom. I confidently indulge the they can now be estimated. Nearly the expectation that notwithstanding the dry-whole of the former have already been ness and prolixity of the various minute voted by the house. Here the noble lord and complicated details into which I may made the following statement of the be obliged to enter, the subject must ex
43,811,340 11 %
Total Joint Charge SEPARATE CHARGES OF GREAT BRITAIN. Deficiency of Malt, 1805
200,000 00 Services not voted paid in 1806
280,000 00 Interest on Exchequer bills, 1807
1,200,000 00 Five per Cents. 1797, to be paid off
45,841,340 11 8 5,314,275 00
Total to be defrayed by Great Britain
43,811,3401. Ils. 8d.
40,527,065 11 8
same as last year
--It will be seen, said the noble lord, I take only at the sum of 19,8001.; and that a separate estimate is made out for bere, sir, I am glad to take the opporlu. the commissary-general's department upon nity of informing the committee, that the the principle which I have on a former measures adopted last sessions with regard occasion explained to the house, of taking to the Property tax, have led to a result out of the account of the extraordinaries far exceeding the most sanguine expectaof the army, which are only voted after the lion of the persons who were concerned in services bare been performed, all expen. framing those measures, certainly far exditure, the amount of which can be pre-ceeding any expectation that I had formed. viously calculated air ascertained. Of the Indeed the result of the assessments of the amount of the sun specified as a vote of present year has been such, that although credil, 1,000,0001. may be considered as I took the Properly tax at but 10,500,0001. applicable to the discharge of an arrear of in the last sessions, I now feel myself jussubsidies to foreign powers, due in conse- tified in taķing it at 11,500,0001.-l'he quence of existing treaties, and a further other war taxes upon customs and excise, sum of 500,0001. is left to be applied to 1 shall set down, including the increased further subsidies, should the state of Eu-produce of the additional duties imposed rope continue to require it. Whether this last year, at 9,500,000l.; there is a fur. interposition upon our part, may be found ther sum under this bead to be added, of necessary; whether the aspect of affairs no very considerable magnitude it is the upon the continent may, or may not be result of an arrangement which has been come such as to require and to encourage some time in contemplation, but to the more considerable advances, it is impos. object of which it might be injurious at sible for me now to state. What I have this moment to allude in explicit terms. mentioned is all that his majesty's niinis. I shall for the present observe only that it ters deem it expedient to provide. It is will be adopted more with a view to reguthought that such a sum may be wanted, lation than to revenue, and I have no but there is no ground to form any certain doubt that when communicated to this conclusion upon that point.-With regard house, it will meet with general approbato the sum allotted to the interest of ex- tion. Combining the produce of this archequer bills for the present year, those rangement with the duties I have stated, I gentlemen who were in the last parliament conceive myself warranted in taking the will recollect that it was in the last sessions war taxes prospectively at 21,000,0001.; thought to be the more wise and manly although it will be remembered that as a course to state all the expences of the year part of the ways and means for the year, at once, and fairly to vote the interest that they are taken at 19,800,0001. The next was to accrue upon the unsunded debt, in article of the ways and means is the Lotthe year in which that debt was to be tery, which I estimate at 450,000l. the created, without leaving it to be provided sanie sum as last year. Ju addition to for in a subsequent sessions; a course in these several sums there remains to be which I am sure, the committee will think raised by Loan, 12,200,0001. Gentlemen it proper to persevere.—And now, sir, will recollect that the Loan of last year having gone through the several articles of was 18,000,000l. And it will readily be the supply, I sball find great satisfaction in admitted that the consequences likely to stating the Ways and Means by which that result from such a reduction of its amount, supply is to be met. The produce of the will be most beneficial. Taking then the duties on Malt Pensions, Tobacco, &c. I whole of the Ways and Means, viz. estimate at 2,750,0001.; the Surplus of the Duty on Malt, Pensions, Consolidated Fund I take at the same sun &c.
£2,750,000 as the last year 3,502,000l.; and I am hap- Surplus of Consolidated py to state to the committee, that notwith. Fund
3,500,000 standing the inauspicious changes and War Taxes
19,800,000 events which have occurred in Europe Lottery
450,000 since the last sessions, I feel myself per- Exchequer Bills on Vote fectly warranted in this calculation. The of Credit
2,400,000 next article of the ways and means will be Loan
2,1200,000 the War Taxes, which although their produce will, I trust, be greater, I shall at pre
41,100,000 sent, or reasons I shall afterwards' explain, It will be observed, that the total of the Supplies being 40,527,0651. 118. 8d. while gers of protracted warfare, to matitain that of the Ways and Means is 41,000,0001. he dreadful conflict in which we are enthere will remain an excess of 572,934/. aged, and the termination of which no 8s. 1d. an excess which it may be thought van can foresee, with the firmness we have desirable to provide, with a view to those oitherto shewn in its support, and if poscircumstances in the state of the world, sible with increased evergy and exertion.which may occasion an unavoidable fiuc Vith this impression upon iny min as tuation in that part of our revenue which to the situation in which the country is arises from the trade and commerce of placed, I feel myself bound, not merely the country. Having thus, sir, fully staled to consider the amount and nature of our the supply and ways and means for the resourses, but the adaptation of those reyear, I should feel, were I now addressing sources to any contingency which may you in any ordinary tiines, justified in con- arise. In my view of this subject, I should huing my view to the exigencies of the not think myself justified in concealing my moment. I might here close ny state- opinion, that there are unfavourable as ment, dismissing the subject for the present well as favourable points belonging to our year, and relieving myself from the ne-financial situation ; and I feel, and the cessity of intruding further upon your pa-country must feel, that we labour under a tience. But I think the committee will considerable difficulty in discovering new feel with me, that with the prospects that sources of taxation; but yet so far from are before us in the present crisis of the regarding this as a matter of surprise, I history of the world, when the elements inust confess the surprise I feel is, that the of discord are abroad, in the conspicuous system of taxation should have so far supstation wbich we fill in Europe, with the ported us as it has done: such must be the eyes of all its nations fixed on us, that feeling of any man who reflects upon the still preserve and value their independence, history of our revenue.
It will be reor that look to us as the means of regain- collected that after the conclusion of the ing the independence they bave lost, his American war in the year 1784, our permajesty's ministers would not be justified manent revenue amounted tu but 10 inilwere they to content themselves with pre- lions, and yet that great financial statessenting to parliameut a limited and narrow man (Mr. Pitt), who then presided over statement of our circumstances and our the affairs of the country, found it difficult views. I have no doubt that parliament to devise additional taxes. Jodeed, some and the country will agree with me in which he had imposed, be felt himself thinking that it is our duty and our inte. obliged to withdraw in the following year, Test to take an enlarged view of our situa. and the difficulties under which he labourtion and our prospects, and that from the ed were readily acknowledged. Yet such emotions of gratitude we justly feel for has been th auginentation of our our deliverance from the dangers that are sources, that the permanent past, we should direct our attention to reached the sum of 28 millions at the those with which the future seems pregnant. conclusion of the last war, and at present Upon that future, there yet hanys a dark it amounts to no less a sum than 32 cloud, which we ought to contemplate, millions. It must indeed be matter though noPwith alarm, yet with the awe of heartfelt satisfaction to any man interand circumspection which our situation ested in our fate, to reflect upon such evicalls for. Much has passed over our dence of the growing prosperity of the beads, but there remains an impenetrable country, to find that our means have kept gloom, which although no human eye can pace with our expenditure, and enabled search and scrutinize, it is yet our duty, us to bear for so many years a constant if we can, to anticipate the dangers it con- and progressive addition to our burthens. tains, and to provide against the evils At the same time tbat I state the disticulty which it menaces, all those means of se- of finding out new objects of taxation, I curity which our national resources must beg not to be understood as considering happily afford, and which our reflection the means or disposition of the country exand experience may enable us to apply - mausted in this respect; for, relying on the First of all then, as the greatest evil that spirit and alacrity of the people to submit can befall a civilized nation, it becomes to further sacrifices froin a just conception our duty to make such as sange mets as f the important ends for wbich those sashall enable us to provide guiost the dau-crifics would be made, I am prepared to
state that ample means would be forthco- now come to the more satisfactory part of ming if required to pay not only the interest my duty, to touch upon the state of our of the loan of this year, but of the next, great national resources, and in adverting and perhaps several years to come. But w those topics it must be a peculiarly gralooking, as I think it is our duty to look tifying circumstanre to reflect that the proto a long period of protracted war, we perity which they indicale, does not de. could bardly expect to continue from year pend upon mere fortune ; that it has not to year, in addition to our actual burthens, arisen from any of those casualties or chana augmenting our permanent taxes to a con- ces which aliernately raise or depress siderable extent without imposing re. states; but that on the contrary it is the straints which might prove extremely vex- gradual result of the resolution, fore. atious and distressing in some instances, sight, and energy of parliament, supported and in others incurring the risk of in on the part of the people by a spirit, ina juring the produce of old duties, and im dustry, and perseverance, alternately the peding national improvement, by taxing cause and the effect of national iniprovestaple commodities, or sich articles as ment and prosperity. (A loud cry of hear! would impede the growth of our trade and hear !)-In considering our resources, the manufactures, by enhancing the price of Sinking Fund, and the systein of raising a the instruments with which they are con- large portion of the supplies within the ducted. In this view then it becomes of year, which has given rise to the present great importance to consider of what ap- amount of War taxes, are the two great plication our resources in future will ad. subjects to which I shall have occasion to mit, and, if possible, to combine with a pro- direct your attention. I hope for the invision for the vigorous support of the con- dulgence of the committee while I take the test in which we are engaged, some relief liberty of dwelling upon their origin and from the prospect of increasing burthens. progress, more especially as they form the To relieve the public from any pressure ground-work of the system I shall bave is at all times desirable, but with the pro- to propose for its consideration. They are, spect before us, it is an object of the last perhaps, the most remarkable features in importance. But the policy which prompt- ihe political and financial history not ed such a resolution, would indeed be only of this, but of any country in the most short-sighted and unjust, and defeat world. First then as to the Sinking Fund, the very objects it purposes to attain, were or the system of applying annually certain it to lead in any anticipation of the re- portions of the revenue to redeen), and afsources of the future, much less did it in- ter redeeming, to accumulate for the furvolve the violation of any of those princi-ther redemption of debt. The first estabples which have been recognized by public lishment of this fund took place, it will be opinion, or sanctioned by public faith, and recollected, in 1786, and it was introduced which it will, I trust, remain the invaria. by Mr. Pitt, to the credit and honour of ble policy of this country to uphold. Much whose name it will long remain a monuand ardently as I desire the relief of the ment. Wherever I contemplate this syspeople, I should never be reconciled to tem, it is impossible that I should not feel any proposition, however calculated to a satisfaction in adverting to the author to gratify this desire, if that relief were to be whose measures 1 can never allude with accomplished by the sacrifice of any of those greater satisfaction, than wen I am enmajor considerations, or any of those fun-abled to bestow upon them that tribute of damental obligations, iuto which parlia- admiration which in the present instance ment has deliberately entered, and which I most warmly, and I may say, enthusithe voice of the country has confirmed. astically feel.-It will be matter of pleaI should be amongst the first to resist any sing reflection to the house to recollect at measure calculated to injure, much less the moment when we have felt within the to destroy that great system which has so space of the same year the loss of two ila essentially contributed to maintain our na- lustrious characters; as distinguished comtional credit and to promote our national petitors for farne and power as any country glory. But happily, there exists no neces- ever saw, and whom all men, whether sity for any breach of faith, for any devia- friends or enemies, I mean of course polition from that course of rectitude which tical enemies, for none other could such has ever constituted the pride and honour men have had, will admit to have been the of Great Britain. (Hear! hear!) greatest and brightest ornaments of the
time in which they lived ; to recollect, I lord Sidmouth, looking at the amount of say, that both these distinguished persons the debt, but at the same time, impressed concurred in the approbation and sanction with the necessity of keeping open and unthey gave to this measure; that arier sume incumbered the system of raising a large slight differences or opinion it was finally portion of the supplies within the year, marked by a coincidence of sentiment on found it expedient from the amount of the part of buth ; that, amidst the di-sen- taxes be was compelled to raise to defray tion which prevailed on piher topics, amiust the interest of stock, for which the income the confiicis woich so often and so long tax had been pledged, to avoid loading the agitated this bouse, that upon the subject public with the additional of a sinking fund of the sinking fund, all those feelings and for that stock. To reconcile the stockanimosities disappeared ; and the measure holder to this arrangement, he consolidated bas uniformly continued to derive from that the old and the new siuking funds. By the combination of opinion all the just weight act which parliament then passed, the proand authority that belonged to it. When visiou limitmg the progress of the fund of the sinking lund was first established, as I 1786, when it should reach the amount of have already observed, in 1786, one mil. 4 millions, which it was calculated it would lion was appropriated to the purposes of reach in 1808, was done away; and it was that fuud. Alihat time, the public fund provided that the fund of 1786, should be ed debt amounied to 233,231,2481.; and consolidated with the fund arising from the therefore the sinking fund was equal to appropriation of one per cent. on the nothe 23.- th part of the whole debt. Tue acominal amount of each loan, and that both cumulation of the latter huwever raised iis funds, thus combined, should be applied to proportion to the former by the close of the redemption of the whole debt.This 1792, to the 16th part. Å further addi-lebt amounted in l'ebruary 1803, to tion to this fund was proposed by Mr. Pili, 430,572,4701. and the produce of the joint and readily adupied in 1762, consisting of sinking funds to 6,311,6261. ; so that ala grant of 400,000l, arising from the sur-though this fund was originally but in the plus of the revenue, and a further an- proportion of the 266th part, it became in nual grant of 200,0001. So thenceforth 1803 equal to a 77th part of the whole 1,200,0001. were applied to the increased unredeemed debi.-It now remains for fund, aud at the coinmencement of the me to state the present portion of the war with the French republic, in 1793, sinking fund to the debt; and the comlooking to what had been beld out and de- mitee will hear with satisfaction that clared in the previous arrangements, a this proportion opens a still more pleasinking fund of a different character was sing prospect; for since the consolidation constituled. Tbis consisted in setting proposed by lord Sidmouth, the sokapart one per cent. on the nominal capital fund has materially advanced. The created by each loan in order to forin a amount of the unredeemned debt at presund for the liquidation of that loan. sent is, or rather, will be on the 5th of With respect to the first sinking fund, the February next, within a few days from the sum voted in 1786, and that superadded to time at which I am speaking, 530,351,89li, it, in 1792, were to be allowed to accumu- while that of the sinking fuud is late at compound interest until they reacb-8,331,7091. So that the sivking fund is ed the maximum of 4,000,0001.; and it now equal to the 63d part of the whole was provided that any surplus which might debt, or, if the cominitiee are desirous afterwards arise should become applicable of taking another, and perhaps a clearer, to the public service, and be at the disposal view of the subject, calculating the debt of parliament. But the fund arising out of not at its nominal bui at its real mothe principal established in 1793, was to be ney value, (that is, taking the three per subject to no such limitation; for the sumn cents. at sixty) the proportion which the of one per cent, appropriated upon each sinking fund bears to the unredeemed loan, was to go on accumulating until it ac- debt, is that of 1 to 42; a result at once complished the redemption of that loan, satisfactory and striking, when it is consiwhich it was calculated would probably be dered that it arises out of a period of 20 effected in 45 years from the period at which years only, of which it will he recol. the loan might have been contracted.—No lected that 14 have been years of war, alteration was made in the relative state - I hope the committee will pardon me of those funds until the year 1802. When for having so long detained tbeir attention