Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

9 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

I JIK. i -) -,

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

I JIK. i -) ()D Pri^.iy bit Mr Whalhy met his consii'uents, by invitation. tt Peterbomirli, fir the pupo3C of discussing thl) leading questions now occupying the attention of pariisrr. Oil li,ing to address the meeting, Mr Whalley said- I thank you fjr inviiing mc tu this meeting- -it affords liD opportunity (»f expressing my views upon the Reform h I 'J 1 P I' qileUIIII which I lonlJ not so appropriately Jo in Par l ia- ment—seeing thiit I cannot pretend to any position in that House which would compensate by any weight of tistinifny that I could give for the dulay !I!.J interrup- tion to the progress of public business, which results • j m members gpcakin.^ to their lonstitucnts through medium. A friend of criue, a liberal member, ex- ^stj to mo his opinion, that if the votes on Rbf.nn V'l'ie taken l>v ballot, lie thought that ten would Le the outside of those in favour of it. If this wete so, I Lti-, ♦fissuro vou that I should be one of (he ten, and I will I10W teil you tho grounds for that feeling, btrerigtheDed as it is bv the discissions which I have listened ti) ill Parliament in the subject, aud mainly ileiived from those interminable arguments of our opponents which, whether so unsigned or not, to> undoubtedly endanger the surcess of tin* mcasuie. I hope that the public, by nicotinsjs like this, and by petition?, will insist on the (j.ivernment and the House doing its duty, and that they will as it deserves, and extho I-ilui%-n tactit"i of the opposition. The main point fl of attack, both in the IIouso out, is that which was tin'most prominently brought forward by Mr Whiteside, and 1 have no doubt that very many good reformer?— mcii who feel as it were a personal duty tti (io something to avert those administrative disa-iU l.i which, whenever the Government operations are disclosed to view, me a dislace to the nation—such as the Crirnenfi War-tiiu navy expellùiturc-thr, army clothing mid rommissati-.t, Blld any and every one oi tflose mure select nooks in which our seventy millions a-yetr i3 absorbed, to so great an extent, for the injuiy, instead of the promotion of the public service. I say that I can well understand that many, who may feel the necessity for some change that shall remedy this growing evil of profuse expendi- ture and corresponding maladministration, may pause and hesitate as to whether matters will be mended by f placing power in the bands of that class, who exhibit in r' their strikes and trade combinations such facility, for being I misled—such error in their views of their own interests, as identified with the trades with which they are con- nected, and such true British obstinacy in accepting ruin, starvation, and death, rather than yield up their undoubtedly wrong opinions in these matters. Now, I will tell you why I think that the Reform Bill is ren- dered more necessary, for the very reason that those who take Mr Whiteside's views oppose, or are doubtful of it. I I will assume that these Irade Unions and the strikes, and I course of proceedings, which they dictate, are all wrong I. —that they are not only injurious to the men engaged in them, but that they strike at the very root of the trade, commerce and manufactures of this country, tending, as I believe they do, to diminish enormously the capital that, but for the risks to which it is thus exposed, would be devoted to trade, building, and manufactures, to the benefit chiefly of these working men, who thus frighten it away and in no slight degree injurious to the national interests, involved as we are, in the keenest possible competition with other countries. I will admit all this to be so, and will go further and say—unpopular as the sentiment may be that there is no more injurious legislation in any country in the world than that in which Parliament, at the instance, in a great degree, of these Trade Unions, is constantly engaged in what ia called protecting workmen against their masters. I am not censuring manufacturers on the one hand, nor am I in- Bonsible to the worth and integrity of character which characterises the working classes of this country; there is no man in England that has a higher opinion of them than I have,or more confidence ia the soundness of their judgment, when fairly.and properly called into action, and to apeak thus candidly to them—conscious as I am myself of meaning well to them, and willing and anxious to have my views corrected, and to change my opinions on fair argument—this is the best proof I can give of the sincerity of my friendship to them. Then how, you ask, does this apply to the Reform Bill P Thlls-hy ad- mitting them to political privileges you give them a po- sition of power (assuming as I do that the Reform Bill will in this respect do what its opponents charge it with) that it will enable them to dispenso with those Trade Unions, which carried on in the holes and corners where the lice air of public opinion cannot enter, will be no ]i'n:'i-: iiecessary, when they can be fairly and fully j ',o open arena of Parliament. Secondly—With ) n. so formidable men of the Trcrlring classcs, who ].aiivnd public meetings like this, with a conscious- ness iiut their power ends with the cheer with which they gieet their favourite sentiment?, would be associ- ated that sense of responsibility which wviill tempcraud moderate their viets on public alf:t.r2, to that calm tone which is alone adapted to the ordinary dispatch of busi- ness. But thirdly and above all, this would be tbe result, that men aspirins; to Parliament, would be compelled to study these great social queeti and master tli.-m, and not only so, but must quality themselves for meeting on an equal platform the keen wits and the practised ex- perience of those men and those classes en whose votes they would have to rely. As it is now, no such > qualifications are required in parliamentary candidates, and far worse than tiny waut of knowledge on their part is the loss which the working classes themselves sustain ) in beiug deprived of the views of men, who, looking at these matters from points of view different to their own, and possessed of leisure and means to acquire for their instruction all that is to be lpaml on the aubju't, would be to them an invaluable substitute for those leaders amongst their own class, who, as a general rule, can nei- ther be so disinterested, so well informed, or so capable of seiving them. This tben, in my opinion, would bethocflVut of the Reform Bill; that in so far as it transferred power to thu workin g classes it would bring tLem out from their Trades' Unions, in which alone they can now find cither sympathy, support, or information, on to the open platform of Parliament, and there, while they would command for all their just rights, full pro- tection, they would be themselves better enabled to ascertain their true interests, as well as to secure that just and necessary protection. I will mention in illus- tration of what I mean an incident which made a great impression on my mind in In that year, the town of Newtown, in Montgomeryshire, a sent of the fttnnel tiade had been nearly ruined by a succession of stiikes and quarrels between masters anI) men, and as the for- mer gradually withdrew their capital the latter seemed wore and more determined not to yield, believing that they were engaged in a contest of right against ELigitt. In passing through that town 1 found that a certain de- gree of popularity which I had previously enjoyed, had entirely disappeared, and that a speech and vote which I had made in Parliament had exposed me to the charge of ingratitude and I know not what towards those who had, on a recent occasion, manifested great enthusiasm (Jfl my behalf. Instead of professing an indifference, which I really did not ftel, for I entertained very great respect for tho disinterested friendship of these working fflon of Newtown, I determined to Rflht it out, as it were, ana at once called a public meeting, at which, I should think thuie weie present 1,000 people, and having heard the views of those who were my opponents, I replied to them, and the discussion jiroc-eeded, till at length by the mere exercise of a little patience and perseverance, they idl appeared at once to have, as it were, the scales 1 e- tnoved from their eyes, and with the exception of, I ùe- lieve, seven of their leaders, nil unanimously accepted my views—resolved to act upon them, and I would lain believe, that that meeting, so casually convened, and so little premeditated, exercised a permanent influence for good upon the trade of Newtown and all dependent upon H, One of the speakers on that occusion said that the cause of all their disagieemcnt? was that no one took any Interest in the working classes—to guide, instruct, sup- port, or persuade them, and that they of necessity, com- Lining amongst themselves, could only see these questions from their own point of view, and the masters being, or being supposed to be equally prejudiced and keeping aloof by a sense of pride or position, there was no possi- bility of errors being di.sipated or good will restored ex- C pl; by a process of mutual exhaustion. Now, the remedy which I was thug accidentally the means of af- fording in this case would be always at hand in every borough in the kingdom—if, as the opponents of the Ite- ionn Bill assume, the political power will be to anv sen- sible extent in the hands of the working classes, for they vill then have plenty of advisers, such as I was on this Occasion. Another point which the Conservative paity though almost afraid openly to tjtpress, yet evidently Ictair¡ deep in their thoughts is, that in just the degree in political power ia transferred to the workers of the Community, will be the tendency to raise the taxes from realized property—and this too, is so far my belief as to Brake it one of the chief benefits that I anticipate from the Reform Bill. This is the old question between direct and indirect taxation, ill other words, whether all the shopkeepers of the country shall be made use of as tax collectors, by charging to their customers half as touch again for all they have to sell—the one half being more or less the natural price and value of the articles, nd the other a tax which goes only about one-half of It into tbe Exchtquer, fand the other half into their own Pockets, as the fair and necessary cost of this most ini- quitous and ruinous mode of collection. I have so olten °'scussed this question here, that 1 will not now enter at any length into it, but will merely say that as the Strikes and trades unions will be prevented in so far as lOll give real politi Gal power to the working classes, so I am confident that the owners of property, who now as ? etaM, If.uk upon direct taxation as a species of spolia- j. >0n, Wiil, by having their attention enforced to the ? jHct, if ueh should be the effect of tha Reform t1¡ nnd, that of aU the classes that will derive benefit rom huch a change in the mode of raising the taxes they would be tbe most benefited. I never was more con- of any truth political or other in my life. an that property—realised property, would be increased 11 vnlue if all the taxes of the state were raised from it, 0 the entire abolition of those modern instruments ol Rational impoverishment—the customs and excise. Those hu may deride such opinions, would do well to cou- elJer thut their opinions to the contrary cannot be strong- tr than those by which free trade in corn aud the other steps in this great march of national regeneration, was opposed and delayed and feeling as I do so intensely on t us subject, I will ask you to listen to what I have pro- Plscd to myself to do—independently of the Reform .tilll, ,10 promote these views. The piinciple of direct nation has been rendeied—I am afraid I must say, aI- of purpose unpopular, and most grievously oppres- Sive, demoralizing, and unjust by including within its Present operation the profits of trades and professions— schedule D. of the income tax. Now I want to  the piinciple of dirtct taxation freed from this tous blot. I want to see it put on the same footing as e P00r ?te assessment, and with that view I have— %-h the concurrence of many inuuential gentlemen in II Uouse of Commons, giyeu notice of an intention to movt; fAr a committee on the subject. It was not con- I siden cl expedient to for sutl4 committee until the j diaeiisdoin on th;; budget v,-as concluded, but I trust 9 u:i to be in a position to to sn, and I have in antieipn- r tl J Jon prepared a memorandum of thu yiounda on which II prop :so to ask for the support of the HOU5. And I think it i3 not out of phiCo to submit to you. and if poi. j I. to obtain your approval of the general teopc and ubjvot of that motion, end of t}w ML'?us h<; ,Lich I oiopo.o Lo  to rc a,! carry it out, and 1 therefore 8ok permission to read it toyou. I The n')¡lOn of iv?liic" I have siven notice id a? Mows: "f. 1 t 't L n t t .ad a £0 ec C0n:rUl ce appointed to c.msidor end t ¡ n t t' t' n rcpvrt to t?,? Il OUSJ as to tLo present mode ot assessing the p?pcr?y and income t?x, and whether the same might not he advantageously altered with a view to a inoro cqui.able assessment of the various descriptions of piopcity end sources of income, having rt-gnrj to tin) principle that all descriptions of jitupctly shoul.l lie assessed according to the ability rL- presented thereby as in ti.o e.iso of assessment ior the relief of the poor and other local buruccj. The following is the memorandum as to the nature raj J object of the inquiry proposed by the motion. 1st.—Taking I up the inquiry where it ",lis Jeft I y lr Hume's c'-mraittoo I in 18o2, it is proposed to obtain evidence of the opera- tion of the Income Tax since that period, i specially as regards the tax on proiits of (rath; and protlsstuils linl,r shedulo I>. At that period the property and income tax v. iti regarded as temporary, which may account for the tnmnaLtcG,having laid the evidence before the House wiliuut a report, ri I (I the following statement of Mr Okidftone may p^rliapa embody substantially the opinion of that committee—" We sympathise with the feeling, that the income bears more hardly en trade and professions—on industry and skill, than it bears upon property, but we feel at the same time, an entire conviction that this sympathy could not be practically carried out in a reconstruction of the tax, without pro- ducing evils far greater than any good which could be effected by tlio change." To which may bo added the following expressive summary of the whole ease as re- schedule, I),—Alluding to the speech of Sir Ed- ward B. Lytton, Mr Gladstone stated "That the Hon. i Baronet had exhausted all the stores of his rhetoric, in setting forth tne hardships—what hardships ? the bard- ships of the landed interests, nu, but the hardships of those whose enterprise, aud whose intelligence, and whose skill constitute as the lion. hart. said, their only | property, and whose continued good health is their only j guarantee." Hansard vol. — page 8—And the fol- lowing from the rmue Li^h authority in the debate on the 9th of May, 1S53, confirms the conclusions that it was the temporary character of the tax, which pre- vented its revision in 1853-11 1 will not talk about its termination in lSGO, I have given my own opinion that it ought to be considered as a temporary tax and ought not to form part of the permanent and ordinary system of finance of this country." In addition, therefore, to obtaining evidence of the operation of the tax since 1852, it has become necessary to consider this property and income tax as a permanent instead of a temporary source of revenue. The following extracts from the evidence, confirm the supposition, that it was on aecjunt of its supposed temporary nature that the committee abstained from reporting upon the evidence—and also point to the necessity of a complete revision of toe tax in the existing event of its becoming permanent. Mr Hyde, a collector whose experience extended back to 180-1, states—ques- tion 2402. The longer the tax continues the more ac- quainted and instructed people will got how to evade it, and more evasions will probably take place. The evasions under schedule C. are equally extensive as under schedule A.—the evasions under schedule D. are very numerous. The law under schedule D. is wron" in its foundation," and question 2" The evasions and frauds now commuted are much greater than in 1801 and lS05,and, again, 2d37. The law is excessively difficult, which charges property in the hands of owners under schedule A. aud he quotes in- j stances, and adds 'Being upon schedule A, I would observe, the frauds are excessively e?eMive," and quotes an item from an accountant's bill against some landowner in Hertfordshire, as follows" To enable you to evade income tax payment,1 a laborious and In- tricate work—0 guineas,"—and 2393 in answer to the question of the chairman—" Can any means in your opinion be adopted to prevent these frauds and evasions," he replies, I have thought of it and tried to work it, and have travelled thousands of miles thinking of it, but I think it impossible." If the law is to continue," he states, The whole country should be assessed by districts instead of boroughs." Mr Pressley, probably the highest existing authority on the subj ect, states in reference to schedule D. I think the longer the tax exists, the evasions will go on under schedule D." and Mr Henleva member of the committee having stated, as a question, ''The longer the tlx coutinuc3 the more acquainted and instructed people will get how to evade it, arid more evasions will take place." The reply is No question." And this is strilciugiy confirmed in the case of schedule D. by the fact that the revenue under that schedule h-vs grcaily declined in comparison with the other schedules. r Welsh states now it is quite impossible in its present state to suggest any means by which evasions or frauds can be prevented and Mr Walker (1317) speaks to the same cfiect. Tho above quotations which be multiplied to almost any extent sufficiently explain, why, so long as this tax was supposed to be of a temporary nature, no practical object would bo attained by reportiog upon such cvi- dence, inasmuch as such report could only have increas- ed dissatisfaction at the injustice to which,as a temporary tax, it is evident that the committee deemed it the least evil to submit. The practical quesiion, however, that presents itself in proposiug a renewed inquiry is this, assuming that the tax is now to be regarded as a permanent source of revenue—is there any special remedy to which sucii inquiry may bo usefully directed? and if so, what is it—and the [ following observations by Mr Ricardo.oneof the mom* bers of the comnnttde, In tL? delicto "n April 2?tij, )S?; ] lansart', vol. — p. — is a satisfactory answer to liie question" stripped of ail extraneous matter, the whole evidence went to prove that if there Were any way of chu-sitying the income tax, it was only by means of a piopertv tax," and the main object on the pait of iho mover of the resolution, is to adduce evidence to prove 1iIHt, that the injustice as regards individuals, aud ihe injury social, moral, and commercial as affecting the whole community, does imperatively demand a remedy. Second—That even assuming that Mr Jlieardo's is the only reuiedy which the case admits that it should forth- with be adopted. ith respect to the first proposition very little further evidence beyond that adduced in ] 8-52, it ia presumed will be necessary. In support of the second proposition, evidence it is believed will be forth- coming, that tho ouiiers of property j who by the propos- ed change, will be subjected to an increase of charge, will be fully compensated by the increased value which property of all kinds will receive by the freedom tflus given to labour, skill, and trading capital, on the abun- dance of which the value of teal property depends. In aid of the genolal principles of political economy, bear- ing upon this subject wry important evidence can be adduced from our own legislation in these matters. By the supply act of 4, William and Mary, a tax was levied of four shillings in the pound on goods, wares i.nd chatties or personal estates whatsoever, and tbe operatiou of this: Act will he shown to have been ofsouihicult and impme- ticablc a nature as to have in efleet repealed itself. The income tax acts of Mr Pit of 1803, and subse- quently of Mr Addington, and Lord Ileury Petty, in 1806, and tbe subsequent Acts up to 1810, will, it ia be- lieved be shown to have exhausted every means for making personal property, either a legitimate ur profit- able source of revenue. While in England, however, personal property continued until the close of the war, to contribute to the national taxes, being regarded through- out as a temporary tax, evidence can be adduced that whenever this system of direct taxation has been recog- nized as permanent-all the efforts and experiments for bringing into charge personal property, corresponding with" that included in the present income tax, under schedulde D have resulted in the adoption of Mr Kicardo's remedy, a property tax, and that too, with the general assent of the party immediately affected thereby, viz., the owners of real property. TiVidence will bo ad- duced from Holland, the Channel Islands, and various sources showing that it ia imptaeticabje to nii-e aditect revenue from ijersoDal property or proiits. Ihe case of tbe English poor into is the mot-t striking instance in point. By the Act, of 45 of Elizabeth, it is provided that inhabitants should be taxed according to their ability. And under this Act inhabitants as such were in respect of their ability derived from the profits of stock in trade and other property. That this was done common consent, and that the owners of real property throughout the kingdom freely and voluntary reeo-uised the expediency of accepting the entire charge of titeae local burthens, and of exonerating therefrom what we may call schedule D. will clearly appear by what took place in Parliament 1810. About that time tbe change in the property of tithes by commutation into rent-charge placed the clergy in a position of disadvantage in respect of tins mode of assessment to local burthens, and hav- ing no longer a common interest in the progress of the agriculture or trade of their rcspectcd districts, they in- sisted that the profits of stock in trade, should be brought into the assessment, and the courts of law re- cognized the legality of their claim. In the year IS 10, an Act was :passel 3 and 4 Vict., chap. 89, repealing tho liability to taxation, in respect of profits of stock-in- trade, kc., and the following is the recital of that Act:— "Whereas it has been held that the inhabitants of parishes, townships aud villages as such inhabitants are liable in respect of theit ability derived from the profits of stock-in-trade, and of other properties to be taxed for, and towards the relief of the poor, aud it is expedient to repeal the liability of inhabitants, as such to be so tax- ed. And Sir John Campbell, (then attorney general) by whom the bill was introduced, after stating that it had been found utterly impossible, that a; rate on stock- in-trade could be so remodelled as to be free from legal objections, added, "That in fact the law had become quite odious, and except in very few instances, no attempt had been made to enfore it. Then the bill made that law which was at present usage." This Act was passed for one year only, and it is a further confnmatmn of the general assent to the principle recognized therein, and which it is now sought to apply to the equally perman- ent system of direct taxation for national purposes, that this Act has from time to time been renewed with searce. ly an objection from any party or person in the House of Commons. In anticipation of objection, however, on the part of owners of land as distinguished from House and other property, indicating ability to bear taxation on the part of the occupiers, beyond the rental value of such property. There can be little doubt that the trading and protessional interests of the country would readily pur- chase exoneration from the intolerable inquisition aud injustice of schedule D. by an increased rate on House and other property of that description, if the result of this investigation should demand it, either as just or ex- pedIent. There is one other point on which the mover of the resolution anticipates that important evidence will j I be fVtlicoming—namely, tho demoralizing influences on trade n'-i eorhmerre, of a sys'em which oiffirs so unim- Si: and d'rect prenuirn to frr.inl and ovs-suns, a point which W-.9 dwelt upon in the debates of ] ;;j3 r.y the nv-ver ¡¡.Ii hy o-hcis. Eïúry discussion on the subject, whether in i'i Inment ur the extends that odusa* tion and information, to w liicti Mr Henley in the fo:e- ;t.llg e,tnl.ts ,) ;)I)inkdl.v alludes and it ia manifest by the retu.ns tint whether hy the aid of creountfnts enij.'h yed especially evade t-i. fax, or without such aid, tilJ ciiele ol flaui :.ud evasion has, and niu-t continue I to e>.t )(*.d V.V-'T I:MV be regarded i'.S not uncot: ctc'i with the coai;daitit3 ot the growing demo- nidation of trade, which have altraited the aitenti .n of I'lrl aie- lit in the m .tters of iiuulii-ration und fat, VAU: KS. Th- .sboye aiu the grounds on which fuuaor in- qu'rv n "ought.

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I MARKETS.-

REVIEW Of THE CORN TRADE,

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