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nearly one-fifth of the revenue, from the which so much disgraced the country single article of barley. That was most would be diminished. There was no opimpolitic, as well as oppressive to the agri-portunity during the present Session to culturist. In his opinion, if the duty were bring in any measure on the subject; but reduced, an equal, or perhaps greater, he wished to lay before the House his amount of revenue from malt would be re- views on the subject, in the hope that the ceived from the increase of consumption. Chancellor of the Exchequer would be Malt had been taxed to such a degree induced to give his attention to it, and that an extension of the consumption could if he had courage enough-he (Mr. Ball) not be obtained. Moreover, the farmers believed he had grace enough-to strike were not permitted to use their own malt, the duty off malt and to put it on beer. without paying a tax for it, for the pur- By so doing, the right hon. Gentleman pose of rearing or fattening cattle; so that would confer one of the greatest blessings in this respect they were unable to meet on society; and prove himself one of the the foreigner on equal terms. The duty-greatest moralists of the age.
paid malt in England, Scotland, and Ireland, in the years 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1834, was on an average 4,932,632 quarters. And in the years 1857, 1858, 1859, and 1860, after the lapse of thirty years, the duty-paid malt was 5,159,897 quarters, being an increase of only 227,265 quarters, or about 5 per cent in thirty years. While the population had increased at the rate of 30 per cent, and the wealth of the country had increased at a greater rate than 30 per cent, there must be some cause for so small an increase in the consumption of malt. He believed that that cause was to be found in the great and severe amount of duty imposed upon it. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer would materially reduce the amount of that duty, he believed that the amount of his revenue would be by no means lessened. There were two modes by which relief might be given to the agricultural interests. One was by materially reducing the amount of duty on malt. But that was not the mode of relief which they ought to desire either in a national point of view or as moralists. If the House had virtue enough-if the representatives of the people had independence enough, and
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER said, the hon. Member had with great fairness stated his reason against the continuance of the malt tax. Nevertheless, in dealing with the question, he had overlooked some important considerations connected with the subject. When a complaint was made that there had been no considerable increase in the consumption of malt, it was but fair to take into view the fact that during the period to which the hon. Member had referred the country was becoming a community consuming a much less average quantity of strong liquors than formerly. Let the House consider what was the consumption during the period alluded to of spirits and wine. The consumption of wine, until the recent change, was stationary; and the consumption of spirits, he apprehended, had positively receded. The hon. Member, when he said that barley laboured under oppressive taxation, ought to bear in mind the average prices for barley for the last ten and twenty, or forty and sixty years, and he would then perceive that barley was a grain of which the progress in price had been much more marked than that of any other grain. That was a conclusive answer
if there were not parties to control the Go-to the statement of the hon. Member, that vernment, the most effectual and essential barley was a grain unduly ground down way of giving relief to the agriculturist by taxation. The system of this country would be the removal of the whole of the was to levy a large portion of revenue from duty on malt and the placing it upon beer. strong liquors; and how was malt treated That would be one of the noblest things a as compared with other strong liquors? Chancellor of the Exchequer could do; and Without saying that it was less taxed one of the most beneficial movements that than it ought to be, he, nevertheless, the House could adopt. From the facility maintained that it was treated with mildafforded for rearing and feeding cattle withness. The tax on alcohol in beer was at malt, there would take place an augmented the rate of about 28. the gallon. The tax consumption of the article. The farmers on alcohol in wine was at the rate of from would be able to supply a nutritious beve- 4s. to 78. the gallon; and the tax on rage to the hardworking man employed in spirits was at the rate of 10s. the gallon. field labour, and at the same time the tip- The hon. Member ought to remember that pling, drunken, and demoralized habits malt had received very great advantage
from recent legislation. There had been the hon. Gentleman could show that the the remission of the duty in Scotland on agriculturist was deprived of a beneficial all malt used in making spirits, and the article of nutriment by the law as it stood, great competing article with malt-spirits he would have adduced an important rea-had had the duty on it immensely in- son for its alteration. That, at the same creased, while the duty on malt had re-time, was a matter which the hon. Genmained stationary. The duty on spirits tleman had not attempted to discuss on in Ireland ten years ago was 2s. 8d. the the present occasion, and he should not gallon; in Scotland, 38. 8d., and in Eng- therefore detain the House by quoting auland about 78. the gallon; while now, thorities on the subject. Let not his hon. throughout the whole of the three king- Friend, however, run away with the notion doms, it was 10s. the gallon. The effect that a reduction of taxation always meant had been to occasion a considerable reduc- an increase of consumption. No doubt, in tion in the consumption of spirit, while judiciously selected instances, that had that of beer had increased. The hon. proved to be the case; but it must not Gentleman's proposal to transfer the tax be regarded as a mathematical axiom. If from malt to beer was attractive at first the hon. Gentleman would turn his attensight; but it was a mistake to suppose tion to the article of coffee, he would find that it would be any great boon to the that although much had been done in rebrewer; because at present it was the cent years to relieve it from duty, yet no malster, and not he, that was liable to appreciable increase in its consumption the survey of the Excise. As regarded had taken place. His hon. Friend had the revenue, it would be a most formidable discharged his duty to his constituents change to remove the survey from the and to his conscience, and no man felt that 10,000 maltsters to the 40,000 brewers. duty press more heavily upon him; but There might be good reasons for a change he (the right hon. Gentleman) hoped that such as that proposed by the hon. Gentle- it would be unnecessary to continue the man if it could be proved that malt, but discussion further. for the regulations of the Excise, would be extensively used in the feeding of cattle. That, however, was a question which had undergone the most careful consideration before a Committee not composed of per-statement of his hon. Friend the Member sons hostile to those connected with the for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Ball), that malt sale and growth of barley; and he spoke was much more valuable than barley for without fear of contradiction, when he feeding cattle. asserted that the result of the investigation had been to show that it was far more profitable, on account of the superior nutritive qualities of barley, to apply it to the feeding of cattle than to convert it into malt, and then to use it for that purpose. The hon. Gentleman complained of the mode in which the farmers were exposed to competition with the foreigner. Competition in what? In malt? It was admitted that the foreign maltster could not compete with the English. Was it, then, in the article of meat? If so, he could only say that there had been a steady increase in the price of meat, and yet the hon. Gentleman had come forward and complained, in lugubrious tones and with a perfectly grave countenance, of the position of two agricultural products in the case of which, ever since competition had come into operation, an upward movement in price had been the result. That circumstance, however, afforded no reason why the law should not be improved; and if The Chancellor of the Exchequer
MR. SPOONER said, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was wrong in thinking that the question had been settled. He could, from personal experience, confirm the
Main Question put, and agreed to.
Committee report Progress; to sit again on Monday next.
THAMES EMBANKMENT BILL.
[BILL NO. 162.] COMMITTEE.
Clause 6 (Power to make Works according to deposited Plans).
MR. AYRTON said, that although there had been frequent discussions in the House in connection with the Thames Embankment Bill, they had little or none at all on the merits of the embankment itself. Up to that time the proceedings with regard to the project had been conducted upstairs with closed doors, and the public were apt to suspect, under such circumstances, that everything that was done was
done in an imperfect manner. But the with the same propriety when the project. time was come when he hoped they might was to be executed at the expense of a get rid of all personalities, and arrive at a large portion of the general public. The proper consideration of the intrinsic merits fund from which the cost of the embankof the project embraced in the Bill. There ment was to be defrayed had been intrusted was great misapprehension both within to the Treasury, who had accepted the and without the walls of that House on trust for the benefit of the inhabitants of the subject. The objects of the Bill were the metropolis; and they were, therefore, four. First, it was proposed that there bound to regard the question as a purely should be a solid embankment from West- public question, which ought not to have minster Bridge to the east side of the been taken out of the hands of responTemple; and from thence a viaduct upon sible public servants and placed in those piers in a curve to Chatham Place. A of private professional men. He would second part of the Bill provided for a street touch but lightly upon one part of the from Charing Cross Bridge to Somerset project-namely, the new street from House. A third, for a street from about Hungerford Market to Wellington Street, the same place to Whitehall Place; and because, as the House had been told, the a fourth for a street from the embankment Committee came in their own minds deto Whitehall Stairs. That was an enor- liberately to the conclusion that the street mous undertaking, not merely of embank-in question ought not to be made. He ment, but also of street improvement, would simply ask, then, why was it in which was estimated to cost in the first the Bill? It would be remarked, that instance £1,240,000. It was said that although the new street remained in the some property would be re-sold, and that Bill, there was another clause to the effect the net cost would thus be reduced to that it was not to be begun until all the £969,000. In relation to the project his other works were completed. That was, constituents stood simply in the position perhaps, the most inconvenient sort of of contributors to the fund, for individu- clause which could be inserted in a Bill, ally they would derive no advantage from because it would hamper owners and octhe works to be undertaken. They were cupiers in the enjoyment of their property therefore entitled to scrutinize the project, for an indefinite period. In connection to ascertain what its character was, and with that point, he could not help sayto be satisfied that it was reasonable and ing that the hon. Member for Westminster moderate. The project was launched (Sir John Shelley) was put in a most unforunder singular and extraordinary circum-tunate position-one not of his own seekstances. It was at variance with the re-ing-when he was placed upon the Comcorded opinions of the most eminent per-mittee. His hon. Friend asked him (Mr. sons for a period of upwards of twenty- Ayrton) to serve in his place, knowing five years; and though it was promoted that he was being thrust into an invidious by the right hon. Gentleman the Member position, and he declared himself ready to for Hertford (Mr. Cowper), it was really do so, but said the matter rested with the not launched by him as Chief Commis- Government, who were nominating the sioner of Works, because his department Committee. The hon. Baronet thereupon. had nothing to do with it. The persons made a representation to the Government, connected with his office disapproved the but they preferred placing the hon. Genscheme, and the right hon. Gentleman tleman in an equivocal position, in which was obliged to place himself in the hands he really, as the representative of a locality of individuals not in the public service, through which the embankment was to and not, therefore, responsible to the pass, could not discharge the duties which Crown, who became his professional ad- the metropolis expected from him. It visers and agents in passing the Bill was only proper to state, however, that through Parliament. Here, then, was a the hon. Baronet proceeded with great great public measure, promoted by pro-ability, fairness, and judgment, paying fessional persons with singular skill and every possible attention to the interests of ability, no doubt, but conducted as if it the ratepayers at large. While the inwere a private enterprise, unable to stand quiry was in progress, the hon. Baronet upon its own intrinsic merits. But what told him that the new street had, by some might be done with propriety by a skilful mystification which he did not understand, professional adviser to carry a railway Bill been sanctioned in form, although it was through Parliament could not be done against the opinion of the Committee, and
asked him what was to be done. He ad- | scheme, which was condemned by all the vised his hon. Friend to use form against ablest men who ever investigated it, surform and to propose the postponement of rendered that public right to the Benchers. the work, inserting a clause in the Bill to As a member of the Temple, he regretted that effect, so as to make it manifest that that the Benchers should have made such the Committee disapproved the new street. a claim, instead of leaving the space availAccordingly, the hon. Baronet moved the le as a recreation ground for the people; clause to which he had already referred, but it was given as garden ground to the and thus we had an emphatic declaration Temple-as building land ["No, no."] of the Committee, that although the new He said "Yes," because the Benchers had street had been sanctioned in point of the right of building on their own garden form, yet they did not think it was a work ground, which they might appropriate as which ought to be undertaken. He hoped the substitute of the garden given them the Chief Commissioner would now con- under the Bill. Such was the way in sent to strike out of the Bill everything which the Temple had treated the project. relating to the new street, in order that They then passed to a noble Duke-the the Committee, who were quite innocent Duke of Norfolk. How had he been dealt in the matter, might not be subjected to with? There also, was recreation ground; reviling on account of what appeared to and great rights were given to the Duke. be an inconsistent and absurd proceeding. He was allowed to build along the front But he came to the embankment itself, of that vacant ground, but the ground was which started from Blackfriars Bridge, and kept as recreation ground, although he it was important to remark that the prin- did not see the good of it. They would ciple which had been so stoutly contended have to pay, in the first place, for everyfor at the Westminster end had also to be thing useful they destroyed; they would considered at Blackfriars-namely, whe- have not only to purchase, but to improve ther it was a proper way of making the the frontage. Passing Somerset House, roadway to run it up on a slope at right where nothing was done, they came to angles with the slope of the bridge. In another noble Lord. Concessions were the end the Committee came to the de- made to him. There was a thoroughfare liberate judgment that such was not a leading to the embankment-he was to proper proceeding, and, in fact, any man of have the liberty of shutting it up. Was common sense must arrive at the same that reasonable conduct? Then they came conclusion. The Committee rightly de- to the Adelphi estate where there was a cided that the roadway should join Chat- good opportunity of improving the town. ham Place in a curve, and he hoped the They were, however, not to be allowed House would not interfere with their de- to carry on the embankment that already cision upon that point. Following the existed, nor were they to be permitted to line of embankment from Blackfriars build any erections upon their own emBridge, he came to the hallowed precincts bankment, except such as must necessarily of the Temple; and here he must say, that be of a trumpery kind. Next they came when he heard the hon. and learned Mem- to Charing Cross Bridge. What did the ber for Southwark (Mr. Locke) talk about promoters do in face of a powerful comthe pretensions of the aristocracy, he could pany? They came to a written engagenot help asking himself whether his hon. ment that they would pay the company and learned Friend was a member of the £55,000 if any person was allowed to Temple, and whether he was present when land on the embankment within 250 the Benchers, over their after-dinner port- yards of their pier. The Committee, wine, resolved to assert what they believed indeed, rejected that proposition, but the to be their rights. The embankment went promoters agreed to it. Next they came in front of the Temple; and between the to the Duke of Northumberland-they roadway and the Temple there was a con- paid him the full value of his prosiderable space-the only space from one perty, they reclaimed and filled up all end to the other which could be made a the land, and then it was so hampered pleasant recreation ground for the people. with conditions that it was not available Well, the Benchers demanded that re- for recouping the expense. They now creation ground of the people to be came to the Crown estate and the Crown given up to them for nothing as their lessees, and the great dispute between Mr. private property, and the promoters, know- Pennethorne, as the official organ of that ing the difficulties of defending the department, and the promoters of the Bill. Mr. Ayrton
Here the Committee appeared to have got | in Trafalgar Square now, as to require the into great difficulties. In point of fact, continual attention of a policeman, to prethey came to the conclusion-to which he vent them being a nuisance to the public. should have subscribed himself that it Then there would be a few buildings, then was better to stop there, and leave for fu- a range of wretched, low houses, that ture consideration the relative merits of could not be elevated; then narrow streets, the two schemes. Why? They had no and then more buildings with small fronts; power; the Metropolitan Board had no so that there would be no sort of beauty power; no individual had any power, to at all from Westminster Bridge to the moot the question between the two rival Temple Gardens. He did not want to schemes, unless they first got the sanction make any reflections upon parties for whose of the Crown. The scheme of the Chief benefit or protection clauses had been inCommissioner was unanswerable, if they serted in the Bill, or even upon the Comtook it as he had placed it before them. It mittee for assenting to them, because, as was perfect in itself. It had unity of de- they were dealing with a private promoter, sign; but would they ever consent to a and the clauses were presented as the results roadway sloping obliquely along the ter- of arrangements, they had no alternative; race of the House of Commons? But but it was much to be regretted that the deMr. Pennethorne said they had spent sire to get the Bill through the Committee £2,000,000 sterling, and more, upon a had led the promoters to accept such clauses distinct intention, always expressed and carried into effect, that there never should be any further embankment in front of the Houses of Parliament. They were told twenty years ago that the thoroughfare was to be improved by a road at the back of the Houses of Parliament; and, what was more curious, the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner had put on the table of the House that Session a Bill which imposed a charge of £500,000 on the Consolidated Fund, if the fee fund was not sufficient, in order to complete the design of Mr. Barry and pull down the courts of law which obstructed the thoroughfare between the Houses of Parliament and the Abbey. What were they paying for sites for public buildings? Mr. Pennethorne, as the architectural adviser in these transactions, said they could save £500,000 by erecting a block of buildings on the other side of Westminster Bridge consistent with the design of the Palace at Westminster. Therefore his scheme was a very complete one, and it was also one which would be most satisfactory to the taxpayer, because he undertook to take the whole matter into his own hands, and pay for it out of resources which would be at his disposal. The result of passing the Bill would be, that the public would get an embankment of a most miserable character, which would not have one redeeming feature of style or beauty about it. Here and there would be a jagged bit of nasty dirty, smutty garden, with trees in it which would not grow, and in which there would be children disporting themselves, not really for healthy recreation, but so, as was the case
clauses which, if once sanctioned by that House, could never be altered, because they would become matters of contract with individuals; and he hoped that the noble Lord would act up to the earnest statement which he had made the other evening, that as the people were to pay for the embankment, they ought to have an embankment in return for the money which they spent upon it.
COLONEL KNOX said, he had nothing to regret in the course which he had taken in the Committee. He went into that Committee perfectly unbiassed, as representing the public, and that duty he had endeavoured to discharge to the best of his ability. When he found himself in a minority upon the question of stopping the roadway at Whitehall Stairs, he came to the conclusion that the decision of the Committee must be fatal to the embankment as a great national object, because it was impossible to ask the public for money to make an embankment two miles long when of 200 yards of that distance they were not to have the use. He would say nothing about persons who were proprietors of houses along the line of the embankment, and he regretted that one of the leading journals of the country should have cast imputations upon the noble Duke who was one of these proprietors, because he was of opinion that no man could have behaved more fairly and more straightforwardly than did the noble Duke when he was before the Committee. That noble Duke said, "Let me remain as I am; but if it can be shown to me the necessity of this roadway being continued as a metropolitan improvement, I have nothing