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any opposition whatever. The next to inquire into the propriety of taking night the report of the grant'was brought off certain taxes, and laying un a propertyup ; I opposed it upon the ground that tax in their place. During the debate, a it was just so much money taken from graduated property tax had been menthe industrious classes to afford amuse- tioned ; and Lord Althorp had, in the ment for the rich and idle persons assem-course of his speech, observed that a bled in this great town, who, if they graduated property-tax would be very wanted amusements, ought to purchase wicked, because it would lay a heavier them for themselves. Lord ALTHORP, tax on the landowners than on the rest under whose sway hundreds of men of the community in proportion to the have been put into jail for selling cheap amount of their property; he had also publications; answered me by saying observed, that though taxes were not that I was an enemy to alt education; immediately laid upon the poor, or and Mr. WARBURTON said that the Mu-working people, a property-tax would seum was as advantageous to the poor affect the working-people. This having as it was to the rich, and that it was been said, I very shortly stated, that I particularly useful to our manufacturers! should vote for Mr. Robinson's motion, Mr. FIELDEN, neither of us 'expecting not because I approved of a property, the thing to come on so early, had step- tax in any shape, but because he proped out of the House to write some let-posed to take off the malt, hop, and ters; so that there was nobody lo second soap-tax. “But," said I, “I was para the motion, though the House was very * ticularly happy to hear the noble full ; and though two speeches were “ Lord say that a tax laid upon em: made against it, in answer to my objec- "ployers found its way to the poor, or tions. This was curious enough ; and " working people, by taking from the now, in the report of the day's proceed-. * tradesmen and others the means of ings, the motion which I made for “ giving employment. I was extremely Tecommitting the report, is wholly happy to bear him say this ; because, unnoticed, as it ought to be, be " when I brought forward the affair of cause not 'seconded. This is a very " the stamp-duties, he met me by, ascurious affair, even in this point of " serting, ihree times over,' that the view: full as great a curiosity as any " poor paiet none of them, and that, in the Museum. If Mr. Freden had" therefore, they did not affect the poor. been present I would have thirided the ". Now, since the noble Lord saw that House ;, and then we should have seen the property-tax did affect the poor, how many of these reform members," he would, doubiless, allow, that the there were against taxing the farmers : " stamp-laxes affect the poor also ; and, and tradesmen and working people to “I congratulate myself upon ihe prosfurnish a place for lounging and amuse- /" pect of having him for an able alty ment for the rich. However, we will in my approaching combat with the see this yet. I have given notice of a “hon. Member for Cambridge, M. motion relative to this Museum ; that is “ Spring Rice; especially as ihe nobie to say, for a return of the persons em- " Lord had now protested against the ployed about it, giving their names and" injustice of graduated faculioni; for, other particulars. If they give me the " that was the very thing of which I return, I shall be able to show the people, " complained in the case of the stamp the nature of this affair very fully : if " taxes. A graduated property-tar they do not, I shall do as well as I can" would be neither more nor less than without it; but, at any rate, I will make" confiscation; but, then apply this a motion for the rescinding of this vote" principle to the stainp-laxes, where of money, not one farthing of which we find confiscation enormous; for, 'ought to be paid by the people... 1" certainly, the 'noble Lord will not af
On Tuesday night Mr. ROBINSON, "fect to believe, that, tó tux the tradesmenber for Worcester, after a very able" manheavier in proportion to his "speech, made a motion for a coinmittee" means than you tax the Lorit, is LESS "an act of confiscation than to tax the if there be to be any at all; and not a « Lord in proportion to his means taxation that would confiscate the prow "heavier than you tax the tradesman." perty of the rich ; being of opinion that
I have not seen this well reported in such a system of taxation would be imany newspaper; and in the Morning politic as well as unjust. However, if Cheronicle, which ought to be called the my opinions in this respect be called in red-coat government journal, or the question again in the same sort of way, working man's fue, in this paper hardly I shall have opportunities enough of a word of this is given. Mr. Hume answering any one who shall express took occasion to express his surprise to surprise at my conduct. . hear me opposed to a graduated, pro- So much for that affair, just observing perty-tax ; surprise which might be that Mr. ROBINSON divided the House very natural in him, as far as I know, upon his motion, and lost it by a mabut unnatural in any man that has ever (jority of 221 against 155. And now to read my writings, or listened to my another matter. On Wednesday the 27, voice ; for when was I ever heard to Mr. Gaskell, member for Wakefield, in propose any measure for taking away Yorkshire, presented a petition from the estates of the land-owners, or seiz- that town, agreed to at a great public ing upon the wealth of merchants and meeting, and having presented it, said manufacturers and rich tradesmen ? that he cordially agreed with the petiwhen came these from my pen or my tioners, disapproving, as they did, of tongue, or 'any scheme so unjust and the Irish red-coat-court of justice bill. so wicked, as that of bringing all ranks The petition having been presented, Lord in society to a level ? anything so impos. MORPETA rose with a paper in his hand, sible, too, as well as so in politic? A which he said contained a protest against graduated property-tax means making the petition from the most respectable a man, who has a thousand acres of people in that town; and said that it land, not pay a thousand times as much was very disagreeable to him to find it as he who has one acre of land ; but, his duty thus to haye to oppose the according to the fancy of the taxer, petitions of his constituents ; but that makes him pay more for the second he was bound to say that this protest acre than the first, and so on to the contained the most respectable names thousandth acre, which, as every man of the town from which it came. Wakemust see, would be a complete confis- field is in the West Riding of Yorkshire, cation of his estate. In trading, manu- of which his Lordship and Mr. STRICKfacturing, and mercantile concerns, such Land are the two representatives. After a tax would be still more unjust and his Lordship, I rose and said ; "I can. more pernicious; it would mark out the "not help deeming the noble Lord par. industrious and the skilfulns its victims; ticularly unfortunate in his correspond. it would mark out the idle, the stupid, "ences relative to the petitions of his the prodigal, as the characters destined " constituents. Some time ago a peti. to be happy; and yet Mr. Hume heard“ tion, amongst the most respectably with " surprise" my opposition in a "signed that ever came before that tax like this. What I contend for is “ House, was presented from Todmor. fair and equal taxation, if any he neces- " den and divers parishes in the West sary. My complaint is, that the lord " Riding of Yorkshire, in the neighescapes legacy and probate-duty both; “ buurhood of Todmorden. The noble my complaint is, that the poor pay a “ Lord then also pulled a letter out of hundred and twenty per cent tax upon his pocket, speaking in disparagement their soap, while the rich pay only “ of the petitioners, and of the manner seventy-five ; my complaint is, that the" in which the petition had been got working-people pay two hundred per“ up. My hon. Colleague, who was.d cent. upon their beer, while the rich" then present, and who happened i disdo not pay above twenty-five per cent. “ be a resident of Todmorden itself, Memo ppon their wine. I want fair taxation, " pressed a wish to see the petit
“ which, upon inspection, he found to attempt to do something with this pro." “ be signed by almost every proprietor test, the writer begged that Mr: FIELDEN " of land or house in the district ; by or Mr. COBBETT would be ready with “most of the great employers of the this statement of facts to reply to the " district, amongst whom were two of noble Lord, who might naturally enough “ his own brothers, who live on the lattempt to bolster up himself and his “ spot. The noble Lord, then, pressed friends by the aid of this precious docu“ by my hon. Colleague, thought him- ment: that we might aise the name of “self bound to produce his authority; the writer : that the public voice was'as "my hon. Colleague found that this unequivocal as the miserable attempts
authority was a small attorney of the to " Burke" it: tliat Baines, in his " district, who, having the honour of Mercury, endeavours to sink the meet"a letter from the noble Lord, had too ing out of sight : but that the people of "much vanity not to show it about, the West Riding know well enough,
and hence my hon. Colleague had that what is to-day proposed for the “ been apprized of what was going on. Irish, may be to-niorrow applied to « Upon this occasion also, my hon. and themselves. “ diligent Colleague has been furnished! Having read the letter, only leaving “ with a letter from Wakefield where-out the names of third parties, I said,
with to meet this protest of the noble " that is my answer to the noble Lord “Lord ; and my hon Colleague being l" on the part of the petitioners of Wake
called away bv his duty in a com- " field." These circumstances, thus re“ mittee, has thought it right to commit lated, let the people behind the curtain. " that letter to my care, which letter I l will not suggest to the people of the « will now read to the House, and West Riding of Yorkshire what it will "what is inore, I shall add the name of become them to do in consequence of " the writer."
these transactions. They will know I then read the letter, dated Saxdal, well, what to do ; and they will feel 19. March, 1833; and signed JOSEPI how much they owe to Captain Wood Wood. The letter stated that the \Vhig l in this case. Indeed, the whole country and Tory faction of Wakefield had lowes a good deal to him : it is an exunited, and had got up a protest signed ample worthy of being followed: one by about 140;: that one of those who exposure of this sort is worth a score of had signed it had told the writer of the petitions; because it shows the dread letter that he hated the bill as much as which the enemies of our liberties have he did, but that he feared the resignal of the power of the petitions them tion of Earl Grey more than any other selves : it shows our eneinies in their calamity; that the protest had, as the true light; it unmasks thenı, and does writer understood, been hawked about good in all sorts of ways. by two attorneys, friends of Lord MOR- I shall here insert the very important Peth and Mr. STRICKLAND, to prop up speech of my colleague, Mr. Fieldén, whose votes, in the House the writer which was heard with the greatest al. suspected to be the object of the pro- tention, and, I may say, the greatest test : that the public meeting was called adıniration. At the close of it a gen by the constable, in consequence of|tlernan of great experience and of extrio a requisition, signed by Mr. Waterton, ordinary talent himself, whispered me; of Walton Hall, by the writer himself, I and said : " You are fortunate in a and by other gentlemen, who might lay" colleague, Mr. Cobbett: that is the as good a claim at least, to " respecta-" very best speech that I' ever heard bility” as the best of the protestors : that “ delivered in Parliament; so plain, 80 the meeting was numerously attended, “ clear, not one word too mally not and that though some of the protestors “ one word too few."
re present, not one of them opened his! The following is a corrected report of mieuth against the petition : that as Lord (Mr. FIELDEN's speech on Mr. Attwood's Spepers and Mr. STRICKLAND mights motion (made Thursday, 91. March)
for inquiry into the causes of the dis. cannot be removed because they have tress of the country, and on, which mo. to compete with power-looms? If I tion the division was as will be seen thought power-looms were the cause of.. under:
the distress--I and my partners have, Mr. FieldEN: I have listened with near one, thousand of them and if it: : attention to speeches made by different can be shown they cause the distress, I.. Members during the discussion on the should like to see them broken to pieces > important question before the House, to-morrow; but this is not the cause, , and the various opinions advanced have for anything calculated as machinery is. excited my astonishment and surprise to facilitate and increase production, is a .. The hon. Member for Essex has just blessing to any people (hear, hear, from told us that money, the mere ineasure Lord Althorp); if the things produced of commodities, does not alter the real be properly distributed, and it is the value of things, that in all communities duty of the legislature to cause such a there is distress, and that we cannot ex- distribution to be made ; and, if I were ; pect to remove it. Other hon. Gentle- of opinion that the relief of the distress , men have admitted the severity of the could not be effected by the legislature,, i distress, but that it is beyond the power I would take my hat and walk away, ! of legislative control. Some deny the and not come within the walls of St. distress being greater than heretofore, Stephen's again. The labouring people and the noble Lord, the Chancellor of are in deep distress; there is 'a cause the Exchequer, has told us he does not for it, and if the King's servants cannot: believe there is more distress than there find a remedy for it, they are not fit to: has been. He admits, however, that fill the benches they occupy in this : : there is very severe distress amongst the House, and I will tell them that they band-loom weavers, and says it is cannot do so long. But who are they? caused by competition with the power-that have brought this industrious peoloom, and cannot be removed. He and ple into this extreme distress? It is not others oppose inquiry, because it would the new inembers of this House, but it : disturb the question of currency, and is those who have been the legislators, produce evil rather than good. Here is for years. His Majesty's Ministers, the. a reformed House, then, admitting dis- right hon. the Meinber for Tamworth, tress to exist amongst a people which I the right hon. the Member for Essex, , pronounce the most industrious and and others, “not right hon,” says some productive people on the face of the one. Well, not rigbt hon. then; Lam globe, but that this distress is beyond apt to make mistakes of this sort, being the power of legislative control, and a new Member. My training has been ought not to be inquired into, for fear at the spinning-jenny and the loom,, of disturbing the currency. The ques, and not at the college and the courts, tion of the hon. Mover is for a “se- and I think I am entitled to the in“ lect committee to inquire into the dulgence of the House on this *" causes of the general distress ex-account (Hear, hear, from Sir Robert
“ isting among the industrious classes of Peel). Yes it is from those Gentlemen, “the United Kingdom, and into the who, by a long train of misrule, have “ most effectual means of its relief.” brought on the distrezs that I demand a Here is not a word about currency, and remedy for. The hon. Member for Essex had it not been stated in debate, I could has told us there is great distress in not have inferred that it involved that France and on the continent of Europe, .. question at all, but are the people of and it is vain to expect relief from it: England to be told that their grievances here. What, are the people of England,'. are not to he inquired into, because it who produce more than is requisite to r may raise a question on the currency ? (make them all well off, to be told that And are my poor distressed hand-loom because distress exists in France and weavers to rest satisfied with being told on the continent, they are to suffer disthey are suffering severe distress, which tress too? I will carry the hon. Mem
be across the Atlantic, and refer him to for one of the same articles would pay a people there people speaking the the same sum in taxes at the close of same language, the descendants of En- the war! I ask how is it? Is this glishmen too-and ask him to tell me jast? Is it reasonable? There have how it is that a common labourer there, been no loans contraeted since the war, who does not produce more than a no increase of national debt, and yet we common labourer in England-how it are thus dealt with. This then accounts is that for a week's labour he can get a for our distress-we have three things baret of the best flour, weighing 196lbs., instead of one to pay for taxes; we have while the English labourer cannot get thus lost two thirds of this proportion of more than 721bs.; and why the weavers our labour, and where is it gone to thiere can get three times as much flour what is become of it? What we have for their labour as my poor weavers get lost, somebody has gained. I have It is because the Americans are not heard a great deal said by different taked, as we are. Yes, it is this taking persons, since I came into this House, away in taxes from those who labour, about the protection that should be and giving it to those who do not la- given to property, and no one has urged bour, that is the cause of the distress. And this more strongly than the right hon. will this reformed House, from whom Member for Tarnworth. This is what so much is expected, tell the people of I require: I ask no more ; and if the England that the cause of their distress noble Lord and those who act with him shall not be inquired into, and no that re will grant us this, I and my poor weamedy can be applied ? Bat it is said the vers will not then complain of disdistress is confined to one class. I will tell tress. But we are not protected ; our this House it is not the labouring peo- labour, our property is taken from us, ple only who are suffering distress, but by increased and unbearable taxation, those who employ them are sinking in a threefold proportion to what it was with them, amidst unprecedented and at the close of the war; and given by increasing productions too. Those in the the Government to fundholders, placecotton trade have nearly trebled their men, pensioners, sinecurists, and all who productions since the close of the war; live upon the taxes and fixed money inin that year the consumption was 6,000 comes who now have three articles of bags of cotton a week; in 1824, it was our manufacture for the sum that would 11,000; and 'in 1832 it was 17,000; then buy them but one. I ask, then, 13 and for manufacturing the 11,000 bags there no remedy to be found for our a week, consumed in 1824, whether it distress in this reformed House of Comwas made into fustians, 745 calico, 723 mons? Will you not inquire into the power-looin calico, or water twist, four cause of the sufferings of the people! leading articles in the cotton trade, the They have expected great benefits would manufacturers and their workmen re result from a reformed Parliament; ceived a less sum of money than they they have for two or three years waited did for the six thousand in 1915, and patiently for this reform, and if their stilt less for manufacturing the 17,000 expectations be not fulfilled, if they find bags a week in the year 1832. Now, that justice is denied to them, I treinble the hon. Meinber for Essex has told us, for ihe consequences. I had a great what is true, that money, which is a deal more to add on the subject of the mere measure of commodities, does not distress, but it would be unfitting to alter the real value of those manufac- detain the House longer under the im tures. How comes it then, that I, who patience which has for some time heen ana manufacturer, and my poor shown to close the discussion on this weavers, have to raise the sum we have question, :
LOT- in taxes now, to execute the la bour reyired to produce three of any one of the articles of manufacture, when the mousy value of the labour