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from the idea of its practicability. Lord Grenville said, that the docHe then made a number of remarks trine advanced by lord Galloway, relative to the expediency of an that inquiry implied censure, inquiry on the present occasion, would lead to the abdication of all not only on account of our naval the functions of parliament ; for disasters, but the whole manage- no inquiry could be instituted, in ment of the American war. He that case, without incurring the dwelt particularly on the neglect guilt of condemning the parties in protecting the trade of the West unheard. He recapitulated some Indies and of the coast of South of the charges against ministry America, and on the superiority of which had been already urged by force which the Americans had the supporters of the motion. been suffered to construct on the After the earl of Liverpool had Canadian lakes.
spoken in defence of the ministers, Earl Bathurst defended the con-' and the noble mover had briefly duct of ministers upon similar replied, the House divided, for the grounds with those taken by lord : motion, 59; against it, 125. MaMelville.
CHAPTER CHAPTER V.
Mr. Vansittart's new Plan of Finance.-Bill for abolishing Sinecure
public expenditure, and the immediately to the extensive sysdiminution of several sources of tem with which he wished to comrevenue, in consequence of the bine them. It would involve the war, had occasioned a general opi-' repeal of so much of the sinking nion, towards the close of the last fund act of 1802 as directs that session of parliament, that some the whole sinking fund then exnew financial measures were be. isting shall continue to accumulate come necessary; and the order of at compound interest till the total the day standing on March 3, for redemption of the whole funded the House of Commons to resolve debt then remaining unredeemed. itself into a committee of the whole The right hon. gentleman then House to consider of the finances made some remarks on the bad of Great Britain, the Chancellor of effects that would arise from an the Exchequer (Mr. Vansittart) accumulation of the sinking fund rose to open the subject. He first to 30 or 40 millions, which would adverted to two measures which he be the case on adhering to this had formerly mentioned; the adop. plan, and from its sudden reduction of some more efficacious plan tion when the effect was produced. for the redemption of the land-tax, He showed that the fund had aland the provision of an increased ready redeemed 240 millions, the proportion of sinking fund for so sum of the whole debt at the much of the loan of each year as time when it was established, bemight exceed the sum applicable sides which, the public had paid to the redemption of the debt. With upwards of 200 millions in war respect to the former, he chiefly taxes; whence he inferred that it relied upon a simplification of the had now a claim for some relief, mode of the redemption of the This might be given without the land-tax, and freeing it from trou- smallest infringement of the problesome formalities. As to the visions of the act of 1792, the latter, he meant to recommend terms of which were, that provithat the proportion of increase in sion should be made for the rethe sinking fund should be one payment of all debts subsequently half of the interest of the excess contracted, within 45 years from in the loan. In addition to these their creation. He then proceeded measures he should propose to the to explain how this might be done,
referring for proof to certain tables which had been stated in the pre-
a ber of resolutions to be submitted consideration. He observed that to future discussion.
the great argument used by the The conversation which ensued, supporters of the new plan was, consisting of observations hazarded that it would relieve the country without any precise understanding from the burthen of additional of the proposed plan, may be taxation; but a very small increase passed over. A future day was of taxation would enable the exappointed for the further conside- isting system to be continued anration of the subject.
other twelvemonth; and he was On March 25th, the House be- persuaded that parliament would ing in a committee on the finances, not object to such an arrangement Mr. Huskisson rose and made a being made as would leave the new long and elaborate speech, dis- measure in an effective operation cussing the nature and merits of at the end of the year, if it were the plan proposed by the chancel- thought advisable to adopt it. lor of the exchequer. As his argu- After several other speakers had ments were entirely founded upon entered into the debate, Mr, Barmatters of calculation, they are ina ing made his motion as an amendcapable of abridgment; the generalment. It was negatived without tenor of them, however, was to a division, after which the report show that the new plan was an en- was read and agreed to, and a bill tire and dangerous deviation from ordered upon it. the principles of Mr. Pitt's sinking The resolutions were as follows: fund system, and a breach of faith 1. Resolved, “ That the total with the public creditor ; and that capital of the funded debt of Great the advantages it held out were Britain, in perpetual redeemable mere fallacies.
annuities, on the 5th day of JaThe Chancellor of the Exchequer nuary 1786, was 238,231,2481. 5s. in reply said, that his right hon. 2 d. that provision was made for friend had totally misunderstood his the gradual reduction thereof, by plan, and the principles on which an act passed in the same year; it was founded; and he answered and that further provision has been some of the principal objections made, by several since passed, for
the more effectual reduction of the perpetual redeemable annuities, said debt, and of the public debt and producing an interest equal to since contracted.
the dividends thereupon, shall be 2. “ That, by virtue of the said so redeemed or transferred. acts, the sum of 238,350,1431. 18s. 4. “ That, after such declaration ld. exceeding the said sum of as aforesaid, the capital stock pur238,231,2481. 5s. 2 d. by 118,8951. chased by the said commissioners, 12s. 101d. had, on or before the and standing in their names, in the first day of March 1813, been books of the governor and company actually purchased by the com- of the Bank of England and of the missioners for the reduction of South Sea company, shall from the national debt, or transferred to time to time be cancelled, as if the the said commissioners for the re- same had been transferred for the demption of land tax, or for the redemption of land tax, at such purchase of life annuities.
times and in such proportions, not 3. “ That it is expedient now exceeding the amount of debt so to declare that a sum of capital declared to be satisfied and disstock equal to the total capital of charged, after reserving thereout the public debt, in perpetual re- any sum or sums necessary to make deemable annuities, existing on provision for the payment of all the said 5th day of January, 1786, life annuities chargeable upon the hath been purchased or transferred sinking fund of Great Britain, as as aforesaid ; and so soon as further shall be directed by any act or sums of the public debt shall have acts of parliament to be passed for been so purchased or transferred, such purpose; in order to make making in the whole an amount of provision for the charge of any annual charge of the public debt loan or loans thereafter to be conso purchased or transferred, equal tracted upon the same funds or to the whole annual charge of the securities, as are chargeable with public debt, in perpetual redeem- the said stock so declared to be able annuities, existing on the said satisfied and redeemed. 5th day of January, 1786, to de- 5. “ That, in order more effecclare further that an amount of tually to secure the redemption of public debt equal to the whole of the public debt, conformably to such capital and charge of the the provisions of the acts of the publie debt, existing on the said 32nd and 42nd years of his present 5th day of January, 1786, hath been majesty, it is expedient to enact, satisfied and discharged: and that, that all sums granted for the rein like manner, an amount of pub- duction thereof, by the several acts lic debt equal to the capital and aforesaid, should be further conticharge of every loan contracted nued, and made applicable by the since the said 5th day of Jan. 1786, reduction of all public debt now shall successively, and in its proper existing, or which may be hereorder, be deemed and declared to after contracted during the present be wholly satisfied and discharged war. when and as soon as a further 6. “ That, in order to carry into amount of capital stock, pot less effect the provisions of the said than the capital of such loan, in acts of the 32nd and 42nd of the
king, for redeeming every part year to the said commissioners for of the national debt within the the reduction of the national debt. period of 45 years from the time 8. " That, for the purpose of of its creation, it is also expedient, giving effect to the above resolu. that in future, whenever the actions, it is expedient that the said mount of the sum to be raised by act, passed in the 42nd year of his loan, or by any other addition to present majesty, be amended. the public funded debt, shall, in 9. “ That it is expedient to any year, exceed the sum esti- make provision, that an annual mated to be applicable, in the sum of 867,963. being equal to same year, to the reduction of the one per cent on the capital stock public debt, an annual sum, equal created in respect of several loans to one half of the interest of the raised by virtue of divers acts passexcess of the said loan, or other ed in the 38th, 39th, and '40th addition beyond the sum so esti- and 42nd years of his present mamated to be applicable, shall be jesty, and for the interest and set apart out of the monies com- charges of which provision was posing the consolidated fund of made in the said 42nd year of his Great Britain, and shall be issued majesty, shall be set apart out of at the receipt of the Exchequer to the monies composing the consolithe governor and company of the dated fund of Great Britain, and Bank of England, to be by them shall be issued at the receipt of the placed to the account of the com- Exchequer to the governor and missioners for the reduction of the company of the Bank of England, national debt, and upon the re- to be by them issued to the commainder of such loan, or other missioners for the reduction of the addition, the annual sum of one
national debt. per cent, on the capital of all per- 10. " That it is expedient to petual redeemable annuities created make farther provision for the in respect thereof, according to more effectual and speedy redempthe provisions of the said act of the tion of the land tax. 32nd year of his present majesty. On April 2nd, Mr. Tierney in
7. “ That, in order to prevent troduced a motion respecting the the increase of the public debt, by sinking fund, the object of which, means of Exchequer bills annually he said, was to call the attention renewed, or other unfunded go- of the House to the foundation on vernment securities, bearing inte- which the plan of the Chancellor rest, it is expedient that, on the of the Exchequer was erected5th day of January in every year, whether his measure was a true an account be taken of all such and equitable construction of the Exchequer bills, and other govern. acts of the 26th, the 32nd, and the ment securities, outstanding and 42nd of the king; and whether, charged upon funds not deemed without a breach of faith with the capable of making good the same, public creditor, he had the means within one year from such 5th day of carrying into effect all the deof January, and that a sum equal tails of the bill before the House. to one per cent thereupon be The hon. member then gave an granted out of the supplies of such account of the nature and purpose