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THE S 

Asiatic Society of Bombay | 

Town Hall, Bombay. | 


Digitized with financial assistance from the 
Government of Maharashtra 
on 15 June, 2016 




IKELAND and ENGLAND. 




IRELAND AND ENGLAND, 


Oil TIIK 

!•» 


miSH LAND AND CHDRCH QUESTIONS. 


27495 

CEARLES TENNANT. 

“T«b WblfAbb Of Tub 1’bopi.b Is Tub IIiuuebt 


LONDON: 

LONGMANS, GllBBNL .REAUEE, AND DXEll. 
1868 . '' 


\_All Rights Reserved.'] 




J. E. TAYLOH ASB GO., PIMMTKBS, 
MTDtU QUBUN STBBJSI’, MKCOBk’S INN BtBI/BS. 



PREFACE. 


These few prefatory remarks are only to an¬ 
ticipate the many critical remarks, whick I 
have, in a manner, invited by the following 
pages, and to make the best excuse I can for 
myself, notwitlistanding, “ qui s'excuse s'ac¬ 
cuse?' 

Part II. consists chiefly -of abridged exti'acts 
from the 3rd Edition of “ The People’s Blue 
Book,”—published in 1862, the 1st Edition of 
which was published in 1857, and the 2ud 
Edition within one month afterwards. 

T now, for the first time, acknowledge myself 
the Author of that hook, my reason for with¬ 
holding my name being, simply, the fear that, 
it was premature in time and startling in effect, 
and, therefore, would bring upon the Author 
much abuse and no credit. 

That fear was well founded, for the abuse 
was unbounded. 



IV 


PREFACE. 


I now confess, that was a mean fear, and I 
prefer the rule of the gi’cat Latin Orator ;— 
“Ne quid ahjeete, ne quid timide', facias;” 
being satisfied that I am observing the condi¬ 
tion ;—“ Ne quid falsi dicere audeat, ne quid 
veri non audeat.” 

I wish I could think that, I shall have credit, 
even for this, from those who differ with me... 
But I am content to leave the question on its 
own merits. The book has wnrked its own 
way. 

A great many copies found their way Abroad; 
to the Continent of Europe, to the United 
States of America from New Orleans to New 
York,—to Canada and California, to the East 
Indies and to the "West Indies, to Australia, 
New Zealand and other Colonies. 

And if the criticisms of the London Press 
were not complimentary, there was compensa¬ 
tion in a Letter to the Author from the laite 
Count Cavonr, who expressed his hope that he 
might live to carry out the New System of 
Taxation of “ The People’s Blue Book,” in the 
new Kingdom of United Italy. 

I took the trouble to re-write the 3rd Edi¬ 
tion, the changes in the mean time having 



PREFACE. 


V 


altered all the figui-es. But the last was the 
best, and that was out of print a few weeks 
after its publication. 

A 4th Edition has been called for, but I have 
declined the fui'ther* trouble and expense, for 
the cost of paper and printing was neaidy 
double the price of the book, so fixed to bring 
it within the Peoples’ reach. 

’ The hook has done its work, and I have no 
intention of ever taking the trouble of another 
Edition; therefore, the present notice is not 
intended as an advertisement. 

My reason for now avowing tlie Authorship 
is simply this:—I could not, as an anonymous 
writer, answer Mr. John Stuart Mill’s pam¬ 
phlet,—“ England and Ireland.” 

I highly respect Mr. Mill, but I do not 
ahvays agree with him in opinion, and I differ 
with him essentially in his views for the relief 
of the distress in Ireland. 

My opinion is that, the principles set forth 
in “ The People’s Blue Book,” would be the 
most effectual remedy, which can be devised 
for the relief of distress in Ireland and in every 
other part of the Kingdom. 



VI 


PREFACE. 


That being my opinion, I have made free 
with my own work to save my own trouble, 
and the following pages are the result. 

CHA® TENNANT. 

2, JRichmond Terrace, Whitehall. 

June \st, 1868. 



CONTENTS. 

♦ 

I’AGE 

Part I.—The Irish Land Question ... 3 

I * ' 

„ II.—Taxation.29 


III.—The Irish Church Question . . 165 





PAET I. 


THE .iaiSH Lmi) QUESTION. 




IKELAND Mf> ENGLAND. 


THE lEISH LAND QUESTION. 

The maxim of Terence,—“ Ne quid nimis,”— 
is more fully expressed in the two well known 
lines of Horace: 

“ Est modus in rebus: sunt.cerfci denique fines, 

Quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum.” 

Mr. Mill seems not to have borne in mind 
these wise old sayings, when he was answering 
his own question,—“ What is to he done with 
Ireland?”— 

This is to be regretted, because, in propor¬ 
tion to Mr. MUl’s high and well deserved repu¬ 
tation is the dangerous influence of any error 
in his conclusions from abstract principles. 
There may be in England a few and in Ire¬ 
land many who take Mr. Mill’s view of Ire- 

B 2 



4 


IKELAND AND ENGLAND, 


land’s chief grievance, and agree -with him in 
the eflSciency of his remedy. 

It must also be admitted that, Mr, Mill’s 
opinion, whenever he gives it, on any subject, 
comes with acknowledged claim to careful at¬ 
tention, though the same opinion, coming from 
anybody else, might neither deserve nor receive 
a moment’s attention. But I think Mr. Mill’s 
pamphlet on Ireland is wrong in a most essen¬ 
tial principle. 

Moreover, I think his conclusions from his 
own reasoning are wrong, and that, his remedy 
would be ruin; not because it is revolutionary, 
as he admits; but because it is revolutionary 
and destructive,—destructive of all that is most 
precious, — destructive of constitutional law 
and right of property,—^because it breaks the 
strongest bond that holds society together, and 
lets in confusion and anarchy,—because it puts 
down the law of the land and sets up the rule 
of ruffianism. 

This is a serious charge,—but not against 
the man,—only against his judgment. For 
himself I entertain very high respect, but be 
has made me distnist his judgment. 

I now proceed to proofs, but must be brief. 

I shall take Mr. Mill’s positions in his own 
order. 



THE IRISH LAJID QUESTION. 


5 


I pass over the first ten pages without com¬ 
ment, but I ask the reader to mark the sentence 
beginning at the bottom of page 10. (2nd 
Edition.) 

As Mr. Mill malces this the foundation on 
which he builds, I must give his own words; — 
“ That a man should have absolute control 
over what his own labour and skiU have cre¬ 
ated, and even over what he has received by 
gift or bequest from those who created it, is 
recommended by reasons of a very obvious 
chai-acter, and he does not shock any natural 
feeling. Moveable pi'operty can be produced 
in indefinite quantity, and he who disposes as 
he likes, of anything which, it can be fairly 
argued, would not have existed but for him, 
does no wrong to any one. It is otherwise 
with regard to land, a thing which no man 
made, which exists in limited quantity, which 
was the original inheritance of all mankind, 
and which, whoever appropriates, keeps others 
out of its possession.” 

This is Mr. Mill’s first position, and this is 
the foundation on which he builds. Eut this 
foundation, I submit, is unsound. 

A man should have absolute control over 
what his own labor and skill have created, and 
even over what he has received by gift or be- 



6 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


quest from those who have created it. I deny 
Mr. Mill’s distinction between moveables and 
land. Man, by his labor and skill, has created 
nothing. He only uses the free gift of nature, 
and, by his labor and skiQ makes the thing 
useful. It is the labor that constitutes what 
is called, value or worth. 

This applies as much to the land, which, by 
his labor, produces corn, as to the wood, which, 
by his labor, turns out the table and chair. 

Mr. Mill affirms, but does not substantiate, 
a wide distinction between land and moveables, 
and on this assumed distinction he rests his 
case, and diaws his conclusion. His distinc¬ 
tion is without difference, and Ms conclusion 
is without consequence. He says,—“land 
exists in limited quantity;”—so does wood 
and everything else in this world. 

Mr. Mill is right when he says,—“ it is 
manifestly just that, he who sows should be 
allowed to reap,”—and also when he says, this 
“ is the true moral foundation of property in 
land;” but he says, or means to say that, the 
houseowner has better right to the rent of his 
house than the land owner has tO the rent of 
his land. 

I deny this, and would ask Mr. Mill how he 
comes to this conclusion. 



THE IRISH LAND QUESTION. 


7 


Thus drawing his conclusion, he applies it 
to Ireland. He says (page 12), “the Irish 
people, before the Conquest, knew nothing of 
absolute property in land.” 

This is not historically correct, if the Nor¬ 
man Conquest he referred to, for there was no 
dispossession at all, that invasion being for the 
purpose of union, not for the acqnisition of 
land. Confiscation took place at periods long 
subsequent, and those events are lost in such 
distant times that, reference to the state of 
affairs in Ireland before the Flood, when Noah 
and his family floated in the Ark, would he 
quite as useful and much less mischievous. 
But, probably, before the Flood there was recog¬ 
nised ownership in land. 

Mr. Mill’s meaning is not quite clear, when 
he says;—“land was the original inheritance 
of all mankind, and whoever appropriates it 
keeps others out of its possession.” No doubt, 
—when he is in possession, he keeps others 
out. If the meaning he that, all the gifts of 
nature were freely given to all mankmd, that 
is true. But, then, why does Mi-. Mill specially 
distinguish land ? And how can that be said 
to be an inheritance, which was never pos¬ 
sessed ? 

Adam and Eve lost their inheritance in the 



8 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


Garden of Eden, and, certainly, they never 
took possession of all the other nnoccupied land 
of the world. What does Mr. Mill mean when 
he says; “ land was the original inheritance of 
all mankind ” ? 

And what, if it were the original inherit¬ 
ance? Certainly, no one claims under that 
title now, in any part of the United Kingdom! 

WEat inference, of practical utility, does Mr. 
MiU propose to draw from that fact, or fi’om 
the laws and customs of the naked Irish people 
before the Conquest ? An Ambassador, so re¬ 
cently as Henry YIII, has left a minute de¬ 
scription of his reception at .. the Court of an 
Irish Prince, who sat stark naked on his Chair 
of State! 

So far as concerns the rights of property in 
land, there is plenty of evidence to show that, 
these rights were as strictly regarded in the 
earliest times, of which there is any record, as 
in the present day. 

Mr. Mill asks (page 13),—‘ if any English¬ 
man were an Irish peasant, would the landed 
property of the country have any sacredness to 
his feelings ? ’ About as much to" the one as 
to the other. But, what a question to ask! 

Again;—“ Even the Whiteboy and the 
Eockite, in their outrages against the land- 



THE IRISH LAND QUESTION. 


9 


lord, fought for, not against, the sacredness of 
what was property in their eyes.” That is 
matter of opinion; but I doubt whether there 
was any more sacredness of property in their 
eyes, than there would be in the eyes of the 
highwayman who presents his pistol at my 
head and takes my pursei 

Mr. Mill (page 14), enters into the considera¬ 
tion of the main features in the social economy 
of Ireland, and says truly;—“ it is a country 
wholly agricultui-al. The entire population, 
with some not very important exceptions, cul¬ 
tivates the soil, or depends for its subsistence 
on cultivation.” But, “ in Great Britain, not 
more than a thii’d of the population subsists by 
agriculture.” 

Now, Mr. Mill knows that, the agricultural 
wealth of every country is the best security for 
its internal prosperity. This is one of the few 
truths in Political Economy in which there is 
universal assent. 

I now come to one of the most remarkable 
of all Mr. Mill’s positions. It is the more re¬ 
markable because it is Mr. MUl’s main position, 
and is so clearly stated as to be open to no 
mistake. 

This will be found in page 14, and several 
following pages. 



10 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


The passages most deserving notice are too 
long for quotation, but the substance of the 
whole is this :—‘A bad tenure of land, though 
always mischievous, can in some measure be 
borne with; but not in Ireland, where the 
people have no means of sustenance but the 
land; for there, the conditions on which the 
land can be occupied and support derived from 
it, are all in all. Under an apparent resem¬ 
blance those conditions are radically different 
in Ireland and in England.’ 

Mr. Mill then, at considerable length, at¬ 
tempts to show where those conditions are 
radically different,—but in that he entirely 
fails; the only difference being in the charac¬ 
ter of the people, which he does not notice, 
and the difference in religion, on which he is 
silent, as I will be. 

The conclusion at which Mr. Mill arrives is 
this:—that the tenure of land is bad but en¬ 
durable in Great Britain, which is not entirely 
dependent on agi’iculture; but that, in Ireland, 
which is entirely dependent on agriculture, the 
same tenure of land is so bad "as to be unen¬ 
durable. 

It, therefore, follows, and must be Mr. Mill’s 
meaning that,—his proposed change in the 
tenui’e of land, which is to I'emove the great 



THE IKISH LA.ND QUESTION. 


11 


Irish grioTance, would also be an excellent 
change for the people of Great Britain, and, 
therefore, ought to be introduced by a general 
law into the whole of the United Kingdom. 

And so it ought to he—if Mr. Mill be right. 

But, what if he be wi’oug ? 

And once the law in Ii-eland, whether right 
or wrong, it would very soon afterwards, under 
the reformed Constituency, be the law in every 
other part of the United Kingdom. 

As Mr. Mill sees such great benefits to Ire¬ 
land from divesting the owners of land of the 
rights of ownership, and vesting tliose rights 
in the tenants or occupiers, subject to the pay¬ 
ment of,a fixed rent-charge, to be guaranteed 
by the Government, he could not be surprised 
at the tenants or occupiers of land in all other 
parts of the Kingdom asking to be allowed to 
share the same benefits, nor could he, in his 
place in Pai'liament, with any consistency re¬ 
fuse their application. But whether he refused 
it or not would be of very little consequence, 
because the reformed constituency would not 
only demand it, but would have it. 

I will not follow Mr. Mill in his reasoning 
for taking away from landowners in Ireland the 
control over their own land and parcelling it 
out in small holdings in perpetuity, or for a 



12 


IRELAM) AND ENGLAND. 


long term of years, at fixed rents, nor will I 
follow Hm in the facts to which he refers in 
Continental Countries in favour of this system, 

I will simply observe, what is so notorious 
as to need no proof, that, all experience in all 
coimtries is against small holdings, and that, 
all the facts referred to by Mi*. Mill, instead of 
supporting his position, are directly against it. 

Mr. Mill’s principal object is, fixity of tenure. 
The same object is prominent in Mr. Bright’s 
scheme, for the purchase of land in Ireland 
with the money of the State, to be repaid by 
the Tenants in the same way as the land im¬ 
provement loans, or that, a certain amount of 
money shall be added to the rent, until the 
value of the land shall be repaid. 

But Mr. Mill goes further, for he would have 
all the land of Ireland bought up, by forced 
sale, and relet by the State to lessees in perpe¬ 
tuity, at fixed yearly rents. 

Other schemes of the same kind have been 
brought forward by other Members of Parlia¬ 
ment, from whom better might have been ex¬ 
pected. But I forbear to notice them. They 
all tend to establish fixity of tenure and a pea¬ 
sant proprietorship in Ireland, the end of which 
could only be, to drive away whatever capital 
remains, and to pauperise the whole of Ireland. 



THE IRISH LAND QUESTION. 


13 


There are some questions, which one may 
be excused for not reasoning, and this is one 
of them. I will only avow my abhorrence of 
the doctrines for the redistribution of land in 
Ireland, or in any paii of the kingdom, and 
for the repudiation of contracts. 

I confess, I attach more importance to the 
facts in Lord Mayo’s speech, reported in the 
Times of March 11th, 1868, than to all the 
eloquent speeches of Philosophers and Theorists, 
though I regret, that Lord Mayo should have 
proposed chartei-ing and endowing a [Roman 
Catholic University. 

I agree with every word in Lord Mayo’s 
speech on the present state of Ireland. I be¬ 
lieve there was no time in Lnsh history when 
Ireland presented so many signs of improve¬ 
ment as at present. There is no country where 
rents are better collected, and few countries 
where landlords have spent more money for the 
improvement of their property and the benefit 
of their Tenants than in Ireland. No occasion 
has been shown for special legislation in Ireland, 
and all that Ireland wants is, to be let-alone at 
peace. 

Fenianism, though fostered in America, is a 
Eoinan Catholic conspiracy. 

The extensive emigration from Ireland to 



14 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


America mingled the lowest of the Irish Pea¬ 
santry with the rowdies of the Eepublic. Most 
of these joined in the civil war, and some of 
them attained subordinate rank in the rabble 


republican army; but all of them exchanged 
their pastoral pursuits for reckless rowdyism. 
Disbanded and despised at the close of the con¬ 
flict, and suddenly flnding themselves without 
. employment and without means, they formed 
themselves into bands of conspirators against 
their nominally native country, with no other 
object than plunder. Like desperadoes they have 
tried their experiment and have failed. But 
• these are not true Irishmen. Many of them 
wore not bom in Ireland, and most of them' 
have been bred in America, a mixture of the 
military mercenary and the low laborer, with 
Irish recklessness and disregard of consequences, 
■without country, without home, without social 
ties, with nothing to lose, and, as they igno¬ 
rantly thought, something to gain. 

The true Irishman is brave and loyal, and no 
greater affluent can be passed on the national 
character, than the suggestion that, ‘Ireland 
may become a province of France or a depen¬ 
dency of the United States.’ 

I now return to Mr. Mill’s pamphlet, and 
here I regret to be obliged to make some re- 



THE IRISH LAND QUESTION. 


15 


marks on the manner in which he has thought 
fit to hold up the Mai*quis of Conyngham to 
public odium. 

Mr. Mill says (page 19) :—“ When Irishmen 
ask to be protected against deeds of this de¬ 
scription, they are told that, the law they com¬ 
plain of is the same which exists in England. 
What signifies it that the law is the same, if 
opinion and the social circumstances of the 
country are better than the law, and prevent 
the oppression which the law permits ? 

“It is bad that one can be robbed in duo 
course of law, but it is gi'eatly worse when 
one actually is.” 

The fieeds here referred to, against which 
“ Irishmen ask to be protected,” are the Leases, 
which they have deliberately accepted and 
signed. The law compels the performance of 
the covenants equally on both sides, that is, on 
the part of the lessor and lessee respectively. 

Mr. Mill says, that may be a good law in 
England, but is a bad law in Ireland, because 
it operates oppressively against the Lessee. 
Mr. Mill does not deny that, the lessee was a 
free agent when he accepted the lease with its 
conditions; but to enforce those conditions 
against the lessee is oppressive in Ireland, 
though not oppressive in England. This is so 



16 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


bad in Ireland that, ‘ it is robbery in due 
course of law,’ though in England it is fair 
enough. 

I would ask Mi\ Mill,—What he supposes 
would be the value of property in Ireland, if 
contracts affecting Irish j^roperty could not be 
enforced in due course of law ? 

Does Mr. Mill suppose that, capitalists could 
be found ready to invest their money in Ireland, 
when “ the social circumstances of the country, 
did not prevent the debtor from cheating his 
creditor ?” 

What has the law to do with the prudence 
of contracting parties, if both be in their sound 
senses ? 

Does Mr. Mill really believe that the condi¬ 
tion of Ireland would be improved by placing 
all the land of Ireland in the possession and 
power of Peasant Proprietors ? 

Does he expect that, many of the Irish no¬ 
bility and gentry would then continue to be 
residents in Ireland, and does he think that, 
their absence would tend to improve the condi¬ 
tion of Ireland or the Irish. 

I have no intention to argue these points 
with Mr. Mill, nor should I have noticed them, 
but for some fear of the weight, which his 
name may carry with many who do not like 



THE IRISH LAND QDESTION. 


17 


tlie trouble of thinking, or are not able to think 
for themselves. 

But can Mi*. Mill justify to himself the 
holding up to public odium and, perhaps, to 
Fenian fui*y, the Marquis Conyngham, as the 
oppressive landlord of his extensive Irish 
estates ? "* 

Was the present a well chosen time for such 
an ex parte statement, even if true ? and that 
statement is made by Mr. Mill, not on his own 
personal knowledge, but on the authority of a 
Reverend Author of a pamphlet on “ Tenant 
Wrong Illustrated in a Nutshell; or a History 
of Kilkee in Relation to Landlordism during the 
last Seven'Tears.” 

The charge is that, the Marquis of Conyngham, 
“ at once put on rents equal to the full value of 
the improvements on his estate at Kilkee, and 
pulled down a considerable portion of the 
town, thereby reducing its population from 
1879 to 950.” 

For anything here stated, tliis may have 
been a very judicious change for those who re¬ 
mained, as well as for those who were “ ih’iven 
out.” 

But Mr. Mill says, this was ‘ to perpetrate 
what is morally robbery ’! 

The measure complained, of may have been 

c 



18 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


harsh, or it may not, but it cannot have been 
robbery, legally or morally. 

Siu’ely, to say the least of it, this is a loose 
style of -writing, on such a subject and such an 
occasion ! 

Mr. Mill says (page 24), “ to hold Ireland 
pennanently by the old bad means is simply 
impossible,” and then he goes to Poland and 
Jamaica ,for hon-oi-s. But, "who proposes to 
govern Ii-eland “by the old bad means,” or after 
the precedents set in Poland or Jamaica? 

It -would have been better if Mr. Mill had 
thought a little more of the tendency at this 
time of such remarks. 

And again, one may be excused for doubting 
the pmdence of such remarks as these (page 
29):—“ But there is a contingency beyond all 
this, from the possibility of -which -we ought not 
to avert our eyes. Ireland might be invaded 
and conquered by a gi'eat military power. She 
might become a province of France.” 

So might England. There is “ a contingency ’ ’ 
and “the possibility,” and the probability is 
about equal in both cases. But what is Mr. 
Mill’s inference ? 

It is, however, something, to know that, 
Mr. Mill can “ see nothing that Ireland could 
gain by separation, which might not be obtained 
by union.” 



THE IRISH LAND QUESTION. 


19 


Mr. Mill is not singular in that opinion, for 
1 believe that to be the universal feeling in 
Great Britain and Ireland, harring a few of the 
Irish pisantry, who have acquhed in the United 
States, a taste for civil war, and, in some in¬ 
stances, the rank of Captain and even Colonel. 

But, Mr. Mill asks, (page 32),—“ Why can¬ 
not Ireland remain united with the British 
Crown by a mere personal tie, having the 
management of her own affairs, as Canada has, 
though a part of the same Emph'e ?” 

The answer is simply,—because Ireland is 
on the other side of the Irish Channel, and 
Canada is on the other side of the Atlantic. 

Mr. Mill' need not have referred to Austria 
and Hungary to prove the difficulty of keeping 
two countries together without uniting them. 

We all know that The difficulty is in 
uniting them, and that difficulty, as regards 
England and Ireland, Mr. Mill has not helped 
to- remove; nor has he shown that, Austria 
and Hungaiy, and England and Ireland are 
parallel cases. 

Mr. Mill is right in saying (page 36), 'that, 
the separation of Ireland from England would 
be “a complete failure, as it would convert 
the peasant farmers into peasant proprietors.” 
But, from this, it is clear, Mr. Mill does not 



20 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


see that, such must he the consequence, if his 
scheme were earned out 

Now, Mr. Mill has given ns his scheme 
shortly (page 36), and here it is, in his own 
words: — “ It must he ascertained in each 
case, what annual payment would he- an 
equivalent to the landlord for therent he 
now receives (provided that rent' he not ex¬ 
cessive), and for the present value of what¬ 
ever prospect there may he of an increase, 
from any other soui'ce than the peasants’ own 
exertions. This annual sum should he seem-ed 
to the landlord, under the guarantee of the 
State. He should have the option of receiving 
it duectly from the national treasury, hy heing 
inscribed as the owner of Consols sufficient to 
yield the amount.” 

Here is a little obscurity of meaning. 

But, assuming the meaning to be that, the 
landowner is to be compelled to surrender his 
Estate to his Tenants, in perpetuity or for a 
long term of ,years, for a fixed annual sum, I 
am at a loss to understand how Mr. Mill makes 
this out to be for the benefit of landowners or 
tenants or for the improvement of the condi¬ 
tion of Ireland in general. 

Mr. Mill’s proposition simply destroys the 
foundation of all property in Ireland, and re- 



THE IRISH LAND QUESTION. 21 

verses all its institutions. He would divest 
all the noblemen and gentry of their Estates, 
and make the State the universal landlord in 
Ireland, with all the landlords’ responsibilities 
and risks. Wliatever antagonism exists be¬ 
tween landlord and tenant in Ireland is now 
widely spread and infinitely divided, and, more¬ 
over, is infinitely diversified and tempered 
with reactionary and ameliorating influences. 

But Mr. Mill’s scheme would concentrate 
the whole antagonism against the landlord 
State, the hard rule of which, for its own pro¬ 
tection, must bo enforced against defaulting 
tenants, without distinction and without dis¬ 
cretion. ‘All capital wonld.be withdrawn with 
the secuiity for its protection, and Ireland, de¬ 
serted by its rightful landowners and delivered 
up to its peasant proprietors, would be divided 
into small holdings, which would soon produce 
supplies insufficient for the support of the 
holders, and then the horrors of famine with¬ 
out relief, would be aggravated by civil war and 
anarchy with hopeless ruin, for with the loss 
of help would come the loss of hope, and that 
is wild despair. 

Where would then bo the British Govern¬ 
ment with its guarantee to the dispossessed 
Irish laiidowners ? 



22 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


Wlio- can say, in^ that state of affaii'S, that 
Ireland would not then become a French pro¬ 
vince or a dependency of the United States ? 

If such would be the consequences of Mr. 
Mill’s proposition, it is no answer when he says 
that, he is misrepresehted. Nobody supposes 
that, these consequences represent his meaning, 
but only that, his proposition necessarily in¬ 
volves these consequences, 

I wiU not, in these comparatively trifling 
remarks, enter into the grave question of the 
Irish Church lands and titles, which Mr. Mill 
handles with rather a rough hand. I have 
been so long accustomed to regard the property 
of the Established Church, whether in Ireland 
or in England, as sacred as, at least, the pro¬ 
perty of individuals, that I am not prepared to 
make an unconditional sm'render of the one or 
the other to popular outciy^ 

The difficulty in dealing with Irish grievan¬ 
ces seems to be in the great diversity of opinion 
as to what are the real grievances to be relieved. 
Much talk is heard about fixity of tenure for 
the Irish tenant, but nobody seems to know 
precisely what that means, and those who may 
be supposed to be best acquainted with Ireland 
say that, nobody in Ireland is ever hoard to 
ask for it. The landlords and the laborers, 



THE IRISH LAND QUESTION. 


23 


ccrtamly, do not. The Protestant Parsons and 
the Eoman'Catholic Priests all declare that, 
they do not, and Mi*. Mill himself doubts 
whether the tenants would care for it, if offered 
to them on fair terms. Therefore, something 
unfaii* to the landlords must he in contempla¬ 
tion, to make the offer acceptable even 'to the 
tenants. To set ont in nncertamty as to where 
you ai*e going is lilcely to lead to an uncertain 
end, and it may be safer to wait until you can 
see your way, especially when it is quite clear 
that, however wrong you may go, you can 
never retrace youi* steps. Before the Legisla¬ 
ture steps in between the Irish landlord and 
his tenants' to redi’ess the tenants’ wi’ongs, it 
seems only reasonable that, these alleged UTongs 
should be subject to enquiry and proof. If 
the result of such enquiry be, to substantiate 
the existence of wi’ongs, which Mr. Mill and 
others assume, and that, no Other remedy than 
they suggest can save the separation of Ireland 
from Great Britain, then, by all means, lot us 
take their remedy, with all its chances. But, 
then, it should be remembered that, as long as 
Ireland is united to Great Britain, whatever 
measui’e of relief is found good for Ireland, the 
same will be held good for, and must, sooner or 
later, be introduced into, the whole Kingdom. 



24 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


It may, therefore, be not inappropriate to 
the present enquiry for the relief of Ireland, to 
consider whether some change might not bc' 
made in our fiscal system, for the general and 
equal relief of every part of the United King¬ 
dom, 

I have long been of opinion that, such a 
change might be effected, with incalculable 
benefit to the whole kingdom. 

Several years ago, I set forth my views on 
this subject, with gi’eat minuteness of detail, 
supporting every statement, on the financial 
part of the question, with figm-es from the 
Government Accounts, in a work of much 
labor, called “ The People’s Blue Book.” The 
First and Second Editions were published in 
August and October, 1857, and the Thii’d 
Edition (re-written to meet the changes in 
the Eevenue and Expenditure), was pub¬ 
lished in August, 1862, and within a few 
weeks afterwai’ds that Edition was out of 
print. 

I withheld my name, as the Author, from a 
disinclination to subject myself to the remarks, 
which I then expected would be made on my 
revolutionary views. 

I now avow myself the Author, with less 
reluctance, and some better hopes fi’om a re- 



THE IRISH LAND CIUESTION. 


25 


formed Parliament, and as the book has long 
been out of print, and I have no intention of 
ever undertaking the labor of another Edition, 
I may be excused for now referring to it, and 
quoting from it. 




PART II. 


TAXATION. 




29 


TAXATION. 

The following is a short outline of the scheme 
of Taxation proposed in ‘ The People’s Blue 
Book;’ 3rd Edition, 1862. 

The present object is, to show that, the 
j)roposcd change in the system of taxation for 
the United Kingdom is peculiarly applicable 
for the relief of Ireland. 

* f 

This change, like every other great change, 
has been called revolutionary, but it involves no 
departure from Constitutional Law; on the con¬ 
trary, it proceeds on the principle of the British 
Constitution, established by Magna Charta and 
confirmed by the Bill of Rights, now acknow¬ 
ledged as the People’s Charter, though in 
practice disregarded on some most important 
points. 

But as this Scheme of Taxation is founded 
on principles somewhat at vai’iance with those 
laid down by the high authority of Adam 
Smith and received with almost universal as¬ 
sent, it will be convenient here to state shortly 



30 


IBELAND AND ENGLAND. 


the principle on which this scheme proceeds, 
and to show wherein it differs with the prin¬ 
ciple of that most eminent authority. 

It has been said that, Actual equality of 
taxation would he a criterion of the highest 
civilisationbut tliis is as great an eiTor "as 
if, in place of the word, ‘ taxation^ the word, 
property^ were substituted. The one is as un¬ 
desirable and impossible as the other. 

It is a common opinion that, State. Taxes 
should be raised by an equal rate on all de¬ 
scriptions of property. That the rate should, 
be equal is a correct principle; but to apply 
that to all descriptions of property is, simply 
impossible, and, if possible, undesirable. 

Property is so various and so variable in'its 
nature that, equality of rating, for all descrip¬ 
tions of property, must he impracticable. 

But the proposition assumes that, it is for 
the interest of the State that, all Property 
should be taxed by an equal rate. 

I hold this assumption to be enthely wrong, 
and that, if it were possible to carry out such 
a system of taxation, it would be most inju¬ 
rious to the State. 

I think I have proved that position in the 
pages of the ‘ People’s Blue Bookbut I can¬ 
not enter into that proof here. 



TAXATION. 


31 


Adam■ Smitli has said: — “The subjects of 
every State ought to. contribute towards the 
support of the Government as nearly as pos¬ 
sible in proportion to their respective abilities; 
that is, in proportion to the revenue which 
they respectively enjoy undei:..tlie protection of 
the State.” 

It probably did not occur to Adam Smith, 
when he wrote those words, that, of the re¬ 
venue which one man receives in the year, 
another man often enjoys the greater part, as 
in the case of that portion of a man’s annual 
receipts, which includes the interest of boiTowed 
money. And, why should “the subject con¬ 
tribute to the support of the Government” out 
of a revenue derived from a foreign country ? 

On no ground of policy or principle of jus¬ 
tice can such a. proposition he maintained. 
But on grounds of policy and justice it may 
be shown that, this proposition requires to he 
modified. 

If it be shown to he for the interest of the 
State that, certain descriptions of property 
only should be taxed, it must be sufficient if 
all property of those descriptions be taxed by 
an equal rate. 

There can be no principle for taxing all 
persons equally “ in proportion to their respec- 



32 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


tive abilities,” if it be shown that, such taxa¬ 
tion is injurious to the State, as well as to the 
individuals. 

No person or class of persons coidd justly 
complain of injiuy, because another person or 
class of persons was untaxed, if all property of 
the same description were equally taxed, and 
if to tax them in property of another descrip¬ 
tion would be injurious to the State and to all 
persons individually. 

If it can be shown that,- there are taxes on 
certain descriptions of property, which take 
out and keep out of the pockets of the people 
over and above what those taxes briiig into 
the public treasury of the State, such taxes are 
expressly condemned by Adam Smith. 

The Tax on Cora was such a tax. The 
Customs and Excise duties are such taxes. 
Every one of our existing taxes, including the 
Income Tax, as at present assessed, are such 
taxes, with the single exception of the Land 
Tax, which is unequally, and, therefore, un¬ 
justly assessed. 

Adam Smith said:—“Every tax ought to 
be so contrived as both to take out and keep 
out of the pockets of the people, as little as 
possible over and above what it brings into 
the public treasury of the State.” 



TAXATION. 


33 


This is an axiom which cannot he disputed, 
and this is a condemnation of all Indii’ect 
Taxes. 

But this destroys Adam Smith’s former pro¬ 
position, as shown in the pages of the ‘ People’s 
Blue Book.’. It is there also'shown that, no 
injury is done to the State or to Individuals, if 
large classes of persons escape the payment of 
any tax in respect of property ; hut that it is 
for the benefit of the State as well as of the 
Subjects that, such persons should he free from 
the payment of any tax in respect of property. 

The plan of the work referred to is, to show 
that, the present system of Taxation is not “ so 
contrived as to take out and keep out of the 
pockets of the people as little as possible over 
and above what it brings into the public ti’ea- 
sury of the State,” but quite the contrary, and 
to show this, the Actual Cost and Estimated 
Indirect Loss incurred by raising the Eevenue 
under the present system, is given with much 
minuteness of detail. 

For the present purpose a few abridged ex¬ 
tracts will be sufficient. 

For obtaining a clear insight into the work¬ 
ing of the present system of taxation, it is ne¬ 
cessary to examine it under the two following 
heads:— 



34 


lEELAND AND ENGLAND. 


1. Actual Cost. 

2. Indirect Loss. 

1., Actual Cost. 

According to the Government Accounts of 
Public Income and Expenditm*e for the Finanr 
cial Year, ended 31st March, 1861, the Net 
Taxes paid into the Exchequer (exclusive of 
Post Office, Crown Lands and Miscellaneous 
Receipts), were as follows :— 

Taxes. 

Customs. 

Excise ...... 

Stamps. 

Land Tax. 

Assessed Taxes . . . 

Property and Income Tax 

Total . . . .£65,297,381 


From the mannci* in which the Government 
Accounts are made out, it is not easy to ascer¬ 
tain the Costs of Collection and Management 
of the Revenue Departments. But the fault 
seems to be much more in the system than in 
the book-keeping, though that might be much 
improved. It is easy to see how, under the 


£23,278,250 
19,548,133 
8,368,869 
1,144,672 
2,000,397 
. 10,957,060 








TAXATION. 


35 


present system, very large sums of money miglit 
be misappropriated without risk of detection, 
No efficient check can be provided until the 
Revenue Departments be required to fui-nish 
an accurate Account of Income and Expendi- 
tm’e under each head. •■* 

This would, probably, reveal many secrets, 
but it would, certainly, afford much informa¬ 
tion, which the Public ought to have but can¬ 
not now obtain. 

The Public nmv have no means of ascertain¬ 
ing the actual receipts from Stamps, Land-Tax, 
Assessed Taxes, and Income Tax; nor the ac¬ 
tual expenditure of that enormous establish¬ 
ment at Somerset House in its numerous de¬ 
partments. The Legacy and Succession duties 
are muddled together, and the L’ish Income 
Tax, under Schedule A. is lumped in one 
sum. 

These are a few instances only in what some 
may consider small matters, and are given 
merely as illustrations; but when it is found 
that, the Government Finance Accounts differ 
widely from all other Statistics, professing to 
give the Income and Expenditm'c for the same 
periods, this encourages suspicion that, some of 
the Accounts will not bear close inspection. 
This suspicion can never be removed, until the 

a2 



36 


lEELAND AND ENGLAND. 


receipts and expenditure of each separate ser¬ 
vice be fully and clearly presented to the Public. 

It is a striking fact that, the Costs of such an 
Establishment as Somerset House, maintained 
at an enormous annual expenditure, are no 
where to be found. 

It is obviously impossible to prevent embez¬ 
zlement or misappropriation of Pnblic monies 
and other frauds, if the Books of Account of 
all the Eevenue Departments of the State be 
not balanced periodically and submitted to 
strict and impartial audit. Nor can any good 
reason be shown, why the Financial Year of 
the Governihent should not terminate on the 
31st December. It might be a sufficient reason 
for making the Financial Year so terminate, 
that the Government Account would then so 
far con’espond with the Accounts of almost 
every public and private establishment in the 
kingdom. 

If this simple and most natural mode of pro¬ 
ceeding had been adopted, none of those ex¬ 
tensive defalcations which have been discovered 
in the Income Tax, could hav6 occurred. 

This is no imputation of fraud, but it is a 
serious charge to say that. Accounts are kept 
in such a form as to be open to fraud, without 
any means of detection. 



taxation. 


3T 


The following Accounts are taken’ from the 
Government Finance Accounts for the year 
ended 31st March, 1861:— 


Custonis. 

Salaries and Expenses of the Cus¬ 
toms Department (Finance Ac¬ 
counts, page 18).£769,663 

Coast Guard Service (Naval Es¬ 
timates, page 22). 910,799 

Superannuation Allowances, etc., 

(Finance Accounts, page 19) . . 170,979 

Ditto, ditto, for Coast Guard and 

Eevenue Cruisers Service (Ditto) 57,587 

Ditto, ditto, for Colonies (Ditto) . 16,149 

Costs of Customs.£1,925,177 


Inland Revenue. 

Salaries and Expenses of the Inland 
Eevenue Department. (Finance 
Accounts, page 18) .... £1,344,934 

Superannuation Allowances, etc., 

(Finance Accounts, page 19) . 201,970 


£1,546,904 



38 


lEELAND AjSD ENGLAND. 


Summary. 

Total Customs .£1,925,177 

„ Inland Eevenue .... 1,546,904 

Costs of Customs and Inland Ee- - 

venue ........ £3,472,081 


Here is an Annual Expenditure of £3,472,081 
for the Costs of Collection and Management of 
the Customs and Inland Eevenue Departments, 
according to the Government Accounts. 

The Chief Authority at Somerset House (to 
■whom'special application was made on this oc¬ 
casion), says, in answer, that the expenses of 
that enormous establishment, in the collection 
of Stamps and Taxes, are all included in the 
Government Financial Account for the year, 
under the head of Inland Eevenue; but in vain 
is that Accoimt searched for the particulars of 
these expenses. If included, the mode of 
entry effectually baffles all investigation. 

Under the Statute 24 & 25 Viet. cap. 103, 
sec. 19, the whole expense of Collecting the 
Inland Eevenue, which comprises Excise, 
Stamps, Land and Assessed Taxes and Pro¬ 
perty and Income Tax, is voted by Parliament, 
in one Vote. 

The Chief Authority at Somerset House, in 




TAXATION. 


39- 


answer to the special application made to him 
for more particular information, wi'ote as fol¬ 
lows :— 

“There is no separate Vote or Estimate for 
the different branches of the Inland Kevenue, 
nor can there be, the same .person being in 
many cases employed in the 6ollection of every 
branch. The expenditure is accounted for in 
the Finance Accounts annually laid before Par¬ 
liament.” 

This is, no doubt, a correct but a very un¬ 
satisfactory ansAver; nor does it requii’e much 
knowledge to see that, the rcA^enue from Ex¬ 
cise, Stamps, Land Tax, Assessed Taxes, Pro¬ 
perty and Income Tax, amounting together to 
£42,019,131, cannot be collected and paid into 
the Exchequer at so small a cost as, £1,546,904, 
or 3"681 per cent.. 

But, in the absence of fuller information, 
this must be taken as the actual cost of collec¬ 
tion of the Inland Eevenue. 

The same reason applies to the Customs 
Duties, amounting to £23,278,250, and to^the 
cost of collection, £1,925,177, or 8'207 per cent. 

No one, acquainted with the woi’king of the 
system of Customs and Excise, can doubt that, 
the actual cost very much exceeds these sums, 
as charged. But taking these to be the actual 



40 IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 

Costs of Collection, as charged in the Govern- 
]nent accounts for the Financial Tear, ended 
31st March, 1861, the Account stands thus:— 

Summary of Actual Cost. 

Customs .£1,925,177 or 8-270 per cent, on £23,278,250 

Inland Ecvenue 1,646,904 ,, 3-681 „ „ ,, 42,019,132* 

Total.£3,472,081 or 5-317 per cent, on £65,297,381 


2, Indirect Loss. 

As there can he no certain data for Esti¬ 
mates under this head, it is needless to say 
that, the following Estimates must be uncer¬ 
tain. But, the object is not so much to show 
the exact amount of loss from the present 
system, as to show that, there id unavoidably a 
very great loss, which may be saved under a 
system of dii’ect taxation. 

To pay a direct tax costs nothing more than 
the amount of the tax itself, and the simple 
cost of collecting it. With Customs and Ex¬ 
cise the case is very different, as will be seen, 
if all the costs, charges and expenses, together 
with the losses from frauds, delays, and other 
impediments to trade, be taken into the account. 


* See pages 34 & 68. 





TAXATION, 


41 


To take this account in full is scarcely pos¬ 
sible. For the present pui’pose it may be 
sufficient tO add up the salaries of clerks (in 
Liverpool alone amounting to several hun¬ 
dreds) and Customs Brokers, demurrage of 
sliips, (many of them worth..to the owners 
£20 a day and upwards) detained for Landing 
Waiters, and all the crowd of paid loiterers. 
Also, loss of markets for cargoes delayed, 
often to the very serious damage and incon¬ 
venience of . the mci’chant and owner. Also, 
dock-room provided at vast expense by mercan¬ 
tile communities,—that dock-room prevented, 
by Customs’ regulations and interference, from 
doing much more than half the service it 
might and otherwise would do. Also, waste 
of labor in weighing, unpacking, and examin¬ 
ing goods for the satisfaction of the revenue 
officers, without any benefit to anybody, but 
with certain great trouble, loss of time, and 
often ivith great injury to the commodities; 
and in connection with this, about a third of 
all the wages paid to porters on board, or at¬ 
tending ships discharging, or at bonded ware¬ 
houses, where seldom more than six or seven 
hours’ work are done in a day, though the men 
are paid for ten and a half hours. And add, 
the further delay, vexation and expense of the 



42 


IRELAND AKD ENGLAND. 


petty stamp labels, recently reqiiired for every 
package and parcel and for every invoice and 
bill of lading. And to all tbis add;—loss from 
Allowances, Drawbacks, Frauds, and Negli¬ 
gences. It is difficult to ascertain all these 
items accurately, but it is not difficult to see 
that, collectively they must amount to a heavy 
tax, and must be serious impediments to Trade. 

It is, probably, no exaggeration to assume 
that, all these Costs and Losses are equal to 6 
per cent, on the amount of Customs and Excise 
duties paid into the. Exchequer for the year, or 
£2,569,582. 

These charges are in addition to the tax of 
225 per cent, on the single article of Tea. 

But this is not all. 

The dealers’ profits on the duties are, at 
least, 25 per cent., and when it is considered 
that, two, three, and, in some cases, even foiu* 
cumulative profits (with all the intervening 
risks and charges for bad debts, iusui'ances, 
&c., on the paid duty and cumulative profits 
in process), are paid by the consumer,—and 
when the per centage of profit necessary to the 
existence of the last retailer,—(whether in 
price or in quality,—matters not), is taken into 
account, the candid inquirer will not, probably, 
think these profits unreasonable. 



TAXATION. 


43 


This 25 per cent, on Customs and Excise 
duties is, £10,706,595. 

The Cost of Prosecutions for Smuggling and 
other breaches of the Bevenue Laws, and the 
Cost of transportation and maintenance in prison 
of those convicted, cannot be .calculated with 
any accuracy. 

The Government Account for the year ended 
31st March, 1861, gives the Costs of Criminal 
and other Prosecutions at £180,000. 

The Government Eeturns for the year, 1860, 
give the number of Criminal Offenders con¬ 
victed, as follows:— 

England and Wales . . . 12,068 
Scotland . . . . . . 2,441 
Ireland ...... 2,969 


Total .... 17,478 

The expenditure of the Convict Prisons of 
England in the year 1860-61, is stated at 
£276,399. 

How much of this expenditure is attribu¬ 
table to tlie Eevenue Laws is not known; but 
it is well known that, these Laws are more 
fruitful in Criminal Offenders than all the 
other Laws of the kingdom put together 1 

But in the Government Einancial Account 




44 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


for the year ended 31st March, 1861, under 
the head of Customs,—the whole of the Costs 
charged for “ Law Charges, Subsistence of Pri¬ 
soners, Eewards -for the Captm-e of Smugglers, 
Ecwards for Seisures,” and on account of Penal¬ 
ties recovered, and Expenses on account of leis¬ 
ures is only £8,064 14s. 10c?. This sum is 
included in the sum total as charged in the 
Government Account for Costs of Customs 
Duties,—£769,663 10s. 4fi?. 

It may be a fact too unpleasant to be told 
by the Government, but it is well known to 
all who are acquainted with the working of 
the system that, this sum as charged is little 
more than nominal, with reference to the actual 
expenses, and that the further sum of £214,131, 
may be very safely added to the £8,064. 

But, Indirect Taxation leads to a heavy 
augmentation of another burden: 

The Eate for Belief op the Poor. 

What proportion of this is incurred by in¬ 
creased difficulty for able-bodied men to earn 
an independent living, because high duties 
have made Trade unprofitable, have hindered 
production, have prohibited importation, com¬ 
pelling thousands of willing and skilful work¬ 
men “ to sit enchanted in workhouses,” is, of 



TAXATION. 


45' 


coiirse, impossible to be told. But, if one- 
tbird of the whole sum raised yearly under 
the Poor Laws, for the Relief of the Poor, be 
attributed to this cause, such would seem to 
be not an unreasonable estimate. Indeed, the 
Loss to the nation by the paralysis of industry 
is, probably, much more than the whole sum 
raised for the relief of the Poor. But, taking 
only one-third of the legal relief of the Poor 
as chargeable to the evil influence of Indirect 
Taxation, that one-third has been for Eng¬ 
land and Wales, during the last 40 years, 
^£2,508,987 i^er annum, there having been no 
legal relief in Ireland and Scotland, until a 
comparatively recent peiiod. 

The amount returned, as levied for the “re¬ 
lief and maintenance of the Poor” in England, 
Wales, and Ireland, in the year ended 25tli 
March, and in Scotland, in the year ended 
14th May, 1848, was £7,941,778, 

According to the 13th and last published 
Report of the Poor Law Board for England 
and Wales, for the year ended 25th March, 
1860 ; and according to the 15th and last pub¬ 
lished Report of the Board of Supervision for 
the Relief of the Poor in Scotland, for the year 
ended 14th May, 1860; and according to the 
last published Report of the Commissioners for 



46 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


administering the Laws for Belief of the Poor 
in Ireland for the year ended 29 th September, 
1860;—the sums expended for the Belief of 
the Poor were, as follows' 

England and Wales . £5,454,964 . 

Scotland. 643,303 

Ireland . . • . . 454,266 


Total . . . £6,552,533 

Taking tliis amount (which is below the 
average}, one-third,* or £2,184,177,—may be 
considered as a small proportion ,due to the 
operation of the Laws which prohibit commer¬ 
cial enterprise, hinder or extinguish manufac¬ 
tures, repress industry, and force productive 
hands to become non-productive. 

This sum of £2,184,177 (nearly 6 per cent, 
on the Customs and Excise duties), may, 
therefore, be added to the previously accumu¬ 
lated items of Loss. 

, But directly oppressive as are Customs and 
Excise duties on the People, the injurious effects 
on Commerce are indirectly still more oppressive. 

Dur Trade with China is conducted, for the 
most part, on the system of Exchange. We 
take their Tea and Silk in exchange for our 
Manufactures, and our heavy duties, in com- 



TAXATION. 47 

parison 'with, tlie ’ light duties of the Chinese, 
operate most injuriously on our Trade with. 
China. 

In 1847, a Select Committee of the House 
of Commons was appointed to inquhe into the 
state of our Trade with China. "The Committee 
sat sixteen days and -examined 46^ Witnesses, 
comprising 17 Merchants engaged extensively 
in the trade with China. 

The substance of the laborious Eeport of 
that Committee, having been already given in 
_ the ‘ People’s Blue TBook,’ cannot be here re¬ 
peated. It is sufficient here to refer to the 
couclusiou that, the exorbitance of oui* duty 
on Tea is hmiting our Exports, and ultimately 
-endangering oiu’ Trade with China, — and 
thereby seriously interfering with the employ¬ 
ment of labor. 

As affecting the social condition of the People, 
and our relation with China, the Eeport ob¬ 
serves:—“That it is also desirable in itself, 
as promoting the increased consumption of a 
beverage wholesome and agreeable to every 
class of our population, and one which is in¬ 
creasingly desired as a substitute for intoxica¬ 
ting liquors; and tliat, it would be no more 
than is due to tho Chinese, who tax our pro¬ 
ducts so lightly, while we burden theirs so 



48 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


heavily, and -with such inconvenience to their 
trade.” 

Respecting the effect of such reduction on 
the Revenue, the Committee remark :—“ In 
fact, the whole difficulty exists in the effect, 
which any material reduction,—and none other 
would he of much value, may he expected to 
have upon the resources of the Exchequer.’’^ 

The Evidence of all the Witnesses examined 
on the question, as to the effect on our trade, 
was most forcible to this conclusion. 

Medical and Chemical Witnesses were ex¬ 
amined, and all proved the sanitary effects of 
Tea, and the great extent to which adultera¬ 
tion was carried, in consequence of the enor¬ 
mous duty levied on Tea, and that many of 
these adulterations were of a poisonous, and all 
of a highly injurious, nature. And fui-ther, all 
the evidence proved that, the present trade 
with China furnished no criterion for estima¬ 
ting what might he our trade with China, if, 
on on our part only, that trade wore entirely 
free. 

Who can pretend to say what might be our 
trade with China; if the duty on Tea were 
abolished; and our Merchants were free to 
import Tea into this country at the prime 
cost in China, with the addition only of the 



TAXATION. 


49 


cost of freiglit, wliicli, in the rate per pound, 
would he an inappi'eciahlc and imperceptible 
sum? 

Who can pretend to say to what extent 
China might receive British Manufactures in 
exchange for Tea and Silk, if all impediments 
to the mutual interchange of natural produce 
tions were removed ? 

Who, therefore, can pretend to calculate, 
with anything like accuracy, the loss to this 
country directly and indu-cctly from the Tax 
on Tea alone ? 

Tlicso remarks, which apply more or less to 
all the articles subject to Customs and Excise 
duties, ai’e left to be applied by every one for 
himself. On such a question as this, it is to 
be expected that, different minds will take dif¬ 
ferent views, and will arrive at different con¬ 
clusions from the same facts. But it is also to 
he expected that, there are many who will 
come to the conclusion that, these Estimates of 
Costs and Losses are very much under the 
mark, and that, the system, which works out 
these results, ought to be changed. 

How to estimate this indirect loss to our 
Trade and Manufactures through the inevitable 
operation of Customs and Excise is a question 
not easily answered. 



60 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


It is not the estimate of an actual loss, but 
of the loss of a probable gain. 

For this there can be no certain data, though 
the loss of the gain is certain and very great. 

The computed Eeal Value of the Imports 
into the United Kingdom, for the year ended 
31st December, I860., was as follows:— 

Total Imports.a£210,648,643 


The computed Eeal Value of the Exports 
from the United Kingdom, for the same year, 
was as follows:—^ 

Total Exports of Foreign and 
Colonial Produce, and Manu¬ 
factures ., . £29,827,836 


Total Exports of British and 
Irish Produce (Declared 
Value).£135,842,817 


•Can any one, acquainted with Trade and 
Manufactures, doubt that, our Imports and 
Exports will show 100 per cent, increase in 
the thii’d year after the abolition of Customs, 
Excise, and Stamp Duties ? 

Can any one, experienced in these matters, 
doubt that, the increase will be 200 per cent. 






TAXATION. 


51 


within the first five years, after these duties 
and all other hindrances have been removed ? 

In this view, is it an unreasonable estimate 
to compute the indirect Loss to the K'ation 
from these causes, on the last year’s account of 
Customs, Excise, and Stamp duties, at 100 per 
cent., or £51,195,252? 

But if the loss and injury to the frade and 
Manufactures of the Country be so great, what 
must be the loss and injury to the Landed 
Property and Houses of the kingdom ? 

It is manifestly impossible to make this esti¬ 
mate with any pretension to accuracy, but it 
is equally manifest that, a loss of such magni¬ 
tude must very greatly deteriorate the value 
of all Landed and House Property in the king¬ 
dom. 

If it be regarded only as the loss of a gain, 
it is still an actual loss, if it prevent an in¬ 
crease in the value of Land and Houses in the 
same proportion. 

It can hardly be necessary to waste many 
words in showing that, the value of Land and 
Houses is, in a great measure, dependent on 
the prosperity of the Trade and Manufactures 
of the Country. This is a fact established by 
experience, and we know from experience that, 
depression of Trade and Manufactures has al- 

■ E 2 



52 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


mys been followed by corresponding depres¬ 
sion in the value of Land and Houses. 

We have no experience to guide us in an 
estimate of the probable increase in the value 
of Land and Houses after the abolition of Cus¬ 
toms and Excise duties, but, if the increase in 
Trade and Manufactnres be equal to 100 per 
cent, in the third year, it can hardly be an ex¬ 
aggerated estimate to assume the increase in 
the value of Land and Houses in the fifth year, 
to be equal to 75 per cent, on the same duties, 
or £38,396,439. 

It is not to be expected that, the ultimate 
benefits of the change on Land and Houses, 
coming thi'ough the effects produced on Trade 
and Manufactures, can be fully realised until 
several years after the first effects have been 
brought into operation; but there can be no 
reason to doubt that, the full effects on Land 
and Houses will ultimately be in due propor¬ 
tion to the effects on Trade and Manufactui’es. 
How many years will be required for the full 
effects on both or either is, of course, beyond 
calculation, being, in a gi’eat Ineasui’e, depen¬ 
dent on many circumstances beyond human 
foresight. 

The estimate is, therefore, made at 75 per 
cent, for Land and Houses, within the first five 



TAXATION. 


53 


years after the change. In a few years after¬ 
wards, if no distui'bing causes arise in the 
mean time, it may be reasonably expected 
that,—the Estimate of 100 per cent, will be 
nearer to the actual fact. 

These may be taken as the principal heads 
of Indirect Loss to the Nation, through the 
present system of Indirect Taxation, by Cus¬ 
toms, Excise, and Stamp duties. 

Summary or Indirect Loss. 

Demurrages, Allowances, Draw¬ 
backs, Hindrances, Frauds, and 
Negligences. . 

Estimated at 6 per cent, on the 
Customs and Excise duties 
for the - Year ended 31st 
March, 1861 ...... £2,569.582 

Extra Profits to Traders for Ad¬ 
vance of Customs and Excise 
duties. 

Estimated at 25 per cent, ou 
those Duties for the same 
year. 10,706,595 

Additional Costs of Prosecu¬ 
tions for Smuggling and other 
breaches of the Eevenue Laws, 
and Expenses of transporting 





54 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


and maintaining persons con¬ 
victed. 

As estimated for the same year. ,£‘214,131 

Augmentation of Poor Bates, 

Estimated at one-third of the 
amount raised by Poor-Bates 
in the United Kingdom for 

the year 1860 2,184,177 

Loss and Injury to the Trade and 
Manufactures of the Kingdom. 

Estimated at 100 per cent, on 
the Customs and Excise 
duties. Stamps, and Taxes, 
for the year ended 31st 

March, 1861 66,297,381 

Loss and Injury to the Landed 
Property and Houses of the' 

Kingdom. 

Estimated at 75 per cent, on the 
same duties, Stamps, and 
Taxes, for the same year , 48,973,035 

Total Indirect Loss . . . £129,944,901 


Summary of Actual Cost and Indirect Loss. 

Actual Cost of Collection of 
Customs, and Excise, Stamps 



TAXATION. 


55 


and Taxes, as charged in the 
Government Account for the 
I'inancial Year, ended Blst 
March, 1861 ....... £3,472,081 

Indirect Loss through Customs 
and Excise, Stamps and Taxes," ‘ 
for the same year, as esti¬ 
mated .. 129,944,901 

Total Cost and Loss . . . £133,416,982 


Summary op Charges. 

Net amount of Taxes paid into 
the Exchequer according to 
the Government Account for 
the Financial Year ended 31st 
March, 1861 ..... £65,297,381 

Actual Cost and Indirect Loss 
in raising the above Eevenue . 133,416,982 

Total Charge.£198,714,363 


General Summary. 


Actual Cost £3,472,081= 5-317» 

Indirect Loss 129,944,901=199’0051 


per cent, on £65,297,381 


Total Cost 133,416,982=294-322 
and Loss _ _ 


133,416,982 


» 11 


Total Charge 198,714,363=304-322 


£198,714,363 




56 


IKBLAND AND ENGLAND. 


Thus, it appears that the Cost and Loss, 
directly and indirectly to the Nation, of raising 
the Net Eevenne of 5665,297,381 for the 
Financial Year, ended 31st March, 1861, 
under the present system of Customs and 
Excise duties. Stamps and Taxes, -svas 
£133,416,982, making the Total Charge to 
the Nation for the year {including the year’s 
revenue) £198,714,363, or 304*322 per cent, 
on the whole amount raised for the year by 
these taxes; or, in other words,—£2,822,220, 
more than three times the whole amount 
raised by Customs and Excise duties. Stamps, 
and Taxes for the year! Assuming the tax¬ 
payers to be six millions, out of a population 
of thirty millions (a large allowance), this is 
equal to a tax of £33. 2s. ^\d. a head. Of 
this sum, £10.17s. M. and no more, finds its 
way into the Exchequer. This is in the pro¬ 
portion of Is. to 3s. 0|^<7., and,' to be exact, 
a small fraction more than half a farthing more. 
Therefore, for every sliiiling paid into the 
Exchequer for Taxes, three shillings and a half¬ 
penny are taken out of the pockets of the 
people, and the difibrence is not only their loss, 
without any benefit to the Nation, but it is to 
the great injmy of the Trade, Manufacturers, 
and Agricultui-e, and consequently, of the 



TAXATION. 


57 


1 


whole property of the Kingdom, and the 
People of all the Nations of the “World! And, 
be it remembered, this calcrdation is made on 
the Net Eevcnue. 

On the ethical pai’t of the question, or the 
loss and injury to the nation from'fhe demoral¬ 
ising tendency and inevitable effect of our 
Ecvenue Laws, every one must form his own 
estimate, for we can never fully appreciate our 
loss rmder this head, until we can compare the 
results of a happier state of things with our 
experience of the past. 

It is often used as an argument against 
direct taxation that, taxes so levied press with 
unequal, therefore, unjust severity on Eeal 
Property, and that, the real property of the 
coimtry is already suffering under this unequal 
and unjust pressure. That the ground on 
which this argument rests is inconsistent with 
the facts of the case, will now be shown in the 
following Statement of Taxes, in a tabular 
form, for the Financial Year ended Slst March, 
1861. This is exclusive of local taxation. 




68 


IKELAND AND ENGLAND. 


CojiPABATivE Statement,- showing the Charges on Trade and 
Industry, and on Real Estate, under the present system of 
Taxation. 


Taxes. 

Net 

Revenue. 

Taxes on 
Trade and 
Industry. 

Taxes on 
Real Estate. 


£ 


£ 

Customs Duties . . 

23,278,250 

23,278,250 


Excise Duties . . 

19,548,133 

19,548,133 


Stamps, viz.:— 

8,368,869 



Deeds and other 




Instruments. . . 

. . 

442,449 

884,898 

Probates and Let- 




tors of Adminis- 




ti-ation .... 


429,431 

858,862 

Legacies and Sue- 




cessions . . T . 


• 720,008 

1,441,217 

Insurance, viz.:— 




Fire. 

. . . 

1,485,640 


Marine .... 

. . . 

325,341 


Other Stamps . . 


1,780,523 


Land Tax .... 


1,144,672 


1,144,672 

Duties on Offices 





and Pensions . . 

J 

# 609 

669 


Assessed Taxes, 





viz.:— .... 


1 1,999,728 



Under Schedule B. 




Inhabited Houses . 



822,936 

Otlier Schedules . 


1,176,792 


Income Tax,viz.;— 

10,057,060 



Under Schedules 




ABC. 

, . . 


6,504,112 

D.E. 

* . . • 

3,920,775 


Increase in tire 




year 1860-61 . • 

. . . 

632,173 


Net Revenue 

T66,297,381 

63,640,684 

11,636,697 


♦ Land Tax and Assessed Taxes, including “ Duties on 
Offices and Pensions,” are returned by the Inland Revenue 
Office in one sum, viz. jE 3,145,070, being ;£! more tlian the 
aggregate of the above three sums. 







TAXATION, 


59 


Taxes. 

Net 

Revalue. 

Taxes on 
Trade and 
Industry. 

__ 

Costs akd Losses. 

£■ ■ 

£. 

Costs of Collection of 
Customs and Excise 



duties, including 
Coast Guard Ser¬ 
vice, Superannua¬ 
tion and Compen- 

■ 


sation Allowances, 
and Pensions of 
Customs and Ex¬ 
cise, as charged 
Dcmiurages, Allow¬ 
ances, Hindrances. 
Frauds, and Negli- 

1 

, 3,472,081 



gcuces, ns estimated 

2,609,682 


Extra Profits to 
Traders for Ad- 



vance of Customs 
and Excise Duties, 
as estimated. . . 

10,706,695 


Additional Costs of 
Prosecutio ns for 


Smuggling, Adul¬ 
terations, and other 
Breaches 'of the 
Revenue Laws, and 
Expenses of trans¬ 
porting and main¬ 
taining Convicts, 
as estimated . . 

214,131 


Augmentation of 

Poors’ Rate, as 
estimated.... 

2,184,177 


Loss and Injury to 
Trade and Manu¬ 
factures, as esti¬ 
mated . 

66,297,381 


Loss and Injury to 
Landed Property 


and Houses, as 



estimated . . . 

43,531,586 


Cost and Loss . £ 

127,976,633 

63,640,684 


Taxes on 
Real Estate. 


£. 


11,656,697 






GO 


. lEELAND AND ENGLAND. 


Taxes. 

Net 

Revenue. 

Taxes on 
Trade and 
Jiulustry. 

Tuxes on 
Real Estate. 

Brought forward . 
Charge on Trade and 
Industry .... 
Charge on Real 
Estate .... 

£. 

127,975,533 

53,6-40,684 

11,650,097 

£. 

53,640,084 

£. 

11,656,697 

Total Chai'ge £ 

193,272,914 



Deduct Charge on 
Real Estate . . . 


11,656,697 


Excess on Trade and 
Industry .... 


£41,983,987 



Summary. 

Taxes on Trade and Industry ^53,040,681= 82 148 percent. 
• Taxes on Real Estate . . . Il,(i5(i,0!)7= 17’851 „ 

Excess on Trade and Industry A“41,0H3,n87= 04-207 „ 


Cost and Loss.£133,416,982=204-322 percent. 

Charge on Trade and Industry 63,640,08 4= 82'148 „ 
Charge on Real Estate . . 11,650,697= 17'851 „ 

Total Charge on Trade and 
Industry and on Real Estate £198,714,303=304-321 


Much difference of opinion may reasonably 
exist on the actual bearing of Taxes on Trade 
and Industry and on Real Estate; but, accord¬ 
ing to the division here made, of the actual 












TAXATION. 


B1 


Net Taxes, £53,640,684, or 82-148 per cent, 
bear directly on Trade and Industry, and only 
£11,656,697, or 17‘851 per cent, bear directly 
on Real Estate; showing an excess of burden 
on Trade and Industcy of £41,983,987, or 
64-297 per cent, over Real Estate. It follows, 
consequently, that, these Taxes, including the 
Actual Cost, and the Estimated Indirect Loss, 
incident to the Collection, are equal to a Total 
Charge on Trade and Industry and Real Estate, 
for the year, of £198,714,363,—or 304-322 
per cent., though, of those Indu-ect Losses, it 
will be. seen that, nearly the whole presses as 
a burden on Trade and Industry, and only a 
comparatively small poi-tion, — and that re¬ 
flected,—on Real Estate. 

In this Estimate it will be observed that, 
two-thirds of the whole amount Of Stamps for 
Deeds and other Instruments, Probates, and 
Letters of Administration, Legacies, and Suc¬ 
cessions, are assumed to be charges on Real 
Estate, and one-third only on Ti-ade and In¬ 
dustry. 

The Returns of Income Tax for the year 
1860-61 being Avithout the Schedules, the di¬ 
vision has been made according to the Schedules 
to the Retui-ns for the-year 1859-60. There¬ 
fore, as the increase in the year 1860-61 could 



62 


IRELAND. AND ENGLAND, 


not be divided according to the schedules for 
that year, the whole of such increase has been 
assumed to be chargeable against Trade and 
Industry, and is charged accordingly. 

In the Eeturns of the amount of property 
assessed under Schedule A, for Ireland, the 
Heads of Assessment have never been di§tin- 
guished. The number of these Heads is four‘‘ 
ieen, and the Eetui’n is ,—“—cannot he distin- 
guishedP Why not, is not said. These returns 
therefore, can be in no way relied upon, and 
furnish no check for the due application of the 
money so raised. 

The Het Amounts in the Eetiums for Ireland 
against the 14 Heads of Assessment, under 
Schedule A, are as follows: — 


Years 
ending 
6th April. 

1854 

1855 

1856 

1857 

1858 

1859 

1860 / 


Heads of Assessment. 

£. 

. 11,767,810 

. 11,892,120 

. 11,878,545 

Cannot be distinguished. 11,952,285 

. 12,826,739 

. 12,858,701 

. 12,893,829 


The total amount of Property Assessed in 









lAXATION. 


63 


Ireland under the five Schedules, according to 
the return for the year 1860, was £22,962,885. 

It may he here observed that, the difference 
between the Net Amoimt of the Income Tax 
in the Government Accounts and in the Ee- 
turns to Pai’liament, is in'econcileable and in¬ 
explicable; and, being given for the year, 
ending at different periods, must remain irre- 
•concileable and inexplicable, as long as this 
practice is continued. 

The second division under this head, gives, 
in minute detail, the plan proposed for carrying 
out in practice the New System of Taxation, 
on the principles here laid down, and which 
may be shortly stated to be comprised in the 
three following propositions:— 

1. A tax on Property of a certain defined 

description, called realised property. 

2. A tax on Persons of a certain defined 

class. 

3. All other State Taxes to be abolished. 

The Post Office, not being considered a le¬ 
gitimate source of revenue, is altogether ex¬ 
cluded from this Scheme. 

The Proposed Property Tax is considered 
under the three following heads 

1. The description of property chargeable. 



64 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


2. The rate of charge. 

3. The mode of assessment and collection. 

1. As OX) THE Property Chargeable, 

Real Estate. 

All Manors, Messuages, Lands, Tenements, 
Houses and other Buildings, Parks, Chaces, 
Warrens, Woods, Underwoods, Coppices, Fish¬ 
eries, Tithe Eents Charge, Other Eents Charge,- 
Fee Farm and Quit Eents, to be charged yearly 
in respect thereof, for every Twenty Shillings 
of the annual value thereof, the sum of Two 
Shillings. 

Exemptions .—All Lands and Houses of poor 
persons, under the full yearly value of Twenty 
Shillings in the whole; all Churcties and other 
Buildings for Public Worship ; all Public 
Charities ; and all Parks and Playgi’ounds 
for the People. 

The Land-Owner being taxed on the rack- 
rent, or annual value of his land, no Occupation 
tax is proposed to be charged. The Landlord 
will adjust that, as he thinks fit, with his Ten¬ 
ant, in fixing the rent. 

The land being once taxed on the annual, 
value, cannot properly be taxed again. 

By gettmg rid of the Occupation Tax, much . 
vexation will be avoided, and a great saving 



TAXATION. 


65 


of labor and expense of collection will be ef¬ 
fected/ 

This will be regarded as a great concession 
to the Agiicultural interest, but it will be, in 
fact, a gi'eat benefit to dhe Nation. 

The Crops, live and dead Stock, however, as 
well as the property, must be held liable to be 
taken for the tax, or if the Lessee or Tenant 
otherwise pay the tax, he would have a claim 
upon his Landlord for repayment. 

No property out of the United ^Cingdom to 
he subject to this tax. 

Personal Estate. 

All Annuities, Dividends and Shares of An¬ 
nuities, payable to any person, body politic or 
corporate, company or society, whether corpo¬ 
rate or not corporate, out of any Public Reve¬ 
nue, to be cliarged yearly for every Twenty 
Shillings of the annual amount thereof, the sum 
of Two Shillings. 

Exemptions, j 4.11 Annuities and Dividends 
under the yearly value of Twenty Shillings. 
Every fractional part of Twenty Shillings of the 
annual value aforesaid to be charged at the rate 
aforesaid^ ■ provided that no rate or duty be 
chargedof alower denomination than one penny. 

The Pay of all Private Soldiers, Common 

F 



66 


lEELAND AND ENGLAND. 


Seamen, and Petty Officers of both services, to 
be exempted from this tax. 

No property out of the United Kingdom to 
be subject to this tax. 

'2. The Bate of Charge. 

This can he fixed only by the Government, 
confirmed by Parliament. For the present' 
purpose it is assumed to be fixed for the period 
of five years at 10 per cent, of the annual 
value of the property , assessed, or 2s. in the 
Pound. 

3. The Mode of Assessment and Collection. 

The charge on Eeal Estate to be made with 
as much equality and indifference as possible, 
upon the present yearly value thereof, without 
any deduction, and a new valuation thereof to 
be made every fifth year, or other period, as 
fixed by Parliament. 

Every Assessment to the Property Tax to 
be made upon the several Occupiers of the 
property chargeable, except Assessments upon 
any House or Tenement occupied by any ac¬ 
credited Minister from any Foreign Prince or 
State, which are to be paid by the landlord or 
person immediately entitled to the Kent of the 
said House or Tenement. 



TAXATION. 


67 


The duty to be charged in respect of any 
House, Tenement, or Apartment, belonging to 
Her Majesty, in the occupation of any Officer 
of Her Majesty in right of his Office or other¬ 
wise,. (except apartments in Her Majesty’s 
Royal Palaces) shall be charged on and paid 
by the occupier of such House Tenement or 
Apartment upon the annual value thereof. 

Tenants and Occupiers to pay the tax and 
deduct it out of their rent; and if any differ¬ 
ence arise between them and their Landlords 
concerning the rate. Commissioners to have 
power, to settle the same, as they may think 
right and proper. 

Owners of lands, tenements, and heredita¬ 
ments, subject to the payment of Rent-charges 
or Annuities, Fee-farm Rents, Rent Service, or 
other Rents or Annual payments, issuing out 
of the same, to be at liberty to deduct out of 
every Fee-farm Rent or other Annual pay¬ 
ment, so much of the pound-rate assessed upon 
the said lands, tenements, and hereditaments 
as a like rate for every such Fee-farm Bent or 
Annual payment respectively shall, by a just 
proportion, amount to. 

Mortgagors to be at liberty to deduct from 
the Interest payable by them on all Mortgages 
of lands, tenements, and hereditaments or 

F 2 



68 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


monies, so much of the pound-rate assessed 
thereon, as a like rate for every such annual 
payment respectively shall, by a just propor¬ 
tion, amount to. 

All existing exemptions for lands tenements 
and hereditaments, extm-parochial or other¬ 
wise, to be abolished. 

The Sovereign, by vntue of the Eoyal Pre¬ 
rogative, is exempted from the operation of all 
Statutes imposing duties on the Subject. 

The Valuation to be made by Surveyors to be 
appointed by the Government; and an equal 
number to be appointed by the Parish or Distiict. 

The Assessment to be made by Assessors, to 
be appointed by the Government, and an equal 
number to be appointed by the Parish or Dis¬ 
trict. 

Appeals from the Valuation by the Surveyors 
to be made to the Assessors. 

Appeals from the Valuation, or Assessment 
as fixed by the Assessors, to be made to the 
Board of Commissioners. 

The Board of Commissioners to consist of 
Public and Local Commissioners. The Public 
Commissioners to be appointed by the Govern¬ 
ment, and the same number of Local Commis¬ 
sioners to be appointed by the Parish or District. 

The Appeal from the Board of Commissioners 
to be to the Lords of the Treasury. 



TAXATION. 


(i9 

The decision by the Lords of the Treasury 
to be final. 

The Collectors to be appointed by the Go¬ 
vernment, who are to collect the Tax quarterly, 
and their receipt for the same to be a final 
discharge. 


The Personal Tax. 

Tliis is called a Personal Tax, to distinguish 
it from the Property Tax. It may be called 
the Householder’s Tax, being a personal tax 
chai'gcd on Houses for the convenience of col¬ 
lection. 

It is proposed to charge all Householders 
occupying Houses above the yearly value of 
Twenty Shillings, according to the following 
scale:— 


Exceeding 

£1 and not 

exceeding £5 

£1 

n 

5 


10 

2 

>} 

10 


20 

3 


20 

yy 

40 

4 


40 

yy 

60 

5 

V 

60 

yy 

80 

6 

J) 

80 

yy 

100 

7 

)> 

100 

yy 

200 

8 


200 

yy 

300 

9 

)) 

300 

yy 

— 

. 10 

The Occupier alone 

to be 

chargeable 

with 




70 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


the payment of this Tax, and the House to be 
liable for the same. 

Every iowd fide. Oecupier(not being a Lodger) 
to be chargeable with this Tax. 

The Franchise. 

It is proposed that every hona fide Occupier, 
chargeable with the Personal Tax', shall be en¬ 
titled to register his name in the List of Voters 
for the County or Borough in which the House 
is situate, on production of the Eeceipt (signed 
by the Government Collector) for the payment 
of liis Tax as the Occupier of such House, and to 
vote at every such Election, and to record one 
vote for each and every Twenty Shillings of 
such Tax, mentioned in such Eeceipt 'to have 
been paid by him as aforesaid, the number of 
Votes entitled to be recorded by every such 
Voter being equal to the number of Pounds 
sterling so paid by him as aforesaid, but not to 
exceed five votes for any one voter. 

The same Voter (being bona fide Occupier) 
to be entitled to vote, in the same manner, at 
every Election of Members to serve in Parlia¬ 
ment, for or in respect of every other House 
in every other County or Borough, but for or 
in respect of one House only in the same 
County or Borough. 

Every Voter to pay Six-pence to the Eegis- 



TAXATION. 


71 


trar for making the entry of the Voter’s name in 
the Eegistry, and the money so received to form 
a fund for defraying the expenses of erecting 
the Hustings, and paying the Polling Clerks, 
and other expenses of. .the Polling Booths. 

Any sm-plus, after payment of such expenses, 
to he paid over to the County or Borough, in 
reduction of such County or Borough rates. 

No Candidate to make any payment for 
bringing a Voter to the PoU, or for influencing, 
directly or indirectly, any Voter to vote. The 
penalty to any Voter for receiving any money 
or other bribe, directly or indii’ectly, for in¬ 
fluencing his vote, to be the forfeiture of his 
right to vote at that or any futm’e Election of 
a Member to serve in Parliament. The Can¬ 
didate guilty of paying such bribe to be dis¬ 
qualified for election to that or any future Par¬ 
liament. 

The Government Collector’s Eeceipt for this 
Tax to be evidence of the Voter’s title or quali¬ 
fication to vote at the Election of a‘ Member to 
serve in Parliament. 

This annexe to the Personal Tax wiU be 
only a restoration of the ancient Anglo-Saxon 
Constitutional right, acknowledged by Magna 
Charta and confinned by the last Great Charter 
of the British People, The Bill of Eights. 



72 


Ireland and England. 


Here is no innovation, and in the restoration 
of an admitted Constitutional right there can 
be no danger. ,,It was a saying of "William 
Pitt that—“The Eepresentative body should 
be the image of the represented ... it should 
be an assembly united with the people by the 
closest sympathies.” 

Thus may be swept away, at once, one great' 
cause of bitterness between classes,—so fruit¬ 
ful of many evils in different forms. The 
rights and just privileges of property would be 
preserved and acknowledged,—the moral force 
of chai’acter would be strengthened,—and the 
prominence of both would be maintained. 

How the right of voting is really estimated 
by the Working Classes, would then be brought 
to the test, and how many of them would bring 
up their estimate to the price of Six-pence, pay¬ 
able to the Kegistrar, is a question which no 
one can now answer. But that many would 
consider this a prohibitory price for the privi¬ 
lege, there can be little doubt. 

Estimate of the PeOpertt Tax. 

1. Annual "Value of Lands in 
Great Britain 
and Ireland in 
the year 1860 £74,225,072 



TAXATION. 7^ 

2. Annual Value of Houses .£77,421,145 


3. 

V 


of Tithe Kent 
Charge 

507,405 

4. 



of Manors 

511,589 

5. 


)) 

of Pines 

380,728 

6. 

)) 

)) 

of Fee Farm and 
Quit Eents . 

325,000 

7. 

)) 

V 

of Woods, Un¬ 
derwoods, and 
Coppices 

2,250,000 

8. 


}} 

of Fisheries . 

168,712 

9. 


>) 

of Dividends on 
Public Debt. 

26,178,771 

10. 

p 


of Canals 

3,218,240 

17,776,381 

11. 


5 ) 

of Eailways . 

12. 


)) 

of Interest and 



Dividends on Joint Stock and 
other Public Companies, and 
all other rateable property 
in the United Kingdom . 90,000,000 

Total Yearly Value of Eeal and 
Personal Property in the 
United Kingdom, in the year 

.1860 .... .£290,963,043 

Add 15 per cent, for the in¬ 
creased' value for the three 
years from 1860 to 1863 in¬ 
clusive . . . 43,644,456 



74 IKELAND AND ENGLAND. 

Estimated Total Yearly Value 
of the Eeal and Personal Pro¬ 
perty in the-United Kingdom 
in the year 1863 . . . i6334,607,499 


Here is a yearly improving revenue from 
Eealised Propebtv, estimated at£334,607,499. 

A Eate of 2s. in the Pound, or 10 per cent, 
on this amount, would produce a yearly revenue 
of ^33,460,749. 

Estimate or the Personal Tax.—Inhabited 
Houses. 

200,000 exceeding in annual 
value £1, and not exceed¬ 
ing £5, at £1 a year . . . £200,000 

300,000 £5 to £10 at £2 a year 600,000 
400,000 £10 to £20 at £3 a year 1,200,000 
500,000 £20 to £40 at £4 a year 2,000,000 
1,000,000 £40 to £60 at £5 a year 5,000,000 
1,200,000 £60 to £80 at £6 a year 7,200,000 
1,400,000 £80 to £100 at £7 a year 9,800,000 
600,000 £100 to£200 at £8 a year 4,000,000 
250,000£200 to£300 at£9 a year 2,250,000 
250,000 £300 to at £10 a year 2,500,000 


Total 


. . £35,750,000 



TAXATION. 


75 

The data for this Estimate are imperfect. 
The Census, of 1816, states the number of 
Houses Inhabited, Uninhabited, and building, 
in the United Kingdom, to be 5,404,780. It 
may, therefore, be safely assumed that, in the 
year 1863, there will be in the United Kingdom, 
more than Six Millions of Inhabited Houses. 

The divisions, in the scale here given, have 
no pretension to accuracy, there being no suf¬ 
ficient data for any such nicety of calculation. 

It may, however, be assumed that, the scale 
is sufficiently accurate for the present purpose, 
and it .is evident that, the numbers in excess 
in any one of these divisions must increase the 
numbers in the other divisions. 

Summary of Bevenue. 

1. Property Tax.£33,460,749 

2. Personal or Householders Tax 35,750,000 

3. Crown Lands. The same as 

for the year ended 31st 
March, 1861 . 412,450 

4. Miscellaneous. 1,453,100 

Gross Eevenue . . . £71,076,299 

Deduct Cost of Collection at 2 per 

Cent.-. 1,421,525 

Ket Eevenue .... £69,654 774 





76 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


How THESE Estimates are Made. 

As no Estimates are entitled to confidence, 
if the grounds on which they are made be 
withheld, the following are the grounds -of the 
Estimates here given. 

1. The Estimate op Lands. 

The basis of this Estimate for England and 
Wales and Scotland is, the Assessment for the 
Income Tax; a veiy imperfect basis, but, per¬ 
haps, the best to be found for this pm’poso. 
How much this Assessment is below the fair 
Annual Yalue can never be known, imtil an 
impartial Survey and Valuation shall have been 
made. 

Those who are acquainted with the mode of 
arriving at this Assessment can hardly admit 
that, it fairly represents so much as one-half of 
the Actual Annual Value. But this Estimate 
assumes that, the Assessment represents two- 
thii'ds of the Annual Value. 

The Assessment for Ireland not being given 
under separate heads in the Income Tax Ee- 
tum for Ireland, this Estimate has been made 
at 50 per cent, on the whole Assessment under 
Schedule A. for Ireland. This is, probably, 
very much under the true mark, for Ireland. 



TAXATION. 


77' 


2. Houses. 

The same basis has been taken for this Esti¬ 
mate. But 33^ per cent, has been taken on 
the whole Assessment *tmder Schedule A. for 
the Estimate of Houses in Ireland. One-third 
has been added to the whole for the assumed 
deficiency of the Assessments. 

This also is supposed to be very much under 
the true value. 

3. Tithe Rent Charge. 

From the peculiar and vai’iable nature of this 
property, there is, necessarily, much uncer¬ 
tainty in this Estimate. 

In answer to my inquiries, the Secretary of 
the Tithe Commissioners for England and 
Wales, “by Order of the Board,” wrote as 
follows;— 

“ I am du'ccted by the Tithe Commissioners 
to say that, the total amounts of Tithe Rents 
Charge assigned under the Commutation Act, 
in England and Wales, to which the jiuis- 
diction of this Board is confined, according 
to the returns as yet published, are as fol¬ 
lows :— 



78 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


£. S. d. 

“ To Clerical Appropriators 

and Lessees. . . 678,345 11 If 

„ Parochial Incumbents 2,410,506 7 6^ 
„ Lay Impropriators . 765,427 5' 4f 
„ Schools, Colleges, &c. 195,948 5 11^ 

£4,050,227 10 0|” 


These Eent Charges vary each year inth the 
average prices of Corn for the previous seven 
years. 

According to the Tables, the worth, in the 
year, 1862, would be increased 9f per cent., 
or the worth of a Eent Charge of £100 in the 
year, 1862, would be £109 13s. 6fc?., being 
an increase of about 9|- per cent. 

But from this valuation many deductions are 
allowed by law, which, in taking a gross 
account, can hardly be estimated in detail, and 
there is one item of allowance which it is im¬ 
possible to estimate with any accuracy, this 
is for the merger of the Tithe Eent Charge 
in the land by the owner, he being also the 
Lay Improprietor. 

It is manifestly impossible to make an esti¬ 
mate of all these items of allowance with any 
pretension to accuracy. Whether the deduc-. 



TAXATION. 


79 


tion of 25 per cent, te too much, or too little, 
is, therefore, left an open question. 

But, making this addition and deduction, the 
account would stand thus:— 

Total of Tithe and Eent (!lharge, for 
England and Wales .... £4,050,227 
Increased Value in 1862, 9|^ per 
centi . •. 389,534 

Gross estimated value in 1862 . £4,439,761 

Deduct 25 per cent, for Allowances 1,109,940 

Net rateable value in 1862 . . £3,329,821 


It appears, the Board of Commissioners con¬ 
sider that, in whatever manner the gross esti¬ 
mated Eental be calculated, the net rateable 
value must be obtained by deducting from the 
annual value of the Kent Charge for the cui‘- 
rent year, the folloAviug items:— 

A. The Annual amount chargeable on the 

rateable value of Tenants’ Rates and 

Taxes. 

B. An Annual average per centagC:— 

(a) for the costs of collection, 

(b) for legal process, and 

(c) for losses; ' 




80 


ENGLAND AND IRELAND. 


C. The proportionate charge for the Ecclesi¬ 

astical dues and fees, and an average 
sum for the annual cost of repairing 
the Chancel; 

D. A reasonable sum for a Curate’s salaiy, 

if a Curate be employed to supply 
accessary aid to the Minister, and not 
as his substitute; 

E. The amount payable to the Minister of a 

district, if the parish has been legally 
divided and the tithes have been 
actually or virtually severed, and an 
amount charged upon the living in 
behalf of such Minister; 

F. A reasonable sum for a Tenant’s profit, 

regard being had to certain particular 
circumstances. 

Assuming that, the returns to the Income 
Tax have been made upon this principle, (which 
is assuming a great deal), in thi's Estimate the 
average has been taken of these Eeturns for 
nine years, from 1852 to 1862, and, to qualify 
the foregoing assumption, one-third more has 
been added. 

So much for England and Wales. 

The tithes, or teinds, in Scotland are in a 
different position. 



TAXATION. 


81 


“These were commuted in the reign of 
Charles the Second, never to he altered by the 
shifting price of Com. 

“ The Scotch Clergy did not get the -whole 
of the. Tithe as then ‘fixed. The money so 
appropriated was merely declared to be a fund 
out of which the Scotch Clergy had a right to 
get reasonable Stipends, and the Supreme 
Court of Scotland got power to what they 
thought a reasonable Stipend, once in about 
twenty years. But the Scotch Clergy can 
never get mox*e than the fixed value of the 
tithe in. the reign of Charles the Second; and, 
in the majority of cases, that limit has not been 
reached. But in many cases it has been 
reached, and in these no future increase can be 
got. 

“There was no separation of the tithe from 
the rest of the land, as a general rule. The 
landed proprietors, after the Eeformation, just 
pocketed the surplus. 

“ The Koman Catholic Clergy had right to 
the whole. 

“The tithes of Bishoprics, and some other 
Church Offices, went to the Crown, as did the 
Church lands, and these were generally jobbed 
to the nobility. The Crown became bound to 
sell the surplus tithes belonging to it for nine 

G 



82 


lEELAND AND ENGLAND. 


years’ value of the rent, as fixed in the time of 
Charles the Second, to the owners of the land, 
and this enabled the landowners to ^et the 
Crown’s share pretty generally. There were 
special cases in which the Crown has retained 
them down to the present time, and also 
some Church lands in Orkney and elsewhere, 
which have been selling during the last twenty 
years. 

“ The proceeds will be seen in the Annual 
Reports of the ‘Woods and Forests,’ and 
‘Board of Works.’ ” 

The Author is indebted to Mr. Duncan 
Maclaren, of Edinburgh, for this concise his¬ 
tory of Scotch Teinds, here given in his own 
words, firom the ‘People’s Blue Book,’ 3rd 
edition. 

In the Income Tax Rctiun for Scotland no 
Assessment is given under this head; and for 
Ireland,, as before mentioned, there is no dis¬ 
tinction under heads in Schedule A. 

This estimate, therefore, as regards teinds in 
Scotland, and tithe rent charge in Ireland, can¬ 
not properly be called an estimate, being taken at 
one-half of the amount as estimated for England 
and Wales, though this, probably, is not far 
from the ti’uth. 



TAXATION. 


83 


4. Manors. 

The same basis has been taken for this esti¬ 
mate for England and Wales. 

No Assessment under this head being given 
in the Income Tax Retiu’n for Scotland, the 
estimate for Scotland has been taken at one- 
half of the Assessment for England and Wales, 
and at one-thii’d of the same for Ireland. 

One-third more has been added for the 
assumed deficiency of the Assessments. 

5. Fines. 

The same basis has been taken for this esti¬ 
mate for England and Wales and Scotland; 
and one-fourth of England and Wales for 
Ireland. 

One-third more has been added for the as¬ 
sumed deficiency of the Assessments. 

6. The Fee Farm and Quit Rents. 

This estimate has been made on facts col¬ 
lected from a great variety of sources, but of 
no reliable authority, and must, therefoi-e, be 
regarded as very uncertain. 

7. Woods, Underwoods, and Coppices. 

The observation on the last estimate applies 

a 2 



84 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


equally to this. There are no authenticated 
facts for a reliable estimate under this head. 

8. Fisheries. 

The same basis has been taken for this esti¬ 
mate for England and Wales and Scotland; 
and Ireland has been estimated the same as 
Scotland. 

One-third more has been added for the as¬ 
sumed deficiency of the Assessments. 

9. Public Debt. 

This is no estimate, but a well-known fact, 
taken from the Government Account for the 
Financial Year, ended 31st March, 1861. 

10. Canals. 

The same basis has been taken for this 
Estimate for England and Wales and Scot¬ 
land; and Ireland is estimated the same as 
Scotland. 

One-thii’d more has been added for the as¬ 
sumed deficiency of the Assessments. 

This estimate is uncertain. 


11. Eailways. 

The same basis has been taken for this 



TAXATION. 


85 


estimate for England and Wales and Scot¬ 
land; and Ireland is estimated the same as 
Scotland. 

One-third more has been added for the as¬ 
sumed deficiency of the Assessments. 

This estimate is less than the amount given 
in the public returns by the Eaihvay Com¬ 
panies. From the Official Eepoids and Returns 
of the Railway Department of the Board of 
Trade (1850-1861), it appears that, the United 
Kingdom is intersected by 10,600 miles of 
Railway, of which two-thirds are construetcd 
with a double line of rails, and the gaps over 
the country are being filled up at the rate of 
400 miles a year. 

The sum of £400,000,000 has been, ex¬ 
pended within the last thirty-five years upon 
these works: the total receipts derived from 
them during the year, 18G0, amounted to 
£27,766,622; and the net revenue for the 
same period was upwards of foui’teen imlHons 
and a half. 

12. Joint Stock and other Public 
Companies, &c. 

This is a rough estimate made from the 
Declared Statements of dhe Interest and Divi¬ 
dends paid by all the Joint S.t.ock and other 



•86 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND, 


Public Companies in the United Kingdom, for 
the year, 1860 (exclusive of Eailways and 
Canals), and of the Annual Value of all other 
Eealised Property of the Kingdom, rateable to 
the Property Tax, for the same yeai-. 

This Estimate has no pretension to accu¬ 
racy, but is supposed to be under the true 
amount. 


BALANCE OF ACCOUNT BETWEEN 
THE OLD AND THE NEW SYSTEM. 

Under the Old System. 

Net Amount of Taxes paid 
into the Exchequer, accord¬ 
ing to the Goverment Ac¬ 
count, for the Financial 
Year, ended 31st March, 

1861. £65,297,381 

Actual Cost and Estimated 
Loss in raising the above 
Eevenue. 133,416,982 


Total Charge . . £198,714,363 





TAXATION. 


87 


Unber the New System. 


Net Amount of Taxes paid 

into the Exchequer . . . ^665,297,381 

Cost of Collection at 2 per 
Cent... 1,305,947 


Total Charge . . £66,603,328 


Total Charge under the Old 

System.£198,714,363 


Total Charge under the New 

System. 66,603,328 

Difference . . . £132,111,035 


Assuming the same amount of revenue 
raised, here is a balance in favor of the New 
System, of 298'505 per cent., or within 1’495 
per cent, of three times the amount of revenue 
raised! 

llNnER THE Old System. • 

Taxes on Trade and Industry . £53,640,684 

Under the New System. 

Taxes on Trade and Industry . nil. 


Difference . ‘ . . . £53,640,,684 





88 


IBELAND AND ENGLANIK 


Here the whole of the burden on Trade and 
Industry is removed I 

Under the Old System. 


Taxes on Personal Estate . ‘ £53,640,684 
,, Eeal Estate . . . 11,656,697 

Diflference in favor of Eeal 

Estate .. £41,983,987 


Under the New System. 

Taxes on Eeal Estate . . . £15,578,965 

„ Personal Estate. . 13,517,339 

Difference in favor of Personal 
Estate. £2,061,626 


Under the Old System. 

Taxes on Eeal and Personal 
Estate. £65,297,381 

Under the New System. 

Taxes on Eeal and Personal 
Estate. £33,460,749 


£30,936,632 


Difference 








TAXATION, 


89 


Under the Old System. 

Actual Cost, and Estimated 

Loss.£133,416,982 

Under the New System. 

Cost of Collection .... £1,402,214 

Difference.£132,014,768 


Thus, it appears that, to raise the revenue 
of £65,297,381, under the present system, 
costs the country £133,416,982,—or, 204-322 
per cent, on the amount raised; and that, 
to raise the revenue of £70,110,749, under 
the proposed New System, would cost the 
country only £1,402,214, or 2 per cent, on the 
amount raised, being the Cost of Collection, 
showing an actual saving to the country, in 
money alone, of £132,014,768 a year I 

To supei-ficial observers this will appear 
to be a very exaggerated statement; but, when 
examined carefully in all the details and 
bearings, this will be found to be. rather under 
than over a true estimate of the result to be 
expected. 




90 


lEELAND AND ENGLAND; 


But this is an estimate only of the . financial 
result. 

The moral results to the Nation, and to the 
whole civilised world will be far more import¬ 
ant, and, though beyond human calculation, are 
worthy of the deepest reflection. 

The strong desire for equalisation of taxes 
arises from every man thinking himself more 
highly taxed, in proportion to his means, than - 
his neighbor. But this is a very narrow view 
for forming an equitable system of taxation. 

The Land is the basis of the wealth and 
strength of every Nation; and the market price 
or value of the yearly produce of the Land 
ou^t to form the ground-work or basis of 
taxation. 

It is a narrow and very erroneous view, too 
commonly taken by Land-proprietors, to sup¬ 
pose that, by throwing the burden of taxation 
on the industiy of the country, they are re¬ 
lieving the land from that portion of the 
bm’den. 

This is a superficial and short-sighted view 
of the question, for all the taxes that are thrown 
upon industry, come back Upon the land in 
many and aggravated forms. 

What has been the principal cause of the in¬ 
creased market-price of Land in this country of 



TAXATION. 


91 


late years, but the removal of the heavy weight 
of taxes from Industiy ? 

Look back to the market-price of the average 
land in this country thirty years ago, and com- 
paro that with the pf^sent average market- 
price ! 

. Look back thirty years ago to the un- 
pcoj)led lands of Australia, or to the remote 
parts of Canada, and what was then the market- 
price of laud there, without population or 
trade ? 

What, but the great suid rapid increase of 
population and trade, has raised those lands to 
the present high priees ? 

In this point of view it may be seen how 
certainly the price of land in this coxmntry 
must go on rising with the increase of popula¬ 
tion and the prosperity of trade and manufac¬ 
tures, and how much it is for the interest of 
Land-owners to beai’ such a proportion of the 
necessary taxation, as may continue to cn- 
com-age and still further extend, what alone 
they, ever can extend, trade and manufac¬ 
tures. 

What must be the inci'eased price of land in 
this coun'tiy twenty years hence, even at the 
present rate of increase ? 

What maybe expected to.be the average 



92 


lEELAND AND ENGLAND. 


market-price of Land in this Country twenty 
years hence, if, in the meantime, the pressure 
upon the means of subsistence be removed by 
the removal of all taxes on the laborers’ own 
labor, and on all stock-in-trade, and on all 
machinery, and by carrying out a system of in¬ 
ternal and international free trade ? 

Surely, it is better for a Nation that, its 
People should find a comfortable home in their 
native country, than that, they should be 
driven away by a pressure upon the means of 
subsistence ! 

What stronger evidence of misgovernmcnt 
in Ireland can be brought against the English 
Nation than that, millions of Irish Families 
have, witliin the last twenty years, been forced 
to quit their own dear native land to seek the 
means of subsistence in foreign countries ? 

It is adding insult to injury to attempt to 
account for tliis great calamity by disparaging 
the character or habits or religion of the Irish 
People. 

The Irish People, as a Nation, are, perhaps, 
the hardiest, the strongest, the bravest, and the 
finest people in the whole world, and they have 
borne starvation longer and better, perhaps, 
than any other people in the world could have 
borne, without going quite mad. 



taxation. 


93 


But, 'wlien a people are ‘gone mad,’ from 
whatever cause, they must be resti'ained; nor, 
in seeking tlie remedy, should past provocation 
be taken into consideration, much less should 
any wrong be done to*‘bthers, by way of set¬ 
off. 

The wrongs of mis-govemment are not con¬ 
fined to Ireland, for, as these figui'es show, Eng¬ 
land has long borne her heavy share. 

What a world of misconception and malig¬ 
nant passion would be saved, if taxes were laid 
ostensibly, as well as vfrtually, upon the owners 
of realised property. 

What a practical reconciliation would be 
effected between the wealthier and the poorer 
classes, if only taxes were universally removed 
from the necessaries and luxuries of life, and 
these were left open to the equal and fair com¬ 
petition of all, as the rewards of their own suc¬ 
cessful labor and skill! As the late Dr. Chal¬ 
mers said:—“What a death blow..would be 
thus inflicted on the vocation of demagogues I 
What a sweetening influence it would have on 
British Society,” [and on Irish Society,] “ after 
the false medium was dissipated, through 
which the high and the low now look on each 
other as natural enemies!” 

It was the opinion of the.same good and 



94 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


right-minded, man that, “ if the whole of our 
public revenue were raised by means of a ter¬ 
ritorial impost, it would ultimately add nothing 
to the burden, which now lies on the proprie¬ 
tors of the land; for they, when fighting against 
such a commutation, are fighting in defence of 
an imaginary interest.” 

So, he suspected, they were, and so, as since 
proved, they were, when they resisted the abo¬ 
lition of the Com Laws. Such a political eco¬ 
nomy as this, had it preceded, would have 
superseded all those tempestuous politics of 
^ that time. 

This is the enlarged view, which should be 
taken by statesmen in directing the legislation 
of this country, and if this principle were fiimly 
relied upon and steadily acted upon, the results 
would soon dispel all fears for the consequences, 
and then all classes would find out that, their 
tnie interests were identically the same and in¬ 
separable. 

If the landed aristocracy, instead of .their 
blind resistance to all change,—or, as they 
called it, innovation,^—and their tenacious 
adherence to what they imagined, but falsely 
imagined, to be their own indispensable interest, 
had paid all taxes, and left all trades unfet¬ 
tered, so far as human actions can be calcu- 



TAXATION. 


95 


lated upon by human motives, it may be con¬ 
fidently said that, no political sacrifice would 
have been required of them, and they would 
have remained in the undisturbed possession of 
their natural and rightful Itiheritance, as lords of 
the commonwealth. 

But the democracy of England, fired by a 
sense of injmy, made head against them and 
wrested fi-om them by force, what ought to 
have been fi'eely and willingly conceded in the 
spirit of an enlightened policy. May the landed 
aristoci’acy take warning from the i>ast, for the 
protection of theii’ natural and lawful rights 
for the futm-e! There lies yet before them a 
noble field of improvement in rightly shifting 
the burden of taxes,' in emancipating trade, and 
that without reserve or limitation; above all, 
in providing—amply and liberally providing— 
both for the Christian and Literary Education 
of the People. 

Local Taxation on Land and Houses! 

In considei’ing the direct burdens ujion Land 
under the ju’esent system of taxation, it is 
scarcely possible to estimate the losses in¬ 
directly inflicted upon land by the manifold 
injmies, which this complicated and expensive 
system directly inflicts upon trade. But it is 



96 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


clearly to be seen that, if these injm-ies to 
trade were removed, the relief to land would 
be greater than the whole amount of taxation, 
which laud now bears. 

The local taxation upon land is out of the 
question, for, in either case, that remains the 
same, unless the burden of the Poor Hate be 
reduced, and that may be confidently relied 
upon as one, and not the least, of the beneficial 
results to be expected. 

By local taxation are usually meant, taxes 
levied in particular districts of the country, 
and expended for the purposes of those dis¬ 
tricts. 

The existing taxes of this description in 
England and Wales are thus enumerated in 
the Keport of the Poor Law Commissioners on 
Local Taxation, in 1843. 

“ Bates of independent districts;— 

“Poor Bate series—^taxes on the basis of 
the poor-rate. 

1. Poor rate. 

2. Workhouse building rate. 

3. Survey and valuation rate. 

4. Jail fees rate. 

5. Constable rate. 

6. Highway rate. 

7. Ditto, additional rate for purchase of land. 



TAXATION. 


97 


8. Ditto, additional rate for law expenses. 

9. Lighting and Watching rate. 

10. Militia rate. 

,, Miscellaneous taxes. Each on an inde¬ 
pendent basis. •• 

11. Church rate. 

12. Ditto, for new Churches and repairs. 

13. Burial-ground rate. 

14. Sewers mte. 

15. General sewers tax. 

16. Drainage and enclosiu-e rate. 

„ Hates of aggregated districts :— 

,, County. Elite series.—Taxes imposed 
originally on aggregated districts by some 
general authority, but ultimately assessed on 
Bie basis of the Poor rate. 

17. County rate. 

18. Ditto, for lunatic asylums. 

19. Ditto, for building shire halls. 

20. Buiial of dead rate. 

21. Hundi’ed rate. 

22. Police rate. 

23. Borough rate. 

24. Watch rate in Borough. 

To which may be added, 

25. llcalth of towns’ rate.” 

Thus, it appears that, the local taxes levi¬ 
able in England and Wales,—^most of wliich 

H 



98 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND, 


may be considered as direct burdens upon land 
and houses, are twenty-five in number. 

But these ai‘e not twenty-five separate col¬ 
lections, some of these rates being furnished 
fi:om the funds of other rates, some being in¬ 
capable or too difficult of collection, and some 
being required only on a few occasions, or in 
limited localities. 

There are no means of forming an accurate 
estimate of the local sums annually raised 
under the various rates enumerated above, and 
some others now to be added, but it is certain 
that, their aggregate amount must be very 
large, and, probably, does not fall short of 
£25,000,000 a year for the United Kingdom.* 

This vast amount of local taxation is a very 
important featiu’e in the economical condition 
of the kingdom. 

The Poor Law Commissioners estimate that, 
in England only, no fewer than 180,000 indi¬ 
viduals are connected, one way or another, 
with the levy of the local taxes. Many of 
these render their services gratuitously; but 

• By returns, since made to Parliament, of the Accounts 
of the several County Treasurers in England and Wales, and 
of the Amount levied in each County, for County Cess, in 
Ireland, the sums annually raised under the various local 
rates are given in particular detail, for the year ending 
Jdichaelraas, 1866 . 



TAXATION. 


99 


vast numbers are paid, some by salaries and 
some by a per centage on the sums collected. 
And there are good grounds for thinking that, 
in many eases, the accounts of the parties so 
employed are not subjected to any very effi- 
eient check or conti'ol, and that, consequently, 
there are many opportunities for abuse. But 
the point of pai’amount importance in the re¬ 
form of local taxation is, the selection of a 
proper aud invariable basis on which to raise 
the asscssmeut for all real property, for local 
as well as national taxation throughout the 
kingdom. 

The purposes to which the local taxes are 
lawfully applicable (amounting to about 200) 
are so numerous and various that, a detailed 
catalogue would be tedious, and a general de¬ 
scription almost useless. The names of the 
rates as here given usually indicate with suffi¬ 
cient distinctness the primary pxu’pose of each; 
but this primary purpose is not always the 
only one to which the tax is, even by law, 
devoted. The poor rate, by fax- the heaviest 
item iu the list, is also the most multifarious 
in its objects; comprising, besides the relief to 
the poor, such general measures as the regis¬ 
tration of the bii'ths and deaths, the vac¬ 
cination of all classes of the community, the 

H 2 



100 


IRELAND AND ENGLANI). 


prosecution of certain kinds of criminals, the 
preparation of the lists of jurymen, and pailia- 
mentary voters, and so forth. The county 
rate, again, provides for the repair of bridges, 
the maintenance of jails, the relief of prisoners, 
the payment of coroners, the prosecution of 
felons, and a long list of purposes besides. It 
may - be obseiTed, generally, that the several 
rates are designed to deal with exigencies of a 
most important public character, and it is, 
therefore, highly desirable that, they should 
not only be levied with fairness, but also be 
expended with fidelity. 

The following rentals on real pi*operty as¬ 
sessed to'the poor rate in 1841, and to the 
property tax in 1842, in England and Wales, 
.show a striking difference in the valuations 
made about the same period:— 



Assessed 

Assessed 



to the 

to the 

DilTereuce. 


Poor Kate, 

Property 



1841. 

Tax, 1842. 



£ 

£ 

£ 

Landed Property . 

82,655,137 

40,167,088 

7,511,951 

Dwelling Houses . 

23,386,401 

35,556,399 

12,169,998 

All other Property . 

6,408,492 

10,079,248 

8,580,760 

Total . . £ 

62,540,030 

85,802,735 

23,202,705 


Here is a difTerence of £7,500,000 upon land; 







TAXATION. 


101 


£12,000,000 upon houses; and £3,000,000 
upon all other property, on a comparison of 
rental valuations made nearly at the same 
time. 

Now, the average price of wheat for three 
years prior to the property and income tax 
was, 67s. per quarter, and as the price of 
wheat is taken as an index of the general 
value of agricultural produce, a reduction in 
price of 25 per cent. I'eduees the actual rental 
of the laud to £30,125,316, or £10,041,772 
per annum below this assessment to the pro- 
l)crty tax. How, then, does this affect the 
taxation of the country ? With respect to the 
poor rate, it is of no consequence whether the 
rental he high or low, provided the assessment 
be fairly levied, for this simple reason that, 
the amount demanded for poor rate is fixed, 
and must regulate the per centage ; but, with 
respect to the property and incotne tax, and all 
fixed taxation, the per centage is fixed, instead 3 
of the amount, the consequence of which is 
that, as the annual worth of i-entals diminishes, 
the ratio of taxation increases iii a correspond¬ 
ing degree; for a tax of Is. per pound, ster¬ 
ling, on £40,000,000 amounts to £2,000,000 ; 
but if the annual rental become reduced in 
worth to £20,000,000, or 25 per cent., the tax 



27495 



102 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


of I 5 . is increased to Is. 4<f. per pound on the 
actual rental:—Whereas, if the taxes were col¬ 
lected upon a just estimate of the annual rental, 
the amount would be reduced to ^61,500,000. 

Eevision op National Assessments. 

From the foregoing remarks it must be evi¬ 
dent that, the fii'st step towards a just system 
of taxation will be in' a thorough revision of 
tlie National Assessments. 

This can be done only on a new Valuation 
of all the real property, founded on the then 
present average price of wheat. 

A Valuation so regulated every three or five 
years, would^form a sound basis for all local 
and national taxation on real property through¬ 
out the kingdom; or, at least, would remove 
the absurd discrepancies exhibited under the 
present system of different assessments. 

These are some of the weighty considera¬ 
tions, which must soon force themselves upon 
public opinion, with' regard to British Taxa¬ 
tion. It is evident that, the rentals of landed 
property form half the sum whence the sup¬ 
port of the poor is derived, without taking into 
consideration other charges, of a local and 
public nature, raised from the same som-ce. 
The question, then, is, what effect wiU be pro- 



TAXATION. 


103 


duced upon the rental of lands, if the price of 
agricultui'al produce should fall 25 per cent., 
even assuming that, landlords reduce their 
rents accordingly ? The claims of the poor 
would not diminish in the same proportion; 
nor would the reduction of rent be accompanied 
by an increase of labor among the poor. These 
objects can bo accomplished only by the intro¬ 
duction of foreign produce, and the increase of 
trade and manufactures; and without these 
the bui'dcu of British taxation must every 
year increase in weight. 

From this consequence there is no escape. 

The rental of a country is, the amount and 
market price of its annual produce. Reduce 
that, and you diminish the main source of all 
public and private revenues, while you cannot 
abate one farthing of your taxation. 

In this state of things the landlord and the 
tax-collector will be contending with each other 
for the produce of the soil, and the tenant will 
struggle in vain for the means of subsistence, 
while the wages of labour will fall to a scale 
too low to allow the labourer to pm'chase the 
highly-taxed necessities of daily life; and thus 
the country will drift into one common gulf of 
misery and ruin. 

These elfects will bo fii'st seen in Ireland. 



104 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


The people of England are too apt to consider 
themselves safe against this wholesale ruin. 
They pride themselves on being a more indus¬ 
trious and cautious race than the inhabitants of 
“ The Emerald Isle.” But they make this 
boast without full consideration of their posi¬ 
tion. It is the centralisation of capital in 
England from every part of the globe which 
has hitherto prevented Great Britain from 
falling into the depths of misery into which 
Ireland has been so long plunged. But the 
reduction of wages, employment, and profits, 
are signs that Great Britain is slowly drifting 
towards that gulf of misery, though yet the 
danger be seen but as the “ little cloud arising 
out of the sea, like a man’s hand.” But this, 
however, is certain, that the causes, whatever 
they may be, which reduce the amount of 
profitable wages'’’ paid for British labour, 
must diminish British Capital and Industry, 
and must increase the amount of British Pau¬ 
perism. 

The fact is, we are making British labour 
pay for every change introduced into oui’ com¬ 
mercial and agricultural legislation; and, if this 
system be continued, we must, in the end, pay 
the penalty due for sacrificing the comforts of 
the poor at the shrine of Mammon. Pauperism 



TAXATION. 


105 


in this country is becoming an organic and 
progressive evil, and, in the purely agricul¬ 
tural parts of the country especially, has in¬ 
creased and is increasing under all changes. 
This is one of the most lamentable effects of 
our present system of taxation, ■which increases 
the cost of living, and -with these -victims and 
the scarcely less pauperised tradesmen of small 
means in country towns, our jails are chiefly 
filled. 

So long as this system continues, these con¬ 
sequences must ensue, and must go on increas¬ 
ing;. aud very small and slow, and altogether 
unsatisfactory, must be the beneficial effects of 
any expenditure on the education of a people 
who are not receiving fail’ wages for their 
labor, and who are deprived of those comforts 
and enjoyments which they are entitled to 
expect, and, indeed, to demand, in return for 
their industry aud skill. 

It was a soimd remark of Sir Eohert Peel, 
in his speech on the Income Tax, 23rd Mai-ch, 
1842, that—“ If you make a great reduction, 
not, I would say, in the amount of poor rates, 
hut iu the cost of living, on account of which 
those poor rates have been kept high, those 
who pay the poor rates will derive considerable 
advantage from that reduction. I may observe 



. 106 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


here that there has been a tendency of late 
years to increase the poor rates on account of 
the high prices of provisions.” 

It is impossible, under the present mixed 
system of direct and indirect taxation, to pre¬ 
serve anything like an approximation to equal¬ 
isation ; for it is impossible to obtain even the 
first figures essential for such a calculation. 
No one in this kingdom can say, vdth precision, 
what is the actual amount of the national bur¬ 
dens. Clearly, it is not the nominal amoimt 
given in the official accounts, because a great 
part of that is owing to the State for taxes. It 
is, therefore, necessary for ascertaining whether 
taxes be equally distributed or not, to ascertain 
in the first instance, what is the actual amount 
of taxation. Now, as Mr. Macculloch observes, 
for this it is indispensable to deduct, from the 
apparent amount, all that portion of the taxes 
which is paid by public functionaries, and by 
those subsisting on the dividends or interest of 
tlxe money lent to the State. The balance of 
taxation remaining, after this sum is deducted, 
forms the burden really borne by the public. 
If A. owe B. on one account £100, and B. owe 
A. on another £20, it is plain that, the sum 
really due by A. to B. amounts to only £80 ; 
and such is precisely the case with the public. 



TAXATION. 


107 


The State owes certain sums to certain parties, 
but these parties have, by means of taxes, to 
pay certain sums to the State; so that, the sum 
really paid by the State amounts only to the 
balance or difference between the two. 

It would, however, be extremely difficult, as 
Mr. MaccuUoch also observes, or rather imprac¬ 
ticable, to make anything like a fair estimate 
of what the balance in question may amount to 
in this or any other country. Much obviously 
depends on the nature of the taxation. In this 
country, whore by far the largest portion of the 
revenue is derived from taxes on articles of 
consumption, the sums received from the public 
functionaries, creditors, and dependents on Go¬ 
vernment, will, of course, be very much larger 
than in countries where the public revenue is 
mainly derived from direct and fixed taxes, 
such as land and property taxes and the like. 
But, from the impossibility of ever ascertaining 
with accmucy the quantity of taxed ai-ticlcs 
consumed by individuals or by classes of people, 
the difficulty of making anytliing like a fair 
estimate is so increased, as to become almost 
impracticable for any useful pui'pose. 

For the same reasons, it is equally impracti¬ 
cable to form a correct estimate of the aggre¬ 
gate incomes of any tAVo or more countries; 



108 


IKELAND AND ENGLAND. 


and if this difficulty were got over, and the 
income, population, and taxation of any two 
countries were known, it would be all but im¬ 
possible to say which was most and which Avas 
least heavily taxed. The same amount of in¬ 
come yields a very different supply of the ne¬ 
cessaries and conveniences of life, in different 
countries; and, supposing other things to be 
equal, the well-being of individuals obviously 
depends, not on the amount of their money in¬ 
comes, hut on the amount of necessaries and con¬ 
veniences for which those incomes will exchange. 

Hence, as Mr. Macculloch says, supposing 
the average incomes of the people of two 
countries amount, before their taxes are paid; 
to £20 a head; and that the taxes payable in 
the one country amount to £4, and in the other 
to £5, a head, we should not be able to say, 
without further examination, whether taxation 
Avere really heavier in the latter than in the 
former; for the pressure of taxation is to be 
measiu’ed not so much by what it takes, as 
by what it leaves; and if the £15 of income 
remaining to the inhabitants of the one give 
them a larger command over necessaries and 
conveniences than the £16 remaining to those 
of the other, we apprehend it would be correct 
to say that they were the least heavily taxed. 



TAXATION. 


109 


Effect's op Taxation on Profits and Wages. 

Taxes being the transfer of a portion of the 
property of individuals to the State, the ten¬ 
dency of comparatively'high rates of taxation 
must be to produce a lower rate of profit, with 
inadequate wages, and to drive capital from the 
country. 

Local and exceptional cii'cumstances, how¬ 
ever, may for a time, countervail the influence 
of a low rate of profit from sending Capital 
abroad, yet that efiect is always sure to follow, 
Avhenever the fitting opportunity occurs. There 
is no instance of a country being biu’dened 
with comparatively high rates of taxation, in 
which this effect has not been experienced, or 
from which there has not been an efflux of 
people and wealth. 

It is, no doubt, true that, an increase of taxa¬ 
tion, if not very sudden and oppressive, is 
most commonly destroyed wholly or in part, by 
a proportionally increased degree of economy, 
industry, and invention. But the tendency to 
reduce profits and wages is still the same. 
However great the produce of industry, a high 
rate of taxation necessarily abstracts a large 
portion of that produce; and thougli the condi¬ 
tion of those engaged in industrioiis under- 



110 


IfiELAND AND ENGLAND. 


takings in a highly taxed country may not be 
worse than when it was less heavily taxed, and 
may even be very materially improved, every 
one sees that it would be still better were taxa¬ 
tion reduced. 

The increased ability to bear the burden is 
forgotten, and attention is exclusively fixed on 
the burden itself. Its influence,' and the in¬ 
conveniences thence arising, are often exagge¬ 
rated ; but all classes become desirous to escape 
its pressure or to thi’ow it upon others. 

It is also true that, the increased industiy 
and invention, which an increase of taxation 
encourages, may, for a time, more than neu¬ 
tralise these effects. But those imimoved pro¬ 
cesses and more economical methods of carrying 
on industrious undertakings, so occasioned,— 
gradually make their way into other countries, 
where the burdens, falling on the industrious 
classes, are less heavy; and while they improve 
the condition of those among whom they are 
thus introduced, they, of course, enable them 
to become more formidable antagonists of the- 
more highly taxed producers in the markets 
common to both. The temptation to convey 
away capital and skilled labor from highly 
taxed countries is thus also progressively aug¬ 
mented ; so that tho fair inference seems to be 



TAXATION, 


111 


that, a heavy rate of taxation, though,—if it 
liave been judiciously imposed, may, for a 
lengthened period, act as a powerful stimulus 
to iudusti-y and invention, in the country subject 
to its influence, may, not improbabl}’’, in the 
end occasion its decline and fall. 

The discovery of improved processes and new 
inventions in the arts, changes in the channels 
of commerce and in the price of money, the 
overthi'OAV of old and the establishment of new 
forms of government, the occurrence of wars 
and a thousand other events, which it is im¬ 
possible to conjecture, may vastly increase, or 
proportionally diminish, the power of countries 
to bear taxes, at the same time that they may 
add to, or lessen, their magnitude. 

But, whatever may be the fate of a country 
subject to a high rate of taxation, it seems im¬ 
possible to doubt that, it operates as a clog in 
her progress; and that, catcris paribus, it is a 
source’ of impoverishment and 'weakness, and 
always must so work, Avith more or less per¬ 
ceptible effect, in the course of time. 

This may be sufficient to show, not only the 
expediency, but also the necessity for every 
government and people, if they Avould guard 
against the most tremendous evil, which can 
befall a country, of adopting every just and 



112 


IKELAKD AND ENGLAND. 


practicable means for lessening the weight of 
taxation and relieving the pressure on the 
national resources. It is hopeless to expect 
that, this wUl be done by means of reductions 
in the public expenditure. Much may be, and 
undoubtedly ought to be done in this way, but 
it is a vain delusion to look for any sensible 
and permanent relief to this country by any 
such means. The only effectual relief from the 
pressure of taxation in this country must be by 
making the people better able to bear it, and 
that can only be by iucreasing the capital of 
the country, by relieving trade and manufac¬ 
tures from all restrictions, thereby extending 
and enlarging- industry, and raising the general 
rate of profits and wages. As a fii’st step to 
this result, the improvement of the condition 
of the working classes, by the removal of all 
taxes from articles of consumption, is essential. 
In comparison with this any savings, which 
could be effected by reduction^ in the public 
expenditure, sink into insignificance. 

Benefits of Dikect Taxation. 

If the present mixed and complicated system 
of taxation were at once swept away and re¬ 
placed by a system of direct taxation, we 
should be perplexed no more by drawbacks. 



TAXiVTION. 


113 


allowances, atid repayments; and the Govern¬ 
ment Accounts might then be a simple and 
plain statement of receipts and payments, open 
and intelligible to every inquirer. We should 
then he taxed no more in •Gustoms and Excise, 
—^those costly creations for cruelty and crime, 
•—tormented and persecuted no more by Cus¬ 
toms and Excise Officers,—impeded and injured 
no more by sufferance wharfs and bonded ware¬ 
houses,—^but free to come and go, to buy and 
sell, when, where, and how we like, without 
being overhauled, insulted, and cheated by a 
set of, for the most part, ignorant, low, merce- 
naiy and vicious hirelings, made vicious by the 
vicious system of which they are a necessary 
part;—in short, we should then be fi’ee agents, 

■—free to choose, fi'ee to thinlc, fr’ee to act, and 
free to take the consequences,—the inherent 
right of every rational human being,—the na- 
tm’al prerogative of reason,—the fii’st step to 
rational improvement, to religious and moral 
culture and mental refinement,-:—the safest, and 
only safe, foundation for true patriotism and 
loyalty,—for peace and prosperity to every 
nation of the earth. 

Smuggling, that fruitful source of guilt and 
wretchedness, would then be a word which 
might be expunged, as useless, from our dic¬ 
tionaries. I 



114 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


Dninkenness, that fatal folly of the lower 
orders of the human race, fostered by misery 
and ignorance, would diminish as their com¬ 
forts and enjoyments, and theii’ intelligence 
increased. 

Trade, expanding with unimpeded growth in 
the inexhaustibly fertile soil and genial climate 
of the British Isles, would spread over aU the 
other nations of the world, droiiping the bene¬ 
ficent influences on other soils, for the benefit of 
other people j and under the blessing of the 
All-directing Power, this Nation and this 
People might be permitted to be as a bright 
beacon to lead other nations and people, now 
wandering in* the dax'kness of ignorance under 
the yoke of despotism, into the light and along 
the pleasant paths of peace and plenty, by a 
free interchange of the special gifts of Provi¬ 
dence to each, for the common good of the 
great and precious universal whole. 

We might then pray, with some hope of our 
prayer being heard :—‘‘Give us peace in our 
time, 0 Lord!” 

We might then hope to avoid the necessity 
of employing physical, instead of intellectual 
or moral agencies, as the only effective means 
of controlling hostile tendencies, based on igno¬ 
rance and prejudice. 



TAXATION. 


115 


Oriqin of Indirect Taxation. 

The plan of raising a portion of the national 
revenue by a tax on the importation of foreign 
articles of merchandise ofifets, at first sight, to 
superficial observers, so many apparent advan¬ 
tages that, delusive as all these are, it is no 
wonder it should have jiresented itseK at a very 
early period to the minds of those charged with 
the duty of providiiif? the pecuniai'v resources 
of the State. 

The idea of favoring the home producer, the 
belief, long prevalent, that the duty would, in 
reality, fall upon the foreigner, the hope that 
the importing merchant, knowing that, he would 
ultimately recover it from the consumer, would 
regard it only in the light of an advance, and 
would, therefore, not object to pay it; the ex¬ 
pectation that, the purchaser, to whom it would 
come only in the form of an undistinguishable 
element of the total price, would not detect it, 
or be inconvenienced by it, and the obvious 
consideration that, as in the gi-eat majority of 
the articles thus burdened, the purchase was 
entirely optional, and the payment of the tax, 
therefore, in a manner voluntary ; may all have 
combined to recommend the adoption of those 
indirect imposts now known by the name of 

I 2 



116 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


Customs duties, and to have encouraged the 
increase and development of the 'system tiU it 
has reached its present unexampled magnitude. 

There is, however, evidence of the existence 
of these imports anterior to the times in which 
such considerations as the foregoing can be sup¬ 
posed to have had much influence; and, not¬ 
withstanding the weight of Sir Edward Coke’s 
opinion to the contrary, it seems probable that, 
they were originally of a Common-law cha¬ 
racter, and that, their name of “ Customs,” or 
“Customary” levies, points to their exaction 
by traditional prerogative. However this may 
be, their legislative origin cannot be traced 
back beyond'the reign of Edward I., a.d. 1297. 
In the year 1400 they produced, or, rather, 
were let for, the trifling sum of £8,000. In 
the middle of the 17th century, they reached 
a yearly average of about £500,000. At 
the accession of George III., they yielded 
£2,000,000 : forty years afterwards, in 1800, 
the amount levied was about £11,000,000 : 
and in the year 1860-61, this sum had in¬ 
creased to £23,516,821, being an augmentation 
in the last centuiy of nearly twelve-fold. 

From the date of our earliest records there 
has been a progi’essive tendency towards ren¬ 
dering the tariff lists less and less voluminous. 



TAX4.T10N. 


117 


The principal reductions were made, as is well 
known, by the celebrated tariffs of 1842 and 
1845, the latter of which alone removed up¬ 
wards of 450 articles from the list of duty- 
paying goods; but since that year, and under 
every government, continuous and decided pro¬ 
gress has been made in the same direction. 

In 1826, the number of articles sub¬ 


ject to duty was 


1841, 

1849, 

1853, 

1855, 

1860, 


. . 1280 
1053 
515 
466 
414 
about 60 


But in 1826, and so late as 1842, export 
duties were levied on five principal articles, 
with nineteen subdivisions, besides an ad valo¬ 
rem duty of one-half per cent, chargeable, with 
a few exceptions, on all other goods exported. 

At present, no articles exported to foreign 
countries are subject to duty. 

The trade of the country has been further 
facilitated by. the great diminution, which has 
taken place in the number of articles charged 
with ad valorem rates, while the actual list in 
1855 contains not more than forty, exclusive 


of the “ uuenumerated ” articles, which pay 
from 5 to 10 per cent, on their value. 



118 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


The Eesdlts of Free Trade Eeforms. 

The more carefully these results are con¬ 
sidered the more cleaily it will he seen that, 
the application of free trade reforms has not 
only been perfectly successful when tried by 
the higher and larger tests of their effect upon 
the trade and general condition of the country, 
but no less successful as measures of finance. 

The plea of the necessities of the revenue is 
never likely to be disregarded in this poimtry, 
where all are sensible that, the calls of the 
Exchequer must be fully provided for. But 
between a financial policy, which confines it¬ 
self within the hard and narrow limits of a 
restrictive system, and a line of procedure 
formed on a broader but not less carefully con¬ 
sidered view, not only for the means of main¬ 
taining a sufficiency of revenue in a manner 
the least burdensome to the country, and the 
least oppressive to the people, there is a great 
difference. 

Important as were the relaxations, which 
occurred at the various dates between 1820 
and 1840, still the fact remains that, prior to 
1842 the Custom and Excise continued almost 
stationary, notwithstanding the increase of po¬ 
pulation and the capabilities for larger trade. 



TAXATION. 


119 


Then came the change of policy. The narrow 
lines of onr restrictive system, so rigidly and 
so long adhered to, were -then widened and 
shortened. The- attempt was then made to ad¬ 
just the mode of raising .the taxes with some 
regard to the industrial classes upon whom 
they chiefly feU. The result, as already shown, 
has been as instructive as salutary. Nothing 
can he more plainly shown than the success, 
as a mere policy of finance, of the free trade 
reforms. 

We find, for example, in 1853, that, in spite 
of large and continuous remissions of duties, 
the gross produce of the Customs and Excise 
combined, was already £700,000 more than in 
1840. We see also that, the reductions of 
duties on articles previously over-taxed, was 
much more than compensated by an increase 
of revenue on articles upon which no reduction 
was made. IJpon this ground we can under¬ 
stand (as Ml*. Tooke says, in his work ‘ On 
Prices ’), how it happened that tea and tobacco, 
'.in. 1863, yielded (even at undiminished high 
rates) 3^ millions more revenue than in 1840; 
and that spirits and malt exhibited a similar 
increase of 2 millions. 

The problem, therefore, has become (to use 
Mr. Tooke’s language, with the alteration of 



120 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


only a few words,) not merely to raise from 
year to year a sufficient revenue, but to raise 
it and, at the same time, to relieve the pressure 
of taxes on those parts of the system where 
they act as pei-nicious burdens. 

It may be time, (Mr. Tooke says, “it is 
quite true”) that, the magnitude of the debt 
renders it incumbent upon us to provide, at 
least, some annual surplus towards its reduc¬ 
tion ; but, if any result be clear in the finan¬ 
cial experience of the last fifteen years, it is 
this—^that the most efficacious sinking fund 
that can be established is, the release of the 
industry and skill of the country as rapidly as 
possible, from-the pressure of every fiscal bur¬ 
den, which operates as a positive hindrance 
and oppression. 

But it is quite true, as Mr. Tooke adds, and 
as here given in his own words:—“ Our 
strength and progress consist far more in aug¬ 
menting the ability of the coimti-y to bear the 
burden of the debt, than in attempting to 
diminish its magnitude by retaining taxes, 
which prevent accessions to our ability; and 
the more rapidly we arrive at an adjustment of 
taxation so perfect and equitable that, for all 
practical puiposes it may be regarded (con¬ 
sidering its necessary magnitude) as imposing 



TAXATION. 


121 


no oppressive burdens on the development of 
skill and enterprise, the more rapidly we shall 
arrive at that point where we may, with most 
advantage and safety, make the reduction of 
the debt our first and greatest concern; but, 
till then, few inferences from experience seem 
to be plainer than this, namely, that, constantly 
the line of prudence, as regards a full provision 
for all oiir engagements, our fii'st duty and our 
best policy is, to remove fiscal oppressions and 
inequalities.” 

The result of all this experience clearly 
shows that, every relaxation of restrictive 
duties has been immediately followed by an 
expansion and increase of trade, much more 
than sufficient to compensate for the loss of 
the abandoned duties; and that, so sensitive is 
trade to any restraints upon perfect freedom of 
action, the removal of any impediments, even 
in the minutest arrangements of official routine, 
is attended with immediate and sensible effects 
to the same end,—the extension and enlarge¬ 
ment of trade, with all the necessary conse- . 
quences of increase in the rate of profits and 
wages, and of employment and comforts to the 
working classes. 

With such experience of relaxing only the 
rigid rules of the present system, vphat may 



122 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


not be expected from the total abolition of aU 
restrictive duties and other impediments to 
perfect freedom of trade in this eountiy ? Even 
the most sanguine advocate of free trade could 
hardly have foreseen such vast results in so 
short a time, from such small beginnings. 

It is, therefore, impossible to calculate be¬ 
forehand what would be the state of trade in a 
very few years from the date of its perfect 
freedom and independence. But this is cer¬ 
tain, that in the absence of any national ca¬ 
lamity from other causes, this country would 
then be in a state of prosperity and happiness 
unexampled in any period .of its past history, 
and the example of this nation would then be 
like a beacon of light to guide other nations of 
the world into the same frack, that all may be 
as one nation, with one interest, mutually in¬ 
terchanging, for their mutual benefit, the varied 
and peculiar gifts of climate, soil, and produce, 
bestowed on each by a bounteous Providence, 
whose gifts are limited by no measure, and 
• who would have all mankind as one People, 
looking to one and the same God, the Giver of 
all, and for the equal good of all. 

This is the firet step to the establishment of 
peace on the firm and sure foundation of one 
common and equal interest. Nations, like in- 



TAXATION. 


123 


dividuals, must learn from experience. They 
will then learn that, in the establishment of 
peace they are all equally interested, and then 
war will be no longer possible. They will see 
in the freedom of tradey.the sm^est means of 
their own freedom and worldly welfare, and 
they will learn to regard the interests of others, 
for the sake of their own, if for no higher and 
better motive. By these means savage and 
harhai’ous people will be first taught to appre¬ 
ciate the blessings of civilisation, and they in 
their turn will become promoters of civilisation 
by the same means. Freedom of trade wiU he 
valued and guarded with no less jealous care 
than the freedom of the Press. To the freedom 
of the Press wo shall owe fr’ecdom of trade, and 
we shall value both equally. 

These remarks, very shortly abridged from 
the ‘People’s Blue Book,’ met with the entire 
concurrence of Dr. Chalmers, with whom the 
Author was, many years before, in communi¬ 
cation, and as the opinion of such a man as 
Dr. Chalmers will be received by all parties 
with respectful consideration, the following is 
given in his o^vn words:— 

“We cannot bid adieu to our argument 
without making the strenuous avowal that, all 
our wishes and all our partialities are on the 



124 


IRELAIJD AND ENGLAND. 


side of the common people. We should rejoice 
in a larger secondary and a smaller disposable 
population; or, which is tantamount to this, 
in higher wages to the laborers, and lower 
rents to the landlords. But this cannot be 
effected, save by the people themselves; and 
that, not by violence on their part, or by any 
assertion, however successful, of a political 
equality with the other orders of the State. 
There is no way of achieving for them a better 
economical condition, than by means of a more 
advantageous proportion between the food of 
the country and the number of its inhabitants; 
and no other way of seciu’ing the proportion, 
than by the growth of prudence and principle 
among themselves. It will be the aggi-egate 
effect of a higher taste, a higher intelligence, 
and, above all a Avidespread Christianity 
throughout the mass of the population; and 
thus the most efficient ministers of that gospel, 
which opens to them the door of Heaven, will 
be also the most efficient ministers of their 
temporal comfort and prosperity upon Earth. 
Next to the salvation of their souls, one of the 
fondest aspirations on behalf of the general 
peasantry is, that they shall be admitted to a 
larger share of the world’s abundance than 
now falls to their lot. But we feel assure(^ 



TAXATION. 


125 


that, there is no method by which this can he 
wrested fi’om the hands of the wealthier class. 
It can only be won from them by the insensible 
gi'owth of their own virtue.” 

This opinion will be shared by most readers. 
It is not desh’able, nor is it believed to be de- 
sii-ed by many in this country, that anything 
should be wrested from the wealthier classes; 
but only that, there should be a more equal 
disti'ibution among all classes, of the abundant 
gifts of nature, in all that coneerns the neces- 
sai'ics and conveniences of civilised life, and 
that, this should be won by the vii'tue of the 
people on the one side, from the just conces¬ 
sions of the wealthier classes on the other side, 
for the increase of wealth and its only true en¬ 
joyment to all. 

That this gi’eat object can be accomplished 
only by the wealthier classes taking upon them¬ 
selves the burden of taxation, for the relief of 
the poorer classes, thereby bringing the neces¬ 
saries and healthful conveniences of life within 
the reach of the poorest, and thereby lifting up 
the lowest to better hopes and higher self re¬ 
spect, was the opinion of Dr. Chalmers, and 
this was the unceasing aim of his ministry and 
labor of love on earth. 

It is a truth, which cannot be denied that, 



i26 lE^LAND AND ENGLAND. 

life to the many is made too hard, too ‘vreari- 
some: that, this world’s abundance is not faiiiy 
distributed,—is not distributed according to 
the original intention and design. 

There is a ^eat and general mistake about 
the objects and duties of this life. As Dr, 
Johnson said :■=—“ Life consists not in a series 
of illustrious actions; the gi’eater part of our 
time passes in compliance with necessities—in 
the performance of daily duties—in the removal 
of small inconveniences—in the procurement 
of petty pleasures; and we are well or ill at 
ease as the main stream of Life glides smoothly, 
or is mffled by small and frequent interi’uption.” 

It is an ill part m a Government, which re¬ 
quires the whole of our time to be passed in 
compliance with necessities—in the perform¬ 
ance of daily duties; which increases the small 
inconveniences and diminishes the petty plea¬ 
sures, and which prevents the main stream of 
life from gliding smoothly, by many and not 
small interruptions. 

What Government on the face of the eai’th 
is free from this reproach ? 

Abstjedities of Excise, Stamps, and 
Assessed Taxes. 

Injustice is the most proper term to apply 



TAXATION. 


127 


to' all our duties of “ Excise and Taxes,” but 
some of tbe smaller of these ai’e so absurdly 
pai'tial and impolitic, as intcrfei'ing with par¬ 
ticular trades and with the health and enjoy¬ 
ment of the peojde, besides diminishing the 
field for their employment, that a special notice 
may here very properly be made of some of 
these absui'dities and inconsistencies. 

Tbe duty on post-horses and on horses kept 
for private use interferes injudiciously with the 
breeding of horses, and is, besides, an assess¬ 
ment inquisitorial and annoying in its chm'acter. 
The duty on caniages keeps back the trade of 
coach-maldng, and all the numerous ai-ts con¬ 
nected with it. The tax on hackney and stage- 
carriages is an injudicious tax on the healthful 
enjoyment and recreation of the middle and 
working classes. The various Excise duties 
or Licences, more or less hindrances to trade, 
are taxes on profits before they are made, and 
arc the more obnoxious from being extremely 
partial. There is no more reason v^hy a man 
who sells tea, coffee, tobacco, or snuff, wine 
or spii’its, should pay a licence fee, than a 
man who sells bread or meat or vegetables. 
There is no more reason why a man who 
carries on his back, into remote parts of the 
couutiy, supplies of goods for the mind, in the 



128 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


form of books and tracts,—or for fbe body, in 
the form of wearing apparel, or ornaments for 
the person, should pay the hawker’s or pedlar’s 
licence fee, than the bookseller or other trades¬ 
man in the town who sells the same ai'ticles. 
With more appearance of reason might the 
hawkers and pedlars be encom’aged in their 
useful vocation. The answer given in Parlia¬ 
ment that, the tradesman’s shop in the town is 
taxed, and therefore the hawker who sells the 
same articles without a shop ought to be taxed, 
is more absurd than the tax itself, for the tax 
is not on the shop, but on the house, and the 
hawker may pay the house tax though he carry 
his shop on his back. 

It is not easy to see why bankers should be 
burdened with a licence duty of £30 a year 
for. .liberty to pursue their calling, and mer¬ 
chants should go free. Nor why attornics, 
special pleaders and conveyancers, in London 
and ten miles round, should pay, for a certifi¬ 
cate to practise, £9 a year, or, if beyond that 
distance £6 a year, and why barristers should 
go free; nor why a youth should be taxed 
with a stamp of £80 on liis Articles of Clerk¬ 
ship to an attorney, and a pupil of a barrister 
should go untaxed; nor why auctioneers should 
be obliged to take out a yearly licence charged 



TAXATION. 


129 


with a duty "of £10 for selling by public auc¬ 
tion, what might be sold by private contract 
without any duty; nor why paAvnbrokers re¬ 
siding within London or Westminster, or with¬ 
in, what is stiU called, the two-penny post 
range, should be charged with a yearly licence 
of £15, oiy Tesiding elsewhere £7 10s.; nor 
Avhy an appraiser should be charged with a 
yearly licence of £2 ; nor why a person going 
from town to town,- or to otheT men’s houses, 
carrying to sell or exposing to sale any goods, 
wares, or merchandise, should be charged yearly 
for a hawker’s Uceuce £4; and further, for 
every beast bearing or dramng a burden with 
which he shall travel £4; nor why vendors of 
medicines witliin the limits of the two-penny 
post, or Avithin the City of Edinburgh, should be 
charged Avith a yearly licence of £2; and in any 
other city or borough, or in any toAvn corporate, 
or in the toAvns of Manchester, Birmingham, 
or Sheffield, with a yeaily licence of 10s., and 
in any other part of Great Britain with a 
licence of 5s.; nor why every iicrson who lets 
to hu-e any hackney carriage Avithin five miles 
from the General Post Office, in the City of 
Loudon, should be charged with a yearly li¬ 
cence of £1; and for and in respect of every 
such licence a weekly duty, for every day in 

K 



130 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND, 


the week, of 7s., and for every ’day, except 
Sunday, 6s. j nor why a licence, called special, 
to be married, should he taxed with a stamp 
of and a licence, not special, to be married, 
should be taxed with a 10s. stamp; nor why 
inan’iage should be taxed at aU j nor why a 
licence to hold a pei’petual curacy, not pro¬ 
ceeding upon a nomination, should be taxed 
with a stamp of £3 10s.; nor why a licence 
for the non-residence of a clergyman on his 
living in England should be taxed with a stamp 
of £1; nor why any other ecclesiastical licence 
in England or Scotland should be taxed with a 
stamp of £2. 

All these strangely inconsistent anomalies 
are unequal and unjust. But the injustice of 
.many of these is accompanied with the grossest 
absurdity, as for instance; in the case of auc¬ 
tioneers, when it is considered that, some of 
the auctioneers in towns are making lai’ge in¬ 
comes by their callings, wliile others in remote 
pai’ts of the country are hardly making enough 
to pay the duty. The same remark applies to 
the business carried on by a fii’st-rate banking- 
house in the metropolis, and by a banker in a 
small country town. It is obviously impo.ssible 
to assess such duties in any given proportion 
to the incomes of the contributoi-s, and being 



TAXATION. 


.131 


fixed on a few callings only, without any re¬ 
gard to the means or ability of the parties to 
bear them, they ai’e all manifestly partial and 
unjust. 

With respect to the Stamp duties generally, 
and especially the stamp duties on Probates, 
Legacies mid Successions, there are such re¬ 
markable instances of imjust and oppressive 
taxation that, the wonder is they were ever 
suffered to he imposed, and still greater won¬ 
der that, they have been suffered to remain so 
long. 

With respect to the duty of Successions, now 
fixed on the whole landed property of the 
kingdom, this is one of the most marvellous 
instances of confiscation, under the name of 
taxation, ever permitted in this country. 

It is impossible to suppose that, the land- 
owners were aware of the operation of this 
most scandalous law when they allowed it to 
pass. It is the nearest approach to confisca¬ 
tion, ever made in this coimtry by constitu¬ 
tional authority, being the legalised seisure of 
capital, so contrived that, in the com’se of time 
it must operate to confiscate a large portion of 
the unentailed lauded property of the country. 

If this law remain for half a centmy, its 
operation must be to make a very large portion 

K 2 



132 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND, 


of the land of this countiy change hands. 
When this law is felt in its full effect, it will 
be found to change the ownership of many of 
the oldest family estates in the kingdom; and 
if by the conservative power of entails many of 
these estates be still preserved in the old an¬ 
cestral line, some of the possessors will find 
themselves with incomes so reduced as to be 
quite unequal to their apparent position as 
lords of the soil, and quite inadequate to main¬ 
tain what are now considered to be the neces¬ 
sary honors and hospitalities of the ancient 
house. 

No law that ever passed was so fatal to the 
wealth and power of the Landed Aristocracy of 
Great Britain, as the law, which imposed the 
succession duty on landed estates. By a slow 
but sure process, this addition to the inevitable 
burdens upon land wiU work the downfall of a 
large portion of the present families, which 
constitute the landed aristocraTfy of the king¬ 
dom, Estates will change hands, and time- 
honored names will be obliterated from rent- 
rolls and be remembered no more. These will 
be absorbed by the great capitals accumulated 
in trade. The merchant-princes will be the 
lords of the land, and many of the present 
landlords or their generations will become the 



TAXATION. 


133 


laborers; until the same process, in the course 
of time, works back the same results. But, in 
the meantime, the sources of national pro¬ 
sperity are impaii-ed. Land will have depre¬ 
ciated in price and trade will have diminished 
in proportion; for the capital of the comitiy 
will have “diminished in greater proportion. 
Trade must ever be, in a great measure, depen¬ 
dent for prosperity on the prosperity of the 
land, which is and ever must bo the basis of 
the nation’s wealth. As land deteriorates in 
price, so must capital and trade diminish in 
quantity, and if the price of land be not re¬ 
duced, the produce of the land will be less. A 
flourishing state of trade, and a depressed state 
of agriculture, is a state of things never known, 
and never can occur in this country. It may 
be taken as an axiom in political economy that, 
the interests of land and trade are identical and 
inseparable:—^that, taxation injurious to one is 
injurious to both;— therefore^ it is the interest 
of both that land should not be over-burdened 
with taxation. The equilibrium has been more 
seriously distm’bed by the imposition of the 
succession duty upon land, than by any former 
act of the legislature, and such a false step in 
legislation once taken is not easily retraced. 
The only way left is, to sweep away at once 



134 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


the old and injurious system, and ■wdth it all 
recent appendages. The ai-gument against the 
succession duty loses its force, if the tax on 
personal property, under like cifcumstances, he 
maintained. The justification of one injustice 
by the perpetration of another, is an argument 
that prevails. The Probate and Legacy duties, 
imposed many years ago on personal property, 
were unjust and impolitic measures, but, to 
preserve the equilibrium, the same injustice 
was extended to land, and the argument for 
that was irresistible, if the former injustice 
must be maintained, but the impolicy of both 
remained the same. 

Hear what the most eminent Lawyer of these 
times says of this fatal measime to the fair 
fields of England. 

The following are the words of Lord St. 
Leonards in his “ Handy Book ”— 

“ I must conclude by reminding you of the 
Succession Duty Act (16 and 17 Viet. c. 51), 
which has deprived property of half its charms; 
it is as if a blight had fallen on the fair fields 
of England. 

“ Every man has the right to keep his parch¬ 
ments—^his sheep-skins—in his own box, in 
his own house: on one has a right to pry into 
the contents of his settlements. Now, every 



TAXATION. 


135 


man’s settlement must be open to the tax- 
office, and to the Government of the day, ever 
on the watch for a new succession, in order to 
levy a new duty. If, for example, a stipend 
is provided for an old servant, who dies, as 
even annuitants sometimes must, that creates 
a successicm, and the person entitled to the 
property has to pay duty for his new enjoy¬ 
ment. Ton cannot, when liable to duty, cut 
trees on your estate beyond the value of ^£10 
a year, without giving notice to the tax-officer, 
and paying duty. Mr. Pitt in the plenitude 
of his power, was'foiled in his attemjit to in¬ 
troduce a much milder impost on Successions 
than is fixed upon them by the law to which I 
have referred you. The net is large and wide¬ 
spread, and the tax, from its nature, is the 
most vexatious burden ever laid upon property 
in England.” 

This was a rash and weak experiment in 
legislation, proceeding' on the false and foolish 
notion of compensating one wrong by the com¬ 
mission of another and greater of the same 
kind. Instead of the Succession Duty acting 
as an equilibrium to the Probate and Legacy 
Duties,—instead of preserving the balance be¬ 
tween Beal and Personal Property,—the direct 
operation is to impose an additional and heavier 



136 


IBELAND AND ENGLAND. 


duty on both. We can never conijjensate 
wrong by wrong, and wrong can never become 
right, though, by a power beyond human 
agency, good prevails over evil; not through 
the evil, but in spite of it; as in the instance 
of the Succession Duty, which, will, sooner or 
later, be swept away with the Probate and 
Legacy Duty, and all such unjust and impolitic 
taxes. 

In the competition between good and evil in 
the affaii-s of this woi'ld, it is the fii'st duty of 
a Christian Legislature to act on the principle 
of equal justice, and not to seek by compensa¬ 
tion to make injustice less intolerable. Every 
such attempt must fail, because it can only 
aggravate the original wrong, by making it 
greater aud more permanent. 

'Especially applicable is this moral truth to 
the political interests of this great commercial 
country. “We are,” as Mr. Tooke remarks,— 
“ Competitors in a race in which the smallest 
inequalities of pressure may give an advantage 
or a victory to rivals who, with gi’eater skill, 
or greater prudence, have provided for a more 
unfettered command of their natural aptitude 
for the contest.” And, as he wisely adds:— 
“No Free Trade Financier will imperil the 
public credit by rash and weak experiments; 



TAXATION. 


137 


but, while be regards caution as bis first 
duty, be will also regard improvement as bis 
first maxim.” 

In imposing taxes, he will be the most 
skilful financier who can imagine himself in the 
position of the person liable to pay any parti¬ 
cular tax. *■' 

It is impossible to suppose that many of 
these profitless and vexatious imposts would 
ever have been laid upon the people of this 
country, if Statesmen had by experience, or 
even by imagination, attained an adequate 
notion of the personal inconvenience, as a 
necessary consequence. And what is public 
good, but an aggi'cgation of personal conveni¬ 
ence ? 

The gi'eatcst happiness of the gi’eatest num¬ 
ber, can never be incompatible with the welfare 
of any nation. 


General Eeview. 

In reviewing the taxation of this country, it 
is impossible to come to any other conclusion 
than that, it has grown up with the country, 
and has been imposed from time to time, under 
pressing emergencies, vdthout any system, by 
selfish and interested classes, who consulted 



]38 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


only -what they believed to be tbeir own in¬ 
terests, regardless of consequences to others. 

Thus was imposed the great burden of taxa¬ 
tion on corn and wine and all other intermediate 
necessaries and comforts of life, under the 
notion that, the taxes, so disguised, would be 
spread over the great mass of the people, who 
would know little or nothing about it, and 
who, in fact, had little or nothing to do with 
the making of the laws. Nor is this any 
fanciful imputation. Mr. McCulloch describes 
a tax “ to be direct when it is immediately 
taken from property or labor; and indirect 
when it is taken from them by making their 
owners pay for liberty to use certain articles, or 
to exercise certain privileges.” Assuming this 
definition, mark his reasons for his prefer¬ 
ence. He says:— 

“Indirect taxes have, with few exceptiqns, 
been the greatest favorites both of princes and 
subjects, and there are very sufficient reasons 
for the preference of which they have so 
generally been the objects. The burden of di¬ 
rect taxation is palpable and obvious. It ad¬ 
mits of no disguise or concealment, but makes 
every one fully sensible of the exact amoimt 
of his income taken by the Government. We 
are all, however, extremely averse from parting 



TAXATION. 


139 


■with property, except we obtain some more 
acceptable equivalent in its stead. And the 
benefits derived from the institution of govern- 
ment, though of the highest importance, being 
neither so very ob'vioiis nor striking as to be 
readily felt and appreciated by the bulk of the 
people, there is, in the great majority of cases, 
a strong disinclination to the payment of direct 
taxes. 

“ For this reason, Governments have gene¬ 
rally had recoiu'se to those that are indirect. In¬ 
stead of exciting the prejudices of their sub¬ 
jects by openly demanding a portion of their 
incomes, they have taxed the ai'ticles on which 
these incomes are usually expended. This in¬ 
genious plan conceals the amount of taxation and 
makes its payment appear in some measure volun¬ 
tary. 

The tax being generally paid, in the first 
instance, by the producers, the purchasers con¬ 
found it with the acttial price of the commodity. 
No separate demand being made upon them for 
the tax, it escapes their recollection, and the 
article, which they receive, seems the fair equi¬ 
valent of the sacrifice made in acquu-ing it. 
Such taxes have also tho advantage of being 
paid by degrees, in small portions, and at the 
time when the commodities are wanted for con- 



140 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


sumption, or wlien it is most convenient for the 
consumer to pay for theni.” 

Any more conclusive argument than tliis 
against indirect taxation it is impossible to 
imagine. This is very like the reasoning of a 
set of thieves or swindlers. And the meaning 
of it all is that, the Government intentionally 
deceives the people, who being ignorant and 
confused are unconscious that they are swindled, 
the fact of the tax “ escapes their recollection,’’ 
so they are deceived and defrauded without 
knowing it. The question, whether or not tins 
deception be for the benefit of the people, re¬ 
mains the same, whether they be deceived or 
not. If this “ ingenious plan ” be really for 
their benefit, by lightening the burden or 
otherwise, nothing can be said against it; but 
if, on the contrary, the burden be greatly in¬ 
creased and the evil gi’eatly aggravated, by 
placing the greater part of the burden on the 
wrong shoulders, then this “ ingenious plan ” is 
a most disgraceful fraud. 

Such was the origin of this “ ingenious plan ” 
of indirect taxation, with all its extravagant 
accompaniments of Excise and Customs Officers, 
Preventive service, and legions of officials, and 
all the shocking consequences. Until the reign 
of Charles the Fu'st, no considerable attempt 



TAXATION. 


141 


had been made to substitute indirect for du-ect 
taxation; and that attempt, when made, gave 
rise to much political agitation. 

That unfortunate King’s object was to obtain 
more money, but to obtain it by this means was 
held by many, at that time, to be nothing less 
than swindling. 

It is ranch to he regretted, when a person of 
admitted ability and great industry lends him¬ 
self to the Government for the support of views, 
which no one can believe he seriously enter¬ 
tains ; and if he should be influenced by the 
emoluments of a place under the Government, 
the fewer places at the disposal of the Govern¬ 
ment the better, and very few would be at 
their disposal if all indirect taxes were at once 
swept away. . 

When the chief argument in favor of any 
meafeure rests on concealment, that alone affords 
a strong ground for suspicion that, sometliing 
unfavorable to a fair conclusion is concealed. 
The pretended “ advantage of being paid by 
degrees, in small portions,” is very like a re¬ 
commendation of slow poison, because it may 
be administered “by degrees, in small por¬ 
tions.” 

What, if our revenue laws do depress and 
diminish the trade and manufactures of the 



142 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


countiy,—do deprive the laboi'er of the fair 
reward of his labor,—do sink all the labor¬ 
ing-classes more or less in poverty, and often 
in guilt and wi'etchedness,—what, then, is this 
“ingenious plan of concealment,” hut a dis¬ 
graceful trick and shameful fraud upon the 
People ? 

Not on such grotmd as this, however ingeni¬ 
ous the plan, can it be much longer maintained. 
When education has opened the eyes of the 
working-classes,—when they see the large 
undue proportion of the whole taxation, which 
they are paying out of their wages of labor, 
and the large amount of unnecessary suffering 
thereby inflicted upon them, they will no longer 
consent to this treatment, and then the Govern-, 
ment will find that, the most ingenious plan, 
which human ingenuity can devise is,—to con¬ 
sult the real welfare of the people. 

What folly for a man to do that now, which 
he must certainly undo again by repentance, or 
be undone for ever ! 

WTiat folly for a Government to do that now, 
which some other Government must certainly 
undo, or the country must be undone for ever! 

The fii’st step to show the people their true 
position is, the simplification of the Public Ac¬ 
counts, that the people may understand them. 



TAXATION. 


143 


Instead of mystifying to confuse and deceive, 
it is- the duty as well as the policy of every 
Government to simplify, for the purpose of 
making everything clear and intelligible to all. 

Against the authority of Mr. M'CuUoch, for 
mystification and deception, the following 
opinion of the late Sir Eobert Peel may he 
quoted for those who are disposed to look back 
to his opinion as an authority on this subject. 

In his speech, on moving the appointment of 
a Finance Committee, 15th Februaiy, 1828, he 
said :—“ There is one point on which I have 
always had a strong feeling. I allude to the 
advantage and necessity of a simplification of 
the Public Accounts. No man is more desir¬ 
ous than I am to see the public accounts pre¬ 
sented in the simplest possible form. I see no 
reason Avhy we should not in this respect follow 
the example set us by France and the United 
States of America. I am quite certain that, 
we should do well to profit by such examples, 
and I can see no disadvantage attending it.” 

And again:—“ I am convinced that, nothing 
can he more fruitless or impolitic than to intro¬ 
duce anything like mystification or suppression 
into a view of the j^ublic finances of the empire. 
These matters are, I take it, much more simple 
than they appear to be on the fiice of ordinary 



144 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


official stotements of them. There is, in fact, 
not the slightest difference between the calcu¬ 
lations formed upon many millions, and upon a 
few pounds, or between the expenditure of a 
humble individual, and that of a rich and 
powerful coimtry. They depend upon the same 
principles, and must be governed by the same 
laAVS, and one might as well contend that the 
rules of aiithmetic applying to the sums, with 
which we ordinaiily deal in the course of do¬ 
mestic occurrences—that those rules do not 
apply to the division or sub-division of many 
millions of money, as to suppose that, the 
finances of a country, .however great or impor¬ 
tant they may be, must not, after all, rest on 
the same principles and be governed by the 
same rule as the finances of an individual.” 

It is true that, the speeches in Parliament of 
the late Sir Robert Peel may be referred to in 
support of almost any view of almost any ques¬ 
tion of State policy, which ever came before 
him as a Statesman, and that his imperfect 
perception or acknowledgment of any fixed 
principle renders him but an uncertain authority 
ou any great question of State policy. This is 
true, though this will be more apparent when 
a greater distance of time shall have intervened, 
In the meantime, the late Sir Robert Peel may 



TAXATION. 


145 


be assumed to be as good an authority, at least, 
as the late Mr. McCulloch, on the subject of 
taxation; and to those who think so, the fol¬ 
lowing opinion, expressed by Sir Eobei*t Peel, 
in his place in the House of Commons, in his 
speech on the Income Tax, on the 23rd March, 
1842, may bd)'worthy of-notiee. Speaking of 
all taxes, direct or indirect, as bearing more 
or less unequally on those who pay them, he 
said:— 

“ All indirect taxation has a natural tendency 
to produce injustice, and I have ever thought 
that, the chief argument relied on in opposition 
to the taxation of articles of consumption was 
that, if beer or any such article were exposed 
to it, the tax always operated unjustly,'''' 

And, in a former debate on taxation, on the 
30th April, 1833, he said;—“Indirect taxa¬ 
tion may be carried too far. It has limits be^ 
youd which it gives rise to smuggling, and 
defeats the object in view.’’ 

In tliis view he seems to have been strength¬ 
ened by experience, for, in making his financial 
statement to the House of Commons, on the 
11th March, 1842, he spoke as follows :—“ If, 
then, it be necessary for me to have fresh taxa¬ 
tion, shall I lay it upon articles of subsistence 
—upon those articles, which may appear to 

L 



146 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


some supei^uities, but which are now become 
almost the necessaries of life ? I cannot con¬ 
sent to increase the taxation upon articles of 
subsistence consumed by the great body of the 
laboring portion of the community. I do think 
that, you have had conclusive proof that, you 
have arrived at the limits of profitable taxation 
on articles of subsistence. I advise you not to 
increase taxation in this respect, for, if you do, 
most assui’edly you will be defeated in your 
object.” 

If, then, this be a true and safe view, why 
should not the Government cordially co-operate 
witli the People for that which most concerns 
the common interests of all, for the establish¬ 
ment of the wisest and best system of taxation, 
which human ingenuity can devise, not by 
stealthy and indirect, but by open and direct 
means ? And what is there, in the plan here 
proposed, that any party or class can fairly 
complain of? 

Here is no change proposed to the injmy of 
any party,—no interference with vested rights, 
—^no partial legislation for class interests,—and 
no innovation on the principles of the British 
Constitution; but simply a return to a law 180 
years old, (then only an ancient law restored) 
—passed in the reign of one of the gi’eat- 



TAXATIOX. 


147 


est and Avisest of our Kings, who, though a 
foreigner, was the most patriotic Soyereign who 
ever guided the destinies of this nation, and to 
whom we are mainly indebted, under ProAU- 
dence, for all the most pi-ecious privileges Avhich, 
as a Protestant People, we now possess. 

What is there to fear in the change here 
proposed ? 

The land is the foundation, on the security 
of which the safety and 25rosperity of all pro¬ 
perty de 2 )ends. As such, it is respected and 
preserved. All its just rights and privileges 
are respected in the eqtial protection to all de¬ 
scriptions of property, by distributing the State 
Taxes equally over all realised property. One 
and the same tax, and one only, is proposed to 
be levied on all realised jn’operty, within the 
defined description, and this, being a dii'ect tax 
easily levied and collected at a comparatively 
trifling cost, will pass directly from the pockets 
of the people into the Exchequer of tlie State, 
undiminished by hosts of revenue officers and 
those inseparable consequences, fraud and ne¬ 
gligence. 

The land would then bear only a just pro¬ 
portion of the State taxation, and that would 
he much less than the land bears now. 

The produce of one equal per centage Pro- 

L 2 



148 


lEELAND AND ENGLAND. 


pcrty tax, and one small proportionate Personal 
tax, with the revenue from the Crown Lands, 
would then constitute the whole Income of the 
Nation. 

The expenditm'e of this Income by the Go¬ 
vernment, now theoretically, hut not practi¬ 
cally under the control of the People, would 
then he both theoretically and practically under 
their conti’ol; or, if not, it would then be their 
own fault. 

It is in vain for the People to talk of Ad¬ 
ministrative Eeform, until they have obtained 
this control, and the first step to this is, a full 
aud correct understanding of the actual state 
of the Public Accounts. This can be obtained 
only by Accounts of Eeceipts and Payments in 
an intelligible form, duly vouched and audited. 

This is only common prudence in the conduct 
of every private family, and, as Adam Smith 
said:—“ What is common prudence in the con¬ 
duct of every private family, can scarce be folly 
in that of a gi’eat Kingdom.” An exact know¬ 
ledge of the revenue and expenditure of the 
Nation cannot be less desirable to an honest 
and well-meaning Government, than to the 
People; and the greater the revenue and ex¬ 
penditure, the more important is this knowledge 
for guarding against unnecessary expenses. 



TAXATION. 


149 


As shrewdly remarked by Archbishop Whate- 
ly, it is a curious circumstance and the reverse 
of what many would expect that, the expenses 
called for by a real or imagined necessity of 
those who have large incomes are gi-eater in 
proportion, than those of persons with slender 
means; and,''’consequently, a larger proportion 
of what are called the rich are in embarrassed 
circumstances, than the poorer. This is often 
overlooked, because the absolute number of those 
with large incomes is so much less that, of 
course, the absolute number of persons under 
pecuniary difficulties, in the poorer classes, 
must form a very great majority. 

But if you look to the proportions it is quite 
the reverse. Take the number of persons of 
each amoimt of income, divided into classes, 
from £100 per annum up to £100,000 per an¬ 
num, and you wUl find the per centage of those 
who are under pecuniary difficulties continually 
augmenting as you go upwards. And when 
you come to Sovereign States, whose revenues 
are reckoned by millions, you will hardly find 
one that is not deeply involved in debt! So 
that it would appear that, the larger the in¬ 
come, the harder it is to hve within it. 

"When men of great revenues live in splen- 
doiu' and sensuality, they are apt to plead, that, 



150 


IKELAND AND ENGLAND. 


this is expected of them, which may be, pez'haps, 
sometimes true, in the sense that, such conduct 
is anticipated as prohable ; not true as implying 
that, it is required or approved. A pei-son may 
fairly expect that another who has received 
kindnesses from him, should protect him in 
distress; yet ho may have reason to expect 
that, he will not. “ England expects every 
man to do his duty;” hut it would he chime¬ 
rical to expect a universal performance of duty. 

What may be reasonably'expected (in one 
sense of the word) must he precisely the prac¬ 
tice of the majority; since it is the majority of 
instances that constitutes probability. What 
may he reasonably expected (in the other sense) 
is something much beyond the practice of the 
generality; as long, at least, as it shall be tine 
that, “ Narrow is the way that leadeth to life, 
and few there be that find it.” 

What, then, may be expected from Govern¬ 
ment it is needless to say; but, as sm'e as the 
majority of instances constitutes probability, so 
surely may the people expect that, if they do 
not themselves understand and look after their 
own interests, they will be mismanaged, and the 
expen ditm'e of public monies Avill not be always 
regulated by a due regard to public interest. . 

The argument of Coleridge and others, often 



TAXATIOX. 


151 


used, as to the produce of those taxes the ex¬ 
penditure of which is amongst our own fellow- 
subjects, may and does mislead not a few*. 
Powder and gims and ships of war cost a great 
deal, but this cost is a gain to the manufac¬ 
turers of powder, guns, &c. And thus, some 
people bring themselves to fancy that, the 
country altogether does not sustain any loss at 
all. Of course, if a heavy expenditm*e be in¬ 
curred in ai'mameuts, when necessary for the 
defence of our just rights, this is not to be ac¬ 
counted a waste, any more than the cost of 
bolts and locks to keep out thieves. But the 
argument, as often used, does not at all look to 
any such necessity, but would equally hold 
good if the money had. been expended in gun¬ 
powder to be expended in fire-works, or in 
paying soldiers for amusing us with sham- 
fights. For, in that case, also, the expenditure 
■Would have gone to our own people equally. 

The fallacy consists in not perceiving that, 
though the labor of the gun-powder makers, 
soldiers, &c., is not unproductive to t/iem, inas¬ 
much as they are jjaid for it, it is unproductive 
to uSj as it leaves no valuable results. If gun¬ 
powder be employed in blasting rocks, so as to 
open a rich vein of oro or coal, or to make a use¬ 
ful road, the manufacturer gets his payment for 



152 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


it just the same as if it had been made into 
fireworks ; hut, then, the mine or the road will 
remain as an article of wealth to him who has 
so employed it. After having paid for the 
powder, he will be still richer than he was be¬ 
fore ; whereas, if he had employed it for fire¬ 
works, he would have been so much the poorer, 
since it would have left no results. 

When, however, war expenditure does result 
in the conquest of some territory, and this ter¬ 
ritory brings in some tribute or other profit, 
beyond the cost of conquering.it and keeping 
it in subjection,—which is not often the case, 
—then, it must be admitted,—^waiving all con¬ 
siderations of justice and humanity,—^that some¬ 
thing has been gained. But the revenue thus 
wrested from a subjugated country, must evi¬ 
dently impoverish the one party, as much, at 
least, as it enriches the other. 

On the other hand, the revenue, derived from 
other lauds by commerce, enriches parties; 
since the exchange of a cargo of hardware, for 
instance, for a cargo of silks, implies that, the 
one who parts with the silk for the hardware, 
finds the latter the more valuable to him, and 
vice versa. And thus, both advance in pro¬ 
sperity. 

As Archbishop Whately observes:—“Though 



TAXATION. 


153 


we are not to believe that regular temporal re¬ 
wards and punishments are dispensed under the 
moral government of God to nations, yet, the 
general rule, by which temperance and integrity 
and industry tend, in private life, to promote 
each man’s health and reputation and pros- 
polity, is applicable to nations also. Unprin¬ 
cipled aggression wiU, usually, .provoke, sooner 
or later, a formidable retaliation; and, on the 
other hand, moderation and good faith have 
manifestly a general tendency to promote peace 
and internal prosperity.” 

The moral rule to be di-awn from these re¬ 
marks is that, it is one of the first duties of 
every people to look to their ways and mind 
thefr own affairs. 

Now, the first step to minding one’s own 
affairs is, to understand them; and this should 
be the fii-st object of a free and. intelligent 
people. By far the greatest part of the evils 
in this and every other country, may be traced 
to bad legislation; a cause which never could 
have existed, or, at least, never would have 
been permitted to continue, if the people had 
better understood their own affafrs. It is im¬ 
possible to suppose that, the sacrifice of vast 
wealth on the part of a whole people, for the 
gain—and that, comparatively, a trifling gain— 



154 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND, 


of a handful of monopolists, would have been 
submitted to patiently, so often and so long as 
it has been, as a necessary effect of the system 
pursued, if that system had been better under¬ 
stood in its effects. But the fact is, the gain 
has been concentrated^ and the loss diffused. 
This would not have occurred so often as it 
has, were it not that this diffusion of the loss 
causes its existence,—that is, its existence a.s a 
loss so increased,—to be unperceived. 

If thirty millions of persons are each vir¬ 
tually taxed half-a-crown a year in the in¬ 
creased price of sonre article, thi'ough the pro¬ 
hibition of free ti'ade, perhaps not above a 
shilling of this goes to those who profit by 
the monopoly. But this thirty millions of 
shillings, amounting to £1,600,000 per annum, 
is divided, perhaps, among a few huudi’ed per¬ 
sons, who clearly perceive whence their revenue 
is derived; and who, when such an income is 
at stake, will combine together, and use every 
effort and artifice to keep up the monopoly. 
The losers, on the other hand, the people, not 
only have, each, much le.ss at stake, but are, 
usually, ignorant that they do lose by this 
monopoly, else they would not readily submit 
to pay half-a-crown, or even one shilling, as a 
direct pennon to a few hundred men who had 
no claim on them. 



TAXATION. 


155 


Such was the effect, hut in a much more aggra¬ 
vated degree, of our system of Corn-Laws, and 
other prohibitoiy or restrictive laws on articles 
of food or other daily necessaries; some of the 
worst of which are now repealed, but too many 
of which still remain. 

Of these, 'fhe Customs and Excise Laws and 
a multitude of other cases come under the 
general formula before stated; the tendency to 
over-rate the amount of whatever is seen and 
known, as comiiared with what is unknown, or 
less known, unseen and indefinite. 

It is inconceivable, if the people understood 
this, that they would so patiently submit to 
it. The people feel sorely, but do not see the 
heavy burden which they are beai’ing. This is 
the effect of the ’■^indirect taxes, which have 
been the greatest favorites both of princes 
and subjects; ” and, “ for this reason, govern¬ 
ments have generally had recourse to those 
that are indirect^’’ because “ this ingenious plan 
conceals the amount of taxation, and makes it 
appear in some measiu'e voluntary ” ! 

Govemments must, indeed, have been at 
their wits’ end when they resorted to taxes on 
the necessaries of life, in food and clothing,— 
on knowledge, in paper (now happily abolished), 
and on discoveries for the benefit of mankind, 



156 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


in Patents for inventions,—^when they stooped 
to pick the pockets of pedlai's and pawnbrokers, 
attornies and auctioneers, special pleaders and 
appraisers, conveyancers and cabthdvers, hankers 
and bagsmen, and some other helpless victims, 
of a few pounds a year in the form of fees for 
licences to trade and to practise then’ callings! 
That these miserable shifty contrivances should 
ever have been resorted to is strange, but that 
these should be continued in the days of intel¬ 
lectual advancement is marvellous, and not a 
little discreditable to the present state of na¬ 
tional intelligence. 

By the plan proposed all these great and 
small impediments to progress would be at once 
swept away, and the whole revenue of the 
State would he drawn directly from the simple 
source of all national wealth, and in a manner 
open and intelligible to all classes. 

Suppose this system of taxation with fr-ee 
trade in full operation. What, then, may we 
fairly expect, would be the wealth of Great 
Britain, the undisputed market of the world ? 
What, then, would be the prospeiity of the 
People, and the greatness- of the nation ? 

It is for the People to answer these questions 
and accomplish these objects for themselves. 
All that is needful is, “steadfastness within, 



TAXATION, 


157 


and an immoveable resolve;”—a united will, 
■with united action. This has been the secret 
of snccess with all the mighty hunters of man¬ 
kind, from Nimrod to Napoleon; and, if often 
applied with success to the objects of personal 
ambition, it is, sm-ely, not the less applicable 
when the objects ai’e, the wealth of the Nation 
and the welfare of the People. 

In reviewing the evidence, here brought to- 
gethei*, of the results of om’ present advance to 
free ti’ade, the following appear to be just con¬ 
clusions : — 

-1. That every step towards Free Trade has 
been immediately followed by a large increase 
of revenue to the State, and rise in the rate of 
profits and wages, with corresponding increase 
of employment and comforts to all the working 
classes. 

2. That to the removal of impediments is to 
be attributed the great and rapid growth of 
the foreign trade, and the present flomishiug 
condition of the agriculture of the country. 

3. That, but for the relief thus aflforded, the 
burden of taxation, aggravated by the evils of 
Customs and Excise F)uties, which diminish 
the real value of wages, by rendering a large 
class of imported articles, more or less neces¬ 
saries of daily life, scarce and dear, and still 



158 


ICELAND AND ENGLAND. 


llirtlier aggravated by complicated and vexa¬ 
tious laws, which kept back industry and 
capital from profitable employment, must have 
reduced Trade and Agriculture, and, conse¬ 
quently, all classes of people in this country, 
to a state of unexampled depression and 
misery. 

4. That, in a counti-y like Great Britain, of 
circumscribed area, with a manufacturing popu¬ 
lation and large external ti-ade, political liberty 
alone is not sufiicient to preserve society from 
danger of retrogression; but that, quite as 
vital to the general interests is a perfect free¬ 
dom of trade and indu.stiy, and ah equal ad¬ 
justment of taxation. 

5. That, all experience has proved that, by 
I'epealing Customs and Excise duties, and so 
framing legislation as to make available the 
immense resources at command, and to bring 
within reach of the great body of the popula¬ 
tion, not only the necessaries of daily life, but 
also other articles of comparative luxury and 
comfort, by reducing these to the lowest market 
price, the revenue will be placed upon a more 
firm and safe basis, and the number and amount 
of the taxes may be greatly diminished. 

6. That, all experience has proved that, ex¬ 
tension of markets, and a vast increase of 



TAXATIOX. 


159 


demand, take place coneuiTently with a gra¬ 
dual diminution in the cost of imported com¬ 
modities, with a range of prices so free from 
extreme and artificial fluctuations as to tend 
rapidly to a level, interrupted only by such 
variations as arise wholly from mercantile or 
natural causes. 

7. That, the events, which have taken place 
since 1845, justify the confident expectation 
that, the adoption of Free Trade by foreign 
counti'ies is simply a question of time, the fact 
being that, every year, which is suffered by 
foreign counti’ies to elapse, before they adopt 
the same commercial level as Great Britain, 
will be so many years of a balance of trade in 
favor of this country. 

8. That, the principle is invariably true 
and safe to be relied on, that every reduction 
of duties, which admits a larger quantity of 
the produce of foreign countries, must, at least, 
be paid for by commodities, which it is profit¬ 
able to this country to export, whatever may 
be the degree of folly or wisdom displayed in 
the tariffs of the foreign countries to which 
they are sent. 

It is, therefore, certain that, the country 
with low duties obtains the benefit of a larger 
trade, and it is equally certain that, hostile 



160 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


high duties injure chiefly the revenue and sub¬ 
jects of the State, which imposes them. It 
follows, as a necessary consequence that, the 
country, which imposes no duties gains the 
benefit of a still larger trade. 

These principles were comprised in that 
celebrated Petition from the merchants of 
London, prepared by Mr. Thomas Tooke, and 
presented by Mr. Alexander Baring, after¬ 
wards Lord Ashburton, on the 8th May, 1820, 
to the House of Commons. 

In that Petition it was stated— 

“ That, the prevailing prejudices in favOr of 
the protective or restrictive system may be 
traced to the erroneous supposition that, every 
importation of foreign commodities occasions a 
diminution or discoui-agement to our own pro¬ 
ductions to the same extent; whereas, it may 
he clearly shown that, although the particular 
description of production, which could not 
stand against um*estrained foreign competition, 
would be discouraged, yet, as no importation 
could be continued for any length of time 
without a corresponding exportation du-ect or 
indirect, there would be an encouragement, for 
the purpose of that exportation, of some other 
production, to which our ^situation might be 
better suited; thus affording, at least, an equal. 



TAXATION. 


161 


and probably, a greater, and, certainly, a 
niore beneficial employment to om' own capital 
and labor. 

“ That, of the numerous protective and pro¬ 
hibitory duties of our commercial code, it may 
be proved that, while all operate as a very 
heavy tax on the community at large, very 
few are of any ultimate benefit to the classes 
in whose favor they were originally instituted, 
and none to the extent of the loss occasioned 
by them to other classes.” 

And, with regard to tlie Customs Duties, 
the Petitioners made the following important 
admission:— 

“ As long as the necessity for the present 
amount of revenue subsists, your Petitioners 
cannot expect so important a branch of it as 
the Customs to be given tip, nor to be mate¬ 
rially diminished, unless some substitute, less 
objectionable, be suggested.” 

If the time and state of public opinion be 
considered, when this remarkable document 
was produced,—now more than forty years 
ago,—the close and accurate reasoning, and 
the forcible expression of the whole wiU be the 
more striking; and this Petition will certainly 
be recorded in history as the foundation stone 
on which Free Trade has been established, and 

M 



162 


IREliAND AND ENGLAND. 


on it will be found inscribed, in imperishable 
letters, the honored name of Thomas Tqoke. 

In the book from which these abridged ex¬ 
tracts are taken, all the principal objections to 
the proposed scheme are veiy fully stated and 
answered. But to introduce these objections 
and answers here would lead too far away 
from the present object, and the proposed New 
Scheme of Taxation, therefore, is left in the 
abridged form here given, to speak for itself. 
Those who are capable of considering it in all 
its bearings will see that, there is no foundation 
for the objection that; “To impose the chief 
burdeu of taxation on Land, Houses, and other 
realised property, is to tax wealth, or, to con¬ 
fiscate the property of the Avealthy.” 

It was a wise maxim of Lord Bacon to 
“make a stand upon the ancient way, and 
look about to discover what is the best way 
or, in the language of Scripture: “ Stand ye 
in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, 
where is the good way, and Avalk therein;” 
neither changing at once anything that is esta¬ 
blished, merely becaiise of some evils actually 
existing, Avithout considering whether we can 
substitute something that is on the whole 
better, nor again, steadily rejecting every plan 
or system that can be proposed, till one can be 
found that is open to no objection at all. 



PART III. 

THE mSH CHURCH QUESTION. 




165 


THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 

I • 

As long as Ireland continues united to Eng¬ 
land, I object to consider Ireland separately 
from England, as a subject for exceptional 
legislation. 

I cannot admit tliat, the long continuance of 
distress in Ireland is a good cause for inti’o- 
ducing into Ireland a principle of legislation 
different from that in any other part of the 
United Kingdom. 

I hold it to be practically impossible to 
maintain laws, for any considerable length of 
time, in one part of the kingdom, materially 
differing from the laws in another part of the 
kingdom, without producing discontent, and 
endangering revolution. 

This has been tried in Ireland, and has 
brought discontent to the verge of revolution. 

No Government on the face of the earth has 
ever governed on the principle of equal justice, 
nor ever approximated to that principle, until 
forced by fear of the consequences of mis- 
government. 



166 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


In Ireland the monstrous mockery of justice, 
which prevailed for centuries, has long been 
abandoned, and the laws are now as faii-ly ad¬ 
ministered in Ireland as in any 6ther part of 
the United Kingdom. 

The distress in Ireland, therefore, whatever 
the cause, cannot be attributed to the law, any 
more in Ireland than in England. 

Therefore, to seek the remedy for distress in 
Ireland in any special and exceptional legisla¬ 
tion would be only giving cause for discontent 
and revolution in other parts of the kingdom. 

If the Irish, with their Boman Catholic 
Priests, had been located in Scotland, and the 
Scotch, with their Presbyterian Preachers had 
been located in Ireland, Scotland would now 
be in a much worse state than Ireland, and 
Ireland would be the most thriving part of the 
kingdom. 

No greater mistake can be made than to 
attempt to adapt diflferent laws to different 
races in the same kingdom. Such an attempt 
must disintegrate any kingdom composed of 
different races, influenced by different religions. 

In such cases there is only one safe way of- 
proceeding, and that is, to frame the laws on 
the principles of equal justice to all races and 
all religions. 



THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 167 

The principles of the Christian religion are 
applicable to religions of all denominations.. 

This is not only consistent with the Chi’is- 
tian principle, but is the test of the true spirit 
of Christianity. 

Therefore, that cormtry is best governed 
where the laws ai-e framed and administered in 
the Christian spirit. 

In this way only can any connection really 
exist between the Church and the State. No 
Act of Parliament can make that connection, 
and if the laws be inconsistent with the Chris¬ 
tian spirit, that is evidence that, no such con¬ 
nection really exists. 

If the Chiistian principle be the rule of the 
State, ipso facto the Church and the State 
are united. 

In no part of the world is there a complete 
union between the Church and the State; but 
where the spiiit of the Christian Church is 
acknowledged as the basis of the Constitution, 
there is, at least, an acknowledgment or testi¬ 
mony in favor of the union of Church and State. 

Por upwards of three centuries that union 
has been acknowledged by the British Nation 
as part and parcel of the British Constitution. 

The dissolution of the union between Church 
and State in Ireland must, therefore, be the 



168 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


dissolution of the union between England and 
Ireland, and, sooner or later, Eoman Catholic 
Ireland, as it cannot stand alone, must he 
united to a Eoman Catholic State. 

This is no prophetic foresight, hut a conclu¬ 
sion drawn from the experience of history. 

The Church of the majority governs the 
State. 

Surrender the secm’ity of the Christian 
Church, and, sooner or later, the State ceases 
to be under the rule of a Christian Govern¬ 
ment. 

In no part of the world, where the Eoman 
Catholic Chimch has been the Church of the 
State, has that State ever been governeid on 
Christian principles. 

The principle and practice of the Eoman 
Catholic Church have always been and’ always 
must be,—‘ persecution for conscience’ sake,’ 
—which is the very opposite of the Christian 
principle and practice. 

In those Eoman Catholic countries where 
that principle is not carried out in practice, the 
Eoman Catholic Chiu’ch exists only in name. 
Of this France and Spain are a sufficient illus¬ 
tration. The spirit of the Eoman Catholic 
Church was extinguished in France in the 
Great Eevolution, and France, as a countiy, is 



THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 


1G9 


still nominally Eoman Catholic, but, as a State, 
is without a Church, and indifferent to aU 
Churches. • 

It is otherwise in Spain. There the Eoman 
Catholic spirit prevails, and by that spirit the 
State rules. How far that mle is from the Chris¬ 
tian spirit is fold in the terrible history of that 
misgoverned, degraded, and afflicted Nation. 

The spirit of the Eoman Catholic Church is 
so essentially opposed to the spiidt of the Pro¬ 
testant Church that, they can never unite 
together in the same State. 

The Protestant Chmch professes to extend 
the Chi’istian principle of Civil and Eeligious 
liberty to every religious denomination with¬ 
out distinction. But the Eoman Catholic 
Church professes and practises the very con¬ 
trary, in every part of the world wfflere popery 
prevails. 

The tenets and teachings of the Eoman 
Catholic Church are immutable, and so essen¬ 
tially opposed to the doctrines of the Christian 
Church that, no Christian Government can 
exist under the dominion of the Anti-Christian 
spirit of the Eoman Church. 

Where the Chm’ch of the State is established 
by law, it must be the firet duty of the State 
to make provision for the support of that 



170 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND, 


Church and the maintenance of its ministers, 
leaving all other religious denominations to 
manage the affau’S of their oym Churches in 
their own way. 

This is consistent with the Christian prin¬ 
ciple, and then the' disproportion, however 
great, between religious denominations in the 
kingdom or in any part of it, is, politically, 
most immaterial. 

Any disproportion between the Roman Ca¬ 
tholics and Protestants in Ireland, can be no 
reason for separating the Church in Ireland 
from the Church in England, as long as Ire¬ 
land is united to England as part of the same 
kingdom. 

In this ■view, the amount of property in the 
Irish Church must be a most immaterial ques¬ 
tion. " 

The amount of that property seems to be 
not yet accurately ascertained; but, whether 
more or less than sufficient for the wants of 
the Church in Ireland, on no principle can any 
part of that property be taken away from the 
Protestant Church and given to the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

That property is a vested right in the Pro¬ 
testant Church, not by the fact of undisputed 
possession for more than three centuries, but 



THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 


171 


by the fact that, it was vested in the Chui'ch 
by the State, and that, the Church and State 
were then declared to be one and indivisible, 
and that, the head of the State was then de¬ 
clared to be the temporal head of the Chiu’ch, 
and as such pledged by the most solemn oath 
before God and the country to preserve and 
maintain that Church, with all its property, 
privileges, pre-eminence and power, as part 
and parcel of the State. 

That oath has ever since been taken by 
every Sovereign ascending the throne of this 
kingdom, to confirm the constitution, on which 
the tlironc of this kingdom rests. 

Once only has that oath been broken, and 
on that occasion the perjured king was driven 
from his throne and kingdom, to be resumed 
no more by him or imy of his race for ever. 
The Oath then broken was held to absolve all 
subjects of the realm from their allegiance. 

It is idle to question the power of Parlia¬ 
ment to undo what it has done. But it is 
wise to pause before exercising a power by 
which the kingdom may be undone. 

Before the commission of an act so iiTcpar- 
able, involving questions so serious and con¬ 
sequences so alarming, it is only common 
prudence to consider, whether the object de- 



172 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


sired may not be attained by means less 
hazardous. 

If the object be the good of Ireland, that 
must imply the equal good of England, and if 
the experiment to be tried is, the alteration of 
the constitution for the benefit of Ireland, the 
same experiment will soon afterwards be re¬ 
peated for the benefit of England. 

It may, therefore, be well to consider whether, 
a less hazardous experiment can not be tried 
for the benefit of the whole kingdom at once. 

Taking the Christian principle for the rule 
of government, the Chui-ch in Ireland cannot 
be justified or maintained under the present 
system. But, with a few modifications, the 
Church in Ireland can be maintained in perfect 
accord with the Christian principle and the 
spirit of the constitution. 

For this purpose it will only be necessary to 
confine the payment of the Kent-charge in lieu 
of Tithes to members of the Established Church, 
and to make such payment and all other dues 
to the Chui’ch compulsory by law, against the 
members of that Church only. 

Under such a law, a refusal to pay should be 
held equivalent to a public declaration of se¬ 
cession from the Chui'ch, and should be made 
public accordingly. In this way, all parties 



THE HUSH CHUKCH QUESTION. 173 

would settle CLm’cli questions for themselves, 
and none would have any right to complain. 
But, in this way, the Established Church would 
he maintained in Ireland and in England, and 
all Church questions would he set at rest. 

The distrihution of the property of the Esta¬ 
blished Churcli, for the benefit of that Chui’ch, 
is properly within the power of Parliament, 
and any surplus property of the Chiu’ch in Ire¬ 
land may properly be applied for the benefit of 
the Church in England. After fuUy providing 
for the Established Chm*ch throughout the 
kingdom, any surplus belongs to the State, 
and may veiy properly be applied to the secu¬ 
lar education of the People, of all religions 
denominations, without distinction. But that 
should not be considered surplus until ample 
provision has been made for every minister of 
the Established Chui-ch in the kingdom, and, 
therefore, there never would be a surplus pro¬ 
perly applicable to Education. 

The education fund conies under another 
principle, and all who contribute dii-ectly or 
indirectly to the taxes imposed by the State 
are entitled to share equally in that fund. 

The cost of public education may, therefore, 
very properly be paid out of the consolidated 
fund of the nation, and then the Government 



174 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


may very properly take chai*ge of all charitable 
funds appropriated to education in the kingdom, 
and administer those funds in public education, 
under the direction of Parliament. 

The distinction between the Church fund 
and the Education fund is clear and simple; 
the one arising from property vested in the 
Church for the benefit of its members; the other 
arising from property given by and belonging 
to the People, for the benefit of the People. 

To make the acceptance of that benefit com¬ 
pulsory would be as unjustifiable an interfe¬ 
rence with individual liberty, as to make the 
members of one Church conti'ibute to the 
funds of another Church; and to make public 
education dependent on local rates, or under 
the control of rate-payers, would effectually pre¬ 
vent a national system from being carried out. 

Public Education can be carried out with 
success only as a Government measure under 
the control of Parliament, and under the du’ec- 
tion of a responsible Minister of the Crown, 
assisted by a Board of Commissioners in Chief 
and subordinate Local Distiict Boards. 

The superintendence of National Education 
is one of the most important duties of the State, 
and as the Civil and Ecclesiastical Establish¬ 
ments represent the State in connection with 



THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 175 

the Church, it follows, as a necessaiy conse¬ 
quence that, the National Religion ought to he 
the basis of National Education. 

Any other conclusion must be irrational and 
inconsistent, for a system of National Educa¬ 
tion not based on the National Eeligion can 
have no tendency to attach the mass of the 
population to the Established Church. The 
advantages of secular education, however great, 
can never supply the place of Eeligious In¬ 
struction. 

It is, therefore, essential that, a system of 
National Education in this country should be 
based on the Bible, the Creed, and the Lord’s 
Prayer, open to acceptance or rejection equally 
by all. 

The duty of the Church is the preaching of 
the Gospel,—declaring the Kingdom of God at 
hand,—and preparing the people for that King¬ 
dom. 

The duty of the State is to educate the peo¬ 
ple and prepare them for their appointed sta¬ 
tions in the Christian Commonwealth. 

In this way only can the union of Church 
and State be preserved. 

We shall not preserve that union by accom¬ 
modating our system of National Education to 
the regulation of the Popes, prohibiting the 
Use of the Bible. 



176 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


I am not aware that the regulation is less 
tenaciously enforced in present than in past 
times. The following are the words of the 
prohibition:— 

“As it is manifest by experience that, if 
the use of the holy writers is permitted in the 
vulgar tongue, more evU than, profit will arise, 
because of the temerity of man; it is for this 
reason all Bibles are prohibited with all their 
parts^ whether they be printed or written, in 
whatever vulgar language soever; as also are 
prohibited all summaries or abridgements of 
Bibles, or any books of the holy -writings, al¬ 
though they should only be historical, and that 
in whatever vulgar tongue they be Aviitten.” 

The same authority adds : “ That the read¬ 
ing the Bibles of Catholic Editors may be per¬ 
mitted to those by whose perusal or irower the 
faith may be spread, and who will not criticise 
it. But this permission is not to be granted 
without an express order of the bishop, or the 
inquisitor, with the advice of the curate and 
confessor; and their permission must first be 
had in writing. And he who without permis¬ 
sion presumes to read the holy writings, or to 
have them in his possession, shall not be absolved 
of his sins before he first shall have returned 
the Bible to his bishop.” 



THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 


177 


There may be various shades of distinction 
amongst Eoman Catholics, from the deep 
shadow of the fierce and gloomy bigot, to 
the light shade of the simple and inoffensive 
enthusiast or the thoughtless and ignorant 
votary. 

The domimon of the Pope may be less pow¬ 
erful, and the deceitful artifices of the Jesuit 
less successful now than formerly, but the 
principles of the Roman Catholic faith aiu the 
same as ever, being imchangeable. 

The more those principles are examined, the 
more they will be found to be in opposition to 
the Christian faith and incompatible with the 
principles of Christian government. 

It is no mitigation of the pemicious en'ors 
and fatal consequences of those anti-Christian 
principles that the Eoman Catholic heresy is 
made up out of Divine materials. The materials 
are Divine, but the fabrication is human, and 
so disfigured by falsehood and human artifice 
that, the original materials are hardly to be 
distinguished, and are preserved only in sym¬ 
bols to appease the anxious longings of the 
soul, but at the same time to gratify the selfish 
cravings of the fiesh. 

But, the present subject is the pacification of 
Ireland, and the practical question is this;— 



178 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


Shall this Protestant State, in the hope of 
making the Irish Eoman Catholic Tenant-far¬ 
mers and Peasantry a provident and prosperous 
people, separate the Church from the State, 
and no longer acknowledge an Established 
Church in L-eland, no longer distinguish it 
from the Eoman Catholic Church, hut place 
the Irish Church on the same footing as the 
Eoman Catholic Church, and divide the pro¬ 
perty of the Irish Church \7ith the Eoman 
Catholic Church and all other Chifrches in 
Ireland ? 

That is, nominally, a question of the Irish 
Church, but, in reality, it is the sepai*ation of 
the English Church from the State, for dis¬ 
establishment in Ireland must be disestablish¬ 
ment in England. 

How far the special providence, which has 
so pre-eminently distinguished the British na¬ 
tion fr’om all other nations, may be attributed 
to the national acknowledgment of the union 
of Church and State is a question which will 
not here be enquired into. But it may be 
asserted as a fact iu history that, ever since 
that union, the British nation has been dis¬ 
tinguished by great prosperity, and has been 
preserved from many of the calamities which 
have befallen other nations. There are many 



THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 


179 


still in this country who believe that Divine 
blessings are bestowed or withheld in regard 
to Nations as to individuals, nor is this belief 
without sanction in Holy Writ, though there 
be many to whom this will be a weak supersti¬ 
tion. 

Those who* believe that, blessings are to 
nations as to individuals regard the present 
time as indicative of the di'awing nearer to each 
other in Chiist,—as descriptive of that union 
to Christ on which the union to Christendom 
turns,—as a conspicuous and notable illustra¬ 
tion of the glorious fact that, “in Christ Jesus 
there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond 
nor free, but that all are one, even as the 
Father and the Son are one,—not in their visible 
manifestations, but in the Eternal Spu’it.” 

But,—“In the opinion of the House of 
Commons it is necessary that the Established 
Church of Ireland should cease to exist as an 
Establishment, due regard being had to all 
personal interests and to all individual rights 
of property.” 

The reasons which induced the House of 
Commons to come to this conclusion, seem to 
be in substance this:— 

The majority of the people of Ireland being 
Roman Catholics, it is not expedient, for the 

N 2 



180 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


interests of Ireland, to maintain the Protestant 
Church as a State Establishment in Ireland, 
But it is expedient to maintain aU personal 
interests and all individual rights of property 
in Ireland, except those personal interests 
and individual rights of property, which are 
connected with the Protestant Church in Ire¬ 
land. 

This exception is to authorise the making 
over of a large portion of the property of the 
Protestant Chui’ch in Ii*eland to the Eoman 
Catholic Church, for the pacification of Ireland, 
through the Pope and the Eoman Catholic 
Priesthood. 

The reasoning to this conclusion can only be 
•that, Eoman Catholic Ireland cannot be really 
united to Protestant England under a Protes¬ 
tant Sovereign. 

To hide the ti-eason lurking in this confes¬ 
sion, the few Presbyterian Clergy are to be 
allowed to pai-ticipate in the plunder of the 
Protestant Church in Ireland, and the Sove¬ 
reign, as the temporal head of the Church, is 
to be required to consent to this spoliation, not¬ 
withstanding that solemn Oath, to preserve 
and maintain throughout the kingdom the 
Church of England, .as by law established, 
with all its property, privileges, pre-emin- 



TUB IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 


181 


ence, and power, as part and parcel of the 
State. 

That, such is the reasoning, which has led 
to this conclusion, as a measui-e of expediency 
for the pacification of Ireland, is not a matter 
of opinion, but of fact; for the proposer of the 
measure has 4iimself declared that, hut for his 
fear of Fenianism, the Eesolutions, passed by 
a large majority of the House of Commons for 
the disestablishment of the Church in Ireland, 
would not have been proposed by him. 

This is the question now before the countiy, 
and it remains to be seen, whether the People 
of England will stand by their Sovereign and 
support Her in the observance of Her Oath for 
the maintenance of the Church and State, as 
by law established, that Chui’ch for which the 
blood of the raai'tyrs has been shed, and that 
State which, by the blessing of God, has been 
preserved tlu'ough all trials. 

The question is simply, whether the Church 
and State, as by law established, and maintained 
for upwards of three centuries, shall now bo 
disestablished, “the essence of the Establish¬ 
ment being,” as well expressed by the Bishop 
of Oxford, “ that, the nation acknowledges 
that, its subjects need religious teaching, and 
that, adopting a particular’ form of religion as 



182 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


that -which it believes to be true, it authorises 
the mi ni sters of that particular fonn to teach in 
the name of the State as Veil as that of the 
Church.” 

This, though a simple question, is a very 
momentous question for the countiy, and one 
which the People will soon be called to deter¬ 
mine. It will be well for the country if the 
People disregard all political parties and con¬ 
sider this question reverentially in the spirit 
of the Christian Chui'ch, for the disestablish¬ 
ment of Church arid State in Ireland will be 
the re-establishment of the Pope in this King¬ 
dom, and then the glory of England will have 
departed for ever. 

One of the first subjects for the attention of 
the reformed Parliament must be, middle and 
lower class education. 

When these classes are better educated, they 
will better understand their own true interests, 
and they will then elect, as their representatives 
in Parliament, those who will consult the true 
interests of the nation, ly not taxing the laborer 
in his own labor. It will, probably, be many 
years before that principle is adopted. But 
when the People are united by intelligence and 
one common interest, that principle will be 
earned out in practice with universal consent. 



THE lEISH CHUllCH QUESTION. 


183 


and this country will then be raised up to a 
pitch of prosperity and power far greater than 
has ever yet been known. 

In the meantime the Fenian fever, akeady 
reduced by vigorous remedies, will soon dis¬ 
appear and he forgotten, and the just conces¬ 
sions to thd'Eoman Catholics of Ireland will 
restore a better feeling among all parties, for 
the Irish, as a People, are brave and loyal, 
and love them country, though they have a 
way peculiar to themselves’of showing their 
love and loyalty. But it is a mistake to sup¬ 
pose that, the Irish Tenantry or the Irish 
Peasantry have had much to do with Fenian- 
ism. Fenian outrages have been contrived and 
conducted by renegade Irish emigrants, fresh 
from their military exploits in America, and 
flush with their feats of arms. Having ac¬ 
quired some military discipline and a taste for 
plunder, they were unwilling to return to the 
plough. Successful combatants in America, 
they were not content with their naked rights 
in Ireland, but would insist on a great deal 
more. 

“ Armati terrain exercent, semperque recentes 
Convectarc jurat prmdas et vivere rapto.” 

It is no wonder that, recruiting with re¬ 
volvers, they compelled some to follow them. 



184 IRELAND AND ENGLAND.' 

The wonder is that, they did not find many 
more willing followers a,mong the really suffer¬ 
ing Peasantry of Ireland. 

The Tenant-farmers of Ireland, as a body, 
were everywhere against them, and those of 
the poorest Peasantry who joined, were 
operated upon much more by fear than by 
fellow-feeling with Fenians. 

There is great poverty among the poor in 
Ireland, but there is great improvidence, and 
that no Act of Parliament can reach. If all 
the land of Ireland were delivered up to the 
Irish poor, they would soon he much poorer. 
It were better if Ireland were to disappear 
beneath the sea. 

But the signs of improvement are already 
visible,_and in no part of the United Kingdom 
are Eents better paid than in Ireland. 

On the equal and equitable principle of each 
religious denomination supporting its own 
Chur(5h, there is no reason why Ireland should 
not be governed by the same laws as England, 
and with equal prosperity. But the seisure 
of any part of the property of the Church of 
the State, and the appropriation of such pro¬ 
perty to the Eoman Catholic Church, for ag¬ 
grandising that Church, which holds the 
Protestant Church—its tenets and teachings in 



THE IBISH CHURCH QUESTION. 


185 


abhorrence—and all its members as heretics 
condemned to perdition, would be a proceeding 
monstrous and anomalous, irreeoncileable with 
justice and inconsistent with common sense, 
an abuse of toleration and a public avowal of 
indifference, an everlasting shame and dis¬ 
grace, and to the whole British nation a fearful 
and in’eparable mischief. 

The principle of religious toleration does not 
demand the disestabhshment or disendowment 
of one Church for the temporal benefit of 
another Church. 

Eeligious toleration is carried to the fullest 
extent when no impediments are interposed to 
the free exercise of religious opinions. The 
temporal possessions of a Church, like all other 
property, are the creation of the law, and the 
property of the Chxu’ch is property according 
to English law. 

Property in land may be vested in an indi¬ 
vidual as absolute owner, or in several indi¬ 
viduals as absolute owners, or in corporate 
bodies sole or aggregate. 

In all such cases, where property in land is 
required for any public purpose, the State is 
bound by ordmary principles of justice, and it 
is the mvariable practice, to compensate the 
owners, who, therefore, lose nothing when they' 



186 


IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 


part witli their land, as they receive the value 
in money. But the temporal ppssessions of 
the Church being vested in the Church in per¬ 
petuity, as a sole corporate body, there is no 
absolute owner to whom the compensation can 
be given. The present possessor can be com¬ 
pensated for his partial interest, but the unborn 
generations, who might have succeeded to those 
possessions, cannot be compensated. The re¬ 
versionary interest, therefore, is taken without 
any compensation given, and the loss is not 
only to the unborn generations who might have 
acquired personal interests in that Church 
property, but also to the souls of those who 
might have derived spiritual benefit from that 
Church ministry. 

Unquestionably, the j)ower of Parliament 
is supreme over the property of the kingdom, 
but to exercise that power to deprive the 
Church of any part of its property must shake 
the foundation of all property in the kingdom, 
and may shake even the foundation of the 
Throne. 

. To seise the property of rich Corporations 
aggregate would be only another short and 
easy step, and the time may then not be dis¬ 
tant when a Cabinet Council of pure philoso¬ 
phers, sanctioned by a House of Commons 



THE IRISH -CHURCH QUESTION. 


187 


elected by tbe universal sui&’age of an en¬ 
lightened constituency (the House of Lords 
beiug no longer in existence), may think it 
expedient for the public good, to pai’cel out 
the Estates of some of the large Land-Owners 
into small allotments for the benefit of the 
tenant-farniers. But if that liberty be taken 
with property, it should not be in the name of 
Civil or Eeligious liberty, for in neither case 
does toleration mean a community of goods, 
nor an equal participation in temporal power. 

Eebgious toleration is complete with freedom 
of thought and action in all religious ques¬ 
tions ; but toleration, when it recognises no 
distinction, is indiflference; and indifference, 
when it cHsregai'ds vested interests, is in¬ 
justice. 

The Roman Catholic Chui’ch, which acknow¬ 
ledges the Pope as the temporal head of the 
■ Church, can have no just claim to be placed on 
an equal footing, either in property or power, 
with the Protestant' Church, which acknow¬ 
ledges the Sovereign as the temporal head of 
Church and State. It is sufficient, for perfect 
toleration, that each Church enjoys equal free¬ 
dom, and neither is compelled to contribute to 
the support of the other. If a Chinch cannot 
find support in its own members, there can be 



188 


IHELAND AND ENGLAND. 


no reason why it should be supported at all, or 
why a deficiency in the funds of the Church 
should be made up out of the funds of another 
Church. 

But those who refuse to pay the dues of the 
Church, for the maintenance of the ministers 
and the support of the edifice, as by law re¬ 
quired, may be considered to have renoimced 
them Church, and, as secedors, may very pro¬ 
perly be required by law to sign an act of re¬ 
nunciation, to be fixed on the door of the 
Parish Church and published in the London 
Gazette, or be made to pay. 

Under that voluntaiy system the funds of 
the Chimch would suffer no diminution. The 
door of the fold would be open to those tvho 
wished to^ depart out of it, for the saving of 
their money; but then the goats would be se¬ 
parated fi’om the sheep. If compulsory con¬ 
tribution be a cause of disquiet, the removal of 
the cause ought to remove the disquiet. That 
is a just cause of complaint in Ireland, but the 
removal of that complaint would not quiet Ire¬ 
land. The remedy for Ireland’s distress will be 
found only in the improved moral and physical 
condition of the Irish People. 

In the mean time that Government, which 
shows itself the least disposed to lead back 



THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION. 189 

Protestant England to Popish Eome or to sur¬ 
render any of the sacred and cherished rights- 
(so dearly purchased!) of the Protestant Church, 
will have the best claim to the confidence of 
the countiy. 

Thieves do not usually break in to steal in 
their accustomed dress, nor in the light of day, 
but in disguise and in the darkness of the 
night. 

The wolf in sheep’s clothing is as old as the 
Priest in his priestly robes. 

Traitors and Apostates are not confined to 
any class. They are found in the highest and 
in the lowest, and in eveiy class between; 
under the Court di’ess of the Minister of State, 
under the embroidered vestments of the Popish 
Priest and the Eitualistic Eenegade Priest, 
under the cloak of the Jesuit and the cowl of 
the Monk, under the every-day working-dress 
and the common frieze coat. But, however 
clothed, the wolf is always the wolf. 

The Pope sits in his Chair at Eome, always 
the same. He changes only in name. But the 
world around him changes. Seated in his Chair 
at Eome, that doomed city of the Seven Hills, 
he watches the changes. He sees his tem¬ 
poral power gone, and his spii’ituai power de¬ 
parting. But his hopes are in Ireland and 



190 IRELAND AND ENGLAND. 

Englandj where he sees Fenianism and Kitu- 
alism progi’essing together. 

The good Shepherd knows his sheep and 
watches over them. As long as the sheep keep 
together in the fold the wolf cannot enter, how¬ 
ever disguised. 

Liberty of conscience can be permanently 
preserved in this country only under "the pro¬ 
tection of a National Church—a political esta¬ 
blishment in connection with the spu-itual 
Church of Christ, Dr. Owen, a Clergyman, 
thus addressed the Long Parliament:— 

“Jf it once come to this, that you shall say, 
you have nothing to do with religion as rulers 
of the nation, God wiU quickly manifest that. 
He has nothing to do with you as rulers of the 
nation.”. 

If the rulers of this nation, as such, have 
nothing to do with religion, then there is no 
connection between the Church and the State, 
for, in the words of Bishop Burnett,—“ As the 
head communicates vital influences to the 
whole body, Chiist is the only head of His own 
Chui'ch: He only ought in all things to be 
obeyed, submitted to and depended on; and 
from Him all the functions and offices of the 
Church derive their usefulness and virtue.” .. 



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