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If any person is curious to read these contradictory opinions in French, we must refer them for the first, to the files of the Redacteur, for which Paper it appears to have been prepared. We are not yet certain of the decision of the Paris Police with respect to the latter, possibly too candid to admit of the Republican Imprimatur.
“ The Executive Directory have called upon the National Institute,
“ and all the Academies in the Republic, to consider of the most “ efficacious plans of reducing the power of this Country, by Invasion, " or any other mode. This information is not contained in any “ of the French Papers, but the fact may be depended on." Morning Post, Nov. 22, 1797. We are at a loss to conjecture precisely what means the Morning Post may have of procuring intelligence from France relative to the hostile designs of the Directory, except the usual channel of the French Papers; but we are far from denying that it has some means of doing so, or from disbelieving a fact which appears so consistent with the present Rulers in that Country. The avowed object of the War being the destruction of our Constitution, it is very probable that a Committee may have been formed in the National Institute, for this purpose. Such a Committee would naturally be instructed to confer with all, or any of those, whose experience and ability in the business under their consideration, enabled them to furnish advice or information: or (to borrow an expression from other Committees), to send for Persons, Papers, and Records. Possibly the intelligence in the Paragraph before us may have come to the Morning Post in the shape of a Summons to this effect. If this be the case, they may perhaps give their testimony more weight with the Committee by calling us to their Character.
• We shall have no hesitation in declaring our opinion of the zeal and the skill with which they appear to us to have laboured to promote the ends which the Committee have in view. We are ready to attest that they have been uniform, strenuous, and sincere, in their efforts to promote the French Cause; that in the defence or palliation of the French measures, they have often surpassed the authors of them in argument and ingenuity; that they never fail to suggest whatever can defeat or embarrass our views, or promote and give facility to theirs ; that they omit no opportunity, are deterred by no shame or remorse, discouraged by no detection or reproach, from publishing such misrepresentations and falsehoods as appear to them, best adapted to support any delusion in France, and to diffuse despondency, alarm, or discontent, through this Country. We think their services entitled to the High Consideration of the Committee.
" From the account of the net produce of all the Permanent Taxes
“ in the year ending the roth of October, 1797, now on the Table
" Deficiency of the old Revenue - - £.943,659
“ For the service of the year 1797, provision was made by Taxes “ for the receipt of 3, 318,000l.-There has been actually received 760,044. The deficiency therefore amounts to 2,557,9561.
" Deficiency of the old Revenue • - £.943,659
“ Total Deficiency Morning Ebrunidle, and Star, Nov. 24.
This This Paragraph is a curious instance of the mixture of Truth and Falsehood; in which the latter appears with all the confidence of the former, and the former is so stated, as to convey the impression of the latter. And the result of the whole is, what naturally might be expected, complete but aukward Misrepresentation.
The amount of the Permanent Taxes imposed previous to the War, paid into the Exchequer in the year ending the roth of October, 1797, is indeed correctly stated at about £ 13,341,636. But it is not correct to state this sum as the total produce of these taxes. What was paid
out of the Customs, in the first instance, without passing . through the Exchequer, must be added, viz. ' '
Bounties to Seamen - - £14,784
The total will then be, £ 13,506,522 It should also be recollected, that the Distilleries were stopped till the 15th of November, 1796, and as no Revenue could reach the Exchequer from that source in the Quarter ending the 5th of January, 1797, or in part of the succeeding Quarter, some allowance ought to be made on that account.
If this allowance were made on the first principle adopted by the Committee on Finance, it would add about 252,000l. to the produce of the taxes in the Taxes in that year, and would raise them to the sum of 13,758,000l.
The next fact stated is, that the same Taxes produced in 1792, 1,4,284,000. This statement is just as accurate as the other.
Every man who has read or heard any thing upon this subject, must know, that at least half a year's produce of
the Taxes (repealed in that year), being 111,000l. must be included in that sum, and ought to be deducted, before it can be compared with the produce of a subsequent year. With this deduction, the fame Taxes produced in 1792 only 14,173,000l.
The whole comparison is indeed curious. The most productive year of the most prosperous Peace, is singled out to be compared with the fifth year of the most expensive War which this Country has ever known. From the former, nothing is deducted for Taxes since repealed. To the latter, nothing is allowed either for the stoppage of the Distilleries, which prevented the receipt of a large sum, or even for sums actually received and applied to the Public Service. And then a conclusion is drawn, with all the parade of arithmetical accuracy, that there is a defi. ciency of the Permanent Taxes, in consequence of the War, of 943,6591. Even on the comparison of the two years, properly corrected, the Deficiency cannot be fairly stated at more than 415,oool. much less than what the accidental fluctuation of Commerce has frequently occasioned in the most flourishing period. It would surely have furnished a fairer medium of comparison, though less suited to the evident purpose of the Writer, if he had looked at the produce of the Revenue for the four years preceding the War; or for the four years during the War, the latter of which periods was found, equally to our surprize and satisfaction, more productive than the former : but such a comparison would have left a blank in his account of failure, or at best, would have filled it up with a paltry sum, which would hardly have figured amongst the subsequent enumerations of deficient mil. lions.
If we look farther back, we shall find that the estimate of these Taxes formed by the Committee of 1791 (an æra of what was then unexampled prosperity) was only 13,249,000l.; and it will be no small consolation to reAect, that in spite of the accumulation of expence and increase of burdens, the produce of the Old Revenue for the last year, instead of sinking under them, has in actual receipt exceeded that estimate by 250,000l. and allowing for the stoppage of the Distilleries, by above half a Million.
N. B. All these statements are taken from Papers on the Table of the House of Commons.
(To be continued.)
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER TO THE CITY OF LONDON,
Published in the Courier, Nov. 22. “ It is thus the friends of the present war have attempted to show
“ that the French Republic is now become incompatible with the “ British Constitution ; because, say they, the Enemy declares “ that 'the two Governments cannot exist at the same time.'
“ Wretched attempts of a wretched State Logician! “ By the word Government (so far as it relates to England) neither
“ more nor less can be meant than the Ministry. Do we not say 16Mr. Fox is opposed to Government? '-Do we not say 'His “ Grace the Duke of BedFORD strongly opposes Government?'
“ without meaning to insinuate in the slightest degree that either . " the one or the other can be inimical to our Constitution ? In
“ fine, are not those who are most sincere in their opposition to " “ Government, often considered the best friends of the Constitutions"
We rank this Paragraph under the head of Mistake, rather than of Misrepresentation, not because we are at all insensible to the wickedness of its design, but because we think the folly of the execution its more prominent and remarkable quality.