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CHAPTER III, On the consequences and effects of the selection of subjects of taxation on the social condition and welfare of the people of the United Kingdom; will be published in a few days, and the rest of the work as soon thereafter as practicable.

The eager haste shown to press forward and .

pass into law the measures now under discussion in the House of Commons, and in agitation

among the public of all ranks and degrees uni

versally, has induced the writer of the following pages to publish them, before completion of the intended work, of which they are the beginning —under the impression (unfounded, perhaps) that the facts stated may influence reflection upon those measures; which, in the opinion of the Prime Minister of the day, will, if adopted by the Legislature, have such important and beneficial effects—and which, in the opinion of many sensible persons, will or may alter, for much better or for much worse, the social condition of very numerous and very important classes of the people of the United Kingdom.

London, February 16, 1846.


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THERE probably exists a principle, upon which
every member of a nation or state might be
made contributory to its support, in due propor-
tion to his stake and interest in it, and to his
means. Whether such a principle shall ever be
discovered is more than doubtful; but that it is
the duty of every Government, in its taxation of
the people, to approximate as nearly as it can to
that principle, is manifest. -
The words tares and taxation in the following
pages are to be understood to mean, the con-
tributions required by law to be paid by the
people annually, out of their rents, profits,
earnings, or incomings, to defray the annual

public expenditure. B


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