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given you a revenue, whenever he can point out to you where you may have money, if you can contrive how to get at it; and this seems to be the master-piece of his financial ability. I think however, in his way of proceeding, he has behaved rather like an harsh step-dame, than a kind nursing mether to his country. Why stop at 2.300,000? If his state of things be at all founded, America and Ireland are much better able to pay £.600,000, than we are to satisfy ourselves with half that fum. However, let us forgive him this one instance of tenderness towards Ireland and the colonies.
He spends a vast deal of time *, in an endeavour to prove, that Ireland is able to bear greater impositions. He is of opinion, that the poverty of the lower class of people there is, in a great meafure, owing to a want of judicious taxes; that a land tax will enrich her tenants; that taxes are paid in England which are not paid there; that the colony trade is increased above 4.100,000 since the peace; that the ought to have further indulgence in that trade; and ought to have further privileges in the woollen manufacture. From there premises, of what she has, what she has not, and what she ought to have, he infers that Ireland will contribute €.100,000 towards the extraordinaries of the American establishment. ni : ' * P. 35.
I shall make no objections whatsoever, logical or financial, to this reasoning: many occur; but they would lead me from my purpofe, from which I do not intend to be diverted, because it seems to me of no fmall importance. It will be just enough to hint, what I dare say many readers have before obferved, that when any man proposes new taxes in a country with which he is not personally conversant by residence or office, he ought to lay open its situation much more minutely and critically than this author has done, or than perhaps he is able to do. He ought not to content himself with saying that a single article of her trade is increased
.100,000 a year; he ought, if he argues from the increase of trade to the increase of taxes, to state the whole trade, and not one branch of trade only; -he ought to enter fully into the state of its remittances, and the course of its exchange; he Qught likewise to examine whether all its establishments are increased or diminished ; and whether it incurs or discharges debt annually. But I pass over all this; and am content to ask a few plain questions.
Does the author then seriously mean to propose in parliament a land tax, or any tax for £.100,000 a year upon Ireland ? If he does, and if fatally, by his temerity and our weakness, he should fucceed; then I say he will throw the whole empire from one end of it to the other into mortal con
vulsions. What is it that can satisfy the furious and perturbed mind of this man; is it not enough for him that fuch projects have alienated our colonies from the mother country, and not to propofe violently to tear our fifter kingdom also from our side, and to convince every dependent part of the empire, thats when a little money is to be raised, we have no sort of regard to their ancient customs, their opinions, their circumstances, or their affections? He has however a douceur for Ire, land in his pocket; benefits in trade, by opening the woollen manufacture to that nation. A very right idea in my opinion ; but not more strong in reason, than likely to be opposed by the most powerful and most violent of all local prejudices and popular paffions. First, a fire is already kindled by his schemes of taxation in Americą; he then proposes one which will set all Ireland in a blaze; and his way of quenching both is by a plan which may kindle perhaps ten times a greater flame in Britain. : Will the author pledge himself, previously to his proposal of such a tax, to carry this enlargement of the Irish trade; if he does not, then the tax will be certain; the benefit will be less than problematical. In this view, his compensation to Ireland vanishes into smoke; the tax, to their pre- judices, will appear stark naked in the light of an
act of arbitrary power and oppression. But, if he Hii Vol II.
should propose the benefit and tax together, then the people of Ireland, a very high and spirited people, would think it the worst bargain in the world. They would look upon the one as wholly vitiated and poisoned by the other; and, if they could not be separated, would infallibly resist them both together. Here would be taxes indeed, amounting to an handsomne fum; £.100,000 very effectually voted, and passed through the best and most authentick forms; but how to be collected ?
This is his perpetual manner. One of his projects depends for success upon another project, and this upon a third, all of them equally visionary. His finance is like the Indian philofophy; his earth is poised on the horns of a bull, his bull ftands upon an elephant, his elephant is supported by a tortoise; and so on for ever. • As to his American 6. 200,000 a year, he is fatisfied to repeat gravely, as he has done an hundred times before, that the Americans are able to pay it. Well, and what then? does he lay open any part of his plan how they may be compelled to pay it, without plunging ourselves into calamities that outweigh tenfold the proposed benefit? or does he fhew how they may be induced to submit to it quietly? or does he give any satisfaction concerna ing the mode of levying it, in commercial colonies one of the most important and difficult of all confiderations ? Nothing like it. To the ftamp act,
whatever its excellencies may be, I think he will not in reality recur, or even choose to affert that
he means to do so, in case his minister should come - again into power. If he does, I will predièt that some of the fastest friends of that minister will desert him upon this point. As to port duties, he has damned them all in the lump, by declaring them * “ contrary to the first principles of coloni"zation, and not less prejudicial to the interests of 6 Great Britain than to those of the colonies.?! Surely this single observation of his ought to have taught him a little caution; he ought to have begun to doubt, whether there is not something in the nature of commercial colonies, which renders them an unfit object of taxation; when port duties, fo large a fund of revenue in all countries, are by himself found, in this case, not only improper, but destructive. However he has here pretty well narrowed the field of taxation. Stamp act, hardly to be resumed. Port duties, mischievous. Excises, I believe, he will scarcely think worth the collection (if any revenue should be fo) in America. Land tax (notwithstanding his opinion of its immense use to agriculture), he will not directly propose, before he has thought again and again on the subject. Indeed he very readily recommends it for Ireland, and seems to think it not improper