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they were driven, of increasing the Sir John Newport stated, that the assessed taxes, after having failed in balances of deceased and dismissed two different plans of taxation, left collectors amounted - to 220,000; an unfavourable impression in the and Mr. Parnell shewed, that not. country, of their financial talents withstanding the undoubted encrease and resources. The increase of the of opulence in Ireland, and though assessed taxes led, however, to a the taxes imposed since 1802 measure, that met with general ap. had been estimated to produce probation. In consideration of the 1,800,000, the actual increase of severe pressure of the taxes on per- revenue was only 70,000. It apsons who had large families, a bill peared, indeed, that the disparity vas passed, granting to parents an between the revenue and expendi. allowance out of their assessed ture of that country, was truly tates for every child they had above alarming. The expenditure was at two, provided the total amount of the rate of more than eight millions their assessment was under forty and a half a year, while the revenue pounds a year.

was less than three millions and a The Irish budget was opened by half, and the whole of it, a few Sir John Newport, the Irish chan. thousands only excepted, mort. cellor of the exchequer, on the 7th gaged for the payment of the interof May. It appeared that the est on the debt. supply voted for Ireland

The late chancellor of the Irish 8,975,1941. ; and the ways and exchequer, Mr. Foster, strongly means provided by the chancellor recommended to Sir John Newport of the exchequer were estimated at to raise a great part of the supplies 9,181,4551. The loan, which was within the year, by means of war for two millions, had been raised at taxes; a proposal which the right teren shillings per cent less than the honourable baronet answered, by loan for England, and this was re- shewing how inefficacious the right garded as a favourable symptom of honourable gentleman's own meathe growing prosperity of Ireland, sures had proved, when directed to and of the confidence reposed in its that object. His additional taxes government. Several new taxes on wine and tobacco, for example, and regulations concerning the re- instead of increasing, had actually Tende, were proposed, which it was diminished the existing revenue; calculated would produce 307,6551. and though he had imposed taxes, a year. The exports of Ireland, it the produce of which he estimated was stated, had been greater in at 1,200,0001. a year, the whole 1805, than in any year since 1792; addition they had made to the reve. and the course of exchange had been nue, did not exceed 70,000 a year. lower, and more fixed for the last Sir John Newport was ready, howfour months, than it had been for ever, to do Mr. Foster justice. That sereral years.

right honourable gentleman had In the course of the discussions projected regulations, which would that arose on this subject, it appear. very much have improved the reve. ed, that great mismanagement and nue. These -regulati'ns, it was his abuse prevailed in the collection and intention to adopt, and to superadd administration of the Irish revenue. several measures of his own; and



he had no doubt that when the re- surveyor general of woods and foe venue of Ireland was collected in a rests. An act was also passed for fair and proper manner, it would increasing the salaries, and abolishbe found infinitely more productive. ing the fees of the custom house But, till these exertions were made, officers of the port of London, and he did not feel himself justified in for diminishing the number of hocalling for new taxes, when not lidays at the custom house, and reabove two thirds of those now im. gulating the attendance of the offi. posed were collected.

We shall next proceed to the The attention of parliament was measures taken by parliament for next called to a reform in the mode the correction of abuses connected of auditing the public accounts. It with the revenue department of the appeared that in consequence of the state,

imperfection of the provisions esta. The first of these was an act forblished for that object, there had been regulating the office of treasurer of a gradual accumulation of inaudited the ordnance, on the principle of accounts, amounting, when the preMr. Burke's bill for regulating the sent ministers came into office, to the oslice of paymaster of the forces, enormous sum of 534 millions. Not and of the bill introduced (and af. a single account in the army pay terwards violated) by Mr. Dundas o.flice had been audited since 1782. for regulating the oflice of treasurer The store accounts had been suffered of the nary.

By this act the ba- to lie over, without examination, lances of the ordnauce were ordered during the same period. The navy to be deposited at the bank of Eng accounts were greatly in arrear, land, and the payments to be made None of the accounts of the late by drafts upon the bank, except the war were audited, and those relating payments on the treasurer's petty to the expeditions to Holland and account, for which small sums, on Egypt, and to the treaties of subsidy the requisition of the board of ord- with foreign powers, had not even nance, were to be issued to him been touched upon by the auditors. from the back, and applied by him It is unnecessary to expatiate on to no purposes whatever, but those the manifold risks to which the authorized by law. ' In bringing public is exposed by such delay in forward this bill, lord llenry Petty auditing and settling its accounts. announced bis intention of extend- Not to speak of the loss of money ing the same principle to the post- from the insolvency of those indebted oflice, the excise osice, custom. to it, the chances of which must be house, and other public oflices, to multiplied by every year's delay; if which it was applicable, that an end its agents have been guilty of fraud might be put to the practice of pub- or negligence, how must the lapse lic officers deriving profit from the of so many ycars increase the dif. public money in their hands. ficulty of sifting into, and probing

And accordingly, before the ses. to the bottom their delinquencies. sion of parliament was closed, acts And, on the contrary, how many were passed to extend the principle to suspicious circumstances may arise, the excise and customs, to the stamp when such accounts come at length and post offices, and to the office of to be examined, which at the time when the events were recent, could Though it be impossible to acqnit bare been casily and satisfactorily entirely of negligence and inatten. explained, but which the death of tion, the administration, which sufthose concerned, renders it after- fered these abuses to accamulate wards impossible to clear up. What so long, and arrive at such an exa hardship op persons engaged in tent, it must in fairness be admit. the service of the state, that having ted, that great reforms had been been once employed in the expen- made in this, as in most other de. ditare of public money, they should partments of the public revenue, be unable, in the whole period of under the auspices and direction of their subsequent lives, to obtain a Mr. Pitt. When that celebrated settlement of their accounts, for the minister began his long administra. security of their families, and justi. tion, he found a similar accumula. fication of their conduct.


tion of inaudited accounts to that The abuses to which the accumula- which existed, when the present mition of inaudited accounts had given nisters came into office. He found rise in the West Indies, wereso glaring, also the established system of auditthat, in 1800, commissioners had been ing the public accounts, obsolete sent thither to investigate them ; in and inefficacions, ill-adapted for consequence of which malversations dispatch of business, and still worse to an enormous extent were de. calculated to procure a careful retected. New commissioners were vision and examination of the acthen appointed by act of parliament, counts. He, therefore, established with authority to correct and re- a new board of auditors, with more medy the evil. But, though much ample powers than their predeces. good was effected by the exertions sors, by whose exertions the great of these commissioners, the system mass of inaudited accounts that had of fraud and profusion, which they accrued during the American war, were sent out to stop, continued to was at length audited and settled. go on; and no crime was spared by A fresh accumulation had now taken the actors in this scene of delinquen- place, and a similar remedy was cal. cy, that could serve to screen them led for, with such additional regu. from detection, or secure them from lations, as would ensure in future, punishment. Forgery, perjury, that no such accumulation should bribery, and every iniquitous stra. again be experienced. The neces. tagem, which fraud could devise, sity of some more effectual provision was resorted to; and not content for auditing and examining the pub. with false charges, false returos, and lic accounts, was acknowledged in fagitious embezzlements, they bribed the preamble tn Mr. Pitt's bill, in the custom-house officers to sign 1805, for appointing an extraordi. false certificates, fraudulent invoices, nary board of auditors; but that and other such documents, in aid of bill, though it increased the number their mal.practices ; proofs of which of auditors, contained no provisions were detected, in one instance, to for the better and more regular ex. the amount of 80,0001. and in ano. ecution of their duty. ther, to the amount of 30,0001. ap- The plan proposed by the chan. plied in bribery, to concead frands cellor of the exchequer for the rea of an enormous exteat.

medy of those abuses, was, in the

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first place, to appoint five commis. ing eluded. The commissioners sioners for enquiring into abuses, were divided into three boards, one and examining the accounts of go- for the current accounts, one for vernment agents in the West Indies, the accounts under examination, three of whom to remain at home, and the third for accounts untouch. and two to go out to the West In- ed, and not even looked into by the dies. These two boards were to present auditors. Most effectual correspond together, and take mea. regulations were added, for secursures in conjunction, for attaining ing in future that the accounts of the objects of their commission. every year should be regularly au. Ample powers were to be given to dited in the course of the ensuing the commissioners, of summoning year, so that no fresh accumulation persons before them, examining of inaudited accounts should ever them upon oath, and calling for all happen again. The expence of the papers and documents which they whole establishments was increased judged necessary to have produced. by these innovations from 28,0001. They were to investigate the ac- to 42,0001. a year, for the present, counts brought before them, and but the permanent expence was when satisfied of their fairness and fixed at only 27,0001, a year. accuracy, to grant certificates ex. The statement to the house of tho pressing their opinion; but the final enormous accumulation of inaudited settlement of the accounts was re. accounts, and the new establishserved to the general board of audi- ment for auditing accounts, to which tors. The plan of having two it led, gave great offence to some boards for the examination of these members of the opposition, who accounts, was suggested by the ex- considered the diselosures and reperience of the former commissione marks of the chancellor of the ex. ers, who had been compelled to chequer, as intended to cast a slur send home one of their number, to and affix a stigma on the character carry on investigations in London, of his predecessor. Mr. Rose, who without which they were unable to had been secretary of the treasury make any progress in the West In- under Mr. Pitt, during his first addies.

ministration, distinguished himself on The general board of auditors this occasion, by the violence and was, in the next place, new model. acrimony, but also by the spirit and led, and in many respects materially pertinacity, with which he vindi. changed. The office of army compcated his patron from the unjust imtroller, originating in the adminis- putations, which he alledged, it was tration of lord Godolphin, was re- now attempted to fix on his memo. tained, but separated from the of. ry. Though he could not deny the fice of auditor of public accounts. fact, that so many millions of the The number of auditors wasincreased public money were still unaccounted to ten, but in proportion as the pre- for before the proper auditors, he sent accumulation of accounts maintained that the greater part by should be disposed of, the number far of these inaudited accounts, had was to be reduced to six, and the long since been substantially and es. most effectual provisions were taken, fectually examined, and that a great. to prevent this regulation from be- er delusion could not exist, than to

espect that any errors or malversa. and responsibility upon unsettled' acSons would be detected by the counts ; it appeared also that he had ter examination to which those charged the public twice in one year accounts were proposed to be sub- with his pay and allowances ; from jected. He argued more suc- the whole of which it followed, cessfully, becanse on better grounds, that, supposing his accounts, not that the cause of this enormous yet audited, to be in other respects accumulation of inaudited ac. correct, but subducting these counts arose from the imperfection charges, which on no account could of the provisions for compelling be allowed, he was indebted to the poble accountants to produce their public in the sum of 97,415 l. accounts before the auditors. The intead of 6865 l, which was the ba. BET establishments he opposed with lance he acknowledged to be due by great violence, alledging that they him. The report containing these vere useless and unnecessary, and statements was laid before the house created for the sake of patronage on the 21st of March, and ordered asae. The public, however, dif. to be printed; but no further fered materially in this opinion from notice was taken of it till the sth Mr. Rose. No measures of the of May, when lord Henry Petty, treasery gave greater satisfaction referring to it, assured the house, during this session of parliament that not only would the suggestions than those for expediting and se. contained in that report with res. cuing the regular settlement of the pect to the mode of auditing the bar. public accounts. Nor was ever rack accounts, be at:e ded to, in zrprise more general or more une. the general measure then under çaivocally expressed, than when consideration for improving the the negligence of the late adminis. mode of auditing the public accounts, tration upon this subject was first but that immediate steps would be made known to the house of com. taken by goveroment for recovering zoas.

the balance that appeared to be The attention of parliament, due by the late barrack 'master dering the present session, was call. general. Aír. Robson, who seems ed to another subject, connected to have been absent from the house, with the reform of abuses, arising when this declaration was made by oat of the first report of the com- the chancellor of the exchequer, missioners of military enquiry, ap- brought forward the subject a printed in Mr. Pitt's last adminis- second time on the 16th of May, tration. It appeared from the report and added that many other abuses of these commissioners, that lieut. existed in the barrack department, general de Lancey, late barrack to which he called the attention of zaster general, who filled that office the house. He accordingly made a from 1793 to 1801, had been accus. variety of motions, on that and tused, in making up his accounts subsequent occasions, for the pro. Tith the public, to take credit to dụction of papers connected with kiraself for one per cent on the the barrack expenditure, some of Thole expenditure of the barrack which were granted, and others redevartment, under the title of fused, on the ground that the ex. salingencies for additional charge pence and trouble of preparing them 3


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