12 APRIL 1873, Page 1

The discussion which followed the Budget was, as usual, de-

sultory, and not particularly instructive. Mr. White (M.P. for Brighton), while approving the Estimates and the Budget, op- posed any attempt at reducing the Debt, and seemed quite to regret that so much as six millions were to be devoted to that purpose in two years. Colonel Barttelot was hurt that the agricultural interest had not been considered by the reduction of the Malt Tax. Sir W. Lawson appeared to think there was no difference between the assertion that habitual drunkards increase the yield of the spirit duties, and that the spirit duties increase the ntuuber of habitual drunkards, for he enunciated the former proposition with a show of indignation that would be only appli- cable to the latter, and he called taxing drink "mean, cruel, shortsighted, and fraught with evil to the State," whereas surely not taxing drink would be worse ; what can he mean by saying that " the State enticed people to drink" ? Sir John Lubbock was bold enough to desire that a Budget proposal should hold good for four or five years without revision, the annual surplus accumulating for the reduction of Debt ; and Mr. Fawcett scolded Government well for not paying the Alabama debt wholly out of this year's surplus, but admitted that his words would have no weight outside the House. Mr. Fawcett's words would have great weight everywhere if he would not regard the art of government as an applied science, without making even so much allowance for friction as physicists make in applying mathe- matics to the principles of material motion.