The Revenue accounts for the year and quarter ended on
the 10th of October are alarming—a decrease on the year of above a million' • on the October quarter of above a million and a half ! This was to be expected : the famine in Ireland and the overtrading in England, with all the consequent disloca-
tion, fiscal and commercial, could not happen and not mark the formidable effects of scarcity and imprudence in the aggregate accounts of the nation. The dearth by a visitation of Providence diminished, while the speculative madness wasted, our resources; and that " burning of the candle at both ends " exhibits its natural results in straitened means.
If we look to particulars, the account for the year is not so very bad : there is an increase on all the great branches of ordinary revenue, amounting in the aggregate to 673,0001.; the striking exception is the Excise, which shows a decrease of 160,000/. ; but the great apparent decrease on the year is mainly attributable to the falling-off in the receipt of "China-money" and other casual items.
The account for the quarter is dark indeed. Taking the par- ticular season, the country is in a much worse position than it was at this time last year : all the great branches of the revenue exhibit decrease, with small exceptions under the heads of Taxes and Post-office ; the gross increase under every head is only 18,6671. On, the other hand, there is a decrease in Customs, (374,0001.,) Excise, (641,0001.,) Stamps, (66,0001.,) and Property- tax, (53,0001.); the gross decrease being 1,525,0001. No doubt, the receipts of the Customs in the third quarter of 18443 were unduly swelled by receipts for Corn-duties, now in abeyance; the affluence of the Stamp revenue was an unhealthy excess ; and the apparent abundance of the Property-tax was unsound : but even with those deductions_, the fact remains, that the diminished and wasted resources of the country, a bad harvest in the pre- vious year, and disturbed commerce, are telling on the revenue at a most serious rate.
Will it stop here-? The prospect is not cheering. The present deficiency belongs to a stage before the recent storm in the com- mercial world could have had time to operate greatly upon the public receipts ; short-time is the order of the day in the manu- facturing districts ; in railway matters, heated speculation is suc- ceeded by icy stagnation : diminished exports must be accom- panied by diminished imports—deficiency in Customs ; wages will continue low—deficiency in Excise ; incomes will be lower, sometimes imaginary—deficiency in Income-tax ; even a healthy reaction in railway affairs must tend to induce a deficiency of re- venue under the head of Stamps. To these pinching straits add, that the Irish subsidies will probably be renewed ; and that the French Government is going to take from the general money- market its long-threatened loan, in instalments at the rate of 400,0001. a month for the next two years. It does not seem pro- bable that Lord John Russell's Administration will be able to boast the happy ornament of rich revenue-tables.