REPEAL OF TIIE MALT-TAX.
Lean CHANDOS'S motion for the repeal of the Malt-tax stands for Tuesday the 10th. We do. bt not that the noble Member for Buck- , inghamshire would gladly cushion it, if he could. Ile has the best possible reason for knowing that the abandonment of his motion would be exceedingly agreeable "in the highest quarter." But the Marquis is a person who sometimes has regard to his reputation as a public man. He is pledged up to the throat to use all his efforts to procure the total repeal of the Malt-tax ; and his derelic- tion of it would be utter ruin to his character.
But the Malt-tax yields somewhere about five millions per annum. The whole of it cannot be spared without imposing other taxes to make up the deficiency. The agricultural interest would not gain by being taxed to an equal amount in another way ; and we suspect that no Minister would venture to propose a duty which should press unfairly on the inhabitants of towns. What
then ought the House of Commons to do ? Certainly not to re- peal the whole of the tax ; for the question then occurs, how is the deficit to be filled up ? But there would be no sound objection to repeal half of it, provided the House is resolved, when it comes to deal with the Estimates, to save to the amount of two millions and upwards in the expenditure of the year.
It is to the Army that our Representatives should look, when in search of a field for retrenchment. It has been repeatedly shown in this journal, that there is room for enormous reduction in our military expenditure. There never was a time when it was more imperatively the duty of the House of Commons to cut down the standing army. Independently of economical considerations, all who desire to see justice done to Ireland should unite in an attack on the Army Estimates. It is on the Army that the Tories depend for a continuance of misrule and oppression in Ireland. Once reduce the Irish garrison of some 30,000 troops, and the British Government would find itself compelled to govern the Sister Isle on principles of common sense and equity. But it is vain talking about the wrongs of Ireland as long as the means of oppression are furnished to her rulers.
They who consider the Malt-tax as little hurtful as a tax can well be, may find an excuse or a reason for voting to reduce it one half, in the considerations above suggested. Such a vote would be preliminary to a reduction of the standing army, and the adoption of a better system of governing Ireland. In this view of the matter, it would be well to propose an amendment on
the motion of the Marquis. of CHANDOS, to time in-
stead effect that half, - of the whole of the Malt-tax, should be abolished; and it should be supported on the undeistanding that the expenditure was to undergo a corresponding diminution, it would in every i point of view be good policy to cripple the Tories while n power,
if they cannot just yet, in courtesy to the Sovereign, or in de- ference to the scruples of the weak and wavering, be turned out. The motion of Lord CIIANDOS affords a good opportunity for doing this.