§ LORD WILLIAM GRAHAM
begged to say a very few words with reference to the statement which the right hon. Gentleman 225 had made in reference to a question of which he (Lord W. Graham) had given notice. His question referred to the profits of tenant farmers and their assessment to the income tax. What were the facts of the case? The payment of a farmer's income tax was calculated upon his rental; thus, if his rent was £300, he paid on £150. But in 1857 the minimum income upon which the income tax was leviable was reduced to £100, which brought under! the operation of the law a large number of holders who were before exempt; and as; the annual value of every acre of land occupied by any person, no matter for what purpose, was added under Schedule B to his income derived from other sources, it was obvious that a large addition must be made by this alteration. Then there was a general desire to increase the size of farms by placing two or three small holdings together, which brought them immediately within the operation of the income tax, though separately they paid no tax. Nor should it be forgotten that large sums were annually expended on drainage, farm buildings, and other permanent improvements which were generally paid for by adding 5 or 6 per cent to the rental. When all these causes were combined, it was evident that the increase under Schedule B must be owing very largely, if not altogether, to these causes. In some places in Scotland, perhaps, some small increase of rental might have taken place; but he was not aware that such had been the case in England, certainly not in that part he had the honour to represent; and knowing that the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had given rise to great surprise and dissatisfaction among the tenant farmers, he had taken the opportunity of adverting to a statement which was calculated, he believed, to mislead public opinion.