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To the Editoi• of the Monmouthshire…


To the Editoi⢠of the Monmouthshire Merlin. SrR,-I feel diffident in soliciting your indulgence, by the in- sertion of a few remarks I wish to make (though I am aware how inadequate to the task) on your correspondent A Tradesman of Monmouth's" letter, which appeared in the last Merlin, on the subject of the petition to Parliament, for the repeal of the As- sessed Taxes, lately agreed to, at a public meeting, convened by our worthy Mayor, and at which he presided. This petition, your correspondent says, he conceives to be pre- posterous, and the prayer of it cannot be acceded to-unless, by robbing Peter to pay Paulâby substituting some other tax in- stead. Now, with all due deference to this opinion of your cor- respondent, I assert, that the petitioners, or at least a large por- tion of them, think directly the reverse. They want to prevent Peter from being robbed, to pay Paul, in the shape of extrava- gant remuneration for inadequate services, ill-merited pensions, sinecures, &c. Many of us, who are now petitioners, are old enough to recollect, when the repeal of the property tax was the prayer of numerous petitions, that the late Lord Castlereagh taunted us with an ignorant impatience of taxation and he stated that the government could not be carried on, if that tax were abrogated. But the pressure of it came home to the legis- tors, and the tax ivas repealed. Still the government went on they contrived to do without it, by reducing the expenditure, no doubt, and the same cause would produce a similar effect now. Let Peter protest stoutly, by petition, against being robbed, for the purpose of paying Paul, in the profuse way the Pauls are still paid, and we shall soon see, certain representatives, and probably the government, supporting, instead of being opposed to, such motions as that recently made by Mr. Hume, but which unfortunately was negatived. The argument of your correspondent, that the assessed taxes are exclusively drawn from the pockets of those who, as a body, are most capable of paying them, is, i think, fallacious. He qualifies it, certainly, by saying, when they are, "properly, and impartially, levied," thereby admitting that instances occur, when the reverse is the fact; and there I agree with him, for it is well known to be so, and that many persons submit, sooner than be dragged, perhaps in inclement weather, several miles, to answer- the charge of an unjust sur-charge, and to be subject to the in- quisitorial impertinence of some Jack in Office," (as your cor- respondent has it), and perhaps to be insulted, by his requiring the statement made to rebut the charge to be confirmed by an oath. But, sir, 1 contend that the assessed taxes, with the ex- ception of the house tax, which is a property tax, are in effect taxes upon labour,âthat they are quite as oppressive, upon the labourer and artisan, as upon those out of whose pockets they are first extracted. Take a carriage, for example,-are not three- fourths of the cost of it comprised in the payment for the labour of many hands 1 From the miner who raises the ore, and the col- lier the coal, to make the iron, and the woodman who falls the timber, to the artist who puts the finish to it, what a numerous body of workmen does it assist in giving employment to. I con- tend that the condition of your correspondent's bold peasantry" would be ameliorated, by the repeal of these odious taxes, and in a legitimate and beneficial way. There would not be the dread of the Jack in Office" discovering them, employed as assistant- gardeners, or as helpers in the stables, &c. &c., in the establish- ments of gentlemen, or as porters or assistants in the shops and warehouses of tradesmen-or in feeding the horse, necessary to the carrying on the business of the latter, and for which horse, by the by, the charge is the same as it is for a pleasure horse. I contend, that these taxes upon carriages and horses, and upon servants, prevent, in an extraordinary degree, the employment of numerous persons in every district, and, consequently, that their pressure falls more heavily upon the working classes of society, than it does upon those on whom they are levied whilst I think it would be difficult for your correspondent to she how the house tax, which he advocates the abolition of, reaches the la- bouring man, as I believe I am correct in saying his cottage is not liable to the tax. Your correspondent makes an allusion to a gentlemen, who, as he states, took a prominent part in the proceedings of the meeting, and that he, being more able to pay, ought more quietly to submit to be taxed, than the generality of his townsmen." Not making any remark upon this doctrine, I submit, that he is entitled to the thanks of his townsmen, for coming forward to assist in an effort to remove exactions, that are not of consequence to himself. I am, sir, your very obedient servant, A SUBSCRIBER TO THE MERLIN. Monmouth, Feb. P.S.âIt was with regret I noticed in your paper of the 2cJ instant, that your able correspondent, HAMPDEN," recom- mended that petitions should be confined" to the repeal of the house and window taxes only and more so, that he should have made the erroneous statement, that pleasure horses only, were now liable to be taxed."