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HE TITHES RATING ACT.

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HE TITHES RATING ACT. 'he Surrejoinder of Mr Walter Morgan to Major Quin, M.P. SIp.It is difficult to know whether the 3tter of the Major is intended to be serious, or whether, being over-elated at our victories in he Transvaal, he intended to treat the Electors rith a little Irish humour. I am rather doubt- ul whether a serious reply is demanded, but as b contains a good deal of dust, which is thrown ato the eyes of the public, and not only con- uses the issue, but raises a false one, I feel ompelled to reply. Like all bold and over coloured effusions, ,ne only has to analyse them in order to pul- eriise them. I am glad, however, that the lajor has replied; for the more I enter into he subject the more convincing and forcible re the proofs of my assertions, and I have no loubt in the end that, according to the language If the immortal Shakespeare, it is more than )ossible that the honourable member will be iismembered with his own defence." We have secured one admission in the Major's etter which was absent from his speech, lamelyTbat the ratepayers of Glamorgan lo, in fact, bear a share of the S87,000 a year ,iven to the Clergy. Since I last wrote I have jerused the return, and I find that I under- stated the. amount contributed by this County. [ stated that Glamorganshire (inclaling, of sourse, the Boroughs of Cardiff and Swansea) would receive Y,900 a year less than it did before by reason of this Act, but the return 3hows thit the yearly loss is il,257, equal to a capital sum on a 21 per cent basis of £ 50,280. The loite borne by Wales is S4,000 a year, equal to a capital sum of 9160,000. The capital sum representiug the whole dole is 1;3,480,000. Now to the mind of an ordinary business man who has tP earn a living and pay rates, and who in the present circumstances is justly en- titled to'consider himself an over-burdened ratepayer," the sums appear rather enormous; but to one who lives on the produce of inherited estates, I daresay they are trivial. Major Quin asks the question What is it that the over- burdened ratepayer has to provide in order to make good the deficiency caused by the relief given to (tithe owners under the Act?" He himself answers. £ 87.000." He might have added, in the poetical language of Edgar Allen Poe, "only that, and nothing more." A mere trifle, of course, in the eyes of a landed proprietor. He then justifies the act of making the general public pay the parson's debt by pro- pounding'a most remarkable doctrine. This sum," he says, "levied on the few persons affected, 4s a heavy charge, amounting to an average of JE8 per head." [The actual sum is JE6 4s 6d but I will not wait to discuss this.] But when equally borne," says he, as in justice it ought to be by all the ratepayers, is so light that it is difficult to find a figure small enough to express it." He might as well have added, but not too small to be received." Now anyone reading this assertion of the Major would be led to believe that in this country the rating authorities actually charged our respected clergy ar higher rate per £ than the general public. Well, is this so P If not, whence comes in the ground for relief and the transferring of the burden from one shoulder to the other ? Is the parson charged on a higher annual value than the sum he receives ? Certainly not. Then is he not on perfect equality with the general ratepayer as regards the rate per £ and the principle of assessment ? As to the general position of the parson compared with the general ratepayer, is he worse or better off? Major Quin has told us what the average rate per head i3, but he has omitted to say that the average income of each beneficed clergyman is JE455 a year, out of which he did manage to pay JE8 per annum until he was relieved by this Act. Can it possibly be asserted that the average income of each ratepayer in any parish comes up to that, or anything like it ? How can it be said that in justice the parson should be relieved at the expense of the general ratepayer, who is much worse of. What is the doctrine propounded by the Major? It would appear to be this: "That the burdens of a favoured class, because they are heavy on the few, should be borne by the many, although the latter themselves bear precisely the same burdens." I don't think that any socialistic idea hitherto propounded has gone to this extent. The reasoning of the Major would seem to be illustrated as follows: Take the case of a bachelor who occupies a house next door to a man with a family of 12 children. They both pay the same rate, but the bachelor appeals against the rate on the ground of inequality between him and his neighbour, and that he, being only one man occupying one house, ought not to pay the same as a man with a family, and asks that half of his rate should be paid by the over- burdened family man. According to the reasoning of his letter Major Quin would say Quite right, for the rate paid by the bachelor is a heavy charge on one person; but when equally borne, as in justice it ought to be, by the over-burdened neighbour and the members of his family it is so light that it is difficult to find a figure small euough to express it." Hitherto I have assumed that the clergy are on an equality with the general ratepayers; but have they not already, to a very large extent, been specially favoured by the Legis- lature ? I made this assertion in my last letter that when the tithes were commuted the rates payable thereon were added to the tithe- rent charges." Major Quin says that my view is entirely erroneous but does he not give his whole case away when he admits "that where the rates were paid by the tithepayer before the commutation an addition was made by the Commissioners in the reports." And, mark you, these cases referred to by him are not excepted from the benefits of the Tithe Rating Act; and the tithe-owners who already, as admitted by him, receive their rates from the tithe-payer still under the new Act get the full half of their rates from the general public. rhe Major attempts to draw some distinction by saying tbat the addition was made in order to ascertain the true value of the tithe." But how does this affect it ? Someone had to pay the rates. If the tithe-payer had continued to pay, what claim for relief could the clergy have had ? The position is precisely the same when the tithe-payer hands the money to the tithe-owner to pay. During the course of the Bill the London Daily News published the following table, > Rate for Titheowners' in- which Titheowners' in- come after 1836, Amount of tithe- County. come free from when they became grant-in-aid owners rates, before 1836. responsible for to corer rates. .*⢠rate»- relief. in the Beclford E7,076 10 1 £9,299 2 5 92,299 12 4 6 3 Berks J 35,429 7 4 43.055 16 4 7,826 9 0 4 5 Bucks" 14,405 18 10 18,403 2 0 3,997 3 2 5 5 Cambridge 33,911 16 6 40,664 17 10 6,753 1 4 ill Cheshire 7,850 17 3 9,061 10 8 1,210 13 5 3 1 Cornwall' 17,400 5 0 20,672 10 3 3,272 5 3 3 9 Cumberland «. 1,936 15 5 2,062 1 7 125 6 2 1 3J Derby 6,812 8 7 8,144 1 1 1,331 12 6 3 10* D* 25,097 5 11 28,956 9 9 3,859 3 10 3 0| ;r Dorset 22.199 14 10 26,198 9 0 3,998 14 2 3 71 Durham -i 12,656 19 8 13,791 0 1 1,134 0 5 1 91 Essex 116,955 14 4 146,521 11 4 29,572 17 0 5 0 Gloucestershire 29,070 6 3 J4,532 13 2 5,462 6 11 3 9 Hampshire 66,757 8 11 82.390 7 4 15.632 18 5 4 8* Hereford 29.240 8 0 33,836 1 7 4,595 13 7 3 if Herts 31,968 4 9 38,180 8 10 6,212 4 3 3 104 Huntingdon 5.773 19 9 6,605 2 6 831 2 9 2 10| Kent 32,687 6 11 41,356 14 9 8,669 7 10 5 34 Lancashire 17,546 13 5 20,285 3 7 2,738 10 2 3 1? Leicester^ 6.198 8 2 7,230 16 3 1,132 8 5 3 8 Lincoln .V. *4,144 12 6 53,275 7 0 9,130 14 6 4 1J Middlesex 3,557 9 10 3,984 14 0 427 4 2 2 5 Mcmmouth 6,334 9 1 7,324 15 7 990 6 6 3 li Norfolk 137,612 19 3 166,857 9 3 29,244 10 0 4 3 Northampton' 6.37315 4 7,617 9 s 1,243 u 4 3101 Northumberland 30,624 15 3 32,476 6 1 1,842 10 10 1 If Nottingham 7,172 12 8 8,474 13 11 1,302 13 0 4 2J Oxford 20,927 17 11 25,605 13 6 4,677 15 7 4 5 £ Rutland" 2,726 2 6 3,222 11 0 396 8 7 3 7* ShroDshice' 19,183 16 10 21,382 4 3 2,199 7 5 2 3* Somerset 23,389 5 4 26,181 8 3 2,812 2 11 2 49 Stafford 9.382 13 8 10,748 5 9 1,365 12 1 2 11 cXlk 101,972 19 5 130,943 5 8 28,974 6 3 5 8 Snrrpv 19 416 12 11 25,419 7 7 6,002 14 8 6 2* 63,829 18 8 84,283 6 11 20.453 8 3 6 4? W«â¢ipk 14,463 11 10 16,999 12 8 2,563 0 10 3 6 Westmorland":1.50116 4 MOS 3 6 103 7 2 1 Wilts 52,181 5 0 62,726 3 11 10,544 18 11 4 01 Worcester 20.156 3 6 22,978 19 2 2,822 15 8 2 9? Yorkshire 51,773 16 4 58,490 11 7 6,716 15 3 9 7 which shows that in every county in England substantial additions were made to the tithe- rent charge as grants-in-aid to cover rates amounting altogether to X244,570 per annum, and in many cases exceed the rates paid, leav- ing a defer profit to the tithe-owner. I think every one will admit that these figures are of sufficient magnitude to justify my Statement. But, assuming there are some cases where the rates were not added to the tithes, what justi- fication is there for relief when the parson only pays the same rate per £ as the general rate- payer, and only pays on the annual value of his property in the same way as anybody else? The Major further says "that I have imbibed the fallacy that the additions were made out of public money." I never said so, and never thought so, and it is impossible to construct any statement of mine to mean that; for I dis- tinctly said that the rates were added to the tithe-rent charges," and every one knows that the latter are not paid by the general public. It was not necessary for my case to make such a statement. This assertion by the honorable member is simply a diplomatic attempt to divert the true issue, or, in other words, to draw a red herring across the trail.I remain, yours truly, WALTER H. MORGAN. Forest Bouse, near Pontypridd, 31st Ootober, 1899.

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