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An Account of the Quantities of Coru Spirits made in Ireland, which have paid the Duties of Excise for
Home Consumption ; stating the Rate of Duty paid, and also the Nett Amount of Revenue received in each Year, since 1820.-(Furnished by the Excise.) Years Number of Gallons
Rate per Imperial Gallon.
Nett Amount of Revenue.
It may appear, on a superficial view of this Table, as if the consumption of spirits in Ireland had been nearly trebled in consequence of the reduction of the duty in 1823 ; but, in point of fact, it was not in any degree increased. The reduction of the duties substituted legal for illicit distillation, and freed the country from the perjuries and other atrocities that grew out of the previous system ; but it would be wholly erroneous to say that it increased drunkenness. We have already seen that the commissioners, who had the best means of obtaining accurate information, estimated the consumption of spirits in Ireland, in 1823, at ten millions of gallons ; and when greatest, in 1838, 13 years after, the consumption was only 12,296,342 gallons. No doubt, therefore, the measure deserves to be considered as having been in every point of view most successful. It will be seen that the increase of duty from 28. 101. to 3s. 4d., in 1830, perceptibly diminished the quantity of spirits brought to the charge; and as it was found to give a considerable stimulus to illicit distillation, which had previously been nearly extinct, the duty was reduced to 28. 4d. in 1835. The extraordinary decrease in the consumption of spirits since 1839, though in som degree, perhaps, ascribable to the addition of 4d. a gallon made to the duty in 1840, is no doubt principally owing to the exertions of Father Mathew, and the spread of temperance societies; and notwithstanding the loss of revenue it has occasioned, the change has certainly been of great public advantage; and provided it be maintained, it is not easy to suppose that any thing should have occurred better fitted to improve the physical and moral condition of the people. The ill-advised addition of 18. a gallon made to the duty in 1842 was repealed in 1844; for while it gave a powerful stimulus to clandestine distillation, it was pretty obvious it would not have added anything to the revenue, or given any additional impetus to the temperance movement.
Duties in Scotland. The experience of Scotland is hardly less decisive as to this question. The exorbitancy of the duties produced nearly the same effects there as in Ireland. Mr. John Hay Forbes, formerly sheriff-depute of Perthshire, now one of the Lords of Session, stated in evidence before the commissioners, that, according to the best information lie could obtain, the quantity of illegally distilled spirits annually produced in the Highlands could not amount to less than two millions of gallons. In corroboration of this, he stated that, in 1821, only 298,138 gallons were brought to the charge in the Highlands; and of these, 254,000 gallons were permitted to the Lowlands, leaving only 44,000 gallons for the consumption of the whole country; - a supply which, we are well assured, would hardly be sufficient for the demand of 2 moderately populous parishes. In a letter of Captain Munro of Teaninich to the commissioners, it is stated that, “at Tain, where there are upwards of 23 licensed public houses, not one gallon had been permitted from the legal distilleries for upwards of twelve months,” though a small quantity of smuggled whisky had been purchased at the excise sales, to give a colour of legality to the trade. The same gentleman thus expresses himself in another part of his letter :-" The moral effects of this baneful trade of smuggling on the lower classes is most conspicuous, and increasing in an alarming degree, as evidenced by the multiplicity of crimes, and by a degree of insubordination formerly little known in this part of the country. In several districts, such as Strathconon, Strathcarron, &c., the excise officers are now often deforced, and dare not attempt to do their duty; and smuggled whisky is often carried to market by smugglers
escorted by armed men, in defiance of the laws. In short, the Irish system is making progress in the Highlands of Scotland.”
To arrest the progres of demoralisation, government, pursuant to the judicious advice
of the commissioners, reduced the duties on Scotch to the same level as those on Irish whisky; and the consequences were equally salutary. The subjoined official statement shows the consumption and rate of duty since 1821, An Account of the Quantities of Corn Spirits made in Scotland, which have paid the Duties of Excise for
Home Consumption ; stating the Rate of Duty paid, and also the Nett Amount of Revenue received in each Year, since 1820.--(Furnished by the Excise.)
This table sets the influence of the reduction of the duty in 1823 in the most striking point of view, the consumption of duty-paid spirits having more than doubled in the course of two years, at the same time that illicit distillation was all but suppressed. The addition of 6d. made to the duty in 1830 gave a check to the consumption from which it did not speedily recover ; and revived, though happily to uo great extent, the dormant energies of the smuggler. The influence of the 4d. added to the duty in 1840 is also most perceptible.
Duties in England.- Previously to the reduction of the duty on Irish and Scotch spirits, the duty on English spirits had been as high as 11s. 8d. a gallon. This high duty, and the restrictions under which the trade was placed, were productive of the worst effects. They went far to enable the distillers to fix the price of spirits, “and consequently ” (we quote the words of the commissioners of excise inquiry) “to raise it much beyond that which was sufficient to repay, with a profit, the cost of the manufacture and the duty advanced to the Crown.” And, in proof of this, the commissioners mention, that in November, 1823, “when corn spirits might be purchased in Scotland for about 28. 3d, a gallon, raw spirits could not be purchased in England for less than 4s. 6d. ready money, and 48. 9d. credit, omitting, in both cases, the duty.” In consequence of this state of things, the adulteration of spirits was carried on to a great extent in England ; and the large profits made by the smuggler occasioned clandestine importation in considerable quantities from Scotland and Ireland. To obviate these inconveniences, and at the same time to neutralise the powerful additional stimulus that the reduction of the duties in Scotland and Ireland would have given to smuggling, had the duties in England been continued at their former amount, the latter were reduced, in 1826, to 78. a gallon, facilities being at the same time given to the importation of spirits from the other parts of the empire. Many complaints have been made of the influence of this measure in increasing drunkenness; but nothing can be imagined more completely destitute of foundation. The commissioners estimated the consumption of British spirits in England and Wales, in 1823, at 5,000,000 gallons - (Supp. to Fifth Report, p. 8.); and it appears from the subjoined account, that it amounted, for the year ending 5th of January 1844, to 7,719,458 gallons; producing 3,023,4451. of revenue; so that, making allowance for the increase of population since 1823, and for the check given to adulteration and smuggling, and considering, also, that the consumption of foreign spirits was not greater in 1843 than in 1823, it may be safely affirmed that the practice of spirit-drinking has not increased in England during the last 20 years. No doubt, however, it is still a great deal too prevalent, and large sums of money are wasted by the poor on gin, which had far better be expended on other things. But how much soever we may deplore the prevalence of gin-drinking, we may be assured that the evil is not one that can be cured, or even mitigated, by increasing, to any considerable extent, the existing duties on spirits. Such increase would substitute illegitimate for legitimate channels of supply; it would injure the public revenue ; and diffuse among the populace the idle, disorderly, and predatory habits that mark the character of the smuggler; and it would do all this without lessening in any degree the vice of drunkenness.
Account of the Quantities of Corn Spirits made in England, which have paid the Duties of Excise for
Home Consumption, stating the Rate of Duty paid, and also the Nett Amount of Revenue received in each Year, since the Year 1820. — (Furnished by the Excise.)
Number of Gallons.
Rate per Imperial Gallon.
Nett Amount of Revenue.
2,419,280 18 6 ISY
2,222,273 8 5 1924
2,67,378 36 3,655,237
2,025.1197 1926 7,107,2014
1,692,521 13 1 1.27
2,335,146 15 9 1828
2,715,90 90 7,700), 266
2,897,1 47 19 0
2,787,767 12 6 139
2,730,712 10 0 7,717,303
2,597,988 12 6 1931
2,561,08 11 4 7,315,113
2,743,124 15 1 1936
2,133,188 5 0 1937
2,674,93 16 9 7,930,190
2,973, 18 5 0 8,156,552
3,064.992 6 0 1*10
1 0 141
3,149,548 6 9 IN12
3,116,121 3 0 3X3
3,023, 144 17 8 Account specifying the Total Number of Proof Gallons of Rum, Brandy, Geneva, and all other Spirits,
that paid Duity in each of the U. Kingdoms from the 5th Day of January 1842, to the 5th Day of Janujry 1843; specifying, also, the Rate of Duty per Gallon, and Amount thereof; the Total Number of Galions of each Kind of Spirits, and Total Duty, thereon; and the Total Number of Gallons of all Kinds of Spirits and Total Duty thereon, for the U. Kingdom.
£ 8. d. Room 2,050,931 956,827 35,951 16,7811 11,165 5,351 2,027,747 978,959 Rum
1,034,124 1,180,707 31,670 36,157 16,625 18.942 1,084,9191,235,846 I Brandy and
9,586 cineva 10,937
1 2 101 3,747 4,278
14,579 1,216 1,406
Other forrign Other foreign & 5,001
various 559 6,019
516 210 271 5,770 6,836 colonial spirits
and colonial 1
spirits Total of foreil and colonial 3,099,542 2,151,620 71,927
57,732 29,546 26,010 3,201,015 2,238,262 spirits
Spirits of thel
manufacture of U'. Kingd. Guernsey, or
Jersey : Spirits of the
In England 0 7 101 manufact. of 7,956,054 3,116,121 5,595,186 1,025,784 5,290,650 904,909 18,841,890 5,046,814 In Scotland U. Kingdom
to ll Mar: 0 2 8 Ditto of Guern. 6,711 2,628 1,312 241
8,023 sey & Jersey
from 11 Mar.o 3 8
1842 Spirits of all kinds 11,062,307 5,273,269 5,668,425 1,083,757 5,320),196 930,919 22,050,928 7,287,945)
7 An Account specifying the Number of Proof Gallons of Rum, distinguishing West India, East India,
and Foreign ; of Brandy, Geneva, and other Foreign, Colonial, or Jersey Spirits, imported; of the Quantities upon which Duty was paid for Home Consumption, the Quantities exported, and the Quantities shipped as Stores, and used by the Navy, for the Year ended the 5th of January, 1842; together with the Quantities of each Sort remaining in Bond on the 5th day of January, 1842, distinguishing London from the Country.
Galls. Galla. Galls. Galls. Galla Galle. Gulls.
Galls. Gails (roll. Imported 2,861,123 1,035,572 165,851 4,065,546 2,918,387 632,122 173,809
14,917-7,705,111 Retained for hoine consumption 2,277,875
18,514 3,482,688 Exported
462,191 550,289 129,599 157,314 1,099,396 1,313,815 472,636 112,083 156,958 1,122 3,155.040 Shipred as stores 223,429 6,685 1,392 3,418 234,924 87,219 33,495 1511
355,789 Delivered for the navy 202,982 205,506 408,488
408,488 In bond on 5th Jan., 1812 -At the port of
London - 1,025,660 345,594 38,566 190,950 1,600,770 1,342,751 20,990 81,194 7,246 6,752 3,059,703 At other parts of
U. Kingdom - 927,829 99,448 47,520 41,359 1,116,155 976,544 70,255 43,751 7,583 2.761 2,217,019 Total
- 1,953,488 445,042 86,086 232,309 2,716,925 2,319,295 91,245 124,945 14,829 9,513 5,276,732 Trade in Spirits. No spirits made in England, Scotland, their possession, shall be deemed dealers in spirits, and subject of Ireland shall be conveyed from England to Scodand or to the survey of the officers of excise, and to all the regulations, Ireland, or from Scotland or Ireland to England, otherwise penalties, &e, to which such persons are liable. - (6 Gev. 4. than in casks cintaining meniu gallons at the least, and in ves. c.NO). sect. 122.) pels of not less than any tons liurrlen.
Deals in British spirits are prohibited selling or having in All persons whatsoever, not being licensed distflers, rectifiers, their possession any plan British spirits, except spirits of wine, or compounders, having more than twenty gallons of spirits in of any strength exceeding the strength of 25 per cent, abave
b.drometer, or of any strength below 17 per cent. under hydrometer proof, or any cuinpounded spirits, except shrub, of any gr ater strength than 17 per cent., under hydrometer, undir pain of forteiling all such spirits, with the casks, &e. Soct. 121.
Dealers in foreign and British spirits are to keep them separate, in cellars, vults, or other places specially entert for that purpose, under a heavy pinally; and any person mixing, selling, or sending out any British spirits mixed with foreign or colonial spirits, shall forfeit 100%. for every such offence. Sect. 126,
No retailer of spirits, or any other person licensed or unlicensed, shall sell or send out from his stuck or custody any quantity of pirts exceeding ! gallon, unless the same be ac. companied by a true and lawful permit, under pain of forfeiting 2001.; and any rexlifier, compounder, or dealer in spirits, receiving the same into their stock, or allowing any one else to receive it, and any carrier, hoatman, or other person knowingly carrying the same, shall forferit the sum of 2010., with the boat, horse, cart, &c. used in the carriage. -- Sect. 116.
No Mcence to be granted for retailing spirits within gaols bouses of correction, or work houses for parish poori Dur are spirits to be used there, except medicinally prescribed by a r. gular physician, surgeon, or apothecary. Penalty for a first oftence of this sort committed by gaoleri, &c., 1001, ; a second offence to be der mei a forfeiture of their office. - Sect. 134.
l'ersons ha reking spirits to forfet them and 1001.; and if the penalty be not in ini diately paid, they are to be committed to the house of correction for 3 momhs, or unti paid. - (Sect. 135.) Any person is authorised to detain a hawker of spirits, and give notice to a nace officer, who is to carry the offender before a justice. - Sect. 140.
Any officer of excise, or other person employed in the ciche, taking any sum of money or other reward from, or entering into any collusive agrement with, any person, to act contrary to his duty, to forfeit AW., and L incapacitated; and any pero son offering such reward or proposing such agreement, to for. feit 504,- Sect. 145.
For the regulations as to the importation, &c. of foreign spirits, see BRAXD, GENEVA, and Rim.
SPONGE (Ger. Schwamm; Fr. Eponge ; It. Spugna ; Sp. Esponja), a soft, light, very porous, and compressible substance, readily imbibing water, and as readily giving it out again. It is found adhering to rocks, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, about the islands of the Archipelago. It was formerly supposed to be a vegetable production, but is now classed among the zoophytes ; and analysed, it yields the same principles as animal substances in general. The inhabitants in several of the Greek islands have been trained from their infancy to dive for sponges. They adhere firmly to the bottom; and are not detached without a good deal of trouble. The extraordinary clearness of the water facilitates the operations of the divers. Smyrna is the great market for sponge. The price varies from 6 to 16 piastres per oke for ordinary and dirty, and from 80 to 100 piastres per oke for fine and picked specimens. Sponge is also fished for in the Red Sea. -(Ure's Dictionary; Savary's Letters on Greece, Eng. ed. p. 109.; and private communications.)
Sponge is used in surgery, and for a variety of purposes in the arts. The duty on sponge when brought from a foreign country, is 6d., and when brought from a British possession, Id. per lb. Now, as the far greater portion comes from the former, and as the duty produced, in 1840, 1,9631., the entries may be partly presumed to have amounted in that year to about 78,500 lbs. No deduction is made from the duty on account of sand or dirt, unless it exceed 7 per cent., and then ouly for the excess above 7 per ceat.
SQUILL (Ger. Meerzwiebel; Fr. Scille, Oignon marin ; It. Scilla, Cipolla marina ; Sp. Cebolla albarranna,) or, as it is sometimes denominated, the Sea onion, is a plant with a large bulbous root, which is the only part that is used. It grows spontaneously on sandy shores in Spain and the Levant; whence we are annually supplied with the roots. They should be chosen large, plump, fresh, and full of a clammy juice: some are of a reddish colour, and others white; but no difference is observed in the qualities of the 2 sorts. The root is very nauseous, intensely bitter, and acrimonious; much handled, it ulcerates the skin. The bulbs are brought to England, preserved fresh in sand. The acrimony of the roots, on which their virtue depends, is partially destroyed by drying and long keeping, and is completely destroyed by exposure to heat above 2120.' Squill is one of the most powerful and useful remedies in the materia medica. (Lewis's Mat. Med. ; Thomson's Dispensatory.)
STADE, a small city of Hanover, on the Schwinge, 22 miles W. by N. of Hamburg, lat. 53° 36' 32" N., lon. 9° 28' 34" E. It has very little trade; and would be quite unworthy of notice in a work of this sort, except for the circumstance that a toll or duty, charged by the Hanoverian government on all goods imported into Hamburg, whether for consumption or transit, is paid at the castle of Brunshausen, contiguous to this town. The duty is generally about $ per cent. ad valorem. It is rated according to a tariff'; and is computed from the ship's manifest, bills of lading, cockets, &c., which must be left at Brunshausen for that purpose. The duties are paid in Hamburg; and no vessel is allowed to unload, till a receipt, subscribed by the Hanoverian authorities in that city, be produced for the duties. We have already — (see HAMBURG)— expressed our surprise that an obstruction of this sort should have been tolerated for so long a period. The duties fall heavily on certain deseriptions of goods ; particularly on soine manufactured articles; and are, at an average, decidedly higher than the duties charged in Hamburg. They are most objectionable, however, from their requiring many troublesome regulations to be complied with; the unintentional deviation from any one of which exposes the cargo to contiscation, and never fails to occasion a great deal of delay, trouble, and expense. As the principal part of the oreign trade of the Elbe is in our hands, we are, of course, principally affected by the Stade toll; and considering the source of the nuisance, it is not a little astonishing it should not have been alınted long ago.
The sum which the Hanoverian government derives from the duties is vut tritling compared with the injury they inflict on our trade; it would, consequently, be good policy for the former to sell, and for the British government to buy, an exemption from so vexatious a duty; and few things would do more to extend our trade with llamburg than the completion of an arrangement of this sort. We believe, however,
that the negotiations which have been for some time on foot with respect to this matter are in a fair way of being brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and that the merchants engaged in the trade to Hamburg may expect, at no distant period, to be relieved from the annoyance of the Stade duties.
Previously to 1736, English ships passing up the Elbe had to come to an anchor opposite Brunshausen : but they were then allowed, under certain conditions, to pass on to Hamburg. The proclamation to this effect, and which contains an epitome of the regulations that have still to be observed, is subjoined.
1. That all English vessels be exempted from coming to an Hamburg, who receive effects by those vessels, shall make an anchor before the river Schwinge, and allowed to sail directly exact report thereof, and give a certificate in lieu of an oath up to Hamburg
- that they neitser have received nor expected more goods 2. Such English vessels shall be obliged, at their approach, than have been specified, - which must be delivered to his within about of a le que there to hoist their colors, Majesty's commissary in Hamburg, to enable him to examine to lower their sails, and only to drive, till the legitimation is the report made in the mastel made at the king, frigate lying there.
8. No master is to depart from Hamburg hefore he has taken 3. The master of the ship, or a proper person fally provided a certificate from his Majesty * corumissary, proving that all with the necessary documents, is to go on and the frigate, and has been duly performed, which is to be sent to the king's friafuerwards to the Custom house at Brunshausen and Stade : gate, near Brunshausen. and there to produce an exact manifest, end the original bulls 9. The signals mentioned in the second article are likewise of lading, cockets,&c.
to be made when the ship repasses Stanle. 1. The documents being produced, the accounts shall be 10. The taking cognizance of, and punishing mislemeanours, stated, and all duties must be paid at Brunshausen, Slade, or frauds, and mistuar enements, as well as the neglecting of the Harlunk
preceding articles, reinains in the Court of the king's ustuns 5. The clearance shall be given at Brunshausen to the per. at Sade: so that both merchants and masters of ships, who son sent thither by the ina ter of the Texxl; by whom it must may be ca'led to an account, shall, when summoned, appear be delivered to the king's commissary in Hamburg, together before the said court, and submit to its det isi 1s; but they with the documents of the carpo, and a specification of the have the liberty of appeal to the superior courts for a revision parcela, bles, ca ks, &c. which were received on board at and relief. the port of lading, whether designed for Hamburg or other 11. As to all other points not expressly mentioned in the places.
foregoing articles, they shall be observed at the king's Custom6. Bruk must not be broken till all this has been performed, house at Brunshausen, Stade, and Hainburg, according to exceul the king's commissary in Haraburg perinits, in urgent the regulations and customs hereofore practised. cases, the upliling
12. This gracious concession is hereby granted only durante 7. The vesstis being thus allowed to pass the frigate without bene placito; the king reserving to himself and his successors in tring searched, in case of susperting any fraud, the masters his German dominions the night of revoking it, and making shall be obliged to sign a proper cath; and the merchants in any alterations or new orders, whenever they shall see reason.
STARCH (Ger. Amidan ; Fr. Amidon ; It. Amodi, Amito; Sp. Amidon, Almidon ; Rus. Kruchmal), a substance obtained from vegetables. It has a fine white colour, and is usually concreted in longish masses; it has scarcely any smell, and very little taste. When kept dry, it continues for a long time uninjured, though exposed to the air. It is insoluble in cold water; but combines with boiling water - - forming with it a kind of jelly. It exists chiefly in the white and brittle parts of vegetables, particularly in tuberose roots, and the seeds of the gramineous plants. It may be extracted by pounding these parts, and agitating them in cold water ; when the parenchyma or fibrous parts will first subside; and these being removed, a fine white powder, diffused through the water, will gradually subside, which is the starch. Or the pounded or grated substance, as the roots of potatoes, acorns, or horse chesnuts, for instance, may be put into a hair sieve, and the starch washed through with cold water, leaving the grosser matters behind. Farinaceous seeds may be ground and treated in a similar manner. Oily secds require to have the oil expressed from them before the farina is extracted. Potato starch goes a good deal further than wheat starch – a less quantity of it sufficing to form a paste of equal thickness with water. It has a very perceptible crystallised appearance, and is apparently heavier than common starch. – (Thomson's Chemistry; Ure's Dictionary.)
Starch was charged, down to 1834, with an excise duty of 31d. per lb. ; but the injurious influence of the duty, the nett produce of which did not exceed 85,0001., 'having been forcibly pointed out by the Commissioners of Revenue Inquiry, it was repealed in the course of the above year. In 1833, duty was paid on 4,170,026 lbs. starch. The manufacture has since, however, been greatly extended.
STEAM VESSELS. We have already laid before the reader an count of the number of steam vessels belonging to the different ports and divisions of the U. Kingdom (antè, p. 1109.); and we believe we shall be doing an acceptable service to the bulk of our readers by laying before them the following extracts from a letter by the Secretary to the Treasury of the U. States, prepared in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 20th of June, 1838. It communicates many interesting particulars with respect to the employment of steam engines and steam vessels in the U. States, and the accidents that have happened to the latter.
Number of Steam-boats, and other Steam Engines in the U. States. “ The whole number of steam engines, of every kind, in the U. States, reckoning one to each boat, is estimated to be 3,010. Of these, 2,653 have been ascertained, and 357 are estimated, in places from which the returns are either defective or not received at all. Of this whole number, about 800 are supposed to be employed in steam-boats, of which 700 are ascertained, and 100 estimated. About 350 are employed in locomotives upon railroads. Of these, 337 are ascertained and 13 estimated. The residue, being 1,860, are used in manufactories of various kinds. Of these, 1,616 are ascertained and 244 estimated."
Number of Accidents to Steam Engines. « The number of accidents occasioning loss of life or much injury to property, which have occured in the use of steam en z nes of every kind in the U. States, is computed to have been about 260. Of these, 253 are