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credit be doubtful he may still procure exchange, as well in its original formacash by the same expedient, but he will tion as in its successive transfers, is an have to pay a premium or rate of dis. assignment of a debt, by which the right count proportioned to the increased risk. of the original creditor to sue for and obAmong needy men instances are not un tain payment is transferred to the holder frequent of discounts procured by these for the time being. The Roman law means at the exorbitant rate of 20 or presented no obstacles to such a substi30 per cent. But a still more common tution; and in those countries therefore practice is the negotiation of what are which had adopted the civil law, the called by the significant name of accome negotiation of bills found no impediment. modation bills. A trader unable to meet But it was a principle of the common law his liabilities applies to a friend whose of England, that the assigument of things credit is better than his own, to accept, or not in possession, such as a debt of righ in some other way to become a party to, being in truth the assignment of suits at a bill drawn for the purpose : the trader law, might be converted into a means of undertakes to provide the funds necessary oppression, and the validity of such transfor paying it when due, and generally fers was not recognised by it. But in the gives in return his own acceptance of case of bills of exchange the principle of another like bill, known in the mercan- law yielded to general convenience; and tile world as a cross acceptance. When the negotiability of foreign bills was reone or more names have thus been ob- cognised by the English law. It was not, tained sufficient to give currency to the however, until three centuries later, that bill, it is discounted, and the money ap- the negotiability of inland bills was replied to the necessities of the trader. As cognised by the courts, unless on proof this bill falls due, the same operation is of some special custom of trade; but ex. repeated in order to raise money, until pediency finally prevailed, and at the the system of expedients failing at last, present day, as well by the common law as sooner or later it inevitably must, the as by the statutes of 9 & 10 Wm. III. c. ruin of the insolvent trader himself is 17, and 3 & 4 Anne, c. 9, they stand on accomplished, and not unfrequently draws the same general footing as foreign bills. along with it others who, unfortunately It is this assignability, vesting in the or imprudently, may have become parties holder a right of action against the ori. to these unsubstantial representatives of ginal parties, which chiefly distinguishes value. Of the more serious mischiefs of a bill of exchange from every other form this dangerous practice, such as the temp- of legal contract. Another and scarcely tation to forgery by the use of fictitious less important privilege is, that though a names as drawers or payees, it is perhaps simple contract debt, and as such require useless to speak, because few men at first ing a consideration to give it legal effiseriously contemplate the commission of cacy, the consideration is presumed until a crime, but are rather drawn into it by the want of it be shown. It is available circumstances not foreseen or not appre- therefore in the hands of a bona fide ciated; but the reflect on that it is a holder, upon merely formal proof of title foolish and improvident practice-that, by the signature of the party to be in addition to the loss of credit, which, charged: that is to say, it is unnecessary once perceived (and how can it fail to be to prove value given, unless it be first perceived ?), it is sure to occasion, there shown on the other side that the bill is in is the certain expense of stamps and some stage or other tainted with an iliehigher rates of discount, and moreover gality, and the bonâ fides is assumed uue a double liability in respect of every til it shall be made to appear that the shilling for which cross acceptances are holder was, at the time of taking it, privy given--may perhaps have some effect in to that illegality. From this rule an exdeterring honest men, however necessi- ception is made as to bills given for a tous, from having recourse to this fatal gambling debt, which by statute are void expedient.
even in the hands of an innocent holder. Viewed as a legal instrument, a bill of The rules of law applicable to bills of
exchange have been settled by numerous in which all personal actions may be decisions, and it is of great importance brought: the exchequer court of equity to mercantile men to be acquainted with was abolished by 5 Vict. c. 5. them; but the consideration of them pro A plaintiff, when bringing an action in perly belongs to a legal treatise.
, previously to the Act for UniEXCHANGE BROKER. [BROKER.] formity of Process in personal actions
EXCHEQUER BILLS. [NATIONAL (2 Wm. IV. c. 39), fritiously alleged DEBT.]
himself to be the king's debtor, in order EXCHEQUER CHAMBER. [Ex- to give the court jurisdiction in the cause; CHEQUER, COURT OF; Courts.]
but since the passing of that act it is no EXCHEQUER COURT is a superior longer necessary to resort to this fiction court of record established by William in order to bring an action in the Court the Conqueror as part of the Aula Regis, of Exchequer, as that statute assimilates and reduced to its present order by Ed- the practice of all the common law courts, ward I.
and the operation as well as the name of It is the lowest in rank of the four great the processes issued from them are the courts of law which sit at Westminster same. Hall, although in ancient times one of the The number of officers on the plea side first in importance, as all causes relating of the Court of Exchequer, and their to the rights of the crown were there several duties were regulated by 2 & 3 heard and determined, and the revenues Wm. IV. c. 110. By 3 & 4 Wm. IV. C. of the crown were supposed to be received 99, the following officers in the Court of there.
Exchequer were abolished :— the lord The Latinized form of the word Ex-treasurer's remembrancer, the filacer, sechequer is Scaccarium. Camden says it condaries, deputy remembrancer, and was so called from the covering of the sworn and other clerks and bag-bearer table at which the barons sat being party- belonging thereto; clerk of the pipe, de coloured or chequered, and on which, puty-clerk of the pipe, controller and when certain of the king's accounts were deputy-controller of the pipe, secondaries, made up, the sums were marked and attornies, or sworn and other clerks and scored with counters.
bag-bearer in the said office of the pipe ; The judges of the court of exchequer clerk of the estreats; surveyor of the are the chancellor of the exchequer for green wax; the foreign apposer, and dethe time being [CHANCELLOR, p. 482], puty foreign apposer, and clerk of the the chief baron, and four other barons, nichills. By 5 & 6 Vict. c. 86, certain who are created by letters patent, and are officers on the revenue side of the court so called from their having been formerly were abolished, and the office of rememchosen from such as were barons of the brancer of the court was regulated. kingdom, or parliamentary barons (Sel An appeal lies from this court by writ den's Titles of Honour).
of error to the justices of the courts of The Court of Exchequer was formerly king's bench and common pleas sitting in held in the king's palace. Its treasury the exchequer chamber, who alone have was the great deposit of records from power to review the judgments of the the other courts; writs of summons to barons : and from their decision a further assemble the parliaments were issued by appeal may be brought before the House its officers; and its acts and decrees, as of Lords. they related almost entirely to matters The Court of Erchequer chamber was connected with the king's revenue, were first erected in England by stat. 51 Ednot controlled by any other of the king's ward III., to determine causes upon writs ordinary courts of justice.
of error from the common law side of the It now consists of two divisions, one of Court of Exchequer. The judges of the which exercises jurisdiction in all cases three superior courts occasionally sit here relating to the customs and excise, and to hear arguments in important criminal over revenue matters generally. The cases, and upon causes of great weight other division is a court of common law, and difficulty, in which the judges of the
courts below have not given their judg- | the statute 12 Charles II. c. 24, the du
ties of excise were granted to the crown As a court of error, the Court of Ex
as part of its revenue. chequer chamber underwent considerable For a long time this class of duties was alterations by the passing of the 11th Geo. viewed with particular dislike by the IV. and ist. Wm. IV. c. 70, and its con- people, on account of its inquisitorial institution is now regulated by that statute. terference with various industrial pur[Courts.]
suits; and it certainly forms a very strong The Court of Erchequer in Scotland ground of objection against excise daties, was established by the 6th Anne, c. 26. that the security of the revenue is held This court was abolished in 1832 by 2 & to be incompatible with the perfect free3. Wm. IV. c. 54. The judges were the dom of the manufacturer as to the pra high treasurer of Great Britain, with a cesses which he may apply in his works. chief baron, and four other barons.
In every highly-taxed country where The Court of, Exchequer in Ireland consumption duties form part of the pubwas established by the 40th Geo. III. c. lic revenue, it would seem however to be 39, and consists of the chief justices, chief hardly possible to avoid the adoption baron, and the rest of the justices and of this class of duties. In France barons, or any nine of them.
there is, for example, a customs duty EXCISE DUTIES, the name given upon foreign-made sugar; and it is clearly to taxes or duties levied upon articles of necessary for the protection of the reveconsumption which are produced within nue that an excise duty should be imthe kingdom. This description, which posed upon sugar produced at home from has usually been given of excise duties, is beet-root, otherwise the producer of indimore strictly applicable now than it was genous sugar would charge the consumer formerly, when the commissioners of ex- nearly as much as he would pay to the cise revenue were also charged with the importer of foreign sugar, and would for collection of duties upon various articles a time pocket the amount of the duty. imported from foreign countries. Among By such means a branch of industry these foreign articles were wine, spirits, would be fostered, unprofitable to the tobacco, glass, and tea. The last named country at large, and profitable only to of these was the last that was withdrawn the few persons by whom the indigenous from the management of the Excise and sugar is produced, but whose profits transferred to the Board of Customs. I would not long continue greater than the There are still, it is true, certain duties usual profits upon the employment of to which the name of excise is applied stock obtainable in the same country from which can hardly be called duties upon ther branches of industry. In this counconsumption, such as the sums charged try sugar manufactured from beet-root or for licenses to permit persons to carry on potatoes is subjected to an excise duty. certain trades, the post-horse duties, and the For the same reason it would be unfair duty on sales by auction abolished in 1845. to permit malt to be imported without im
Éxcise duties are said to have had their posing on it a duty corresponding in origin in this country in the reign of amount to the excise duty. There are Charles I., when a tax was laid upon consequently " countervailing duties" on beer, cider, and perry, of home produc- the importation of articles subject to extion. The act by which these duties cise duty; and a drawback is allowed on were authorised was passed by the long the exportation of domestic articles which parliament in 1643. This act contains are subject to excise duty. also a list of foreign articles, and among
Excise duties are liable to this among others tobacco, wine, raisins, currants other very serious objections, that the and loaf sugar, upon which excise duties regulations under which they are colwere imposed in addition to duties of lected interfere with processes of macustoms already chargeable. This act nufacture, so as to prevent the adoption was adopted and enforced under the pro- of improvements. Upon the same pretectorate of Oliver Cromwell; and by mises, with the same capital, and the
same amount of labour, double the quan- | Malt.
repealed 1825. made with the object of facilitating im- Wire,
do. 1826. provements in the manufacture. The Beer,
do. 1830. excise regulations respecting the manu Cyder and Perry, do. 1830. facture of soap have prevented our soap Hides and Skins, do. 1830. manufacturers from entering into compe- Printed Goods, do. 1831. tition with the manufacturers of other Candles,
do. 1832. countries.
do. 1833. Another great objection that may be Starch,
do. 1834. urged against excise duties is, the facili- Stone Bottles,
do. 1834. ties which they offer for the commission Sweets and Mead,
do. 1834. of frauds against the revenue. In the Auctions,
do. 1845. Seventeenth Report of the Commission- Glass,
do. 1845. ers appointed to inquire into the manage-Tea,
transferred to Customs. ment and collection of the excise revenue, Coaches, transferred to Stamps. it is stated as a striking proof of the ex Cocoa and Coffee, transferred to Customs. tent to which frauds are committed by Pepper,
do. manufacturers of soap, that “there are in Spirits, Foreign, do. England fifty that take out licenses, for Tobacco and Snuff, do. which they pay 4l. per annum, each of Wine,
do. which makes, or rather brings to charge, In 1822 the Excise duties yielded for less than one ton of soap per annum, from the United Kingdom twice as much as which it is obvious that as the profits of the Customs duties. The receipts from such a sale would not pay for the licence, Customs were 14,384,7101. and from the the entry is made in order to cover smug- Excise 31,190,948l. In 1797 the Excise gling.” With regard to malt, another duties collected in England amounted to article of great consumption which is sub- 11,069,6681., and in 1821 they reached to ject to excise duties, the commissioners 27,400,3001., which is the highest sum state it to be their opinion, founded upon they ever attained. In 1845 they are the evidence given by several respectable again reduced to the amount at which maltsters, " that malt is sold throughout they stood in 1797. In 1829 the large the season, and in large quantities, for a sum of 6,013,1591. was paid at the chief price that is insufficient to pay the ex office for the London " collection,” and in pense of making it and duty; and that 1835, only 1,462,9191.: the boundary of the duty is evaded to a great amount.” the “collection," it may be as well to state,
In 1797 the number of articles subject does not comprise the whole of the metroto excise duties was 28; 15 in 1833; 10 polis. In 1825 several articles were in 1835; and now, June, 1845, there are transferred to the Customs, and in the only 9, including sugar. The Post-horse same year the salt duty was repealed. duty is under the management of the This example was followed in the case of Board of Excise, and in Ireland the duty many other articles, so that between on game certificates. In the following | 1825 and 1834 the duties transferred to list of the articles which paid Excise du- the Customs amounted to 11,238,3001. ties in 1797, the first eight are still sub- and the duties altogether repealed to ject to these duties, and with sugar made 6,782,0001., making a total of 18,020,3001., here constitute all the articles on which Two articles alone on which the duty the Excise duty is now collected : was taken off produced upwards of Bricks.
5,000,000l. annually, namely, beer Hops.
3,100,0001. and printed cottons 2,104,0001. Licences.
In 1835 the number of traders in the
... G.255...... Hur
Post - Horep
Criteri Kood on who were sunmad peri- vexaticas Liaderance to business. These odi maliy ng Excise officers was some and samme utier improveincats in the They were divided into fire classes: 1. Excise departmeat are in a great measure Per visited for the purpose of charg- the result of the Seventeen soand abie, ing the “ g?owi:g" dr, as malets. and elaborate R-ports of the CommissionStrup-maker*, &c. 2. Peruus who paid ers of Escise Ilquiry, appointed 27th of a licence according to the extent of their March 18.3.), ant which embraced each buit, as brewers and one others. 3. of the articies su'ject to Excise duties. Innherpers and retailers of beer and The gross reotipi collected by the Exothers, who dealt in articles upon which cise on taeh aru le of duty in 1844 * an Excise duty was levied. 4. Persons as follows: who were dealers in articirs upon which
England. Scotland. Ireland. Customs duties had been paid. 5. Per. Arctions... 275,117
£13,7 sons who did not pay duties, but were sub
51, 14 6,5.5 ject to cautionary surveys: tallow-melt
245,18 ers, for example, as a check upon soap Ieroces....
105,460 95,504 makers. The cost of these surveys in
4,2-5,07 576,75 IF ,*3 England only amounted to 333,421. In Paper... 52,907 135,649 a single year the number of surveys of Duty.. 146,195 16,906 dealers in tea, wine, and tobacco has been i Post - Horse about fifteen millions ; 1,657,957 permits
1,092,90 were required before goods in certain
Spir.is.... 2,694,049 1,53,28 1,014,505 quantities could leave their premises; and 778,95x books were supplied to these Vinegar .... 17,-05 dealers in which to keep an account of their stock and sales. Since 1835 several
11,362,054 2,522,017 1,13,173* of the surveys have been abolished, and The gross receipt, charges of manageit has generally been found that they i ment, and the rate per cent. for which the were of little or no value so far as the re. | gross revenue of Excise was collected in venue was concerned, while they were a i 1844 were as follows:
£ Gross Receipt
13,905,022 0 0 1,339,394 0 0 Repayments, Allowances, Drawbacks, &c. 773,468 0
1,612 Charges of Collection
166,671 0 Rate per cent. of Charges of Collection
5 16 41
12 8 104 Paid into the Exchequer
12,160,111 0 1,402,986 0 Prior to 1823 there were separate and ciency and good management. In 1797 independent Boards of Excise for Eng- the number of officers belonging to the land, Scotland, and Ireland, and the total department in England was 4777, and number of Excise commissioners was their salaries amounted to 323,6711. ; in twenty-one. The business is now better 1815 the number of officers was 7986, conducted by seven commissioners ard and their salaries 904,9221.; and in 1835 by one board in London. The chairman there were 4190 officers, and their salaries has a salary of 20001., the deputy-chairman amounted to 518,6201. 15001., and each of the other commis For the management of the business of sioners 15001. a year. The commissioners the Excise department the whole of the hold courts and decide summarily in case of United Kingdom is divided into Collecthe infraction of the Excise laws. The tions, and these are subdivided into Disnumber of persons employed at the chief tricts, Rides, and Divisions. There are Excise-office in London is about five fifty-five collections in England and hundred. In 1797 Mr. Pitt pointed at the Excise establishment as a morlel for other
This sum includos 11,5751. on account o public departments on account of its effi-| game certificates.