as it affected profit, fall altogether upon 
that of the maltster; that the maltster could 
not so easily get back the amount of the tax 
in the advanced price of his malt, as the brewer 
and retailer in the advanced price of their 
liquor; and that so heavy a tax upon malt 
might reduce the rent and profit of barley 
No tax can ever reduce, for any considerable 
time, the rate of profit in any particular 
trade, which must always keep its level with 
other trades in the neighbourhood. The present 
duties upon malt, beer, and ale, do not 
affect the profits of the dealers in those commodities
who all get back the tax with an 
additional profit, in the enhanced price of 
their goods. A tax, indeed, may render the 
goods upon which it is imposed so dear, as to 
diminish the consumption of them. But the 
consumption of malt is in malt liquors; and 
a tax of eighteen shillings upon the quarter 
of malt could not well render those liquors 
dearer than the different taxes, amounting to 
twenty-four or twenty-five shillings, do at 
present. Those liquors, on the contrary
would probably become cheaper, and the 
consumption of them would be more likely to 
increase than to diminish
It is not very easy to understand why it 
should be more difficult for the maltster to get 
back eighteen shillings in the advanced price 
of his malt, than it is at present for the brewer 
to get back twenty-four or twenty-five, 
sometimes thirty shillings, in that of his liquor
The maltster, indeed, instead of a tax 
of six shillings, would be obliged to advance 
one of eighteen shillings upon every quarter 
of malt. But the brewer is at present obliged 
to advance a tax of twenty-four or twenty-five, 
sometimes thirty shillings, upon every 
quarter of malt which he brews. It could 
not be more inconvenient for the maltster to 
advance a lighter tax, than it is at present for 
the brewer to advance a heavier one. The 
maltster does not always keep in his granaries 
a stock of malt, which it will require
longer time to dispose of than the stock of 
beer and ale which the brewer frequently 
keeps in his cellars. The former, therefore, 
may frequently get the returns of his money 
as soon as the latter. But whatever inconveniency 
might arise to the maltster from 
being obliged to advance a heavier tax, it 
could easily be remedied, by granting him a 
few months longer credit than is at present 
commonly given to the brewer
Nothing could reduce the rent and profit 
of barley land, which did not reduce the demand 
for barley. But a change of system
which reduced the duties upon a quarter of 
malt brewed into beer and ale, from twenty-four 
and twenty-five shillings to eighteen 
shillings, would be more likely to increase 
than diminish that demand. The rent and 
profit of barley land, besides, must always be 
nearly equal to those of other equally fertile 
and equally well cultivated land. If they 
were less, some part of the barley land would 
soon be turned to some other purpose; and 
if they were greater, more land would soon 
be turned to the raising of barley. When 
the ordinary price of any particular produce 
of land is at what may be called a monopoly 
price, a tax upon it necessarily reduces the 
rent and profit of the land which grows it. 
A tax upon the produce of those precious 
vineyards, of which the wine falls so much 
short of the effectual demand, that its price 
is always above the natural proportion to that 
of the produce of other equally fertile and 
equally well cultivated land, would necessarily 
reduce the rent and profit of those vineyards
The price of the wines being already 
the highest that could be got for the quantity 
commonly sent to market, it could not be 
raised higher without diminishing that quantity
and the quantity could not be diminished 
without still greater loss, because the 
lands could not be turned to any other equally 
valuable produce. The whole weight of 
the tax, therefore, would fall upon the rent 
and profit; properly upon the rent of the 
vineyard. When it has been proposed to lay 
any new tax upon sugar, our sugar planters 
have frequently complained that the whole 
weight of such taxes fell not upon the consumer
but upon the producer; they never 
having been able to raise the price of their 
sugar after the tax higher than it was before. 
The price had, it seems, before the tax, been 
a monopoly price; and the arguments adduced 
to show that sugar was an improper subject 
of taxation, demonstrated perhaps that it 
was a proper one; the gains of monopolists
whenever they can be come at, being certainly 
of all subjects the most proper. But the 
ordinary price of barley has never been a monopoly 
price; and the rent and profit of barley 
land have never been above their natural 
proportion to those of other equally fertile 
and equally well cultivated land. The different 
taxes which have been imposed upon 
malt, beer, and ale, have never lowered the 
price of barley; have never reduced the rent 
and profit of barley land. The price of malt 
to the brewer has constantly risen in proportion 
to the taxes imposed upon it; and those 
taxes, together with the different duties upon 
beer and ale, have constantly either raised 
the price, or, what comes to the same thing
reduced the quality of those commodities to 
the consumer. The final payment of those 
taxes has fallen constantly upon the consumer
and not upon the producer. 
The only people likely to suffer by the 
change of system here proposed, are those who 
brew for their own private use. But the 
exemption, which this superior rank of people 
at present enjoy, from very heavy taxes which