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The Fifth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

18/03/1807

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The Fifth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 18/03/1807
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( Ireland,')— FIFTH REPORT cv the COMMISSIONERS [ Excl/ c. Appendix, Nos. 24, 25, 26. Appendix, Nos. 6, 12, 26. Appendix, Nos. I2> 26. sustained a Loss of £. 856,000 and upwards, for each of the two last, and perhaps several preceding Years. This monstrous Fraud on the Revenue, we are sorry to remark, could not have been effected but by the Collusion and Connivance of the Officers whose corrupt Intercourse with the Dis- tillers appears to have been general, and would, almost without other Evidence, be manifested by the enormous Amount of their Fees. The Result of our Enquiries 011 this Head, imposes on us the painful Task of stating our Conviction, that the Fees in most Cases exceeded those acknowledged to us by the Officers. The Fees usually received by the Inspector have been already enume- rated. The Surveyor's Fees may be rated at about Twenty Guineas per Month, from each Distiller in his Survey. The Amount of the Gauger's Fees it is difficult to estimate, as he is stated to have received Ten and sometimes Twenty Guineas per Month for a 500 Gallon Still, and Twenty Guineas per Month for 1000 Gallon Still, besides One Guinea for every Appendiv, No. 12. Puncheon of private Spirits removed under cover of a fraudulent Permit. The Number of Puncheons actually sent out in this Manner from the Distillery of Mr. Forbes, while he worked a Five hundred Gallon Stilly appears by his Evidence to have been from Twenty to Twenty- five Puncheons, weekly 5 a Quantity, which will be found nearly to correspond with the average Produce of private Spirits, made by Stills of that Size ; from which Circumstance, as well as from the Testimony of all the Dis- tillers, it may be inferred, that nearly Forty Puncheons of private Spirits were in like Manner weekly sent out from a Still of 1000 Gallons. Various were the Modes by which the Revenue was defrauded of the Duty on Spirits, but the Ingenuity of the Distiller was chiefly exerted in the Management of his Wash, and the Disposal of his private Spirits. This Management with respect to the Wash, consisted principally in making it appear to be in Fermentation for the full Time allowed by Law; whilst it was in fact sometimes ready for the Still in Twenty- four, and generally in from from Thirty- six to Forty- eight Hours, after it was set; for as the Officer could not, whilst the Fermentation was up, take an accurate Dip of the Backs, but made his Entry in the Minute and Stock Books from the last previous Entry, the Distiller, during that Time, took from and added to his Wash at Pleasure; and, to* avoid Detection, had recourse to the Practice of renewing his Backs. Backs were renewed either in Part or in the Whole; in Part, by receiving a Supply from other Backs ( each furnishing to that next before it, in the Order of Fermentation, a Quantity equal to that which had been privately worked off; whilst the newest and least fermented Wash was replaced by a partial Addition of^ Worts, so as apparently to preserve the same Degree of Fermentation) j in the Whole, when a Back, after it had been wholly worked off, was supplied by an entire Substitution of Worts, which, as they exhibited nQ Sign of Fermentation, might, unless detected by the Taste, readily pass for W~ ash, whose Fermentation was down. It is true, that the Taste might not be an infallible Criterion ; we, however, feel ourselves called upon to say,, that if the Officer had been anxious to perform this Part of his Duty, he could not have failed to detect many Instances of Frauds of this Description. For the more effectually preventing the Renewal of Backs, we recom* mend the Introduction and constant Use of the Saccharometer, which has the Pr operty of ascertaining the Gravity of Fluids; and as it is the necessary Effect 15 of Appendiv, Nos. 12, 14. Appendiv, Nos. 12, 14, 20. L .1 • nyjl I 1 ft j f
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