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The Sixth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

25/01/1808

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The Sixth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 25/01/1808
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i 1 a i f ! 1 11 $ 11 V ill 1 s I s :£ U ( Ireland.)— StXTH REPORf OF THE COMMISSIONERS [ Excife. that period should shew a correspondent increase but the books, so far from exhibiting any instances of dips exceeding the cistern content, gene- rally shew them with an uniformity that could not be real, precisely com- mensurate with it, and we have seen the entry of a dip in the cistern an .. N 2 hour or less from the commencement of the wetting, frequently amounting Appendix, 0.23. ^ ^ ven. eighths of the cistern content, without a proportionate increase being shewn by the entries at any subsequent period of the process. The loss which the Revenue may have sustained from this practice is sufficiently apparent in the instance of one of the principal Malthouses in Dublin, where the content of the cistern being 799 bushels, the presumption is, that allowing one- fifth for the swell, 599 bushels of dry Barley would be used at each wetting; by the entry, however, of the first dip taken within one hour after wetting, there appeared to be 729 bushels in the cistern, and yet no entry of a dip exceeding the cistern content is found at any time during its continuance in steep, so that upon every such wetting a duty of jT. 17. 12s. id. would have been evaded, and if eight such wettings are made in the month, the loss of duty would amount to 140. 16s. 8d- per month. But, we apprehend, that in such instances a more serious and extensive fraud was in contemplation j for it is highly probable that the extra quantity of Corn appearing by the entries to have been in the cistern, generally arose from the Corn having been wetted long before the time men- tioned in the notice, and that the greater part, if not the whole of the wet- ting, was afterwards smuggled, and the cistern refilled with fresh Barley. Frauds of this description would easily have been detected by a ccmmon degree of vigilance in the Officer, as the state of the corn would evidently have shewn the length of time it had been in steep, sufficiently so at least to excite suspicion in the Officer, and to cause such a watchful attention to the Maltster's operations in his future visits, as to render it scarcely possible that fresh Barley could have been introduced without his know- ledge. We are informed by the superior Officers, that, since the charge of duty has been directed to be made, in no case, for a less quantity than the cistern is capable of containing, after deducting the allowance of one- fifth, it has usually been thought sufficient to enter the charge accordingly, with- out observing any precision in the mode of taking the respective dips and gauges. To the prevalence of this opinion, we are disposed to impute much of the oversight and inaccuracy that is found in the several entries of the stock- books; the effect of it is, however, so clearly shewn in the prac- tice we have instanced, that we need not point out the necessity of enforc- ing a better understanding, and more correct performance of the duty. In taking and entering the floor- gauges, a simular want of attention and accu- racy is manifest; this is not only evident from the books, wherein we fre- NOS. 7,13,21,& 23. quently find the entry of a floor- gauge taken after six days from the time that the Grain was out of cistern ( when it will generally have doubled its original bulk) to be little more, and sometimes even less, than the Cistern Appendix, No. or couch- gauges of the same wetting, but is also confirmed by the informa- tion we have received; that many of the Officers are not- even furnished with the necessary instruments for taking the dimensions of a floor: the floor- gauge, although the charge of duty is seldom drawn from it, is calcu- lated to operate as a most useful and salutary check on the introduction of fraudulent wettings, and may often lead to the discovery of the practice of watering Append!)*, Nl> 3. 20, & 21. Appendix, t '
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