PP/GC/LE/79 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the appointment of a new chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue, and Treasury business, 12 October 1856
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Chancellor of the Exchequer], Harpton [Court, Radnorshire, Wales], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: John Wood, the chairman of the Board of the Inland Revenue, has died. The event could have occurred at any time over the previous eighteen months, during which time Wood was too ill to attend to his duties at the Board. Pressly acted as chairman during Wood's absence. All communication has been carried out through him. He has been deputy chairman since October. Lewis encloses a letter from Pressly [not present], in which he applies for Wood's place, "and states his case with truth and modesty". If one of the existing commissioners is raised to the post of chairman, his claims are paramount. Pressly has been acting chairman for more than a year, "and he is decidedly the most competent of the commissioners for the position." No person outside the Board, except Wilson, has a strong claim. Lewis has been told that Wilson wishes to succeed Wood. Wilson has said nothing to Lewis on the subject. "It is extremely important to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the time being that the chairman of the Board of the Inland Revenue should be efficient, judicious, and trustworthy. As Pressly says, he has charge of more than forty millions of revenue, including income tax, assessed taxes, and other duties which are most likely to create discontent in the collection." It is important that no decision or promise be made until all the candidates are known. The business can continue perfectly well for a few weeks under the present arrangement; Wood has been unable to assist for a long time. "The funds and Exchequer bills keep up pretty well, but the last account of the Bank of France was very bad, and that of our Bank [of England] showed a great loss of bullion. I have sent a notice to the Bank that we shall want to borrow on Exchequer bills during this quarter." 12 Oct 1856
Two papers
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John Wood, former chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue, deceased
Charles Pressly, deputy chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue
James Wilson, financial secretary to the Treasury
Great Britain; government; finance
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