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were selling at 20s. in the London sider as a fair and steady protecmarkel, the corresponding prices tion. in Ireland would not be more than Mr. M.J. O'Connell complained 135. or 14s. Kiln-drying and that the scales for barley and oats other expenses in Ireland could had not been fairly proportioned not amount to less than 6s. or 78.; to the scale for wheat. Last year and from 7d. to 7}d. would be he had voted for the abolition of the maximum price per stone on all duties ; he had opposed unequal the western coast of Ireland. At measures whether of restriction or those prices much land must ne of relaxation. cessarily be thrown out of cultiva. Sir Robert Peel was surprised tion. In 1837, no less a quantity at the inconsistency of those speakthan 322,274 quarters of oats paid ers, who, while they applauded a duty of 9s. Ild.; and in 1839, the sentiment that his measure was 355,000 quarters paid a duty of an insult to the people of England, 68. 5d. This was enough to show yet the moment that the interests that he was not giving way to any of their own constituencies were imaginary fear. The importation touched were loud in their outeries of oats last year from Ireland into of complaint on the other side, and England amounted to 841,000 clamoured for more efficient proquarters."
tection. The more these debates Mr. Redington supported the were protracted, the more he felt views of Mr. S. O'Brien.
sure would the people be convinced Mr. W. E. Gladstone entered that amidst all the difficulties and into minute explanations to show embarrassment of this question the that, as compared with wheat, course which he had taken was a barley and oats had been taken at just and moderate one, and a reathe very highest standard of value, sonable compromise between those and that ample security had been conflicting interests which were taken against foreign competition. affected by the subject in question. The price at which large quantities. The first item in the oats-scale of barley might be computed to be was then agreed to.
On the seput on board at the principal Con cond item, that at 19s. and under tinental ports of export was 18s. 2d., 20s. of price, the duty should be to which 5s. being added for freight 7s. the House divided, when the and other expenses, made the price proposition was carried by 256 to 23s. 2d. The duty of 9s. would 53. The other items of the scale further increase the market price were confirmed, as was the resoluto 32s. 2d., which few would pro tion relating to rye, pease, and nounce an unreasonable amount. beans. With respect to oats, they could The resolution that the duty on be put on board at 11s. 2d. a every barrel of wheat, meal, and quarter. To that add 5s. for ex. flour of 196 lbs., should be equal penses, and 16s. 2d. would be the
to the duty on 38į gallons of price at wbich they might be ex wheat was then affirmed, after pected to be imported. Add the some objections made on behalf of duty, and 22s.' would be the the millers by Lord Sandon. market price, which he thought - On the resolution fixing a duty every Gentleman who made of 5s. on Colonial wheat, when reasonable calculations would con- the home price was under 55s.,
sliding down to ls. duty at 58s. deficiency of home produce should and upwards, Mr. S. O'Brien be encouraged by admitting a fixed moved as an amendment that for amount (1,000,000 quarters) at the every quarter of wheat the duty nominal duty of is. : a steady should be ls. After some debate trade to the extent required by the this amendment was rejected by deficiency would thus be substi135 to 58, and the other resolus tuted for the present fluctuating tions relating to Colonial grain and variable trade. He concluded were agreed to.
by proposing a resolution in which The House then resolved, “ That this suggestion was embodied. it is expedient to amend the laws Sir Robert Peel said, that of all relating to the mode of taking and the schemes submitted to the House determining the average prices of this seemed to him the most extracorn,” Sir Robert Peel promising to vagant. A certain quantity of corn lay before the House information was to be admitted annually withon that part of the subject before out any reference to its price or to going into committee on the bill. the wants of the people. He
Upon the report of the resolue pointed out the great practical diftions being brought up on a sube ficulties which would attend the sequent day, Mr. E. Buller, after working of such a plan, and which denouncing Sir Robert Peel's plan would increase, instead of remedy. as calculated to give satisfaction to ing, the evils of a sliding-scale. nobody, proposed, by way of Mr. Hastie's motion was then amendment, a scale of his own, withdrawn, the resolutions were which was to commence with a agreed to, and leave given to bring 20s. duty when the price was in the bill. under 51s., and gradually to slide The second reading was fixed for down by a shilling at a time as the the 8th of March, when Lord price should rise, until at 61s. or Ebrington, after urging some of more the duty should be 6s., the former arguments against the which he described as giving free measure, moved that it be read a trade in corn at that price. second time on that day six months.
This motion, however, did not Mr. Blackstone said, that though even find a seconder ; and Sir Ro- generally supporting the present bert Peel declining to enter into a Government, he would vote for the new discussion on the subject, it amendment on the ground that the was withdrawn. Another amend. bill did not give sufficient protec, ment, of a novel kind, was pro- tion to agriculture. Viscount Howposed by Mr. Hastie. In years of ick said, that he did not regard plenty, he alleged, when there was a the measure in a party point of glut in the home market, there was view. lle freely conceded to the also great store of foreign corn
Government that their measure ready for importation, but noue was would afford a decided improveimported; in years of scarcity that ment upon the existing law, alaccumulated store was suddenly though in his opinion it did not go poured in, to the derangement of so far as was expedient. He thought the monetary system, and of every it an improvement also, because it other interest. He, therefore, pro- must inevitably lead the way to a posed that a yearly importation to more complete and effectual reform the extent of the average annual of the system. But it retained the
principle which had caused the culated the loss which had accrued failure of the last Act, the attempt to the country from not adopting to put a certain price upon corn. the 8s. duty in the preceding AuThe only way in which the varia gust. Under various hypotheses he tions of the seasons could effectually estimated that loss at 544,0001., be diminished was to permit the na 949,0001., and 1,438,0001. in price, tural and unchecked operations of which went into the pockets of the trade. He repudiated the idea of dealers, and at 730,0001, in the protection as unsuited to the age shape of revenue-in all probably of the world. He declared, how. 2,168,0001. He allowed two merits, ever, that he did not aim at a total however, to Sir Robert Peel's mearepeal of duties; he would give a sure, the one that it brought in a fixed duty to counteract the bur, little more revenue,-the other, that thens on land, but if he had no it pulled one brick out of the old alternative betwixt the present system, which gave hopes that the measure and the abolition of all rest might follow in due time. duties, he should prefer the latter, The debate was continued by Sir He agreed with Sir Robert Peel in E. Knatchbull and Mr. Gladstone thinking the Corn-laws not the on the one side, and Mr. Shiel and only--perhaps not the principal, Lord John Russell on the other ; cause of the prevailing distress, but but these speakers added little in they greatly aggravated that dis- novelty to the arguments already tress. He felt quite satisfied that often advanced, and now the present measure could not be threadbare with repetition. final, and predicted that Sir Robert Sir Robert Peel answered Lord Peel, if in office, would propose John Russell, contrasting his own furtber changes in a year or two. course with that of thelate Ministry But he thought it was for the in- and drawing from the languid and terest of agriculture that the law spiritless tone of the present debate should now be permanently settled, an inference favourable to the refor the longer such settlement was ception of his own measure by the delayed, the worse would be the country. “ I did not want to bring terms obtained, and while a law forward a measure enunciating remained in force only provision. some general principle, and after ally, it would be vain to look for spending the Session in discussion, improvement in agriculture. In find myself in August practically conclusion, he declared that he where I was in January previous. should vote for the amendment I wished to propose a measure merely as expressing that the pro which there would be a prospect posed measure was unsatisfactory; of passing into a law-not giving regarding it as a decided improve universal satisfaction, for that I ment, however, on the present syse despaired of—but having the contem, he should regret its rejection. currence of the well-thinking, raMr. C. Buller quoted largely tional, intelligent portions of the
a report of Mr. Horner, community. Yes, and I have had the Government Inspector of Facto- it. (Much cheering.) And what ries in Lancashire, to show the makes your debates so flat and present destitution of employment dull? what, but that the country in manufacturing districts. In a has decided in favour of my mealong statement of figures he cal. sure? I am not speaking of the
Anti-Corn-law League ; it is quite exemptions enjoyed by the landimpossible that they should so soon holders. Eventually the motion forget their vocation as to permit was negatived by 115, there being their acquiescence in this law.. I for Mr. Ward's motion, 115; am not speaking of the agricultural against it, 230. When the House community. But I do believe that
came to that part of the Bill which among the trading, manufacturing, related to the mode of taking the commercial classes, there is a strong averages,
various amendments conviction that the measure I have were moved, but all unsuccessproposed, looking at the exist. fully. Among these one proposed ing state of the country, is a fair by Mr. Childers, to defer acting and just arrangement. Yes, and upon the averages taken under the if it were otherwise, I should find new system for twelvemonths, the debates in this House car supported by Messrs. Hawes and ried on with much more spirit and Villiers, and opposed by Sir Robert vigour.”
Peel, was withdrawn. Another, After a few words of self-vindi. by Lord Worsley, to calculate the cation from Lord Worsley and averages on ten, instead of five, some remarks from Sir C. Napier weeks, was negatived by 242 to and Mr. Villiers, the House di- 37. Another, by Colonel Sibthorp, vided, when there appeared - For to make the duty payable on the the Second Reading, 284 ; for the importation of foreign corn, inAmendment, 176: majority, 108. stead of its release from bond, was
The principle of the Bill having negatived without a division. Anbeen thus carried, and the House other, by Mr. Barclay, against the exhausted by long and wearisome addition of any new towns for rediscussions on the subject, its pro- turning averages, was withdrawn. gress through committee was rapid Some slight alteration in the scheand unimpeded. A few amend. dule of towns was agreed to, and ments were moved on particular the Bill passed through committee. clauses, but they were generally When the third reading was either withdrawn or negatived moved, Mr. Cobden proposed as an without much discussion. Before amendment the following resoluthe committal of the bill a motion tion:-“That inasmuch as this was made by Mr.Ward for a Select House has repeatedly declared, by Committee to inquire whether there its votes and the reports of its were any special burthens or pecu- committees, that it is beyond the liar exemptions attaching to the power of Parliament to regulate landed interest of the country. the wages of labour in this counSome discussion took place on this try, it is inexpedient and unjust to motion which was resisted by Sir pass a law to regulate, with a view Robert Peel, both on general to raise unnaturally, the prices of grounds, and also as tending to in- food.” terpose an indefinite delay to the Sir Robert Peel said, he hoped settlement of a question which the he should not be thought guilty of interests of all classes required to disrespect either to the mover or be speedily adjusted. Lord Howick to the House, if he declined to opposed the motion as an obstruc- enter at large into a topic already tion to legislation. Mr. Villiers so fully debated. enumerated a list of the peculiar Lord John Russell said, he
should not oppose the third read that the protection that is necessary ing. He believed that the present at one time is necessary at another; bill would eventually lead to the during the last ten years, more overthrow of the existing law. than 2,000,000 of additional poHe was still in favour of a mode pulation had come into existence, rate protection to agriculture. and had to be provided for; and
In the discussion which followed, the consumption of rye or barley some severe remarks, impugning (the use of which by a large portion the consistency of the agricultural of the people he was old enough Members who supported the Bill, to remember,) had given place to were made by Messrs. Villiers and a more general use of wheat ; Ward ;—Sir J. Tyrrell and Mr. while the same process was going Darby vindicated themselves and on in Ireland, until at last it was other county Members against these very probable that Ireland would imputations. Lord Worsley an have little or no surplus to export nounced that he should vote against to this country. He explained the third reading of the Bill, and the nature of the Bill; and took Mr. Eaton did the same, though some pains to show that the agrihe had supported the first and se culturists had little to fear from cond reading.
any excessive importation of foreign On a division, Mr. Cobden's corn into this country. amendment was rejected by 236 Earl Stanhope said, that a to 86.
sliding-scale was no part or parcel After the rejection of some other of the principle of the existing clauses of minor consequence, the Corn-law; that principle was proBill was, on the 5th of April, read tection to agriculture: and the a third time and passed.
sliding scale now offered In the House of Lords, on the equally pernicious with a fixed 18th of April, the Earl of Ripon duty.' He quoted Lord Melmoved the second reading of ihe bourne's declaration in 1840, that Bill," the Bill of the people," he a change of the Corn-law could said, it might be called, for what not be carried without a dangerous could be more important than to struggle. An appeal had recently provide for them an adequate sup- been made to the country, and it ply of the necessaries of life at a had decided in favour of that proreasonable rate? He examined at tection. The Conservative candi. some length the “ two great an dates bore on their banners that tagonistic principles” on which it they were friends to agriculture ; was proposed to secure that object, the defence and preservation of the by removing all restrictions on Corn-law were the watch words of foreign corn, or by regulating that the party; promises and pledges import and partly retaining the were given in profusion; and, on restrictions; and then he ex. the eve of the election, the right plained the rival propositions, a honourable Baronet now at the duty varying inversely with the head of the Government, in adprice, and a fixed duty: He did dressing his constituents at Tam. not admit that the principle of the worth, said—“I deprecate a strugexisting Corn-law had failed, but gle on the subject of the Corn. he thought that its working might laws, because I think, as Lord be improved. It did not follow, Melbourne did last year, the ad.