Imágenes de páginas

inferior a quality, as to be unfit for the use of man; and under a full persuasion of the necessity of fixing some ■limit, in order to prevent the object, for which the bounty is given, from being desealed by the importation of corn inapplicable to the subsistence of the people They have since received further information, which has satisfied them, that wheat, naturally of somewhat a lower weight, may produce wholesome food; and that cargoes, not frequently, arrive out of condition, in consequence of which the weight is lor the time diminished, though it soon recovers; and that it might prove an inconvenient restraint on speculation, if the merchant were exposed to lose the whole of the bounty, by a flight inattention of his agents abroad, or by a temporary and accidental deterioration of the article imported: they are therefore of opinion, that a bounty, equal to four-fifths of the proposed bounty, thould be given on all wheat weighing not less than at the rate of fifty-three pounds per bushel.

Your committee having stated such further observations as they have thought necessary, respecting the amount of the bounties, and the limitations as to weight, and quantity, and time, beg leave to recommend, for the prevention of fraud, that all corn and flour imported for bounty should be subject, in addition to the inspection of the proper officers of the customs, to the examination of persons qualified to judge thereof; that without the certificate of such persons, stating that the ariicle is merchantable and fit for making bread, no bounty should be paid; aud that

the importation of corn and flonr for bounty should be confined to such ports in which it is probable that persons so qualified may be found.

Your committee have also received information that there are ships now in the ports of this country laden with corn, which are intended to be reported for exportation, and that other ships may arrive, the consignees of which may fend their cargoes to foreign ports, unless tempted by the bounty to unload them here; and they beg feave, therefore, to submit the expediency of extending the bounty to the cargoes of all ships which may now be in the ports of this country, or may arrive here previous to the passing of the act by which it is to be granted.

1bird Report from the Seled Committee appointed to take into consideration the present high Price './Corn. THE select committee appointed to take into consideration tbe present high price of corn, and to collect evidence relative thereto, and to report the same from lime to time, as it shall appear to them, to the house, with their observations thereupon, have received, since their first report, a considerable number of returns, made by the custodes rotulorum of the different counties, respecting the state of the last crop, together with much additional intelligence upon that subject communicated by many of their members. They find it however impossible as yet lo dr3W, either from these returns or from any.: other quarter, a precise conclusion. The returns are so incomplete in their number, awd are founded upon so many different


principles, some stating the whole year, and there is also reason to bc

quantities of grain produced, others lieve that a larger quantity has been

the number of acres sown, and used for feed in the present seed

others again the average produce of time than in the last.—One of the

each acre; and drawing, in some causes of the extreme high price

instances, a comparison with the crop of last year, in others with that of certain preceding years, and in others with what is generally called a fair crop, that it is extremely difficult to combine and compare them, so as to state accurately the result os the whole.

Your committee would have endeavoured to render this investiga

which prevniled antecedent to the last harvest, was generally supposed to be the very exhausted state to which the stock os the country had then been reduced. In order to avoid a repetition of this evil, to the fame or to a much greater extent (if the succeeding crop sliould, from unfavourable seasons, be later or less productive than usual')

tion more complete, if they had it is certainly extremely desirable not felt the great importance of that the stock remaining in the

suggesting, without further delay, such measures as have occurred to them for alleviating an evil which evidently exists to such an extent as to call for the most effectual remedy.

From the best consideration of such information as they have hitherto obtained, they soould not feel themselves authorized in assuming, as the ground of any opi

country at the commencement of the next harvest stiould be more adequate to the demand than what remained this year at a similar period. Whatever is necessary for this purpose, ought therefore to be added to the amount of the deficiency.

Yourcommittce have stated these circumstances to the house, in.order to explain more fully the

nion they may offer, that the defi- grounds of their opinion, that there

ciency of the crop of wheat is less will be no security against very

than from one fifth to one sixth, considerable distress in the course

compared with the crop of last year, of the ensuing year, unless the de

and from one fourth to one fifth, ficiency of wheat and rye can be

compared with an average crop, supplied by importation, or unless

The crop of rye, of which no great other means can he found, bv

quantity is usually grown, may pro- which, out of the stock of different

bably be considered as equally deficient; but the crops of barley and oats are represented to be nearly double thole of 1794, and at least otie fifth better than an average crop.

It appears also, from the concurrent testimony of intelligent persons, that the stock of wheat in hand at the commencement of the last harvest was much less than at the fame period of the preceding

sorts of grain in the country, a comfortable and wholesome subsistence c;in be furnished to the people during the whole of that period.

Upon the first part of this alternative, your committee have already humbly submitted their opinion; and though they flatter themselves, that from the adoption of (he measures now ia contemplation for the encouragement

£ e 2 of of (he importation of wheat, of tended to all classes of the people, Indian corn, and of rye, some con- :f they can be induced to employ fiderable supplies m;iy be procured the other resource to which your from foreign parts, yet they should committee have referred, and 10 think it unwise to red in any great avail themselves < f lhe abundance degree upon the hope that such of other crops to supply the desicisupplies can cover a Luge propor- ency of wheat, tion of the deficiency, Your com- For the purpose of ascertaining mittee would feel great regret in in what proportion the articles Deflating this to the house, it" they fore enumerated, and other*, could were not also os opinion, upon the be mixed with wheat, so as to profullest consideration, tlut the conn- duce a bread likely to answer the ,try possesses other resources, both purposes of general consumption, more extensive and more secure, in your committee have examined the an economical use of the stock of result of a variety of experiments, wheat in the kingdom, and in the made by the victualling office, onabundant crops ot barley, of oats, der the direction of the privy and of potatoes. council, and ordered to be coraIt is obvious, that there must he municated to thenft; end of further a very numerous Class of families experiments, since made by the where, in times os ordinary plenty, same office, under the direction of the consumption of wheats n bread your committee; arid have been and os flour is by no means an ob- also assisted by the Board of Agriject of strict regulation and atten- culture, who have communicated

tion; and i can be as little doubted, that, under such a pressure as the present, an important reduction might be effected in this respect, without diminiihing, in any degree, the quantity necessary for subsistence. It is also to be remarked, that the consumption ■>f this class of persons and their rnmi■ lies, together with auotl'fr class, far more extensive, consists in a

to them an account of trials made with a still greater variety of inixtures. Your committee fee no reason to doubt that good hre:id may be made from any of these mixtures, with no greater proportion llir.i three-fifths or two thirds of wheaten flour; and there is the best reason for concluding that such would be wholesome and nutritive, because in many parts of of this country, where labour and

large proportion of cither articles

than bread; and that the siiua- industry are carried to as greet an

tion of those classes may enable extent as in any other, the people

them','as circumstances require, to are wholly fed by bread made of

augment in some degree that pro- some one or more of the compon

portion, and thereby to leave a ent parts of these mixtures. Your

larger lharc of the stock of wheat committee are further encouraged

to those for whose subsistunce it is in this opinion, by finding, that in

l^ niore immediately essential. the course of the last season, the

*' ThS reduction of the consump- use of mixed bread of various kinds

tion'-of Wheat may be considerably has been introduced into general

.lided amongst this description »f consumption in many places whose

persons, and, in a great decree, ex- tfonsuniption was betore confined


to wheaten bread; that the consequence has been 3, considerable reduction of price to the labouring poor in such places; and that the use of it has not been found to be attended with any inconvenience. 1 he variety of different species of mixed bread is such, as to offer a considerable number of alternatives to different p.irts of the country; and they will be naturally led to select those which are lead foreign to their habits and prejudices, and of which, from local circt■■instances, thevean most conveniently procure a supply.

That the sacrisice of some degree of indulgence, or of prejudice, is one, which, under the present circumstances, can be made, ■ought lobe made, and that without such a sacrifice, to a considerable extent, the country will be exposed to lull greater difficulties than those with which it has so lately contended, is an opinion with which your committee are so strongly impressed, that they cannot too earnestly recommend k to the serious attention of this house, and of the nation at large.

Deeply, however, as '.hey feel this impression, they are far from proposing any legillative measure to enforce a compliance with this suggestion. They well know that the people of this, and of every other country, are attached by habit to their accustomed species of food j and that however they may, by recommendation and example, be induced to make a partial change, yet any sudden and compulsory alteration might, perhaps, be more sensibly felt than the very grievance it was intended toremady.

There are indeed many prece" dents, in the statutes of this country,

of the interposition of the legislature for this purpose, at times when, fiomtlie less advanced state of cultivation and commerce, distresses of this kind occurred much more frequently and severely than at later periods ; and even in more. recent limes, an set passed* which authorizes magistrates, whenever they think the cafe req.iires. t:> fit ■•the allize upon standard vvhcalen bread alone, and thereby to prohibit the making ot all other sons of bread- Your committee, however, entertain .great hopes, uiat without applying this principle to the present case, the general impression produced by the la'tc distress, and continued by the present scarcity, will incline meu of all, descriptions to unite voluntarily in the only measure which can give effectual and immediate relief; and they conceive, that if this house should give to such a measure tlve sanction of its example and recommendation, there could be little doubt of its being adopted by a proportion of the community sufficiently numerous to li cure the attainment of the object in view.

Your committee beg leave to submit this suggestion to the wisdom of the house; and they hope it will not be thought beyond the line of their duty, if, upon an occasion so urgent in point of time, they presume also to suggest the principal | oints which sued) ;m engagement ought, in their hunsure opinion, to embrace.

To reduce the consumption os wheat in the families, ot the persons sublet ibing such engagement, £ e 3 by

13 Gco. III.

by at least one third'of the usi; 1 quantity consumed in ordin 1 y times.

Id order to effect this purpose, either to limit to tliat ex,t he

quantity of fine v.heatcn bread consumed by each indivii ai in such families;

Or, to consume only mixed bread, of which not more than two thirds shall be made of wheat;

Or, only a proportional quantity of mixed bread, of which ,more than two thirds is made of wheat;

Or, a proportional quantity of bread made of wheat alone, from

in:o consideration the prrfcnt High

Price of Corn.

THE committee beg leave to lay before the house, as an appendix to their last report, an account of the experiments made by the victualling office upon different kinds of mixed bread, under the directions ot the privy council, and of this committee; they have not thought it necessary to add to the account of the experiments made by the Board of Agriculture, as they understand that it is the intention of that board to communicate that account to the public, to

which no more than five pounds of gether with their observations there

bran is excluded;

If it should be necessary, in order to effect the purpose of this engagement, to prohibit the use of wheaten flour in paltry, and to diminish, as much as possible, the use thereof in other articles than bread;

By one or more of these measures, or by any other which may be found equally effectual, and more expedient and practicable, in the respective situations of persons subscribing, to insure to the utmost of their power the reduction above mentioned.

This engagement to continue in force until fourteen days after the next session of parliament, unless the average price of wheat (hall, before that time, be reduced to an amount to be specified.

Appendix to the Third Report from the ScLci Committee appointed to take


The committee have proceeded to take into further consideration different branches of this extensive subject. Being aware, however, that some of them contain matter which ought not to be made the object of regulation, except upon mature deliberation, nnd a clear conviction of neceility, they have thought it most consilient with their duty, to defer making any further reportrtill after the recess; but they beg leave to add to this appendix, a few papers which have been communicated to them; not as intimating any opinion whatsoever, as to the different observations and suggestions contained in these papers, but with a view of drawing attention to the principal points of which it may be necessary for the committee to resume the consideration.


« AnteriorContinuar »