HC Deb 13 March 1804 vol 1 cc851-3
Mr. Corry

moved, that the House resolve itself into a Committee on the above bill. On the question being put from the chair,

Sir John Newport

returned the right hon. member the most sincere thanks, both on his part, and in the name of his constituents, who had desired him so to do, for the very liberal manner in which lie had attended to their interest, and made them acquainted with the different duties which were to be in any manner altered by the bill. In other parts of Ireland, however, the commercial men were acquainted with the true object of the bill. He therefore hoped, that so much attention would be paid to the doubts, or even the prejudices of so respectable a body of men, as not to make the duties permanent in the present session of Parliament.

Mr. Corry

expressed the greatest degree of pleasure in having the testimony of the worthy baronet and of the merchants of so respectable a place as Waterford, in favour of his conduct. There were other places also of the first respectability in that part of the United Kingdom which he thought had nearly an equal right to be pleased with the conduct of his Majesty's ministers towards them; in the City of Cork, he knew that there was at present some difference of opinion with regard lo the operation of the bill, but the opposition was there so slight that he thought a very little reflexion or explanation on the subject would reconcile the commercial people of that city. The merchants of the city of Dublin, indeed, were a body of men possessing as strict honour as any persons in the world, and whose capital was as great as that of any other class of his Majesty's subjects in proportion to the trade of the country. They had objected to 38 of the duties which were to be imposed by the present bill, and government had conceded in a great measure to their wishes. There were only 4 of the 38 articles of taxation which remained unaltered according to their wishes; 1. foreign herrings imported; 2. foreign oil; that, however, was something lowered, though not in a proportion equal to their wishes; 3. foreign hops imported in Ireland. These three were continued to be taxed nearly to the same amount as ministers had at first proposed, merely for encouragement of the British trade and British fishery in preference to the commerce of a foreign country. As to the 4th article, which had not been attended to, it had been so frequently discussed, that he would only say that it was incompatible with the general policy of the empire that such a measure as that of taking off all the duties on the exports of Ireland should ever be adopted. But in order, if possible, to reconcile the different commercial bodies of men throughout all Ireland to the adoption of the present measure, he would, in the Committee, move for the addition of a clause, limiting the duration of the act to one year. On account of the absence of a great number of representatives of different parts of Ireland on their military duty at this period of the year, perhaps it might be thought expedient to some of the duties for 5 quarters instead of 4, as before the expiration of that time it might probably be in their power to attend in Parliament,

Mr. Foster

stated the inconvenience which was likely to result from such an alteration in the mode of collecting the duties in Ireland.

Mr. Corry

then said, that he should not consider that he acted improperly in moving to have those duties renewed at the end of the year, for 3 months, before they were made permanent, if there was not a sufficient number of members present from that part of the United Kingdom to which the bill referred.—The House having resolved itself into a Committee, Mr. Foster suggested, that it would be more regular if the act was to continue in force beyond the term of the year, though the duties might be voted only for the year,. It was, however, agreed by the House, that the act should continue to the 25th March, 1805. The House having resumed, the report was brought up, and ordered to be received to-morrow.