§ Mr. Fox
wished to state to his majesty's ministers the substance of a communication which he received by a letter from Yorkshire. It observed, that by the last Salt Duty bill there was a severe penalty laid on all retail shopkeepers who should sell at any thing lower than the standard price, and the same penalty was exacted in that now in its progress. When the present bill was brought in, an officer was sent down to Rotherham, and the places adjoining, to announce the new duty, and take an account of the stock in hand. In consequence of this, the salt manufacturers ceased to sell; but the retail shopkeepers continued to sell; at four-pence halfpenny a quart, as before, for which informations were laid against them to recover the penalties. He wished to know whether there proceedings took place by the authority of government?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
replied that the sending down of the officer was certainly premature, and that it would be un- 31 reasonable to inflict any penalties upon the shopkeepers.