HC Deb 06 June 1809 vol 14 cc895-6
Mr. Foster

moved the order of the day for the third reading of this bill, when counsel were ordered to be called in to be heard at the bar against its passing into a law; after the bill was read a third time, the counsel having then withdrawn,

Sir John Newport

rose and said, for any thing he knew, if this bill were allowed to pass, the suspension might be continued from year to year. It had been said originally, that the Irish distillers were in favour of the measure; it could not be said so now, when their counsel appeared against it. He was convinced that Ireland had not been fairly dealt with; but as to impress such a conviction might be productive of the worst consequences, he would not go into it, although he was certain that she had lost more than she had gained by the Act of Union. Those who desired the present bill to pass, wished for a monopoly, and would the house accede to it? As far as one individual voice would go, he would protest against it, as a direct violation of the Act of Union.

Mr. Foster

said, that what he would contend for was this, that the enactments of the Act of Union were clear, but that the schedule was confused and contradictory. The only way to prevent a misconstruction against Ireland, was to adopt this bill, as it was utterly impossible to take the subject into ample consideration this session.

Mr. Grattan

allowed, that some adjustment was necessary; but the fairest way, till the law could be settled, was to allow it to remain as it was. By the suspension, a violation of the Act of Union immediately took place, and therefore suspension should not be allowed, till the real spirit could be ascertained. If the advantage was now in favour of Ireland, they were entitled to it; but as Scotland was concerned, Ireland must give way. He concluded by saying, that he would vote against the suspension.

Mr. Hutchinson

said, that in two cases where questions upon the Act of Union had been brought before the house, they had been carried against Ireland, as it were, by acclamation, and he hoped the third would not share the same fate. By the Act of Union, the Irish distiller had a right to come to market, by paying the countervailing duty, and if this measure were carried, it would be putting the question at rest for a twelvemonth, with a vengeance. Why they should be deprived of this right he knew not; unless because it had been determined to be against the English market. As he had argued the subject, he would not detain the house by further observations, but wished to know from a right hon. gent. opposite, why he could not apply a remedy to the Scotch trade, without adopting this measure?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

regretted the difficulties arising out of the measure, but said it was impossible it could be construed as a violation of the Act of Union. The English and Irish revenue were both concerned in the decision of the question, and as he could throw no new light upon the subject, it having been already so fully discussed, he would content himself by declaring in favour of the bill.

The house then divided, when the numbers were

Ayes, 74
Noes, 13
Majority —61

The bill was then read a third time and passed