HC Deb 02 June 1820 vol 1 c800
General Gascoyne

presented a petition from some merchants, ship-owners, and otheiss, in Liverpool. The prayer of the petition might appear somewhat inconsistent, as it favoured a relaxation of the Navigation laws, and yet opposed any alteration of the acts respecting foreign timber. They expressed themselves much interested in not narrowing their trade with our North-American colonies. He should say no more at present upon the subject, reserving himself till a city member, who had given notice of a motion connected with this question, should bring the subject fully under discussion.

Sir Isaac Coffin

observed, that the statement of the petitioners was quite incorrect. Instead of the timber, as they alleged, being colonial, and which was imported into this country from Quebec, the fact was, that such timber was the growth of the north-west part of the province of New York. He had himself written to lord Bathurst on the subject, for such was the effect of that trade between our American colonies and the United States, that in the last war our colonies were wholly drained of silver. The sooner a duty was put on the importation of that timber the better. We had, by the preference given to that trade, lost a good customer in Russia and the other Northern States.

General Gascoyne

said, that as far as the knowledge of his constituents went, they believed the timber imported from the British American Colonies to be their growth. It was also to be recollected, that the return sent from this country in payment of that timber was in salt, to the amount of 40,000 tons.

Ordered to lie on the table.