HC Deb 09 June 1820 vol 1 cc1032-4

The report of the Protecting Duties (Act of Union with Ireland) bill was brought up.

Sir J. Newport

remarked, that some of the duties were extremely oppressive to Ireland and injurious to its commerce. Among the articles materially affected were those of books, pictures, and statues. The effect had almost extinguished the value of copy rights, and annihilated the trade of printing books. Through this, authors naturally sent their works to other parts of the empire; capital was in consequence withdrawn, and in proportion to the amount so withdrawn, the commerce of the country must be injured; he therefore wished the duties might be altogether repealed. The duty on coals was also most severely felt in many parts of the country; and was most injurious to the manufactures and to the poor. He wished these to be gradually diminished.

Sir H. Parnell

said, that in many cases that which was called a protecting duty was, in fact, a tax upon Ireland, particularly the duty of 10 per cent on British manufactured articles imported into Ireland.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had listened with the greatest attention to the opinions expressed upon this topic from both sides of the House, and particularly from those gentlemen, who as representatives for Ireland were better able to understand the subject than he was. But he found so many jarring interests, and so many conflicting opinions, that he thought it better to take up the subject at a future day upon a general scale, than attempt to discuss minutely a point in which both opinions and interests were at variance. It was his most anxious wish to disembarrass the intercourse between both countries by the abolition of all impeding duties on both sides of the channel as soon as the state of the public revenue would permit. One of his first objects was, to open a free intercourse between the literature of both countries. Others would follow as they seemed most expedient and practicable; and he trusted that before the lapse of many years, those final arrangements so very desirable to every friend of both countries would be adopted.

Sir John Newport

begged leave to suggest that the most speedy and effectual means of promoting the commercial intercourse between both countries was, to begin by an annual reduction of one per cent on the Custom-house duties of ten per cent between both countries recipro- cally; and thus in ten years the whole would be abolished. So persuaded was he on this point, that he would take an early day for calling the attention of the House to it.

Sir H. Parnell

thought it would be of the highest importance to the interest of both countries to have the commerce of this country thrown open to the whole population of Ireland; and he should shortly call the attention of the House to the subject.