§ Mr. Bright
said, he must call the attention of the House to the state of this bill, which ought to be made more perfect before it was suffered to pass into a law. The powers left in the hands of the lords of the Treasury and the commissioners of Excise were truly frightful, and put the interests of trade in the most perilous situation. For instance, the forfeiture of a ship was to be enacted by the bill, for the bare attempt to unload any part of a cargo once loaded, and the mitigation of this punishment was left with the lords of the Treasury.
§ Mr. Wallace
said, he had a few amendments to propose, which he trusted would not meet the objections of the hon. gentleman. The first respected the bond required from the captains of ships. As that was found to work great inconvenience to trade, he proposed to abandon this provision, and substitute the bond of the owners. Another alteration related to goods removed from one port to another. At present, the bond of the first owner of the goods hung over him until they were delivered and regularly sold. He proposed to cancel the bond of the first owner in such cases, and take that of the purchaser instead of it. Another alteration regarded goods, which being imported for exportation might find a better price by being put into the home market. He would provide for that upon paying the difference. Another alteration would enable ship-owners to transfer stores which had not been consumed in a voyage, to another Ship going on another destination. The next alteration went to apply the regulations on shipping coffee, which now applied only to plantation coffee, to all 1132 other kinds of coffee. He had extended the same regulations to rum, at the suggestion of the hon. member for Bristol Another regulation affected the warehousing of East India goods, which took place at present under the 43rd Geo. 3rd. That act was to be repealed by the present bill; and it was necessary to make some provision for it. The last applied to the Irish linen trade, in which it had been intended to make some relaxation of the existing laws. The intention, however, had been mistaken; and the state of Ireland made it desirable that no irritation, however erroneous the grounds of it might be, should be added to the causes of the present disturbances. It was desirable, therefore, to replace that trade upon the same footing of exemptions as before. He concluded by submitting a series of verbal alterations pursuant to the objects which he had enumerated.
§ The amendments were agreed to, and the bill was passed.