HC Deb 09 May 1823 vol 9 cc150-1

The House having resolved itself into a committee on the Scotch linen manufacture acts,

Mr. Huskisson

said, it was his intention, in proposing that committee, to move for the repeal of several statutes, which imposed regulations injurious to the trade. These statutes had been passed at a time when the House was in the habit of interfering with the business of individuals. The 13th of George the 1st was in itself a striking instance of the absurdity of such enactments. It professed to regulate, not only the shape of the cloth, but the number of threads in every hank of yarn. Another object of the bill would be, to abolish the use of the stamp on linen, which was, found to be an instrument of fraud instead of a security against it. If, however, there were any so prejudiced in favour of the custom as to wish to preserve it in their manufacture, the bill would leave them free to do so, removing, however, all the penalties from those who wished to dispense with it. The right hon. gentleman concluded with moving, that the chairman should be instructed to move for leave to bring in the bill.

Sir R. Fergusson

expressed his thanks to the right hon. gentleman for the pains he had taken to remove the vexatious enactments under which the trade had so long suffered, and declared his conviction that the intended measure would be received with satisfaction and gratitude by the people of Scotland.

Mr. Maberly

concurred in approving of the measure, but regretted that it should be found necessary to continue for a single day so useless an expence as the stamp commissioners. He trusted, however, that they would be enabled to put an end to that board in the next session of parliament.

Sir H. Parnell

thought, that as the same system must produce the same evils in Ireland, the benefit of this measure ought to be extended to that country.

Mr. Hume

agreed that it would be an advantage to Ireland; but as there were prejudices in that country which might throw obstacles in the way of its execution, he thought the right hon. gentleman had done right not to mix up the case of the two countries.

Mr. Ricardo

thought, that if it could not be done at present, it ought as soon as possible to be extended to Ireland.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.