HC Deb 26 March 1824 vol 10 cc1423-4
Mr. S. Wortley

presented a petition from the wool merchants, manufacturers, and others of Halifax and its neighbourhood, against the exportation of British Wool. He hoped that government would, at least, so far relax the system they were about to adopt, as to allow the parties a protection, in order to enable them to compete with the foreign manufacturer.

Lord Milton

, not having hitherto had an opportunity of expressing his opinion upon this subject, hoped to be allowed to say a few words, intimately connected as he was with the county of York and the petitioners. It was true, that great alarm prevailed in the West Riding upon this subject, but he thought it was unfounded, and that no danger would arise from the unrestricted competition proposed by the chancellor of the Exchequer. Perhaps, however, it might be right to afford the manufacturers some degree of protection; not because it was required, but because it would quiet apprehensions and give satisfaction. When the petitioners spoke of the export of British wool, he believed it would never take place. It was the duty of members, who held that their constituents were mistaken, to endeavour to undeceive them, and remove the delusion. In his view of the question, the mercantile and manufacturing part of the community was more than any other interested in the removal of all restrictions upon free trade.