HC Deb 09 June 1825 vol 13 cc1118-20
Mr. Huskisson

said, it was his intention, in the bills which he proposed to bring in, to give effect to the alteration which had been agreed to in the laws with respect to Canada corn, and to give an opportunity for bringing into the market a quantity of corn which had been rotting for several years in the warehouses. There was nothing in the first measure calculated to excite the jealousy of the English corn- grower, and the advantages resulting to the public from it were such as the House could not disregard. When he stated, that in the course of the last twenty years, an average quantity of from 50,000 to 60,000 quarters of corn had been annually imported from Canada, he thought he said enough to prove that, under any circumstances, the quantity of that corn imported could not exceed 100,000 quarters. To bring this to England would employ from 20,000 to 30,000 tons of British shipping. He was confident that those who were afraid of an inundation of corn would find their fears unfounded. It was therefore his intention, in conformity with the amendment in the other House, to move for leave to introduce a bill for establishing the free intercourse in the article of corn between Canada and this country, for the space of two years. This course would enable parliament to revise the measure, if at the expiration of the period it should be deemed necessary. Nor would this be a great indulgence to Canada; for, by the existing law, Canadian corn could be introduced when the price was 67s. He should, therefore, move for leave to introduce two bills; the one for permitting corn to be imported from Canada, the other to allow the release of the warehoused corn.

Mr. Ellice

expressed his decided opinion, that it was impossible that such a quantity of corn could be imported from Canada as to justify any jealousy on the part of the corn-growers of England. He suggested that this corn should be admitted duty free.

Mr. Whitmore

said, that if the government did not redeem its pledge next session, of doing something on the subject of the corn-laws, he should himself bring forward a measure with respect to them.

Mr. J. Bennett

thought it would be better to let the existing law take its course.

Mr. Huskisson

felt every desire to attend to the suggestion of the hon. member for Coventry; but, if the corn averages should get below 67s., which they might do, the consequence would be, that the Canada wheat would not get in at all. It was to the ultimate effects, however, of his measure, both as regarded this country and the colony, rather than to any present advantage, that he was looking.

Mr. Sykes

thought the measure was a bonus to Canada, and would be of primary importance to the consumers of this coun- try. It would also have a tendency to render the price of corn steady.

The motion was agreed to.