Mr. Alderman Wood
said, it would ill become him, at that late hour of the night, to take up the time of the House. He would therefore merely state, that the corporation of London were anxious for an inquiry on this subject, as well for other reasons as to see if another method of selling coals,—namely, by weight instead of measure—might not be resorted to with advantage to the public. He begged to move that "A Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the state of the Coal Trade at the Port of London,—into the delivery of Coals in London, Westminster, the liberties thereof, and in certain parts of Middlesex, Surrey, Kent and Essex,—and into the prices of Coals in the Port of London, and in the ports of shipment, with the view of determining whether any and what restrictions should be attached to the supply of Coals."
§ Sir M. W. Ridley
rose to second the Motion. He assured the House that the Coal-owners were extremely anxious that this inquiry should be instituted, and that they would be happy to render all the assistance, and to give all the information in their power to the Committee.
proposed, as an Amendment, to add to the Motion, after the words "Port of London," the words, "and other ports."
Mr. F. Lewis
suggested that the Motion already carried the inquiries of the Committee far enough, by including the Port of London and the ports of shipment.
Mr. Alderman Thompson,
in supporting the Motion said, that the chief object of the City of London, in wishing for this Committee was, to relieve Coals brought to the Port of London from any unnecessary charge, and he hoped, indeed he had reason to believe, from what fell from the 224 hon. Baronet (the Member for Newcastle), that the Coal-owners at the Tyne, would meet the inquiry in the same fair spirit.
Mr. S. Wortley
said, that nothing was more accordant with the wishes of the Coal-owners of the North, than to meet the inquiry in the same spirit in which it was proposed. He hoped his hon. friend would not press his Amendment. The subject it embraced was one of much interest, and an inquiry into it would no doubt be hereafter instituted, but it would extend the labours of the present Committee too much. It would be of sufficient importance to form the subject of a separate inquiry, and he hoped it would be gone into hereafter.
§ Mr. Liddell
assured the House that the Coal-owners of the North desired earnestly to advance the objects for which the Committee had been moved.
§ Sir T. D. Acland
gave his support to the Motion. He was glad that inquiry was about to be instituted, and he hoped it would lead to the total repeal of the unequal and very unjust tax which was levied on Coals.
§ Mr. Holdsworth
expressed a hope that the other parts of the inquiry would be taken up at a future time.
§ Motion agreed to, and Committee appointed.
was much gratified at the appointment of a Committee of Inquiry upon that subject, and equally so at the selection made.
said, the name of a Member from each of the counties near London, and one of the Members for Westminster, would be extremely desirable. He thought this selection extremely good.