HC Deb 18 August 1831 vol 6 cc217-8
Mr. Littleton

presented a Petition from a farmer named Wakefield, in Staffordshire, praying for the repeal of two-thirds of the Duty on Insurances from fire effected on farmers' crops. If the prayer was acceded to, he believed that there was little doubt it would tend to repress the recurrence to the outrages of last winter, which were so general in Hampshire and the neighbouring counties, because the malicious object of the incendiaries would be defeated as far as respected farmers who might be the objects of popular revenge or ill feeling in individuals.

Mr. Whitmore

hoped, that Government would reduce the duty, by which it would confer a great advantage on the country at this moment.

Mr. Hunt

said, insurance was the great protection to the farmers from having their stacks maliciously burned, and he therefore supported the prayer of the petition.

Mr. Benett

concurred in the observation that had been made. Had the parties who committed these atrocities last winter been aware that the loss occasioned by their acts would fall on insurance companies alone, much of the mischief would not have occurred. He believed most of these calamities were intended to injure particular individuals, who could find no more effectual remedy against the repetition of such attacks than the repeal of the duty, which he had often before described as improper.

Mr. George Robinson

said, there could be no doubt that the removal of these duties would be a great advantage; they produced but a trifling revenue, but they actually exceeded the premium paid by the insurer to the parties who had all the risk. If such duties were removed, there could be no doubt that insurance generally would be much increased. These duties were a bounty on carelessness and incendiarism.

Mr. Western regretted,

that the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) was not in his place to hear these remarks in the propriety of which he perfectly concurred.

Petition to lie on the Table.