HC Deb 12 July 1831 vol 4 cc1091-2
Mr. Perrin

presented a Petition from the wine-merchants of Dublin, praying that the House would not sanction any additional duty upon foreign wines, He concurred in the prayer of the petition. The wine trade in Ireland was already in so low a state as to be unable to bear any additional burthens, and he hoped Ministers would reconsider the subject before they pressed forward a measure which would be so injurious. Attempts to increase the duty on wines had been made before, and had always been attended with a decreased consumption and a decreased revenue.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that he had been requested to support the prayer of the petition which he did most cordially, because he was convinced that any increase of duty on wines in Ireland would be alike injurious to the trader, the consumer, and the revenue. It was a fact worthy the consideration of Government, that in proportion as the duty was increased, so was the consumption lessened. In illustration of this he would mention, that in the year 1789 the duty on French wine in Irerland was 33l. per tun, when the consumption was 482,210 gallons, the duty had been raised to 139l. per tun, and the consumption fell off to 26,000 gallons. Thus while the duty was increased four fifths, the consumption and the revenue had equally fallen off. This was another of I the heavy proofs that could be given, that an increase of taxation was not the best way to increase the revenue.

Lord Ingestrie

also supported the petition. He hoped that Ministers would not press the measure so far as regarded Ireland, which was not able to bear any additional taxation.

An Hon. Member had also been requested to support the petition, which he trusted would meet with the serious attention of Government. The wine trade of Ireland was in a most reduced state, and would be wholly ruined by any additional duty.

Sir Robert Harty

expressed his entire concurrence in the prayer of the petition and hoped the proposed increase of duty would not be persevered in. The Irish wine trade had many difficulties to contend with, owing to the high duties which diminished consumption, and owing to the monopoly of the Oporto Wine Company. He earnestly entreated his Majesty's Government, not to persevere in the imposition of the proposed duty.

Petition to be printed.