HC Deb 21 July 1831 vol 5 cc193-4

Lord Althorp moved the third reading of the Coal Duties' Bill.

Mr. Goulburn

must once more state to the noble Lord, that the removal of the duty on slates would materially affect the tile-makers, and no beneficial result would arise from the course he had adopted. The duties on slates and on tiles were imposed at the same time, to place the two descriptions of articles on a fair and equitable principle; which would be violated if the repeal of one set of duties, before the other, took place. He had heard, that, at some future period, it was proposed to remit the duty on tiles; but if it was delayed even for a few months, the trade would be so depressed, that it would be impossible to restore it to its former state. This was not a question of revenue; for he could declare, from his own knowledge, that the trade in tiles, in consequence of the alteration of the duties on slates, had decreased already one half; and if the duties remained, the manufacturers would be very considerably distressed. He hoped the question would be fully considered, when the Excise acts came before the House.

Mr. Slaney

fully agreed with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn). In several districts with which he was connected, tiles were made in great quantities; and he was fully satisfied, it would be impossible for the tile-makers to compete with the slate-makers, while the duty pressed so heavily upon them. He, therefore, earnestly pressed this subject upon the consideration of the noble Lord, to make some arrangement to place tiles and slates upon an equal footing.

Mr. Hume

was also of opinion, that, unless the tile-duty was repealed, the capital at present employed in the manufacture, would be utterly lost, and many hundred persons reduced to great distress, who now supported themselves in this branch of manufacture. He had a petition to present from these individuals, but had yet had no opportunity of submitting it to the House. He hoped the Bill would not pass at the present moment, as he felt strongly for those men, and should certainly renew the subject in a more full House.

Mr. Alderman Thompson

concurred with all which the hon. Gentlemen had said, and hoped this appeal would not be addressed to the noble Lord in vain.

Mr. Gordon

begged to remind hon. Gentlemen, that the brick-makers had made similar complaints when the alteration was made in the stone-duties.

Mr. Alderman Thompson

—That was a hard case upon them; and it cannot be denied, that a great hardship is entailed upon the tile-makers by the present measure.

Bill read a third time and passed.