HC Deb 19 March 1835 vol 26 cc1233-5
Mr. Hume

moved, for a Return of the number of quarters of Malt used in distillation in each kingdom, &c.

Colonel Sibthorpe

did not rise to oppose the Motion, but to remind the hon. Member for Middlesex that he had opposed a Motion of his for a return of equal importance, and to express a hope that he would not oppose it any longer. The hon. Member for Middlesex was the almanack as well as the omnibus of the House—for he had no less than eighteen motions for returns on the list of the night, many of which were of a very expensive character. He hoped the hon. Member's constituents would find no fault with his mode of economizing the public time and public money. As the question alluded to malt he (Colonel Sibthorpe) should read two letters to the House which he had received that morning from two practical agriculturists—one paying 3,000l. a-year rent. That was no mean authority. It began thus:—"Dear Colonel—I was glad to see your name in the majority on the Malt-tax. Government must be supported; and I am persuaded the repeal of this tax would have done little or no good to the agricultural interest. From Sir Robert Peel's speech he appears to have formed a correct opinion in regard to the Malt-tax being an inefficient measure of assistance. If it were repealed, the brewers would derive the most advantage, as the shoemakers had on the leather tax." The other letter was to the following effect:—"The annual meeting of the association for the protection of agriculture was yesterday held at Lincoln. I was glad to find that the unanimous feelings of the farmers are, that the tax is best kept on, as it would prove of no service to our distress. The Marquess of Chandos spoke great nonsense and fudge. Sir Robert Peel, as the papers say, was unanswerable." The hon. and Gallant Member concluded by congratulating the House on the division it had come to on the subject of the Malt-tax, and expressing a hope that the hon. Member for Middlesex would not oppose the return he meant to move for, especially as he had eighteen Motions of his own on the paper.

Mr. Hume

said, that the hon. and gallant Member was in one respect like Jack Falstaff—for he had metamorphosed his seven Motions into eighteen. He had only seven altogether. Two of these seven Motions were designed to prove that the Malt-tax might be repealed without adding a single shilling to the burthens of the country. The gallant Colonel had, he believed, pledged himself to his constituents on the Malt-tax; therefore he thought as he lived in a glass house he should not throw stones.

Motion agreed to.