HC Deb 25 February 1836 vol 31 cc875-6
Mr. G. F. Young

wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade. A question had been put to a noble Lord (the Marquess of Lansdowne) in another place on the subject of the intentions of Government with respect to the Timber Trade. It was understood from the answer, as it was published, that it was not the intention of the Government to introduce any measure on the subject of the Trade in the present Session. He wished to hear from the right hon. Gentleman how the fact was.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

had understood that the hon. Member had given notice of this question for to-morrow, but he was prepared to answer it now. The fact was, there was a misapprehension of what had been stated by his noble Friend in another place; what his noble Friend said was, that there was no intention to alter the timber duties at present, but he did not mean to convey that no measure would be introduced on the subject in the present Session. Any measure to be introduced this year would be operative only in the year 1837, so that it would not be necessary to bring forward the subject early in the Session; but it was intended to adopt the recommendation of the Committee of last year, and to introduce a bill on the subject in the course of the Session. He regretted that the hon. Member had not deferred his question till to-morrow, as probably the hon. Alderman, the Member for Sunderland (Mr. Alderman Thompson), would be then in his place, and if he were, it was his intention to put a question to the hon. Alderman, whether a report of a speech said to have been delivered by him at a meeting of the shipowners was correct or not. In that report the hon. Alderman was made to say, that it was the intention of Government to postpone any measure on the subject of the timber duties, in order that those interested and opposed to their views might be absent, and that Ministers might be thus enabled surreptitiously to carry their own measure. He would have asked the hon. Member for Sunderland, if the report were correct, on what authority he had made the statement, which, he must say, was utterly-unfounded in fact, and than which nothing could be more contrary to the practice of the Government.

Subject dropped.