HC Deb 13 June 1836 vol 34 cc488-9
Lord Francis Egerton

begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer at what period it was proposed that the new duties on paper should come into operation, both as regarded the first and second class paper, and the stained paper, and also whether he contemplated allowing a drawback on the stocks in hand?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

had to inform his noble Friend, in reply to the question he had put to him, and he hoped it might reach the parties interested, that the proposition he had submitted for the alteration of the duty on the first class paper, would take effect from the October quarter. This was his original intention and statement in submitting the proposition, but, inasmuch as it had been somewhat misconceived, and not, perhaps, as generally known as might have been wished, he was very well pleased to have an opportunity of re-stating it. With respect to the stained paper, he had been very much pressed by a great majority of the parties interested in that branch of the trade to fix an earlier period for the proposition taking effect, by substituting the July for the October quarter. He believed this would be very convenient for the trade itself, as otherwise, stained paper being rather a matter of luxury than of necessity, there might be an interruption to the manufacture. With respect to allowing a drawback on the stock in hand, he thought it was more just and expedient to adhere to the principle on which Parliament had of late years acted in making alterations of duty, and not to allow a drawback on the stock in hand. All the motives which induced Parliament on other occasions to refuse allowing a drawback existed in the present case, with some additional considerations into which he need not then enter. For the purpose, however, of affording accommodation and facilities to the trade, he had provided not only that the privilege of manufacturing and storing in bond should be continued, but that in case any very great quantity of a particular paper affected by these regulations should remain on hand in the stationer's stocks, on the 10th of October, allowance should be made for it; not an allowance in the shape of drawback generally, but an allowance on the duty on paper permitted into stationers' shops, under particular circumstances. It was impossible wholly to remedy the inconvenience to which his noble Friend had adverted. He had endeavoured to remedy it partially, to the utmost of his power, and he hoped he had succeeded.

Sir George Clerk

said, that many paper-makers in Scotland had very large stocks on hand. There was one individual within his own knowledge, who had no less than 15,000 reams; and if this paper which had paid the whole duty, remained on hand until October, and then had to be sold at a reduced price, without any allowance of drawback, he need not say, that the loss would be very great. He hoped his right hon. Friend would allow some drawback on paper that had paid the whole duty.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

replied, that this would be in fact allowing a drawback on the stock in hand. This he could not consent to, because it could not be done without exposing the revenue to very considerable loss.

Subject dropped.