HC Deb 21 June 1836 vol 34 cc679-80
Sir George Clerk

wished to ask a question of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Rice) relative to the duty on paper. The House was aware, that in consequence of the declaration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he would not allow any draw-hack on paper in stock after the 10th of October, the trade had been almost entirely suspended. He trusted, however, the result of the notice given by the hon. Member for Middlesex would relieve the paper manufacturers from the embarrassment under which they at present suffered. He understood the Chancellor of the Exchequer intended to propose, by way of palliation, that after a time to be fixed paper should be allowed to be taken from the mills, and remain in bond under certain regulations, without payment of the duty. He wished to know at what time the right hon. Gentleman meant to permit paper, under any and what regulations, to be carried out of the mills without payment of duty; because the premises of manufacturers being in many instances extremely limited, they would be unable to keep a large stock, or be exposed to very great inconvenience, if the trade were not brought to a complete stand-still.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

did not mean to take the course which had just been suggested—the plan he meant to adopt was of another description, but intended to effect the same object, namely, the relief of the trade from that stagnation to which they had incidently become liable in consequence of the reduction of the duty. The course he meant to take was this: with respect to stained paper, he proposed the duty should cease on the 5th of July, and with respect to first class paper and milled boards, the reduction of duty should not take place till the 10th of October; but in the mean time, in order to relieve owners of paper mills from the necessity of having their premises burdened with too large a stock, it was proposed to allow them to pass paper into the stocks of the stationers, their customers, under the direction of the Board of Excise, the duty having been paid before it was issued from the mills; and any stock of that paper remaining unconsumed on the 10th of October, in the hands of the stationers, would entitle them to a return equal to the excess of duty on that denomination of paper. This would enable the owners of mills to continue their works, and the stationers to keep up their stocks and purchases, and on the 10th of October entitle them to the difference between the high and low duty on the amount of their stocks. He had adopted this plan at the suggestion of some of the parties; and finding he could without prejudice to the revenue, he was extremely glad to be enabled to relieve the paper-makers.