HC Deb 14 June 1837 vol 38 cc1453-7

Mr. Robinson moved the second reading of the Bonded Corn Manufacture Bill.

Mr. Heathcote

opposed the Bill, as it would open the door to fraud and abuse, and as one instalment towards the repeal of the Corn-laws. He felt it his duty to move, as an amendment, that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.

Mr. Labouchere

was desirous that the experiment which the Bill proposed should be fairly tried; the experiment was due to the commercial and the shipping interests of the country, and it would ill become the House to refuse it. He should give his vote in favour of the second reading of the Bill, and when the Bill got into Committee he should propose some regulations to prevent the possibility of any fraud or abuse being perpetrated.

The Marquess of Chandos

said, that he could not concur in the proposed experiment, which he felt satisfied would operate injuriously to the landed interest. The manufacture of corn in bond would lead to frauds, the King's locks were not secure, and no guarantee was given as to the future destination of the corn when manufactured. He concurred in thinking the measure as the first instalment towards a repeal of the Corn Laws, and he should therefore give his cordial dissent to the second reading of the Bill.

Mr. Benett

said, that this was an experiment which the right hon. the Vice-President of the Board of Trade would not venture to try with any branch of manufactures, and he ought to pause before he gave his sanction to such an interference with the landed interests. Was it to be supposed that mills under look would be confined to the grinding of foreign corn alone? The experiment, if honest, was most ludicrous; if dishonest, the right hon. Gentlemen ought at once to say, "We are for doing away with the Corn Laws." He was sure if it were known that such a Bill had been submitted to Parliament, the table would have been crowded with the petitions of the agriculturists against it, and he should certainly vote for the rejection of the Bill.

Mr. Warburton

denied that the measure would in any degree interfere with the home consumption of home-grown corn. It had been asserted that ships making a long voyage were victualled with biscuits made from home-grown corn—the fact was not so, because ships were in the habit of proceeding to Hamburg and other places, and provided themselves there; and even for shorter voyages to the Baltic the same thing occurred.

The Earl of Darlington

in justice to those who had sent him to that House felt bound to oppose the second reading of this Bill.

Viscount Sandon

supported the Bill, and denied that any fraud could be committed under its operation, provided the same regulations were provided in this Bill as had been made with regard to the refining of sugars in bond. He put it to hon. Gentlemen who were anxious that the principle of protection should be maintained, whether it were wise to push that principle in cases where there was no occasion for it. He thought they should come into collision with as few interests as possible, and limit their legislation to cases of necessity only.

Mr. Wyse

said, as no Irish Member had yet spoken on the subject, and as he was more closely connected with the commercial than the agricultural interest, which in Ireland was the preponderating interest, he might be allowed to say a word or two. The agricultural interest in Ireland, so far from being opposed to this Bill, was in favour of it. He saw no force in the objections which had been urged from the other side. Some hon. Members had used the objection ad hominem. Their opposition to the Bill was grounded on the simple fact, that it was supported by the hon. Member for Bridport and others who were opposed to the Corn-laws, and that, therefore, it could not be a good measure. The other objection was, that if the Bill were passed, it would be the destruction of the Corn-laws. It was true that the hon. Member for Kilkenny opposed the Bill when it was first introduced upon that ground; but the hon. Member for Worcester had clearly shown, that there was no reason for any such apprehension. He should support the second reading, leaving it to the Committee to alter anything that might appear to be objectionable.

Mr. George F. Young

did not sympathise with those who anticipated great dangers from this Bill. He believed it would confer great benefits on the commercial interests of the country. The present law was by no means advantageous to the agricultural interest, and it was openly evaded by the shipowners. He wished to see the interests of both classes protected, and therefore should support the Bill.

Mr. Handley

said, this scheme had been tried before, and had been found wanting. Returns had been honestly furnished to the House of the quantity of foreign corn bonded, manufactured, and exported, and it was found by those returns, that considerable quantities escaped from the custody of the King's lock, notwithstanding its boasted security. The system proposed to be established by the Bill would never be worth the attention of the millers unless they could keep their mills in full and constant employment. Believing that the measure would affect the stability of the Corn-laws, which ought to be strictly maintained, he should oppose it.

The House divided. Ayes 53; Noes 42:—Majority 11.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Marsland, Henry
Aglionby, H. A. Maule, hon. F.
Attwood, T. Morpeth, Viscount
Baines, E. Murray, J. A.
Baring, F. T. Musgrave, Sir R. bt.
Barnard, E. G. O'Brien, W. S.
Bewes, T. Parker, John
Bolling, W. Pechell, Captain R.
Bowring, Dr. Potter, R.
Bridgman, H. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Brodie, W. B. Rundle, John
Brotherton, J. Ruthven, E.
Clay, William Sandon, Viscount
Codrington, Sir E. Strickland, Sir G.
Collier, J. Talfourd, Sergeant
Crawford, W. S. Thompson, Colonel
Crawley, S. Thornley, T.
Dennistoun, John Vigors, N. A.
Dobbin, Leonard Villiers, Charles P.
Egerton, Lord F. Wallace, R.
Forster, C. S. Walter, John
Grey, Sir Geo., bart. Whalley, Sir S.
Hardy, J. Wood, Alderman
Heathcoat, John Wyse, T.
Hindley, C. Young, G. F.
Humphery, J. TELLERS.
Hutt, W. Robinson, G. R.
Labouchere, H. Warburton, H.
List of the NOES.
Astley, Sir J. Hodges, T. L.
Bailey, J. Jones, Wilson
Bell, M. Kearsley, J. H.
Benett, J. Knatchbull, Sir E.
Blackstone, W. S. Lennard, Thomas B.
Chaplin, Colonel Martin, T.
Codrington, C. W. Morgan, C. M. R.
Corbett, T. Parry, Sir L. P.
Darlington, Earl of Plumptre, J. P.
Eaton, R. J. Pusey, P.
Fellowes, hon. N. Richards, R.
Follett, Sir W. Sibthorp, Colonel
Forbes, Wm. Trelawney, Sir W. L.
Fremantle, Sir T. W. Trevor, hon. A.
French, F. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Goring, Harry Dent Vere, Sir C. B.
Grimston, Viscount Verney, Sir H.
Hale, Robert B. Vivian, J. E.
Halford, H. Wodehouse, E.
Handley, Henry
Harcourt, G. S. TELLERS.
Heneage, E. Heathcote, G. J.
Henniker, Lord Chandos, Marquess