HC Deb 20 March 1838 vol 41 cc1079-95
Colonel Seale

rose to bring forward the motion of which he had given notice—namely, for leave to bring in a bill to admit, under certain regulations, foreign corn bonded in this country to be ground in certain mills and manufactured for exportation only. He understood that it was necessary in point of form that he should commence with the preliminary motion, that the House do now resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider the regulations under which foreign corn was admitted to be bonded in this country. If he succeeded in that motion, he would move a resolution in the Committee with a view to introduce a bill, the provisions of which he would proceed to explain. The first would be a provision to empower the Commissioners of Customs to approve of the erection of certain buildings of a peculiar construction, for the bonding of foreign corn manufactured into flour. The second would be a provision to enable the Commissioners to deliver foreign corn bonded in this country to persons hiring or occupying such premises as he had already described, on the condition that within a certain time—say two months—the corn so manufactured into flour should be exported from this country, or else should be delivered back into bonded warehouses under the Queen's locks for exportation. The third would be a provision requiring further securities than those now required by law. The other provisions would contain penalties on persons who might be guilty of irregularities, or who might deviate from the law. The object of the bill, which he asked leave to bring in, was to enable our merchants trading to foreign countries, and particularly to our colonies, to lay in their supplies in the ports of the United Kingdom to a greater extent than they did at present, instead of being driven, as they were under the existing law, for their supplies to Copenhagen, to Hamburgh, to Dantsic, and to any ports in the Baltic which might be open to them, at very great inconvenience and loss of time. If his measure should be carried, it would open a very great and profitable trade to our merchants. It was said, however, in some quarters, that his motion was nothing else but a motion to repeal the present system of Corn-laws by a side wind. He disclaimed all such intentions in bringing it forward, and he furthermore denied that it would have any such effect. For his own part, he could not find out any connexion between the two questions. On the contrary, he thought that his bill would have a tendency to strengthen the Corn-laws, as it would weaken the opposition to them now felt by the mercantile community. He also denied that his bill would have any tendency either to introduce or to promote smuggling in foreign corn, for, as he had before stated, all foreign corn manufactured into flour on those premises was either to be exported within a given time, or to be returned back to the Queen's lock. He called upon the noble Marquess (Chandos), who, to his own honour, took such a prominent part in promoting the agricultural interests, to consider whether this bill was not eminently calculated to promote those interests. As the propounder of this measure, he had no wish but for inquiry; in point of fact be was most anxious that it should undergo the fullest discussion. If he should obtain leave to bring in his bill, he should hope that it would be read a first time without opposition. He would not move the second reading of it till after Easter. In the mean time it could be printed, in order that the agriculturists might have time to consider the securities which they might deem necessary to the protection of their interests. He begged to assure the House that in bringing forward this motion he was actuated by no wish to depreciate the value of landed property, or to injure the interests of agriculture. He depended on agriculture for his income; and he believed that this measure would benefit instead of injure the farmers. The hon. and gallant Member concluded by moving that the House resolve itself into Committee for the purpose above mentioned.

Mr. Collier

seconded the motion. He did not support this measure, as a step to the repeal of the Corn-laws, and he would not do so if he thought it would prove injurious to the landed interest.

The Marquess of Chandos

thought, the proposition of the hon. and gallant Member was neither more nor less than a second edition of the motion for a repeal of the Corn-laws lately made. He was persuaded that extensive frauds would be committed during the process of removing the corn from the Queen's warehouses, and that a great alteration in the price of corn throughout the country would take place. The hon. Member's bill would, in fact, if carried, go far to repeal the Corn-laws, and he therefore thought it fair to state, that he should give it all the opposition in his power in its passage through the House. He was aware that her Majesty's Ministers took a different view of the question, and intended to support the hon. and gallant Member's motion. He regretted this extremely, remembering the course they had taken a few nights since on the question of the repeal of the Corn-laws, and he certainly could not have expected that they would so soon support an extensive alteration in those laws.

Mr. Warburton

said, it appeared to him that the present question differed totally from the question of a repeal of the Corn-laws which had been lately before the House. The question they had discussed a few nights since was, whether they would allow corn to be imported for the consumption of the inhabitants of this country; that which they were now considering was, whether they would allow it to be ground at home, not for home consumption, but for exportation. The mercantile and manufacturing interests would be greatly benefitted if the House should determine to grant that permission, for a new branch of trade to the colonies and foreign countries would be opened, which would afford room for the investment of a large amount of capital, and give employment to a great number of labourers, while he held it to be wholly impossible that the agricultural interest should suffer in the smallest degree. The country Gentlemen opposed this motion because they professed to think that corn could not be kept safely under the Queen's lock, and that the duty on it would be evaded; but the Queen's lock was trusted in all other cases of imported goods, some of them articles of far greater value in proportion to their bulk. The resistance to this motion was, in fact, a pure case of selfishness on the part of the agriculturists; who, because they chose groundlessly to fancy that this partial relaxation of the present Corn-laws would lead to their total repeal, insisted on excluding the other classes of the community from an important and lucrative branch of commerce. It would be easy, by exacting ample security, to take effectual precautions that not a single grain of corn should be exported less than the amount previously imported. The benefits conferred on the shipowners and the inhabitants of seaport-towns, if the hon. and gallant Member succeeded in his object, would be considerable. He hoped, therefore, that all hon. Members connected with the shipping interest would support the motion.

Sir E. Knatchbull

denied the charge of selfishness, brought against the agriculturists by the hon. Member for Bridport. If corn could be kept with security under the Queen's locks to be ground and then exported, without the risk of fraudulent tricks, he would not object to a motion for the purpose; but he understood this question to be essentially different. He understood the hon. and gallant Member's proposition to be substantially this—let corn be ground in the Custom-house while under lock, but as soon as it is ground into flour, let the person whose property it is take it out to the markets of this country and sell it. He understood it so undoubtedly, and if such were the nature of the proposition, there would be no security for the British grower, in the event of its being carried. If the corn, however, were not to be brought into the British market, but to be exported again, he should not entertain any great objection to the motion, though he hardly expected that it would be productive of much good. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade, who was perfectly cognizant of, and well versed in, the details of this subject, would state his opinion to the House, and he (Sir E. Knatchbull) begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in case he thought that this measure could be of use to the mercantile interest without injuring the landed interests, he did not think that it ought to be taken by Government into its own hands? This, he felt sure, the Government had no intention of doing.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

rose, with great pleasure, to answer the call that had been made upon him by the right hon. Baronet. He could assure the right hon. Baronet that he was glad to find, from what he had stated, that they entirely understood each other. As the right hon. Baronet had done him the honour to appeal to him for his opinion he would give it, and, in doing so, he thought he might safely refer to his conduct on a former occasion when this subject was under discussion, for the purpose of showing that he was not disposed to do anything by a side wind, which would, in the slightest degree, defeat the Corn-laws, or anything by which the landed interest could be deprived in the least degree of the benefit, if one it were, which the present state of the laws afforded them. Last year, it would be in the recollection of the House, a bill was introduced by Mr. Robinson, the Member for Worcester, for grinding bonded corn, the plan of which was proportional, or in other words, that a certain amount of foreign corn should be taken out of bond, and introduced into the consumption of this country, and that a certain quantity of English corn should be exported in lieu of the foreign corn thus introduced. To this proposition he had refused his acquiescence, because he was of opinion, that it would give rise to fraud. But the proposition of the hon. Member for Dartmouth (Colonel Seale) was of an entirely different nature. That hon. Member seemed scarcely to have done justice to his case, but as the hon. Member had been good enough to show him the bill which he had prepared, he would speak of the bill rather more than of the explanation of the hon. Member. The bill which the hon. Member proposed to introduce, as he read it, went simply to this extent, that corn which was in bond in this country might be ground under the Queen's locks, and that the whole produce, whatever that produce might be, should be exported, security being given for the exportation of the whole. The right hon. Baronet appealed to him, and asked him whether he could get up in his place and conscientiously say, that he believed that it was impossible that any fraud could, under security of this kind, be carried into effect upon the custom laws of this country? He had no hesitation, as far as his own information went—and he could certainly give a most decided opinion on the subject—in saying that no fraud could, by possibility, take place. The noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Chandos) said, that he considered that fraud would take place. He begged leave to remind the noble Marquess what was the present state of the law and the practice with regard to every article which was imported into this country. But first of all, with regard to the security of the Queen's locks, the whole preservation of the revenue of the country depended upon the security of the Queen's locks. Take, for instance, the article of tobacco. There was a duty upon tobacco of a thousand per cent., and they had no security whatever that tobacco would not be smuggled out of the docks except that which was given by the Queen's locks. Then, again, sugar paid a duty of one hundred per cent., and there was no security that it would not he smuggled but for these locks. On coffee the duty was also high, and yet they had no security but the Queen's locks. If these locks were liable to frauds, if they could be picked (to make use of the expression of the other side), he begged leave to ask, what would be the folly, the insanity of those persons who, having the power which the picking of the Queen's locks gave, should apply that power to corn, which paid a duty of twenty-five or thirty per cent., and did not rather apply it to tobacco or sugar, which were paying, the one one thousand and the other one hundred per cent. He might mention other instances in corroboration of his opinion that it was utterly impossible to doubt the security afforded by what was called the system of lock. He would, however, come to the second point, namely, whether, in the process of the transmission of the corn from one warehouse to another for the purpose of grinding it under lock, the lock being equally applied to the first and second warehouse, some fraud might not take place? It had been a constant practice, recommended by himself, and enforced by the Treasury, to allow persons to manufacture certain articles under lock. They did so with regard to metals, and with sundry other articles, and yet, by no possibility, could fraud be committed. In the process proposed by the present bill, he did not conceive that any fraud could possibly take place. He did not state this as an advocate for the measure, for he did not concur with the hon. Member who moved it as to the extent of the benefit that was likely to be derived from it. It was not, therefore, as an advocate for this measure that he gave it as his conscientious opinion that he could not see the possibility of fraud being committed under the regulations that would necessarily be introduced. He would even go so far as to say, that the bran of the corn that was ground should also be exported as well as the corn; and, indeed, unless this were the case, he would not agree to the bill. He must say, that the view taken of this subject by the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Kent (Sir E. Knatchbull) was honourable. As he (Mr. P. Thomson) stated before, he did not anticipate from this bill the great benefits stated by the hon. Mover of it. They had been told that this measure would be of little or no use, unless they consented to the measure of last year. His answer was, that if this measure was of no use, the other could be only serviceable for fraud. But he was inclined to think that the present bill would be of some practical utility. He believed that a very considerable change had taken place in the last three or four years in the state of corn and flour in the markets of the United States and the West Indies. Formerly the United States supplied not only themselves with corn and flour, but they exported largely. Of late years, either from the increase of population or from inferior crops, instead, of largely exporting, the United States had been considerable importers of corn. It might then be said, why not take corn out of bond here and transport it to the United States for consumption? Now, it was this consideration which made him think there would be some advantages to be gained in this quarter. It was not corn which was brought down from the higher parts of the country in the United States to the seaboard, but flour, all their means of grinding corn being confined to the upper parts of the country. There were no mills on the seaboard. If, therefore, we were to send them corn to the seaport towns in a time of scarcity, it would not be worth their while to erect mills on the seaboard, nor could they afford to send it up the country to be ground. Consequently, he begged to represent to the noble Marquess opposite, who he knew did not much like to see large quantities of corn accumulated in bond, that we could not send supplies to the people of the United States, nor get our warehouses emptied of the bonded corn. Very nearly the same thing took place in the West India islands, where there was no convenience for grinding, and where they had always been supplied with flour, and where in the course of the last year and the year before, he knew perfectly well that they had been paying a much higher price for flour from the United States than they need have paid, if they could have got flour from England. If they could get bonded corn in England ground so as to make it serviceable, they could supply themselves in the West Indies at a much cheaper rate; but in consequence of there being no facility here of grinding the bonded corn, the West Indians were obliged to pay a high price. These circumstances certainly were not of a permanent nature, but they might become so; and, at all events, fluctuations of the seasons were constantly occurring, from which considerable benefit might be derived, if the opportunity were allowed. These were, it was true, not permanent circumstances at present, but they might easily become such; therefore, he was of opinion, that some advantages might arise from giving the power to grind. But his fair and honest opinion was, that not so much advantage could be expected from the measure on the whole as its advocates anticipated. But with regard to the opinions entertained by others on the point, there arose a consideration of a moral nature, which he begged to press on the attention of hon. Gentlemen opposite. That the benefits which might arise from the measure would be large, he did not think, but this was the firm conviction of a very large body of merchants and manufacturers, and he begged to ask hon. Gentlemen opposite was it worth their while to stand in the way of the expectations of those parties, the merchants and manufacturers of the country, for the sake of what must and would prove imaginary? With regard to himself, he did not believe that the landed proprietors of England wished to stand in the way of the manufacturing interests, and he should be extremely glad if the event was to allow his hon. Friend to bring in his bill, subject, of course, to all the checks and restrictions which could be devised for security against smuggling; but if the measure had any thing to do with the Corn-laws, he should say to hon. Members opposite "Stand out, stand out," because he thought by so doing they would further his own views on the subject of the Corn-laws; for let them do this, and they would soon raise such a feeling in this country against those laws as they would not find it easy to master. If the merchant and manufacturer were told that a request like this of the hon. Member, to bring in a bill which could not by possibility affect the Corn-laws, had been rejected, then they would begin to think, "Why now, then, is the time to press forward our particular views on the Corn-laws." Entertaining these opinions, and having, he trusted, answered the question of the right hon. Baron opposite, he would only say, that he hoped most sincerely that the bill might pass, with proper safeguards and securities against fraud, and if any more efficient securities and safeguards against every species of fraud could be devised, he should be most happy to give them his best support.

Sir J. R. Reid

begged to return thanks to the right hon. Baronet, and the President of the Board of Trade, for the manner in which the question of the right hon. Baronet had been put, and the manner in which it had been answered. If the measure militated in any way against the agricultural interest, he would not give it his support; but, the contrary, as far as he could judge, being its probable effect, he should vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Dartmouth.

Mr. Liddell

said, that he had brought his mind to the consideration of this subject, free from the influence of any bias towards one side or the other; and after the assurance of the right hon. President of the Board of Trade, that no risk was to be apprehended to the agricultural interest from this measure, if there were found sufficient securities provided in the Bill against smuggling, such securities, in fact, as were promised, being persuaded, that so far from an injury or disadvantage resulting from the measure, the landed interest would find it opening to them another resource, he should vote for the motion.

Mr. M. Philips

said, that as ample security as was possible had been offered for the honest intentions, with respect to the Corn-laws, of the hon. Member for Dartmouth, and, indeed, of every hon. Member on that side of the House who supported the motion. The question was one of great importance to the shipping interest. He believed that it was of great importance to let corn come into this country to be ground, and again exported at certain times of the year, when the ports of the Baltic were shut up. Another consideration was, that on occasion of the scarcities in the United States, and West Indies, to which allusion had been made, considerable investments were made on the Continent, in order to procure a supply of flour to send thither. He wished to see this field for investment opened to the British capitalist. He denied that it was the intention of his hon Friends, in supporting the present proposition; to trench upon the Corn-laws. Hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House disliked the principle and enactments of the Reform Bill; but yet, as it had passed into a law, they held themselves bound by its provisions. In the same way, hon. Members at his side of the House, though they disliked the Corn-laws as much as hon. Members at the opposite side disliked the Reform Bill, yet they held themselves bound to submit to the Corn-laws as long as they were law, and they would not, by a side wind, or indirect method of proceeding, countenance any proposition which would trench upon them, whether they were good or bad. With respect to the objection, that the grinding of corn in bond might be made a handle for fraud, he contended that it was not so liable to fraud as many other valuable articles, which were constantly and regularly laid up in bond. Let them take the case of cigars for instance, and many other articles which would readily suggest themselves to hon. Members. Fraud, in the case of corn, a bulky and unwieldy commodity, would be much easier detected than in any other article in bond. Indeed, it was not likely that it would be attempted. He entreated the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Chandos) and his supporters, to disabuse themselves of the idea that there was any indirect or covert object meditated in the passing of the proposed Bill. There was one point to which he wished to direct the attention of the House, though it would be more properly and conveniently discussed in Committee. He alluded to the allowing the bran which remained to be sent into the country, and sold for agricultural purposes. He did not believe, that the agricultural interests of the country would at all suffer from allowing the bran of the bonded corn to be applied in this country to agricultural purposes. The disposal of that article appeared to him (Mr. Philips) to be almost the only question upon which any doubt could be entertained. The matter might be fully discussed in Committee. By allowing the proposed measure to pass into a law, he thought they would be materially benefitting the mercantile interests of the country, and securing for it a trade which it did not heretofore possess.

Mr. A. Chapman

agreed with the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the President of the Board of Trade, that it was altogether impossible that fraud could take place, by allowing foreign corn, in bond, to be converted into flour. He spoke from his own knowledge of such matters, and upon twenty years experience of the London Docks, during which period he had never known of even the least abstraction of valuable property, or of any neglect which could bring bonded warehouses into disrepute. He thought they might as well allow captains of vessels to take out flour with them, as to take it in at Hamburgh. By allowing foreign flower to be exported, they would give employment to a great number of industrious persons, and no detriment could arise to the agricultural interests.

Colonel Sibthorp

was disposed to give the hon. Member credit for sincerity in what he had stated to the House, though he could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman in his opinion as to the harmless nature of the Bill. He objected to it, because he thought it was a direct encouragement to the importation of foreign corn, an evil which the Corn-laws were passed to guard against. He cautioned the House against putting any confidence in the right hon. Gentleman opposite (the President of the Board of Trade) or his supporters, in this or any other matter. He had a very great respect for the Queen, but the Queen's locks were very different things. Of the security or integrity of these he did not entertain a very high opinion. He wished to God that her Majesty's Ministers would take his advice. If they did they would walk out of the House on the present occasion, and allow the two parties to fight the battle fairly without their interference. That, however, they would not be allowed to do, in consequence, no doubt, of some Downing-street arrangement.

Colonel Wood

, notwithstanding the alarm which had been expressed by the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln, could not help regretting that the noble Marquess should have felt it his duty to take the sense of the House upon the present question. If he thought for a moment that the Bill would, in the slightest degree, invade the principle of the Corn-laws, he should vote against it. He believed, on the contrary, that it was in strict accordance with the spirit and principle of the Corn-laws, and of the resolutions upon which the Corn-laws were founded. When the Corn-laws were changed in 1815, and new laws were passed to regulate the importation of foreign corn, certain resolutions had been agreed to by the House, the first of which was that all corn from foreign countries might be imported into this country and placed in warehouses duty free. The second was, that such corn, so imported and warehoused, might, if desired be exported duty free. The third resolution stated the circumstances under which such foreign corn in bond might be taken out and used for home consumption, namely, when such an advance in the price of wheat took place that there came a scarcity, and the country needed an additional supply. He was of opinion that the proposed plan would merely carry into effect the two first of these resolutions, and facilitate the exportation of corn. He would never support the Corn-laws, if they were passed only for the base and paltry purpose of propping up one of the great interests of the country at the expense of the other. Those great men who advocated the Corn-laws in their speeches in 1815 distinctly denied any such intention, their object being to unite all the great interests of the state. He thought it would be better that Government should take the matter into their own hands. The occurrence of fraud was unlikely, as it was not a very easy thing to smuggle a load of corn or a bag of flour. All that the agricultural interest was entitled to was protection against the importation of foreign corn, as long as they had a sufficient home-grown supply. For these reasons he trusted that the noble Marquess would not persist in his intention of dividing the House.

Mr. G. Palmer

was of opinion that if the Bill was passed, not a single atom of flour, bread, or biscuit, of British produce would be taken out by captains of ships. They would be wholly supplied and victualled with the foreign corn in bond, which would be had upon cheaper terms than the home produce.

Mr. Alderman Thompson

said, that this measure would be beneficial to the merchant, inasmuch as it would convert an unmerchantable into a merchantable commodity, and let loose a large amount of British capital invested in foreign wheat. Immense capital had been employed in other countries in mills for manufacturing flour. Though he was no friend to the Corn-laws, he would not be a party to any indirect measure against them; but he was satisfied that alarm was felt at a shadow.

Lord Worsley

could not give his vote against the measure when he saw interests that would be benefited by it, and could not conscientiously say, that the agricultural interests would be injured. He should, therefore, support the first reading of the Bill. He had come down to the House intending to oppose the Bill; but he could not do so after what he had heard in its favour.

Mr. Plumptre

said, he could not conscientiously give his support to the introduction of this measure. He should, however, name the particulars of the grounds of his opposition on another opportunity, should it occur. He candidly acknowledged that if he supported this proposition he could not face his constituents. He regarded this measure with distrust when he considered it on its own merits: but if he had a doubt on the point, the fact that this motion was supported by her Majesty's Ministers would be with him decisive; for he considered them incapable of originating or supporting any measure for the public good.

Lord Sandon

was inclined to give the parties who were in favour of the present application the benefit of an experiment. He perfectly agreed with the hon. Member for Essex, that the offal was unfit for exportation, and it ought therefore to be turned to the best advantage of which it was capable.

Mr. W. Roche

felt compelled to state the views of his constituents as urged in several petitions presented to that House. They were of opinion that this experiment could not be made without fraudulent practices, and that mercantile men should not be compelled to adapt their course of business to a state of things different from that on which they had originally speculated.

Mr. Philip Howard

said, that the hon. Baronet, the Member for Northampton- shire, formed a low estimate of the capacity of his constituents, when he stated his intention to oppose the Bill because the securities offered for the protection of the agricultural interest would be unintelligible to them. To the shipowner, as well as to many classes of industry, to bakers, coopers, and millers—the Bill, which withdrew no fair protection from the British corn growers, would be a considerable gain. As the law at present stood, owing to flour and bread manufactured in a foreign country, and used for ship stores, not being liable to duty, provided the ship be bound to a foreign port, it is the practice to import large quantities both of flour and bread from Dantzic, Hamburgh, and America, which is entered here in bond and sold for victualling ships. If the Bill before the House were allowed to pass, all these articles would be prepared in England—would benefit the artisan without injury to the British farmer. To prevent fraud it might be desirable to license mills on the same principle as the present bonded warehouses. British vessels going to Hamburgh and other ports of Europe, take in bread sufficient for several voyages. Newfoundland and many of our colonies are now supplied with corn from America, which, though a small duty may be paid, is manufactured in the United States; but should the Bill pass, that flour would be made in England. There is now a large amount of capital locked up in bonded corn, a great part of which would get into circulation should the measure become law, and greatly assist the commerce of the country. Indiamen, for instance, and all ships going long voyages, buy nothing but flour and bread prepared in foreign ports. The vigilant and enterprising monarch who now rules the destinies of France, had established at Ville D'eu, in Normandy, large magazines for supplying all ships touching there with flour and bread; and although he might be quite right in profiting by our oversight, there was no reason why the British merchant and manufacturer should be debarred from competition. His hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Seale) had stated his willingness to submit his motion to the consideration of a Select Committee; but now that the Bill was not likely to encounter so formidable an opposition as he anticipated, he trusted his hon. Friend would abandon a project so likely to retard the progress of the measure to which Colonel Seale signified his assent. He had risen to second the motion of the hon. and gallant Member, and should have great satisfaction in giving it his support.

Mr. Miles

asked the noble Marquess to allow the Bill to be introduced, and to watch its provisions, taking care that sufficient guards were provided. If, on the second reading, the Bill was proper to be adopted it could be adopted; and it would show that those who supported the agricultural interests in that House could feel for others who were bound by the same link. But if the guards were insufficient, then it could be rejected, for the agricultural interest leagued together, formed a body which no Administration could successfully resist.

Colonel Rushbrooke

said, he was afraid of rogues in grain, and that it would be impossible to guard against evasion. More, he thought, in this measure was meant than met the ear.

Mr. Miles

asked his noble Friend (the Marquess of Chandos) to allow the Bill to be brought in, with the view of seeing whether it could be supported on the second reading. By this proceeding, those who supported the landed interest in that House would prove that they considered themselves bound, by the principles of a common fraternity, to promote the general interest of the community.

Mr. Villiers

said, that there was one sentiment uttered by the hon. Member who had just spoken, that he so entirely agreed with, that he could not forbear rising to express his concurrence in it; namely, that there were so many rogues in grain in this House, that it was difficult to know what course to take on this measure, and if he wanted any illustration of that, he should refer to the debate last night, which was highly instructive as to the spirit and object of our legislation; for he observed that the debate opened to-night with a speech from the noble Marquess in that sturdy and exclusive spirit with which he was used to advocate the interest of the landed class, and disregard the interest of any other class, and which doubtless was consistent with his notions of what was right; but as the debate advanced, new lights were shed upon the subject; first, by one Member who rose and assured the House, that it would be of little advantage to the country at large; and he was followed by the hon. Member for Manchester, who said it would be of little use to the trade, and that seemed to alter the view taken of the measure; and the Gentlemen of the landed interest began to pause and think that this could not be such a bad measure. A Bill that provided nothing for the people, but did little for the trade; why, that cannot be so dangerous: and from that moment an altered tone was observed throughout the debate, and he was happy to see, as one Member after the other rose, and said, that he could not understand how, without adequate securities against the people obtaining the advantage they sought in procuring, there could be any objection to the measure; and the Bill gained ground. Now, he was free to confess, it was because he agreed with those hon. Gentlemen that little benefit was to be expected from the measure that he felt indifferent about its being carried, because if it was an important measure, and could be deemed a concession, why, when he moved for the repeal of the Corn-law next year, which he intended most certainly to do, he might be met by the argument that it was unreasonable, after the important concession made last year, that great things had been done for the miller and the merchant; that it was ungrateful in the people, after a great measure of this kind had been passed, to urge other claims; that it had always been understood to be final; and then might follow all kinds of explanations as to what had been the understanding and stipulations amongst different Members of Lord Melbourne's cabinet. But now it was agreed on all hands that the Bill was in no way connected with the Corn-law, that it would never forward in the least degree the purpose which the hon. Member for Bridport had said, was that of the repeal of those laws, namely, to give cheap food to the people of this country. He was, therefore, not afraid of it on that account, though certainly if the measure was rejected, it would be somewhat illustrative of that extreme unreasonableness of the landowners which he alleged against them the other night. He wished success to the measure, because it appeared to him productive of some good, and incapable of any evil. It was in fact nibbling at a great principle, that ought at once to be insisted upon with spirit, and claimed as matter of right.

The House divided:—Ayes 127; Noes 92; Majority 35.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. James, W.
Aglionby, Major James, Sir W. C.
Ainsworth, P. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Bailey, J. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Bannerman, A. Langdale, hon. C.
Baring, F. T. Liddell, hon. T.
Barnard, E. G. Lister, E. C.
Barron, H. W. Lushington, C.
Bentinck, Lord G. Lynch, A. H.
Bernal, R. Macleod, R.
Bewes, T. Marsland, H.
Blake, W. J. Miles, W.
Blakemore, R. Miles, P. W. S.
Bridgeman, H. Murray, rt. hon. J. A.
Briscoe, J. I. O'Brien, W. S.
Brocklehurst, J. O'Connell, D.
Brotherton, J. Palmer, C. F.
Bruges, W. H. L. Parker, J.
Bryan, G. Pechell, Captain
Buller, E. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Busfield, W. Phillips, M.
Butler, hon. Colonel Roche, D.
Campbell, Sir J. Rundle, J.
Chalmers, P. Russell, Lord J.
Chapman, A. Salwey, Colonel
Childers, J. W. Sandon, Viscount
Clay, W. Scarlett, hon. R.
Clive, hon. R. H. Seymour, Lord
Codrington, Admiral Smith, hon. R.
Collier, J. Smith, R. V.
Courtenay, P. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Curry, W. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Dalmeny, Lord Steuart, R.
Davies, Colonel Stewart, J.
Divett, E. Stewart, J.
Duckworth, S. Stuart, V.
Duke, Sir J. Strutt, E.
Dundas, C. W. D. Talbot, J. H.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Teignmouth, Lord
Eliot, Lord Thomson, rt. hon. C. P.
Evans, W. Thompson, Alderman
Fielden, J. Thornley, T.
Fenton, J. Vigors, N. A.
Finch, F. Villiers, C. P.
Gillon, W. D. Wakley, T.
Gladstone, W. E. Walker, R.
Grattan, H. Wallace, R.
Grey, Sir G. Warburton, H.
Grimsditch, T. Ward, H. G.
Hall, B. White, A.
Hastie, A. White, L.
Hawes, B. White, S.
Hobhouse, Sir John Whitmore, T. C.
Hobhouse, T. B. Williams, W.
Horsman, E. Williams, W. A.
Hoskins, K. Winnington, T. E.
Howard, P. H. Wood, C.
Hume, J. Wood, Colonel T.
Humphery John Wood, G. W.
Hutton, R. Wood, T.
Ingham, R. Woulfe, Sergeant
Irton, S. Worsley, Lord
Wynne, rt. hon. C. W. TELLERS.
Wyse, T. Reid, Sir J. R.
Yates, J. A. Seale, Colonel
List of the NOES.
Alston, R. Kemble, H.
Arbuthnot, hon. H. Kirk, P.
Bagge, W. Knatchbull, rt. hon. Sir E.
Bailey, J.
Baker, E. Knightley, Sir C.
Barneby, J. Litton, E.
Barry, G. S. Logan, H.
Bell, M. Lygon, hon. General
Blair, J. Mackenzie, T.
Brabazon, Sir W. Mackenzie, W. F.
Bramston, T. W. Master, T. W. C.
Broadley, H. Maunsell, T. P.
Browne, R. D. Milnes, R. M.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Moneypenny, T. G.
Burroughes, H. N. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Chute, W. L. Nicholl, J.
Codrington, C. W. Norreys, Lord
Cole, Viscount Packe, C. W.
Conolly, E. Pakington, J. S
Craig, W. G. Palmer, G.
Cripps, J. Parker, M.
De Horsey, S. H. Parker, R. T.
Dick, Q. Perceval, hon. G. J.
Dowdeswell, W. Polhill, F.
Duncombe, hon. W. Poulter, J. S.
Duncombe, hon. A. Praed, W. M.
Eaton, R. J. Richards, R.
Egerton, W. T. Rickford, W.
Egerton, Sir P. Rolleston, L.
Fellowes, E. Round, C. G.
Filmer, Sir E. Round, J.
Fleming, J. Sanderson, R.
Forbes, W. Sheppard, T.
Fremantle, Sir T. Shirley, E. J.
French, F. Sibthorp, Colonel
Glynne, Sir S. R. Smith, A.
Gore, O. J. R. Smyth, Sir G. H.
Gore, O. W. Stanley, E. J.
Grimston, Viscount Stuart, H.
Harcourt, G. S. Vere, Sir C. B.
Heathcoat, Sir W. Vivian, J. E.
Henniker, Lord Winnington, H. J.
Hillsborough, Earl of Wodehouse, E.
Hodgson, R. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Holmes, hon. W. A'C. Young, Sir W.
Hughes, W. B.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Chandos, Marquess of
Jones, T. Rushbrooke, Colonel

House went into Committee and resolution agreed to. The House resumed.