HC Deb 11 February 1839 vol 45 cc245-6

Mr. Baines moved for a return of the quantity of bonded corn abandoned by the importers in the port of London in the year 1837, and destroyed, which he thought would show the necessity of having a repeal of the Corn-laws. He made this motion in consequence of a fact which had reached his ears, and which he believed to be well authenticated, namely, that 1,000 quarters of corn had been imported from Odessa, in 1831, into this country, which, owing to our state of the Corn-laws, lay in bond till 1837; that the persons who were the owners of it in 1837 made an application to Government to have it liberated from bond, which was allowed on condition, that it should be sunk in the Thames, and that 1,000 quarters of corn were actually sunk in the Thames. Surely that was a state of the Corn-laws which could not be satisfactery to this country. If there had been a small duty paid upon it, there could have been no doubt, that it would have been advantageous to have the wheat sold; but, in consequence of the high rate of duty, it had lain in bond until it had become so deteriorated, that it was not worth the duty demanded for it; therefore, as an act of grace and favour on the part of Government, the owner was allowed to take it out of bond, and to sink it in the Thames. That circumstance took place when the great distress was prevailing in the Highlands of Scotland; and surely it would have been far better to have sent the corn to them than that 1,000 quarters of wheat should have been thus wastefully destroyed. How many other quarters had been dealt with in a similar manner, it was impossible for him to say.

Return ordered.