HC Deb 15 June 1840 vol 54 cc1204-5

Upon moving the order of the Day, on the Glass Duties Bill,

Sir R. Peel

said, he did not know what was the object of this bill, but he had to state, that there was a very general impression amongst scientific persons that the excise regulations with respect to glass, prevented an improvement in the manufacture of that article which other countries were able to make. He was told, that every time that glass was remelted, it was subject to a duty. This prevented experiments being made for scientific purposes, and from their competing with France, Switzerland, and other countries. The right hon. Gentleman, he was sure, would concur, that this was a matter of very great importance. This country, which depended so much upon its navigation, ought to be able to supply itself with articles of glass of British manufacture, and not to seek for glass made in foreign countries. He knew, that they ought not to permit that improvements in. science should give an opportunity for fraud being practised, but he was sure, that through the aid of a commission (not attended with expense), but composed of two scientific persons, and having the aid of two Excise officers, it would be possible to devise a means by which the Excise regulations might be so modified as to permit experiments for the purpose of making improvements in glass.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

agreed that the subject referred to by the right hon. Baronet, was of the greatest importance, and deserving of every attention; but probably it had not come under the right hon. Baronet's observation, that he had, the year before last, brought in clauses in the Glass Duties Bill for the purpose of giving facilities for trying experiments in optical improvements, which, he had every reason to believe, was that to which the right hon. Baronet referred. The Excise had carried these clauses into execution for the purpose of meeting the views of parties interested in the matter; and he had heard of no complaint since the passing of the bill.

Mr. Wallace

agreed in the sentiments expressed by the right hon. Baronet, and the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He only desired to hear the same sentiments expressed with regard to the Corn-laws.

House in Committee.—Clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Report received.