HC Deb 16 September 1841 vol 59 cc517-8
Dr. Bowring

said, that he had given notice of his intention to move for certain returns relative to the commercial regulations of other countries with respect to our own; but, as he understood that some progress had been made in preparing those returns, if the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Gladstone) would inform him that they should b presented to the House, he should be glad to leave the matter in his hands. At the same time he would suggest a regulation which would be of great advantage, namely, that, from time to time, or periodically, the changes made in the commercial relations between this and other countries should be reported to the House.

Mr. Gladstone

said, that, in June last, the late President of the Board of Trade informed the House that one of the secretaries of that board had taken great pains in obtaining information upon the subject of the commercial tariffs of foreign countries, and had stated, that when his report should be prepared in the proper form, he would lay it upon the Table of the House. The noble Lord (Lord Ripon) at the head of the Board of Trade, entirely approved of that intention of his predecessor, and Mr. M'Gregor had received instructions to proceed with the preparation of that information. The House must be aware that this was a work of very considerable difficulty, and one requiring great accuracy, but as soon as it could be prepared it should be laid on the Table of the House. He also agreed that provision should be made with British agents abroad, to supply the Government at home with regular information of changes made by foreign countries in their commercial regulations.