HC Deb 01 August 1842 vol 65 cc921-4

On the question that the House resolve itself into a committee on the Tobacco Bill,

Mr. T. Duncombe

had hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would not proceed with this bill. He had presented several petitions against it, and he trusted that the parties interested would be allowed till next Session to get rid of their stock in hand, and to invent some means for avoiding these vexatious and inquisitorial powers. The bill was introduced to prevent adulteration, and yet no adulteration could make tobacco more deleterious than it was. At least this he would say, that the proposed vexatious and inquisitorial process would not gain the object which the right hon. Gentleman had in view, The parties most interested complained of the persecution to which they would be subject from the Excise officers, and they especially complained of the time at which the bill was brought in. It was not till the 23rd of June that it was heard of, and the trade was taken by surprise. The hon. Member moved that the bill be committed that day three months.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that the question was simply one of revenue. The measure had not been introduced except upon mature consideration, and after inquiries upon the subject had been made in the trade. He had received many communications from the trade, and the result was strongly in favours of the measure which was proposed. The adulteration of tobacco had long prevailed, and was Much increasing, and the consequence of continuing the existing system would be only still further to increase the evil which now prevailed, and this was a strong reason why the question should be no longer postponed.

Mr. Hawes

reminded the House that the Measure Bow under discussion was one which had been abandoned by the late Government. The power of carrying out the measure by establishing an inspection and analysis on the spot had been reported by the commissioners who had inquired into the subject to be impracticable. The new System would, besides, require an enormous increase in the Excise establishment, and he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had better make a merit of a necessity, and withdraw the bill. He doubted whether it would be possible to prevent adulteration, and he begged to point out that, unless the dealer was placed under the same degree of surveillance as the manufacturer, the seat of the adulteration would only be transferred from the latter to the former individual.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

admitted that the London trade was in favour of the old system, but he had received communications from the country districts, and from large towns in various parts of the kingdom, making representations favourable to this measure.

The House divided on the question that the word " immediately" stand part of the question:— Ayes 53; Noes 9; Majority 44.

List of the AYES.
Acland, T. D. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Allix, J. P. Hardy, J.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Henley, J. W.
Arkwright, G. Hope, hon. C.
Baird, W. Hutt, W,
Bald win, B. Kemble, H.
Baring, hon. W. B. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E
Boldero, H. G. Leicester, Earl of
Callaghan, D. Lockhart, W.
Chelsea, Visct. M'Geachy, F. A.
Clerk, Sir G. Morris, D.
Colville, C. R. Nicholl, right hon. J.
Cripps, W. Palmer, G.
Darby, G. Peel, J.
Dick, Q. Polhill, F.
Douglas, Sir H. Pollock, Sir F.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Pringle, A.
Eliot, Cord Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Flower, Sir J. Russell, C.
Ffolliott, J. Stuart, H.
Forbes, W. Sutton, hon. H. M.
French, F. Trench, Sir F. W.
Fuller, A. E. Trotter, J.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Vivian, J. E.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Young, J.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. TELLERS.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Fremantle, Sir T.
Greene, T. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Bowring, Dr, Scholefield,
Brotherton, J. Smith, right hon.. V.
Duncan, G. Tenured, H. W.
Martin, J. TELLERS.
Pechell, Capt. Hawes, B.
Philips, M. Duncombe. T.

Main question agreed to.

House in committee. Clauses agreed to. The House resumed. Report to be received.