HC Deb 22 July 1842 vol 65 cc494-5

On the question that the Customs Act Amendment Bill be read a third time,

Mr. C. Buller

said, he had heard with; some astonishment, of an extraordinary change of purpose on the part of the Government. He was told in the City, a few days ago, that an order came down from the Treasury, stating that provisions were to be taken out of bond for the purpose of victualling ships free of duty, and two days after another order was issued that provisions were to pay duty up to the 10th of October. The large ship owner who had given him this information stated that he actually took out a considerable quantity free of duty, and in the space of time he had mentioned was prohibited from having the remainder with a like freedom from duty. He did not know how the law was to operate in regulating those duties, but it was certainly necessary for the Government to explain this apparent vacillation of conduct.

Mr. Gladstone

said, that it was a mistake to suppose that any such order as the hon. Member had alluded to had been issued. Notice had been given to the parties engaged in the provision trade, that the duties on foreign provisions would be continued for a year longer by the Customs' Acts Amendment Bill, which stood for a third reading that day. The object of that regulation was to allow our own provision dealers to get rid of the stock which they had on hand. It was owing solely to an oversight the provision was not made for the circumstance in the tariff.

Bill read a third time and passed.

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