HC Deb 13 June 1842 vol 63 cc1493-510

House in committee on the Customs' Duties Act. Upon the proposition that the duty on cables not being iron, tarred, or untarred, should be 6s. per cwt.

Mr. Mitchell

proposed as an amendment that the duty be 8.s.. per cwt.

Mr. Gladstone

objected to the amendment. He thought, that for an article of such general use in the navy, the protection should not be more than was abso- lutely necessary. He would therefore adhere to the duty of 6s., as proposed in the schedule.

The committee divided on the question that the blank be filled with "Six Shillings."— Ayes 163; Noes 35:—Majority 128.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Gordon, Lord F.
Aldam, W. Gore, M.
Allix, J. P. Gore, W. O.
Bagge, W. Gore, hon. R.
Baillie, Col. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Baillie, H.J. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Barnard, E. G. Granby, Marquess of
Bateson, R. Greenaway, C.
Beckett, W. Grimston, Visct.
Bernard, Visct. Hamilton, W. J.
Blackstone, W. S. Hampden, R.
Bodkin, W.H. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Botfield, B. Hastie, A.
Bowring, Dr. Hay, Sir A. L.
Brotherton, J. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Brownrigg, J. S. Hindley, C.
Bruce, Lord E. Hogg, J. W.
Buckley, E. Houldsworth, T.
Buller, E. Holmes, hn. W. A'C.
Bunbury, T. Hope, hon. C.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Howard, Lord
Chelsea, Visct. Howard, hon. H.
Christie, W. D. Howick, Visct.
Chute, W. L. W. Hughes, W. B.
Clerk, Sir G, Hume, J.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hussey, T.
Codrington, C. W. Hutt, W.
Colborne, hn. W. N. R. Irving, J.
Craig, W. G. James, W.
Cripps, W. Jermyn, Earl
Darner, hon. Col. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Jones, Capt.
Denison, E. B. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E.
Dennistoun, J. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
D'Israeli, B. Lambton, H.
Divett, E. Layard, Capt.
Dodd, G. Lefroy, A.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Lemon, Sir C.
Douglas, J. D. S. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Duncan, Visct. Lindsay, H. H.
Duncan, G. Litton, E.
Duncombe, hon. A. Lockhart, W.
Egerton, W. T. Lopes, Sir R.
Eliot, Lord M'Geachy, F. A.
Escott, B. Mackenzie, T.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Mackenzie, W. F.
Ferguson, Col. Mackinnon, W. A.
Fitzroy, hon. H. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Fleming, J. W. Mainwaring, T.
Ffolliott, J. Manners, Lord C. S.
Forbes, W. Marshatn, Visct.
Forster, M. Martin, J.
Fuller, A. E. Marton, G.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Maule, rt. hon. F.
Gibson, T. M. Miles, P. W. S.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Milnes, R. M.
Gladstone, T. Mitcalfe, H.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Morgan, O,
Morris, D. Sheppard, T.
Morrison, J. Smythe, hon. G.
Mundy, E. M. Somerset, Lord G.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Somerville, Sir W.M.
Ogle, S. C. H. Stanley, E.
Ord, W. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Pakington, J. S. Stanton, W. H.
Patten, J. W. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Stuart, H.
Peel, J. Strutt, E.
Philips, M. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Pigot, Sir R. Thesiger, F.
Plumridge, Capt. Thornhill, G.
Polhill, F. Towneley, J.
Powell, Col. Tumor, C.
Praed, W. T. Vere, Sir C. B.
Pringle, A. Vernon, G. H.
Protheroe, E. Waddington, H. S.
Rashleigh,W. Wall, C. B.
Reid, Sir J. R. Whitmore, T. C.
Richards, R. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Round, C. G. Wood, Col. T.
Scholefield, J. TELLERS.
Scott, hon. F. Baring, H.
Shaw, rt. hon. F. Fremantle, Sir T.
List of the NOES.
Bankes, G. Manners, Lord J.
Barclay, D. Masterman, J.
Busfeild, W. O'Brien, W.S.
Byng, G. Packe, C. W.
Cochrane, A. Paget, Col.
Douglas, Sir H. Palmer, G.
Duncombe, hon. O. Philips, G. R.
Ebrington, Visct. Pryse, P.
Gill, T. Rumbold, C. E.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Russell, Lord J.
Halford, H. Sandon, Visct.
Hanmer, Sir J. Tufnell, H.
Hawes, B. Wawn, J. T.
Henley, J. W. Wilshere, W.
Hinde, J. H. Wood, B.
Hodgson, R. Worsley, Lord
Ingestre, Visct. TELLERS.
James, Sir W. C. Chapman, A.
Johnstone, Sir J. Mitchell, T. A.

Blank filled with Six Shillings.

Upon the question that the importation of unhewn Stones from foreign countries be free,

Mr. G. Bankes

rose to move his amendment, that upon stones not particularly enumerated or described, nor otherwise charged with duty, the present rates of duty should be maintained. This he did on behalf of the persons employed in the trade, and particularly in the working of Portland stone, whose subsistence depended entirely upon their occupation of that branch of industry. His proposition would not restrict any of the comforts of the poor generally, because it was unnecessary for him to say, that their habitations were not built of this expensive material. None of the raw material of foreign stone came into our market. It was all wrought to a certain extent, and therefore the question was one between English and foreign labour. While the price of Portland stone at the port of shipment was 16s. per ton, 11s.per ton of that money was the proportion absorbed in labour, and the committee might judge how much mischief must be done by displacing this amount of labour, and admitting at a still greater advantage, French stone, which already, even with the duty, undersold our own article. The population of the Isle of Portland amounted to nearly 3,000, all of whom, with very few exceptions, depended entirely upon this article. He had moved for a return of last year's duty upon foreign stone, but had not been able to obtain it, and was therefore obliged to form his conclusions from the only data which were accessible to him; and judging thus, he was led to believe, that the importation of foreign stone was increasing, because he was informed that some of the churches of most recent erection, and amongst them those of Camberwell and Andover, were contracted for in foreign stone. It was true, and he was happy to say it, that that great national work, the Royal Exchange, was contracted for in Portland stone, because the citizens of London, justly proud of their national edifices, disregarded the question of comparative expense; but others would prefer the inferior article if it were only cheaper. And there was no doubt that the foreign stone was inferior, not only to the Portland stone, but also to the stone in many parts of Yorkshire, and particularly that beautiful description of which the two Houses of Parliament were being built. He did not wish his proposition to apply to limestone, or any other description of stone than that used for building; and he hoped the article would be omitted from the tariff, or, at all events, that the Government would take time to reconsider the item.

Mr. Christie

was persuaded, from inquiries which had been instituted, that the proposed alteration in the stone duties would not only benefit the public, but would also be of advantage to the labouring classes in Portland. An advance to free-trade principles would tend to make the labouring classes less dependent than they were upon the quarry-owners. At present the state of these classes was by 1 no means satisfactory. The truck system prevailed to a great extent. The workmen were only paid their wages once in six months, sometimes only once in the year, and, in the meantime, they were supplied, but at a high rate, with necessary articles by agents of the quarry-masters, who, when the wages were paid, deducted the value of the necessaries furnished from the amount. He would wish to read to the committee some statements he had received upon the subject from various parties in Dorsetshire and Portland. The first was from a merchant in Portland: it stated:— In this island there is a population of 2,800 persons entirely dependent on the stone trade, and subject to the injurious operation of the truck system. The quarry-men are paid every six months, and sometimes it is twelve months before they have a settlement with their masters, who all that time supply them with bread or flour at a higher price than they could get the same quality for, if paid weekly or monthly. Indeed, it may be said to be usually nine months from the time of commencing their work till a settlement is made by the masters..The price of best flour delivered here (in Portland) is stated to me, by a miller at Weymouth, at 48s. I believe for cash I could get it 1s. or 2s. less. The price the men are charged is 60s. a sack of 280 lbs.; some masters charge it less. The 4-lb. loaf here is 9d.; at Weymouth good bread may be bought at 7½d. the 4-lb. loaf. When the men are paid, the party who has supplied them with bread and flour sits at the pay-table and receives his money. Another gentlemen, resident in Weymouth, stated as follows:— The alteration proposed in the new tariff would do more to help Portland, and the public generally, than anything else that can occur. The duty can be well taken off, and the public would then be relieved from a train of exactions and impositions which are disgraceful. There are two or three merchants in London who hold largely, and the rule of the place is, that the payment of wages only takes place once in six months; consequently, the workmen, during the interval, are compelled to have of the different agents things in kind, as they call it—flour, bread, butter, &c., of which an account is kept against them, charging them, of course, the highest possible price, and at the end of the half-year all this is set out against their wages. The men, on the other hand, in consequence of this, are quite reckless, and will have holidays when they like, and every now and then strike for wages. It was only last summer they struck, and there was scarcely a stone shipped from the quarries for six months; the men in the meantime working in the Crown and common lands, and making stone and selling it, cutting the quarry-holders up, until the latter were glad to accede to their terms, which, by the bye, were most rascally; but yet, with the prices they get, and in the way they pay, the gentlemen could well afford to give them. He wished that the hon. Member for Knaresborough was in his place to hear these statements of the truck-system as it existed, not among corn-law agitators, but in a county a stronghold of Conservatism. He trusted that attention might be paid to the subject of wages in this island by the hon. Member's committee, or rather he would appeal to the noble Lord opposite (Lord Ashley), whose philanthropy no party feelings could ever pervert. A large portion of the Portland quarries were Crown property. He understood that the noble Lord opposite (Lord Lincoln) had, with a view to the approaching expiry of the Crown leases, sent the Crown surveyor down to Portland, and procured a new valuation, in consequence of which he had raised the rent very considerably; and he understood that the present Crown lessees had undertaken to renew the leases on the higher terms, while they were stating in petitions presented by the hon. Member for Dorsetshire, that the effect of the change in the tariff would be to compel the present owners and lessees of quarries to abandon the working of them. The noble Lord or the right hon. Gentleman would correct him if he was wrong, and would, he had no doubt, have the goodness to confirm him in this statement if it were correct. These were the reasons why he cordially supported the proposal in the tariff which would confer a benefit on the public, do no injustice to the quarry proprietors, and open out a great prospect of good to the labourer in the Portland quarries.

Lord Ashley

was astounded at the communication which had just been made as to the extent to which the truck system was carried in Portland. The subject should have his consideration.

Mr. Gladstone

said, the proposed alterations in the tariff were not made with a view to local but general circumstances. They proposed to place upon stone in block a duty of 2s. per ton, which would amount to an ad valorem duty of about 10 per cent. The hon. Gentleman wished to have a greater amount of protection than the interested parties themselves required. They did not wish the present rate, which imposed an ad valorem duty of 20 per cent, to be maintained. He proposed one of 10 per cent., and he would certainly oppose the motion of the hon. Member.

Mr. Hume

thought, that the matter was more a question of proprietors than of workmen. He was sorry to hear a duty of 2s. proposed, as he understood that the originally-intended duty had been only 1s. per ton.

Captain Pechell

said, that his constituents would be best contented by the imposition of no duty at all. He trusted that the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Board of Trade would not make any concession to the proposition before the House.

Mr. Gladstone

said, that the point was not whether a concession should be made, or whether a point should be established; their proposal was, that rough stone should be admitted free, stone in blocks should pay a duty of 2s. per ton, and hewn stone a duty of 10s. per ton.

Amendment withdrawn.

Schedule agreed to.

On the question that the duly on foreign Coffee be 8d. a pound,

Viscount Howick

rose for the purpose of proposing that this duty should be reduced to 7d. The grounds on which he felt justified in resisting the proposed rate of duty, he would very shortly submit to the House. The right hon. Baronet, in the speech in which he introduced this tariff, calculated the loss to the revenue from his proposal at 170,000l. Now, he thought the House must admit that that was an amount of revenue which ought not to be sacrificed unless for the purpose of effecting a satisfactory arrangement of those duties. If we were not to place these duties on a basis advantageous to the great body of consumers, he thought it better to leave them as they at present stood; particularly when it was remembered that the right hon. Baronet refused to repeal the duty on cotton wool, which, unfettered, must give such ample scope to employment, and when it was intended to call upon the House to impose a new duty on coals. The House was aware that the consumption of coffee had of late years very greatly increased. The whole supply of British possessions was altogether insufficient to meet the demands of the consumers, and the consequence was, that foreign coffee, at the higher rate of duty, entered largely into the home consumption. That being the case, it was perfectly obvious, that the price of foreign coffee, at the higher duty, was that which regulated the price of British coffee, and the difference between the duty levied on British and foreign coffee was a bounty levied on the British consumer for the advantage of the colonial grower. That such was the effect of this tax, he believed that no Gentleman, acquainted with our system of taxation, would be prepared to deny. He was one of those who were persuaded that all those systems of bounty and protection were erroneous; but, while he argued that such was the case, he also admitted, that the practice of a long series of years ought not to be suddenly swept away. He did not ask the committee to take away the protection which colonial coffee had hitherto enjoyed: he did not say that considerable protection ought not to be given to the producers of that coffee: but what he maintained was, that the amount of protection proposed by her Majesty's Government, was calculated on an erroneous principle, if it was not altogether prejudicial to the interest of the producer. The Government proposed that the coffee of the British colonies should be admitted at 4d. a lb., which, with the other expenses, would raise the price to 39s. 2d. the cwt. Foreign coffee was to be admitted at 8d.the lb.; and adding in the same manner 5 per cent., the price would be 78s. Ad. the cwt. Now, what was the real value of the articles on which these duties were" imposed? He had in his hand a state ment, by which it was calculated that colonial coffee of the new growth was to be sold at 112s. to 117s. the cwt., while Cuba coffee, of an exactly similar description, was selling in bond at 78s. and 82s. the cwt.; the difference in' price being a charge on the British public. That was to say, that the superior kind of coffee, the produce of foreign countries, came into consumption at 100 per cent, duty on the full value, and had a differential duty to sustain of 50 per cent. He thought that such an amount of duty was extravagant; but when they came to an inferior description of coffee (that which entered materially into the consumption of the working classes) the case was far worse. A constituent of his purchased in bond St. Domingo coffee at 34s. the cwt., while British coffee of a not better description fetched from 68s. to 70s. the cwt. Now on this 1 coffee, worth in bond Ms. the cwt., a duty was proposed of 74s. 8d. That was a duty of 230 per cent, on the full value of the article, and a differential duty given as a bonus by the consumers of this inferior article to the British colonies of 115 per cent. He thought if the House considered for a moment what were the principles on which this tariff was recommended, they must conclude that such a scale of duties was altogether inconsistent with those principles, for that very evening he heard the right hon. Vice-President of the Board of Trade assert, that 20 per cent., except in some special cases, was a fair duty on manufactured articles. And on this, which was not a manufactured article, but a raw produce, entering largely into the consumption of the poor, the proposal was not to tax it at 20 per cent., but 115 per cent, as against British coffee, and 230 per cent, on the full value of the article. This was certainly a proposition which it was impossible to maintain in argument. It was impossible that the reduction of duty could be resisted on the same grounds as those taken up against the change in the sugar duties brought forward at his side of the House; for apart from the fact, that a considerable proportion of coffee came from the eastern hemisphere, where slavery did not extensively exist, there was no country from which we might expect a greater produce, as the consequence of a moderate duty, than Hayti, with which it was obvious we might carry on a much more flourishing commerce if our present system were abandoned. It could not be said, that it was the interest of the colonies to have these duties kept up. Did any Gentleman seriously conceive, that the present enormous duty could be permanently maintained? He must further argue, that the amount of protection now proposed in the tariff was larger than that hitherto enjoyed. It was perfectly true, that Hayti and Brazil coffee had been subjected to a heavier duty than that now submitted; but it was notorious, that the Brazilian coffee at 9d. duty, was allowed to come in from the Cape of Good Hope as British coffee. The real protection was, therefore, the difference between 9d. and 6d., together with the expenses of the voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, whatever they might be. Now, he was perfectly ready to admit, that the gentlemen engaged in this trade were not always of the same opinion as to the expenses of this voyage; and he was quite prepared to hear his noble Friend, the Member for Liverpool, representing the views of his constituents, give a much higher charge than that which he was about to contend for. But it appeared by the evidence taken before the Import Duties' Committee, that the expenses of the coffee of Brazil and Hayti going to the Cape of Good Hope, did not exceed ¾d. a lb. The present protection to British coffee was, therefore, 3¾d. and not 4d.; the amount of protection given by the duties of4d. and 8d. The Ministers were, therefore, increasing a protection which at present was of an enormous amount. If it was supposed, that the colonies could not grow coffee without this enormous protection, the best policy was to wean them from the fallacy by degrees; for it was impossible to suppose, that our people would go on paying three times the price which the article ought really to fetch, for the purpose of maintaining our colonial interests. But if it was believed, that the colonies could grow such an article at a much smaller protection, it was obviously the interest of the colonies to bring down the price as low as possible. He thought if an unnatural stimulus were given to coffee, the produce in the course of a few years, under the present system, would exceed the consumption, and a depression naturally follow. As in many other cases, the artificial raising of the price far above the natural level, must in the end produce a great disadvantage to those who enjoyed the undue advantage. He next wished to know whether his motion could be resisted on the ground of revenue. He could scarcely believe, that the reduction of 1d. per lb. on foreign coffee would be resisted on the supposition that it must largely injure the revenue. As he had already stated, the foreign coffee regulated the price of the home produce, and, therefore, if 1d. per lb. were taken off, the consumer would derive an advantage, not only on the colonial, but on all the coffee that came into the market. The total amount of coffee consumed was 28,420,000 lbs. The reduction of 1d. per lb, would be a relief to the consumer of 118,000l, The loss to the revenue would not be proportioned to the gain of the consumer, and was only to be calculated on the smaller quantity of coffee introduced from foreign countries. Of the 28,420,000 lbs. of coffee, only 10,849,000 lbs. was the pro- duction of foreign countries. The loss on the latter quantity was 45,000l., while the consumer gained 118,000l. But he was persuaded that the revenue would suffer no loss whatever, because he was sure that the reduction of the duty would lead to a large increase of the consumption—to an increase which it might be safely calculated would cover the loss of 45,000l. He relied on the correctness of this calculation with the more confidence, because he believed that adulteration was at present carried on to an enormous extent, and of the 30,000,000lbs. consumed in the year, it was stated in a circular printed by the coffee growers, that 15,000,000lbs. were mixed with chickory, and such substances. Under these circumstances, his own opinion was, that it would be best to reduce the duty to 6d. on foreign, and 3d. on colonial coffee; but as he knew such a proposal would be met by the allegation that a great loss to the revenue must ensue, he thought it better to confine his amendment to the proposition that foreign coffee should be admitted at 1d. instead of 8d. the lb.

Mr. Gladstone

contended, that the general principle of the tariff could not be applied to the produce of tropical climates. He admitted that he did not resist this motion on the ground of loss to the revenue, though he must contend that the present duty was not an increase of protection. It was certainly true that the price of West-Indian coffee had increased since the promulgation of the tariff, but that increase was only of a temporary character. He acknowledged that the real guide in reducing the duty should not be the proportion of colonial to foreign protection, but the value of the article itself. He could only say that this was one of those articles, the reduction of duty on which affected materially our connection with foreign powers. He believed that our negotiations with the Brazils might be made to turn in a great measure on the admission of their coffee. Though he confessed the noble Lord had a strong ground for claiming the surrender of this duty at once, still he thought it was better to postpone the legislation until the measures proposed to be taken as to the admission of articles of British manufactures into other states were disposed of.

Mr. Hume

was glad to perceive that the resistance to this motion was one merely of time. It was of the highest importance, in a moral and social point of view, to encourage the consumption of coffee instead of spirits. He would vote for the noble Lord's proposition, and only regretted that it had not been carried further.

Sir R. Peel

must admit, that the labour of slaves in the production of coffee was not so severe as that applied to the cultivation of sugar, and therefore he must forego the full advantage of the argument founded upon the considerations involved in the question of slavery. Like his right hon. Friend, he rested his opposition to the noble Lord's motion chiefly on the ground of the impropriety of throwing away the influence which the Government possessed over foreign powers, by retaining the duties until they saw a prospect of obtaining a reciprocal advantage by their reduction. It was the principle of philosophers that we should buy at the cheapest markets; but, unfortunately, we were not dealing with philosophers, and if we reduced duties without obtaining an equivalent, we should only remove a pressure from foreign governments, of which they would not be slow to avail themselves. At the present moment France contemplated an advance of duty on linen yarn. He ventured to predict, that if that proposition should be carried into effect, the nascent linen manufactures of France would be entirely ruined, and he had not the slightest doubt that his prediction would be fulfilled. He fully admitted the great importance of offering cheap and wholesome beverage to the people, with a view to induce them to substitute it for spirits, and he regretted on that account that he could not at the present moment consent to a greater reduction of the duty on coffee. The duties on coffee entered at present into our negotiations with foreign states, and he believed that if the committee should agree to the noble Lord's motion, they would throw away a great practical advantage.

Mr. Hawes

thought that the Government were pursuing an unwise course in leaving so many duties unsettled. The coffee duties were now added to the list of several other duties which it was admitted would not be permanently maintained. This was a course of proceeding which subjected commercial transactions to great uncertainty. A considerable portion of the coffee at present consumed in this country was adulterated, but if the duty were reduced the adulterated article would be driven from the market, and in the end the revenue would be increased. He was informed, on good authority, that the price of Jamaica coffee was not likely to fall, and that the whole of the difference between the existing duties and those proposed by the Government would go into the pockets of the growers of colonial coffee.

Dr. Bowring

wished the British Government to set the world an example of sound commercial policy, instead of pursuing a system of bargaining with foreign states respecting the reduction of duties. Nothing was more desirable than to create a greater demand for French produce in this country.

Mr. F. Baring

could have understood the objection raised by the right hon. Baronet relative to the coffee duties being the subject of negotiation with foreign countries if they had not touched them at all; but they had themselves proposed a reduction. What great harm, then, could arise from carrying the reduction further.

Mr. Villiers

would vote for the noble Lord's proposition. If it should be found necessary to influence foreign powers, the Government could effect their object just as well by threatening to raise the duty again.

Viscount Howick

said, it was some satisfaction to know that from what had passed, the present enormous differential duties would not be permanently maintained. Still, as he thought that the arguments advanced in opposition to his motion were not valid, he would divide the committee upon the question.

The committee divided on the question that the blank be filled with 7d.:—Ayes 48; Noes 81: Majority 33.

List of the AYES.
Ainsworth P. Forster, M.
Aldam, W. Gibson, T. M.
Barclay, D. Granger, T. C.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Greenaway, C.
Barnard, E. G. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G:
Blake, M. J. Howick, Visct.
Bowring, Dr. Johnstone, A.
Brocklehurst, J. Leader, J. T.
Brotherton, J. Mangles, R. D.
Browne, hon. W. Marsland, H.
Buller, E. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Busfeild, W. Mitcalfe, H.
Cobden, R. Morris, D.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Morison, Gen.
Duncan, G. O'Brien, W. S.
O'Connell, D. Staunton, Sir G. T.
O'Connell, J. Strutt, E.
Pechell, Capt. Thomely, T.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Philips, M. Wawn, J. T.
Rundle, J. Wood, B.
Scholefield, J. Wood, C.
Scott, R.
Somerville, Sir W. M. TELLERS,
Stansfield, W. R. C. Hawes, B.
Stanton, W. H. Hume, J.
List of the NOES.
Antrobus, E. Hope, hon. C.
Arbuthnott, hn. H. Hussey, T.
Arkwright, G. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Baillie, Col. James, Sir W. C.
Baring, hon. W. B. Kemble, H.
Bateson, R. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E.
Botfield B. Knight, H. G.
Bramston, T. W. Lambton, H.
Burrell, Sir G. M. Legh G. C.
Chapman, A. Lindsay, H H.
Chelsea, Visct. Litton, E.
Chetwode, Sir J. Lockhart, W.
Clerk, Sir G. Lyall, G.
Clive, hn. R. H. Mackenzie, T.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Mainwaring, T.
Collett, W. R. Martin, C. W.
Coote, Sir C. H. Masterman, J.
Cripps, W. Mundy, E. M.
Darby, G. Neville, R.
Douglas, Sir H. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Duffield, T. Northland, Visct.
Eliot, Lord Palmer, G.
Escott, B. Patten, J. W.
Forbes. M. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Polhill, F.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Rose, rt. hn. Sir G.
Godson, R. Round, C. G.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Rushbrooke, Col.
Goring, C. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Sandon, Visct.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Sheppard, T.
Grant, Sir A. C. Stanley, Lord
Grogan, E. Stewart, J.
Halford, H. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Hampden, R. Trench, Sir F. W.
Hanmer, Sir J. Vere, Sir C. B.
Harcourt, G. G. Vivian, J.
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Wilbraham, hn. R.
Henley, J. W. Young, J.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. TELLERS.
Hillsborough, Earl of Fremantle, Sir T.
Hodgson, R. Pringle, A.

Blank filled with 8d.

Viscount Sandon

called the attention of the House to the injustice of the proposed modification of duties to the holders of naturalised coffee in bond. They had imported their present stock on the faith of a law which had given them an advantage over the importers of foreign coffee. He moved to insert in the schedule, that coffee imported from any Bri- tish possession within the limits of the East India Company's charter, not being the produce thereof, being now in bond to arrive before the first day of August next, should be admitted at a duty of 7d. per lb.

Mr. Gladstone

was somewhat taken by-surprise, his noble Friend having altered his motion in a very essential manner. Even for the modified proposition, however, his noble Friend had made out no case. The holders of this description of coffee had placed themselves in their present position by an excess of specula-lion, and by taking advantage of a law not originally intended for their benefit.

Viscount Howick

supported the modified proposition of the noble Lord, and thought the case made out was particularly strong as related to coffee actually in bond, which must have been imported before the change in the duty could have been anticipated.

Mr. Hume

said, that the consumer had benefitted by the speculation, although it had been undertaken by private individuals for their own benefit, but he doubted whether the principle ought to be carried out beyond the coffee already in bond.

Mr. Baring

could not understand the distinction that had been endeavoured to be drawn in this case, nor what was the difference in the expense that had been incurred by those parties to that incurred by any other persons under a protective duty. The parties had had two years' notice of the intention of Government to alter the duties.

Sir R. Peel,

after stating that it was not on account of his opposition that the bill of the former Government was not proceeded with, said that the parties interested had had two years* notice that the alteration of these duties was under the consideration of Parliament. In the present case, advantage had been taken of the lax manner in which an act of Parliament had been framed, and he saw no ground for making a distinction. He had felt throughout that it would have been impossible to carry this tariff through the House with that general assent which it had received, had there not been a general impression that the Government were disposed to act with equity towards all the interests concerned. The Government had already affected the interests of the stone quarries without notice. Then on timber no drawback had been given, although the claim of the parties interested was a legitimate one, and the new duties were to come into operation on the 25th of October, which was only three months' notice. The holders of this coffee ought to be dealt with as alt the other parties had been, and on the same general principle. He felt it his duty to adhere to the proposition as originally made, for he did not feel satisfied that in this case any just ground had been made out for exception.

Mr. Kemble

regretted, that the Government had opposed the modified proposition of the noble Lord, and contended, that the public had derived benefit from the speculation of the coffee holders.

Viscount Sandon,

under the circumstances, felt compelled to divide.

The committee divided, on the question that the words be added to the Schedule. — Ayes 69; Noes 133-.—Majority 64.

List of the AYES.
Ainsworth, P. Kemble, H.
Aldam, W. Leader, J. T.
Barclay, D. Lyall, G.
Blake, M. J. Mangles, R. D.
Bowring, Dr. Marsland, H.
Bramston, T. W. Masterman, J.
Brocklehurst, J. Mitcalfe, H.
Brotherton, J. Mitchell, T. A.
Browne, hon. W. Morris, D.
Busfeild, W. Morison, Gen.
Byng, G. O'Brien, C.
Carew, hon. R. S. O'Connell, D.
Cobden, R. O'Connell, J.
Crawford, W. S. Ord, W.
Divett, E. Palmer, G.
Douglas, Sir H. Patten, J. W.
Duncan, G. Pechell, Capt.
Duncombe, T. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Ebrington, Visct. Russell, Lord J.
Evans, W. Scholefield, J.
Farnham, E. B. Stanton, W. H.
Ferguson, Col. Strutt, E.
Forbes, W. Thornley, T.
Forster, M. Tufnell, H.
Gibson, T. M. Villiers, hon. C.
Granger, T. C. Walker, R.
Grimsditch, T. Wallace, R.
Halford, H. Wawn, J. T.
Hay, Sir A. L. Wilbraham, hon. R. B.
Henley, J. W. Williams, W.
Hindley, C. Wilshere, W.
Howick, Visct. Wood, B.
Hughes, W. B. Worsley, Lord
James, W. Sandon, Visct.
Johnston, A. Philips, M.
List of the NOES.
Allix, J. P Antrobus, E,
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Hodgson, R.
Archdall, Capt. Holmes, hon. W. A' Ct.
Arkwright, G. Hope, hon. C.
Bailey, J. Hornby, J.
Baillie, Col. Howard, Lord
Bankes, G. Howard, P. H.
Baring, hon. W. B. Hussey, T.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Irton, S.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Johnstone, H.
Bateson, R. Jones, Capt.
Bell, M. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E.
Blackburne, J. I. Knight, H. G.
Boldero, H. G. Knight, F. W.
Botfield. B. Lambton, H.
Broadley, H. Langston, J. H.
Bruce, Lord E. Legh, G. C.
Buller, E. Lincoln, Earl of
Buller, Sir J. Y. Lindsay, H. H.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Litton, E.
Chelsea, Visct. Lockhart, W.
Chetwode, Sir J. M'Geachy, F. A.
Christopher, R. A. Mackenzie, T.
Clayton, R. R. Marsham, Visct.
Clerk, Sir G. Martin, C. W.
Clive, hn. R. H. Meynell, Capt.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Morgan, O.
Collett, W. R. Mundy, E. M.
Copeland, Ald. Neville, R.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Newry, Visct.
Cresswell, B. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Cripps, W. Northland, Visct.
Currie, R. O'Brien, W. S.
Damer, hon. Col. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Darby, G. Ogle, S. C. H.
D'Israeli, B. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Peel, J.
Douglas, J. D. S. Philips, G. R.
Duffield, T. Polhill, F.
Duncombe, hon. A. Pusey, P.
East, J. B. Richards, R.
Egerton, W T. Rolleston, Col.
Egerton, Sir P. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Eliot, Lord Round, C. G.
Escott, B. Rundle, J.
Esmonde, Sir. T. Rushbrooke, Col.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Russell, J. D. W.
Filmer, Sir E. Ryder, hon. G. D,
Fleming, J. W. Sanderson, R.
Fuller, A. E. Scott, hon. F.
Gaskell, J. M. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Sheppard T.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Somerset, Lord G.
Godson, R. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Stanley, Lord
Gore, hon. R. Stewart, J.
Goring, C. Stuart, H.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Thesiger, F.
Grant, Sir A, C. Trench, Sir F. W.
Gregory, W. H. Turnor, C.
Grogan, E. Vere, Sir C. B.
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Vivian, J, E.
Hastie, A. White, H.
Hawes, B. Young, J.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. TELLERS.
Hinde, J. H. Fremantle, Sir T.
Hodgson, F. Pringle, A.

Duty on coffee agreed to.

On the question that the duty on Tea be 2s. 1d. a lb.

Mr. Lindsay

urged the propriety and advantage of a reduction of the duty on an article so rapidly increasing in consumption.

Sir R. Peel,

looking at the present position of affairs with China, and at the amount of revenue derived from tea, felt a reluctance to give any assurance on the part of the Government in respect to a reduction of the duty.

Mr. Mangles

asked, why the Government did not propose to introduce a differential duty in favour of tea grown in British India?

Sir R. Peel

was unwilling to adopt any step which would hazard the revenue derived from tea, and had some doubt as to the policy of encouraging the growth of Assam tea.

Resolution agreed to.

On the question that a duty of 16s. the cwt. be levied upon Corks squared for rounding,

Mr. T. Duncombe

proposed to reduce the duty upon cork imported in this state to 1s.. per cwt.

The committee divided on the question that the blank be filled with 1s.—Ayes 81; Noes 137:—Majority 56.

List of the AYES.
Aldam, W. Gore, hon. R.
Barclay, D. Granger, T. C.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Grogan, E.
Berkeley, hon. C. Halford, H.
Blackstone, W. S. Hanmer, Sir J.
Blake, Sir V. Hastie, A.
Bowring, Dr. Hawes, B.
Broadley, H. Heneage, E.
Brotherton, J. Henley, J. W.
Browne, hon. W. Hinde, J. H.
Chapman, B. Hindley, C.
Christie, W. D. Hodgson, R.
Clayton, R. R. Hollond, R.
Colborne, hn. W. N. R. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Hume, J.
Colville, C. R. Johnstone, Sir J.
Currie, R. Leader, J. T.
Curteis, H. B. Lockhart, W.
Drax, J. S. W. S. E. Lowther, J. H.
Ebrington, Visct. Mangles, R. D.
Ellis, W. Marsland, H.
Evans, W. Martin, J.
Farnham, E. B. Mitcalfe, H.
Ferguson, Col. Mitchell, T. A.
Forster, M. Morris, D.
Gill, T. Murphy, F. S.
Gordon, Lord F. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Gore, W. O. O'Brien, W. S, 3C2
Ogle, S. C. H. Saunton, Sir G. T
Paget, Lord A. Strutt, E.
Palmer, R. Talbot, C. R. M.
Pechell, Capt. Taylor, T. E.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Towneley, J.
Ponsonby, hn.C. F. C. Tufnell, H.
Pryse, P. Wallace, R.
Redington, T. N. White, H.
Rundle, J. Wilbraham, hon. R. B
Russell, Lord J. Williams, W.
Sandon, Visct. Worsley, Lord
Scholefield, J. TELLERS.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Duncombe, T.
Stanton, W. H. Wood, B.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Adderley, C. Filmer, Sir E.
Ainsworth, P. Fleming, J. W.
Allix, J. P. Ffolliott, J.
Antrobus, E. Forbes, W.
Archdall, Capt. Forester, hon. G. C. W.
Bailey, J. Fuller, A. E.
Baillie, Col. Gaskell, J. M.
Bankes, G. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Baring, hon. W. B. Gladstone, T.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Bentinck, Lord G. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Beresford, Major Gore, W.R. O.
Bernard, Visct. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Blackburne, J. I. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Boldero, H. G. Granby, Marquess of
Botfield, B. Gregory, W. H.
Bramston, T. W. Grimsditch, T.
Brocklehurst, J. Grimston, Visct.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Hamilton, W. J.
Bruce, Lord E. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Buckley, E. Hawkes, T.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Cardwell, E. Herbert, hon. S.
Chelsea, Visct. Hervey, Lord A.
Chetwode. Sir J. Hodgson, F.
Childers, J. W. Hornby, J.
Christopher, R. A. Howard, P. H.
Clerk, Sir G. Hughes, W. B.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hussey, T.
Cochrane, A. Hutt, W.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Ingestrie, Visct.
Copeland, Ald. Irton, S.
Corry, right hon. H. Jermyn, Earl
Courtenay, Lord Jones, Capt.
Cripps, W. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E.
Damer, hon. Col. Knight, F. W.
Darby, G. Legh, G. C.
Denison, E. B. Lemon, Sir C.
Divett, E. Lincoln, Earl of
Douglas, J. D. S. Lindsay, H. H.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Litton, E.
Duncombe, hon. A. Mackenzie, W. F.
Duncombe, hon. O. M'Geachy, F. A.
East, J. B. Manners, Lord C. S.
Egerton, W. T. Manners, Lord J.
Egerton, Sir P. Marsham, Visct.
Eliot, Lord Martin, C. W.
Escott, B. Meynell, Capt.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Miles, P. W. S.
Fellowes, E. Morgan, O.
Neeld, J. Shirley, E. J,
Newry, Visct. Somerset, Lord, G.
Nicholl, right hon. J. Stanley, Lord
Pakington, J. S. Stewart, J.
Patten, J. W. Stuart, H.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Sturt, H. C.
Peel, J. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Plumptre, J. P. Taylor, J. A.
Polhill, F. Thesiger, F.
Pollock, Sir F. Thompson, M. Ald.
Pringle, A. Trench, Sir F. W.
Repton, G. W. J. Turnor, C.
Rushbrooke, Col. Waddington, H. S.
Russell, J. D. W. Wawn, J. T.
Ryder, hon. G. D. Whitmore, T. C.
Sanderson, R. Young, J.
Scott, hon. F. TELLERS.
Seymour, Sir H. B. Baring, H.
Sheppard, T. Fremantle, Sir T.

On the proposal that Straw hats or bonnets imported into this country should pay a duty of 8s. 6d. the lb.

Dr. Bowring

thought, that they ought as much as possible to extend their commercial relations with Tuscany, and as he had reason to believe from statements made to him, that the proposed duty would amount to 35 per cent, he hoped the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government would consent in this case to the application, on the principle which he had laid down of an ad valorem duty of 20 per cent. He begged, therefore, to propose that an ad valorem duty of 20 per cent be substituted instead of the proposed duty of 8s. 6d. per lb. on straw hats, and of 7s. 6d. on straw platting.

Mr. Hume

seconded the motion.

Mr. W. Gladstone

acknowledged, that it was of great importance to encourage their commercial relations with Tuscany, but he did not think the Government of Tuscany would be dissatisfied with the change now proposed.

Amendment negatived.

The House resumed. Committee to sit again.

House adjourned.