§ Sir H. W. Barron
observed, that the legislature of Jamaica had, by a recent act, imposed additional duties on the produce of the United Kingdom imported into that colony. The duties varied from 70 per cent, ad valorem, down to 12½ per cent., many of them amounting almost to a prohibition. He wished to ask the noble Lord whether her Majesty's Government meant to give their approval to that bill; and if it were not their intention to approve of it, or had not formed an opinion, he would ask whether the bill would be acted on in Jamaica till the opinion of her Majesty's Government had been signified upon it?
said that the act of the legislature of Jamaica, to which reference had been made, certainly did impose high duties, particularly with reference to Irish produce. By the report received by the Government within the last few days, it appeared that this bill was to be in operation only for nine months: it was to come into operation on the 5th of April, and continue to the end of the present year. The Government had referred that, report 1319 of the bill, and indeed the whole case, to the Board of Trade. To stop the annual supplies would create great inconvenience; and it would be a matter of consideration for the Government, whether it would be well to reject the bill in operation for such a short period, with the necessity of reassembling the Legislative Assembly of Jamaica.
§ Lord John Russell
said, it was desirable that the Board of Trade should give an early answer, and that this House should know whether the hon. Baronet's statement were correct, that the duties in many instances amounted to 70 per cent; for if this were so, then it was without example.
said that the duties were considerably increased by the bill, although he did not think they were to the extent stated by the hon. Baronet.
§ Sir H. W. Barron
observed that the duty on beef was 75 per cent, ad valorem, pork 45 per cent., porter 25 per cent., soap 25 per cent., and so on.