§ Mr. Milner Gibson
took that opportunity of asking the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, a question in reference to a statement that had fallen from him in the debate on the preceding night, with respect to the Sugar monopoly. He understood the right hon. Gentleman to affirm, that the consumption of Sugar during the year 1844 had been greater than at any former period [Cries of "No, No."] He understood the right hon. Gentleman to declare, that the consumption of Sugar in the year, ending the 1st of January, 1844, was greater than at any former period with one exception. Now, having taken some trouble to look at Parliamentary Papers, and to make calculations, upon proper authority, with reference to the amount of Sugar that had been taken into consumption in past years, he found, by his calculations, that in the years 1830, 1831, 1835, and 1837, the quantity of Sugar consumed was greater than in the year ending the 1st of January 1844. He was anxious, therefore, to ask the right hon. Gentleman this, not whether the consumption of Sugar, for the year ending the 1st of January, 1844, was actually greater than in previous years, but were they to take as the basis of future argument, that the consumption of Sugar during the year ending the 1st of January, 1844, had been greater than in any former year, with one single exception?
§ Sir Robert Peel
replied, that if he had made a misstatement there were surely the means of correcting it. He had spoken at the time from documents that he held in his hand. These were returns for the last ten or twelve years, he thought for the last ten years. He spoke from Papers, and he stated that the consumption of Sugar in the last year was greater than in any former year, with one exception, the year 1841: in the year 1841, 4,065,724 cwts., and last year, 4,045,105 728 cwts. If be had made any misstatement he would willingly acquiesce in its correction.