HC Deb 03 March 1845 vol 78 cc234-5
Mr. Poulett Scrope

, seeing the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury in his place, would put the question of which he had given notice on Friday, on the subject of the tallow duties. The present import duly on Foreign tallow was 3s. 4d. the cwt., but there was also an export duty in Russia on leaving that country. There was a rumour that the Russian Government was willing to take off' the export duty on tallow if the import duty were taken off in this country. The duties united amounted to 15 or 20 per cent. on the value of the tallow imported. In looking over the list of the 430 articles from which it was proposed to remove the import duty, he found tallow was omitted. There were, however, a great many articles which were either inferior sorts of tallow, or were used as substitutes for that article, from which the duty was to be removed, such as, for instance, grease, which was an inferior sort of tallow; hogs'-lard, which was swine tallow; whale oils, animal oils, various sorts of vegetable oils—all these were used as substitutes for tallow in the manufacture of soap, and some of them in the manufacture of candles; and if the duty were not removed from tallow, it would operate as a serious burden upon the consumers of this article. It was material, therefore, to ascertain if the right, hon. Gentleman purposed taking off the duty on tallow when some arrangement should be come to with the Russian Government on the subject, or if he had fully renounced the idea of taking off the duty on tallow. He wished, therefore, to ask if any negotiations were going on with the Russian Government on the subject of the removal of the export duty on tallow.

Sir R. Peel

said, he hoped the hon. Gentleman would excuse him from giving any answer respecting the intentions of the Government. He always objected to answer any questions respecting the future exemption from duty of articles of trade, as those answers tended to produce great derangements of trade. With respect to the question with which the hon. Gentleman concluded, he had to state, that no negotiations were pending with Russia respecting the removal of the export duty on tallow in that country, on condition of the removal of the import duty here.

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