wished for some information on the proposed plan for allowing sugar and molasses to be used in breweries and distilleries. Would the right hon. Gentleman allow the Bill, for the purpose, to be read a second time, and then refer it to a Select Committee to sit upon it de dic in diem? He apprehended that a Committee ought to sit on the equalization of the duties on rum. The precedent of the Bonded Corn Bill was analogous: the Select Committee upon it had sat only seven or eight days, and then made its report; the consequence was, that the arrangement was entirely satisfactory, and such might very likely be the issue in the present instance.
The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
did not think such a course would be expedient, and having conferred with the other Members of Government, he was enabled to state that such was their opinion. He was sure, however, that the hon. Member did not intend to interpose any delay; but when once the door of inquiry was opened, it was impossible to say when it could be closed. The question in the case of bonded corn was much narrower, yet the inquiry had been carried to a considerable length before the report was agreed to. The subject of the use of sugar in distilleries and breweries had been fully investigated in 1831, and since there had been no new experience, because the law had been unchanged: sugar and molasses during that period had not been allowed to be used. He had that morning communicated with the Chairman of the Board of Excise, and he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) was prepared to make this proposal—that a reasonable time should be allowed, after the second reading, which would not, as he understood, be opposed; and he would undertake, on Thursday next, to lay upon the Table a full report of all the experience of the Board of Excise, both as applied to breweries and distilleries. The House would thus be in possession of all the information it could obtain, in order to enable it to arrive at a decision. As to the question regarding the duty on rum, he did not 485 know what information there was that could hear upon the subject: the real point was, whether there could be any justification for putting the Irish and Scotch distiller on a more favourable footing than the English distillers? He thought not.