§ On the Motion for the Second Reading of this Bill,
§ LORD G. BENTINCK
said, the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Wyld) had a notice on the Paper that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. In the absence of the hon. Member, he should make that Motion. He believed the Bill had now been postponed not less than two-and-thirty times; and now, when five-sixths of the Members had abdicated their Parliamentary functions for the present Session, the Government was about to press it forward. The repeated postponements that had taken place, showed that they had no confidence in the merits of the Bill. For his own part, he thought it exceedingly indecorous, when the Government was in a state of insolvency, and obliged to borrow 2,000,000l, that they should propose a measure, the object of which was to forego a portion of the solid revenue obtained from the imports of foreigners. He objected to the Bill, because it was another stop taken by the Government towards taxation more in a direct, rather than in an indirect manner. He maintained that the Customs duties were essentially taxes levied upon the industry of the foreigner. He objected further to the Bill, that it was the removal of a just protection which the miners of Cornwall were entitled to at the hands of the Government of this country. This duty on copper ore was only an ad valorem duty of no more than 6 per cent on the produce which was subject to it. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Portsmouth was present to vindicate the principle of the Whig Government of levying taxes from Customs duties. This tax, small as it was, concerned the subsistence of more than 24,000 persons, who, with their families, represented 100,000 souls. He thought they should not on that account lightly deal with a tax which, whilst it fed the revenue, protected the means of subsistence of so large a portion of the population 598 of the country. He could state, that the miners of Cornwall never were in a lower condition than they were at present. There never was a moment when there was less claim on the part of the smelters of Swansea and other places to demand this reduction. The price of copper had risen, whilst the price of copper ore had fallen. True, the smelters who asked for this protection were a powerful body strongly represented in that House; but there never was a more complete monopoly than they constituted; and it was to add to the unjust gains of these monopolists that Her Majesty's Ministers proposed to reduce this small duty of 6 per cent ad valorem upon ore the produce of slaves in Cuba, which was also the produce of Jamaica. He had been told by the hon. Member for Westmoreland (Mr. Alderman Thompson) that there never was a greater monopoly than that of the smelters. "But (said the hon. Gentleman) they might as well give us this 40,000l., and let us divide the amount amongst us as repeal the duty now proposed." The same hon. Gentleman had stated to him that he was a party interested; but as the proposition was one which was contrary to the interests and benefit of his country, he would not vote for it. Now, he did not object to admit the produce of the colonies free of duty. If he did not succeed in throwing out the Bill on the second reading, he should be prepared to support Amendments in Committee, which should leave the copper of the colonies untaxed, and should impose a tax only on copper ore the produce of foreign countries. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies, some four weeks since, declared that our colonial policy had been the most successful and beneficial that the world had ever witnessed; and in proof of this, in reference to our old colonial policy, he quoted the case of Australia; and he told the House that there was no colony in the history of our colonial empire which had ever shown such rapid strides in improvement and wealth as Australia. The hon. Gentleman told them, that while the value of the copper ore exported in the year 1844 was 4,009l.; in 1845 it increased to 17,175l.; and in the two quarters of 1846 it increased to 54,168l., which upon the whole of the year 1846 would be equal to 108,336l., being one-third of the exports of all the colony. Would the House consent to cut off this lucrative trade from the colony? 599 The report of the Lords on colonisation showed that a large number of minors went from Cornwall to work these mines at Australia. Why not send out Irish labourers to work this ore? Let them not dry up the sources of employment. Let them not surrender the trade to Cuba and Chili. The expense of the carriage of the ore would be 38,000l., supposing the value of the ore to be 108,000l. He held in his hand a report of the state and prospects of the miners of Cornwall up to Friday last. He had stated, on presenting a petition, that the price of copper ore at the end of the last quarter was 11 per cent lower than at the commencement of the year; that it was lower by 18 per cent than it was at the same period in 1840; and that it was 25 per cent lower than the average of the last fifteen years. The effect of that reduction in price on the wages of the miners was equivalent to 17s. 1d. on every ton of ore raised—for the miners were paid in proportion to the quantity and quality of the ore raised by them. The quantity annually raised in Cornwall was 50,000 tons, and about 22,000 persons were engaged in raising them; the effect upon the miners' wages, therefore, was easily appreciated. He was sorry to say, that the prospects of the miners in Cornwall were not much better for the ensuing year than those of the people of Ireland. It was stated in the Cornwall Gazette of last Friday, that the harvest was in the greatest danger—that the country was a comparative solitude—that most of the engines were dismantled and the mines abandoned—that hundreds of cottages were deserted—and that the occupiers had gone for the most part to distant lands. All these (added that journal) were rendered more dismal by the threatened measure of the Government in throwing them open to foreign competition. The Government "would find Cornwall another Ireland if they enforced these measures, and took from the people, in their hour of struggle with the dispensations of Providence, the chance of improving their condition. He asked the noble Lord at the head of the Government if he was prepared, for the sake of carrying out a miserable abstract principle, to risk putting the inhabitants of a county of England, whose inhabitants were famous for their loyalty, their industry, and their peaceful conduct, into the same state and condition as the people of Ireland? And to do what? To support one of the grossest monopolies in this country, namely, the 600 interest of those who had vested their money in foreign mines. The Board of Trade would no doubt urge that the smelting trade was leaving this country; and that it was to prevent the transfer that the measure was passed. But he denied the truth of this statement. By the returns which were laid before the House, the imports of copper ore into this country for the first six months of the year exceeded by 2,000 tons the importation of a similar period in the year preceding. It was said, that the miserable duty of 6 per cent ad valorem sent the smelting trade to France and Hamburgh, and the United States; but he was in a position to show that the amount of foreign ore smelted in France was not ten tons a week, and that the proportion was the same in the other places. The right hon. Gentleman would no doubt talk of the protection afforded to the Cornwall miner by the freight from Cuba; but he would ask the House whether the smelters of Swansea "the copper bottoms," as they were called in the City, had not a better protection in the price of coals than any which freight could afford them. To smelt ore, the following quantity of coal was required per ton:—
But the smelter at Swansea had his coal for 4s. per ton, while the prices were in—
Chili (of the finest quality) 12 tons. Cuba 14 tons. Cornish (an inferior ore) 20 tons.
Making a difference of 10l 16s. per ton in the case of Chili ore smelted in France, 71. per ton on that smelted in Hamburgh, and upwards of 16l. per ton in those parts of the United States where smelting was carried on. It was, therefore, ridiculous to say, that with such prices of coal, the freight being the same, any duty of 6 per cent ad valorem could make a difference in keeping smelting out of the foreign market. In England there were smelted 400 tons of ore per week; in France, ten tons; in Hamburgh, 25; and in the United States from five to ten tons. He arraigned the accuracy of the returns made by the Board of Trade in respect of smelting in this country. The noble Lord at the head of the Government, and the right hon. Gentleman at the head of that department, had repelled with indignation his charge against Mr. Porter on a former occasion; but from a statement drawn up by the statistical office of that Board, referring to 601 trade and navigation, he found that the quantity of copper metal obtained from the ore, in the six months ending 5th July, 1848, was only 1,319 tons. According to the returns on the same subject, the quantity produced in the same period of the subsequent years was as follows:—
France £1 2 0 Hamburgh 0 16 0 United States 1 11 6
On such a allowing as this it was not wonderful that the House of Commons should feel dismay that the smelting trade was leaving the country. But, nevertheless, as he would point out to the House, there was every reason to believe that a much larger quantity of metal had been produced than was accounted for in this return; and that though it was signed by A. W. Fonblanque, and dated August 5, 1848, there was every ground to suppose that the amount was not 1,319 tons, but 5,935 tons. It appeared that the copper ore imported into this country in the first six months of—
1846 5162 tons. 1847 4017 tons.
But in the first-named year the quantity of ore imported gave, as he had shown, 5,162 tons of metal—equal to 20 per cent; in the second, 18,896 tons of ore gave 4,017 tons of copper metal—equal to 21 per cent; while in the first six months of 1848, 27,155 tons of ore, if the return could be credited, gave only 1,319 tons of metal—equal to only four per cent, instead of an average of 20 per cent. The return of the Board of Trade was signed "A. W. Fonblanque," who, to his occupation as editor of a newspaper, superadded that of secretary to the statistical department of that Board; and, in the multiplicity of that gentleman's avocations, he might, no doubt, have miscalculated the return. But were 100,000 English people to suffer for the blunders of any board or any man; and was that branch of British industry which they lived by of such small importance that it could be trifled with by any person? By those misrepresentations Government succeeded in inducing the House of Commons to accede to their resolutions. The Government selected the latter end of August, when the House was stripped of its independent Members, to bring forward the measure by which they cast away 40,000l., the amount of duty paid on foreign ore. They found the Government, when the exchequer was in a state of beg- 602 gary, throwing away large sums of revenue, and going to the Stock Exchange for what they did not possess. He objected to this system of throwing away duties which were collected at no cost to the country. He condemned the practice of flinging away revenue, and then making up the deficiency by cither adding to the national debt, or by imposing additional direct taxation on the community. He objected to the system of throwing away revenue to be made up by English industry, and giving the amount to benefit the slave producer. The Government came to that House with false statements and statistics from the Board of Trade, and they misled the House with the view of letting in foreign produce to the injury of our own native industry. He should, therefore, move that the Bill be read that day three months.
1846 was 25,035 tons. 1847 18,896 tons. 1848 27,155 tons.
§ MR. WYLD
seconded the Motion. His reason for taking this course was, because Her Majesty's Government had brought it forward at such a late period of the Session, and because the people of Cornwall would, at no distant day, be reduced to a state of utter ruin. The county of Cornwall had been known from the earliest date for its minerals. During late years a large and important interest had sprung up, and a population of 118,000 were solely dependent on the prosperity of the mining trade. The mining interest of Cornwall had found out what would be the ultimate effect of this measure if it passed, by the recent large importations of foreign ore. The result of this importation already was, that a fall of nearly 20 per cent had occurred; and this reduction had plunged the entire mining interest into a state of great embarrassment, he might almost say ruin. The case of the miner was different to that of the manufacturer. The manufacturer, if thrown out of work, could find employment elsewhere; but the miner had no such resource—he could only find employment at that sort of labour in which he had been brought up, and only in mining districts. He could confirm the statement of the noble Lord, that the returns from the Board of Trade were erroneous. This was not a question of free trade, but a question of employment of the people. They might change their markets to Chili or to Cuba; but would that change benefit the people in England, or make up for the people who would be thrown out of employment by the operation of this measure? At present the 603 trade in copper ore employed 20,000 tons of shipping, and it was owing to this trade and the return freights of coal, &c., that the country owed much of its prosperity. If the present duties were removed, the Cornish miners would be exposed to a great source of competition which they had hitherto escaped. By the change of 1842, the minors had derived no advantage whatever; but any benefit which had arisen from the measure had gone to the shipowners. It was urged that there was a necessity for a change, in consequence of a decrease in the importations; but that decrease had only arisen from legislative causes. The importation was for a time reduced, but the quantity produced was the same. The duty had not operated against the importation, for taking the average of the last throe years the amount of ore imported was as great as at any other similar period, so that the data upon which this measure was founded were altogether wrong. It had been said that there were smelting works at Hamburgh; but they could not affect the English smelters, inasmuch as they had a duty of 15s. per ton to pay upon the coals. Then they had been told of the smelting works of the United States; but in the United States they only smelted the rich ores of Cuba; and the total amount of copper produced from the United States' smelting works did not exceed 50 tons a month. Then with regard to France, the importation of copper ore into that country did not exceed from 1,500 to 2,000 tons in the year. In fact, the English smelters acknowledged that they had nothing to fear from foreign competition. It had been said that there had been a decrease in the quantity of copper smelted in England in consequence of those duties, but he denied that such was the case. The export of copper from England to France had, for several years past, shown an amount of increase both in quantity and in value. The question was, whether it would or would not advantage the manufacturers of Lancashire, to lose 100,000 customers in Cornwall, in order to gain 50,000 customers in Cuba, each of the Cornish customers being in the habit of purchasing their manufactures to three times the amount of the Cuban customer. The miners of Cornwall had hoped that this question had been finally settled in 1844. Upon the faith of that settlement large sums of money had been invested in mining speculations in Cornwall; and such being the case, he called upon 604 the Government not, on mere theoretical grounds, to disturb that arrangement.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Considering that this question debated to-night, has been discussed at a much carlier period of the Session—as early as the 17th of April—in the presence of many persons of great experience and authority, I am sure the House will readily excuse me if, upon the present occasion, I do not occupy much of its time. The noble Lord has blamed the Government for having allowed the second reading of the Bill to he brought forward at this period of the Session; and he stated had it been discussed at an earlier period that it would have been less favourably received. On the 17th of April, when this subject was discussed, there were 102 in favour of it, and only 35 against it. The charge, therefore, that the Government purposely delayed the measure till a late period, because they believed it would not be favourably received by the House, cannot be fairly made against the Government. I should be surprised if the House did not support this measure; I cannot conceive that it is necessary to state arguments to show that the reduction of the duty upon a raw material which enters into the staple manufactures of the kingdom, would not be an act of justice and of policy. The only reason why it was not sooner brought forward arose from a question of revenue. But as regards that question, I still adhere to the declaration which I originally made, that the revenue was slipping from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's hands—it had come down to the sum of 40,000l. a year. There has been a gradual diminution in the quantity imported for several years past. In 1845 there were 56,000 tons of copper ore imported; in 1846 the quantity imported was only 50,900 tons in round numbers; and in 1847 it had come down to 40,900 tons in round numbers. The noble Lord says that there has been a slight increase in the present year. [Lord GEORGE BENTINCK: I said that the importation this year was the largest amount ever imported.] Even if there has been some increase, I do not think that it can be sot against the continuous diminution; and though I will not assert it positively without the returns before me, I think it possible that the increase may be accounted for by the announcement having gone out to Cuba of this measure having been introduced, and the duty removed. While I am on this 605 point I will advert to an accusation which the noble Lord made against the statistical department of the Board of Trade, to which he alluded, as is his wont, in no very measured language. That attack has been directed against a very distinguished officer of that department, Mr. Fonblanque—a name that cannot be mentioned without respect. But the noble Lord, in that unfortunate habit in which he indulges whenever he thinks that he has detected an error, has treated that officer not as one who might have fallen into an error, to which we all are liable, including the noble Lord himself, but as a public delinquent, and as one who had some discreditable cause for the error which he has made. But the error, if it can be called one, to which the noble Lord has reverted, admits of a very easy explanation. The noble Lord must be aware that since the resolution was passed on which this Bill has been founded, a change has taken place in the mode of taking the duty. The duty has been taken for the last three months, not on the metal contained in the ore, but on the ore itself. The amount of ore on which the duty is paid is given correctly. [Lord G. BENTINCK: I said charged, and not paid.] I believe that the error which the noble Lord thought he had discovered is founded on this, that for the last three months the copper ore imported from foreign countries had been charged with duty on the ore itself, and not as formerly, on the metal contained in that ore; and if the noble Lord looks into the tables furnished by the Board of Trade, which I have done hurriedly since the noble Lord drew my attention to the matter, he will find that this is obviously the case. He will perceive that there has been no duty paid on the metal as formerly, but that the duty has been paid on the ore itself—that the amount of duty was charged on the metal for the preceding three months, and on the ore and not on the metal for the last three months; and so it appears in the returns. [Lord G. BENTINCK: That proves my case.] I wish the noble Lord would allow me to proceed without these constant interruptions. The noble Lord would not have the head of the statistical department of the Board of Trade say that the duty had been received on the metal when it was received on the ore itself. [Lord G. BENTINCK: You misrepresent me. I did not make use of the word "received." There is all the difference imaginable 606 between duty charged and duty received.] I fear that I have not made myself understood. The duty was charged formerly, per ton, on the metal, and we gave in returns to the House of Commons of the duty, not on the quantity of ore, but on the metal contained in it; but latterly the duty has been charged on the ore, and not on the metal at all, and consequently the tons of metal are no longer brought into account. However, I will not detain the House on this matter. I think I have said enough to prove to the House that there really is no ground for what I must call again the most unwarrantable attack which the noble Lord has made on a most excellent officer. The noble Lord has said that I always defended the gentlemen connected with the office to which I was attached; but I can tell him that I would not defend any man cither in the Board of Trade, or anywhere else, who I did not think deserved to be defended; but when I hear any subordinate officer in any department with which I may be connected, as I believe unjustly attacked, I shall always be ready to defend him to the best of my ability. The noble Lord said that this measure was all for the benefit of a few smelters who have a monopoly of the smelting trade in this country. I have the most perfect confidence that this measure will prove beneficial to the trade generally of this country. The copper, when manufactured, is allowed to be introduced into this country; and the consequence is that the only real practical check that can be applied to the foreign smelting trade is allowing the competition which this Bill will ensure. I have no fear whatever but that this measure will be for the advantage of the smelters of this country. I believe that this country may continue to be the site of the smelting trade of the world, and I hope that it will be so; but I feel that that pre-eminence cannot be maintained by any attempt at monopoly, and by fixing undue prices on the produce of our own miners. And here I must deny the assertion made by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, that the admission of foreign ores will prove detrimental to the Cornish miners. I should be most sorry to inflict a blow upon that important body; but my belief is, that the mixture of foreign ores will be advantageous instead of injurious to them. Considerations of revenue had long prevented this useful and necessary measure from being sooner adopted. I am satisfied that it will pre- 607 vent injurious consequences to the mining interests of this country, and I am also convinced that to the community at large it must be productive of important advantages.
§ MR. HENLEY
believed that the charge made by the noble Lord was expressly directed, not against Mr. Fonblanque or Mr. Porter, or any other subordinate, but against the right hon. Gentleman himself. The noble Lord had stated distinctly that he would not charge any subordinate, but that he would make his charge against the head of the office. The right hon. Gentleman said that, from the time the resolution passed the House, that the duty was charged, not on the metal, but on the copper ore. The printed paper gave the copper ore for the whole six months. How was it to be distinguished upon which part the duty was charged? How was any one to distinguish, out of the 27,000 tons, which was charged one way and which was charged the other way? It was not the mode in which a public account ought to be kept. Any one looking at it superficially would be deceived. There was nothing to indicate when that mode of charging the duty had taken place. It had the effect of making the importation appear in value far less than it really was. It was a clumsy way of keeping accounts, and did not make plain the true state of the case. Suppose this Bill did not pass, how would they charge their duties? The right hon. Gentleman said that the only reason why what was now proposed had not before been done, was on account of the state of the revenue. What was there in the present situation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make him able to give up revenue? In 1842 he took a very different view of this question; he did not urge it on the ground of the revenue, but said they must see that they did not inflict injury on the great mining interests of Cornwall. Would he pretend to say that the great mining interests of Cornwall were in a better state now than they were in 1842? Did he take care that this measure did not necessarily injure the Cornish miner, whom in 1842 he was so anxious to protect? Unless they could show that the advantages would be greater than the loss to the people whose bread depended upon it, he must say that they were running the imminent risk of increasing the misery of this country, by throwing out of employment a most loyal and industrious set of people.
said: As happened on a former occasion, there is a party concerned that has not yet been heard. There are two ways of obtaining copper and lead. One is to dig them out of the Cornish mines; and the other is to make cloth at Bradford, and elsewhere, and bring copper and lead from foreign mines in return for it. And the interest of the public clearly is, that Cornwall should work its mines to the extent consistent with competing with Bradford, and Bradford bring home copper and lead to the extent consistent with competing with Cornwall. But we are told there is destitution in Cornwall. Is there none in Bradford? Hon. Gentlemen descant on the badness of the potato crop in Cornwall. Are there no curled-tops in Yorkshire? Cornish men are stated to be on short commons; and for this, Cornish Members propose an easy remedy, and say "take the dinners of the people of Bradford." The whole is, in principle, an attack on foreign trade; it is a demand that foreign trade shall be put down, whenever a man will stand up and say he engages to furnish the article at a dearer price If the manufacturers of Bradford and elsewhere demanded a tax on copper dug in Cornwall, in order to increase what would be brought from abroad, they would do no more than had been done by the Cornish men to them. And there is one reason why this would in truth be the worst for the public interest of the two. Do not hon. Gentlemen see the bearing it would have on our mercantile marine, our wooden walls? He would, therefore, propose a duty on Cornish copper, as a sort of new navigation law; and he would regard the way in which the Conservative side of the House supported this proposal, as a measure of the regard they had for navigation laws where their own interests were touched.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
supported the Amendment, and complained that the Bill had been delayed so long that forty placemen were of serious importance upon a division at the present period of the Session. The House, too, sat at such hours, and so long, that their debates were necessarily compressed into the smallest possible compass, and the consequence was, that their constituents would never know what arguments were used by them upon the question, or at least not until long after the Bill had passed. He could not avoid commenting upon the appearance in the debate of the hon. and gallant Member 609 for Bradford, who rose to put in a claim for Bradford—for the manufacturers of Bradford—whose productions were already protected by a duty of 10 per cent. Now, he (Mr. Newdegate) begged to say that he appeared to support the interests of his constituents, who had elected him for that purpose, but not to claim any protection for them at the expense of any other portion of their fellow-countrymen. Protection against foreigners he claimed for them, but not against their fellow-subjects. With reference to the returns from the Board of Trade, there could be no doubt that, as this particular item was given, it was calculated to mislead the public; and he had frequently observed that all the errors were in favour of the theory of free trade.
said, that the staple manufactures of Bradford were not protected at all—linen, cotton, and woollens, on importation, were not subject to any duty whatever; that the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer had acted most wisely in bringing forward a Bill for the reduction of duty on copper ores, for the duty acted as a bounty to the infant smelting works that were springing up in Hamburgh, Belgium, Franco, the United States, and South America; and if this duty was not removed, we should soon lose both the duty and the trade. The noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) had said that coals in the United States cost 1l. 11s. 6d. per ton; he (Mr. Brown) was in a position to state positively that coals were to be procured in Baltimore for about half that money; and that when their mode of conveyance and facilities for bringing them to market were more complete, they expect to be able to furnish them at 11s. 6d. per ton, making the difference of 1l. from the noble Lord's statement; and those were excellent coals, nearly, if not fully, equal to any in England, having 80 per cent of carbon, no sulphur, and sufficiently bituminous to ignite freely. Now, Sir, with respect to copper, if the House will permit me, I will read a very short letter from Messrs. Brownell & Co., a house of the very first respectability:—By the last mail from Valparaiso, we had letters of the 30th March, which state that the Americans and Germans continued to buy copper ores, at prices considerably beyond what our correspondents could pay for shipments to this country, to be subjected to the duty. Smelting in Chili proceeded with increased activity, and it is anticipated will produce 10,000 tons of copper this year; and to such perfection has it arrived, that some parcels we have received within the last six weeks, intended for sale on the Continent, 610 are found by assay to contain fully 98 per cent of pure copper. At Hamburg the works are in such active operation that besides their direct importation from Chili, we have ourselves, within the past month, had offers to purchase cargoes of copper ores, or to smelt them for us on more favourable terms than we could obtain in this country. The return recently made to Parliament of the exports of copper show a considerable falling-off, which you will find principally to France and the United States, both of whom have imported very increased quantities of copper direct from Chili. These, and other such facts, show the danger of longer delaying the repeal of a paltry duty, as respects the revenue, but which is so injurious to this and other important interests.So much for the facts that have been brought forward to sustain a class interest. About two years ago, a friend of mine (Mr. Fleming), who is interested in copper mines in Missouri, and who brought some copper ores here, assured me, if our duty was removed he would make his arrangements to send his ores to England through New Orleans, and give up his smelting works. Now, I should be glad to know, as we are large exporters of copper, whether the interest of the English copper miner will be more injured by the foreign ores being smelted in England, and sent out to compete with him in foreign markets, or whether that competition which fixes the price will not be equally severe when brought against him by foreign smelters, as only the same quantity of copper will be wanted? My conviction is, the removal of the duties will do him no injury whatever, or throw any hands out of employment. You must recollect that the foreigner does not make us a present of his ores—we must pay for them by the products of our industry; and if it even should throw men out of work in Cornwall—but which I do not admit—it will give in any event employment, to hands in Birmingham, and other manufacturing towns, in preparing returns, and with the further advantage of benefiting our shipping interest in bringing the ores here, and carrying out the return cargoes; and it must never be lost sight of, that to whatever country those copper ores are sent, that country must make the returns in some shape or other. I do not deny that the miners in Cornwall, and their workmen, are suffering at this moment from the general depression of trade; so are other important interests, as from the 10th July, 1847, to the 8th July, 1848, English wool has fallen from 11l. 16s. 8d. to 8l. 15s. per pack; foreign flax, per ton, from 53l. 15s. to 38l. 10s.; 611 cotton wool, short staple, from 5⅝d. to 3⅝d. per lb.; raw silk from 22s. 5⅜ d. to 17s.⅝d. per lb.; pig iron from 4l. 1s. 3d. to 3l. Is. per ton; British bar iron from 9l. 15s. to 6l. 17s. 6d. per ton; and copper from 98l to 88l. 10s. per ton, which is a much less per centage than any of those other articles. I shall never be a party to holster up any class interest at the cost of the nation; and for the good of all, the sooner duties are removed from raw materials the better, to put us in a position to compete more effectually in manufacturing with other nations. Hon. Members opposite forget the advantages of the subdivision of labour, climate, and localities; in fact, the whole system of protection rests upon a rotten foundation. We have very good tailors in London, they have excellent shoemakers in Stafford; suppose for the protection of native industry, we compel the tailor to make his own shoes, and the shoemaker to make his own clothes, would not both he serious losers by attempting to do, at an expenditure of labour, cost, and time, what the other could do much better for him? This is protecting native industry! Let us look a little further; we can grow tobacco in England, but we can get it much cheaper and better from the United States, and we can furnish them with many articles of our industry on better terms than they can afford to make them. I ask, will common sense refuse to make those beneficial exchanges, or must we punish ourselves, by extending more of our industry and talent than is necessary to procure those articles which we require? Fortunately, the nation has become too enlightened, longer to bolster up that false system of protection called native industry, but once and for ever has thrown it to the winds.
§ MR. MUNTZ
opposed the Amendment. Unless the copper manufacturers of this country had the raw material as cheap as the foreigner, it was impossible they could compete with him, or hope long to enjoy the superiority in smelting which this country possessed at present. He denied that the smelting trade was a monopoly, for any person who had adequate capital might engage in it.
§ MR. CAREW
felt bound to state, that the mining community in the eastern division of Cornwall were suffering the greatest distress, and he had several documents in his possession which would fully bear out this statement. He had been assured that the great bulk of the population in the min- 612 ing districts of Cornwall would not find employment if this Bill passed, as the mines could not be worked, and there would be no occupation for them in the agricultural portions of the county.
§ MR. E. TURNER
was prepared to support the Bill. He denied that any petitions of any consequence had been presented from the mining districts of Cornwall against it. Indeed, he believed that the great mining interest of Cornwall was in favour of the proposition of the Government.
§ The House divided on the question, that the word "now" stand part of the question:—Ayes 77; Noes 21: Majority 56.
|List of the AYES.|
|Abdy, T. N.||Morpeth, Visct.|
|Adair, H. E.||Morris, D.|
|Adair, R. A. S.||Muntz, G. F.|
|Anderson, A.||Ogle, S. C. H.|
|Anson, hon. Col.||Paget, Lord C.|
|Barkly, H.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.||Parker, J.|
|Berkeley, hon. Capt.||Pechell, Capt.|
|Berkeley, hon. H. F.||Pigott, F.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Price, Sir R.|
|Brockman, E. D.||Rice, E. R.|
|Brotherton, J.||Rich, H.|
|Brown, W.||Romilly, Sir J.|
|Buller, C.||Salwey, Col.|
|Campbell, hon. W. F.||Scholefield, W.|
|Childers, J. W.||Seymour, Sir H.|
|Craig, W. G.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Divett, E.||Smith, J. A.|
|Dundas, Adm.||Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.|
|Ebrington, Visct.||Spearman, H. J.|
|Ewart, W.||Spooner, R.|
|Forster, M.||Stanton, W. H.|
|Greene, J.||Talfourd, Serj.|
|Grenfell, C. W.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Grey, R. W.||Tenison, E. K.|
|Hawes, B.||Thompson, Col.|
|Hayter, W. G.||Thompson, G.|
|Henry, A.||Tollemache, hon. F. J.|
|Heywood, J.||Turner, E.|
|Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.||Ward, H. G.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Watkins, Col.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Willcox, B. M.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Williams, J.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Wilson, J.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Wilson, M.|
|Lewis, G. C.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|M'Gregor, J.||Wood, W. P.|
|Maule, rt. hon. F.||Tufnell, H.|
|Mitchell, T. A.||Bellow, R. M.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Anstey, T. C.||Forester, hon. G. C. W.|
|Broadley, H.||Henley, J. W.|
|Cabbell, B. B.||Hildyard, T. B. T.|
|Carew, W. H. P.||Hood, Sir A.|
|Cooks, T. S.||Knox, Col.|
|Dunne, F. P.||Morgan, O.|
|FitzGerald, W. R. S.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Forbes, W.||Seymer, H. K.|
|Sturt, H. G.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Taylor, T. E.||TELLERS.|
|Vivian, J. E.||Wyld, J.|
|Vyse, R. H. R. H.||Bentinck, Lord G.|
§ Bill read a second time.
§ House adjourned at Two o'clock.