HC Deb 16 May 1854 vol 133 cc460-1

in rising to move for leave to bring in a Bill "for a better and more general mode of taking the average price of Corn and other agricultural produce in Ireland," said, it was his desire to assimilate the law in England and Ireland. In England the averages were collected from 290 market towns, while in Ireland the corn averages, which regulated the rent-charge in lieu of tithes, were collected by an officer from the corn averages of Dublin alone. This officer had no power to enforce returns, and be acted on the voluntary returns of persons who might have an interest one way or the other in affecting the averages. Mr. Ford, one of the officers of the city of Dublin, stated that none of the averages taken in that city were correct. No means existed, as in England, of distinguishing whether the corn, on which the averages were based, was Irish or foreign, and, in 1839–40, when there was a considerable quantity of damaged Irish corn in the market in consequence of a bad harvest, the foreign corn which was imported and sold at a high price was taken into account in the calculation of the averages. He wished by this Bill to assimilate the law of Ireland, with regard to the taking of averages, to that of England, and to appoint Inland Revenue officers, who would confine their returns to Irish corn and other agricultural produce, for the publication of such returns would be useful for statistical purposes.


said, he was of opinion that some Bill of this kind was necessary, and he should have introduced one himself if the hon. Gentleman had not done so. He did not understand how the hon. Gentleman meant to exclude foreign corn from the averages, unless intricate calculations were gone into as to the effect of foreign corn upon the markets, and that portion of the Bill would require serious consideration; but he would now offer no opposition to the introduction of the Bill.


said, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would notwithstanding lay his Bill on the subject on the table of the House, and that by some means or other the averages would be brought into working order and rendered serviceable to the country.


said, he wished merely to correct an impression of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir J. Young), that the corn averages in England did not exclude foreign importations. He could assure him such was the fact, and that the inspection in all cases had reference only to English produce.

Leave given. Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Bland, Mr. FitzGerald, and Mr. Francis Scully.