§ MR. FREWEN
said, he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if it was his intention to introduce any measure during the present Session to alter either the excise duty on British hops or Customs duty on foreign hops; and also, if he would be good enough to explain the object that the deputation from West Kent had, that waited on the right hon. Baronet last Thursday, on the subject of the hop duty? He observed, that, some accounts had appeared of a deputation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the hop duties, at which it had been stated by some one, that the growers were indifferent to the repeal of the duties. Now, he knew the reverse to be the fact; and a year or two ago large meetings had been held to promote their repeal. He, therefore, begged to ask whether the Government contemplated such a measure, seeing that it was calculated to be a far more important benefit to the country than the repeal of the newspaper stamp duty, which certainly did not seem to be at all desired by the principal parties concerned; and which would entail a loss to the revenue of from 200,000l. to 300,000l. a year, whereas the repeal of the hop duty would only involve a loss of not much more than 100,000l.; and it was much more vexatious in its nature than it was oppressive in amount.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, the Government had no present intention of making any alteration in the excise duty on hops. In respect to the customs duty, it would be 1l. per cwt. until August 1, when, unless intermediate legislation took place, it would be 2l. 5s. per cwt. He could not state that circumstances might not arise which, in a fiscal point of view, might make it desirable to prolong the lower rate of duty.