HC Deb 18 February 1859 vol 152 cc511-2

said, he rose to put a question to the Government relative to the present state of the Guano Trade with Peru. He had intended to ask the question on Friday last, but had postponed it on the request of the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who wished to lay some further papers on the Table relating to the subject. No such papers, however, had been produced. A letter of Lord Malmesbury to the Peruvian Minister had been printed; but it was unaccompanied by any answer from the Peruvian Government. The effect of the monoply of the supply of guano was most injurious to the interests of agriculture. There was at present lying in the Victoria Docks, guano enough to fill the Crystal Palace, which, if it were sent into the market in the usual course of trade, would bring down the price materially; but it was kept in bond by the monopoly holders in order to maintain the price. The Government of Peru had recently made a proposition to open the trade by allowing all ships to take in cargoes of guano at a fixed price; and he hoped that proposal would be put into execution. The questions which he wished to put to the Government were these:—1st. Whether they have received any answer to the Despatch of Lord Malmesbury, such answer having been promised in the Papers laid before the House about a fortnight ago? 2nd. Whether they have received any communication from their Minister at Peru on the subject of opening the trade in guano? 3d. Whether the Government will use their influence and co-operation with other Governments in recommending to the Peruvian Government the adoption of an open trade?