§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. CRAWFORD
moved the second reading of the Bill. The City of London possessed by prescription and by charter from James I. the right of measuring all grain brought within the port of London. It was proposed by this Bill that this privilege should be commuted for a charge upon the weight of the grain, the result of which would be that Mansion House charges amounting to £2,000 a year would be relinquished. The grain according to the proposal made would be weighed for 25 per cent less than the sum now charged upon the measurement. The Corporation would relinquish a sum of £5,000 per annum. The hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) had given notice that inasmuch as the Bill seeks to impose a Tax, in part for the private use and benefit of the Corporation and for no public purpose, on all grain imported into the port of London, the Bill ought not to be proceeded with until the Standing Orders relating to Private Bills had been complied with. This was entirely erroneous. The Bill had the assent of the trade, the assent of the chairman of the Corn Exchange, and of the chairman of a public meeting held for taking the matter into consideration. It was not for the private use of the Corporation of London; the Corporation had no private interests, but applied its revenues for the public good. The Bill was not solicited by the Corporation after the manner of Private Bills, but was a necessary supplement to the Inland Revenue Bill of the year. The whole of the trade of London was affected by its provisions, and it had the same rights and affected the same interests as the many Acts relating to London which had been brought in as Public Bills.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. AYRTON
protested against entering upon the Bill at two o'clock in the morning. Hon. Members were not to sit there to aid the Corporation in levying taxes to enable them to give dinners. He would not prolong the discussion, but would call the attention of the Speaker to the fact that there were not forty Members present.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."— (Sir John Shelley.)
§ Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Two o clock.