HC Deb 24 April 1879 vol 245 cc982-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he will cause inquiries to be made as to the operation of the Act 28 Vic. c. 87, in reference to the Returns of Imperial corn averages, which Act reduced the number of towns from which corn averages were taken from 290 to 150, causing thereby a much higher average, and inflicting a great injustice upon the tithepayer; and, whether he will take steps with a view to an arrangement by which corn averages may be more fairly taken?


In answer to my hon. and gallant Friend, I have to say that at the time when the Act of 1864, to which he refers, was passed, it was ascertained, upon inquiry, that very little difference was made by taking the Corn Returns from 150 towns only, instead of from 290. If anything, the prices of the 150 towns were lower than the prices of the 290 towns. We have no reason to believe that, in fact, the prices—which, since 1864, have been taken from the 150 towns—have been higher than they would have been if taken from a larger number; and, consequently, I cannot admit the great injustice to the tithepayer of which my hon. and gallant Friend speaks. I may take this opportunity, however, of assuring him that the mode of ascertaining the corn averages is under the consideration of the Board of Trade; and we shall be at all times prepared to consider any suggestions with which we may be favoured on the subject.