The Duke of Montrose
presented a Petition from the Noblemen, Gentlemen, and Freeholders of the county of Stirling, against any further increase of the Duty on Homemade Spirits, and praying that the relief which was intended for the colonial interests should be afforded in another way; namely, by a reduction of the duty on Sugar. The petitioners stated, and in that 499 statement the noble Duke said he quite concurred, that the effect of any increase of the Duty on Home-made Spirits would be the re-establishment of that extensive system of smuggling in the Highlands which Government had formerly found it so difficult to put down. In former times, the smugglers used to proceed from the banks of Loch Lomond with their regular advanced guard and rear guard to Glasgow; and the noble Duke (Wellington), even if he should place sentries at every forty yards on the way, would find it impossible to prevent them from doing so again if the Duty on Spirits should be increased. He should be opposed to every such measure, as equally injurious to the landed interest and the morals of the people.