HL Deb 03 February 1831 vol 2 c117
The Marquis of Londonderry

said, he had to present to their Lordships a petition, similar to many others which had been laid on their Lordships' Table. It came from the town of Belfast, in the North of Ireland, and prayed for a Repeal of the Duties on Seaborne Coals. He believed that it was the wish of the Ministers of the Crown to make this country feared abroad, as well as to establish peace and prosperity at home; and to effect the latter object, it was necessary, as far as possible, to remove the existing distresses of the people. He therefore called on them to inquire into the propriety of repealing this tax. There was no impost which bore so severely on the people; and it operated with peculiar hardship on Ireland. He wished to ask the noble Earl, what was the intention of his Majesty's Government with reference to this subject?

Earl Grey

said, that before the recess a question had been put to him relative to the point adverted to by the noble Marquis. He had then stated his feeling as to the nature and principle of this tax; and his opinions with respect to its policy, and its pressure on the country, as described by the noble Marquis, were not concealed from the public. All that he now could state to the House, in answer to the noble Marquis, was, that the subject had been attentively considered by his Majesty's Government, and that, in a short time, when the whole financial situation of the country was laid before the other House of Parliament, the views of his Majesty's Ministers on this subject would be explained. Until that time arrived he begged leave to refrain from making any further disclosure.

Laid on the Table.

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