HL Deb 03 April 1835 vol 27 cc779-80
Lord Brougham

presented a petition from the Mechanics' Institution at Norwich, praying that their Lordships would interpose to effect the Repeal of all Stamps upon Newspapers, and of the Duty on Foreign Books, which Stamps and Duties now much impeded the circulation of knowledge. He had so lately occupied their Lordships' time with remarks on this subject, that he did not now feel it necessary to add anything upon it. He should only correct a mistake into which he had accidentally fallen, as to the comparative number of the English and the American Newspapers. The Newspapers circulated in the state of New York alone were eight times the number of the papers in this country, and those in the other States were five or six times the number. He might be permitted to add that it gave him the greatest satisfaction to find that, since the statement he had made on this subject, many individuals who had before entertained great prejudices, both of a financial nature and of another kind, as to the removal of the Stamp Duty—especially the fear of the increase of immoral publications—had, upon reading the arguments and the statement of facts he then laid before their Lordships, had their prejudices entirely removed.