presented a petition from Protestant Dissenters of Middlewich against the Corn-laws. The noble Lord in presenting a similar petition from the congregation of the Tabernacle chapel, in Troubridge, complaining (as we understood) of the sliding scale, said, that by the operation of that scale there had been suddenly thrown into the market a quantity of foreign corn, to the amount of from 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 of quarters of corn, at 1s. per quarter duty. This made an addition to our domestic stock of corn equal to the consumption of five weeks of the whole population of England and Scotland. Such a sudden importation of so large a quantity of corn could not be made under the fixed duty of 8s. No doubt it came in very favourably to the consumers, though not equally so to the farmers. He was not favourable to the sliding scale, nor to the Corn-laws, as they now stood, but he hoped that this effect of the sliding scale, would receive due attention from those who defended the agricultural interest.
, on presenting a petition from Abernyte, for the repeal of the Corn-laws, stated his fears that the country would be disturbed in the winter months,
§ in consequence of the distress which would be brought on by the Corn-laws. The noble Lord begged to call the attention of the noble Duke (of Wellington) to a pamphlet written on the subject of the Corn-laws and their probable effects, by a medical Gentleman, who showed that typhus fever was in most instances generated by an insufficient supply of wholesome food.
§ The Duke of Wellington
said, that he had not seen the pamphlet alluded to, but he would say, that if the noble Lord who presented this petition had been in his place earlier, he would have heard, on the presentation of another petition, that there had been recently imported into this country nearly 2,000,000 of quarters of corn, at 1s. per quarter duty, and that, therefore, there could not exist any fear, of distress from the want of a sufficient supply.