HL Deb 25 April 1842 vol 62 cc1050-1
The Duke of Wellington

said, in moving the third reading of the Irish Spirits Duties Bill, that from inquiries which had been made in Ireland, from the officer at the head of the police, there was every reason to believe, that the force would be ample in that country to put down illegal distillation. With regard to the other point mentioned on Friday, respecting the equalising the malt drawback in Scotland and Ireland, he had reason for knowing, that his right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would take care, in a bill brought into the other House of Parliament, that that subject was properly dealt with.

Lord Monteagle

was perfectly convinced that the noble Duke would take care, after his statement, to see justice done as respected the malt drawback. He was also satisfied, from the noble Duke's mentioning the fact, that in the opinion of Colonel Brereton, who had been placed at the head of the police force in Ireland, that force would be enabled to keep down illicit distillation. But, then, it must be borne in mind, efficient and able as that officer was, he had never had any experience in putting down evils of that character. So far, indeed, did he think difficulties would be presented which the Government had not contemplated, that at the present moment, he was told, nearly one-third of the police force in one district, that of Donegal, were employed in preventing and putting down illegal distillation.

The Earl of Wicklow

was satisfied with the declaration of the noble Duke, and the distillers of Ireland would, no doubt, be very grateful to him for the course he had pursued. As respected the efficiency of the police force, he could bear his testimony that it was on a more efficient footing than it ever had been at any former period.

The Marquess of Clanricarde

was apprehensive, that illicit distillation would carried on in despite of the police, and if so, then he much feared, that habits of intoxication, with all the evils attending them, which had been, in many large districts, so happily removed, through the agency of one person, whose name was familiar to the House, would re-appear, and the train of evil consequences also.

Lord Cloncurry

thought, that the sum to be obtained by the additional duty was so small and insignificant to the country at large, that it would be better far to abandon it altogether, than run the risk to which the morals of the people of Ireland would be subject, by a recurrence to intoxicating habits.

Bill read a third time and passed.

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