§ The Earl of Malmesbury
hoped their Lordships would excuse him, if, having been so recently introduced into their Lordships' House, he occupied their attention for a few moments, to put a question to his noble Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, respecting the timber duties proposed in the schedule of the revised tariff. As it now stood, the change would come into operation on the 5th of April, when Canada timber would come in at 1s. duty, and Baltic timber at a reduced duty. A considerable quantity of home-grown timber, particularly elm and fir, would be affected by the change. All sales took place in January and February, and be thought it hard that those who had made contracts three weeks ago should find 837 themselves in a perfectly new position three weeks hence. Contracts were made on the faith of the old arrangements; and he wished to know whether regard would not be paid to the interests of the parties concerned by fixing a later day for the commencement of the new duties?
§ The Earl of Ripon
was not aware, that his noble Friend intended to put a question to him respecting the details of the plan submitted to the other House. He could only say, that the 5th of April was put in the schedule under the expectation that more progress would have been made than had been found possible. As they were now so near that time, it would be impossible to give effect to the measure at so early a period, and a later time would be fixed for its coming into operation.—Adjourned.