HL Deb 11 February 1847 vol 89 c1154

presented petitions from the malt-distillers of Elgin, Banff, and Inverness, and from Huntly, in the county of Aberdeen, against the reduction of the duty on rum. The Government contended that the interests of the distillers would not be injured by the proposed reduction; and, if so, he saw no reason why the distillers should not be heard before a Committee of either House of Parliament. The distillers did not object to fair competition with the colonies, but they thought that a greater measure of protection ought to be given to them, at least so long as so obnoxious a tax as that on malt was continued.


said, that both the Irish and the Scotch distillers contended that the Government had been misinformed. They only asked for a countervailing duty; and they complained that the calculation of the Government had been made on the spirit, without any calculation on the latent duty on malt. He had himself known a distiller who had to pay 1,400l. duty for one week's operations, although the wash was all lost in consequence of the failure of the vessel in which it was contained. The colonial distiller was subjected to no loss of that kind. The matters in dispute between the colonial and British distillers lay in a small compass, and might easily be investigated in one or two days; and he hoped, therefore, that Her Majesty's Government would grant an inquiry into the subject.

House adjourned.