§ THE EARL OF ALBEMARLE
said, he had to present a petition from merchants, bankers, manufacturers, and inhabitants of Bristol, praying that their Lordships would be pleased to take such steps as were in their power to induce Her Majesty's present Ministers to establish a strict blockade of the enemy's ports, and to make such representations to the Prussian Government as should compel that Power to close the overland trade with Russia. At the same time he wished to move for certain returns relating to the various products of Russia, in order to show that there had been more than the usual quantity imported from that country recently, and to prove the inefficiency of the blockade of last year. He also wished to ask in what manner the Government proposed to allow the trade with the enemy to be conducted in future? It appeared to him that this subject was the most important that could by any possibility occupy their Lordships' attention. The disposal of everything rested with a higher Power; but, humanly speaking, he considered that the Government were responsible either for peace or war. He believed it to be in their power, by an energetic and vigorous policy, to bring the war to a speedy termination; or, failing in that energy, to make the siege of Sebastopol another siege of Troy. He trusted that their Lordships would excuse him if he borrowed a phrase used in another place, to the effect that "it was the policy of Government to inflict the maximum of injury upon the enemy, and the minimum of injury upon ourselves." Now, with regard to inflicting the maximum of injury on the enemy, the question 1851 naturally arose, in the first place, had we done so? and next, was there any reasonable prospect that we should do so in the next campaign? War was declared upon the 28th of March, 1854; and, as the law stood at that time, it was felony, if not treason, for any subject of these realms to trade with the enemy. That wholesome law was departed from, unfortunately for this country, for it was his sincere conviction that, had we adhered to it, instead of attending Vienna Conferences with "bated breath and whispering humbleness," instead of appearing as suppliants suing for peace, and submitting to the humiliation of a refusal, we should have Russia at our feet, begging for peace upon any terms, and imploring us to save her from the fury of a nobility whom our measures had driven to beggary and despair. The Government, last year, declared their intention to establish a strict and vigorous blockade. The blockade of the Baltic was tolerably effective; the blockade of the Black Sea was partial, and unfortunately, the partiality was in favour of the enemy; for while we blockaded the mouths of the Danube, and shut in from the markets 2,000,000 quarters of corn belonging to our friends, we left all the ports of the enemy open, and let out millions of quarters of linseed belonging to the enemy. The British merchants, relying on the repeated assurances of the Government, regarded the Black Sea as tabooed, and, looking upon it as treasonable to trade with the Black Sea, went to Africa, to India, and elsewhere, and brought a large supply of linseed into this country. But the enemy was beforehand with them, and they were obliged to sell their produce at a depreciation of 15 per cent. In this case, therefore, the maximum of injury was inflicted upon British merchants, while the maximum of profit was enjoyed by the enemy producers. It appeared, from the best authentic accounts, that more than 10,000,000l. of gold and silver went into Russia from this country in the first year of the war for goods received. It was to be presumed that the Government would not renew the blunders of last year, but that both in the Baltic and the Black Sea there would be a strict and vigorous blockade, as far as ships could effect it; but ships alone were abortive to make that blockade effectual. The petition he now presented was conclusive on this point. The land transit trade from Russia to Prussia must be diminished. By the mode 1852 in which it was conducted the goods were not, as heretofore, transmitted to St. Petersburg, but were brought through the departments of Smolensko, Tver, and Novogorod, to the frontier town of Taurogen, and were shipped thence to Memel, the distance of only a few miles. He thought that the Government were bound to do one of two things—either to raise the blockade, to diminish their naval armaments, to send out more land forces, which of course involved the shedding of more blood, or to take the alternative—enforce the blockade vigorously by sea and land. In the petition which had been entrusted to him the House was called upon to "take such steps as to compel the Prussian Government to close the overland trade with Russia." Now, upon the nature of these he would not enter: he left them to the responsibility of Ministers. His wish at the present moment was only to ventilate the subject, and he would first go to the question of prohibition. That was no new subject to the Government, past or present. That prohibition was urged upon the Government, and was recommended by the persons of all others who were most competent to advise them—namely, the merchants trading with Russia. Ever since he had a seat in either House of Parliament he had been an enemy of class interests; but he could not but advocate the views of these merchants, for he believed that their interests and those of the public were inseparably connected. Their advice was certainly preferable to sending 10,000,000l. to recruit the resources of the enemy. It had been asserted that such a prohibition would not succeed, and that it would inflict no injury upon Russia, and great injury upon ourselves. He was ready to take the converse of that proposition, and to prove that this step of entirely stopping the trade of Russia would inflict the maximum of injury upon Russia, and the minimum of injury upon ourselves. He argued this from the peculiar nature of the trade. Their Lordships were perfectly aware of what the export trade of Russia consisted. It consisted of a few articles of raw produce, raised by serf labourers, who were the property of the nobles of that country. The Russian landlord nobles were a military caste; they not only held all the principal commands in that country, but the whole army was raised by them. All the ranks were filled with them, from the field-marshal down to the private sol- 1853 dier. Every landlord was a soldier, and landlords were not a very patient order of beings in any country; but a soldierlandlord, with a sword at his side, was a man who, in a military country, was likely to make himself heard. Well, these exports were the property of the soldier-landlords of Russia. The exports formed the rent of the Russian nobility; any injury to the rent must be an injury to the nobility. Now, the policy of this country last year, and their policy this year, as it had hitherto gone on, was the very opposite of all the principles which they had been talking about, as to inflicting a maximum of injury upon Russia, and a minimum of injury upon themselves. One effect of these imperfect blockades had been to make the war popular with the people of Prussia. It in some degree reconciled them to the disgrace which the vacillation of their sovereign had brought upon them, and made the gain to their interest act as a counterbalance to their loss of honour. But a far more serious consequence of our policy was, that it made the war popular with Russia, and its soldierlandlords; and as long as that feeling existed, let our successes be as brilliant as they might in the Crimea, peace was utterly impossible. There could be no peace until they made those exponents of public opinion in Russia, those military landlords feel more severely the pressure of the war. But so far from that having been the case, the land transit of last year had produced the most beneficial effect to them. They netted, it was true, a little less profit on their exports; but their horses and carts for carriage were an immense source of profit to them—so remunerative, indeed, was it found to be that they brought carts and horses from the confines of Siberia. A good system of policy on the part of this country would not have brought about such a state of things. The object of this country ought to be to make the war unpalatable to the Russian nobility, to make their exports unsaleable, to make their serfs unprofitable. On this export trade the Russian noble entirely depended, and his habit being always to live up to his means, and generally far in advance of them, he had no money to fall back upon as a resource whenever that export trade should fail him. There was no middle class in Russia. No man in Russia could supply himself with a conveyance of his goods to the marts; that was wholly in the hands of a small but a highly-respectable body of British mer- 1854 chants; the Russian landlords could not convey their goods to the port of shipment; that was, again, supplied by British merchants. Now, this body of Englishmen, as respectable a body as any in that country, had been in existence before the present capital of Russia was known, and when its site was a desolate spot amid the marshes of the Neva; even before the name of Peter the Great was known they were carrying on trade at Archangel between Russia and England. He dwelt upon this, because these merchants had repeatedly declared to the Government, that if the orders in Council permitting the trade were repealed, and that the Statute law were to be enforced as it was before those orders were made, they would entirely discontinue the Russian trade. They ought to be believed in that assertion, for it was obvious that men of their high character were not disposed to risk their honour as British merchants, and to incur disgrace and banishment by evading the law. He therefore wished their Lordships to bear in mind the inevitable consequences that would arise from their not carrying into effect the statute law which made it treason to trade with an enemy. That, independently of any measure to prevent the ingress of Russian products, would destroy at once two thirds of her exports, and three-fourths of the capital by which it was carried on—for three-fourths of her money transactions were conducted in London. It was said, that if these merchants did abandon the trade, another class of persons would come forward; but who were they, he should like to ask? Who could succeed those merchants? Let us see what would be their requirements. First, they must be men of capital and of credit from the very nature of the trade. It should be specially borne in mind that the trade was one of advances, and unlike the usual system of trading. Everything was to be paid in advance, and who were the persons to do it? Were they merchants of any other country? They did not exist in Russia; they did not exist in Prussia. There were none. He did not wish to speak of any particular country or place, but he understood that there was nobody so low in purse or in credit as the Prussian merchant. If they took the test of solvency—namely, the rate of discount, he believed that the Prussian merchants paid 20 per cent discount, and were those the persons to take up a trade involving an enormous capital? The idea was utterly preposterous. But 1855 capital was not all that was required. They might have capital and credit too, but something more was still wanted. Great local knowledge and a personal acquaintance with the native agents were equally necessary, for without these all the capital and credit they could command would not enable persons to understand the way in which this trade was carried on. The British merchaut made repeated advances from the beginning of Autumn to the beginning of March in the following year to a set of native agents. Those agents had to travel from 500 to 1,000 miles into the interior, visiting the various fairs and marts of commerce, for the purpose of bringing back the commodities which they were commissioned to purchase. They were often delayed, and had to wait the melting of the snow to enable them to float their river boats, by which they were conducted to the port of shipment. The question would naturally suggest itself, what security had the merchants that these men would not run away with the property? There was none whatever —practically speaking, there was no redress at law for such a contingency. But, notwithstanding, it was known perfectly well that the trade was carried on profitably—and why? Because from its being an old-established trade there had sprung up a degree of confidence on the one hand, and a principle of good faith on the other, which prevented those parties from dealing unjustly. How, he would ask, was it possible that such a class of men should suddenly spring up in Russia? They might, no doubt, in the course of years, but, in the meanwhile, what would become of Russia—what would be the condition of Russia? That was the point to which he wished to call the attention of their Lordships—it was the most important question of all. By adopting the course these merchants demanded, her exports would be destroyed; the rouble would be of the value of a French assignat; in two years her finances would be in the most inextricable confusion; and the soldier landlord, the man upon whose courage and fidelity the Sovereign must depend in the day of battle, would be rendered desponding, despairing, and disaffected, when your prohibitive policy had taught him that not merely had the war stripped him of his serfs—not merely had it burdened him with taxes, but that it had brought him to beggary and ruin by having entirely deprived him of his trade. Could the war 1856 be carried on for a single year by Russia under these circumstances? He was not speaking entirely in ignorance of the country or of its people, for he had travelled from one end of Russia to the other. He was there in 1824, and saw a little of the temper of the nobility at that time, and they talked just as freely of the insurrection which took place there the year after as the clubs of London now talked of the efficiency of Her Majesty's Government. There appeared to be an undefined notion abroad in this country that if a stop were put to our trade with Russia we should be ruined for ever; but what foundation was there for such a notion? There was none whatever. Their Lordships must bear in mind that the raw products of which the Russian exports consisted were not of so rare a kind that one country only could produce them, but were to be had all over the world. The Russian hemp, for instance, was by no means the best that came into the market, and he found by the prices current of last Saturday that 16 per cent more was obtained for the Manilla hemp than for the hemp produced by Russia. It could also be obtained from the North of France and Lombardy, and from the latter country the Government had procured several thousand tons. Passing from Europe to India, they would be lost in wonder at the superabundance in that country of the materials which were now obtained from Russia; all the vegetable creation seemed to resolve itself into the three products of hemp, flax, and if not into animal tallow, at least into a substitute for that article. From the Himalaya Mountains to ten degrees of south latitude there were whole tribes of trees which furnished a substitute for hemp. The nettle also produced rope superior to the best Russian rope, for a Russian fibre had broken with a weight of 160lb. while a fibre of nettle had held 400lb. without breaking. The Philippine Islands, again, produced the Manilla root, which, after clothing 4,000,000 of people, came into the market as the best rope in the world. Iron was also a great competitor with hemp. When the iron cable had first superseded the vegetable cord cable, down had gone the price of hemp, and it had again gone down since the patent for iron wire had expired; the iron cable was now used by all the great companies and shipmasters, being as efficient for the standing rigging of the smallest yacht as for that of the largest vessel. It was stated by Messrs. Noble, the great hemp brokers, that if Her 1857 Majesty's Ministers would declare that it was unlawful to trade with Russia for one year, such an impetus would be given to the growth of these textile fabrics that they would be able to compete with the products of Russia in price, quality, and quantity. Russian flax was beaten by that of Belgium, the latter having a superiority of 12 per cent in the market. Here, again, they might depend upon a supply from India, as the immense population of that country, and their great industry and mechanical skill, rendered those products the most profitable which partook of a vegetable and a manufacturing character, such as hemp and flax. Last year, as president of the Agricultural Association in his own county, he had urged the cultivation of flax upon the agriculturists of Norfolk, but he was glad they had not taken his advice, as he had given it in reliance upon the assurance of the Government that an effective blockade would be maintained. Ireland, too, was peculiarly fitted for the production of this fibre, from the comparative cheapness of its labour, the humidity of its climate and the fertility of its soil. Several of the northern provinces had already cultivated it. The celebrated engineer, Sir J. M'Neill, had, on the faith that the blockade of the Russian ports was to be strictly enforced, laid 600 acres under flax, but the market was glutted by Russian produce, and he could now only sell at a loss. Ho now came to the question of tallow. Before war was declared Russian animal tallow had been losing its price in the market, having been superseded by vegetable oils, and the taking the duty off soap had had a great effect in extending the number of substitutes for animal tallow. Messrs. Price and Co., the largest candle manufacturers in the world, who employed no less than 2,000 workmen, had not a cask of animal tallow upon their establishment, its place being supplied by palm and other vegetable oils. The palm, from which this oil was obtained, grew along the coast where the slave trade prevailed, and it had been found that in proportion as the slave trade diminished, an increase took place in the quantity of oil produced, so that by rescinding the order in Council of April 15, 1854, they would contribute to diminish the slave trade. France, again, which was a great exporter of candles and soap, abstained almost entirely from the use of animal tallow, substituting for it what was commonly called the African ground or pig-nut, which they obtained from Al- 1858 geria—it, however, was not a nut, but of the pulse kind, and grew in almost every part of Africa; it was easily cultivated and very remunerative. In order to show how unexpectedly and the facility with which substitutes were found for tallow, he would cite the instance of the Irish Peat Company, started for the purpose of extracting from peat a naphtha oil, which was worth about 1s. per gallon; but it was soon found that this oil possessed the high lubricating quality necessary for machinery, and in a few months the price rose from 1s. to 5s. a gallon. Peat was not a very scarce thing in Ireland, and he therefore hoped that the Peat Company would contribute their quota towards substitutes for Russian tallow. The Government had, thanks to the blockade, inundated this country with Russian goods—hemp, which was at 70l., had fallen to 50l.; flax, which was at 52l. per ton, had fallen to 37l.; and tallow had declined from 70l. to 48l. An argument used against the rescinding of the order in Council was, that it would tend to encourage trade among neutral Powers, and that in Prussia flax mills would spring up on every side. But what was the mighty competition which was feared? In Prussia there were but nine flax mills; they might erect others, but in order to do so they would require time, capital, skilled labour, and machinery, which latter must all come from England. No manufactory could be erected under 50,000l., and while these preparations were being made it was supposed that Prussia would be allowed to continue in her quasi state of hostility, breaking the law of this country by breaking the blockade, and allowing goods to come through her territory, supplying at the same time our enemies with arms and munition of war. But Prussia might be found either employed in stopping the ingress of Russian goods, or might find an allied fleet blockading her ports in the Baltic, and a Russian army on the right bank of the Rhine; or there might, perhaps, be an appeal to the nationalities, which had been expressed by more than one of Her Majesty's Government without any great disfavour being shown, he believed, by the Chief Minister. But if matters came to the worst this competition on the part of Prussia would but end in a few million more yards of Silesian linen. They were also told that in Italy and Holland this neutral trade would be carried on; but the question again arose, where would they find capitalists and men? He 1859 had dwelt thus much on the importance of putting an end to the war by stopping the funds by which the trade was carried on, but he did not attach much importance to the machinery by which the progress of Russian products into this country was to be prevented. The plan proposed by the petitioners was, that the importer of Russian products should make an oath before the consul that such goods were the products of another country. Now, he admitted that these certificates might occasionally be evaded, that an importer might be found to swear to anything; and a blundering consul—though he hoped the Government would only appoint efficient men—might not be able to discriminate between Riga, St. Petersburg, or Lombardy hemp. But he derived his belief of the efficiency of certificates of origin from the nature of the men who would be employed; for they must be men of capital and credit. He thought he had already shown that the sacrifices which this country would be called upon to make would not be so serious as might be supposed; but if we were not prepared for sacrifices, why did we go to war? No nation with a great external trade could enter upon war without making sacrifices. War entailed two burdens—the heavy expenses of naval and military establishments, and the interruption of the trade of the country with which it was at war, this latter loss being in proportion to the extent of trade with the enemy. How did this country stand with regard to Russia? This country could, in a commercial point of view, better go to war with Russia than with any other country, as Russia had, during peace, inflicted more evils on this country than any other by its hostile tariffs. In fair and open trade between two countries, in the exchanges of products for products, the balance of gold and silver was sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other. How did this country stand with regard to Russia in this respect? From the return of exports and imports last laid on their Lordships' table, he found that British exports to Russia amounted to 1,228,404l., while this country received from Russia imports to the amount of 9,200,841l., so that this country had to pay a balance of gold and silver to Russia of 7,792,437l. The object of this country ought to be to make Russia suffer more than it did; but, as our trade was of more consequence to her than her trade was to us, it was as evident as a demonstration 1860 in Euclid that, under the present state of things, this country had been inflicting the maximum of loss upon itself, and the minimum on Russia. We took two-thirds of the whole of the exports of Russia, while Russia took scarcely one-eightieth part of the products of this country. The account, therefore, stood thus:—By losing our custom, Russia lost two-thirds of her export trade, and nearly all the capital by which it was carried on; while we lost a very trifling portion of our trade, and the capital was our own. But even if so favourable a balance could not have been shown, was this a question which ought to be treated in a miserable huckstering style? Were Russian hides and tallow to be weighed against English blood and sinew? Viewing the question even in this, the narrowest point of view, it would be found that we had the means of greatly crippling the commerce and enterprise of Russia, without proportionate sacrifices on the part of this country; for it would cost us only one-eightieth part of our exports to reduce the imports of gold and silver into Russia by something like 7,792,000l. He thought the bargain would be a good one. Well, now, that would be precisely the effect of the step he was urging upon Government; although it might be opposed to the principles of political economy. No doubt it is very much opposed to political economy, but so is war in every shape and form. In truth, war and political economy, as every one must see, are incompatible with each other. War implies a negative of all trade; hence no principles of political economy, or any other principle connected with peaceable relations, are involved.
§ LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLY
said, that there could be no objection to the production of the papers for which the noble Earl bad moved, although he was afraid that they would not give much information, as they afforded a very imperfect test of the amount of commerce carried on. The noble Earl complained that the blockade had been imperfectly exercised, and that there had been little injury inflicted upon the Russian trade while a great deal had been done to our own. He would beg to direct their Lordships' attention, however, to the circumstances under which the blockade had been first instituted. We were engaged in a war with Russia in concert with an ally who entertained a different opinion to ourselves with regard to questions of maritime law and the rights of bellige- 1861 rents. They recognised the right of neutrals to carry property of the enemy without being subject to the right of search, and that was one reason which rendered it necessary to deal tenderly with any interference with the commercial proceedings of the enemy. But there was another circumstance which rendered that necessary. It was the practice for merchants in this country to pay in advance for Russian produce, and the consequence of that system was, that at the time when the blockade was instituted, nearly all the Russian produce which was lying in the ports of the Baltic and the White Sea was, in point of fact, the property of English and French merchants, and not of Russians. If a blockade, therefore, had been immediately instituted upon the breaking out of the war we should have injured our own subjects, and not those of Russia. For this reason it was thought desirable that the period for commencing the blockade should be extended, and that time should be given to allow of the exportation of all such produce from Russian ports; but that order in Council had only reference to British merchants and in no way altered the law. The noble Earl, stated that the blockade had not been enforced. Upon this point he must join issue with the noble Earl, for he believed that since the blockade had been enforced in the White Sea and the Baltic not one single cargo of Russian produce had been exported from any Russian port upon those seas. With regard to the Black Sea, he admitted that the circumstances were different, and he regretted that they were so. We had not had ships available for the purpose of enforcing a blockade in the Black Sea; and the consequence was that a large amount of produce was imported thence into this country, to the benefit chiefly of the Greek merchants. A blockade had, however, now been imposed (from the 1st of February) of every Russian port, and there was no single port of the Black Sea, the Baltic, or of the Gulf of Finland, which would be in future unblockaded. The geographical position of Russia was such that a marine blockade could without much difficulty be established, because, although there was a large extent of territory, the maritime outlets were few. He would now call their Lordships' attention to the actual result of the blockade which had actually had a great effect in crippling the Russian trade. The total importation of hemp for the year ending March, 1862 1854, was 1,208,371 cwt., of which there was from Russia 802,706 cwts., or 66 per cent., while from other countries there were 405,665, or 34 per cent; while in the year ending March, 1855, the total imports were 1,281,076 cwts., of which there were from Russia 422,439, or 33 per cent., and from other countries 858,637 cwts., or 67 per cent.; so that the proportions were actually reversed. It must be also remembered, that all excess of Prussian trade in this article over the importation of the previous year had been considered Russian produce. The total importation of tallow for the year ending March, 1854, was, 1,210, 151 cwts., of which there were from Russia 840,137, or 69 per cent., and from other countries 370,314, or 31 per cent. In the year ending March, 1855, the total imports of that article were 797,090, of which from Russia there were 424,064, or 53 per cent., and from other countries, 373,026, or 47 per cent., showing a decrease in the total imports of 34 per cent., and a decrease in Russian imports of 49 per cent., but an increase from other ports of 1 per cent. With regard to flax, the imports for the year ending March, 1854, were 974,864, quarters, of which from Russia there were 749,908, or 77 per cent., and from other places 224,956, or 23 per cent. In the year ending March, 1855, the total imports were 854,771 cwts., of which 403,663, or 74 per cent. were Russian, and 451,108 quarters, or 53 per cent., exports from other countries, showing a decrease in the total imports of 12 per cent., and of 46 per cent. in the Russian imports, but an increase in the imports from other countries of 100 per cent. There were some other details with regard to tar, bristles and raw cotton, with which he need not trouble the House at that late hour. He had referred to these returns to show the very considerable effect produced even by the partial blockade for a portion of the last year, and the more rigorous one in the present. What then, might be expected next year, when there would be a continuous and effective blockade?—And it was only reasonable to suppose that the trade of Russia with other countries had been reduced in a corresponding degree. There could be no doubt that the trade of Russia would be most materially crippled. He now came to the main proposition of the noble Earl—that referring to the absolute prohibition of all Russian produce, whether exported from 1863 Prussian or from other German ports and the entire cessation of their own commerce with Russia. Now, he would ask the noble Earl how it was possible to arrive at a knowledge as to whether the produce imported from neutral ports was Russian or not? Were the English consuls at every Prussian or other German port to give their certificates that the produce exported was the production of the country from which it was exported? It was notorious that certificates of origin were most falacious in their operation; and, if merchants were unscrupulous enough to engage in trade with an enemy, they would not prove an effective means of putting a stop to such trade. Even if it were possible to arrive at the knowledge that the articles so exported were Russian produce, and not that of the country from which they were exported, they would not be able to get rid of the difficulty, for when produce had been submitted to any process of manufacture, however slight, it became a "manufactured article" and was considered the produce of the country from which it was exported, and not of that from which it originally came. Now, with regard to tallow, a very slight operation was sufficient, in law, to convert it into a manufactured article. So with regard to hemp and flax. Under those circumstances, it would be very difficult to certify what was really Russian and what the produce of other countries, and he need hardly point out to their Lordships how extremely cautious they should be in interfering with the genuine trade of neutral countries. He trusted that the noble Earl would be satisfied with what had been already done, and with what was likely to be done in the present year, when the blockade would be efficiently and immediately enforced, more especially when he considered that half of the Russian trade had been destroyed, her mercantile marine swept away, and her men of war were ignominiously shut up within her arsenals or sunk in the entrance of her ports, whilst the British flag floated triumphantly unquestioned on every sea; when the noble Earl considered all these things, he would find that he was hardly justified in saying that the blockade had been emtirely ineffectual.
§ LORD BERNERS
was glad that this question had been brought before the House, and expressed his gratification at hearing that the blockade was to be rigorously carried out. He should be still 1864 further gratified if the policy, which he believed to be the true national policy, were further pursued, by the destruction of private property in Sebastopol, which had, as he understood, hitherto been spared.
§ THE EARL OF ALBEMARLE
, in reply observed that the returns from which the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade had quoted were incomplete, and therefore no inference could be drawn from them. If he found the assertion of his noble Friend, that this blockade would be made effectual, established by the fact, he should be perfectly satisfied; but should that not be the case, he certainly would at some future period put his views in the form of a Resolution, and take the sense of the House upon it.
Petition ordered to lie on the table; also, Return ordered of the quantity of Hemp, Flax, Tallow received into this country from Russia and Prussia between the 1st of January and the 27th of April in the years 1853, 1854, and 1855 respectively.
§ House adjourned to Monday next.