HL Deb 11 June 1861 vol 163 cc915-6

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.


said, that before this Bill was read the third time, he wished to recall their Lordships' attention to the difficulty which was the cause of the Paper Duty Bill having been rejected last year, namely, the hardships which the British papermaker would labour under as long as difficulties were thrown in the way of the importation of foreign rags. He found from the reports in the public press that it had been stated by the gentleman who had been mainly instrumental in carrying out the Commercial Treaty with Trance, that when he urged upon the French Government the expediency of allowing the free exportation of rags, the answer returned was that they were then engaged in negotiating a commercial treaty with Belgium, and that until that treaty had been concluded they could take no decided step in the matter. The objection then made upon the part of the French Government had, however, now no ground upon which to rest, inasmuch as he found that the treaty between France and Belgium had been concluded. He hoped, therefore, Her Majesty's Ministers would be able to inform the House that further steps had been taken with a view of obviating an injustice to which the papermakers of this country were still subjected, owing to the difficulty which lay in the way of their procuring the raw material of their manufacture.


said, that urgent representations had been made to the Governments of the various countries from which rags were exported with respect to removing the very high duty on their exportation which at present existed. The treaty to which the noble Earl alluded as having been concluded between Belgium and France gave, he believed, considerably increased facilities in that respect, but he hoped the Government would be in a position before long to give some more satisfactory assurance on the subject. A point, perhaps, of even a greater importance than the exportation of French rags was that there should be a systematic collection of rags in this country. He was surprised to learn from an eminent papermaker that in scarcely any other part of England except the Metropolis was there any organized system for the collection of rags.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read 3a accordingly and passed.