§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE EARL OF BELMORE
rose to move the second reading of this Bill, when he briefly stated its provisions. It was brought 817 in by the late Government, and its object I was to amend the Acts relating to standard weights and measures and the coinage. The Bill was founded upon the Report of the Standard Commission, and provided that the custody of the Imperial standards, which were now deposited in the office of the Exchequer, should be transferred to the Board of Trade, together with all duties connected therewith. The stamp duty and fees on the indentures of verification were abolished; a department of the Board of Trade to be called the Standard Weights and Measures Department was established, who were to make an annual Report. The custody of the standard trial pieces for coinage, &c. was transferred to the Treasury, and it was provided that they should be removed from their present resting-place in the cloisters, Westminster Abbey, to any place the Commissioners of the Treasury might direct, thus leaving that place disposable for any purpose that might he deemed desirable, after the proposed restoration of the Chapter House. It further provided for periodical comparison of the Board of Trade standards with the Imperial standards, and empowered the Queen in Council from time to time to declare what amount of error might be tolerated in the secondary standards, of which there were no fewer than seventy-seven. The noble Earl then moved the second reading of the Bill.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Friday next.