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continue the restraint till parliament should provide such remedy as its wisdom may think fit. It was intended also to reduce the duty on wash made from sugar. These provisions it was proposed should be extended to Ireland. But as his information on the state of that part of the United Kingdom was not so complete, he would leave the details of the arrangements so far as Ireland was concerned to be afterwards settled and explained. He understood, however, that government had received information from Ireland, stating it to be advisable to stop the distilleries at present. It after the ensuing harvest.Ireland bad a superabundance, this country or Scotland could not fail to afford a vent for that surplus. With respect to the West Indian part of the measure, he did not think it right now to enter into details. The commitiee continued to employ itself sedulously on devising the means of remedying The distresses under which the West Indian interest unhappily laboured. The distress of the West Indian interest was urgent, undeniable, and severe. Many who had been till lately opulen', were now in a state of distress, and the most wealthy were in curtailed circumstances. The sups plies sent out to work the estates were still as expensive as ever. He did not think it necessary to argue on the im. portance of the West Indian islands to this country. The present distress of the West Indian interest arose not from wild speculation, but from the shutting of the contia nental market, a mischief which England had brought on the colonies, and was therefore in a particular degree called upon to relieve and remerly. The question now before the house was, however, purely a British question. The relief to the West Indian interest was merely inci. dental to the primary object of providing a security against the apprehension of scarcity in Britain. That ; this relief to the West Indian interest could be incidentally introduced, was a great additional recommendation of the measure he intended to propose. He was glad that the mcasure was at length submitted to the sense of the house. If the restriction was necessary as a measure of precaution, it could not too soon be carried into effect. If it was not, the dispute could not be too soon put to rest. He moved that the report be referred to a committee of the whole house ; and he anticipated, from the moderation and the good sense of the gentlemen present, that the wishes of the committee would be carried into cifect.
Mr. Coke said there was nothing fell from the noble lord to which he could give his concurrence, save his sug. gestion of dispatch in the present very important case. He denied the assertion of a scarcity of grain in the late crops, as far as related to Norfolk. He knew that not very long since in that county, forty-eight shillings a quar. ter bad been the current price for grain, Besides, in consequence of no kind of importation since September, the corn had never been so stationary as at the present period. He was ready to admit that the noble ford was perfectly right in stating that he had changed from his original in. tention, for there could be no doubt that he had shifted his ground very materially.
Sir William Curtis avowed himself a friend to the agricultural interests of the country, and denied that they were at all injured by the present measure, the policy of which was more than adequate to counteract every other objection.
Sir John Sinclair said that he might have less objections than he bad to the present measure, if he could be assured that it was founded upon a system of general policy, and noi local interest ; for he was there not as a man locally interested by the views of any particular place, or any one set of men, but as one of the members of parliament for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ire land, and as such he could not sce any advantage to be derived from the substitution proposed, but did apprehend a great deal of mischief. The honourable baronet then ad verted to the great advantage that resulted to the revenue from the grain distillery, and asked, whether with all this profit from the landholders, besides the property tax and o'hers, it was a wise or a just measure to throw any obstacle in the way of the cultivation of land, and to diminish its produce. With respect to the sugar distillery, great as the injury would be to the landed interest, ibis boon would be productive of very little advantage to the growers of sugar. The high price of barley and other grain in Seotland, was partly owing to the great quantities that had been bought and distilled there, from an apprehension of this prohibition of distillation from grain. As to what had been said about the advantage which this prohibition would prove to the people, he obsérved, that he was of a totally different opinion, and in this he was supported by very bigh authority on the sub
ject. As to the stoppage of foreign importation, he hoped that we might soon have an opportunity of importing from America, as we already might from our own colonies in the north of that continent. But besides this, the measure might be made use of as a precedent for interference with the production of corn, a thing which it was most important to guard against. If any rational plan of relief could be proposed for the West Indian interests, he would gladly concur in it. But he could not consent that they should thus be relieved at the expence of a particular class of the community. The apprehension of such a measure as this had excited the greatest alarm throughout the country; and it was important in every point of view that it should not receive the sanction of The legislature. He therefore would join his honourable friend (Mr. Coke) in opposing the speaker's leaving the chair,
Mr. Curwen, considering the great importance of this proposition, thought that it ought at least to have come from one of the ministers of the crown, who must be in a peculiar manner responsible for the effects of it. He, notwithstanding, gave credit to the noble lord, for the manner in which he had brought it forward; but asked how he bad come to change his opinion, and swerve from the report in one day? However, he would not argue from the report, but take the proposition as it now stood. With respect to the lodging these discretionary powers in the crown, he thought that this system was atiended with very bad effects, and he was by no means fond of the idea of encouraging the practice. In order to shew that the country might be sufficiently supplied with grain, he adverted to the excellent effects that had resulted from Mr. Western's, act by the increase of agriculture. He was a wise minister that assented to that act, and resisted the clamour raised against it at the time. Though the immediate effect of that might have been to raise the price of corn, yet the ultimate effect was to render it cheaper, as it enabled the landholder to raise corn upon those acres upon which none could otherwise have been produced. He mentioned, as another reason, the improvement in the breed of cattle, by which, in Scotland and other places, double the quantity of meat was produced with the same quantity of animal provisions, so that much less land was necessary for pasture, and more was lest for the pro
duction of grain, of which the prices had never before been
Mr. Marryalt conld not agree with those who thought that the interests of the West Indian planters were to be thrown entirely out of consideration, and maintained that. a case of the utmost distress had been made out by them. When the account of the American embargo arrived, he, along with others, as a deputation from the West Indian com inittee, waited on the chancellor of the excheqner to ask, whether government would consent that the restric. tions on the exportations of corn to the colonies should be
taken off; and upon this being refused, it was suggested that sugar might be substituted for grain in the distilleries, as this would be only relieving them with the money that was sent to be paid to foreigners for corn. It ought to be remembered that in former committees on this subject, the plan went to the breweries, and to the distillation of molasses; at present it went no further than the distilleries, and distillation from sugar, so that the mcasure was much simplified, and the financial difficulties in a great measure got rid of. It ought also to be kept in view, that the committee still continued its labours, and had a report in forwardness pointing out a permanent plan of relief, by which any recourse to this measure in future would be rendered unnecessary. He denied that the system of agriculture would be deranged, for the crop of this year was in the ground, and before the next year's crop could come in, the measure would have answered its purpose, and of course cease. He also denied that the gcneral interests of the country would be at all injured, since the quantity of corn thrown into the market would be so much less than what had been commonly imported. The honourable baronet opposite bad not sufficiently distinguished hetween the effects of a temporary and a perinanent measure. He allowed that if the plan was to be permanent, it would be injurious, but no such thing was in contemplation. If agriculture had increased, the population must have kept pace with it, for the importations had not been at all diminished; and in the present cire cumstances of the country, we ought not to trust entirely to a future harvest, for making up the supply before de rived from foreign countries. While the colonics take goods from the mother country to the value of six millions, while they paid nine millions to the revenue, and while the trade employed 20,000 seamen, sugar had for the last three years been selling at a price insufficient to support the expence
of cultivation. He referred to the official papers in the report, in order to shiew the mistake of those who imagined that too much sugar was raised. The glut bad been occasioned by the stoppage of the foreign market, and the admission of the sugar of the captured colonies into the home market, contrary to the good faith on which our own colonists bad rested. He further contended, that there was no intention here to relieve one class at the ex, pence of another. The landholders were in possession of