HC Deb 13 February 1822 vol 6 cc279-81

On presenting a Petition from the owners and occupiers of land in Lewes and Pevensey Rapes,

Mr. Curteis

took occasion to observe, that the petitioners had twice laid their case before parliament, and had twice been told, to wait with patience the effects of time: they had waited, and the consequences had been an aggravation of their sufferings and an exacerbation of their feelings. They now once more approached the House in firm, but respectful language, claiming its interference in their behalf. The hon. member then detailed the principal arguments contained in the petition, expressing his decided approbation of them: he also adverted to the question of averages, to the warehousing system, and to the effect of tithes and poor-rates upon land, and argued, that protecting duties might afford the farmer the relief he sought, inasmuch as the effect of them would be to prohibit the competition of foreign grain, and to raise the price of our own. He had already this session given two votes in favour of economy and retrenchment; and as his constituents were unanimous upon the subject, he should not fail to follow them up by other votes against the extravagant system pursued by ministers.

Mr. Ellice

contended, that the notion of protecting and prohibiting duties, though still maintained by Mr. Webb Hall and other visionaries in their reveries, had long been given up and exploded both in parliament and in the country. Relief was, in fact, only to be obtained by effecting the greatest possible reduction of taxation. He was surprised to hear that the hon. member was still a disciple of Mr. Webb Hall, from whose project of high prices the utmost injury would result, if it were attempted to be carried into execution. The hon. member hoped to see the corn grower and corn-consumer put upon the same relative footing in this country as on the continent.

Mr. Wodehouse

also expressed his astonishment that any member should still be inclined to support the doctrines of Mr. Webb Hall.

Mr. Hume

said, that the hon. member for Sussex complained with a very ill grace that the petitioners had been sent back unredressed in the last and in the preceding session. Why had they obtained no relief, but because the hon. gentleman and others constantly voted with ministers in favour of their extravagant expenditure of the public money? True it was, that within the last fortnight he had given two votes for economy; but could he show one vote with the same tendency either in the last or in the preceding session?

Ordered to lie on the table