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inferior a quality, as to be unfit for the use of man; and under a full perfuafion of the neceffity of fixing fome limit, in order to prevent the object, for which the bounty is given, from being defeated by the importation of corn inapplicable to the fubfiftence of the people They have fince received further information, which has fatisfied them, that wheat, naturally of fomewhat a lower weight, may produce whole fome food; and that cargoes, not frequently, arrive out of condition, in confequence of which the weight is for the time diminished, though it foon recovers; and that it might prove an inconvenient reftraint on fpeculation, if the merchant were expofed to lose the whole of the bounty, by a flight inattention of his agents abroad, or by a temporary and accidental deterioration of the article imported: they are therefore of opinion, that a bounty, equal to four-fifths of the propofed bounty, thould be given on all wheat weighing not lefs than at the rate of fifty-three pounds per


Your committee having ftated fuch further obfervations as they have thought neceffary, refpecting the amount of the bounties, and the limitations as to weight, and quantity, and time, beg leave to recommend, for the prevention of fraud, that all corn and flour imported for bounty fhould be fubject, in addition to the infpection of the proper officers of the customs, to the examination of perfons qualified to judge thereof; that with out the certificate of fuch perfons, ftating that the article is merchantable and fit for making bread, no bounty fhould be paid; and that

the importation of corn and flour for bounty fhould be confined to fuch ports in which it is probable that perfons fo qualified may be found.

Your committee have alfo received information that there are ships now in the ports of this country laden with corn, which are intended to be reported for exportation, and that other fhips may arrive, the confignees of which may fend their cargoes to foreign ports, unlefs tempted by the bounty to unload them here; and they beg leave, therefore, to fubmit the expediency of extending the bounty to the cargoes of all fhips which may now be in the ports of this country, or may arrive here previous to the paffing of the act by which it is to be granted.

Third Report from the Select Committee appointed to take into confideration the prefent High Price of Corn. THE felect committee appointed to take into confideration the prefent high price of corn, and to collect evidence relative thereto, and to report the fame from time to time, as it fhall appear to them, to the house, with their obfervations thereupon, have received, fince their first report, a confiderable number of returns, made by the cuftodes rotulorum of the different counties, refpecting the fate of the laft crop, together with much additional intelligence upon that fubject communicated by many of their members. They find it however impoffible as yet to draw, either from these returns or from any other quarter, a precife conclufion. The returns are so incomplete in their number, and are founded upon fo many different

principles, fome ftating the whole quantities of grain produced, others the number of acres fown, and others again the average produce of each acre; and drawing, in fome inftances, a comparifon with the crop of last year, in others with that of certain preceding years, and in others with what is generally called a fair crop, that it is exfremely difficult to combine and compare them, fo as to flate accurately the refult of the whole.

Your committee would have endeavoured to render this inveftigation more complete, if they had not felt the great importance of fuggefting, without further delay, fuch measures as have occurred to them for alleviating an evil which evidently exifts to fuch an extent as to call for the most effectual remedy.

From the best confideration of fuch information as they have hitherto obtained, they fhould not feel themselves authorized in affuming, as the ground of any opinion they may offer, that the deficiency of the crop of wheat is lefs than from one fifth to one fixth, compared with the crop of last year, and from one fourth to one fifth, compared with an average crop. The crop of rye, of which no great quantity is ufually grown, may probably be confidered as equally deficient; but the crops of barley and oats are reprefented to be nearly double thofe of 1794, and at least one fifth better than an average crop.

It appears alfo, from the concurrent teftimony of intelligent perfons, that the ftock of wheat in hand at the commencement of the laft harvest was much less than at the fame period of the preceding

year, and there is alfo reafon to believe that a larger quantity has been ufed for feed in the prefent feed time than in the laft.-One of the caufes of the extreme high price which prevailed antecedent to the laft harveft, was generally fuppofed to be the very exhausted state to which the stock of the country had then been reduced. In order to avoid a repetition of this evil, to the fame or to a much greater extent (if the fucceeding crop fhould, from unfavourable feafons, be later or lefs productive than ufual) it is certainly extremely defirable that the ftock remaining in the country at the commencement of the next harveft fhould be more adequate to the demand than what remained this year at a fimilar period. Whatever is neceffary for this purpofe, ought therefore to be added to the amount of the deficiency.

Your committee have ftated thefe circumftances to the house, in order to explain more fully the grounds of their opinion, that there will be no fecurity againft very confiderable diftrefs in the courfe of the enfuing year, unless the deficiency of wheat and rye can be fupplied by importation, or unless other means can be found, by which, out of the ftock of different forts of grain in the country, a comfortable and wholefome fubfiftence can be furnished to the people during the whole of that period.

Upon the first part of this alternative, your committee have already humbly fubmitted their opinion; and though they flatter themselves, that from the adop tion of the measures now in contemplation for the encouragement



of the importation of wheat, of Indian corn, and of rye, fome confiderable fupplies may be procured from foreign parts, yet they thould think it unwife to reft in any great degree upon the hope that fuch fupplies can cover a large proportion of the deficiency. Your committee would feel great regret in ftating this to the houfe, if they were not alfo of opinion, upon the fulleft confideration, that the country poffeffes other refources, both more extenfive and more fecure, in an economical ufe of the stock of wheat in the kingdom, and in the abundant crops of barley, of oats, and of potatoes.

It is obvious, that there must be a very numerous clafs of families where, in times of ordinary plenty, the confumption of wheaten bread and of flour is by no means an object of ftrict regulation and attention; and it can be as little doubt ed, that, under fuch a preffure as the prefent, an important reduction might be effected in this refpect, without diminishing, in any degree, the quantity neceflary for fubfiftence. It is alfo to be remarked, that the confumption of this clafs of perfons and their families, together with another clafs, far more extenfive, confifls in a large proportion of other articles than bread; and that the fituation of thofe claffes may enable them, as circumftances require, to augment in fome degree that proportion, and thereby to leave a larger thare of the flock of wheat to thofe for whofe fubfiftence it is more immediately effential.

The reduction of the confumption of wheat may be confiderably aided amongst this defcription of perfons, and, in a great degree, ex

tended to all claffes of the people, if they can be induced to employ the other refource to which your committee have referred, and to. avail themselves of the abundance of other crops to fupply the deficiency of wheat.

For the purpofe of ascertaining in what proportion the articles before enumerated, and others, could be mixed with wheat, fo as to produce a bread likely to answer the purposes of general confumption, your committee have examined the refult of a variety of experiments, made by the victualling office, under the direction of the privy council, and ordered to be communicated to them; and of further experiments, fince made by the fame office, under the direction of your committee; and have been alfo affifted by the Board of Agriculture, who have communicated to them an account of trials made with a ftill greater variety of mixtures. Your committee fee no reafon to doubt that good bread may be made from any of thefe mixtures, with no greater proportion than three-fifths or two-thirds of wheaten flour; and there is the best reafon for concluding that such bread would be wholefome and nutritive, becaufe in many parts of of this country, where labour and induftry are carried to as great an extent as in any other, the people are wholly fed by bread made of fome one or more of the component parts of thefe mixtures. Your. committee are further encouraged in this opinion, by finding, that in the courfe of the laft feason, the use of mixed bread of various kinds has been introduced into general confumption in many places whole confumption was before confined


There are indeed many prece dents in the ftatutes of this country, of the interpofition of the legiflature for this purpofe, at times when, from the less advanced state of cultivation and commerce, dif treffes of this kind occurred much more frequently and feverely than at later periods; and even in more recent times, an act paffed* which authorizes magiftrates, whenever they think the cafe requires, to set the affize upon ftandard wheaten bread alone, and thereby to pro

to wheaten bread; that the confequence has been a confiderable reduction of price to the labouring poor in fuch places; and that the ufe of it has not been found to be attended with any inconvenience. The variety of different fpecies of mixed bread is fuch, as to offer a confiderable number of alternatives to different parts of the country; and they will be naturally led to felect thofe which are leaft foreign to their habits and prejudices, and of which, from local circomitances, they can moft conveni-hibit the making of all other forts ently procure a fupply.

That the facrifice of fome degree of indulgence, or of prejudice, is one, which, under the prefent circumftances, can be made, and ought to be made, and that without fuch a facrifice to a confiderable extent, the country will be expofed to ftill greater difficulties than those with which it has fo lately contended, is an opinion with which your committee are fo ftrongly impreffed, that they cannot too earnestly recommend it to the ferious attention of this houfe, and of the nation at large.

Deeply, however, as they feel this impreffion, they are far from propofing any legislative measure to enforce a compliance with this fuggeftion. They well know that the people of this, and of every other country, are attached by habit to their accustomed fpccies of food; and that however they may, by recommendation and example, be induced to make a partial change, yet any fudden and compulfory alteration raight, perhaps, be more fenfibly felt than the very grievance it was intended to remedy.

of bread Your committee, however, entertain great hopes, that without applying this principle to the prefent cafe, the general impreffion produced by the late diftrefs, and continued by the prefent fearcity, will incline men of all defcriptions to unite voluntarily in the only measure which can give effectual and immediate relief; and they conceive, that if this houfe fhould give to such a measure the fanction of its example and recommendation, there could be little doubt of its being adopted by a proportion of the community fufficiently numerous to fecure the attainment of the object in view.

Your committee beg leave to fubmit this fuggeftion to the wifdom of the house; and they hope it will not be thought beyond the line of their duty, if, upon an occafion fo urgent in point of time, they prefume alfo to fuggeft the principal points which fuch an engagement ought, in their humble opinion, to embrace.

To reduce the confumption of wheat in the families of the perfons fubfcribing fuch engagement, Ee 3

13 Geo. III.


by at least one third of the usual quantity confumed in ordinary times.

In order to effect this purpose, either to limit to that exten the quantity of fine wheaten bread confumed by each individual in fuch families;

Or, to confume only mixed bread, of which not more than two thirds shall be made of wheat;

Or, only a proportional quantity of mixed bread, of which more than two thirds is made of wheat;

Or, a proportional quantity of bread made of wheat alone, from which no more than five pounds of bran is excluded;

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If it fhould be neceffary, in order to effect the purpose of this engagement, to prohibit the use of wheaten flour in pastry, and to diminish, as much as poffible, the ufe thereof in other articles than bread;

By one or more of these meafures, or by any other which may be found equally effectual, and more expedient and practicable, in the refpective fituations of perfons fubfcribing, to insure to the utmoft of their power the reduction above mentioned.

This engagement to continue in force until fourteen days after the next feflion of parliament, unless the average price of wheat thall, before that time, be reduced to an amount to be specified.

Appendix to the Third Report from the Select Committee appointed to take

into confideration the prefent High Price of Corn.

THE committee beg leave to lay before the house, as an appendix to their last report, an account of the experiments made by the victualling office upon different kinds of mixed bread, under the directions of the privy council, and of this committee; they have not thought it neceffary to add to the account of the experiments made by the Board of Agriculture, as they understand that it is the intention of that board to communicate that account to the public, together with their observations thereupon.

The committee have proceeded to take into further confideration different branches of this extenfive fubject. Being aware, however, that fome of them contain matter which ought not to be made the object of regulation, except upon mature deliberation, and a clear conviction of neceffity, they have thought it moft confiftent with their duty, to defer making any further report till after the recess; but they beg leave to add to this appendix, a few papers which have been communicated to them; not as intimating any opinion whatfoever, as to the different obfervations and fuggeftions contained in these papers, but with a view of drawing attention to the principal points of which it may be neceffary for the committee to resume the confideration.

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