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of supplying this deficiency is, the importation of grain from foreign parts—and for the purpose of forming an opinion as to what may be the prospect of supply from thence, and the most expedicit means to be adopted for procuring it, your committee proceeded to examine such persons, from whose knowledge and experience in the trade of corn they could expect the best information. It appeared from their concurrent testimony, that, though the crop of wheat in the United States of America, and in the countries bordering upon the Mediterranean, was represented as abundant ; and in the northern and eastern parts of Europe as not materially deficient ; yet, as the old stock was much exhausted, and the demand great, the price, according to the last advices, was every where uncommonly high. . But, though there was upon this point some difference of opinion, it appeared upon the whole very doubtful whether a supply to any confiderable extent could be depended upon from foreign parts, whatever measures might be adopted. Your committee next proceeded to inquire what measures, in the judgment of these persons, afforded the best probability of obtaining such a supply. They thought it right to bring distinctly under their confideration the alternative of leaving the whole care of such purchases to the executive government, who would (it was conceived) be in such case the only purchasers, and be publickly known to be so; or of leaving the same to the speculation of individual merchants, encouraged by a liberal bounty on importation, and by a public declalation on the part of government

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(as soon as such declaration shall be practicable) of the quantity which they may then have at their disposal in consequence of former orders, and of their intention to give no further orders for the purchase of corn, and to sell what may have been procured in limited quantities, and at the market price. It appeared to your committee to be the preponderant opinion amongst those persons to whom this alternative was stated, that, upon the whole, the restoration of the trade in corn to its natural channel, with the additional encouragement of a bounty, was the most eligible mode of endeavouring to procure from foreign parts such supplies as those markets might be found able to furnish. Your committee were further confirmed in this opinion by the information they received from some of their members, that there were merchants who had stated to them their readiness, under those circumstances, to engage in speculations to a large extent. After a full confideration and discussion of this important point, your committee were of opinion, “that it was expedient for the executive government to defist from making any further purchases of corn; and that a bounty should be granted upon the importation of certain forts of grain into this country, for the encouragement of private speculation.” Your committee next proceeded to the consideration of the amount and distribution of such bounty. They had been informed that, from the abundance of the crop of wheat in the countries bordering upon the Mediterranean, there might be

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in those markets; but that. from the high price of freight and insurance from those ports, and from the difficulty of procuring shipping to go thither in ballast, a larger bounty would be required to encourage private speculation in that quarter than in any other; they were therefore of opinion, that a bounty of twenty shillings per quarter, and a proportional bounty per barrel, should be given on any number of quarters of wheat, weighing not less than 440 pounds avoirdupois, or on any number of barrels of flour, weighing not less

than 196 pounds avoirdupois, which

shall be imported into Great Britain from any port of Europe south of Cape Finisterre, or from any port in the Mediterranean, or in Africa, before the 31st day of August, 1796; until the quantity of such wheat and flour, taken together, shali equal 300,000 quarters. They were further satisfied, upon the best information they could collect, that from the other parts of Europe, and from America, a bounty of 15s. per quarter upon a certain quantity of wheat, and of 1os. per quarter upon all exceeding it, would be sufficient to give a fair chance of precuring for the British markets a large proportion of whatever supply those countries might be expected to furnish beyond their own consumption : and they were therefore of opinion, that a bounty of fifteen shillings per quarter, and a proportional bounty per barrel, fhould be given on any number of quarters of wheat, weighing not less than 44clb, avoirdupois, or on any number of barrels of flour, weighing not less than 1961b avoirdupois, which shall be imported from all other parts of Europe, be

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corn and meal, taken together, shall equal 500,000 quarters. Your committee were also of opinion, that a bounty of three shillings per quarter, and a proportional bounty per barrel, should be given on any number of quarters of Indian corn, or on any number of barrels of Indian meal, which shall be im ported into Great Britain before the 31st day of August, 1796; and on which the before mentioned bounty shall not have been paid. Your committee have some reason to believe, that there may appear such a deficiency in the crop of rye, as may lead to the applica. tion of fimilar measures for the encouragement of the importation of that species of grain, as, have been recommended respecting wheat; but they do not yet confider their information upon that point as sufficient to authorize them, at the present moment, to report any opinion to that effect. Your committee have thought it incumbent upon them, humbly to suggest such measures as have hitherto appeared, in their judgment, the most likely to facilitate the procuring, without loss of time, in the least exceptionable manner, and on the least unreasonable terms, the largest supply of grain from foreign parts, which, in the present relative state of the markets, they can be expected to afford. It was particularly with a view to expedition that they have suggested the proposed plan of arranging the bounty. But they feel it, at the same time, their indispensable duty expressly to state, that they are far from entertaining any opinion that any supply, by importation, can be depended upon to such an amount as to remove the neceility of


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ceived a suggestion from merchants trading to the southern parts of Europe and to Africa, that it would be adviseable to enlarge the quantity to which the highest bounty upon corn, brought from those quarters, was proposed to be limited: they do not state an expectation that the whole of that quantity can be procured; but they are apprehensive that the original limitation may tend to check speculation, by the fear of exceeding the quantity specified—and they propose, therefore, that the higheft bounty should be extended to 4to,000 quarters. Your committee have also examined several merchants respecting the proportion which the bounty upon flour ought to bear to that upon wheat; they have been satisfied by this examination that, in consideration of the various sizes and weight of the barrels used in different countries, it would le more adviseable to grant a bount on the hundred-weight of flour than on the barrel, as had been at first suggested; that it is expedient to adopt, on the importation of wheat and wheat flour, the same proportion of bounties which has been already established by the

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the same (i. e.) Is. 6d. per hundred
weight of wheat flour, as equiva-
lent to 5s. per quarter of wheat;
and that the same rule ought to be
applied to Indian corn and meal.
In suggetting, in their former
report, that the bounty given on
wheat olight to be limited to such
as weighed not less than at the
rate of 55 pounds per bushel, your
committee proceeded on informa-
tion then received, that wheat of

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inferior a quality, as to be unfit for the use of man; and under a full persuasion of the necessity of fixing some limit, in order to prevent the objećt, for which the bounty is given, from being defeated by the importation of corn inapplicable to the subsistence of the people They have fince received further information, which has satisfied them, that wheat, naturally of somewhat a lower weight, may produce , wholeforme food; and that cargoes, not frequently, arrive out of condition, in consequence of which the weight is for the time diminished, though it soon recovers; and that it might prove an inconvenient restraint on fpeculation, if the merchant were exposed to lose the whole of the bounty, by a slight 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 proposed bounty, should be given on all wheat weighing not less than at the rate of fifty-three pounds per bushel. Your committee having stated such further observations as they have thought necessary, respecting 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 should be subjećt, in addition to the inspection of the proper officers of the customs, to the examination of persons qualified to judge thereof; that without the certificate of such persons, stating that the article is merchantable and fit for making bread, no *ounty should be paid; and that

the importation of corn and flows
for bounty should be confined to
such ports in which it is probable
that persons so qualified may be
Your committee have also receiv-
ed information that there are ships
now in the ports of this country
laden with corn, which are intend-
ed to be reported for exportation,
and that other ships may arrive,
the confignees of which may send
their cargoes to foreign ports, un-
less tempted by the bounty, to
unload them here; and they beg
leave, therefore, to submit the ex-
pediency of extending the bounty
to the cargoes of all ships which
may now be in the ports of this
country, or may arrive here previ-
ous to the passing of the act by
which it is to be granted.

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