Monday, 23 July 2012

23rd July 1812: An ill-omen for the Framework-knitters Bill in the House of Lords

On Thursday 23rd July 1812, the Framework-knitters Bill was brought up in the House of Lords:
The Earl of Lauderdale called the attention of the House to this Bill, which he thought a most obnoxious measure; the object of it being to prohibit certain articles of manufacture, because they were not so well made as other articles of higher price. If once they were to legislate in this manner, instead of leaving to the consumer to find out what were good articles and what were bad, he knew not where they were to stop, and they would introduce a principle of the most dangerous consequence. To pass this Bill would be immediately to destroy a valuable branch of export trade, to throw a great number of persons out of employment, and to produce considerable distress in the manufacture to which it applied.

Viscount Sidmouth said he had not read the Bill, but would read it before the meeting of the House to-morrow, and form his opinion from the contents of it.

This is from Parliamentary Debates, vol.23 (pp.1190-1191) .

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