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The Sixth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

25/01/1808

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The Sixth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 25/01/1808
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—. 8 Appendix, No » . 15. & 16. ( Ireland.)— SIXTH REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS [ Excije ter description are the regulations which, in providing for the taking and keeping an account of stocks of Malt, have imposed a heavy penalty in every case were the stock on hand shall be less than the quantity which ought, by the account kept by the Officer, to be in the possession of any Manufacturer, Dealer, Brewer, or Distiller. We have before stated, that the Officer is by Law directed to charge the duty on Malt by gauge only, and that four bushels found by gauge are to be deemed a barrel ; for every barrel so charged the Maltster is credited in stock, but sells and delivers out by weight, viz. by the barrel of 12 stones, and is debited in the Officer's account for every such barrel permitted out of stock. The Factor's stock is both received and delivered out by the barrel of 12 stones, and the ac- count of his stock is so kept by the Officer ; but in ascertaining at any time the actual stock on hand, as well of the Factor as of the Maltster, the Officer invariably relies upon the gauge. Grain of the same species will vary in weight considerably according to its quality, and the gauge of a given weight of the same Grain will always be proportionate to the pressure sustained by it. In like manner, in Malt, the weight per bushel will be found to vary to the extent of several pounds, and the'gauge of a given quantity of the same Malt will vary materially according to the degree of pressure it sus- tains ; under these circumstances it is obvious, that repeated error and dis- agreement must ensue from taking or keeping an account, one side of which is regulated by measure, and the other by weight, and in this opinion we are fully confirmed by some experiments which we directed to be made, for the purpose of ascertaining the correspondence between the weight and gauge of Malt. In taking an account of the Maltster's stock, besides the apparent de- crease which may arise from pressure, continual decreases, in proportion to the quantity of Malt sold or consumed, will necessarily appear whenever the weight per bushel is less than 42 lbs.; for instance, supposing the Malt- sters credit to be 400 bushels, and the weight per bushel 34lbs. it is evi- dent that, for every barrel of 12 stones, or 168 lbs. permitted out, the stock taken by gauge will appear to be decreased nearly five bushels instead of four, and the Maltster would be liable to a penalty as for a fradulent decrease. This indeed does not apply to Factors or Dealers, who both re- ceive and deliver out by weight ; but there are exposed to the penalty for decreases arising from pressure, the extent of which cannot be calculated so as to make any correct allowance on account thereof. Upon the whole, therefore, it appears to us so impracticable to regu- late the ascertaining of decreases in Malt stocks, without the hazard of committing injustice, that we do not hesitate to recommend the abolition of all penalties thereon. In order, however to ascertain increases in Malt stocks, an account must still be kept of decreases, for which purpose reference can only be had to permits, since it is obvious that in every instance where a decrease in consequence of pressure has been shewn by gauge, and the stock has been decreased accordingly, a correspondent increase will at some future period appear. Malt Permits are not used in England, and if the Officers in charge of Malthouses performed their duty with zeal and fidelity while the Malt was in process, the abuse to which they are subject might warrant us in re- commending that they should be dispenced with here; as, however, the prohibition
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