HC Deb 24 June 1811 vol 20 cc744-5
Colonel Stanley

was extremely sorry that it was not in his power to propose some measure for the relief of the Petitioners. He was glad, however, that the Petition had been referred to a Committee, as the Petitioners themselves would be better satisfied, when they found that although the House could give no relief, they had bestowed their serious attention to the case which had been laid before them. It was certainly a most afflicting consideration, that in the town of Manchester and its vicinity there were no less than 25,400 persons, who had in some shape or another, received parish relief in the present year

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

observed, that the Report of the Committee being now before the House, it must be disposed of in some regular manner.

The Speaker

suggested, that it was the usual course in such cases for some gentleman to move the farther consideration of the Report at some day beyond the probable duration of the session.

Mr. Davies Giddy

rose to move that the Report be taken into farther consideration that day month. He said that the conduct of the Petitioners throughout was highly praise-worthy, and such as must excite the greatest sympathy for their misfortunes. He, however, deprecated the idea of reviewing the general policy of the government of the country in an investigation of this nature. If any gentleman saw anything wrong in the general policy of the government,—it should be brought forward as a substantive measure, and not blended with the sufferings of any particular class of people. This might excite all the bad passions, and those most dangerous to the state, without doing the least service. If any particular manufacture fell into disuse, the only remedy the persons employed, in it could have, was either to work at lower prices, or to employ their labour in some other manner. He thought that many, of our manufacturers would be obliged to turn their attention to agriculture, which would make this country independent of the rest of the world. He thought it was necessary to extinguish any hope of their meeting relief in any other manner.

Mr. Rose and Mr. Blackburn coincided in the sentiments of the last speaker, and bore testimony to the exemplary conduct of the manufacturers.

Lord A. Hamilton

said, that should the case of the Petitioners come before the House next session, he should then feel it to be his duty to enquire into the causes that led to their distresses.

Mr. Wilberforce,

in referring to the orders in council, did not think that as yet the advantages arising from them were so great, or the dangers to be apprehended from their continuance so alarming, as to make persons quite positive as to their ultimate result either way. He confessed, however, that even from what they bad already done, if he was not very sanguine, he indulged strong hopes; they had revived our trade, and almost annihilated that of the enemy. He spoke highly of the merits of the petitioners.

Mr. W. Smith

gave his testimony also to the temper and patience of the Petitioners. He hoped their good sense would see the impossibility of that House interfering to compel the masters not to lower their prices, and that they would wait with patience till the circumstances of the country would effect; their relief; applying themselves in the interim to the other, branches of the trade which could be turned to any account.—The motion then passed in the affirmative.