HC Deb 07 April 1812 vol 22 cc212-3

A Petition of several inhabitants of the town of Blackburn, in the county palatine of Lancaster, was presented and read; setting forth,

"That the Petitioners beg leave to address the House in consequence of a Petition having been transmitted to the House from several inhabitants of the said town and neighbourhood, particularizing many grievances which those Petitioners are stated to labour under, and praying for a revocation of the Orders of Council, that the advantages of the East India trade shall be enjoyed without exclusion or limitation, and especially that measures towards the pacification of Europe may become the subject of the immediate deliberation of the House; and that, feeling for the credit of the town of Blackburn, and disapproving of many of the sentiments conveyed by the said Petition, they should consider themselves wanting in duty to the House, and also personally to themselves, were they not to state to the House, that the Petition to which they allude is not sanctioned by the inhabitants of the town at large, that it originated with individuals, by whom it was privately prepared, that the signatures to it have been industriously obtained by lodging the Petition in different parts of the town, where persons have been employed to procure them; and that many of the persons subscribing the Petition have been induced by a representation that it would lead to a termination of the war, and without any consideration whether peace was attainable, except on terms which would probably produce our own subjugation; and that, though the Petitioners are anxious for, and deeply interested in, the revival of commerce, which by many is thought to have been greatly checked by the Orders in Council, yet, as they cannot fully see how far these Orders may bear upon and thwart the political views of our implacable and insidious enemy, they presume not to express a wish that the Orders should be rescinded, but trust that the united wisdom of the House will adopt such measures as may ultimately tend to the national prosperity; and that, though the Petitioners conceive that an open and unrestricted trade gives rise to a liberal competition, a generous emulation, and an increasing activity and exertion, yet they think it indecorous to dictate what ought to be done, in full confidence that the House will comply with the general wish respecting the East India Company's charter, and consult the general welfare; and that they lament, in common with the Petitioners before-mentioned, the horrors and calamities occasioned by war, and would be grateful for a re-establishment of public tranquillity; but, at the same time, they have the firmest reliance that no opportunity will be lost, or endeavours wanting, to cultivate a friendly intercourse with the united states of America, and to procure a general peace, upon terms of honour to the crown, being fully convinced that it is the earnest desire of the Prince Regent to relieve his Majesty's subjects from the burthens of an expensive war, to extend commerce, and to augment the prosperity and happiness of the kingdom."

Ordered to lie upon the table.