HC Deb 17 April 1812 vol 22 cc421-2
Mr. Lyttelton

presented a Petition from the commercial and manufacturing inhabitants of Dudley. He said he felt it his duty, in presenting this Petition, to state to the House, that in the populous neighbourhood of Dudley there was at this moment the greatest distress prevailing, from the very high price of provisions; that the higher classes of manufacturers in that town and neigbourhood had on all occasions evinced their loyalty and patriotism, and from these praiseworthy principles, had always endeavoured to alleviate the distresses of the working men, by expending their capitals in giving them employment, in hopes that the American markets would soon be opened, and the monopoly of the East India Company done away; so that new sources might be opened to the encouragement of British industry and adventure; but he was afraid it could not be done much longer; and it seemed necessary the House should give attention to the subject.

The Petition was then read, setting forth,

"That the Petitioners beg leave to represent to the House the distressed situation of the numerous manufacturers of that populous town and neighbourhood; and that in consequence of the great depression in trade, the labouring mechanics have not sufficient employment to enable them to maintain their families and to preserve them from want; and the petitioners look up to the House as the representatives and protectors of this great commercial empire, and indulge a confident hope, that the House will adopt such measures as may be best calculated to remedy the distresses and difficulties under which they are at present labouring; and the petitioners are of opinion, that it is expedient to discontinue the commercial monopoly of the East India Company at the expiration of their present Charter; and it appears to them to be both unreasonable and unjust, that British subjects should be denied the privilege of trading to India whilst it is allowed to neutral nations; and praying the House to adopt the necessary measures for the abolition of the commercial monopoly of the East India Company, or at least such part thereof as to their wisdom may seem expedient."

Mr. Creevey

wished to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question. That right hon. gentleman had lately signified his intention to bring forward certain propositions, the week after next, respecting the Company's renewal of their Charter. On former occasions of this kind, a statement of the Company's affairs had been laid before the House, which was referred to a Committee, and a report made thereon: but it would be impossible this could now be done, so that the members would have time to consider the report in the present session. He wished, therefore, to be informed by the right hon. gentleman, whether he meant to persist in his notice; as, considering all the outports of the country had their delegates in town, for the purpose of attending to this important question, it was highly desirable to know whether it would really come on or not?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

answered, that he had certainly mentioned his intention of submitting certain resolutions on that subject to a Committee of the whole House the week after next;, and, if he had altered his intention, he should have signified the same to the House. It was his intention not only to submit that business to the consideration of the House, but to carry it through during the present session, unless difficulties should arise of which he had at present no conception.