§ Lord A. Hamilton presented a Petition of Andrew Duncan, printer to the university of Glasgow; setting forth, "that certain printers in London have lately presented to the House a petition, the prayer of which is to withdraw from him and from the other University printers rights and privileges secured to them by law; and the tendency of which is to impress upon parliament and the public the belief that the Scottish university printers, and especially the petitioner, have been guilty of abusing their privileges, and thereby, besides doing injury to the London printing trade, they have defrauded the revenue, both by the unwarrantable extension of their privileges, far beyond the intention of the legislature, and by claiming and obtaining on the exportation of their books a second payment of duties, of which they had previously received the draw back; and that the petitioner, having been particularly alluded to in the petition of which he complains, feels himself called upon to meet these charges, by solemnly denying that he has ever in the slightest degree transgressed either the letter or the spirit of the law; and praying, that the House will reject, as frivolous and groundless, the complaints of the London printers, and suffer him and the other University printers to continue in the enjoyment of a privilege now secured to them by law, and the proper use of which may be favourable to the advancement of learning and the commercial interests of the country."
§ On the motion for its being laid on the table,
said, that he was not aware that any petition which he had presented contained a charge of fraud and perjury against any set of individuals; nor would he, if he were conscious of such a charge being contained in a petition, be the instrument of presenting it to the House. The petition which he did present certainly contained a charge against the printers of the university of Glasgow, of printing learned books to an extent which was not sanctioned by law. This was all he recollected the petition went to; and he had, upon reading it, discovered nothing which he considered improper. In presenting it, however, he by no means pledged himself to the truth of its allegations, and had merely done that duty which he felt he was bound to perform. Upon receiving a copy of the petition presented that night by the noble lord, he 527 had put it into the hands of the gentlemen who had first applied to him: and, having done so, it was with them to support their charge in the best manner they could.
§ The Petition was then ordered to lie on the table.