HC Deb 26 February 1817 vol 35 cc697-8
Lord Deerhurst

presented a petition from Worcester, signed by 3,000 persons, in favour of Parliamentay Reform. The noble lord prefaced his motion for bringing up the petition, by expressing his regret that he had not been able to follow his own inclination, in being for some time a listener rather than a speaker in that House. He hoped, however, for their indulgence while he stated, that he should feel it his bounden duty to promote any plan which might secure a practical and salutary reform, but which should not infringe on that glorious constitution, which was at once the pride of England and the envy of the world. He would never listen to any chimerical schemes of universal suffrage and annual parliaments, the tendency of which was, in his opinion, to lead to open revolution. Born and educated in principles of constitutional loyalty, he would never sanction any proceedings of that tendency; and he recommended to those who instigated the clamours which existed out of doors on the subject, to contemplate the history and the horrors of the French revolution, which ought to deter them from the pursuit of such measures as might occasion similar evils in this country.

The petition was ordered to lie on the table.