HC Deb 12 February 1818 vol 37 cc395-6
Mr. P. Moore

, in presenting a Petition from the Ribbon Weavers of Coventry, took occasion to observe upon the merit and suffering of the petitioners, who, as the law stood at present, were precluded from making such arrangements among themselves as were necessary to ensure a due remuneration for their labour. Even when in full work, the earnings of these poor industrious men were known to be comparatively inadequate; but when trade was slack, they were so very distressed that they were under the necessity of applying for relief from the poor-rates. Thus the poor-rates of the inhabitants of Coventry were considerably augmented, for the maintenance of those, the profits of whose labour were enjoyed by others, who contributed nothing towards those poor-rates.—Under such circumstances, he trusted that no man of feeling or consideration would be found to oppose the objects which the petitioners had in view, and which were, first, to remedy the evil resulting from the existing law with respect to apprenticeships; and, secondly, to enable the petitioners to settle the rate of their wages among themselves.

Mr. Dugdale

said, that from the circumstances which came to his knowledge as a magistrate of Warwickshire, with respect to the condition of the petitioners, he thought their case peculiarly entitled to the attention of the House. He could not at present express any opinion as to the nature of the remedy proposed by the petitioners; but he felt it his duty to vote for referring the petition to a committee, convinced that the subject was worthy of consideration.

The Petition was referred to a committee.

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