HC Deb 27 February 1818 vol 37 cc671-2
Colonel Longfield

presented a Petition from the mayor, sheriffs, and several inhabitants of the city of Cork, and its vicinity; setting forth,

"That the Petitioners beholding the daily increase of poverty among the inhabitants of that city, arising from want of employment, which has unhappily induced its necessary consequences, disease and misery, and knowing that similar evils are felt in every part of Ireland, approach the House to state the calamitous situation in which that country stands, and to call upon the House to protect them from that ruin into which all ranks appear to be fast sinking; the petitioners have to deplore the want of sufficient encouragement to their manufactures, the difficulties which stand in the way of agriculture, and the absence of a majority of the nobility and gentry, who receive the produce of the soil, and spend it in other countries; the petitioners shall not presume to dictate to the House in what way their sufferings can be best alleviated; but, as they principally trace them to want of employment for their superabundant population, they would beg most humbly to suggest the propriety of some legislative enactment respecting the non-residence of the nobility and gentry, the encouragement necessary for the increase of their manufactures, the formation of canals, the working of mines and fisheries, the more profitable tillage of land, the construction and repairing of roads, and such other means of employment as the House may think proper to devise; the petitioners would also earnestly solicit the attention of the House to the means of extending the benefits of education to all classes of the community as the best corrective of human depravity, and the most efficient moral engine of state; the petitioners most fervently beseech the House to take the case of Ireland into their early consideration, and to reflect on the urgency of the circumstances under which the petitioners address them, disease making rapid strides through all classes, and no prospect of its decrease, while so large a portion of the population are unemployed and continue in a consequent state of poverty and wretchedness."

Sir N. Colthurst

said, he felt it due to the extreme respectability of those who had signed the petition, and the importance of the subject, to move that it be printed, and he trusted it would receive from the House that attention to which it was entitled.

The petition was ordered to be printed.