HC Deb 12 June 1820 vol 1 cc1036-7
Mr. Peter Moore

presented a petition from Mr. Andrew Beckwith, who complained that, in the year 1817, his windows had been broken, his house forcibly entered, and his shop robbed of arms by a riotous mob. He stated that he had made unsuccessful attempts to obtain redress in courts of law, and he therefore prayed for such relief as the House might think proper to grant. He (Mr. P. Moore) conceived that the relief required was pecuniary relief, and therefore that the petition should be recommended to the House by the chancellor of the exchequer.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said a few inaudible words, after which

The Speaker

observed, that though a petition, praying for pecuniary relief, ought to receive the sanction of the ministers of the Crown, yet that the rule should never be extended beyond' the strict necessity of the case; and here, though the hon. gentleman who presented the petition stated that he conceived that pecuniary aid was that which was required by this petition, yet the terms of the petition did not necessarily impose on the House so strict a construction [Hear, hear!].

Sir Francis Burdett

thought it extremely hard that the petitioner should be deprived of a remedy. The present evil arose out of the anomalous condition of the law. Persons were required to keep the peace, and were punished for not keeping it, though the government, by taking their arms from them, deprived them of the means of keeping it. It was the duty of government, while it punished men for not doing that which it disabled them from doing, to make up and provide a recompense for those losses, which were the consequences of their own new laws.