HC Deb 30 April 1822 vol 7 cc210-1
Mr. Peel

presented a petition from the university of Oxford against the Roman Catholic claims.

Sir T. Lethbridge

took that opportunity of declaring his opinion, that if the motion that night about to be made by a right hon. gentleman was carried, the whole object would have been accomplished. The reason why petitions had not been numerously laid on the table, was, that the great body of the people were so absorbed in the consideration of their own distresses as to be totally indifferent political subjects. He protested, however, against their silence being construed in favour of that motion. The people still continued decidedly hostile to the question. He trembled, however, at the probable effect the right hon. gentleman's (Mr. Canning's) eloquence: he trembled, because he himself had too lately, been an instance of its captivation. A few nights ago, he came down with the intention of voting with the noble lord (J. Russell), until he had heard the very eloquent speech of the right hon. gentleman. He had a right to argue, that the same influence which that eloquence had had over his mind, might, on the present question, be equally persuasive over the minds of others, and lead them from the true and strict path of their duty [loud laughing]. Being himself an instance, he thought it right that members should be cautioned. He did believe that the great body of the people required a more adequate share of the representation; and such a proposition he should support when brought forward in a manner more reconcileable to his feelings.

Ordered to lie on the table.