HC Deb 21 February 1822 vol 6 cc557-8
Mr. Denison

said, he held in his hand a Petition from the freeholders of the county of Surrey, complaining of the impoverished state of the Agricultural interest. The petition was proposed at one of the most respectable meetings ever held in that county, and was carried almost unanimously. The petitioners, in respectful language, stated the deep distress, amounting almost to pauperism, in which the county, and more particularly the agricultural interest was involved. They attributed that distress to the wasteful expenditure of the public money, which they conceived to arise, in a great degree, from the want of a proper representation of the people in that House. The petitioners farther prayed for a repeal of the taxes on malt, salt, soap, candles, and tallow; and declared that they would never cease, by every legal means in their power, to strive to obtain a constitutional reform in the House of Commons.

Mr. Ramsden

said, he had little doubt as to the degree of distress which pervaded the country. What the farmers would say, when they heard of the relief which the noble marquis offered to the country on Friday last, he knew not. He was convinced that the plan would afford no relief; and thought that the shilling per bushel on malt, had better have been kept in the hands of ministers than sent out to insult the country. He wished the gentlemen opposite to keep their places; but he thought it was their duty to manifest some sympathy towards a suffering country: and he must say, that he could not support any set of ministers, unless they greatly lessened the expenditure, and agreed to such a reform in the House of Commons, as would ensure amongst its members a sympathy with the distresses of the country at large.

Ordered to lie on the table.