HC Deb 27 February 1823 vol 8 cc288-9
Mr. Price

presented a petition, signed by 700 landowners of the county of Hereford, complaining of Agricultural Distress, and praying for relief. This petition was, he said, no other than the Norfolk petition, transplanted to the county of Hereford. He regretted that such doctrines as had been advanced in that petition had re- ceived even the apparent sanction of so many respectable names; but he was satisfied that the number of names affixed to the petition was not so much to be considered as an evidence of the prevalence of those doctrines, as of the great distress which prevailed in the district of the petitioners. For his own part, he trusted that parliament would persevere in refusing to adopt any measure, inconsistent with those principles of good faith and substantial justice which had hitherto been acted upon. On the other hand, he felt that ministers ought to convince the country of their disposition to alleviate the sufferings of the people, by carrying the strictest economy into every branch of the public expenditure.

Lord Folkestone

considered it rather rash conduct in a county member, to pronounce such an unqualified judgment on the opinions of his constituents. The petition was signed by 700 respectable freeholders of the county. The very fact of their having affixed their signatures to the petition was a striking proof of their having deliberated on its allegations. The petition of the county of Norfolk and the present petition also had been much censured; but, as yet, he had not heard a single word in refutation of the arguments contained in either.

Ordered to lie on the table.