Sir F. Burdett
presented a Petition from the Manufacturers and Shopkeepers of Coventry, complaining of Distress, and praying for a Reform in Parliament. The hon. Baronet said, he perfectly concurred in the sentiments of the petitioners.
§ Mr. Fyler
declared his conviction, that the parties to this petition were suffering under most overwhelming distress. He did not take offence on account of their not having intrusted it to him, but should have candidly stated, had he been so honoured, how far he agreed with them, and how far he dissented. They prayed, as he was informed, for annual parliaments, election by ballot, and universal suffrage, on none of which points did their opinions coincide with his own. With respect to their desire for introducing ballot, he could never be brought to approve that American, or rather dark Italian system of election, but he could give his hearty support to a temperate and gradual reform. He agreed with that part of the petition which represented the retail dealers as being in extreme distress. He knew they were so generally in the country, whatever they might be in town, and he was amazingly surprised to hear from high authority, that they were flourishing and prosperous. In his opinion, the true and only remedy for distress was relief from taxation, and for that he would vote, though he would not lend his name to swell ministerial majorities, nor to give importance to factious opposition.
§ The Petition was read, and ordered to be printed.