HC Deb 22 March 1830 vol 23 cc700-1
Mr. O'Connell

next presented a Petition from Stephen Fox Dixon, complaining of the conduct of the Corporation of Dublin in turning him out of a Coal-meter's situation, and of the bill which gave the Corporation power so to act. He had been a Coal-meter from 1806, and had received his share of the fees which were legally appropriated by the Coal-meters, through whom the corporation levied a lax on the public of several thousand pounds a-year. It had, indeed, proceeded so far that the interference of a court of justice had been demanded, which decided that the imposition ought not to be levied. According to the corporation, however, it was entitled to regulate the business of the Coal-meters by an Act of Parliament. In the course of these proceedings the corporation had turned the petitioner out of his situation, causing him considerable loss; and as he. had no means of redress, he applied to the House. The prayer of his petition was, that the House would amend the Act by which the Corporation of Dublin was enabled to commit this oppression.

Mr. G. Moore

said, he would only observe that the petitioner had been appointed to his office by the guild of merchants, whose right to make the appointment had been recognized for several centuries. In consequence of complaints made against the petitioner, his conduct had been subjected to examination before a competent authority, the charges were regularly made, time was given him to answer them, and having failed to answer them he was suspended from his office, which suspension he illegally resisted. His conduct was then brought before the Lord Mayor and Board of Dublin, and after council had been heard on both sides, they came to the decision of which the petitioner complained. His complaint therefore, was, in fact, an appeal from an authorized tribunal, to the House of Commons. With respect to the amount of the tax levied on the public for metage, which the hon. Member had referred to, there was no just cause of complaint; as it was not more than an adequate reward for the service of protecting the public in the supply of Coals. The duties for which the fees were levied were arduous, and required the Meters to be both intelligent and zealous. As he believed the subject would again come under the consideration of the House, he would not enter further into it. Of the individual, he would repeat that he had a full and fair investigation, and that, failing to exculpate himself from the charges, he was deservedly dismissed.

Petition to be printed.