§ Mr. Denman
rose to present a Petition from the Town of Nottingham, praying for a thorough Reform of Parliament. The petition was signed by 8,000 persons, a number which constituted more than half of the adult male population of the place. The petitioners prayed that the subject of Reform might be taken immediately into the consideration of the House, and they expressed themselves favourable to the vote by Ballot. They were convinced that the mere extension of the franchise to a few great towns would be a Reform of very little value. With respect to the vote by ballot, he thought the subject required the fullest consideration, since so very large a portion of the country was favourable to that system. In his private opinion, he was by no means convinced of its propriety by any arguments he had as yet heard, though he must confess himself quite open to conviction upon the subject.
Sir R. Ferguson
supported the petition, and he hoped that the time was arrived when the prayers of the people would be heard in that House, and he trusted that before many weeks the Cabinet would bring in some measures for Reform. As to the vote by ballot, he had been rather opposed to it, but the manner in which the late elections had been conducted, had convented him to take a favourable view of that plan. At any rate it seemed now to be desired by the people, and their wishes ought to be attended to.
§ Mr. O'Connell
believed, that the people of Ireland generally, and more especially in the north, and in Armagh, were unanimously in favour of voting by Ballot.