HC Deb 06 August 1831 vol 5 cc892-3
Mr. S. Worthy

presented two Petitions from Perth, one from the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council, the other from several thousands of the Merchants, Bankers, and other traders of the city, praying, that one Member might be given to that town under the Scotch Reform Bill. Perth was equal in importance to Dundee, and was as much entitled to a Representative as any place in the United Kingdom to which such a privilege had been extended. It was a flourishing and thriving town, and had a population of 21,000 souls. The petitioners suggested, that some determinate scale of population should be established for the Representation of the towns of Scotland, on which principle he was prepared to act, and should endeavour to enforce it at the proper time.

Sir George Murray

said, that the people of Scotland would have to complain of the grossest injustice, if they were left in the position now contemplated by the three Bills. This was the time when all who were interested in that country should make their appeal to Englishmen. So long as the arrangement regarding Representation continued, as it was settled at the Union, he would be the last man to put in any claims for Scotland to obtain additional Representatives; but now, when that arrangement was about to be set aside, it was the duty of every Scotchman to support, the interests of his country, and to see, that they were not neglected in the new arrangements. That country had a claim to a much larger share in the Representation than was contemplated by the present Bill. He was afraid, however, that the English Reform Bill would absorb all the interests on the question, and when that had passed, little attention would be paid to the merits or claims of Scotland and Ireland. He did hope, however, on a principle of fairness, that the large and important county which he represented, and others were in the same situation, would receive additional Members; and that such a place as Perth would not be left with the fractional part of one Representative.

Mr. Andrew Johnston

must add his testimony in favour of the respectability of Perth, and its claim to a larger share in the Representation than was contemplated.

Petition to be printed.