HC Deb 24 August 1831 vol 6 c547

Lord Althorp moved the Order of the Day for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Reform of Parliament (England) Bill.

Mr. Hume

said, he wished to inquire what circumstances had authorized the military to interfere in a difference which had taken place in the country between some pit-men in the coal-mines of White-haven, and their employers, and which was likely to be reconciled without their intervention: he understood, that on the occasion referred to, both infantry and dragoons had been employed to decide a question between certain masters and their men.

Mr. Lamb

said, that there had been a strike among the colliers, who refused to work; they not only, however, refused to work themselves, but, by threats, endeavoured to prevent the other men who were willing to engage in their usual occupation. They took away the tools, and were guilty of great violence and outrage. To prevent any further disturbance, the military were sent for, and were called out only by the authority of the Magistrates; they were not employed to interfere in any way in the dispute between the men and their employers, but to prevent outrage.

Mr. Hume

said, the accounts he had received of the transaction were somewhat different—if he found them confirmed, he should take further notice of the occurrence.