HC Deb 26 September 1831 vol 7 cc605-6

On the Order of the Day being read for the House resolving itself into a Committee to consider further of a Supply to be granted to his Majesty,

Mr. Henry Grattan

said, that before the House went into Committee, he wished to make a statement which appeared to him to concern their privileges. Some time since a petition had been presented to that House against the grant to Maynooth College, certain signatures to which were alleged to be false. He had been written to from Dublin on the subject; and the writer stated, that he could find no such persons in the list of traders, bankers, barristers, or solicitors, as George and Thomas Howell, whose names were affixed to the petition. Application had been made by the writer to Mr. Thomas Magee, who stated, that so far from having any thing to do with the petition, he had actually refused to sign it. The petition had been presented by the hon. member for Oxford, who stated, that he had received it from some clergyman, who resided near Kingstown. It was very desirable that the hon. Member should communicate with the individual who sent the petition, and that he should state the result to the House. He could not say that this was a breach of their privileges, because there might be in existence a George and Thomas Howell, although they were not the persons meant to be indicated by the petition.

Sir Robert Inglis

said, he had received the petition by post. He had no reason to doubt at the time the truth and accuracy of the signatures; but he would not make himself responsible for them.

Mr. Hume

observed, that such practices ought to be checked. The hon. Baronet ought to take steps to have the parties summoned who had attempted to impose upon the House.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he was acquainted with George Howell and Thomas Howell, one of whom resided here, and the other in Ireland. He did not think the signature of George Howell bore much resemblance to his hand-writing. The character of Mr. Magee ought not to be left in this manner before the House.

Sir Robert Inglis

, in explanation, said, it must not be presumed, that, because he had presented the petition, he concurred in the sentiments expressed in it. He had before stated, that he was unacquainted with the parties who had transmitted the petition to him.

The Order of the Day read.

On the question that the Speaker should now leave the Chair,