§ Sir John Newport
presented a Petition from the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and Common Council of the county of the city of Waterford, praying for Parliamentary Reform. The Petition was couched in firm, but respectful language. The petitioners stated it as their opinion, that the preservation of the freedom of the country, and the maintenance of the Constitution, materially depended on the speedy passing of the Reform Bill. He was quite sure the sentiments embodied in the petition were those entertained by the great mass of the Irish people, who considered that Reform ought not to be put on the footing of a favour granted to that country, but that it ought to be considered as their right, and as such conceded.
supported the prayer of the petition; the Reform which Ireland required was an effectual and just measure; and she would insist upon Representation being granted to her upon the same principles as were now applied to England. Her constituency must be more extended, and the number of her Members increased, and as the Bill before the House did not meet these objects, it was looked upon as an insult to the Irish people, and the same beneficial results, therefore, could not be expected to follow from it as the English Bill was calculated to effect. He wished for no sacrifices from England; he did not desire to lop off one of her Representatives; he trusted the great majority of the Irish Members would support the English Bill; but he wished to see the question of Irish Reform there discussed on its own merits, and not by the merits of her connection with England.
§ Sir John Newport
said, that his support of the English Reform Bill was totally independent of the Irish Bill, and he wished to see her stand by herself, and not be judged by the question of locality. In presenting the petition, he had carefully abstained from making any remarks on the Bill for reforming the Representation of Ireland.
said, that he had no wish to disturb the number of the real Representatives of England, but he desired to see such boroughs as Petersfield, where there were not more than 1,495 inhabitants (less than in some of the places in Ireland which were 709 totally unrepresented), and such boroughs also as Midhurst, deprived of their Members, and he desired to see those Members given to Ireland.
declared, if the House would grant no Reform whatever to Ireland, still he would support the Bill for England. He, therefore, trusted the hon. and learned member for Louth would not vex himself, and embarrass his countrymen, by summing up the fractions of the rotten boroughs of England.
begged to ask his hon. and learned friend, if he wished to see the gross numbers of the House of Commons increased.
§ Petition to be printed.