HC Deb 01 June 1832 vol 13 cc293-4
Mr. O'Connell

presented a Petition from Colonel Talbot, as Chairman of a meeting of 60,000 persons assembled in the city of Dublin, praying that the House would not intrust any part of the public money to any Ministry which should not be pledged to carry the Reform Bill. The meeting was held on one of the ten days during which the country was threatened with the affliction of an Anti-reform Ministry. He was happy that the occasion for the petition had passed away; but he took that opportunity of presenting it, in order to show what was the feeling of the citizens of Dublin on the subject of the Reform Bill.

Sir Robert Inglis

had been informed that the meeting at which the petition had been agreed to, was not by any means so numerous as the hon. and learned member for Kerry represented it to have been. He doubted that there was any place in Dublin where 60,000 persons could meet to deliberate conveniently.

Mr. O'Connell

had not said, that the 60,000 persons who agreed to the petition had assembled to deliberate; he believed they had made up their minds before-hand.

Mr. Shaw

had been assured that there were no more than 1,000 persons present at the meeting, and that these were, for the most part, ragged boys and old women. The citizens of Dublin were misrepresented when it was said that they were zealous in favour of the Reform Bill. He knew the very contrary feeling to prevail amongst the respectable citizens.

Mr. Henry Grattan

said, that he was present at the meeting, and that the numbers were not exaggerated at 60,000.

Mr. O'Connell

repeated the names of several of the most respectable citizens of Dublin who attended the meeting. He would not deny that the beggarly and bigotted members of the Corporation were, as their Representative, the Recorder (Mr. Shaw) had stated, the enemies of Reform and of their fellow-citizens. But did the Recorder venture to say that the corporators were the "respectable citizens" of Dublin; whereas, three-fourths of the Common Council had once or twice, and some of them as often as three times, "taken the benefit of the Insolvent Debtors' Act?" Did not the Recorder know that many of them had nothing else to live upon, but the police-rates, and other rates, levied upon their fellow-citizens?

Mr. Shaw

only rose to reprobate the application by the hon. and learned Member of such epithets to a Corporation, of which such men as Mr. Saurin, Mr. Lefroy, and others, the most eminent at the Irish bar, were members.

Petition to be printed.

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