HC Deb 14 March 1832 vol 11 cc205-6
Mr. Alderman Wood

said, he had a petition to present from Mr. Cobbett, the eminent writer. The petitioner argued against the principle of Emigration, and contended, that if the Irish labourers were kept in their own country, there would be no excess of labourers in this country. The petition prayed that the Legislature would not continue to send the people of England and Wales into foreign countries, and that no part of the public money should be applied to encourage emigration.

Mr. Hume

thought, the petitioner was under a mistake in supposing that there now existed a Commission which had received a grant of money for the encouragement of emigration. The Commission had no object of that kind in view; he believed it only furnished individuals who were desirous to emigrate with the best information.

Mr. Briscoe

thought, there could be no doubt that the want of a provision for the poor of Ireland, in their native country, tended greatly to produce distress amongst the labouring population in England. In that part of the borough in which Cholera was said to prevail, twenty out of every twenty-five were Irish; and if those persons returned to Ireland, they could find neither employment nor provision.

Petition read.

Mr. Alderman Wood

moved that it be printed.

Mr. Hunt

observed, that, since he had a seat in Parliament, he had seen no instance in which the House ordered the petition of an individual to be printed.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that the hon. Alderman who presented the petition, and who thought it of so much importance as to move it to be printed, seemed to know but little about it; for, he had said, that it came from one of the most eminent writers of the day, and it proved to be the petition of William Cobbett, a labourer in the parish of St. Dunstan in the West.

Mr. Alderman Wood

Well, that is William Cobbett, whom I described as one of the most eminent writers of the day; and I dare say he is not wholly unknown to the right hon. Baronet.

Sir Robert Peel

was struck with the description at the head of the petition, but supposed he was mistaken, and that the hon. Alderman was right. Whether it came from a labourer or an eminent writer, however, the general rule ought to be applied, and the petition, coming from an individual, could not be printed.

Mr. Alderman Wood

said, that Mr. Cobbett had been designated a labourer by the Attorney General in a recent prosecution.

Motion to print the petition negatived without a division.