HC Deb 10 May 1832 vol 12 cc781-3

The Sheriffs and Remembrancer of the City of London appeared at the Bar with the Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, agreed to by the Common Council on Wednesday.

Mr. Alderman Wood

, in moving that the petition be read at length, said, he was prevented by a domestic calamity from being present at the meeting at which it was got up; but the petition, he was informed, was unanimously adopted.

Petition read.

Mr. Alderman Waithman

concurred in the prayer of the petition. He thought it a great mischief to the country that the House of Lords had so conducted themselves as to interrupt the progress of the Reform Bill. He begged to add, that the state of his health had prevented his attendance as much as he could wish at public meetings of his constituents, and also in this House; but he declared his intention of being at his post at this all-important crisis.

Mr. Alderman Thompson

had attended the meeting at which the petition had been got up, and could bear testimony to the general feelings of regret and disappointment which had been felt, not only by the Corporation of London, but by all persons of every class in London, at the proceedings of the House of Lords. He felt convinced, whoever was called to his Majesty's Councils would fail to conduct the Government of the country with satisfaction to the people, and would fail to maintain public peace and tranquillity, unless the Bill, whole and entire as it was at present, was proceeded with. It was upon the Bill, as it had left the House of Commons, that the people had set their minds; and it was perfectly absurd to say that there had been anything like a reaction upon the subject of Reform. The fact was, the people had been less agitated because they had confidence in the assurance that had been given by his Majesty's Ministers that the Bill would be carried unmutilated. But the greater that confidence had been, the greater was their disappointment at the loss suffered by the King and the country in being deprived of the services of those Ministers who had inspired such general confidence. The length of time that the Bill had been under consideration had occasioned considerable stagnation in trade, especially of the retail trade, which, of course, had ex- tended to the general branches of manufacture and commerce of the country; and he was apprehensive that at the present awful crisis commercial credit would be greatly impaired.

Mr. Alderman

Venables supported the prayer of the petition.

Mr. Alderman Hughes

said, he was present at the meeting of the Common Council, and he proposed an amendment to that part of the petition which prayed the House of Commons to refuse the Supplies until the Reform Bill was passed. It was absurd for the Common Council to recommend refusing the Supplies, and to withhold their confidence from a Government before they knew of whom that Government was to be formed. Although the petition purported to be that of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, there were only six Aldermen present, and all of them held up their hands against that part of the petition to which he alluded.

Mr. Hunt

said, though not an Alderman or a Common Councilman, he was a liveryman. He reminded the House that the Common Council had only to attend to the municipal business of the city; the election for Members of Parliament lay with the livery. That body, the livery, were to meet to-morrow, and they would, no doubt, follow in the track already chalked out by the Common Council.

Mr. Cressett Pelham

wished to treat the Corporation with great respect, for he admired their conduct throughout the history of the country, and he thought that one of the greatest mischiefs of the Reform Bill was, that that great constituency would be degraded by having infused into it a set of vagabond 10l. voters.

Petition to be printed.

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