HC Deb 17 May 1833 vol 17 cc1344-5
Mr. Fergus O'Connor

gave notice, that he meant to move a Resolution to this effect, that the absence of Ministers from the House of Commons during the presentation of Petitions, at the morning sittings, is an insult to the House of Commons, and an injustice to the people of England. As no Ministers were there to attend to the petitions of the people, it seemed to him to be quite unnecessary to go through the farce of presenting them. He had petitions intrusted to him for presentation, but he would not bring them forward in the absence of Ministers. The only benefit the people had obtained from the Reformed Parliament was, to have their petitions thrust into a bag under the Table, un-heeded by those whose duty it was to attend to them. They might just as well be thrown into a bag hung up in the Library, or in some distant room in the building, without being brought into the House of Commons at all. It was quite ridiculous to think that such a course of proceeding could be suffered to go on. If they were merely to have a bauble in this Reform Act, he trusted some hon. Member would come forward and move its repeal. No earthly good had been done; on the contrary, they had raised the expectations of the people, by the hopes they held out, to a height far beyond what they found themselves able to meet they neglected their business in that House, and if they continued thus to absent themselves when they ought to be present, he would feel it to be his duty to move, "That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to dissolve the Parliament."

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