HC Deb 09 March 1837 vol 37 c160
Mr. T. Duncombe

had a Petition to present from Benjamin Weaver, to which he hoped he should be allowed to call the attention of the House. It related to the subscription list delivered into that House by the promoters of the Westminster-bridge and Greenwich railway, and the petitioner complained that a number of individuals had signed that list who had no interest in the undertaking. This was a species of fraud which was daily increasing, and which demanded the serious consideration of the House; for unless some strong remedy was applied to check its further progress, it could not fail to be productive of the most disastrous consequences to those who were induced from an apparently respectable and well-subscribed list to embark their capital in railroad speculations. The petitioner stated, that several names appeared in the subscription list of the Westminster-bridge and Greenwich railway, whose united subscriptions amounted to 30,500l., and yet every one of those individuals was actually a pauper. A person of the name of Spencer stated, that he had signed the list for the sum of 10s., and his name was put down for 1,700l., while the fact was, that he neither was nor ever had been a shareholder, and had no interest, direct or indirect, in the undertaking. This was not only a gross fraud upon the House, but it was a gross fraud also on the public, who were liable to suffer severely from the continuance of the system.

Petition to be printed.

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