HC Deb 30 April 1839 vol 47 c682
Viscount Dungannon

had a question to ask of the noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department. He wished to know whether the noble Lord had received any intelligence of a meeting which had been held a few days since by a body of persons styling themselves Chartists, and at which meeting the most seditious and inflammatory language had been used. He also wished to know if the noble Lord had been made aware that persons were arming in different parts of the country; and if they were, he wished to ask if any steps were about to be taken by the noble Lord in consequence of such proceedings?

Lord John Russell,

in reply to the first question proposed to him by the noble Lord, had to state, that he did receive an intimation of the meeting in Smithfield, and he had been consulted by the Lord Mayor, so as to prevent anything illegal taking place, and to preserve the public peace. He had, while sitting in that House, at ten o'clock, received the information from the Lord Mayor that the meeting had separated; but he had not laid before him any account of the speeches which had been delivered. There had, he must say, in reply to the next question, been reports received for a considerable time with respect to arming in parts of the country, and especially in Lancashire; and a correspondence had in consequence been carried on by him with the civil and military authorities on that subject.

Mr. T. Attwood

thought the noble Lord had acted very discreetly.

Subject dropped.