HC Deb 13 February 1840 vol 52 cc176-7
Mr. Wallace

said, that he had on many occasions presented petitions complaining of the conduct of the Post-office, but he had never presented such a petition as the present: it was from the parish of Burdon, in the county of Roxburgh, stating that there were in the parish 1,000 inhabitants, and that there was no post-office in the village or parish; they had asked to be allowed to maintain one at their own expense, but they were refused. As the statements in the petition might possibly be met by the Postmaster-general, he would move that it be printed, and give notice that he should move to have it taken into consideration on the 27th of this month.

Sir George Sinclair

thought that the petition ought to be referred to the Post-office or to the Committee, and he should therefore oppose the motion for printing it.

Mr. Wallace

was glad that an opposition had been raised to his motion, because he had now a right to make some observations. Members were debarred from speaking on the presentation of petitions; they could only mention very briefly the contents; and he was sure that the people out of doors were very much dissatisfied with the arrangement, and regretted the prevention of speaking upon petitions. He should not, therefore, be sorry if, on a division, his motion should be lost, because it would show the people how anxious the Gentlemen who sat on the opposite side of the House were to prevent the petitions of the people from being heard. He should certainly take a division on his motion.

Mr. Shaw

said, that the hon. Member had himself furnished the best proof why his petition ought not to be printed, for he did not deny that his object was to evade the order of the House by having it printed, to come by a round about way to a discussion on a petition. The intention of the House, in permitting a petition to be printed, was, that a motion might be founded on it, not that a discussion should be raised. He denied that it was the object of Gentlemen on the opposition side of the House to prevent the petitions of the people from being heard. They wished that the petitions should be heard, but they were anxious also to comply with the rules and orders of the House.

Sir G. Sinclair

did not intend to take the sense of the House upon the present occasion, but he must say that if such petitions as that presented by the hon. Member were printed, it would become necessary to print almost every petition.

Petition to be printed.

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