HC Deb 08 June 1841 vol 58 cc1315-6
The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that the hon. Gentleman (Mr. G. Palmer) had, on the preceding day, put to him some questions relative to a petition against the Corn-laws lying for signature at the Excise Office. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had assured the hon. Member that he would make an inquiry into the matter. He had done so, and the result appeared to be this:ߞOn the destruction of the Royal Exchange, the merchants of London had applied to the commissioners of the Treasury for permission to use one of the great courts of the Excise as a temporary place of business. Permission was of course given, and they dealt with the court in all cases as they had been accustomed to deal with the Royal Exchange. It appeared undoubtedly, that without any knowledge whatever of the commissioners, or any application to the commissioners, there had been a petition lying at the court now employed as the Royal Exchange. He was bound to state, that when the commissioners were applied to some time ago by the Lord Mayor of London, to know whether there was any objection on their part to let a petition relative to the Post-Office lie for signature at the court already alluded to, the answer was, that they had no objection ߞ that the merchants of London should be allowed to use the place in the same manner as accustomed to use the Royal Exchange. On the present occasion he apprehended, that the same course had been pursued as on the former one. He trusted, that this explanation was satisfactory.

Mr. George Palmer

said, that he was one of the members of the Gresham committee, and he thought it possible that the proceedings might have been sanctioned by one of the officers of that committee, and he therefore felt it his duty to ask the man whom he saw, not in the court appropriated to the merchants, but on the stairs at the top of the court, by whose permission he stood there with the petition, and the answer was, by permission of the commissioners of Excise.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had not entered into particular details, and it was quite true, that the petition was placed on a desk at the side of the stairs, but then it was a desk at which the merchants were in the habit of doing business. That was the explanation which had been given him by the parties to whom he applied. If, however, the hon. Gentleman should make inquiries, and acquire further information, perhaps he would be good enough to communicate it to the House.