HC Deb 24 March 1841 vol 57 cc571-2
Mr. T. Duncombe

presented a petition from a Mr. S. Cousins, an elector of Hertford, complaining of his having been refused a copy of the registry of freeholders of the county, though he offered to pay for it. The hon. Member moved, that the petition be printed in the votes; and in the proper time he would give notice of the day when he should move that it be taken into consideration.

The Speaker

said, that the hon. Member should give notice of the motion for having the petition printed.

Mr. T. Duncombe

submitted, that he was not bound to take that course. He now held in his hand a copy of one of the orders of the House, made under the sanction of the right hon. Gentleman's (the Speaker's) predecessor, in February, 1839, in which it was stated, that when Members presented petitions, and gave notice of a motion respecting them, they were to be printed with the votes. Now, with every respect for what might have since become the practice of the House, or the understanding as to the notices for the printing of petitions, he would maintain his right to ask that this petition be printed with the votes, and he was ready to name the day for taking it into consideration. He founded this claim on the standing order of the House, which had not been rescinded.

Mr. Law

thought some definite understanding should be come to on this question.

The Speaker

observed, that the rule to which the hon. Member for Finsbury referred was intended to apply to a class of petitions which did not relate to any measures pending in the House; but the House bad since on several occasions, two of them being since be had had the honour of being in that Chair, exercised its discretion in refusing to have petitions printed under circumstances similar to the present case.

Mr. T. Duncombe

would not press his motion at that time, if he were allowed to make it on the following day at the time of private business.

Mr. Fielden

hoped his hon. Friend would persevere and take the sense of the House on the motion. Too little attention was paid to the petitions of the people.

Mr. Estcourt

hoped, after the statement from the Chair as to the practice of the House, the hon. Member would not persevere with his motion.

Mr. T. Duncombe

would rather adhere to the standing order, in preference to the practice of the House.

Mr. Hume

hoped his hon. Friend would persevere in his motion.

Sir G. Grey

said, the question was not as to the printing of the petition, but as to what was the understanding of the House with respect to notices for printing petitions.

Sir E. Knatchbull

hoped the hon. Member would adhere to what had been the practice of the House during the present Session.

Sir R. Peel

would wish that the practice of the House during the Session should be adhered to. No hon. Member ought to be allowed to act on his own views of what the practice was, in opposition to the general understanding of the House as to the general practice.

Mr. Alston

hoped, that as the rule of the House was laid down in one of its standing orders, the hon. Member for Finsbury would persevere.

Lord J. Russell

said, that if the motion were allowed to come on early to-morrow it would probably answer his hon. Friend's object.

Mr. T. Duncombe

would be satisfied with that arrangement.

Sir R. Peel

hoped that some definite rule would be laid down on the subject; for certainly the general understanding of the House was at present at variance with the printed regulation.

Motion to stand over.

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