§ Sir J. Graham
said, he perceived by the notice paper that the hon. Member for Finsbury intended to present a petition from Dr. M'Douall this evening, and to submit a motion to the House upon it. The hon. Gentleman had submitted his motion in this particular form, in consequence of the Standing Order adopted in April last, which made it competent to the House to discuss any petition complaining of a personal grievance, which pressed for a remedy. He understood that the person whose grievance was intended to be brought under the consideration of the House was not in custody, but at large on bail. At present, therefore, there was no personal grievance suffered; had there been, he would not have asked the hon. Gentleman to postpone his motion. But as the parties were at large, it would be a great convenience if he would adhere to the customary usage in presenting petitions, and give notice of the precise motion he intended to make. As a point of form, there would be greater advantage in adopting that course. He would state that he had yesterday written to the magistrate, requesting to be furnished with a full report of the proceedings in the case. He had not yet received the report, but he expected to receive it by Monday. It would, therefore, be more conducive to the ends of justice, if the hon. Member would postpone any motion he might be desirous of bringing forward until Monday, on which day her Majesty's Government would give him every facility for bringing forward his motion. He requested as a personal favour to himself, that the hon. Member would postpone his motion to Monday.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
would be happy to accede to the proposal of the right hon. Baronet, and would postpone his motion, 836 on condition that he should have precedence on Monday. He would now confine himself to presenting two petitions. He thought certainly that those petitions came within the rule which allowed a discussion to be raised on the presentation of a petition, complaining of an immediate public and personal grievance. The petitioner had been held to bail for six months when he had committed no offence, but had merely exercised his right of attending a public meeting. which the police, acting upon the law laid down by the right hon. Baronet, had chosen to interpret as illegal. The first petition which he would present was signed by the chairman of a public meeting consisting of),5000 or 6,000 of the inhabitants of Deptford, complaining of the conduct of the police in arresting Dr. M'Douall; and the other was from Dr. M'Douall himself, a surgeon, residing in Hampton-street, Walworth, complaining of the conduct of the police in interrupting a public meeting, and arresting him—of the hardships which he had endured in the station-house, and of the obstacles which had been thrown in his way, to prevent his procuring evidence to show that the charges of the police were unfounded. After the petitions were brought up, he should move that they be printed.
§ Petitions to be printed.