HC Deb 07 April 1848 vol 98 cc4-5

MR. HENRY DRUMMOND: Seeing the hon. Member for Nottingham in his place, I beg to ask him what is the course meant to be pursued with regard to the presentation of the petition on Monday next, of which he has given notice? I have seen in the public papers that it has been a question agitated at a meeting at which that hon. Gentleman was present, what should be done in case of this House refusing to receive the petition then presented. I have read the petition myself, and I believe there is not one human being in this House that would say "No!" to the reception of it. There is no doubt that the petition will be received as a matter of course, and—

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Gentleman must confine his observations to such as will make the question intelligible; he must not enter into discussion upon it.

MR. HENRY DRUMMOND: I wish to ask in what way the hon. Member means to bring the different subject-matters in that petition under the consideration of the House? I am exceedingly anxious to have them fully discussed here; but there can be no discussions upon the presentation of a petition; and I am not aware how he intends to bring them on.

MR. F. O'CONNOR: In reply to the hon. Gentleman, I beg to say that on Mon- day week last I gave notice that I would move a resolution founded upon the principles in this petition, as an Amendment upon the Order of the Day for going into Committee of Supply on Monday next. I now find there is no supply for that night; therefore, unless the noble Lord at the head of the Government will be kind enough to allow me to bring it forward the first question on Monday, I cannot give the hon. Gentleman any answer as to the time when I shall be able to do so. The noble Lord is aware that the petition is one of great importance to some millions of the people; and I ask this from him as a privilege, upon the undertaking that I at least shall not detain the House long upon it. If the hon. Member had not put the question to me, I should myself have asked the noble Lord for permission to bring the measure forward—a measure upon which, as a matter of course, there is great excitement both in and out of this House. If the noble Lord does not grant the indulgence I ask for, then I must look for another open night; but on Monday I shall present the petition.

Loan J. RUSSELL: I should be very unwilling, Sir, that a petition so numerously signed as the hon. Gentleman has declared the petition he has to present will be, should not be received, and meet with every consideration from the House. I do not, however, think it would be right, because certain business is fixed for that day, and there are other matters to come on to which I will not allude, that the Government should give up Monday to the consideration of the petition. But, considering the importance of a petition presented by such numbers of the people, and that a petition so signed ought to have early consideration, I shall be ready, having at the same time regard to public convenience, to consent that the hon. Gentleman shall bring on his Motion on Friday next.

MR. F. O'CONNOR: I am most thankful to the noble Lord.

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