HC Deb 18 March 1851 vol 115 cc124-5

was not going to bring old topics before the House, but a new topic, which had arisen within the last six months. A petition had been presented by the hon. Member for Montrose in relation to an infant, the lawful heir of the Rajah of Sattara; which petition, though printed and sent to MR. Greville, had not been duly brought before the Privy Council by MR. Greville, the clerk of the Council. The petition was, to obtain the settlement of claims, not of a political character, but to obtain restitution of private property belonging to the late Rajah of Sattara, taken possession of by the British Government, on the mistaken assumption that the Rajah died without heirs. The infant, the subject of the petition, who had been adopted and recognised as the heir of the Rajah, sent a petition to the Privy Council; which petition was not presented by MR. Greville, who, in a note, informed the petitioner, "that the matter of the petition being of a political nature, did not come within the jurisdiction of Her Majesty's Privy Council." This proceeding of MR. Greville was in the nature of a denial of justice, and the conduct of MR. Greville called for the consideration of the House; and, with the view of bringing the matter under the notice of Parliament, he should move a Resolution, to the effect, "that the matters of complaint set forth in the petition of the infant Rajah, deserved the serious consideration of that House." He contended that the petition contained nothing at all relating to political questions, but referred solely to matters of private and pecuniary interest. But, assuming that the petition did relate to political matters, it would be found, on reference to the Act of Parliament, that it was competent for Her Majesty's Privy Council to entertain petitions which had relation to political matters. As he could not understand the course taken by the clerk of the Privy Council, or believe that the Marquess of Lansdowne was aware of the letter written by MR. Greville, he would move to call attention to the alleged obstruction offered to the claims of the infant Rajah of Sattara, in the denial of a hearing before the Court of Privy Council, complained of in the petition to this House of the next friend of the said infant, presented on the 14th inst.; and to move a Resolution on the subject.

The Resolution not having been seconded, fell to the ground.