HC Deb 20 April 1883 vol 278 c735

Leave to the Select Committee on Public Petitions to make a Special Report:—

Special Report brought up, and read as followeth:— Your Committee have felt it their duty to bring to the notice of the House, a Petition in favour of the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts, which was presented by Mr. Cavendish Bentinck from Whitehaven on the 12th of March last, and which they find to contain serious irregularities. Your Committee have observed that the Petition, though purporting to be signed by 414 persons, is in fact signed by 293 only, the remaining 121 signatures being in the same handwriting. Your Committee, therefore, having regard to the Orders of the House, have abstained from reckoning such names among the signatures. Your Committee have further to state that they have received a declaration from one George Scurr, stating that he had signed his name to a piece of paper without a heading, which be had since ascertained had been affixed to this Petition, and as to the nature of which ho had been wilfully misinformed, and stating also that he had signed the names of his wife, Sarah Jane Scurr, and of his father and mother, John and Dinah Scurr, but without authority from his said father and mother to sign their names. Your Committee have also received another declaration signed by the said John and Dinah Scurr, wherein they state that their names, attached to the Petition from Whitehaven, against the Contagious Diseases Acts, were not written or signed by them, or by any person authorised by them to sign their names. Which facts your Committee beg to report to the House.

Report to lie upon the Table, and to be printed. [No. 131.]

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