HL Deb 12 April 1808 vol 11 cc30-1
The duke of Cumberland

acquainted the house, that he held in his hands a Petition from the lord mayor, aldermen, and corporation of the city of Dublin, praying that house not to acquiesce in the prayer of the Petition presented by the Roman Catholics of Ireland. His royal highness stated, that he had had this Petition for some time in his possession, and was then induced to present it, in consequence of the notice of an intended motion given on this subject last night.

Lord Auckland

declared, that had he been in the house at the time when the Catholic Petition was presented, he should have taken the opportunity of expressing the strong and sincere regret he felt at pressing such a subject again into public discussion. After its recent discussion, a discussion the most serious and conclusive that ever took place in the history of parliament, it was the declared sense of their lordships, by a great majority, not to acquiesce in the prayer of the petitioners; he could not but regret, that the same subject was again so precipitately pressed, before the attention of parliament.

Lord Holland

never could accede to the validity of such a position, that because, in former sessions of parliament, that house had come to a decision adverse to the views of a certain description of the king's subjects, therefore, that it operated as a bar to their future hopes and petitions. But what were the circumstances which particularly marked this case? It was true, that the house did not accede to the prayer of the former Petition, neither did it reject it altogether; the motion was set aside by the carrying of the previous question; and it must be in the recollection of his noble friend, and of the other noble lords who heard him, that many of those who then voted for the previous question, expressed themselves alone hostile to the time in which that Petition was presented. It surely might be presumed, that those objections were removed, and that circumstances had since occurred to render it advisable for that body of people to submit their case to the legislature.

Lord Hawkesbury

intimated to his noble friend, that he was under an error in supposing that the motion founded on the former Petition of the Irish Catholics was overruled by the adoption of the previous question. The fact he believed to be, that the motion for sending that Petition to a committee was rejected by a very considerable majority of their lordships.—The Petition was then read, and ordered to lie on the table.