The Earl of Lauderdale
presented a petition against this bill from the sugar-bakers of London. He would take that opportunity also of calling their lordships' attention to the present state of the bill. The bill had been brought before their lordships and read a first time; but no noble lord had yet given notice of any intention to move the second reading, unless a private information he had received from a noble friend behind him might be considered as such a notice. Since the measure had been introduced, he had employed himself in laying before their lordships all the information connected with the subject, which could enable them to come to a right decision, and form a correct judgment of the petitions which stated that the company was illegal. He had moved that these papers should be printed; and 165 he trusted, that until they were printed, no noble lord would move the second reading of the measure. After they were printed, he would move that the petitioners, who prayed to be heard by counsel at the bar, and who alleged that the company was illegal, should be heard; and, if their assertions were made out, he was sure that there was not one noble lord who would be ready to grant privileges to an illegal society; more especially so immediately after the bill for putting an end to an illegal society in Ireland. This case stood on its own footing, but it involved questions so important, that he should certainly move for the attendance of the judges, to put to them questions relative to the legal question. Their lordships would at the same time agree with him, that the time of these learned persons was too valuable for their lordships to occupy it needlessly: he should therefore move that the question of law be argued separately from the other details of the bill.
§ Lord Dacre
rose to give notice, that he intended to move the second reading of the bill; but he should wait until the papers were printed.