HL Deb 03 February 1840 vol 51 cc1095-6
The Duke of Wellington

said—My Lords, in presenting some petitions from the clergy of Southampton and several of the neighbouring parishes against the system of Socialism, I will take the liberty of stating to your Lordships the conduct I have thought it my duty to pursue with respect to that system in the county with which I am particularly connected. I have thought it my duty to recommend to the magistrates of the parishes where these Socialists have introduced their sys- tern, to watch narrowly the proceedings of these institutions, to take official cognizance of them, and, if they are guilty of any breach of the peace or the law, to proceed against them as the law permits. I think it to be the duty of the Lord-lieutenant and proprietors of counties to take their part in such proceedings, and I hope that her Majesty's Government will approve of what I have done on this subject, and that it will have a beneficial effect in other parts of the country, and place an effectual check on such mischievous doctrines.

The Marquess of Normanby

said, that he would take that occasion of observing, that nothing could be more judicious than the suggestions which had been thrown out by the noble Duke respecting these dangerous doctrines, viz., that the magistrates and clergy should be recommended to advise the people living in their respective neighbourhoods, to keep a careful watch over their servants and those under the sphere of their influence upon the subject. For his own part he could only say, that he should be most happy at any time to pay every attention to any suggestions or communications which the noble Duke might think proper to make to him, respecting the means of averting the mischiefs naturally arising from the spread of these principles.

Petition laid on the table.

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