§ THE EARL OF ALBEMARLE
presented a petition from Inhabitants of Keighley, in the West Riding, praying that the Royal Family of Oude may be restored to the throne of their ancestors. The noble Earl said, that on a former occasion, in presenting a similar petition from the Inhabitants of Manchester, he stated that it was not in his power to support the prayer of the petition, although entertaining a most decided opinion against the policy of annexation; but as he considered that the annexation of Oude was a fait accompli, he thought it could not be disturbed without injury to British rule in the East. At the time he presented the Manchester petition he supposed there was not one Member of the House whose opinions were in accordance with its prayer; but he had since seen the despatch of the 19th of April, which spoke of the people of Oude making legitimate war—an expression which could mean no less than to vitiate the title of our Sovereign to that portion of her dominions. It was strange enough that all those who were assenting parties to that despatch never once raised their voice against the policy of the annexation on any of the various occasions when it was discussed in Parliament, and yet, after it had received the sanction of Parliament and be- 859 come the law of the land, and two years after its accomplishment, and at the very time when the people of Oude were in open rebellion against our arms, they had taken the opportunity of asserting these claims of the people of Oude. He thought under these circumstances, instead of petitions of this kind being intrusted for presentation to independent Members of Parliament, they should be transferred to the First Minister of the Crown, or to some other noble Lord sitting on the Treasury benches.
§ Petition read, and ordered to he on the Table.
§ House adjourned at Half-past Five o'clock, to Thursday next, Half-past Ten o'clock.