§ A Petition of the woollen manufacturers of the county of Wilts, whose names are thereunto subscribed, was presented and read; setting forth,
§ "That the petitioners beg leave to represent to the House, that, by various charters granted successively to the East India Company, and by the restrictions imposed on the merchants of this country from trading with the extensive possessions of the Company in India, as well as with the whole of the islands and territories in Asia and Africa eastward from the Cape of Good Hope, the petitioners conceive that they have, for a series of years, been prevented in a very great degree from supplying an immense population wish woollen manufactures; and that, by the removal of such restrictions, the petitioners firmly believe they would annually obtain from our merchants orders infinitely beyond those which are now received from the East India Company; and that, as he petitioners are cut off in some measure at present from supplying the continent of Europe, they apprehend a free trade to India would furnish them with an indemnity for this loss; and that, reposing entire confidence in the wisdom and justice of the House, the petitioners humbly entreat they will be pleased to adopt such measures as may secure to the merchants of the United Kingdom the advantages of a free trade eastward beyond the Cape of Good Hope."
§ "That the petitioners most humbly conceive, that they, in common with the rest of their fellow subjects, are justly entitled to participate in whatever trade or intercourse may be carried on with any part of the British empire, subject always to such restrictions as a due regard to the revenue of the country, and our political relations with foreign states, may render necessary; and that, impressed with these sentiments, and convinced as they are that the opening up of the trade with the countries situate to the eastward of the Cape of Good Hope would be attended with the most beneficial consequences to the commercial manufacturing and shipping interests of the kingdom, they humbly beg leave to express an opinion, that, if parliament shall, in its wisdom, see proper to grant an extension of the trade with those countries at the expiry of the present charter of the East India Company, such extension should not be confined to the port of London, but embrace every principal port in the kingdom; and praying, that the House will be pleased to take the premises into serious consideration, and in case it shall appear expedient to them to extend the privileges of the trade with. India, to allow the port of Aberdeen, in common with others throughout the kingdom, to participate in such extension, under such regulations as to the House shall seem meet."
§ Ordered to lie upon the table.