HC Deb 17 October 1820 vol 3 cc748-9
General Gascoyne

, in presenting a petition from the inhabitants of Liverpool, begged leave to call the attention of the House for a few minutes to the statements which it contained. He was aware that one topic occupied almost exclusively the attention of parliament and the public; still, however, the state of the country required that the House should take the subject of this petition into early consideration. The increase of pauperism in the town of Liverpool, which the petitioners ascribed chiefly to the distressed state of their trade, was truly alarming. So great was the increase, that not more than 20,000 of the inhabitants of Liverpool were rated. The population of that town was somewhat above 100,000, say 110,000; out of that number he was instructed by the mayor, who had called the meeting at which the resolutions upon which this petition was founded were passed, to inform the House, that 20,000 only were rated, and of these 7,000 were incapable of paying the annual rates. The petitioners were aware that the House had taken the subject of the Poor laws into its consideration, and they were perfectly aware also, that their burdens were in no degree diminished by the result of their deliberations. They were of opinion, that the commercial distress of Liverpool arose from the prohibitions and restrictions upon the importation of other countries, and above all, from the prohibition upon the importation of corn. They concluded by praying the House to give its attention as soon as possible to this subject. The petition was signed by 20,000 persons; and, but for some unforeseen circumstances, it would have been presented at an earlier period.

Ordered to be printed.

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