§ Sir Charles Lemon
presented a Petition from certain Parochial Clergymen in the county of Cornwall, complaining of the operation of the above Act, and moved that it be printed.
said, that in the present instance it would be a satisfaction to him, to have the rule of the House broken which forbad the printing of petitioners' names. He understood that fifty-four clergymen had signed this petition, and thus proved the warm interest which they took in gin-shops.
§ Sir Edward Sugden
said, that nothing could be better calculated to excite a bad feeling throughout the country, than the observations of the hon. member for Middlesex. The petitioners had come forward, as they had a right to do, to express their disapprobation of a measure which from the beginning he was apprehensive would not work well. The experiment was forced on the late Government by the Gentlemen who formerly sat on his (the Opposition) side of the House. They would continue to support it, whether it worked well or ill. But was it to be endured, when Gentlemen, who had an opportunity of witnessing the daily operation of the measure, came forward to complain of it, that they should be stigmatised, and their names handed over to the speakers at Political Unions? Was it fair to say, that a man was an advocate for gin-shops, because he thought that the experiment of the new beer-shops had not succeeded? Was it, he asked, fair, to cast an imputation of this kind on any body of men, particularly the clergy? Surely the hon. Member could not wish to degrade the clergy of the Established Church in the eyes of the lower orders. Whether or not such was his intention, his observations were calculated to have that effect.
§ The Speaker
said, that matter to which the hon. and learned Gentleman had addressed his observations, had nothing to do with the motion before the House, which was, that the petition be printed. If the hon. member for Middlesex should propose a motion of the nature to which he had alluded, and it should be seconded, then would come the time for discussing it. If a new system of printing petitions was to be adopted, it could only be done upon motion.
§ Sir Charles Lemon
said, that the petitioners were not licensing Magistrates, 698 nor proprietors of houses. In short, they were in no way concerned in the monopoly of public-houses, and therefore they were not liable to the imputation which the hon. member for Middlesex had cast upon them.
thought, that persons who petitioned for a proper object need not object to have their names made known.
§ The Petition to be printed.