Leave to make a Special Report.—Special Report brought up, and read:—
Your Committee have considered the case of the twelve Petitions from Dublin against the Sunday Closing Bill referred to them by the House, and heard evidence on both sides of the question.
That, in their opinion, a distinct attempt was made to mislead the House by affixing the signature of W. A. Exham to one of the Petitions, although the address of W. A. Exham, the person presumably intended to be represented as having signed the Petition, is 9, Fitzwilliam Place, and not 29, as alleged. That a similar attempt was made in the case of Mr. George Macgusty, 34, Dawson Street, in which case the person signing the Petition wrote John Macgusty. With regard to the signatures of Charles Forbes, William Lacy, and Mark Keogh, sworn declarations were produced which satisfy your Committee that these signatures were genuine. There remain several cases of addresses which either do not exist or at which the persons professing to sign do not reside; but these informalities do not, in the opinion of your Committee, furnish sufficient ground for recommending the discharge of the Order that the Petitions do lie on the Table, with the single exception of the Petition to which the signatures of W. A. Exham and John Macgusty are affixed, and in this case your Committee recommend accordingly that the Order that this Petition do lie upon the Table be discharged.
That your Committee have been led by the consideration of these Petitions to the conclusion that it is desirable to recommend the House to amend the order of their appointment, and, instead of ordering them in all cases to set forth the number of signatures to each Petition, only to do so in respect of those signatures to which addresses are affixed.
§ Report to lie upon the Table, and to be printed. [No. 145.]