§ Lord Grenville
presented a Petition from the Roman Catholics of Ireland, praying that the disabilities respecting them might be removed; which was read at the table. His lordship stated, that there was an informality attached to it, in consequence of some of the names signed to it, not having been written by the persons bearing those names, although written by their authority. He believed, however, that petitions had been received where an informality of this kind existed, but where, as in this case, there were other names to the petition, signed by the parties themselves. He moved, that the Petition do lie on the table, and stated, that he should also move, that the lords be summoned for the 11th of May, with the view of then moving the consideration of this petition.
The Earl of Moira
regretted, that upon this occasion, he found himself compelled to differ in opinion with his noble friend. His sentiments with respect to the object of the petition had been declared and were well known; but when parliament had so recently decided, and when so many persons stood pledged upon this subject, he could not concur in the propriety of discussing it in the present session. He thought, that the urging at this moment of these claims, tended rather to retard 2 than to accelerate the object of the petitioners.
The Lord Chancellor
observed, with respect to the informality, that where such informality existed, the reception of the petition was a matter of courtesy.—The Petition was ordered to lie on the table.
§ Lord Grenville
observed, with regard to what had fallen from his noble friend, that he had not advised the presenting this petition; neither had he given any opinion respecting it, his advice not having been asked. He had stated, on a former occasion, his opinion, that it would not be expedient for the catholics to petition at the present moment; they, however, might be influenced by circumstances of which neither he nor any one besides themselves could judge. All he was anxious to state was, that he had not advised the presenting of this petition, neither had he given any opinion against presenting it; nor did he mean now to give any opinion on the subject. Perhaps, if he had known the circumstances that led to the petition, he might have thought it expedient that it should be presented. The petition however having been presented, he should call the attention of the house to the question, whether it was not fit that the matter of the petition should become a subject of discussion. Understanding that the 13th of May would be more convenient than the 11th, he moved that the lords be summoned on the 13th.—Ordered.