The Marquess of Londonderry
seeing the noble Viscount at the head of her Majesty's Government in his place, wished to ask whether it was his intention to take any further steps to increase the military forces in the north of England? He understood that ten days ago the magistrates had applied for troops, but that no troops 915 had been sent, although the great disorder which prevailed in the neighbourhood of Newcastle might have been put down if that assistances had been afforded. On a a former occasion he had read two letters, stating that ten days since the magistrates assembled there and at Durham made an application for troops, and that the application was referred to the General commanding at Newcastle, who stated that he could not supply troops unless barrack accommodation was offered to them. There was no possibility of affording barrack accommodation, and the consequence was that no troops had been sent, and the greatest terror and alarm prevailed at Stockton-on-Tees, which was forty miles distant from any military station. It was true that a number of special constables had been sworn in, and that no great outbreak had taken place. Still, however, the people were in a state of alarm and terror. He had received a letter from a most respectable gentleman in that neighbourhood, and well acquainted with the Chartist proceedings there, and his correspondent stated that the Chartists had adopted an organized system, by which they exacted contributions, not only from shopkeepers, butchers, and tradespeople, but from householders; that they offered Chartist tickets for sale under the pretence that they were a grant of protection to the holders, and if the parties refused to purchase them, they were threatened with being shot and their houses burnt. Under these circumstances, he wished to know whether the noble Viscount intended to adopt any further means for the protection of the country beyond raising the 5,000 men now stated to be necessary?
§ Viscount Melbourne
said, it was not intended to take any further steps; at the same time, if circumstances required that more troops should be sent into the district alluded to, they would be sent.
§ Subject dropped.