Monday, 6 February 2012

6th February 1812: Questions in the House of Commons about Nottingham disturbances

Following the enquiries in the House of Lords two days earlier, questions about the Luddite disturbances were now asked of the Home Secretary in the House of Commons on the following Thursday 6th February. The Home Secretary stated plainly that new laws were being drawn up:

Mr. Whitbread: wished to ask the right hon. the Secretary of State, whether it was the intention of the government to lay any information before the House with respect to the disturbances which had for three months scandalized the country, and still continued to do so, or whether any inquiry was to be set on foot with respect to them?

Mr. Secretary Ryder: agreed that the proceedings alluded to by the hon. gent, were such as scandalized the country; he had reason to believe, however, that they had, within these few days, much subsided. Whether this was or was not the case, the House would soon possess the opportunity of inquiring into the subject, when a Bill, which was now in preparation, should be introduced.

Mr. Whitbread: observed, that after what had fallen from the right hon. Secretary, he should not himself now give any notice on the subject; but he must ask, was not the existence of the late disgraceful riots at Nottingham, a primâ facie charge against the home administration.

Mr. Lambe: said, that the riots at Nottingham had not only not subsided, but were increasing, and loudly called for enquiry.

Mr. J. Smith: stated, that he had received letters that morning which expressed that a greater degree of tranquillity prevailed in the country than had been for some months past.

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