HC Deb 08 May 1815 vol 31 cc190-1

In the Committee of Supply, Mr. Lockhart moved, that the sum of 1,800l. be granted to Arthur Morris, esq. the high bailiff of Westminster, as an indemnity for losses sustained by him at the election of members to serve in parliament for the said city.

Mr. Bankes

said, he was not aware that this proposition was to be brought forward to-day, or he would have prepared himself for the discussion, by refreshing his memory as to the principal points of Mr. Morris's case. He was enabled to state, however, from his recollection of what occurred in a former committee, that it was his opinion the sum claimed by Mr. Morris was much larger than the House ought to sanction.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

thought that some compensation was certainly due to the high bailiff on account of the expenses he was put to in consequence of an involuntary candidate being started. As this was a case not in the contemplation of the law, he was entitled so far to compensation. As to the larger sum, he did not conceive the claim substantiated.

Mr. Byng

could not see why a difference should be made between the high bailiff of Westminster, and any other returning officer in the kingdom. He did not know where this principle of compensation was to stop.

Mr. Lockhart

replied, that the high bailiff was bound by the Act of Parliament to expenses to which other returning officers were not bound.

Mr. Horner

observed, that the high bailiff was almost the only returning officer in the kingdom whose office was one of emolument as well as trust.

The resolution was then postponed.