HC Deb 06 April 1819 vol 39 cc1426-7
Sir John Newport

asked leave to bring in a bill to regulate the appointment and tenure of the office of clerk of the peace in Ireland. His object was, to assimilate, as far as possible, the office of the clerk of the peace in Ireland to the same office in England, and to make the former liable to a statute of William and Mary, exactly in the same manner as the latter was. No clause in the bill which he wished to present to the House was calculated to abrogate the clause of the 49th of the king, generally known by the name of Mr. Percival's clause; his intention was, to leave that act in full force. He intended, however, to introduce a clause, which should make the person holding the office swear before he entered upon it, that he had not paid any sum or sums of money for it, and that he did not reserve any part of the salary attached to it for any other individual.

Mr. C. Grant

expressed his entire concurrence with the principle on which the right hon. baronet's bill was founded.

Sir H. Parnell

suggested to his right hon. friend, whether it would not be advisable, in consequence of the great powers which the clerk of the peace in Ireland enjoyed, from his having to register the different freeholders, to enact that no representative for an Irish county should hold the office of custos rotulorum, inasmuch as great abuses might possibly arise from the connection existing between the custos and the clerk of the peace Sir J. Newport replied, that the bill which he wished to introduce related to the clerk of the peace, and not to the custos.

Colonel Barry

thought that the exaction of such an oath of office as had been proposed by the right hon. baronet was unwise, and bore too hard upon the frailty of human nature. A better way of preventing such negotiations for interest would be to visit the negotiators with heavy penalties, whenever they were discovered.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.