HC Deb 05 February 1819 vol 39 cc334-5
Mr. Lambton

presented a Petition from sir Henry Clement Thompson, who had presented a petition against the return for the borough of Barnstaple. He stated that having, according to law, given eight days notice of his sureties, he had named a Mr. Larkins, of Essex-street, Strand, as one of them. His other surely was accepted, but Mr. Larkins was rejected because he had changed his residence from Essex-street to Northumberland street, and he was also objected to because he had been a bankrupt two years ago. The petitioner was consequently recommended by the examiners to apply to the House by petition. He stated, that he was unacquainted, as was his agent, with his surety's change of abode, and he prayed for further time to give notice of another surety.

The petition was brought up and, read. Oh the motion, that the petitioner's agent, Mr. Williams, be called to the bar to verify on oath the statement,

Mr. C. Harvey

objected to the motion, because, if the whole of the allegations were proved, it was to be doubted whether House would grant the petitioner relief. He was bound, in the first instance, to have offered a sufficient surety, or to have made the requisite inquiries. The fact that the person he had offered had been a bankrupt within two years should have made him more particular in his inquiries respecting him. It was, therefore, an insult on the House for the petitioner to have offered such a surety without having obtained the necessary information respecting him.

Mr. Wynn

said, that the proceeding was now confined to the calling in the petitioner's agent, to confirm his statement on oath. They might afterwards consider whether on that statement so verified, the House was justified in granting the petitioner the indulgence he prayed. There was no primâ facie objection to the surety from the fact of his once having been a bankrupt. He was not on that account disqualified by law from holding property.

Mr. S. Bourne

observed, that the question was not whether the surety should be admitted, but whether the House should grant time to the petitioner to give notice for another surety. There appeared to be a difficulty in admitting without examination, the statement of a petitioner; for though he might state the truth, he might not state the whole truth, and might keep out of sight circumstances which had justified the examiners in rejecting the surety.

Mr. Lambton

observed, that the examiners had recommended the petitioner to apply to the House, which was a presumption that they thought him entitled to an extension of his time.

After some farther conversation, Mr. Williams, agent to the petitioner was called in, and having verified the matter of the petition upon oath, the time was enlarged till Monday sevennight.