, of Galway, said, that in rising to bring forward a substantive charge against a judge, he was well aware of the difficult task he had undertaken. He was sensible, that the House should visit in the severest manner any man who should be daring or wicked enough to bring forward any unfounded charge or calumny against a judge. From the first moment he had heard that all the allegations which he had brought before the House had been flatly traversed by the learned judge whom they regarded, he had treated that contradiction with all the deference due to assertions coming from such a quarter. But he was now determined to prove his own truth and integrity in making those charges; all of which he had reduced to a written one. What would be said of a naval officer who should bring forward an unfounded accusation against a military one; or of a military officer who should' act so in regard to his superior? Why, he believed that the court-martial, whether naval or military, would dismiss the person making such false charge. What would be the House's opinion of him, himself, for he would not shrink from saying so, should he adduce false charges and groundless calumnies against the learned judge? They ought to expel him from their assembly; but what would they say when he told them that he had in the gallery seven or eight witnesses, who were ready not merely to substantiate his averments, but to prove them to be altogether true? The first charge which he had to make against the learned judge was, that he had thought proper to send an armed body of men into the court, by whom all were cleared out of it, with the exception of one hon. gentleman (Mr. V. Blake) who, by some stratagem or other, had the good fortune to hide himself under one of the benches. Not contented with this most unusual and unjustifiable proceeding, he placed sentinels at all the avenues to prevent access to the court. Was this, he asked, conduct to be tolerated in a judge whose bounden duty it was to administer justice with impartiality? But this was not all. A jury which was, at the time when his (Mr. Martin's) trial came on, deliberating upon its verdict in a previous case, was not allowed to deliver that verdict until his cause was decided. The jury was not allowed admittance into the court; and in answer to the second application made 851 for that purpose, M. Baron M'Lellan told the gentlemen, that he would not allow them to be liberated until his (Mr. M.'s) case was decided. He added, "If you knock again, I will commit you." In making the charge against the learned judge, he begged to disclaim all feelings of animosity towards that individual. But it had been said, that this was a motion which was trifling, unfounded, out of time, an attempt to throw obloquy and reproach upon a respectable character, and an unworthy attack upon an excellent judge. In answer to all this he had only to say, that he was most confident that every syllable he had uttered was true. As a friend to the learned judge, he should recommend a strict inquiry; and, as far as respected himself, he was most anxious that an investigation should be made into the whole transaction. The ground upon which the learned judge had refused to postpone the trial was, that there was not a sufficient affidavit produced. But what could have been more satisfactory than the affidavit of Dr. Crampton, the professional gentleman who attended his principal witness, Mr. Coneys, in his illness, and who swore that Mr. Coneys was unable to attend in consequence of severe indisposition? This affidavit was actually sworn, and given to the proper officer of the court. But even supposing that this affidavit had not been made, he was prepared to contend, that the affidavit of a medical gentleman was not necessary upon such an occasion. There was, however, one fact which rendered the conduct of the learned judge inexcusable, namely, that he had access to the information upon which the indictment was founded, and from that document Mr. Baron M'Lellan must have known that the evidence of Mr. Coneys was of the utmost consequence. After some further remarks, he concluded by submitting a charge drawn up in form against the hon. James M'Lellan, and moving, that this House will resolve itself into a committee of the whole House, to take the said Article of Charge into consideration, upon this day fortnight."
objected to the motion, principally on the ground that the House had no right to interfere in a question of pure practice in the court in which Baron M'Lellan presided. In considering this question, he was actuated by no feelings but those which belonged to the justness of the case; but, be felt quite 852 convinced that the learned judge whose conduct had been thus arraigned was wholly incapable of prostituting the high power with which he had been vested, to answer any private end which he might be supposed to have in view; and he confessed that he saw nothing in the statement which had been made, which could in any manner justify this serious charge against the learned judge. The real question to be considered was, whether there was any rational ground to impute such corruption to baron M'Lellan as to justify the inquiry? And first, he wished the House to recollect, that five years had been suffered to elapse before any steps were taken in parliament upon this subject; and although at that time the country had not the benefit of Mr. Martin's talents as a representative, yet as an individual he might have laid his case before the legislature. With respect to the interference of the military, he was fully aware that it was not customary in this country to introduce soldiers into courts of justice; but in Ireland the practice was totally different, and troops were frequently called in for the preservation of order. With respect to this individual instance, he certainly was not acquainted with the particular circumstances under which the learned judge had thought proper to call in the military; but this did not alter the view he had taken of the case, for it still resolved itself into a question of practice only, with which this House ought not to interfere. The hon. member had wished to advocate his own cause, and to examine his own witnesses; but this, it appeared, was in direct violation of all the rules of practice; and however competent the hon. member might be, and he had no doubt from the proof of his great abilities in this House, that he was most, competent to conduct his own cause, yet, as it was against all practice, it was most proper that he should have been interrupted in that proceeding. The hon. member was certainly competent to lay the charge upon the table, but he should advise him to withdraw the complaint altogether. If the object of the hon. member was, to exculpate himself in some measure, he could assure him (and in saying so he was sure he spoke the sentiments of the House), that, as far as the hon. member was concerned, there was not the slightest occasion for the proceeding, as the hon. member had not subjected himself to the animadversions or imputa- 853 tions of any one by the line of conduct be had pursued.
said, it was utterly impossible for the noble lord, on any occasion, to make a request to him in vain; and since, in the opinion of the noble lord, and he trusted of the House, there was nothing that tended to compromise his veracity, he had no objection to acquiesce in the noble lord's suggestion. He was therefore quite satisfied to let the article lie on the table, and not appoint any specific day for taking it into consideration.
said, if the hon. member thought of leaving the article on the table, it must, of course, be entered on the Journals, and to prevent that, the House must proceed to some determination. If the hon. member would consent to withdraw the article, it would relieve the House from the necessity of any further proceedings.
said, be had no objection to the removal of the article, but he could not be the person to move the withdrawing of his own motion.
§ The Speaker
observed, that he understood from the hon. member he would at least withdraw his motion for the House resolving itself into a committee on this day fortnight, to take the article of charge into consideration.
§ Mr. Brownlow
thought, as the charge was of so very serious a nature, and affected the credit and character of a learned judge, it ought not, having been formally laid on the table, to be withdrawn, until the friends 'of the learned judge had an opportunity of delivering their sentiments, If his suggestion were favourably received by the House, he was ready to state What had come to his knowledge on thesubject—[Cries of "Go on, go on"]
§ The Speaker
said, the proper course was, to name some day when this charge should be taken into consideration: The hon. mover, in obedience to the pleasure of the House, had withdrawn his substantive motion. The charge was now laid on the table of the House, and it must be got rid of somehow or other. It might either be expunged from the Journals, or rejected. If it were otherwise dealt with, it must necessarily appear on the Journals.
Sir J. Stewart
censured the introduction of such a charge against the learned judge, after a lapse of five years, as a most unkind thing. "The only crime imputed to the learned judge was, that he 854 had refused a most improper application. When the hon. member sought to be heard in his own defence, after he had employed counsel, he requested that which he must have known could not be conceded to him, and which was in direct opposition to the principles on which the courts of law, both in this country and in Ireland, uniformly acted. The judges had examined the statement made by the hon. gentleman, that the witness, on whose account he wished the trial to be postponed, was a material one; and they decided that he was not. When five years were suffered to pass away, before their decision was questioned, the House were bound to believe that the decision was a correct one. The conduct of the learned judge he considered to be quite irreproachable. During the last four years, he had established so high a character in Ireland, that no attack which might be made on it here, could shake the general respect which his integrity, his diligence, and his profound knowledge of the law had created. The hon. baronet then moved, "That the said Article of Charge be rejected."
said, he had already stated, that he was willing to adopt any course that the noble lord might point out. Rut when it was expected that he should withdraw a charge which he himself had made, he found that he was incompetent to do it.
§ Mr. Crawford
observed, that he was acquainted with the learned judge, and a more upright man never sat on the bench. But he left his character to the gentlemen of the Irish bar, to those who best knew the dignity and humanity with which he had always conducted himself in his exalted situation. He therefore cheerfully supported the motion for rejecting the charge.
§ The said Article of Charge was then rejected.