§ The order of the day being read, sir Robert Wilson moved, "That the matter of the Complaint against the hon. Wyndham. Quin be taken into further consideration."
§ Mr. Wyndham Quin
then rose, and stated that it was his wish to deliver a few observations to the House previous to their proceeding to the consideration, of this subject, and he hoped in the few words which he had to say, he should experience the indulgence of the House. When he before addressed the House, in. the statement he then made, he had confined himself to the matter of charge in the petition of which he now held a copy in his hands; and he had then said, that the charges of corruption contained in the petition were not founded in fact, and that he was not guilty of the corrupt charges there made against him. One of the facts charged against him was, that he had broken up the emoluments of the office for clerk of the peace for the county of Limerick into lots, in order to distribute them among those persons who bad political influence in that county—that he had bestowed a part of them on Mr. Grady the petitioner himself; and he thought it was hard that the petitioner of all men, should bring that before the House of Commons as a particular charge against him—should charge him with it here as a crime. That provision out of the emoluments of the office of clerk of the peace which was bestowed on the petitioner, had not originated with himself (Mr. W. Quin)—it had originated with others who took an interest in the affairs of the petitioner. But though this did not originate with himself, he had adopted the measure with pleasure, when, it was suggested to him. But he would boldly and confidently state, that that provision was made without being accompanied with any stipulation, any compact, or any promise of return whatever. That provision was given to the petitioner purely out of regard for him, and not as a compensation for any claim, or for any promise of political; support. When he 1177 spoke of promise, he was aware that some members might think, that though no charge could be brought against him on this account, yet if a promise of political support was not made by the petitioner, something so near to one did take place, as in substance amounted to the same thing. As this was a charge which pressed so heavily on him, he hoped the House would allow him to say a few words respecting it. He knew that it was easy, by taking parts of sentences detached from what they were connected with, and by detaching parts of conversations, to give almost any colour to a transaction. An instance of a misinterpretation of this kind took place, he might now mention, in illustration of what he had said. Even the day after he had seen Mr. Grady, the father, in London, he had already fallen into a misconception of what he (Mr. Q.) had said to him the day before. He had received a letter from that person, completely misrepresenting the nature of the conversation which took place between them. The answer which he had returned to that letter would show the nature of the misconception, and, if the House would indulge him, he would read that answer. [Here the hon. member read the answer in question, in which he denied having ever said that he would not disturb Thos. Win. Grady in the possession of his office, or that he had held out any expectation of continuing him in it: he had never made any promise of continuing him in the office; on the contrary, he had told him how he was circumstanced; that he would be obliged to remove him: he had informed Richard Smith, that he would appoint him to the office, if it was in his power; he accepted the hostility held out, and was prepared to repel it, come from what quarter it might.] The House were aware that the petitioner had been appointed to the office when a child; and without taking into Consideration any claims which others might have on him (Mr. Quin), it was to be borne in mind, that the petitioner was not capable of discharging the duties of the office in person. He had already said, that the provision for Mr. Grady was proposed and communicated to him without any stipulation whatever. At first Mr. Grady the petitioner was not inclined to receive the sum offered him; he wanted a larger sum. Some days afterwards, however, some gentleman on his part called 1178 on him, to signify that the petitioner had changed his mind, and that the only difficulty that remained was as to the security for payment of the provision on the appointment of Mr. Richard Smith. These gentlemen had certainly left him in an understanding that the arrangement was satisfactory to all parties, and under that impression he had left the country. This was in the month of July. He ought farther to state, that those gentlemen very much pressed on him the embarrassment in which T. W. Grady was with respect to whether he had a legal title to the office or not; and asked him if he would not postpone the appointment of another for some time to enable him to clear the matter up. In consequence of this request he did postpone the appointment for two months, that ample time might be given the petitioner to satisfy himself whether he had any claims or not. This was in the month of July. In September, when on his way back again, he had received a letter from Mr. Carew Smyth, urgently entreating him to let Mr. C. Smyth call on him, when he undertook to show him that he could not legally remove T. W. Grady from his office. To this letter he had answered, that he should be happy to have the honour of seeing him; but he wished to inform him, that he intended immediately to appoint Mr. Richard Smith to the office. Mr. C. Smyth, in the course of this interview, had indeed said something concerning the political interest of Mr. Grady. He (Mr. Quin) had then said, he hoped and expected Mr. Grady would continue to support him with his interest as heretofore. Perhaps a more prudent man would not have expressed any such hope. But he never imagined that the petitioner, or any man, would so construe what he had said, as to understand it in the light of an exaction of political support, in return for this provision. Such an idea never once entered into his contemplation. He might also say, that had he entertained corrupt views, he would have gone very differently to work indeed. It had been affirmed by the petitioner and others, that he had stipulated for his political interest. He had told the petitioner that this was not the case, and that what he had said on this occasion, had been tortured into a meaning different from that which belonged to it. When it was considered that all the parties had got extremely angry—that reports of all kinds had got into circulation 1179 —that threats of all kinds were held out— and that libels and lampoons were to be showered against him by the father, he would put it to the House if he could then have been held to be a free agent, and as not influenced by these reports? He bagged the House to turn their attention to the intrinsic nature of the case, and the internal evidence of it. 'If they did they would see hour impossible it was he should even dream of depending on the support of Mr. Grady, or of thinking of exacting from him a quid pro quo. Mr. Grady had, in fact, nothing to give. Mr. Grady had no fee simple property—all that he was possessed of was leasehold property. He possessed four farms, each of which was held from different landlords, and each was held on the life of a single individual. One of them was on the life of a very old man. Two of the others were on the life of a person aged sixty, and these farms were his (Mr. Quin's) own property. Was it credible, if he had acted on interested motives, or had divided the emoluments of the office of clerk of the peace from corrupt motives, that he would have selected a person possessed of an influence of this description? The election was now over, and before an election would have taken place, the influence of Mr. Grady would probably have been melted away. What object in the world could have been served by stipulating for his interest, when he stated that he had no power to make the stipulation effectual [Hear, hear!]? Nothing could have been more absurd. Mr. C. Smyth had made out a minute of the conversation which took place at Dublin. But he did not want anything in the shape of a political bargain; and he had instantly told Mr. Carew Smyth he wanted no political bargain or compact. He had not kept a copy of the minute. That paper had been brought forward as a document against him. But he would appeal to the whole line of his subsequent conduct in support of his averment. He had gone down for the country a few days afterward? There Mr. Grady; the petitioner, waited on him, and he had told him what he afterward repeated in the presence of Mr. Roche, that he did not want any stipulations, and he refused even to enter into the consideration of the subject. Some time after this Mr. Carew Smyth came down to Limerick. A report had come down before him that he (Mr. Smyth) intended to deliver him a hostile 1180 message. He regretted that report, for it was not without its influence on him; but he regretted that he had not sent some mutual friend to him (Mr. Q), who might have been present at the interview, if such a person had been sent, the whole matter might easily have been explained, and set at rest for ever. But he had avoided all conversation on this subject with Mr. Carew Smyth and the petitioner. The object which be always understood them to have in view was the pledge required of him respecting the provision to Mr. Grady. He thought the House had seen enough of the candour of Mr. Grady to justify him (Mr. Quin) in being a little cautious in hampering himself in such a case, of putting himself in the power of such a man. He thought, under all the circumstances of the case, when the nature of the influence of Mr. Grady was considered, the House must see that political influence was here out of the question. When he had shown that this was out of the question he thought it a little hard that, in making this provision for the petitioner, he should be accused of acting corruptly. He thought the House must at once see the futility of the allegation in the petition, that the implied political support was the only objection to a satisfactory arrangement. He did not see how the House could reconcile this with the rest of the business, when they considered that Mr. Grady, the petitioner, had accepted of the office in a letter to him (Mr. Q). He would not trouble the House with going into the subject of the letters from Grady, the father. The House were aware what the object was which he had in view. He had told him distinctly, that unless he bought him off by restoring his son to his office, he would bring the whole matter and himself before the House of Commons—and he had affirmed that there was a large body of members from whom he received encouragement to bring the matter forward. He would not repeat what he had already expressed on this subject. It was sufficient to say that he despised his threat; and he felt what every gentleman who heard him must feel in a similar situation, that it would be ten times more satisfactory to submit to be the subject of his calumnious accusations, than to purchase repose on the disgraceful terms held out. He did not mean to say, that to defy him to the charge was a proof of innocence; but: he thought himself warranted in saying, 1181 at least, that it was a strong presumption of innocence. For was it to be believed, if he had not felt innocent of the charges of corruption that he would have been guilty of the wild and mad presumption of allowing himself to be brought before the House of Commons, where, if he was convicted, he would hardly ever be able to hold up his head again? He had the means of restoring the son still in his power, and he did not do so because he was conscious that he had not acted from corrupt motives. He rejected the ignominious safety offered him, and preferred putting himself on the House of Commons [Hear, hear!]. It was not necessary for him to say more. He had stated the real history of the transaction. He felt that he had not been guilty of any corrupt acts. If in the course of this transaction, up to the present hour, he had done any thing which appeared to the House to be wrong, he could only say it was an error of his judgment, for he never intended to act corruptly or immorally. Some gentlemen might think the putting any charge at all on the office of clerk of the peace was in itself wrong; but he begged the House to consider how he was circumstanced, and the difficulties in which he was placed. Having said thus much, he threw himself with confidence on the candour of the House [Hear, hear!].—Mr. Quin then withdrew.
§ Sir Robert Wilson
said, that having experienced the kind indulgence of the House during the whole course of these proceedings, the hoped that indulgence would not be withdrawn from him now that he had to perform the most arduous and painful part of his duty. If motives untainted by political feelings, or personal animosity could give him a right to expect attention, he might honestly claim that indulgence. Hitherto he had only been the official conductor of the petitioner's complaint, and a coadjutor in the examination of the witnesses; but he now stood in the situation more distressing to his feelings of the public accuser of a member of the House. But if the House had seen, as he trusted they had, in his conduct in his former capacity, only a desire to get at the truth in his questions as to facts, so he hoped they would now give him credit, that he would not attempt by invectives to rouse their passions, or by subtle misconstructions to mislead their judgments. It was only since he had entered the House, that he had known, that 1182 the ordinary forms of proceeding required that the hon. member who wag accused should withdraw while the evidence was summed up; but he could assure those who watched over the interest of the hon. member, that his absence should not prejudice his case, because he would state nothing which the accused might not, if he pleased have had an opportunity of commenting on. The charge brought against the hon. W. Quin, by the petitioner, was, that he had corruptly bargained for the sale of a pension to be paid out of the emoluments of an office ministerial to justice, to influence the return of members to parliament at a future election. If this charge was proved, there could be no doubt that the hon. member had been guilty of a violation of his duty as custos rotulorum, of a breach of the privileges of parliament, and of an infraction of the statutes of the realm. In the observations which he should have to make, while he sought to impress on the House his opinion of the transaction, he should confine himself closely to the matters in evidence before them; because though it was due to justice that truth should not be sacrificed to the feelings of any individual, yet it was due to every individual whose conduct was examined, that not one wound should be inflicted on him which the interests of justice did not require. He should proceed to state the allegations against Mr. Quin, taking the petitioner's statement as the basis of his narrative, and examining how far it was corroborated by the testimony of other witnesses. In the task he had to perform he should be necessarily obliged to consume much time; but in such a judicial proceeding, the House would rather hear a perspicuous, though extended narrative, than loose or general allusions to the evidence [Hear!]. The hon. member then proceeded to state the evidence of the petitioner, T. W. Grady, in the order in which it was delivered. In concluding it, he observed—Such was the petitioner's story, which was perfectly consistent sin, all its parts; and though the petitioner was young and inexperienced, and impetuous, his veracity had never been impeached. He was known to members of the House, and through them as well as through officers who had resided at Limerick, he had been informed that the petitioner had always borne a fair and unimpeached character. In the course of a long cross-examination, the witness had 1183 been confused as to the language of the petition (which he should readily acknowledge was not drawn up by the petitioner, but by his father), but as to every material fact, he had been unshaken. The next witness was Mr. Carew Smyth, a gentleman respected among his friends, and of the highest character in his profession. With respect to him, he might say without hesitation, that the manner in which this gentleman had given his evidence, was calculated to increase the respect which he enjoyed among his friends, and to gain him the esteem of all who had heard him [Hear, hear!]. Sir Robert then recapitulated the evidence of Mr. C. Smyth, and commented on parts of it with a view to show its consistency and correctness. The minute, he observed, which had been drawn up of the conversation between Mr. C. Smyth, and Mr. W. Quin, as to the terms on which the petitioner was to receive the 200l. a year, had, it was acknowledged on all hands, been drawn up at the time, and presented to Mr. Quin for his approval, by Mr. C. Smith. What motive could Mr. C. Smith have for inserting in that minute the stipulation that the Gradys should continue politically connected with Mr. Quin, unless this gentleman had insisted on it, since the stipulation was manifestly one from which the Gradys had all along washed to escape? Mr. C. Smyth had assigned a very satisfactory reason for drawing up that minute, viz. that it was his duty, as a friend of one party and as a man of business, to have a correct and authorized account of the conversation between Mr. Quin and himself. The minute, Mr. Smyth stated, he had inclosed in a note to Mr. Quin. That note it was to be remarked, had not been produced; and as he had a right to infer that this note would throw light on the subject, it was also not too much to suppose that this light was not in favour of Mr. Quin. After this minute had been drawn up, Mr. C. Smyth recollected that he had made an omission in his conversation with Mr. Quin, and he wrote to Mr. Goold in the following terms:—"46, Baggot-street, Sept. 23rd 1818. —My Dear Goold—On reading over this morning the paper which, Mr. Quin returned to me yesterday, I find that I have made a trifling omission, which, ex majore cautelâ, I think it right should tie early rectified, viz. that the event of Mr. Richard Smith's removal from office, either by death or otherwise, 1184 should make no difference with respect to Mr. Grady; but that Mr. Quin would make the same arrangement with his successor, so as to secure the payment of the 200l. a year during Mr. Quin's continuance in the office, of cust. rot. if Mr. Grady chose to receive it on the terms specified. It is obvious to you, why I address this to you rather than to Mr. Quin, and I request the favour of an answer. (Signed) Carew Smith." Now he would ask the House, whether, not only so practised a lawyer as Mr. Goold, but any man, however little versed in business, would have allowed reference to be made to the minute which was said to be rejected, if it had really been rejected, without protesting against this reference to it: as well as against the introduction of the word "obvious" in the latter part of the note, which must have led to the inference, that Mr. Goold had been connected with the previous part of the transaction?—An inference if Mr. Goold was correct, altogether unfounded. But, according to Mr. C. Smyth's evidence, all this was consistent and explicable. Mr. Smyth had stated that when he called on Mr. Quin to sign the minute, Mr. Goold had interposed, and said that it was improper that a member of parliament should sign it, though he (Mr. Goold) should be always ready to speak to its correctness. It therefore was, "obvious" why Mr. Smyth addressed Mr. Goold, lest he should seem, had he applied to Mr. Quin, to have endeavoured to entrap him to a written approval of that which Mr. Goold had declared that it was improper for him to sign. What was Mr. Goold's answer? It was in these terms—"My dear Smyth, I received your note, and perfectly concur in the statement you made. Mr. W. Quin authorizes me to say, that your recollection is perfectly accurate, and of course there can remain now no kind of difference on the subject. I am, &c. T. Goold." This answer, in his view of the case, confirmed the previous evidence of Mr. Smyth. He lamented that a letter enclosed for Mr. Quin in one of the letters from Mr. Grady sen. to Mr. Carew Smyth had not been produced, as that also might have thrown light on the transaction. After going through Mr. Carew Smyth's evidence, sir R. Wilson observed, that during a long cross-examination this gentleman had not varied in the least material circumstance. He had seemed to stand on the rock of truth, from which no force or artifice 1185 could dislodge him. The only circumstance that could throw the slightest discredit on this gentleman was the unwarrantable paragraph in the letter of Mr. Grady, sen. of the 20th October. But to counteract this, there was the whole correspondence of Mr. C. Smyth, as well that which was published as that which had not been published. Since the termination of the inquiry, a large packet of the letters of Mr. C. Smyth to Mr. Grady had been brought from France [a member rose to order]. He did not mean to read those letters, but he should explain the manner in which they illustrated the case. Before he examined them, he delivered them to the honourable members for Oxford, Londonderry, and Exeter (Messrs. Peel, Dawson, and Courtenay), who had so laudably assisted not only the accused, but himself and the House in the investigation of the truth, and he had desired them, if they saw in these letters any thing at variance with any part of Mr. C. Smyth's statement, to call for their production. Those hon. members answered that they saw no cause for the publication of any part of them. There were also the compliments of the elder Grady himself in other parts of his correspondence; and as to the paragraph which would seem to imply that the conduct of Mr. Smyth had been artful, he would put it to the members who had read as well the unpublished as the published parts of Mr. Grady's letters, whether their sportive, or he might say, poetical nature, did not withdraw them from serious consideration. He did not stand there to approve the advice which Mr. C. Smyth had given to the petitioner (viz. to accept Mr. Quin's offer)—in his legislative capacity he could not do so; but allowances were to be made for him, and at any rate this advice did not lessen the credit due to his testimony. The next witness was Mr. Goold, whom it had been intended originally to comprize in the complaint to the House, but who had been summoned by him (sir R. W.) in behalf of the petitioner, in order to give Mr. Quirt the benefit of his evidence. This witness had given his testimony under the great disadvantage of illness, which unfortunately had afflicted him with a total failure of memory, and under this visitation, not only had he forgotten striking circumstances that had occurred, but had remembered what did not occur [Hear, hear!], to strengthen his assertion, that 1186 he was not present at the first interview, at 11 o'clock on the 22nd September, between Mr. Smyth and Mr. Quin, an assertion which, if it had not been afterwards abandoned or disproved, must have weakened the testimony of Mr. Carew Smyth. After the roost anxious consideration of the evidence of this witness, he had come to the determination to erase it altogether from his view of the case. He should not discuss the probability of these aberrations of memory, the extent of which were only known to Him froth whom no secrets are hid; but it was manifest, that when a witness alleged recollections of facts that were notoriously incorrect, the best that could be done was to leave him altogether out of the question [Hear, hear!]. The next witness, Mr. G. Maunsell, gave corroboration to the evidence of Mr. Carew Smyth, as to the communication which the latter had had with Mr. Quin in the county of Limerick, in October. To this witness the letter of Mr. Quin to D. Gabbett was shown, in which letter Mr. Quin declared that the petitioner might vote for whom he pleased, and still retain the 200l.. a-year. This, he (sir R. W.) observed, was the first time in which Mr. Quin declared any intention, to abandon his demand of political support on the part of the petitioner, as the condition for granting that annuity, and that abandonment in no degree negatived the evidence of the minute adduced by C. Smyth, as to the conversation with Mr. Q. on the 22nd of September. Mr. Daniel Gabbett's testimony also, upon the whole, served to sustain the case made out upon the testimony of Carew Smyth. The letter of Mr. Quin to this witness did not, it appeared, negative the minute adduced by Mr. C. Smyth, but on the contrary implied an acquiescence in the conditional character of that document, That letter set out with an allusion to the proposition of Mr. Maunsell, and the House had, from the testimony of the latter, a statement of what that proposition was, namely, to do away with the condition as to the political support of the petitioner, in return for the annuity from the clerkship of the peace. Richard Smith testified to the facts stated in the evidence of Mr. C. Smyth, with respect to the appointment of the former to the clerkship of the peace, to hold that office during the pleasure of Mr. Quin, and to allow to the petitioner 200l. a-year out of its profits. This witness, it was remarkable, 1187 stated, that he made no remonstrance whatever upon the novelty of the appointment of the clerkship of the peace being made out during the pleasure of the custos rotulorum, nor at the proposal of deducting 200l. a-year from an office yielding only 400l. a-year, although this office was offered to him in the first instance, without any demand of such a deduction. But the House could not fail to remember the havoc which this witness made with facts, when he spoke about the amount of the freeholders, and hence his testimony might be appretiated.—The last witness to whom he had to advert was, Mr. David Roche, and this gentleman deposed that on the 28th of September last, Mr. Quin made the following declaration to the petitioner, in his (witness's) presence:—"I have nothing to do with your freeholders; I give you this 200l. a-year as a friend, and the son of a friend whom I am much obliged to, and I beg to hear nothing of your freeholders; you and your freeholders are at liberty to vote for whom you please." Now, after Mr. Quin had made such an explicit declaration in the presence of this witness, was it not rather extraordinary that in his letter to Mr. Gabbett, received on the 11th of October, he did not express his surprise that the rumour alluded to in that letter, should still continue to prevail, or that the petitioner or his friend, should still continue to entertain any doubt of his purpose. But the fact evidently was, that the first time Mr. Quin declared his abandonment of the demand for the petitioner's support was, in his letter to Mr. Gabbett, and that this declaration was the consequence of the threats of a parliamentary investigation upon this subject. Now having gone through the evidence, the hon. officer expressed his intention to submit certain resolutions to the House, which were declaratory of his views as to the whole case. In his own mind, he was free to say, that no doubt whatever existed as to the conduct of Mr. Quin, but if any doubt remained on the minds of other gentlemen, he was ready to admit that Mr. Q. should have the benefit of that doubt. A conspiracy had been, he understood, alleged to exist on this subject, in consequence of something written by the petitioner's father. But he would appeal to the gentlemen on the other side, who had had an opportunity of examining the voluminous letters of that indefatigable writer in the committee, whether 1188 this writer appeared to have taken any part towards the invention of any of the charges preferred against Mr. Quin. The hon. officer, after declaring that he had in this case been actuated solely by public motives, expressed his regret that the subject had not been taken up by some one better acquainted with the forms of parliamentary proceedings, and his hope that the House would act as became its own honour and the claims of public justice. He stated that the object of his proposition was to declare that Mr. Quin had acted inconsistently with his duty as custos rotulorum—had violated the freedom of election—and committed a breach of the privileges of that House. It was not for him to move any resolution with regard to what ought to be done in consequence of Mr. Quin's conduct as custos rotulorum, in disposing of the profits of a place connected with the administration of justice, for the purpose of corruptly procuring political support. That part of the question he felt it becoming to leave to some more experienced person. But as to the breach of privileges of which, in his opinion, he was bound to declare Mr. Quin guilty, he hoped, nay, he could not doubt, that every gentlemen who heard him would vote upon that question with fidelity to himself and to his country [Hear, hear, hear!].—The hon. officer's several resolutions were then read as follows:
§ 1. "That it appears to this House, that the hon. Wyndham Wyndham Quin was, in the month of July last, appointed Custos Rotulorum of the county of Limerick by the lord high chancellor of Ireland, by virtue of which appointment he became entitled to appoint the clerk of the peace for the said county.
§ 2. "That, some time in the month of September, he did appoint Richard Smith, esq. to the office of clerk of the peace for the said county, in the room of Thomas William Grady, by him removed from the said office.
§ 3. "That the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin did stipulate with the said Richard Smith, that out of the salary and emoluments arising out of the said office, amounting in the whole to the sum of 400l. a year, he should pay to the said Thomas William Grady 200l. a year.
§ 4. "That the said Wyndham Wyndham, Quin did, in a certain conversation held at Stillorgan, near Dublin, on the 21st September, 1818, with Mr. Carew Smyth 1189 (who then and there waited on him, as the friend of Mr. Thomas William Grady, for the purpose of learning his determination touching the disposal of the said office), state, that he had resolved to appoint Mr. Richard Smith to the said office during pleasure, upon an express understanding that Mr. Thomas William Grady was to receive 200l. per annum out of the profits thereof; and that the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin further stated that he expected Mr. Thomas William Grady would continue politically connected with him in the county of Limerick, as long as he continued to receive the said sum out of the said office; but that Mr. Thomas William Grady was at perfect liberty to relinquish the said annuity, and separate his political interest in the county of Limerick from Mr. Quin's; and that Mr. Carew Smyth stated, that he should immediately communicate the substance of the said conversation to Thomas William Grady.
§ 5. "That on the 21st September, 1818, Mr. W. W. Quin did admit, in an interview sought by Mr. Carew Smyth, an expectation on his (Mr. Wyndham Quin's) part, that, while Mr. Thomas William Grady continued in the receipt of the said allowance, he would continue politically connected with Mr. Quin in the county of Limerick; but that on the 10th October following, Mr. Quin did expressly disclaim any intention of depriving Mr. Thomas William Grady of the said allowance on account of his withdrawing his political support from Mr. Quin.
§ 6. "That it appears to this House, that the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin, in endeavouring to procure for himself the political support of Thomas William Grady, did act in a manner inconsistent with the duties of his office as Custos Rotulorum, in violation of the freedom of election, and in breach of the privileges of this House."
§ The first Resolution being put,
§ Mr. Bootle Wilbraham
rose, he said, not with the view of long occupying the attention of the House, or of entering into any particular analysis of the evidence; but having no connexion with the hon. member who was the subject of the charges preferred by the gallant officer, and not being much in the habit of addressing the House, he thought it proper to say a word or two as to the motives which urged him to stand forward upon 1190 this occasion. He was particularly anxious, in the first place, to caution the House against allowing its desire for the reform or prevention of abuses, to betray it into any erroneous or harsh proceeding towards an individual; his own impression was, he must say, that which he believed was the general opinion as well without as within that House, namely, that Mr. Quin was the victim of a conspiracy [Hear, hear! on the Ministerial side]. This, indeed, he thought quite evident, from the letter of Grady the elder, dated the 20th October. From this letter the hon. member read the extract referring to the conduct of Mr. C. Smyth in his conversations with Mr. Quin. But while he imputed conspiracy, he begged it to be distinctly understood that he did not at all mean to allude to Mr. Carew Smyth. The high respectability indeed of that gentleman's character, as it was testified to on all sides, as well as the fair and manly manner in which he had delivered his evidence, forbad the suspicion that he could possibly be implicated in any conspiracy. The evidence of Mr. Smyth was, no doubt, entitled to the utmost attention. As to the evidence of young Grady, he did not mean to make it the subject of particular criticism; but it must be recollected, that this young gentleman bad stated some things in his petition to which he did not depose at the bar. But the main question for the consideration of the House depended upon a comparison of the testimony of Mr. C. Smyth and Mr. Goold. The latter, it was to be remembered, had been at the head of the Munster bar for several years. This gentleman was, indeed, a barrister of the highest eminence in Ireland, and had throughout life maintained a most respectable character. The loss or inaccuracy of memory then, in one instance, and that, too, upon an immaterial point, should not be allowed to bear against the general credit of such a witness. Mr. Goold was too, it would be observed, only the professional adviser of Mr. Quin, while Mr. C. Smyth was a near relation of the petitioner, and. in the comparison of testimony those circumstances should be borne in mind. He would not, however, appeal to these circumstances alone; but he would ask the House to deal out to Mr. Quin the same measure of justice which a person accused would experience from any other tribunal, and before it decided to sink this gentleman below his 1191 natural rank in society, by fastening any strong censure upon his character, to consider what he had really done. Of the intentions of Mr. Quin for a certain period to commit an improper act, he meant to state his opinion in the Resolution with which he proposed to conclude. But as to the interference of that gentleman, as Custos Rotulorum, in the election for the county in which he held that office, he was not aware that it involved a breach of the privileges of that House, although such interference on the part of any lord lieutenant of a county in England would amount to such a breach, and be taken cognizance of as such. If the office of Custos Rotulorum were held by a peer of Ireland, that officer would be precluded by a resolution of that House from interfering at an election in that country. But that resolution did not, he apprehended, apply to Mr. Quin, who had clearly a right to dispose of an office within his patronage as Custos Rotulorum. As, however, this gentleman had manifested an intention to dispose of that office, with a view to the improper attainment of political support at an election, the House was bound to take cognizance of such intention. The House would not, however, in its justice, punish him for an offence which he did not actually commit, but merely intended. This intention was, he admitted, entertained by Mr. Quin for above a fortnight from the 22nd September, when that gentleman totally abandoned it. The hon. member, after acknowledging the becoming manner in which the charge had been conducted on the part of the gallant officer, expressed his wish to substitute for that part of the gallant officer's resolutions which followed the three first propositions, a statement to the following effect: 1. That in the month of July, 1818, the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin did make an offer of the said 200l. per annum to Mr. Thomas William Grady, without any mention of an expectation on his part of Mr. Grady's future support in the county of Limerick; nor does it appear that the motive for making such provision for Mr. Thomas William Grady was to ensure such sup-port. 2. That the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin did, in a certain conversation held at Stillorgan, near Dublin, on the 21st September, 1818, with Mr. Carew Smyth, who then and there waited on him, as the friend of Mr. Thomas William Grady, for the purpose of learn- 1192 ing his determination touching the disposal of the said office, state that he had resolved to appoint Mr. Richard Smith to the said office during pleasure, upon an express understanding that Mr. Thomas William Grady was to receive 200l.. per annum out of the profits thereof; and that the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin further stated, that he expected Mr. Thomas William Grady would continue politically connected with him in the county of Limerick as long as he continued to receive the said sum out of the said office; but that Mr. Thomas William Grady was at perfect liberty to relinquish the said annuity, and separate his political interest in the county of Limerick from Mr. Quin's; and that Mr. Carew Smyth stated, that he should immediately communicate the substance of the said conversation to Thomas-William Grady. 3. That this House cannot but consider the expression, or admission of any such expectation, as improper and blameable; and had an intention of acting thereon been persisted in, instead of being (as it appears to have been) speedily and unequivocally disavowed, this House would have deemed it necessary to visit such a proceeding with its severest censure."
§ The Speaker
suggested, that the three first resolutions must be disposed of before the question could be put on the amendment.
The Hon. F. Douglas
said, he was extremely sorry that the resolutions of his gallant friend were not at once adopted. Since, however, they were not, he felt it to be his duty not to shrink from openly stating his view of the case. He would not detain the House long: if he could think that he possessed any power of producing conviction in the minds of others, this was the last question on which he would have exercised it. The defence urged by the hon. member who had just sat down was derived from motives, from the conduct of the accused after the transaction in question, and from the character of the witnesses. Would to God that they had been left to form their conclusions by such considerations. But the hon. member had met the charge by an explicit and decided disclaimer: in consequence, a long and minute examination of witnesses became necessary. This course had now-placed the question on a different ground. The consideration that must now weigh with the House was, respect to its own character, which would render them care- 1193 ful not to meet the question by any resolution that could appear illusory, or in manifest contradiction to the evidence. The charge was one of the gravest kind. It was no less than that Mr. W. Quin himself, a member of that House, had employed the patronage of an office conferred upon him by the crown to corrupt the representation. The evidence of Mr. C. Smyth was, in fact, the whole case. If ever an instance had occurred in which a case was made stronger by the manner of giving evidence, it was so in the present instance, by the evidence of Mr. C. Smyth. He was sorry that any slur had been attempted to be thrown upon his character, although that had not been done in words.
§ [Mr. B. Wilbraham disclaimed any intention of the kind.] His hon. friend agreed with hin, then, that no evidence could be more corroborative than the evidence of Mr. C. Smyth. That evidence too was corroborated by an attempted contradiction. The House had, with the greatest regret, heard two gentlemen deliberately and confidently contradict one another as to points of fact. It turned out that Mr. Goold was incorrect, and that Mr. C. Smyth was the witness of truth. From Mr. Goold's manner of giving his evidence he was not disposed to attach as much weight to it as he otherwise, from the high respectability of that gentleman's character, might be inclined to do. He meant not to impute to him that he had stated any thing which he did not believe; but while he admitted this he could not conceal from his view the great misrecollection which that gentleman had evinced, and contrasting that with the clear and circumstantial statement of Mr. Carew Smyth, he was bound from conviction to incline his belief to the evidence of the latter. He was the more inclined to do so from the circumstance, that the principal part of the conversation said to have passed, and on which the main part of the charge rested, was corroborated by the evidence of Mr. Goold himself, by the letters which were interchanged on the subject, and many other important facts which had been given as connected with the whole transaction. When he recollected this part of the evidence, when he remembered the long and able cross-examination which Mr. C. Smyth had undergone, and the creditable manner in which he had conducted himself throughout it, he could not refrain from giving to his testimony that credit 1194 to which he conceived it was so much entitled. He had also to consider, that one part of the evidence of Mr. Goold was contradicted by the hon. member himself; or rather that a part of which Mr. Goold had declared his ignorance, was supplied by him, which contradiction went in support of the original statement made by Mr. C. Smyth. And here, without imputing any thing personally disrespectful to that hon. member, he could not avoid observing, that no member ought to have sat still, while he heard a witness stating; that which he must have known not to be the fact; that he should not have been withheld by even a respect for the forms of the House from rising and contradicting that which he must have known not to have been the fact, and which he must also have known was stabbing the reputation of a most respectable individual. With respect to the observation, that Mr. Carew Smyth was nearly connected with the petitioner, Mr. Grady, he thought it was one which, if it had any weight at all, must apply with equal if not greater force to the connexion between Mr. Goold and Mr. Quin; for Mr. Goold was not only his law adviser, but also his relative. As to the letter which Mr. C. Smyth had written to Mr. Grady, it should be considered, that the latter was young and inexperienced, and required constantly the aid of his friend in matters where his advice was necessary. He had heard it said, not in the House, but in society, that if there was any foundation in the charge, it would also implicate Mr. Carew Smyth. This he could not agree to; but even if it were the fact, it would only go to implicate Mr. Smyth, without in any manner acquitting the hon. member who was charged. On these grounds, he could not agree to the resolutions which had just been read, and were intended to be proposed by his hon. friend (Mr. B. Wilbraham). No doubt Mr. Quin had a right to dispose of his patronage, but then it should not be disposed of in any manner for corrupt purposes. He would admit that there were, in the case of the hon. member, very strong circumstances of mitigation; but while he admitted this, he could not deny that there were also some aggravating circumstances that Mr. Quin was a member of that House, for the violation of whose privileges the charge was brought, and that as such it was his duty to have guarded them by every means in his power. These, he thought, were cir- 1195 cumstances which the House ought to take into consideration; but while he admitted that some of them made against the hon. member, he felt it was but fair to consider also, that according to the evidence, the alleged ground of charge was given up by Mr. W. Quin before any threats was made of bringing the matter before parliament, which was in itself a proof that he was not conscious of having had a corrupt motive. He did not, however, think that the matter was one which the House ought to pass over without some notice. If they conceived it proved that an improper use was made of the patronage enjoyed by the hon. member, he ought not, in his opinion, to be suffered to hold it any longer. The subject was an important one, and should not be passed over lightly; for though the House might acquit him of any blame, yet perhaps the country would not. He conceived the conduct of the hon. member was, in a considerable degree, reprehensible, though he did not go the whole length of agreeing with his gallant friend on the subject. He thought that the circumstance of the hon. member's having retracted his pledge before any intimation was given of a parliamentary inquiry, was one which showed his own sense of the impropriety of his previous conduct, and his regret for it. The hon. member concluded by expressing a hope, that the House would by its decision show its attachment to its privileges, and that they would not omit to censure that in a higher situation which would meet with punishment in a more humble sphere.
gave credit to the motives which had urged the gallant officer to bring the matter before the House, and felt pleasure in remarking the candid manner in which the whole of the business had been conducted. He fully agreed, that the subject was one which required due deliberation. The hon. and gallant member had argued, that all the charges had been fully proved; and in support of that opinion, he had adduced the tone and manner in which Mr. W. Quin had denied them on the first introduction of the matter to the House. That denial, he maintained, was perfectly justifiable. It should be recollected, that it was made on the petition, which contained charges that had not since been proved. One part of the charge contained in the petition was—"That the said Wyndham Quin. Derceivins at the last general elec- 1196 tion that his popularity had considerably decreased, found it necessary to avail himself, for election purposes, of the patronage he so obtained from government, and broke up the emoluments of the said office of clerk of the peace into lots, in order to distribute the several lots among such persons commanding an influence in the county, as he knew, or presumed, would undertake, in consideration thereof, to support him on any future contest, appointing them only during pleasure, in order to maintain his control over them for those purposes." This was a part of the charge which had not been proved, and which Mr. Quin was perfectly justifiable in denying in the manner which he had done. The next part of the petition which called for a positive denial on the part of Mr. Quin, as being equally destitute of foundation was that which said, "That your petitioner and his tenantry, consisting of about 100 registered freeholders, had hitherto supported the said W. Quin upon all his contests for the county; but the said W. Quin finding his situation as candidate now more precarious than it had been, thought it expedient, if possible, to secure the future support of your petitioner and his tenantry, by a deed of bargain and sale." The third part of the petition, which also called for an immediate disclaimer from Mr. Quin, was that which said, "That Daniel Gabbett, esq. law agent to the said W. Quin, being apprized of your petitioner's intentions, thought it his duty to expostulate with the said W. Quin upon the nature of the proposal he had so made to your petitioner, and cautioning him of the danger he thereby incurred, recommended to him to endeavour to rescue himself from the consequences by offering to your petitioner the said 200l. a-year independent of any pledge for election service." That the said W. Quin being apparently alarmed at the aforesaid suggestions, wrote the following note to the said Daniel Gabbett in order to its being shown by him to your petitioner, viz. "Mr. Grady may vote as he pleases; if he chooses to vote against me, I will not on that account deprive him of his situation."—The insinuations or charges which he had thus read to the House, he contended, were not proved; on the contrary, they were disproved by the evidence which had been adduced, and when contrasted with the evidence, gave abundant proof that the situation or*1197 the emoluments of it were never offered as a bribe: the hon. member, therefore, was perfectly justifiable in having so pointedly disclaimed them. The question, then, before the House, resolved itself into a small compass. In the view which he took of it, he could not agree with the gallant officer, that the charge was proved to the extent he had said. Without meaning to give his sanction to every thing which had occurred, he would endeavour to prove three positions:—First, that the original motive of the proposition to grant an annuity on the office to Mr. Grady was not with the view to secure Mr. Quin's future election; secondly, that up to the 22nd of September, not one word had been said of an expectation of Mr. Grady's political support, in consequence of such grant; and thirdly, that between the 22nd Sept. and the 10th October, every idea of the kind had been given up by Mr. Quin, and before he had the slightest intimation that the matter would ever become the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. He would contend, that though the reason for Mr. Quin's continuing Mr. Grady in office, or dependent in part on the office, might not be in itself strictly correct, yet it would appear natural to give it to one who had personal claims upon him for the support which he had received. The letter which Mr. Grady wrote, would preclude all idea that the situation was given with a view of political support. In one part of this letter it was stated, that Mr. Quin, in a conversation held with Mr. Grady, sen., on the subject, expressed, "I never was in a situation of so much distress and difficulty, I wish I had never any thing to do with it, for I cannot think of it without pain; but at the time I made the promise to Smyth, I did not know that your son had any thing to do with the office; if I did, such was my regard for you, and indeed for him, that I never would have promised it to another." This must have precluded the idea, that Mr. Quin had any intention of making the appointment a means of political support. The right hon. gentleman next referred to the evidence of the petitioner Grady himself, in which he had stated that Mr. Quin had offered him one year's income, as a compromise for the loss of the situation. This, he contended, could not be construed into a hope on Mr. Quin's part, that he would get the political support of Mr. Grady in consequence. It could not be 1198 imagined that then, immediately after the election, he could have looked to Mr. Grady's support at the end of six or seven years, after depriving him of an office, and only allowing him a year's income from it as a compensation. He next adverted to the evidence of Mr. Carew Smyth, and maintained that it went directly to prove, that up to the 21st Sept. there was no mention made of any political support as a consequence of the situation. Between that time and the 10th of October, the impropriety, if there had been any, was committed; but whatever it was, it was evident that by the 10th of October, he had repented of it. In his letter to Mr. Gabbett, he positively disavowed any intention of shackling Mr. Grady in his political conduct by the grant of the situation. Here it was that he (Mr. Peel) differed from the view taken by the hon. and gallant officer, that Mr. Quin could claim no merit from the disavowal of any expectation of political support, in consequence of the grant. He conceived that this act was entitled to consideration, as it showed that Mr. Quin had given up any view of political support' long before he could have known that the matter would be made the subject of parliamentary inquiry. It had been said, that a letter was delivered by Mr. C. Smyth to Mr. Quin, from Grady the elder, on the 8th of October, in which an allusion was made to the probable result—a parliamentary inquiry. Of this letter Mr. C. Smyth spoke in his evidence, and having stated that it was a very long one, he added he had read it, as it was sent to him unsealed. He had a general recollection of its contents, but did not remember any thing of a threat about a parliamentary inquiry. This was further confirmed by the evidence of Mr. Maunsell, with whom Mr. C. Smyth had had communications upon the subject at the time; and he stated, that he never heard the report of an intended application to parliament till November or December following. It was, therefore, he contended, evident, from the testimony given before the House, that Mr. Quin was not influenced in his disavowal of what had previously been done, by any threat of having the matter brought before the, House of Commons. The right hon. gentleman then adverted to that part of the case where it was said that Mr. Grady should remain politically connected with Mr. Quin as long as he continued to receive the annuity 1199 of 200l. a-year. This he did not mean to defend, but the contended that it did not deserve the character which had been given to it. He then stated a part of Mr. C. Smyth's evidence, which referred to the conversation with Mr. Quin on this subject. He did this to show that there might be a misconception, and that the testimony of Mr. C. Smyth and the other witness might be reconciled. Mr. Goold had made a statement which was supported by Mr. C. Smyth's testimony, that Mr. Quin would give no pledge. Now, the House ought to observe, that up to the 21st of September, there was no stipulation for political support, proposed to the petitioner, and that the petitioner might have accepted and enjoyed the benefit of the 200l. without any claim of support at all, or on the simple understanding that the previous friendship between the parties was to continue. The interview in which the engagement was first proposed took place at that period. With regard to this interview, it ought to be borne in mind, that it was proposed and courted on the part of Mr. C. Smyth, and not on that of Mr. Quin. It would appear from the evidence of Mr. C. Smyth, that Mr. Quin was rather adverse to a long conversation on the subject, He said, on his first entering on it— "Now let us understand each other." In looking over the letters which Mr. C. Smyth addressed to Mr. Grady, jun. and Mr. Grady sen., giving an account of the interview he had with Mr. Quin, he distinctly stated, that he thought if the petitioner received the annuity he would be bound in honour to support, Mr. Quin's political interests in the county. In the letter to Mr. Grady, jun. he said, "as to giving him your support, I think Quin is entitled to require it. On the ground of making a voluntary gift, he was entitled to expect that any person accepting of such a considerable portion of his patronage, the only one the place of custos affords, should give him his support in the county." He (Mr. Peel) stated this, not to criminate Mr. G. Smyth, but merely to show his opinion at this particular time. In a letter written to Mr. Grady, the elder, the same opinion is expressed: "I have no hesitation, (he said), in giving my opinion that he ought to accept of the proposed arrangement, and pledge himself to support Quin; for I do not see how he could well receive the profits of a place in his patronage, and oppose him in the 1200 county. It will be too romantic a notion, to expect that Mr. Quin would submit to it, particularly as he is not always sure of being on a bed of roses." Such, then, were the sentiments with which Mr. Smyth went to the interview at Stillorgan; Mr. Quin met him with similar ideas and feelings. Now he (Mr. Peel) did not approve of the indulgence of such expectations, or the making of such engagements, but they were indulged and made every day, without, exposing the parties to be visited with any Joss of reputation in the eyes of the world, or with any punishment in law. Suppose that, instead of beginning the conversation as detailed in evidence, Mr. C. Smyth had addressed Mr. Quin in the words pf his correspond dence, saying, "If you give the 200l., you are entitled to Mr. Grady's support. If you make a voluntary gift of a part of your patronage, the only one which the place of custos affords, you are entitled to his support in the county. I am sensible that it would be a romantic notion to expect that you would submit to the condition of surrendering so, much patronage to a person who would oppose you in the county." And if Mr. Quin were to assent to this, and say, "I indeed expect, that so long as Mr. Grady enjoys an annuity from an office at my disposal, our political interests will not be separated;" would there have been any thing in the transaction which could be laid hold, of as matter of crimination? Did not such instances of mutual understanding occur every day? Did it not occur in the case, of a landlord who let his land to his tenants on favourable leases? When this took place,. was not the benefit given up consideration of political support? If the tenant, distrusting the good will of his landlord, demanded a pledge of his continuance in his farm, the landlord, would say, "I will give you no such thing." If afterwards the tenant should say, "As you will give me no pledge of nay continuance in my farm, I infer that you mean to turn me out of it whenever you choose, or when ever our political interests do not age;" the landlord would say to, this, "I care not for your inferences, but I am resolved not to give, the pledge, you demand." Then let the tenant return with the minute of the conversation and require the signature of the landlord, The landlord, if he subscribed it, entirely changed the chat rater of the transaction. He might come to an understanding with his tenant about 1201 receiving his political support For the favourable conditions of his lease; but if they conversed on the subject of that engagement, and consigned the promise on the one hand, and the support on the other, to writing, it became an illegal instrument, and not expressive of a fair understanding. He did not put the case as entirely parallel, although there were many points of resemblance. Mr. Quin refused to sign the minute; and it ought to be recollected, that the conversation was reduced to writing at Mr. C. Smyth's request, and not at his. This afforded a sufficient proof, that he did not require a pledge of political support, but that the minute was really drawn up, as Mr. Smyth had said, merely to assist his memory. If this minute had not been made, and if the interview of the 21st had not taken place, the annuity would have been given as offered by Mr. Quin, who would have relied on a fair understanding of support, without being exposed to the consequences of the present petition. It was plain that Mr. Quin wished to let the matter rest on the usual footing; and a more particular explanation was called for by the petitioner, which led to the conversation and the minute that embodied it. He did not mean to blame Mr. Smyth, who, he was convinced, only wished the conversation reduced to writing, that he might prevent, as he himself said, a misunderstanding; in which wish Mr. Quin acquiesced out of motives of accommodation. It should be recollected too, that the conversation was not renewed by Mr. Quin, but by Mr. C. Smyth, who asked the former, whether in the event of his being called to the upper House, on the death of his father, lord Mount Earle, he would consider the petitioner as bound, for his annuity, to support his friends in the county. It was then that the minute was presented, and the transactions being reduced to writing, assumed a very different character. He again disclaimed attributing any motives to Mr. C. Smyth in his anxiety to have the conversation reduced to writing, except those of wishing to prevent a misunderstanding, knowing the people he had to deal with; and he was fully convinced, that he did not deserve the lavish compliments bestowed upon him by Mr. Grady the elder, who seemed exactly to comprehend the difference between a fair understanding and a written agreement. In his letter, dated Boulogne, the 20Eh of October, 1818, he thus addresses Mr. C. 1202 Smyth—"Your perseverance was manly, kind, and disinterested, and I am perfectly satisfied with the result of your administration. I know not what part of it most to admire—the coolness and ingenuity with which you led Quin on, at his interview with you in Dublin, from a coquetry to a full declaration of his passion for bribery and corruption; the simplicity with which you conducted him to a written testimonial of that declaration, or the face with which you handed him my letter, at your farewell interview with him at Adare; it was a kind of P. P. C. compliment, which you made him at the very nick of time; one moment sooner, 'would have been too early; one moment later, 'would have been too late; but you seized the moment when he was glorifying himself upon his triumph, to satisfy him that the battle was only in its infancy.' In another of his letters to the same gentleman, dated the 2nd of October, he clearly showed his knowledge of the save difference—"I was d—d insidious of you, and a great shame to have asked Quin to sign the deed of charter-party, and this I suppose you did as coolly as if it was a lease of a tenement in Adare; but the blockhead, thinking he was very wise in not putting his name to it, at once showing his sense of its profligacy, and furnishing the most conclusive evidence of it, shows me that he is not a man of judgment, and that the system of corruption is capable of being pushed to lengths that will undo itself; that fraud is always weak, and cunning always foolish." He (Mr. Peel) could appreciate Mr. C. Smyth's motives for not rejecting these compliments with the indignation they deserved. He knew the character of the person he had to deal with, and the poetical style of his writing. But he (Mr. Peel) was sorry he did not testify his displeasure at the manner in which he was addressed, and give these disgusting compliments an indignant rejection. He was sorry that Mr. C. Smyth did not repel such a disgusting familiarity, and reprove that unfeeling coolness with which he contemplated the sacrifice of an unsuspicious man to his vengeance.—He now came to that part of the evidence on which it was fearful for him to touch—he meant the unhappy contradiction in the testimony of Mr. C. Smyth and Mr. Goold. He fully relied on Mr. Goold's testimony, and was convinced that when he denied an interview which was afterwards admitted, his me- 1203 mory had failed him, rather than that he had any intention to conceal the truth. Though he was not personally acquainted with Mr. Goold, he owed it to his character to say, that he was highly respected by all who knew him, and that he had attained Such a reputation in his own profession, that he had been recommended by the law officers of Ireland to the lord lieutenant for promotion. On a full view of the case, he was ready to admit that Mr. Quin expected political support from the petitioner for the proposed annuity, and that he had entered into a negotiation on the subject. He sincerely wished he had been explicit with the petitioner at first; that he had said, "I cannot continue you in your appointment, and certainly will not consent to the division of the emoluments of the office." However common such a practice was as the division of an office in Ireland, he (Mr. Peel) had always disapproved of it. The emoluments, if more than a sufficient remuneration for the person who filled the office, which in general they were not, ought to be reduced to the level of its duties, and not to be given to those who performed no duties at all. Mr. Quin was wrong in dividing the office; he was wrong in proposing any conditions; but he had never Bargained for political support; and had he not had the unfortunate interview with Mr. C. Smyth, the matter might have rested on that fair understanding which no one Could strongly censure. His motives at first, for dividing the office, were a friendly regard to the family, and sympathy with the situation of the petitioner. Between July and September much difference had taken place between him and the friends of Mr. Grady, and threats of calling him out were held over him. It was not likely, therefore, that he would expose himself to their vengeance, by making an illegal bargain. He had afterwards, in an interview with Mr. C. Smyth, admitted the mention of conditions; but the transaction not being finally arranged, the proposal was quickly repented of. In these circumstances, the censure proposed by his hon. friend behind (Mr. W. Bootle) would be severe enough. He begged his hon. friend on the other side (Mr. F. Douglas) to consider the nature of the proposed resolution, and weigh the punishment which was implied against the offence. He begged the House to recollect, that it was not until the 21st of September that any stipulation for support 1204 was heard of, and on the 10th of October it was voluntarily surrendered. He implored the House and the gentlemen opposite, not to consider the whole charge as proved, though some facts, which were to be regretted, were established—not to triumph on one issue, or to permit their feelings to condemn, when there was so much to extenuate [Hear!]. He had heard of attempts made to influence public opinion on this subject by the publication of evidence, and he was sorry to see that publicity had been given to a letter which was laid aside by the committee appointed to report on the parts of the correspondence that might be produced as material to the case. This letter, which was written by Mrs. Grady to Mrs. Quin had been most improperly printed and circulated, not in any of the newspapers, but in a separate sheet, which he held in his hand.
§ Sir James Mackintosh
rose, he said, to perform a painful duty—to explain the grounds of the vote which he meant to give on this important occasion. If he were capable of forgetting for a moment the principles of moderation, the example of the right hon. gentleman, who had so manfully and so eloquently performed his part, would recall him to the right course. In beginning the observations he had to make, he begged that the evidence alone should be referred to, and that every thing extraneous should be discarded from their minds. No letters had come to his hand of the kind alluded to; and even if they had reached his hand, they would not have influenced his judgment. The question before the House—the issue which they were bound to try and make a free deliverance on—was not, whether this or that part of the petition was supported, as seemed to be thought by the, right hon. gentleman, but whether a transaction had been entered upon, by which the privileges of the House were invaded. In short, the issue to be tried was, did Mr. Quin, on the 21st of September last, offer 200l. to the petitioner for his political support at elections? If this issue was proved, the offence had been committed. The offer of the 200l. was enough; the conversation in which it was offered was supported by evidence; the minute, though signed, would have done nothing more than confirm that evidence. The right hon. gentleman seemed to place great stress on the minute of what took place on the 22nd, whereas the conversation of the 1205 21st was not at all affected by what happened subsequently. He would speak shortly to the three positions of the right hon. gentleman. He had said, that up to the 21st of September, the offer of the 200l. a year had been made to the petitioner, unclogged with any stipulation of political support. It was scarcely fair reasoning, from the facts disclosed, to infer, that Mr. Quin was immaculate till that time, with temptations to declare himself, because, in fact, he had scarcely any opportunity. The friends of Mr. Grady stood out first on two grounds, in demanding a continuance of the petitioner in office; first, that he could not be legally removed, from the want of power in the new custos to do so; and, secondly, that he could not be honourably removed, because he was protected by a promise of the custos. He would not enter into these two arguments. He would not say that Mr. Quin had made a promise to Mr. Grady; but this he would say, that the latter said he believed him to have done so. Now it was plain, that there could be no negotiation about political support for part of the emoluments of the office, while the petitioner was laying claim to the whole, either relying on his own legal title to it, or on Mr. Quin's promise that he should not be disturbed in his enjoyment of it. It was true that some person had mentioned the expedient of providing for Mr. Grady by 200l. out of the office in August; but no proposal of that kind had been made to the petitioner till afterwards. Though, therefore, the proposal only came in the shape in which it now appeared, in the month of September, yet there was an understanding of political support from the beginning. He stated this as no new charge against Mr. Quin; but merely to show, that the argument of the right hon. gentleman was not conclusive, when he said that the proposal of political support was made, for the first time, on the 21st of September, and continued only till the 10th of October; whereas the expectation had existed for two months previous to the former period. There was also another point to be taken into consideration, which was very material to this argument. In the intermediate time between July and September, the hon. member had begun to suspect, that the Gradys were inclined to withdraw their political influence from him, and to give their support to one of their own family, who at that time had declared 1206 himself a candidate for the county of Limerick. Here was a motive which might explain the difference of language used by the hon. member at Stillorgan and at Dublin; and here was a reason for the demand which he had made for Mr. Grady's political assistance. On the third point, he was happy to say, that he completely agreed with the right hon. gentleman. It was his desire to administer strict justice to the hon. member, and he therefore could not help saying, that Mr. Quin's behaviour on the 11th of October was such, as to entitle him to all the credit which could be given to man for reformation of conduct, and was such as ought to go a great way in extenuation of the offence which he had undoubtedly committed. Before, however, the House decided on the punishment to be assigned to this offence, it ought to examine into the nature of the offence itself, and to comprehend clearly in what it consists. This would be most easily seen by a review of the conversations which had taken place, first at Stillorgan, and then at the house of Mr. Carew Smyth. And here he was glad to say, that the manner in which the right hon. gentleman had treated the evidence of Mr. Carew Smyth, had delivered him (sir J. M.) from great embarrassments. He had not attempted to impeach Mr. C. Smyth's character in the slightest degree, nor, if he had, would he have succeeded. He had no personal acquaintance with Mr. C. Smyth, nor had ever seen him before his appearance at the bar of that House; but he could not help observing, that after thirty years partly of legal and partly of judicial practice, in which he had listened to the examination of many witnesses, he had never seen a man acquit himself with such credit as the gentleman to whom he alluded. In the face of every thing that was respectable in the country, from either rank, character, or station, he had, though unknown and unaided, except by his own intelligence and integrity, made the strongest impression on every member in that House; and though surrounded by many difficulties, such as had never befallen any witness before him, had fairly risen superior to them all. With regard to the testimony of Mr. Goold, he wished to treat him with all the respect due to those by whose advice he had been raised to the distinguished situation which he held at the bar; he wished to treat him with all the respect due to the situation itself; because, from the high character 1207 of the members of the Irish bar, he was welt aware, that the same eminence was always attended by the same virtues at that bar, as it was at the English bar; yet, with all these feelings of respect towards Mr. Goold, he was compelled to declare, that' owing to Mr. Goold's defective memory, his evidence might as well have been struck out of the minutes. In using this language, he did not attribute to that gentleman any want of principle: he had himself seen, at various times in his legal experience, numerous instances of extraordinary forgetfulness, and was therefore firmly convinced, that the omissions in his evidence arose entirely from the defective state of his memory; still, however, the forgetfulness was such, that no person could or ought to believe such testimony. No person could say, that the learned gentleman might accurately recollect what passed at eleven o'clock, and yet totally forget what passed at three. No person could say, that on the second day he might accurately recollect stopping at Mr. Smyth's, and sending his servant to rap at the door, and yet might totally forget that he ever entered the house. No person could say, that he might accurately recollect some parts of the transaction, yet totally forget those extraordinary circumstances which were of so striking a nature as even to awaken the recollection of the hon. member (Mr. Quin) himself. But if this forgetfulness were not to be considered as invalidating the remainder of Mr. Goold's testimony, what would the House think of his forgetfulness of the correspondence which he had carried on with Mr. Carew Smyth, a correspondence which was so momentous in its consequences? The interview in the morning at Mr. C. Smyth's, not only showed great caution on the part of the hon. member (Mr. Quin), but it also showed great anxiety to see the minute; it showed also a third point—that if Mr. Goold was there at eleven, he must have known the contents of that minute; and that if he had forgotten them, he had forgotten the most material point which was to be found in his case. He therefore was of opinion, that Mr. Goold's testimony ought entirely to be left out of consideration; and he declared this to be his opinion, without having the slightest intention of casting any reflexion on that gentleman's honour, and from a firm persuasion, that the witness who had forgotten one part of a transaction, might not have a Very faithful re- 1208 collection of the other. Leaving, then, Mr. Goold's testimony completely out of the question, what was the statement which Mr. Carew had given in, of the words which the hon. member used upon this subject? Mr. Carew Smyth's evidence affirms, that Mr. Quin said, "I give Mr. Thomas Grady 200l. a year; but I expect, in return, that Mr. Grady and his family should remain politically united with me in the county of Limerick." Could these words be construed into any thing else than an express condition? If they could not, the charge was substantiated, if the House believed them to have been used. If any member did not believe them to have been used, he would thank him to state the grounds of his unbelief. His reason for thinking that they had been used was, that if Mr. Goold's testimony were rejected, the statement of Mr. C. Smyth was not merely uncontradicted, which was strongly in its favour, but was also corroborated by many collateral circumstances. He had written a confidential minute of the conversation to Grady the father, and also to Grady the son. Now he (sir J. M.) would wave for a moment the unimpeachable character which Mr. Smyth possessed; he would keep out of his mind the clear and satisfactory manner in which he had given his evidence; he would suppose him to be any thing but the respectable man he appeared to be; and he would then ask the House, of what use or interest it could possibly have been to him to have deceived the Gradys in the representations which he made to them of the conversation which he held with Mr. Quin? These minutes were in the possession of the House, and corresponded with each other in form and substance. The words, "I give Mr. T. W. Grady 200l. a year, but I expect in return that Mr. Grady and his family should remain politically united with me in the county of Limerick," related to a matter in which Mr. C. Smyth was merely acting as an agent, and were therefore likely to make a strong impression on his mind. He had stated them almost in the same terms to the Gradys, to Maunsell, in short to every person whom he met at Limerick at the time, when such a discussion as the present was not contemplated, and when he therefore had no temptation to give any false colouring to the tale which he told. In answer to the observations which had been made on the impropriety of Mr. 1209 Smyth's taking this minute, he reminded the House that Mr. Smyth was only an agent, while Mr. Quin was a principal. Mr. Quin being a principal, he had no particular occasion for a minute; but Mr. Smyth being an agent, wished that a minute might be taken of the conversation, in order that he might send an undeniable account of it to the Gradys, the parties for whom he was interested. With regard to the elder Grady, whose conduct he did not come forward to defend, he had been justly punished for a breach of the privilege of parliament in sending a threatening letter to one of its members. Whether right or wrong (and he could wish that many individuals had never acted more wrong), Mr. C. Smyth was desirous of bringing about a compromise, which, if effected, would have prevented the painful discussion on which the House were then engaged. It would have been better, perhaps, for that gentleman, if be had not been subdued by a feeling of tenderness to an aged relative, reduced in circumstances and infirm in health, and if he had not suppressed that indignation which he must have felt at so unworthy a proposal. On the 27th September, the elder Grady had no design of accepting this compromise; because, if he had, why should he have condemned it? In justice to that gentleman he would say, that if Mr. Smyth did not show resentment at suck a proposal, neither did the hon. member himself; because it appeared from his own letters that Mr. Quin did not think Mr. Grady unworthy of his friendship after such a proposal had been made. Under all these circumstances, he thought that the House could not avoid passing the resolution, that the 200l. a-year had been offered on conditions. In regard to the punishment to be inflicted on the hon. member, he conceived that his subsequent offer of this annuity, without conditions, to young Grady, was a circumstance of such a nature, as ought to lead to a mitigation of punishment. He should be sorry to vote for the hon. gentleman's expulsion, though he certainly should vote for some severe censure being passed upon him; because, if a public servant were allowed to abuse the patronage of his office for parliamentary purposes, without suffering the slightest punishment, one of the most dangerous wounds that it would be possible to inflict, would be inflicted on the character of the House of Commons, and on the constitution of the country.
said, that important as the original question was to the individuals concerned, and to the public at large, it acquired additional importance from circumstances connected with the persons who had been brought forward as witnesses. He felt much satisfaction at the liberal manner in which his hon. and learned friend had commented upon the evidence of Mr. Goold, acquitting his character, while he condemned his recollection. How his memory had upon some topics become an absolute blank, it was hard to account; but that it was done without any wish to pervert the truth he was as confident as he was of his own existence. If it was possible for him to discharge that opinion from his mind, and to suppose that his motive was dishonourable, he should leave the House impressed with the melancholy conviction, that hereafter he could trust no man. He had known the witness upwards of forty years, and could pronounce, on the authority of that experience, that there was not a more honourable character in existence. But the witness was also known to persons whose opinion was more influential than his own. He was known to a right hon. friend of his, who used to sit on the bench below him, and whose loss they all deplored, the late Mr. Ponsonby. He did not mean by this tribute to the character of Mr. Goold, to throw the least imputation upon that of Mr. Smyth, whose integrity was never suspected: but while he thanked his hon. friend, for the candour he had shown to Mr. Goold, he was not prepared to go with him the length of omitting the whole of Mr. Goold's evidence. He would allow that where his evidence came in competition with that of Mr. Smyth, the latter was entitled to preference; but there were points in which Mr. Goold was uncontradicted by Mr. Smyth. He thought that their evidence, as compared with each other, presented four points of difference:—1st, It was asserted by Mr. Smyth, that the refusal to sign the minute was by Mr. Goold, and not by Mr. Quin—2nd, That on the 22nd of September, the denial was of a signature, and not of the truth which it contained—3rd, That Mr. Goold declared he would be ready at all times to attest the fact: and the 4th and most material, involved this question, whether Mr. Quin did on the 22nd Sept., when Mr. Goold was present, acknowledge that he was the person who stated that the grant 1211 should be given on condition of his receiving in return political support. It was asserted by Mr. Smyth, that before Mr. Quin had time to answer, on being requested to sign the minute, Mr. Goold said, "I have advised him not to sign it, because it relates to an office connected with the administration of justice, which it is not fit that a member of parliament should sign."—The first observation he should make on this was, that it was contradicted by the minute itself, for they would find a memorandum at the bottom of the minute, in which Mr. Smyth states, that for certain reasons then expressed to him, Mr. Quin declined signing it. Mr. Smyth afterwards attempted to explain that away; but it appeared, from his own letter to Mr. Grady, that it was Mr. Quin who refused to sign, and who stated the reasons for so doing. That letter informed Mr. Grady that Mr. Quin had refused to sign the minute, and conjectured the reason to be the alarm produced in his mind by reading Mr. Grady's letters, in which he threatened him with breaking up the office. That was the first material point of contradiction between Mr. Smyth and Mr. Goold, which he mentioned not to impute falsehood to Mr. Smyth, but to show that his recollection might be fallible as well as Mr. Gould's, and that it had failed. But to show that Mr. Goold's testimony ought not to be totally rejected, he would go to the next point, and call for attention from the enlightened mind of his hon. friend. Mr. Quin's objection was said to be, not to the truth of the statement, but to the signature, because the minute contained something relative to an office connected with the administration of justice, which it was not fit that a member of parliament should sign. What was the meaning of this?—that the office was prostituted to parliamentary purposes. Here was an admission of guilt. The meaning of Mr. Goold's advice, as stated by Mr. Smyth, according to the fair interpretation, amounted, therefore, to this —"My objection is not to the guilty contract, but to your signing it." Did any one think that such an avowal was rational in the presence of his bosom friend, and of the agent of his enemy? It was not possible—it was not in human nature. The next ground of difference showed the impossibility in a still clearer light., Mr. Goold was stated to have declared himself ready at all times to make the avowal, so that guilt was acknow-§1212 ledged and secrecy stipulated, yet Mr. Goold was always to be ready to explain. He would say to this, incredulus odi, he could not believe it. The fourth point of contradiction included the whole merits of the case. Did Mr. Quin acknowledge that the proposition of granting 200l. a year to Mr. Grady on condition of political support, originated with himself or with Mr. Grady? The latter was the more probable supposition, for Mr. Quin, granting the office during pleasure, need not have stated the condition annexed. It was uncessary to Mr. Quin, it was essential to Mr. Grady, that it should be stated. He begged also to recall to the recollection of the House an admission made by Mr. Smyth himself, that a grant during pleasure, without any stipulation at all, would never have been accepted. Up to the 21st of September no proposition was made, and the whole statement of the proposition grew out of the evidence of Mr. Smyth alone. Of the conversation of the 21st, Mr. C. Smyth related to the House only the substance. That conversation lasted an hour. Now he could not help thinking, that, some how or other, the proposition for connecting the electioneering support with the grant, originated during that conversation with the person most interested in the subject, for the purpose of eliciting Mr. Quin's opinion. If so, he could not consent to crush that hon. gentleman, by such resolutions as those moved by the gallant general. He begged the. House to cast their eyes over Mr. C. Smyth's evidence. He did not state how the subject had been introduced. When he described the subsequent conversation with Mr. Quin at Adare, he told the House that Mr. Quin said to him "Did I not at your house say that Grady was as free as air?" Mr. C. Smyth did not deny that Mr. Quin had said so. His reply was, "Oh! then perhaps we may all agree." Was there not in this omission to contradict Mr. Quin's declaration, a recognition of the fact, that Mr. C. Smyth had left a great part of the conversation of the 21st un-related? For his part he (Mr. Plunkett) believed that in both cases the demand was made on Mr. Quin, and the refusal thrown on him; That was a vital part of the question. Down to the 21st of September there was no allusion in the evidence to any provision respecting electioneering interest. After the 21st it had been uniformly denied by Mr. Quin 1213 that there had been any. The allegation rested on the sole evidence of Mr. C. Smyth. The reverse was asserted by Mr. Gabbett, Mr. Smyth, and Mr. Roche. In the evidence of Mr. Gabbett it was stated that at his interview with Mr. Quin at Adare that gentleman had expressed his determination "to be as free as Mr. Grady himself," There was pressure on one side and resistance on the other; but, in opposition to the statement of Mr. C. Smyth, it appeared by the evidence of Mr. Gabbett, that it was Mr. Grady who pressed, and Mr. Quin who resisted. By the evidence of Mr. R. Smith, it appeared that Mr. Quin told him, "that he wanted no such pledge from Mr. Grady," and that on his telling Mr. Grady this, Mr. Grady replied, that "he was perfectly satisfied with Mr. Quin's good intentions." Lastly, there was the evidence of Mr. Roche, which appeared to him to be quite conclusive on the subject. Mr. Roche sated, that in the latter end of September he had been present at a conversation at Adare between Mr. Quin and Mr. Grady. Mr. Quin said, "I have secured for Mr. Grady 200l. a year, which 1s to be paid by Mr. Smith, which you may have if you please, Mr. Grady." "But," replied Mr. Grady, "suppose my freeholders do not vote with you, what then is to become of the 200l. a year?" What was Mr. Quin's answer? "I have nothing to do with your freeholders, Sir; I give you this 200l. a year as a friend, and the son of a friend whom I am much obliged to, and I beg to hear nothing of your freeholders: you and your freeholders are at liberty to vote for whom you please." Mr. Grady stated, that Mr. C. Smyth had written down, that he expected his freeholders. "Then,' said Mr. Quin, "if he wrote any such thing as that, he wrote you what he was not warranted in saying, and I now tell you the reverse; I would not offer you or myself such an indignity." Now if Mr. C. Smyth's recollection was correct; if on the 22nd he put a memorandum into the hands of Mr. Quin, which Mr. Quin said was true, and the truth of which Mr. Goold was ready to attest, was it possible that Mr. Quin, knowing that that document was in Mr. C. Smyth's possession, and that Mr. Goold was ready to attest the accuracy of it, would presume to say that he should consider such an offer as that which it contained, an indignity both to Mr. Grady and himself? Would that be the language of a 1214 man conscious of having acceded to, al-though he had refused to sign, such a proposition? From all these circumstances, he (Mr. P.) deduced the inference, that the proposal in question originated with Mr. Grady, and not with Mr. Quin. Did this make no difference in the case? Was there no difference between extorting a condition of support at the time a grant was made, and replying to an inquiry, while a grant was making, that you would make no stipulation? Was not the last compatible with the highest mind—with a mind that could not bear to be bound even to act generously and nobly? If Mr. Quin had confined himself to that, his conduct would have been innocent, justifiable, and natural. But in his (Mr. Plunkett's) opinion, he had not done so. He had suffered himself to be led into a discussion of terms. That discussion once entered into, the whole negociation became corrupt. But still there was a great difference between a man who originated and completed a corrupt transaction, and a man who, having been led into the discussion of such a transaction for eight or ten days, eventually abandoned it. What could the House do towards Mr. Quin, even had he originated and completed the bargain in question, worse than that which had been proposed by the gallant general? If the House resolved, that he had dealt corruptly in his office of custos rotulorum, and that he had dealt corruptly as a member of parliament, he must lose the one, and be expelled from the other. He certainly thought Mr. Quin's conduct censurable, but he was by no means disposed, by acceding to the original resolutions, to give a triumph to a person who, having just decoyed him, had afterwards threatened him, and whose whole conduct had been most malignant and hateful. With respect, to Mr. C. Smyth, knowing him as an old friend, and valuing him as he did, he could not help regretting with the right hon. gentleman opposite, that he had not rejected with indignation the compliment paid him by Mr. Grady, sen. on the dexterity with which he had entrapped his victim. Under all the circumstances of the case, he felt that he could not possibly concur in the resolutions proposed by the gallant general.
said, that after a most attentive perusal of the evidence, he had come to a different conclusion to the hon. and learned member who had just sat 1215 down. He, at some length, went over the different points of evidence, particularly referring to the conversation of the 21st Sept. He observed, that the statement of Mr. Carew Smyth had been confirmed in the most material points by indisputable testimony. By whom was it confirmed? By the hon. member Mr. Quin himself, in his place in the House. He had distinctly stated, that he had hoped and expected that Mr. Grady would have given him his support, but denied having made any stipulation. With regard to the meeting of the 22nd Sept. Mr. Carew Smith was equally positive in his declarations; and was it possible to suppose, placed in the situation in which he was, that he could be mistaken as to what passed on that occasion? Unless that gentleman intended to be guilty of a wilful falsehood, the House could not reject the testimony. It was also to be recollected, that Mr. Smyth had written an account of what had passed to Mr. Grady, and that this document was similar, in all respects, to the account he had given at the bar of the House: both accounts tallied exactly. He therefore thought that the evidence of Mr. C. Smyth ought to be relied upon. He recommended the introduction of a bill, extending the act of the 49th of the king to Ireland, thereby placing that island on the same footing with England, with respect to such offices as the custos rotulorum. There was one omission in the resolution of the gallant general which he wished to be supplied; it was, that after the commission of the offence Mr. W. Quin had done his utmost to withdraw himself from it; this ought to be stated in a substantive and separate resolution, as affording a strong circumstance of mitigation. On the other hand, his bold and unqualified denial, when first the subject was introduced, and before evidence was called, and which denial was directly adverse to the truth, was a considerable aggravation. He was by no means prepared to concur in the more lenient resolutions, for the offence was a high breach of privilege; and if the House had proceeded with such severity in the case of Ferguson, it was called upon to come to a vote of some severity on the present occasion. Had Mr. W. Quin not withdrawn himself by repentance as far as it was possible for him to retreat, he should have thought that the case demanded the strictest and most solemn proceeding; it might have 1216 been proper not merely to have expelled the hon. member, but to have addressed the throne that he might be removed from his office, and prosecuted by the attorney-general. As it was, the case was stripped of some of its grosser features, although the House was bound to come to one of two conclusions—either that Mr. Quin had been guilty of the offence charged, or that a foul conspiracy had existed against his honour. For his own part, he was convinced that a corrupt attempt had been made, though not completed, and that no. conspiracy had existed; and under these circumstances, with the amendment he-had suggested, he should vote for the original proposition.
§ Mr. John Smith
said, he had heard with great concern certain unfounded insinuations against the testimony given by Mr. Carew Smyth: he had heard them with the more pain, because he had long had the honour of being intimately acquainted with that gentleman; for twenty years the strictest intimacy had subsisted between them, and Mr. Smyth had often been an inmate in his house and family, and he had every reason to be satisfied that his honour was unstained, and his character unimpeachable. Within an hour after his arrival in London, he had seen him, and the narrative he then gave forced reluctant conviction that the charge was but too well founded. Referring, however, to the testimony of Mr. Goold, truth demanded that he should state, that at least some parts of it were liable to strong suspicion. It wag remarkable to see how unfortunately defective his memory had been upon all the material points against Mr. Quin, while it was competent to the relation of the minutest incidents of conversation when they operated in his favour. Admitting for a moment that the evidence of Mr. C Smyth was not sufficient to substantiate the accusation, all and more than was necessary was furnished by Mr. Goold himself; not so much in his oral testimony as in his letters; documents which he could neither deny nor explain away. His note to Mr. C. Smyth seemed of itself decisive. The conduct of Mr. C. Smyth throughout had been unexceptionable; and it might in some respects be considered fortunate that at this moment he had not given his evidence in the same manner as Mr. Goold: if, he had done so, he would no doubt have been in Newgate.
wished merely to say a few words respecting the character of Mr. Goold, He had known that gentle-man for above twenty years—he had known him in public and in private—he had been very much in company with him—and he had been also in company with other gentleman of the best character and best family in the country; and he would say this—if Mr. Goold was not an honest man, they were not honest. He would not inquire now into the exact measure of the accuracy of his evidence in this case. Mr. Goold might have been mistaken in one or two points; but there was not in this account the smallest ground for questioning his integrity. He knew him to be as incapable of falsehood as the best and honestest man in that House. He would be acting a dishonest part towards Mr. Goold if he did not state this, because he had lived on the closest intimacy with him. An hon. member had made an allegation, that had Mr. Carew Smyth given the same evidence as Mr. Goold, he would have been sent to Newgate. He would only say, if such a man as Mr. Goold, in consequence of a mistake which, be dared to say, signified very little—if such a man should be sent to Newgate, the dishonour would not attach to the man, but to the House. He agreed with all the arguments urged, and all the principles laid down by his right hon. friend (Mr. Plunkett), and he bad too great respect for the House, after the eloquence and ability of the speech of his right hon. friend, to take up more of their time at that late hour.
considered the conduct of Mr. Quin extremely reprehensible, in the manner in which he had deprived the young gentleman of his office. He thought he had not held that line of conduct towards him which he ought to have held, when he told that young gentleman, Tom, or whatever else he called him, "I would sooner give you an office than take one from you." He bad heard a report which he thought very much to the credit of the member for Limerick, that he intended restoring that gentleman unconditionally to office [a laugh]. If he restored him to the office, it would give him a very exalted opinion of him:—and with a view to something of that kind, perhaps it would be better to adjourn the debate, as, in the present hurried way, the resolutions to which they might come were not such as ought to go down to posterity.
§ Mr. Brougham
said, that upon a question like the present, where not only the character of an hon. member was involved, but also the characters of two other most highly respectable gentlemen, he did not think he should be justified in giving a silent vote. He hoped, however, he should be excused for saying,—without intending the slightest disrespect to the House, or thinking lightly of its privileges,—that he considered the charge, as it originally stood, and all the circumstance of extenuation or aggravation of the offence of the hon. member, to sink into comparative insignificance, compared with those matters which were incidental to the inquiry; and he particularly alluded to the character of these honourable gentlemen. If that offence had at once been fairly and candidly avowed; if, on hearing the charge, the hon. member for Limerick had felt that it was consistent with his own recollection, or that he could reconcile it with his own honour to have avowed that he had entered into this negociation which was never concluded—that he had entered into something like a traffic for political support in return for patronage; but that he threw himself on the consideration of the House as to the offence against their privileges, he was quite sure if the hon. member had taken this course, he would have stood that day much higher in the opinion of the House. But the charge against him was comparatively small; it was the manner in which he had defended himself; it was his unwarrantable denial of any share whatever in the transaction imputed to him, both in his speech when the charge was first brought forward, and in his speech of that night. It was painful to him that he was obliged to say that the hon. member had stated that which was not true. He had charged on those who had brought forward this accusation—including that most respectable witness, by whose evidence it was stated in opening the charge to the House that it would be principally supported— he had charged Mr. Carew Smyth with neither more nor less than a foul conspiracy to ruin his character by false accusations. The House had to see how far he was borne out in this charge. And this led to the examination of the pretensions of the two witnesses. It would be a circumstance still more painful if he were bound to express the same opinion with respect to the witness brought forward by the hon. member. He had been 1219 present during the examination of Mr. Goold, had himself put questions to him, and had afterwards looked carefully to that evidence; and he was not prepared to say that that evidence was inconsistent with the supposition of Mr. Goold's honesty. It would, indeed, be hard on that gentleman, after the testimonies to his character which they had heard, to say that his evidence was incorrect, not because his memory had failed him, but from a determination to be guilty of a wilful misrepresentation. He took it to be a rule, that when the erroneous statement of a witness might be construed in two ways—when it was possible to account for his being wrong from misrecollection, and when it was possible to account for it from wilful misrepresentation; that then a man's good character came in aid in the interpretation of his motives. It was admitted on all hands that the evidence of Mr. Goold was not correct. Whence did the inaccuracy proceed? When he found that without any inconsistency, he could suppose this difference between the two witnesses to have arisen from defective memory on the part of Mr. Goold—when he saw also the feebleness of his bodily health, a circumstance which had been stated by the witness himself—he would say, look to the man's character and former life, and let that be interposed as a shield against the accusation of wilful misrepresentation. Having said this much as to the character of Mr. Goold, he would now come to the examination of what had been said as to the conflicting testimony of the other witnesses. He alluded particularly to what had been said on this subject by his right hon. friend (Mr. Plunkett). His right hon. friend had said, if they turned to the evidence, they would find a letter from Smyth to Grady, in which he said to him, that Mr. Quin declined signing the minute on account of the alarm created in his mind about breaking up the office; but if they would turn to another part of the evidence, they would find that Mr. Smyth states "the reasons for not having the duplicate were assigned by Mr. Quin, the reasons for not signing the minute were assigned by Mr. Goold." Now, if the House would only look to this alleged discrepancy, they would find it by no means bore the construction put on it by his right hon. friend. In the one case, he stated that Mr. Goold gave reasons against Mr. Quin's signing the minute—that was 1220 admitted—it was admitted that he did not sign—that he refused signing the minute, and then he afterwards said, I believe it was on account of the alarm created in his mind about the breaking up the office. He humbly apprehended this did not exclude the reasons assigned by Mr. Goold. In this case he was conjecturing argumentatively as to the real cause of Mr. Quin's not signing the minute—he was seeking for the correct reasons which actuated Mr. Quin, and not stating a fact. He did not see how, in common parlance, there could be said to be any discrepancy between the two. The next contradiction pointed out by his right hon. friend was of a more important nature. Mr. C. Smyth, in describing a conversation with Mr. Quin, stated, that on asking Mr. Quin to sign the minute, before Mr. Quin could reply, Mr. Goold interposed his advice, and dissuaded Mr. Quin from signing it. Then his right hon. friend had argued how improbable this was. He need hardly put his right hon. friend in mind how inconsistent this inference was with his own testimony in favour of Mr. Smyth, which was almost as unqualified as that in favour of Mr. Goold. Here he did not charge Smyth with forgetting, but of stating that to have happened which did not happen—and he was thus openly deciding in favour of Goold against Smyth. Mr. Goold, it was said in the evidence, interposed his advice. You, as a member of parliament, cannot sign this minute, containing a contract of an agreement to barter an offer for political support. Now, said his right hon. friend, was it conceivable that Mr. Goold, giving him only credit for common sense, should agree to the substance of the minute, and object only to the' signing the minute? There was no difference in the corruptness of the transaction; but here he was comparatively indifferent to the transaction, and his sole objection was to the writing. The second part of this his right hon. friend had considered liable to the same observation, —Mr. Goold was ready at any time to come forward and testify that Mr. Quin had agreed to what was contained in the minute. Now, was it credible that he who refused to allow the signing of the minute should here say, Notwithstanding the refusal of my assent to signing this minute, I am ready to testify to the truth of the minute? He could not help thinking that the answer to this objection had been given by anticipation by a right hon. 1221 member opposite (Mr. Peel). That right hon. gentleman had said, it was one thing to have an understanding respecting the disposal of patronage, and another to enter into a formal contract respecting the disposal of it—it was fair to bestow patronage on an understanding that it was to operate in a certain way— but to reduce this understanding to words would be going too far—and if this was going too far, how much farther was it going to reduce that corrupt bargain to writing? But, the reducing it to writing in this case was not the act of Mr. Quin, but of Mr. Carew Smyth—it was done by the party, but was Mr. Smyth's proposition. If the truth of this difference between an understanding and reducing it to writing struck all who heard it stated by the right hon. gentleman, was it extraordinary that an astute person like Mr. Goold, experienced in these matters, should view the matter in the same light? The non-refusal on the part of Mr. Quin to sign, was not confined, however, to that part of the transaction. Mr. Quin seemed to have felt, that writing ought not to interfere more than was necessary—all along he objected to interfere more with writing than was necessary; and above all, he took care that his hand should not appear to the minute; he thought Mr. C. Smyth had better write the alteration, as the whole had been written by him. But, with respect to the willingness of Mr. Goold to come forward to bear testimony to the substance of the minute.—It had been argued by his right hon. friend that the minute was only valuable as a record of the transaction itself; how then could Mr. Goold possess a willingness to bear testimony to the transaction, while he refused to allow the signing of the minute, which was merely a record of that transaction? But how, he would ask, was this testimony to be afforded by Mr. Goold? Was it to be taken for granted that he was to come forward at all times and in all places—that he was to declare this on the high-ways where three roads met. Mr. Goold was to testify to the validity of this minute in the form and manner in which it was likely he was to be called on to come forward—that was, between the two parties to this transaction, Mr. Grady and Mr. Quin—to either of the parties who were like to recede from it. The use of the minute was to keep them to the point. 1222 "No," Goold said, "don't let Mr. Grady have a minute, but the same thing may be done without one. I shall always be ready to come forward between you, the only persons who can doubt the account of Mr. Smyth in that writing. I shall always be ready to testify to it when I see the minute." After what they had seen in this inquiry, it would be dangerous to rest the minutes of a case on the character of the witnesses, or what they were likely to do. It was an argument never very safe to say, why did a man do so and so? This inquiry, for instance, left many things unaccounted for in the conduct of Mr. Quin. He should be very much puzzled to account for Mr. Quin's making that statement first given by him, which was now universally admitted to be at variance with facts—or to account for the statement made by him to-night. If he was to go elsewhere and state what appeared on the minutes, and give a description of the manly manner in which Mr. C. Smyth gave his evidence, and then were to mention these speeches of Mr. Quin, he would certainly raise a doubt in the minds of those to whom he addressed himself, that Mr. Quin ever made these speeches. He could not account for the extraordinary silence observed by Mr. Quin during the cross-examination of Mr. Smyth.—The hon. and learned member then remarked, that his right hon. friend (Mr. Plunkett) had made very little of the three other witnesses, whose evidence was in fact nothing more than that of Mr. Quin at secondhand; for it had turned out, that it was Mr. Quin who had told Mr. Gabbett, it was Mr. Quin who had told Mr. Roche, it was Mr. Quin who had told Mr. R. Smyth what they had stated. Mr. Roche, indeed, was in part a witness of an interview which took place between Mr. Quin and young Grady; but it was manifest that Mr. Roche's evidence as to this interview was but too much characterised by the looseness which pervaded much of the testimony as to facts. This account of this interview was perfectly unintelligible. According to this statement, in proportion as Mr. Quin assented to every wish of young Grady, when he told him that he was free as air, this petitioner grew more and more enraged; at least this they were left to collect from what the witness said to him; for Mr. Roche admonished the petitioner not to go on in that way—told him he was ill-advised, 1223 and that if his lather was present, he would urge him to accept the office. There was a material difference between the course of argument of his right hon. friend, and that of the right hon. member for Oxford. The former was a justification, while the latter was an argument in mitigation of judgment. His right hon. friend had set up the evidence of Mr. Goold against that of Mr. Carew Smyth, and though not in so many words, yet, by the direction and tendency of his reasoning, had urged that Mr. C. Smyth was not to be believed in his assertions. This point he thought his right hon. friend would have some difficulty in making good. In the one case, they had a gentleman whose memory had been shown to be infirm, who had explained why it was so, and who had proved that he was in a state of bodily health, which alone might account for the aberrations he had fallen into. But with respect to Mr. C. Smyth, it was impossible that he could be deceived. If his assertions were not true, instead of being that honest man that the House believed him to be, a gentleman, whose evidence was consistent because it was true, and whose conduct had been marked by candour and manliness, he must be one of an opposite and odious description. He was obliged to say, that the evidence which was opposed to that of Mr. C. Smyth, could not be put in competition with it. The right hon. member for Oxford, on the other hand, had dwelt on grounds of mitigation, all of which he should not follow,—but of which one, which undoubtedly had weight, was, that the corrupt proposal had been relinquished by Mr. Quin. It certainly did not appear on the evidence, that it was after the threat of a parliamentary inquiry that the proposal was relinquished, though he lamented that the hon. member for Limerick was not able to make this matter more clear by the production of the first letter of Mr. Grady the father. But he thought, that though the treaty would have increased the offence, yet it could not be denied, that the negociation itself was an attempt on the freedom of election, the purity of parliament, and the privileges of the House. In the case of Ferguson, the bargain had not been completed; he had offered a place which was not accepted, and which it was not in his power to give. The same justice should be dealt out to the unprotected, undefended, obscure individual, who had 1224 no power to violate their privileges, and the man, not unprotected, not undefended, not obscure, not devoid of power to injure the privileges of the House. He concluded, therefore, by voting for the resolutions of his gallant friend.
§ Mr. W. Parnell
said, he thought it ungenerous to infer blame in Mr. Carew Smyth, on the ground of letters which he had voluntarily produced.
§ Sir J. Newport
expressed his conviction that a case had been made out which showed that a place had been offered on condition of political support. The office of clerk of the peace ought to be held during good behaviour, and not during the pleasure of any individual. He would therefore, now give notice of his intention to move for leave to bring in a bill to place that office, in Ireland, on the same footing as it stood upon in England.
suggested, that if censure was to be passed, the present amendment did not go far enough. If the offence had been committed, it was a serious one, and deserved censure, although the object had not been carried into effect.
signified his readiness to listen to any suggestion from the right hon. gentleman, whose candour he most cheerfully admitted, but thought the words "improper" and "blameable" conveyed reprehension.
§ Mr. Tierney
thought the amendment proposed by the hon. gentleman did not state the fact, and was contrary to the evidence; for Mr. Quin himself admitted that there was a virtual stipulation.
The three first Resolutions were then agreed to. On sir Robert Wilson's fourth Resolution being put, Mr. B. Wilbraham proposed an amendment by leaving out from the first word "That" to the end of the question, in order to add the words, "in the month of July 1818, the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin did make an offer of the said 2002. per annum to Mr. Thomas William Grady, without any mention of an expectation on his part of Mr. Grady's future support in the county of Limerick; nor does it appear that the motive for making such provision for Mr. Thomas William Grady was to insure such support," instead thereof. The question being put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question; the House divided: Ayes, 73; Noes, 162. The proposed words were then added, and the main question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
1225 On sir Robert Wilson's fifth Resolution being put, Mr. B. Wilbraham proposed an amendment, by leaving Out from the first word "That" to the words "but that," in order to insert, "the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin did, in a certain conversation held at Stillorgan, near Dublin, on the 21st September 1818, with Mr. Carew Smyth, who then and there waited on him, as the friend of Mr. Thos. William Grady, for the purpose of learning his determination touching the disposal of the said office, state that he had resolved to appoint Mr. Richard Smith to the said office during pleasure, upon an express understanding that Mr. Thomas William Grady was to receive 200l. per annum out of the profits thereof; and that the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin further stated, that he expected Mr. Thomas William Grady would continue politically connected with him in the county of Limerick as long as he continued to receive the said sum out of the said office; but that Mr. Thomas William Grady was at perfect liberty to relinquish the said annuity, and separate his political interest in the county of Limerick from Mr. Quin's; and that Mr. Carew Smyth stated, that he should immediately communicate the substance of the said conversation to Thomas William Grady," instead thereof. The question being put, That the words pro-posed to be left out stand part of the question, the House divided: Ayes, 154; Noes 81. The main question was then put, and agreed to.
|List of the Majority and Minority.|
|Alexander, James||Bradyll, T.|
|Arbuthnot, rt. hon. C.||Brogden, J.|
|Ashurst, W. H.||Browne, James|
|Barnard, lord||Browne, Peter|
|Bankes, H.||Butler, hon. C.|
|Barne, M.||Callaghan, G.|
|Barry, rt. hon. J. M.||Calthorpe, hon. F.|
|Bastard, John||Canning, rt. hon. G.|
|Bastard, E. P.||Carroll, J.|
|Bathurst, hon. S.||Castlereagh, vis.|
|Bathurst, rt hon. C.||Chute, W.|
|Beckett, right hon. J.||Clerk, sir G.|
|Bective, earl of||Clive, hon. Rob.|
|Becher W. W.||Clive, H.|
|Bent, John||Cockburn, sir G.|
|Beresford, lord G.||Cocks, hon. J.|
|Binning, lord||Cocks, hon. J. S.|
|Blair, James H.||Colquhoun, rt. hon. A.|
|Blake, Val.||Congreve, sir W.|
|Boswell, Alex.||Courtenay, J. P.|
|Bourne, right hon. S.||Cranborne, lord|
|Croker, J. W.||O'Brien, sir E.|
|Crawford, A. J.||Ogle, H. M.|
|Crawley, Saml.||Ommaney, F.|
|Cust, hon. E.||Osborne, sir J.|
|Cust, hon. W.||Paget, hon. E.|
|Campbell, A. G.||Paget hon. B.|
|Davis, R. H.||Paget, hon. C.|
|Dawson, G.||Palmerston, visc.|
|Douglas, John||Peel, right hon. R.|
|Drake, T. T.||Peel, W. Y.|
|Dundas, rt. hon. W.||Perceval, Spencer|
|Edwards, J.||Phillipps, C. M.|
|Evans, W.||Percy, hon. W. H.|
|Fane, John||Perring, sir J.|
|Finch, hon. gen.||Phillimore, Dr.|
|Fitzhugh, W.||Phipps, hon. E.|
|Gifford, sir R.||Plunkett, rt. hon. W.|
|Gilbert, Davies||Pole, W. W.|
|Gladstone, J.||Protheroe, Ed.|
|Gipps, G.||Riddell, sir J.|
|Goulburn, H.||Robertson, A.|
|Grant, A. C.||Robinson, rt. hon. F.|
|Grattan, right hon. H.||Rochfort, G.|
|Grenfell, Pascoe||Scott, hon. W.|
|Greville, sir C.||Sebright, sir John|
|Grosvenor, gen.||Shaw, R.|
|Harvey, C.||Shiffner, sir G.|
|Hill, sir G.||Shepherd, sir S.|
|Holford, G.||Smith, T. A.|
|Holmes, W.||Sotheron, F.|
|Homfray, S.||Staunton, sir G.|
|Hulse, sir C.||Stewart, Alex.|
|Huskisson, rt. hon. W.||Stirling, sir W.|
|Innes, I.||Tennyson, C.|
|Jocelyn, lord||Tomline, E.|
|Kingsborough, lord||Turton, Ed.|
|Kinnersley, W. S.||Titchfield, marq. of|
|Knox. hon. T.||Vansittart, rt. hon. N.|
|Lewis, F.||Vaughan, sir R.|
|Littleton, E.||Ure, Masterton|
|Long, right hon. C.||Walker, J.|
|Lowther, visc.||Walker, S.|
|Lowther, John H.||Wallace, rt. hon. T.|
|Lushington, S. R.||Ward, R.|
|Lygon, hon. E. P.||Warrender, sir G.|
|Maberly, J.||Westenra, hon. H.|
|Maconochie, A.||Whitmore, T.|
|Mackenzie, T.||Wildman, J. B.|
|Macqueen. T. P.||Wilmot, R.|
|Marjoribanks, sir J.||Wilson, T.|
|Martin, R.||Wood, col.|
|Mills, C.||Wrottesley, H.|
|Montagu, lord F.||Wortley, S.|
|Montgomery, sir J.||Wynn, C.|
|Moorsom, sir R.||Wynn, sir W.|
|Morland, sir S. B.||Yorke, sir J.|
|Morritt, J. B. S.||TELLERS.|
|Mountcharles, lord||Courtenay, W.|
|Normanby, visc.||Wilbraham, B.|
|Abercromby, hon. J.||Brougham, Henry|
|Allen, J. H.||Byng, G.|
|Althorp, lord||Beaumont, T. W.|
|Bernal, Ralph||Burrell, sir C.|
|Bennet, hon. H. G.||Calcraft, John|
|Birch, Jos.||Calvert, C.|
|Carew, R. S.||Moore, Peter|
|Cavendish, lord G.||Newport, sir J.|
|Colclough, C.||Nugent, lord|
|Davies, T. H.||Osborne, lord F.|
|Duncannon, lord||Palmer, C. F.|
|Dundas, hon. L.||Parnell, W.|
|Dundas, Thos.||Philips, G. R.|
|Ellis, hon. G. W. A.||Proby, hon. capt.|
|Ebrington, visct.||Ricardo, D.|
|Ellison, C.||Rickford, W.|
|Fazakerley, N.||Ramsden, J. C.|
|Forbes, C.||Ridley, sir M. W.|
|Graham, R. G.||Robarts, A.|
|Griffiths, J. W.||Robarts, W. T.|
|Harvey, D. W.||Russell, lord G.|
|Honywood, W. P.||Russell, R. G.|
|Hornby, E.||Sefton, earl of|
|Howard, hon. W.||Smith, John|
|Hume, Joseph||Smith, hon. R.|
|Hurst, Robert||Smyth, J. H.|
|Hutchinson, hon. C.||Stewart, W.|
|Lamb, hon. W.||Thorp, alderman|
|Lamb, hon. G.||Tierney, right hon. G.|
|Lambton, J. G.||Walpole, hon. G.|
|Lloyd, J. M.||Waithman, alderman|
|Lyttelton, hon. W.||Webb, Ed.|
|Maule, hon. W.||Wilkins, W.|
|Macleod, Rodk.||Williams, W.|
|Mackintosh, sir J.||Wood, alderman|
|Maitland, J. B.||TELLERS.|
|Martin, J.||Douglas, hon. F. G.|
|Monck, sir C.||Wilson, sir R.|
Mr. B. Wilbraham
next moved, "That this House cannot but consider the expression, or admission of any such expectation as improper and blameable; and had an intention of acting thereon been persisted in, instead of being (as it appears to have been) speedily and unequivocally disavowed, this House would have deemed it necessary to visit such a proceeding with its severest censure."— An amendment was proposed to be made to the question, by leaving out the words "improper and blameable," in order to insert the words "highly censurable," instead thereof—The question, That the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the question, being put, was agreed to.—Sir R. Wilson then proposed an amendment to be made to the question, by leaving out all the words from the words "blameable, and" in order to add the words, "That it appears to this House, that the said Wyndham Wyndham Quin, in endeavouring to procure for himself the political support of Thomas William Grady, did act in a manner inconsistent with the duties of his office as Custos Rotulorum, in violation of the freedom of election, and in breach of the privileges of this House;"—The question being put, was agreed to. After which, the main question was also put and agreed to.