§ Sir J. Newport
, seeing a right hon. baronet in his place, begged to ask him, whether he was aware of the existence of any legal document to substantiate the claim of the bishop and dean of Londonderry, to certain lands, charged with the burthen of repairing the Cathedral Church of Derry.
§ Sir George Hill
, in reply to the question, felt it due to his own character, to the sincere respect he entertained for the House, and not less his duty to his constituents, the citizens of Derry, to answer the right hon. member's question clearly, explicitly, and without reserve. He had brought a bill into parliament, on the petition of the bishop and dean of Derry, and the parishioners of the parish in which the cathedral of Derry was situated. The grounds of this proceeding were, that no fund, except assessment by vestry, existed for the support of that cathedral. Of this fact he had been assured: he urged this reason to the House for proposing the bill to create a permanent fund. He had not anticipated the successful opposition which had been made to the second reading of the bill; and in order to be prepared to satisfy the committee upon the bill, that no fund at present existed, he had directed searches to be made in Ireland, to ascertain whether there was any record of land, tithe, or other property, having at any time been granted for the support of the Derry cathedral. Subsequent to the rejection of the bill, he received information, which induced him to believe, that funds at one period had existed for the support of that cathedral. He had communicated that information to his right hon. friend, the secretary of state for Ireland, to the bishop, dean, and chief magistrate, of Derry, and had the satisfaction to be assured by the secretary for Ireland, that the subject should be fully investigated, with a view to doing justice to all parties. He must add, that he was quite confident, not only that every facility would be given to the inquiry by the bishop and dean, but the most zealous assistance.