said, he held in his hand a petition from a person named John Yule, late the keeper of a respectable inn in Halifax. The petitioner complained of the conduct of certain magistrates. He gave the names of those magistrates, but be (Mr. B.) would forbear mentioning them; if, however, the case which the petitioner stated was true, then he thought it the hardest that had ever come within his knowledge, and at the same time strongly illustrative of the caprice with which licences were granted or withheld. The petitioner stated that, in May, last year, he took a lease of a respectable inn, in Halifax, at a yearly rent of 85l, and that he made a deposit of a considerable sum of money in advance; that last Easter he appeared before five licensing magistrates, three of whom were opposed to a renewal of his licence. When called in he was told that his licence was lost: he aked why? and the answer he received was, that the magistrates never gave reasons. He challenged inquiry; he called for the testimony of any person who could shew any irregularity on his part; he stated that his house had never been open after ten o'clock at night, save on a fair, or a market day; that on Sundays his house was never open during church-time, and frequently it was kept closed during the whole of Sunday. But all would not do; the magistrates said they had made up their minds, and would give no reasons on the subject. One magistrate who was standing by felt indignant at such conduct, and said that the proceeding was illegal, and then used a stronger term to the same effect. The magistrates, however, carried it their own way, and in the end the petitioner was left a ruined man; his capital was expended in the repairs of the house, the expense of the lease, and other necessary outlays; that lease was still on his hands at an enormous rent—the house being no longer that of a licensed victualler. The petitioner was a married roan, with a family; he had 1060 two aged parents to support; in addition, his sister, who had assisted him in his business, was a widow, and with her six children, entirely dependent upon him. The petitioner laid his case before two respectable barristers, friends of his, who go the Northern circuit. His two learned friends, without assigning their reasons, told the petitioner, that he had no legal remedy, and therefore it was that he had applied to that House.—[Mr. M. A. Taylor was here observed speaking to Mr. Peel, and Mr. Brougham paused for a moment]. He then said, he was willing to wait until his hon. friend, the member for Durham, had got his answer, and he would then go on. He was extremely sorry to interrupt private conversations, but he must proceed. The petitioner threw himself on the mercy of the House, and prayed an investigation into his case. If the statements in the petition were true, it was the hardest case he had ever met with.
§ Mr. M. A. Taylor
put it to the House, and to the hon. and learned gentleman himself, whether he was justified in calling him to order for holding a conversation with the Secretary of State. Did the hon. and learned gentleman wish him to call at the right hon. Secretary's office, when he could ask a question of him in the House with so little inconvenience?
expressed his surprise at the use of those distant expressions, which were not very seemly between such old and intimate friends; but his hon. friend, if he would permit him to call him so, must be aware that it could not be pleasant for him to be kept on his legs longer than he intended. It was not for himself that he felt, but for the House, which he was detaining. He knew not how much longer his hon. friend's conversation might have lasted if he had not, by his expostulation, called down the vials of his wrath. Besides the hon. member for Derry was just beginning another conversation that might have lasted as long again.
§ Mr. M. A. Taylor
said, he could not help retaining the impression that the remonstrance was most unnecessary and uncalled-for.
said, he was glad to find that he was himself singular in the opinion that it was necessary.
§ Ordered to lie on the table.