HC Deb 23 December 1830 vol 2 cc85-7
Mr. Hume

in moving for certain Returns respecting the duties of the Recorder of Dublin, remarked, that the subject was one which deserved the consideration of the House and the Government. He had been taunted with gross ignorance the other evening respecting the appointment of the Recorder, by the right hon. Gentleman, the late Secretary for the Home Department, whom he was sorry he did not then see in his place. That right hon. Gentleman did not himself know what were the Sessions the Recorder attended, and in what different Courts he presided; and had he (Mr. Hume) been for four or five years Chief Secretary in Ireland, and had he been afterwards Secretary for the Home Department, through whose office all the business of Ireland proceeded, he should consider himself culpably ignorant if he was not aware of the peculiar duties of the Recorder of Dublin. He was desirous to show, from the Returns for which he was about to move, that the duties of Recorder of Dublin, and of a Member of Parliament were quite incompatible. He had found upon inquiry, that the former Recorder of Dublin, Sir Jonas Greene, sat regularly upon every Tuesday and Friday, in every week throughout the year; and that when there was a press of business, he sat more frequently in the Sessions' Court. He had only to add, that the Recorder of Dublin presided as Judge in the Lord Mayor's Court, and in the Sheriffs' Court, and that he took cognizance of all civil cases arising within the jurisdiction of the city of Dublin. How was it possible, if that learned Gentleman was to attend to his duties in that House, that he could sit regularly in his Court in Dublin, on every Tuesday and Friday, to discharge his duties as Judge? He understood that 1,600l. a-year was paid to that officer by the public; and if that was the case, the payment of the money should certainly be withheld by Parliament until that learned Gentleman relinquished one or other of the situations which he now filled, and the duties of which were manifestly so incompatible. The hon. Member concluded by moving for certain Returns, setting forth the duties of the Recorder of Dublin, the number of days he sits, and the respective Courts in which he presides; stating also the number of cases tried in the years 1828 and 1829, by the late Recorder of Dublin, stating the amount of the sum voted by Parliament towards the payment of the salary of the Recorder; comprising likewise an account of the number of felons confined in Newgate, and the number that had been tried in the last year of the Recorder-ship of Sir Jonas Greene; and a similar Return with regard to the present Recorder, up to the latest moment at which it could be made out.

Lord Tullamore

expressed his regret, that the Motion had been made in the absence of the Recorder, who, had he been present, could have given an answer, most likely to several of the statements of the hon. Member.

Mr. Quintin Dick

entertained the same opinion as the noble Lord, and thought there was a great want of courtesy, both in the present attack, and in the attack made the other evening by an hon. Member, in presenting a petition.

O'Gorman Mahon

was the Member who presented a petition against the Recorder; but he made no attack on him, he had merely declared, that the two offices, of Recorder of Dublin, and Member of that House, were incompatible. He denied, therefore, that he had displayed any want of courtesy to the absent Member.

Mr. Hume

stated, that he had given notice of his Motion, and the censure, therefore, of the hon. Member was thrown away.