§ Mr. Evelyn Denison rose, and apologized for interposing for a moment between the hon. Member and the House. The object of his rising was, to beg the hon. Member (Mr. Gordon) not to press his motion. The case he was about to bring before the House was certainly one of great importance; but its importance was a matter of degree. It could not be put in comparison, as to its importance, with other cases; for instance, with the question of Reform. There were other questions pending, too, which more urgently demanded attention—questions in which the interests and feelings of the whole world were involved. A great financial measure was introduced last night; but from the late hour at which the discussion of a petition, relative to two individuals, concluded, the discussion on that great measure was virtually postponed. The business of the country was quite at a stand. The state of the West-India interest, the question as to the sugar 464 duties, the wine duties, and many other political and financial measures, were hanging up in suspense, to the great detriment of all the interests of the country. Under these considerations he ventured to request the hon. member for Cricklade (Mr. Robert Gordon) not to occupy the House this evening on the case of the Dublin election, when the time that must inevitably be occupied in that discussion might be applied to setting at rest some of those great questions, on which not only the feelings of the country, but its prosperity, so much depended.
Mr. Robert Gordon
said, he could not conceive any measure of greater importance than one which had reference to the privileges of that House. He thought he had already postponed it too long. He could not consent to defer it any longer, and in making that declaration he felt it necessary to say, that he considered it a duty which he owed to those with whom he had communicated on the subject, to bring the question forward without any further delay. He should therefore bring it on, notwithstanding the urgency of the question which was to be brought under consideration that night. He felt the delicacy of the position in which he was placed in adverting to the circumstances of this case: it was always a matter of great difficulty to deal with a question of delinquency. In the observations, however, which he should consider it his duty to address to the House upon the subject, he would most anxiously avoid stating anything which would not be fully borne out by the evidence which had been given before the Committee; and he felt that course the more necessary on this occasion, as the question must, in some measure, assume a judicial character. The charges which he should prefer against the parties in this case, he would divide into two classes; one of bribery and corruption, the other of undue influence. Before, however, he should bring forward the principal characters who had performed in this election drama, he thought it but right to say, that the parties concerned were greatly benefitted by the very able and ingenious advocacy of Mr. O'Loghlin, when they were examined before the Committee; for he contrived to puzzle the witnesses so completely, between Committee-rooms and Tally-rooms (the locality of which it was very difficult to discover), that it would, be an ingenious 465 person who could discover who were most bewildered—the Committee or the witnesses. Mr. Hudson appeared to be the chief agent in the distribution of bribes. Mr. Jones also had some share in these transactions; it did not appear, however, that he gave more than 20l. The great purse-bearers did not appear—they were not known. He hoped, however, that there would be no more bribery when the great measure of Reform should be carried. He would next call their attention to the receivers of the bribes: they were divided into two classes—the freemen and the freeholders. Between these classes there had always existed considerable jealousy; but both parties were equally open to the soft persuasion of the election principles. In referring to these parties he would give the precedence to the freemen. To induce these voters to come to the poll, different persons were appointed to canvass the several guilds; among these, a person of the name of Gallagher was very active; it appeared he was Clerk to the Corporation of Joiners; this man was introduced to a Counsellor Hudson, to whom he showed a list of persons whom he stated he could influence. He exhibited a list of these persons, and was paid for that list. Previous to commencing his canvass among the freemen, it was thought advisable that he should himself vote, and he did accordingly vote for Perrin and Harty on the Monday following. In these transactions Mr. Hudson appeared to be the purse-holder. Gallagher met a man of the name of Brice, whom he induced to vote, and paid him 4l.; to others he paid 5l. On another occasion he gave 7l. to a person named Edwards, to vote for the Reform candidates, This man was at work at the Phœnix Park, but being a voter, he was brought to Dublin. This man scorned to sell his principles for 4l., and accordingly obtained 7l.; but when he was brought near the hustings, he declared that he was bilious, or nervous, or both, and did not dare to face Alderman Perrin at the poll, without an escort. No other escort could overcome his fears but the son of the Lord Chancellor; and Mr. Plunkett was sent for from the Committee-room, and went with Edwards to give his vote. The reason he assigned was, that if he met Mr. Alderman Perrin, he would not be accountable for the vote he should give. Mr. Perrin was 466 one of the Committee of the other candidates, and a terror to the rats; but under the protection of Mr. Plunkett, this man was shielded from violence. The next important distributor of bribes was Mr. Kirtland, regarding whose proceedings a Mr. Charman was an important witness, who, though in London, was not produced. A person of the name of Robinson was applied to to vote for the Reform candidates. Now, Mr. Robinson had always been a stanch Protestant, and would not give up his principles or his prejudices for 5l. However, his virtue was not impregnable, and such were the persuasive powers of Mr. Kirtland, that he actually seduced Robinson for 5l. The display of the five sovereigns was irresistible; and taking them into his hand, his Protestantism oozed out at the palm. Mr. Robinson's public virtue evaporated, and he became a Reformer. He applauded steady Reformers, for he was one; but he was not very fond of the rats of Reform—of those who ran out of a house because it was falling, and became Reformers because it was popular. There were several other witnesses to important facts: one of them was a Mr. O'Connor. He seemed to have been a very doubtful personage—he was occasionally for one party, and occasionally for another; and at last, being looked upon by both as a spy, he got most thoroughly thumped. Having thus done with the freemen, he would not give the freeholders reason to complain that they were forgotten. The House would recollect, that when the bill for the emancipation of the Catholics passed, it was accompanied by another, by which the 40s. freeholders were disfranchised; that did not, however, extend to cities: it was thought advisable, on that occasion, to retain that class of voters in towns, as a counterpoise to the influence of the corporations. He should not assert anything with reference to these men which would not be found in the evidence. Of these voters, John Grantham voted by a right of a piece of land, which he represented not to be larger than the room in which he gave his evidence: he held this land for about five or six years, and was to receive 2l. 5s. per annum for this land, which was paid him in one sum at the election, being the rent for five years; this he denominated having the hold in his hand. Mr. Berwick, Mr. Grattan's agent, was his tenant; be received, 10l., and 467 returned 7l. 5l.; there were several other voters of the same description, whose preference for the different candidates was decided by their readiness to pay their rent. There were half a dozen more witnesses to the same facts, but Mr. Farrell and Mr. Mills would be sufficient. He had already mentioned the Messrs. Hicks (brothers)—Mr. John Hicks and Mr. Wingfield Hicks, Mr. John Hicks had distributed about 80l. or 90l. in various sums to voters, and Mr. Wingfield Hicks had been employed in a similar manner, having paid at the rate of about 2l. 10s. to each freeholder. He was anxious to take this opportunity of observing, that the Report only stated, that the two sitting Members had been guilty of bribery by their agents, but not by themselves, and the Resolutions with which he should conclude, would, therefore, be framed in accordance with the report. They had done wrong, and had already paid the penalty of their transgression. He had done with the first part of the question; but this he would say, that he never contemplated such instances of bribery with any other feeling than that of disgust. He had been for twenty years a Member of that House, and had always opposed every species of jobbing. That system was, however, shortly to be put an end to. The noble Lord declared, that he would not govern the country by patronage, and had given the best proof of his sincerity by introducing the Reform Bill. It had been insinuated, that he should impede the progress of that measure by bringing forward his motion; but he was well convinced that the people of England would laugh them to scorn if (when there were various changes of trivial importance suggested in that Bill, night after night) they should suffer a case of such egregious bribery and corruption to pass unnoticed. He was disposed to accelerate the progress of that measure; but that feeling should not prevent him from endeavouring to enable those who enjoyed the elective franchise, to exercise their privileges without being prejudiced by corrupt practices. It might be said, that by bringing forward this question he impeded Reform. He was satisfied that it would advance it. Bribery (to parody a celebrated passage),Is twice cursed:It curses him that gives and him that takes;and, as far as his knowledge went, and he believed there were many present who 468 could bear him out in his opinion, in some way or other bribes never did good to the receivers—the money was never profitable. He was proud to say, that Cricklade had set the example of Reform; and if the same course had been pursued with regard to other boroughs—if an arrondissement had been formed round those places against which corruption had been proved, there would have been much less difficulty in passing the Reform Bill. Reverting to the bribery of freeholders, he might remind the House, that Cold-blow-lane, which only contained two acres and a half, produced no less than 252 40s. voters. Before he proceeded to the next part of his subject, he would read to the House the resolution which he proposed to submit, relative to the part of the case which he had now gone through. He should submit a resolution to this effect, "That it appears in evidence before the Select Committee appointed to try and determine the merits of the petition of James Scarlett, David M'Cleary, and others, severally complaining of an undue election and return for the city of Dublin, that a practice of creating fictitious freeholds has been carried on to a great extent in the city and county of Dublin; that such practice has been supported, particularly at the late election, by perjury; that such practice is against the purity of election, and a direct infraction of the law; and that it is the duty of the law-officers of the Crown to take immediate measures for the punishment of those who have participated in such illegal practice." He now came to the other part of his subject, which regarded the undue influence that had been exercised at the late election for the city of Dublin. He must first, however, request that the Clerk would read the resolutions to which the House had come on the 10th of November, 1779, and on the 10th of November, 1807. [The clerk read the Resolutions as follows: "That it should be considered highly criminal for any Minister, or servant of the Crown, either directly or indirectly, to use the power of his office to influence the voters at elections."]* He trusted that his Majesty's Ministers would not act upon the example set by Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Perceval, when the charge was brought against them respecting the threat to expel Mr. Dick from his office. On that occasion, although* Hansard's Parl, Hist., Vol. xx, P. 1271.469 they (Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Perceval) had themselves, two years before, supported the charges against Mr. Freemantle, for improper use of his influence as Secretary to the Treasury, yet they obtained a Resolution of the House upon their own conduct, to the effect, that "while it was the bounden duty of that House to maintain at all times a jealous guard upon its purity, and not to suffer any attempt upon its privileges to pass unnoticed, the attempt in the present instance (that of Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Riding, with the cognizance of Mr. Perceval) not having been carried into effect, that House did not think it necessary to proceed to criminating proceedings respecting the same." He would now come to the charge of the petitioners respecting the undue influence exercised by official persons in the Dublin election. He confessed, that he thought this part of the subject—the undue influence—the less important of the two; for there was no moral guilt in it, and he did not think it near so injurious to the purity of election as bribery, to which, moreover, all must admit that moral as well as legal guilt did attach. He considered, therefore, the bribery part of the case to be of paramount importance. With regard to the undue influence, the Committee found themselves placed in rather an awkward position. The Committee were sworn to report upon the matter of the petition, and the petition not only complained of undue influence, but the leading counsel scarcely spoke of any thing else in his opening speech, having no notion, it was clear, that the bribery case would come out so strong. Under these circumstances, the Committee felt, that they had no option, and that they must report with regard to the undue influence. The difficulty which the Committee felt, resulted from the fact, that no Committee appointed under the Grenville Act had ever before reported respecting undue influence. The principal actors in the exercise of this undue influence were Captain Hart and Baron Twyll, Private Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant. As to the firs witness, Bazeggio, a Swiss hair-dresser residing in Dublin, and holding by purchase the office of Captain of the Battleaxe Guard, he (Mr. Gordon) was sure that this man was deceived. He was sure that some gentlemen from the Castle were quizzing him when they told him that he should lose his place in consequence of a 470 speech which he delivered at a meeting of the Guild of Barbers. He was the orator of that Guild, and it was impossible to resist laughter at his description of the speech. It could not be supposed for a moment that the menace which he supposed was conveyed to him, was authorised by the Lord Lieutenant. Besides, he had purchased his office, and it was a circumstance worthy the attention of the House, that the salary was 400l. a year. It seemed to him to be a reasonable subject of inquiry, to ascertain what services that officer was called on to perform for so high a stipend. Captain Hart was acting Comptroller of the household of the Lord Lieutenant. It might, indeed, be said, as he believed was true, that Captain Hart was not appointed to that office until June, while the acts complained of took place before. It was known, however, that Captain Hart was to be Comptroller, and that gentleman, therefore, had quite as much influence as if he had really been appointed. He made this observation on account of what had been said of that unhappy resolution of the Committee—that certain individuals holding official situations in Ireland, or "considered to be connected with the Irish Government," did, at the last election for the city of Dublin, use undue influence. When that resolution was read, every body said, "Can any thing be more vague than this? Considered to be connected with the Irish Government! Did ever any Committee report so before?" If, however, hon. Members would take the trouble to read the evidence, they would find, that the Committee were perfectly justified in so wording their report. He ought also to add, that the Committee felt some doubt as to whether Baron Twyll was a person holding an official situation. Baron Twyll, however, was paid by the public. He would now proceed to call the attention of the House to the conduct of these two principals in the exercise of the undue influence complained of. Captain Hart, it appeared, had applied to the tradesmen of the Castle, and if Captain Hart had confined his solicitations to this class of persons, he (Mr. Gordon) must say, that he should be very unwilling to bring Captain Hart's conduct before the House. A person in the situation of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland must necessarily have a certain degree of influence over the tradesmen he employed. He believed it 471 was well known, that in the city of London the circumstance of a person filling the office of Lord Mayor at the time of an election would command him as many as 1,000 votes. He must, however, say, that at the late election in Dublin, this influence was exercised in the most clumsy way possible. Captain Hart proceeded to Mr. Long, who was a most important witness before the Committee. Mr. Long' s evidence was this:—"Captain Hart said he came to me on the subject of the election: he wished to speak to me respecting it. I asked him what he had to say? He said, that he had been directed to come to me by the Lord Lieutenant, and that his Excellency had directed him to request my vote for the Reform candidates at the election. I asked, if I was to understand that he came to me officially, and he said I was: I said I was sorry I could not comply with the request, inasmuch as I was very much interested for a particular friend of mine, who was one of the candidates, Mr. Shaw: he said, that he was sorry that I was not able to do as required, inasmuch as, if I did not, he had to be the bearer of a disagreeable message, and he would rather be the bearer of an agreeable than a disagreeable one; he said, that he was ordered to tell me, that if I did not vote as he required, I should be discontinued coachmaker to his Excellency. I said I was sorry for it. I asked him if I was to understand that I was thenceforward to be discontinued? He said, yes, I was, and he took his departure, first having stated, that it was not to me alone he was to go, but to go to all the tradespeople; and he showed me a list, which I did not read. He said it was a list of the tradespeople he was to call on, according to orders." Mr. Long further said," I was dismissed from the time of Captain Hart's interview: that was previous to my voting." After this, Mr. Long was sent for by Sir John Byng, who appeared to have acted, as every body who knew Sir John Byng would have expected him to act, with great propriety. Sir John Byng appeared in the character of a peacemaker, declared his conviction that Captain Hart had mistaken his instructions, and said, that he would speak to the Lord Lieutenant upon the subject. "I was grateful," said Mr. Long, "and asked to be allowed to call again the following day. Sir John said, he had seen Lord Anglesey on the subject; he was 472 glad to tell me that Captain Hart had exceeded his instructions, and he said, Lord Anglesey, fearing he might have been misunderstood in the directions he gave, took the precaution of making a memorandum of the orders he had issued at the time of giving those orders; and he said, 'to show you that these orders were exceeded, he has given me a memorandum to show you,' and he handed me a paper. I read that paper twice." Now, he was sure that the Lord Lieutenant had given this paper with the most proper views, and nothing could be more open and candid than such a mode of proceeding. Sir John Byng said, on being asked before the Committee, "Can you say if there was any threat in it (the paper)?"—"As safely as a man can say, I think certainly not, for it was given me for another purpose: it was given to me to do away with any idea of a threat. That I can speak to as his intention of giving it me, and of my showing it to whomsoever I did. Whether I showed it to any other person than Mr. Long, I do not know." In another part of his evidence, Sir John Byng said, "If there had been any thing like a threat in it, I would not have taken the paper." Now, as this paper was lost, they could only proceed upon such evidence as they had been able to procure with regard to the contents of it. The difference that existed with regard to it was the difference between the word "requests" and the word "expects;" it being disputed whether the words of it were "Lord Anglesey requests," or, "Lord Anglesey expects, that the several persons employed by him will vote," &c. But then Mr. Long said further, in his evidence, "In consequence of what occurred subsequently with Sir John Byng, I went to Captain Hart the next day, and said to him, 'I understand you have mistaken your instructions, and that I am not dismissed?' He said his recollection of his instructions was exactly as he communicated, and he had received no orders to re-instate me."—"Have you ever been re-instated?"—"No, never. He said, he was positive he had communicated to me the orders he had received." Henry Kempston, the glover, gave similar evidence to that of Mr. Long, with regard to the interference of Captain Hart. He would say no more about the tradesmen, but pass on to the transaction of Baron Twyll, and the two Police Magistrates. The story of Mr. Tyndal, one of these 473 Magistrates, must, he thought, have made a deep impression upon all who had read it. Mr. Tyndal's evidence was this:—"Baron Twyll said, that he sent for me to speak to me on the subject of the city of Dublin election; that it was expected, that gentlemen holding official situations under Government should vote for the Reform candidates. I said to Baron Twyll, that it was my anxious desire to obey any wishes or commands of the Government, but that I would beg to state to him the very embarrassing situation in which I was placed with respect to the Dublin election. I stated to him, that I had been recently elected to the situation I held, by the Corporation of Dublin; that they had given a very decided opinion upon the subject of the election. I stated to him, that Mr. Shaw, the Recorder, was a candidate, that he was my relative, and the dearest friend I had; that Sir Robert Shaw, the Recorder's father, was my early friend; that I had served the office of Sheriff with him; that he had brought me forward in the Corporation, and had assisted me to get the situation I then held; that my intention was, to have remained neuter at this election, not to have voted at all, and that I would respectfully request him to lay a statement of my case before his Excellency, the Lord Lieutenant, and I hoped I should be permitted to remain neuter, and not vote at all on the election. Baron Twyll said, he could not make that application, for that, if my request were acceded to, gentlemen similarly circumstanced might expect the same indulgence to be afforded to them." Now he must say, that he thought this a very hard and a very cruel case. Alderman Studdart appeared to have taken a higher tone than Mr. Tyndal, and to have observed, that he had been appointed by the Corporation, and not by the Government; but to this it was answered—"Yes, but you are paid by the Government." These two gentlemen had declared, that if they had not been forced to vote otherwise, they should have voted for the anti-Reform candidates. He thought it right, however to state, that neither of these gentlemen believed, that the Lord Lieutenant would put into force those threats which were made to them; but still they voted under the influence of those threats, one of their declaring, that, although he did not believe the threats would be executed, yet he was too poor to the risk; and the other 474 expressing the like disbelief, said, however, that he did not like to make the experiment. For his own part, he was quite sure that the Lord Lieutenant would not have executed the threats that were held out, and that these gentlemen were worked upon only by their own apprehensions of what was most unlikely to take place. But still they voted in consequence of those threats; and the influence upon the election, therefore, was the same, although a false impression had made that influence successful. The last case to which he should call the attention of the House was that of the coal-meters. In the two former cases, Baron Twyll had communicated through other persons, or personally: but in this case he wrote a letter to Mr. Oultman, from the Castle, requesting that Mr. Oultman would call upon him at the Castle. Now, this was important, because, in the case of Mr. Freemantle, a clear distinction had been drawn between a letter written from the private house of an official person, and a letter written from the official residence. The latter was considered as an official communication; the former might be intended as a private one. It appeared that the coal-meters were considerably affected by the bill which the present Government had introduced respecting coals. They had lost much in consequence of that bill, and they had got it into their heads, that they were to have compensation for that loss. But, there was also a certain duty, which it had been the province of the coal-meters to collect. They collected it under warrants from the Custom-house. It was necessary that he should mention this, in order that the House might understand the evidence. Well, at the time of the election, the coal-meters of Dublin were holding meetings, on the subject of their expected compensation, and it was under these circumstances that Mr. Oultman, who was Inspector of the Dublin coal-metage, had his first interview with Baron Twyll, and, at his interview with Baron Twyll, the latter was represented as having told him, that they could have no hope of compensation if they did not support the Government. "I mentioned," says Mr. Oultman, "that the meters did not wish to oppose Government, as they were seeking compensation for loss of situation, and the injury they might sustain. He said, that if they opposed Government, they could not expert that Govern- 475 ment would grant them a favour. I said, I did not conceive it a favour, but more like an act of justice. He repeated again, that they could not expect that Government should support them, unless they supported Government." The second interview between Baron Twyll and Mr. Oultman, took place in consequence of the letter of the former. At that interview, according to Mr. Oultman, Baron Twyll said, "You will recollect, Mr. Oultman, on the former meeting, I held out no threat to you." Now he thought this bad; he did not like this expression of Baron Twyll, and he confessed, that he thought it looked suspicious. However, the result of the negotiation was, that a vast majority of the coal-meters voted against the Government. Shortly after their having so voted, the warrants under which they had collected the duty, of which he had before spoken, were withdrawn. The witness Oultman, clearly intended to convey by his evidence, that these warrants were withdrawn in consequence of the votes which the coal-meters had given. [Mr. Stanley: Not in consequence of their votes. It had been resolved upon before that.] However, the collection of the taxes was taken from them after they had so voted, and so far it corroborated the menace of Baron Twyll. This appeared, in the opinion of the-coal-meters, to be the cause of the withdrawal of the warrants from them. He, however, had no hesitation in saying, that he believed this opinion to be wholly mistaken, and that it would be quite untrue to say, that the warrants were withdrawn for any such reason. He was quite sure that the warrants had been withdrawn, because the Government had thought, and very properly thought, that the collection ought to be made by the Custom-house, and not by irresponsible persons like these coal-meters. He supposed, that he had now stated enough to justify the Resolution, which he was about to propose. As this, however, was a new case, the first case in which any Committee under the Grenville Act had reported respecting undue influence, he should wish to add a few observations to the statement he had made. It would be desirable, if the House would permit him to refer to the case of Lloyd, Bishop of Worcester, which occurred in the reign of Queen Anne. He was the more anxious to allude to that case, because it was almost the only one in which the House of Com- 476 mons, although they had made many bold and blustering Resolutions, appeared to have acted boldly. The Bishop of Worcester and his son, Mr. Lloyd, were accused of improperly interfering in an election. On the 18th of November, Sir John Packington, the complaining candidate, brought forward his case. He proved that the Bishop of Worcester had, by preaching and by letters, improperly influenced the clergy and other voters against him, and that Mr. Lloyd had been guilty of the most arbitrary and oppressive acts, for the same purpose. Upon the evidence, the House declared, that the Bishop, his son, and agents, had been guilty of a gross breach of the privileges of the House; and also addressed the Queen for the removal of the Bishop from the office of Almoner to her Majesty, and likewise ordered a prosecution to be instituted against Mr. Lloyd. The Queen, in compliance with the Address of the House, did dismiss the Bishop from the office of Almoner to her Majesty; and in the next Session, the Solicitor General reported to the House, that a prosecution had been commenced against Mr. Lloyd. He could not trace the result of that prosecution, however, upon the Journals of the House, and therefore concluded that it failed. Having thus stated the case of the Bishop of Worcester, in which the House appeared to have acted with considerable severity, it would be only right, in order that the House might understand the nature of the very reprehensible conduct of the Bishop, to make some observations on the evidence, which induced the House to take such strong measures.
Wilmot, one of the witnesses examined, stated, "That in consequence of his voting for Sir J. Packington, Mr. Lloyd told him he would be even with him; and accordingly, when he was hunting with him after the election, he sent his servants and broke open his stable door, and took away his setting dog, and gun, and nets, which he had previously given him leave to keep, and which the said Mr. Lloyd had made use of for his own diversion, and when he complained to Mr. Lloyd about it, he reproached him for having voted and made interest for Sir John Packington, and reminded him, that he said at the election, "he would be even with him."* For a report of the proceedings in this case, see Hansard's Parliamentary History, vol. vi. p. 50.477 Filkin, being examined, said, "The Lord Bishop of Worcester sent for him on a Sunday evening, and told him he was resolved to make all the opposition he could to Sir John Packington; if any of his tenants voted, they should never renew again as long as he lived. Filkin said, he had promised to vote for Sir John Packington, and requested permission to stay at home. The Bishop said, 'I would as lief you should run a sword against me, as offer such an affront—staying at home will not serve my turn; unless you vote against Sir John Packington, I will never renew anything with you, and I will set such a mark on you, that none of my successors shall ever renew leases with you, or any of yours." He further said, he and his ancestors had rented under the Bishop for many hundred years, and he hoped the Bishop would not ruin him and his children. 'It is your own fault, you may thank yourself for it.'" Griffin deposed, "That the Bishop was so angry with him for voting, that he had some of his inclosures thrown down. The Bishop said, Sir John Packington was a very ill man, voted ill in the House of Commons, and had written a scandalous and wicked pamphlet against the translation of Bishops." That was the only case, he believed, in which the House had acted with any decision. Other cases had occurred, in the times of Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Pitt, and Mr Perceval; but he would not, however, trouble the House with the details of those other cases, although he held them in his hand. In looking over those cases, he had observed, that the Gentlemen in opposition invariably pressed for a decision upon them, while the Government and its adherents, as constantly attempted to get rid of them by a side-wind. On the part of Government, either the previous question was moved, or a postponement for three or four months attempted. In fact, all the difficulty in such cases had resulted from the House not pursuing a bold, straightforward, and honest course. He did not know whether the Resolutions which the Clerk had read, were wise or improper Resolutions; but, he was quite sure that they ought either to be acted upon, or erased from the Journals. He had begun by stating, that he should propose no Resolution which was not borne out by evidence. He thought the House would agree with him, that the evidence did bear out the fact, that Captain Hart and Baron Twyll had used im- 478 proper influence, at the late election for the city of Dublin. The only other Resolution he should propose, would be one to that effect. It mattered not to him, nor to the House, whether that influence was or was not exercised by order of the Lord Lieutenant, for in either case, the influence that had been exercised came within the spirit of the Resolution of the House. It was the influence of office, which Captain Hart and Baron Twyll had exercised. He should therefore, merely propose a Resolution, stating, that such influence had been unduly exercised. He trusted, that nothing had fallen from him, in what he had stated to the House, which savoured of disrespect to the noble Lord who filled the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He, in common with the world, had the profoundest admiration of Lord Anglesey's military talents, and he fully approved of the policy of Lord Anglesey's Administration in Ireland. Let him, too, not be so far misunderstood, as to be supposed to mean, when he complained of the interference of this Government, in the Dublin election, that other governments had not exercised similar influence. He believed, that other governments had exercised the same influence, and a very lamentable fact it was; for it was in vain to complain of Juries and Magistrates in Ireland being influenced by improper motives, when such an example was set them in the highest quarter. What would be the use of the Reform Bill, if the exercise of such influence were to be tolerated? The only fair and sensible course was, for the House to act upon their Resolution of 1779, or to erase it from their Journals, saying, that there must be the exercise of such influence, and that therefore they would not deceive the public any longer, by pretending that the influence was objectionable, nay criminal. They made a law, which disqualified Customs and Excise officers from voting at elections; and why, he should like to know, were the higher dependents of Governments allowed to retain the elective franchise? He should be glad to see a bill introduced into that House, disqualifying all persons who held office, and who were removable at pleasure, from voting at elections—a bill which should put Secretaries of State and Excise officers upon the same footing, in this respect. He did not know how the Government would meet these Resolutions of his. Probably they would, like their pre- 479 decessors, try to get rid of them by a sidewind; but he hoped that he should have the support of the House to the very moderate Resolution which he was about to propose. He entreated the House to agree to that Resolution, for the sake of the privileges of the House, for the sake of the purity of election, and for the sake of proving to the poorest and humblest individual in the country, that they would not allow anyone to prevent him, by intimidation, or other illegal means, from the free exercise of the most glorious privilege which freemen possessed. He would not detain the House further. The Resolution which he had now to propose, was this:—"That it also appears by evidence adduced before the Select Committee, appointed to try and determine the merits of the petition of James Scarlett, William M'Cleary, and others, severally complaining of an undue election and return for the city of Dublin, that official influence has been unduly exercised by the Irish government, at the said election, and that such influence, as exercised by Captain Hart and Baron Twyll, in favour of the late Members, was a gross violation of the privileges of the House, and in direct contravention of the law of Parliament, as laid down in the Resolution of this House of 1779." The hon. Member stated, in conclusion, that if these Resolutions were agreed to, he should move for leave to bring in a Bill, to take away the right of voting from all freeholders in Dublin, whose freeholds were of less value than 10l. a year, putting them precisely on the same footing with the freeholders of the counties in Ireland.
§ The Resolutions having been read from the Chair,
§ Mr. Stanley rose and said, that whatever might be the feelings or opinions of hon. Members with regard to the subject which the hon. Member had brought under the consideration of the House, he thought that every hon. Gentleman would agree with him (Mr. Stanley) in doing that hon. Member the justice to say, that in the mode in which he had dealt with this case, and in the comments which he had made upon the evidence by which it was supported, he had acted in strict compliance with the ordinary course of parliamentary proceeding. There was nothing in the mode of stating this case on the part of the hon. Gentleman of which he could, complain. There was nothing 480 in his comments, as he had just observed, upon the facts, as they had appeared in evidence before the Committee, that at all deviated from the ordinary course of parliamentary proceeding. But while he was thus willing to give his hon. friend credit for the manner in which he had stated this case to the House, he would, at the same time, submit, that his hon. friend, both in the statement which he had made, and in the Resolutions with the proposition of which he had concluded that statement, ought to have kept clear and distinct, the two parts of this subject, which had no earthly connexion with each other. He should have kept quite separate, in the Resolution which he had proposed, two points which in his (Mr. Stanley's) opinion, and he was sure that opinion would be fortified by the general opinion of the House at large, should not be considered at the same time, or made the subject matter of the same decision, for they were altogether distinct and different, and however mutually worthy of the consideration of the House, they should be taken as separate and distinct questions. His complaint was, that his hon. friend had mixed together those two questions, which had nothing to do with each other. The first three resolutions which were proposed by his hon. friend, were to the effect, that a direct system of creating fraudulent and fictitious freeholders had been carried on in the city of Dublin; that that system had been supported and maintained by perjury and bribery; that the existence of such a system was a gross violation of the purity of election; and that it was the duty of the law officers of the Crown in Ireland to take the necessary steps for punishing the persons who had thus offended. So far the subject to which the resolutions proposed by his hon. friend related was one and the same, and the resolutions regarding it were properly connected together. But to what did his hon. friend go in the next resolution which he proposed for the adoption of the House? Why, to a question which was altogether distinct from that, relating to the 40s. freeholders in Dublin, and in which they were in no wise implicated or concerned. His hon. friend first called on the House to pass certain resolutions condemnatory of the conduct of the 40s. freeholders in Dublin, and these resolutions he followed up by another resolution, condemnatory of the conduct of the 481 Irish Government, in connexion with which it had no connexion whatever, namely, the alleged bribery of the 40s. freeholders in Dublin. His hon. friend, after proposing such resolutions upon matters which ought to have been treated tinder separate and distinct heads, concluded by stating, that should his resolutions be adopted by the House, he would then move for leave to bring in a Bill to abolish the 40s. franchise in the city of Dublin, and to make the right of voting at elections in that city, for the future, be derived from freeholds of not less than 101. annual value. Now that point, as well as the conduct of the 40s. freeholders in Dublin, was a subject for grave consideration, and the hon. Member ought not to have mixed it up with the charge against the Irish government, which was also an important point, that should be considered by itself, and without reference to other matters with which it had nothing to do. His hon. friend said, that he should like to know what course his Majesty's Government intended to pursue with regard to this subject. Now, if any party had a right to complain upon that point, it was his Majesty's Government, for it was not until a late hour that day that they had been made acquainted with the course which it was the intention of the hon. Member to adopt, and it was not until he (Mr. Stanley) came down to the House that evening at five o'clock, that he first saw the resolutions which the hon. Member was determined to propose to the House on this subject. He had previously understood generally, that it was the intention of the hon. Member, acting upon his own responsibility as the Chairman of the Committee on the Dublin election, and not acting in concert with the Committee, to bring forward certain resolutions upon this subject, which should affirm the resolutions that had been passed by the Committee up-stairs in reference to it. And the hon. Gentleman having, under these circumstances, brought forward this case, what he meant to propose was, that the two separate matters to which his resolutions referred, which were so distinct from each other that it would be impossible to do justice to either of the questions which they involved, by coming to a simultaneous decision upon both of them, that those two matters should be separated, and made the subject of distinct decisions on the part of the House. It was the more 482 desirable to do so, as it might be necessary to deal very differently with the resolutions which referred to the existence of fictitious and fraudulent freeholders, from the manner in which the House might be inclined to deal with the other resolutions which the hon. Gentleman had brought forward. On a reference to the evidence of the witnesses who had been examined before the Committee, with regard to the fictitious freeholders who were manufactured out of cabbage beds and raspberry gardens, there certainly could be no doubt that there had been a creation of such fraudulent and fictitious voters, and that they had been multiplied through a system of fraudulent subletting. But that was altogether a separate and distinct case from the one in which the Irish Government was concerned. Now the passing of the whole of the resolutions, as proposed by the hon. Gentleman, would be the passing of a virtual condemnation on the conduct of the Irish government; and as it would be impossible for him (Mr. Stanley) to mix up the defence of the Irish government with the question of the freeholders of Dublin, and as he could not think of contaminating it by a connexion with the case which related to those fictitious and fraudulent voters, and the system of bribery and perjury by which they were supported—a case with which the House would have perhaps, to deal hereafter in a judicial manner—he did hope that the hon. Gentleman would consent to separate the case of the Irish government from their case, and to bring it forward at a subsequent period of the evening, when his resolutions regarding the state of the constituency in Dublin had been previously disposed of. He should be then prepared to enter upon that defence of the Irish government which he was at present prevented from making, owing to the manner in which the hon. Gentleman had introduced his resolutions, and he should then be able to lay before the House a complete and substantial vindication of the conduct of that Government with which he had the honour of being connected, against the charges which had been preferred against it with regard to its alleged interference in the late election in the city of Dublin. Leaving, then, the discussion of that subject for the proper opportunity, he would return for a moment to the consideration of that system of fictitious freeholders in the city of Dublin to which the resolutions of 483 the hon. Gentleman referred. He did not suppose for an instant that his hon. friend was altogether so unacquainted with what was passing in this country, that he was so completely ignorant of what was done in England, as to take for granted that such a system as that was peculiarly and exclusively confined to Ireland. He did not think it possible, that his hon. friend should imagine that such things had never been done in this country as well as in Ireland, and that 40s. freeholders of a similar description had not been created in every county in England, to serve the electioneering purposes of those landlords on whose properties they existed. Without opposing the resolution which had reference to the existence of this system of fictitious freeholders in Dublin, and without going into the discussion of a question which would be fully discussed by Gentlemen who would follow him, and who were much better qualified, from their local and legal knowledge, for the task, than he was, he begged to bring one fact before the consideration of the House, which he thought would go far to show, that this system of fraudulent and fictitious freeholders prevailed to quite as grievous an extent in England as it did in Ireland. He remembered having seen, a few years ago, a French gentleman in this country, with whom he had the happiness of being acquainted, and who had since published a very clever and lively account of his travels in this country and in Ireland. He alluded to M. Duvergier de Hauranne, who was at present a member of the Chamber of Deputies. That gentleman travelled in this country in the year 1826, when the general elections were going on, and happening to be present at the Westmorland election, he witnessed the examination of a freeholder, something akin to the genus that was to be found in Dublin. In the work which he had since published he gave a very amusing account of that examination, to the following effect, and the House would recollect that this statement was given upon the authority of a foreigner, of a gentleman with whose impartial testimony neither local prejudice nor party feeling could in the slightest degree interfere. The following was the examination of the freeholder at the Westmorland election, as it was reported by this gentleman:—"Where is your freehold?—In so and so." Not of course Coldblow-lane, "What is it worth?— 484 40s. Who is the landlord?—Lord Lonsdale. Who made you a freeholder?—Lord Lonsdale's Steward. What are you?—Lord Lonsdale's livery servant. Who pays the rent?—Lord Lonsdale's Steward. Did you ever see your freehold?—Never in the course of my life." That was but one of the many instances which might be brought forward to show that, bad and corrupt as this system of fraudulent fictitious 40s. freeholders was, it was not confined to the 40s. freeholders of Dublin, but that it was an evil that had also extended through out this country. Again he would say, that the case of the freeholders in Dublin should be separated from that of the Irish government. He should not oppose the putting of the two first resolutions, which had reference to the system of fictitious freeholds in Dublin. His learned friend (the Attorney General) would have an amendment to propose to the third resolution, regarding the proceedings to be taken by the law-officers of the Crown in Ireland. Until these resolutions were disposed of, he should not enter into that full defence of the conduct of the Irish government which he was prepared to make, and which was in no way connected with the subject immediately before the House.
§ Mr. James Grattan
said, that in the absence of his hon. relative (Mr. Henry Grattan, member for Meath), who was unavoidably prevented from being present, he, owing to his want of personal knowledge on the subject, was not able to do justice to that defence which he was sure his hon. relative could make, as far as he was connected with this matter. It was quite true, that a certain number of freeholders had been created in Coldblow-lane—that place which was rendered so famous by the statement of his hon. friend, the member for Cricklade;—it was quite true, that upon some small tenements there, a certain number of freeholders had been made, and he believed, that upon a small number of acres, there were about fifty freeholders created. His hon. relative, at his election, did not make use of any of these freeholders. His hon. relative lost the election which he contested for the city of Dublin, and at that election not one of those freeholders was polled. His hon. relative had no connexion whatever with the last election in the city of Dublin. He thought, that his hon. friend, the member for Cricklade, 485 should not bring forward a general and sweeping charge against the freeholders of Dublin, founded upon the ex parte statement which hads been made against those unfortunate freeholders. He was of opinion, that it would be most unfair and unjust for the House to come to a decision on such a statement as that. He thought that the House should pause, and that it ought to investigate and sift the whole matter thoroughly, and to the bottom, before it came to a final decision on the subject.
remarked, that, as certain returns had been moved for, which had not yet been received, and which were expected to throw some further light upon the subject, he considered it advisable to pause before they came to a final decision.
§ Mr. Hunt
said, it was quite true that the hon. member for Cricklade had brought forward this motion without consulting the Committee. If he had consulted with the Committee, his motion would not, probably, have been so unintelligible as it appeared to be to the hon. member for Windsor (Mr. Stanley). He (Mr. Hunt) was of opinion, that such a description of voters as the Coldblow-lane voters should be put an end to at once, and that they should not wait for the passing of the Reform Bill to remedy such an evil as that. The Irish government appeared to him to be deeply implicated in the transactions connected with the late election in the city of Dublin. He for one would not mind Baron Twyll, Captain Hart, or any of the subordinate officers. He would go to higher game. He would go to the head of the Irish government, who, as it appeared from the evidence, was deeply implicated in this transaction.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
thought, that what had fallen from the hon. member for Wicklow was highly deserving of the attention of the House. He was of opinion, that the House would be guilty of the grossest injustice if it countenanced his hon. friend in his proposition for bringing in a bill, on account of the existence of certain fraudulent and fictitious freeholders in Dublin, to put an end to all the freeholders in Dublin. [Mr. Gordon: To the 40s. freeholders only.] His hon. friend said, the 40s. freeholders only; but he would say, that it would be a gross act of injustice towards the 40s. freeholders of Dublin, to disfranchise the whole of 486 them, because it might have appeared, that there were some fraudulent and fictitious voters amongst them. He was ready to admit, that a very strong case had been made out against the Coldblow-lane freeholders, but then the remedy should be apportioned to the abuse, and they should not put an end to the 40s. freehold system in Dublin altogether, because some cases of abuse connected with it had been proved. If the hon. member for Cricklade would bring in a bill to prevent the multiplication of fraudulent and fictitious voters in Dublin, the object of such a measure would be just and fair, and it should have his support; but it was a very different thing to propose the total disfranchisement of the bonâ fide 40s. freeholders in that city. It would be unjust, to confound the innocent in that manner with the guilty, and to sacrifice both. He begged to protect himself against the supposition, that in assenting to the two first resolutions, he should be at all inclined to give his support to the proposition of which the hon. member for Cricklade had given notice, for the disfranchisement of the 40s. freeholders in the city of Dublin. That would be a most unjust mode of dealing with the case, and it would excite very strong feelings on the other side of the water if it should be adopted.
Mr. Robert Gordon
begged to explain, that his resolutions merely affirmed the resolutions of the Committee, that a system of fraudulent and fictitious 40s. freeholders had existed in the city of Dublin, and that such a system was supported by bribery and perjury, and as a corollary upon such resolutions, founded as they were upon evidence given on oath, he meant to move for leave to bring in a Bill to take the franchise from the 40s. freeholders in Dublin, and to limit it to freeholds of not less than 101.
denied, that it had appeared in evidence before the Committee, that a gross system of bribery and perjury generally pervaded the 40s. constituency in Dublin. There were in the county of the city of Dublin several 40s. freeholders quite as respectable and quite as independent as any 101. or 20l. freeholders in that city. It was perfectly true, that the existence of a fraudulent and fictitious set of freeholders in Coldblow-lane had been proved; but was that any just ground for taking away their rights from the gene- 487 ral body of the 40s. freeholders in Dublin? Certain cases of abuse, to which the proper remedy might be applied, afforded no justification for such a measure of disfranchisement as that. Would it be fair to inflict punishment on those against whom no charge had been proved, or even preferred? He had already stated, that his learned friend (the Attorney General) would move an amendment upon the third resolution, which regarded the proceedings to be adopted by the law officers of the Crown in Ireland, in reference to those against whom the charge of bribery had been proved; and that he meant to move an amendment as soon as the two first resolutions were disposed of.
§ Mr. Lefroy
contended, that those parties against whom such charges had been made and substantiated in the Committee should be prosecuted. The suffrages of these fictitious freeholders were not received by Mr. Grattan after he had made them, but they had now come forward and taken an oath that they were bonâ fide freeholders. This was a clear case of perjury against those persons, in addition to the fact of their having openly received bribes. He would, therefore, give this resolution his candid support, as he thought persons who had been guilty of such practices ought to be prosecuted.
, as one of the oldest freeholders of Dublin in that House, wished to say a few words on this question. He was of opinion, that the whole of the proceedings connected with this Dublin election should be submitted to a minute and accurate investigation on the part of that House. The creation of fraudulent and fictitious freeholders in Dublin should, however, be laid at the door of one person, and one person alone. Such a charge could not be maintained against the general body of the constituency of Dublin. The crime of creating such freeholders rested at the door of the person who made such freeholders, and was not chargeable on the unfortunate devils themselves, who were merely the tools of his purposes. With regard to the Irish government, he was sorry to say, for he had shared in the hospitality of the noble Lord at the head of the Irish government, that he thought the case was one which should he inquired into. The instituting of such an investigation would be only an act of justice towards the Irish government itself, which would no doubt be most anx- 488 ious to have its conduct in reference to this transaction fully investigated.
said, that these resolutions were objectionable, on the ground that they were directed to an ulterior object. The hon. member for Cricklade, in moving these resolutions, evidently meant to found upon them, should they be passed, a bill for disfranchising the 40s. freeholders in Dublin, and he (Mr. Sheil) was anxious not to afford him a foundation on which such a superstructure might be raised. It should be recollected, that there were 6,000 freemen in Dublin, principally in the Corporation interest, and only 1,500 freeholders; and if the 40s. freeholders were swept away, the Corporation influence would be paramount there. Where was the charge substantiated against the freeholders to justify such a measure as that? There were, no doubt, some low freeholders, but were all the freemen of a pure and respectable class? No doubt there were several most respectable individuals amongst the freemen of the city of Dublin, but it was equally certain, that many of the Dublin freemen had been nursed in the Foundling Hospital, were educated in the Charter-schools, and had graduated in the Corporation. Why had the hon. member for Cricklade given notice of a motion of such injustice with reference to the great body of the 40s. freeholders in Dublin? Had there been no instances, and that, too, lately, in this country, of as great delinquency, and of greater too, than that which had been proved against some of the 40s. freeholders in Dublin? Was not the case of Liverpool one of yesterday as it were, and had it passed altogether from the memory of the hon. Member? At that election the very hustings had been polluted by the contamination of bribery; and why did not the hon. Member bring forward some proposition with regard to the electors of Liverpool? It might be said, to be sure, that the hon. Gentleman brought forward this proposition as the chairman of the Dublin Election Committee; but the hon. Gentleman had received no instructions from the Committee to submit any such proposition as that to the House.
The two first resolutions agreed to. On the third resolution, which was to the effect that it was the duty of the law officers of the Crown in Ireland to take immediate measures for the punishment 489 of those persons who had been concerned in those illegal practices which had been proved before the committee on the Dublin election petition, having been read,
The Attorney General
said, that he rose to propose an amendment on this resolution, as it went considerably further than the two first resolutions which had been just agreed to. The hon. Gentle man could achieve the object which he had in view without exactly adopting the terms of this resolution. The House should be extremely cautious not to pronounce any decision with respect to the criminality of individuals whose conduct might hereafter be made a subject for legal investigation in a court of law. There was nothing that the House should more carefully guard against than that. Indeed, upon all matters connected with transactions of this description, it was most necessary, that they should avoid circulating ex parte decisions or statements before the final investigation took place. He regretted much, that the gallant Colonel opposite had alluded in such a pointed manner to the charge against the head of the Irish government—against a nobleman of whose hospitality the gallant Member had partaken, and whose administration was the admiration of all enlightened men both in England and in Ireland. The gallant Colonel, too, said, that the charge of making those fictitious freeholders should be laid at one door only. Was it fair thus to prefer a charge against an individual who was absent, and who had no notice that such a charge would be made against him? The name of Grattan could never be mentioned in that House without a feeling of veneration, and a charge of such a nature should not be made against the owner of that name while he was absent. At all events, he was sure that it would not prejudice the House against him when he came to make his defence. He objected to this resolution, because it pronounced an opinion with reference to the conduct of those individuals whose conduct might hereafter be made the subject of prosecution. He objected to it further, because it was not the duty of the law officers of the Crown in Ireland to take for granted, that these persons were guilty, and to prosecute them accordingly. On these grounds he wished to move, as an amendment—"That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, praying that his Majesty 490 would be pleased to direct the law officers of the Crown in Ireland to institute an investigation into the system of fictitious freeholds which prevailed in the city of Dublin, and to take such steps to remedy the evil as might seem to them most in accordance with the ends of public justice."
Mr. Robert Gordon
said, that as this amendment fully answered the object which he had in view, he should have no objection to withdraw the original resolution.
Mr. C. W. Wynn
said, that in a case affecting their own privileges, it was not the practice of that House to proceed by Address, but to act themselves. The House was itself, after the committee had reported upon evidence given before it upon oath, perfectly competent to deal with this matter itself. He should therefore suggest, that instead of an address, the resolutions should be "that the law officers of the Crown be instructed to prosecute," &c.
The Attorney General
had no objection to alter the resolutions as proposed. Cases brought before Committees must be considered ex parte, as the opposite parties had no opportunities to rebut the evidence advanced. The cases of bribery must also be looked into.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
said, that a Committee of the House had made a certain report, and he wished to know why the House itself would not act upon that report, instead of leaving it in the hands of the learned Gentlemen opposite, who might not be inclined to proceed upon it as the House, in defence of its rights and privileges, should wish. He hoped his hon and learned friend would not press his amendment; for, if he did, he should feel it his duty to divide the House, for otherwise the proceedings of the Committee would be practically nullified.
§ Mr. Crampton
said, that the first charge was for perjury against persons who had registered themselves as 40s. freeholders when they knew they were not so; and one motion before the House was, that the Attorney general of Ireland should take proceedings against such offenders. This was all that was required; for as to the charge of bribery, the whole subject was within the jurisdiction of a Committee, and the Attorney general had moved, that the law officers of the Crown in Ireland should, upon the report of the 491 Committee, institute proceedings when they saw that there were any grounds for doing so. He would be the last man to defend the system of bribery and of creating fictitious votes in Dublin, but he could not support the proposition before the House, if, by so doing, he considered that he pledged himself to any view of the evidence taken by the Committee. He wished the subject to remain perfectly unprejudiced. There was but one instance in which a case of fictitious freehold was brought before the Committee. There were only from eight to ten instances of bribery of 40s. freeholders, and 150 cases of freeholders registered in the manner in which the hon. Member had represented. The bribery in Dublin, when compared to what had been practised at Liverpool, was as a drop of water to the ocean.
§ Sir James Scarlett
was of opinion, that the evidence taken by the Committee, if carried before a Jury, would justify a conviction of bribery, and it had been a practice of the House, in such cases, to direct a prosecution against the offenders. He should prefer, that a prosecution should be instituted by directions of the Crown, rather than by the House. In the present case there was strong evidence of bribery having been practised by both parties. The hon. member for Wicklow had shown, that his brother did not profit by the freeholders he had made, and it was a great aggravation that they were afterwards used by other parties. It was left for reforming and liberal candidates to avail themselves of voters, which he, who had created them, was ashamed of. He remembered the case of an hon. candidate for Middlesex, who created many fictitious freeholders by giving them shares in a small mill, but the whole of them were rejected by the House. The case before them was much stronger, and it was also one of systematic bribery also. The Committee had made all necessary inquiries into the case, and the only course was, to institute prosecutions against the offenders.
The Attorney General
had altered his amendment so as to meet the view of 492 all sides, and it would stand thus: "That a humble Address be presented to his Majesty, praying that he will be graciously pleased to give directions that the law officers of the Crown in Ireland do take immediate measures to prosecute all such persons as have been concerned in unconstitutional practices at the late election."
§ Mr. Strickland
felt bound to complain, that they were going to inflict an act of severity on a few wretched individuals, who were to be crushed because they had not any persons to stand up to protect them. If he were able to see in this proceeding anything like equal justice, it should have his support; but he thought that its principle was just the contrary, and when he remembered how the case of Liverpool had been passed over, and now saw, that some wretched individuals in Dublin were to be marked out for prosecution, and merely for doing that which it was notorious that thousands and tens of thousands of people in both countries had practised with impunity, he felt bound to protest against the proposition now made. He felt, that he could not conscientiously give his vote in favour of these proceedings; particularly at this time, above all others, it was the less necessary to proceed to such extremities, when they had under their nightly consideration a measure, the effect of which would be, to prevent the recurrence of such events in future.
§ Colonel Torrens
said, that in the borough which he represented, there had been fictitious voters, including clergymen of the Church of England, from time immemorial; and while this was there continually practised with impunity, he could not consent to proceeding in the Dublin case.
§ Dr. Lushington
said, that if no blame was to be attached to Mr. Grattan, who had created these voters, were they to allow no locus penitentice to the voters who had been so created? He, therefore, thought, that they were bound to narrow the Amendment, so as to exempt them from punishment for fictitious voting; and he also thought, that they ought to narrow it so as to save them from penalty for bribery. For, in fact, who were the most guilty persons on the question of bribery—those who gave the bribe, or those who received it?—those who, knowing it was an infringement of the law, tempted the 493 poor man, for the sake of the honour of a seat in that House, or those who received it, because they were really in want of the pittance that was thus offered? The perjury and bribery at the Dublin election were most disgraceful, but it was not the poor who ought to be prosecuted, but the paid agent; and, against him, the law ought to be let loose in all its severity. He would therefore, have the Amendment limited to directing prosecutions against those who had been guilty of bribing the voters.
The Attorney General
conceived, that he had prepared his Amendment so as to meet the general wishes of the House. He conceived, that the feeling of the House was, that all persons should be prosecuted who had been guilty of bribery with respect to fictitious freeholders, for the act of creating them was, in the eye of the law, no crime at all. He conceived, that the object of his learned friend (Dr. Lushington) would be met, if it were moved, that the law-officers of the Crown in Ireland were directed to prosecute such acts of bribery as were committed at the last election, with respect to bribing voters. He should, therefore, withdraw his Amendment, and substitute for it a proposition, "that the law-officers of the Crown in Ireland be directed to take immediate measures for the purpose of bringing to justice all such persons as may have been guilty of bribing voters at the last election."
§ The Speaker having put the above Amendment from the Chair,
Mr. Alderman Waithman
said, that he should vote against the question, inasmuch as it amounted merely to a direction to prosecute and punish individuals for doing that which was a common practice with individuals in that House, and which had long been the practice throughout every part of the United Kingdom. He could never conceive a very favourable opinion of either the morals or intelligence of that man, who could uphold a system of Representation by which bribery became a common practice, and was encouraged in every shape, and who yet cried out so vehemently and ostentatiously for prosecuting poor individuals, when they were caught in the fact. He must remind the House of a Member, who, when a similar question had been discussed, had said—"Let him who is guiltless, throw the first stone; but, for my part, I must confess, that I am not the 494 person by whom that stone can be cast." He did not think, that the last Amendment made any material alteration in that which had preceded it.
Mr. C. W. Wynn
preferred the Amendment as it had stood at first. It appeared clear from the evidence before the House, that a system of creating fictitious voters had long prevailed in Dublin, and that the system had been supported by perjury and bribery. The House could not, consistently with its dignity and with its character for moral justice, follow this up, by prosecuting those who gave bribes, and by letting those who received them escape. If the Reform Bill should pass, the individuals who had taken bribes, if they were not prosecuted, would still be allowed to retain their votes, and for their lives. He thought, that the law-officers of the Crown should be directed to institute prosecutions, without being confined as to what classes they were to prosecute, by any direction of that House, He had adopted the system he was now advocating for thirty years, and no taunt of any Members in that House would ever induce him to alter his conduct. Wherever it was proved to the House, that offences of this nature had been committed, he would always vote for the parties being prosecuted.
§ Mr. George Bankes
thought, that those who gave the bribe ought to be punished; but he also thought, that the other party ought to be punished likewise, though he had no objection to leave to the discretion of the law-officers of the Crown in Ireland the question of who should be selected for that purpose; and, as the givers of the bribes, probably, could not be reached, without the evidence of those who received, care, of course, would be taken to exclude those who were to give testimony from indictment. A very material part of the evidence, however, appeared to him to have been overlooked—he alluded to that which went to implicate the Irish government in what had taken place; and he was the more surprised at it, when he remembered the way in which the Irish government had, in the early part of the Session, been defended, and, particularly, when he recollected what had fallen from the right hon. the Irish Secretary, on the subject. Hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House had alluded to the case of Liverpool, and had regretted that that case had been passed over, while i had been proposed to visit the Dublin 495 case so heavily. But he begged to ask whose fault it was, if the Liverpool case had been passed over? That case had been in the hands of the hon. member for Wiltshire during the whole of this Session; and it certainly was no fault of the hon. Gentlemen on that, the Opposition, side of the House, that that question had not been brought on. They had come down several times in the full expectation that the question would be brought on; and, one night, when it was actually brought on, it was stopped by the House being counted out.
Lord John Russell
would detain the House but a very few minutes. He preferred the Amendment as it was originally drawn. With respect to bribery, it was well known to every body in the kingdom, that it was an offence, as well in those who bribed as in those who took a bribe, and no man could doubt, that, in either case, he was committing an offence, both against the Constitution, and against morals. With reference to another practice, it constituted an offence of a totally different nature, and no man could be ignorant that the punishment against bribery could not be applied to the practice of creating fictitious votes. Here the offence lay solely in those who created the freeholds. To pass over these men, and to inflict punishment upon the poor creatures who knew not whether their freeholds were legal or not, would be the height of injustice. With respect to the election of Liverpool, the consideration of the case had been postponed, at the request of those who wished to bring forward the Reform Bill as the more important measure. This was done, without any intention of protecting from prosecutions those who had been guilty of bribery at the Liverpool election. The whole question of the Dublin freeholders was of a very secondary importance to that of a general Reform. He would have wished, that the present discussion should have been avoided; but he had consented to it, because it had been contrived to form the question into an implication of the Irish government.
Mr. Robert Gordon
could not agree, that the Resolution ought to be confined to the givers of bribes, for the inference would be, that the House did not view as any offence the taking of them. He wished, however, that the present case might be left to the discretion of the 496 law-officers of the Crown in Ireland, and he should move as an amendment, "that the law-officers of the Crown in Ireland be directed to take immediate measures for the purpose of bringing to justice such persons as may have been concerned in illegal and unconstitutional practices at the late election for the city of Dublin."
§ Sir James Scarlett
said, it would be a bad example, if the wording of the Resolution went to screen any of the guilty parties. He would not say who were the parties who ought to be prosecuted: it appeared from the evidence, that many of the fictitious freeholders were neither ignorant nor ill-advised.
§ Mr. John Wood
would not have addressed the House, had he not been alluded to. It was he who had counted out the House upon the day the Liverpool election stood for discussion, and he remarked it as rather a strange circumstance on that occasion, that, out of thirty-three Members present, there were twenty-three of them Anti-Reformers. His object then was, to prevent the House from being occupied with comparatively unimportant business. The whole system of the Opposition Members had been one of contriving unnecessary delays to the Reform Bill, and the present discussion was a proof of the fact. About forty Members of that House used every contrivance to delay the measure of Reform, and he therefore looked with suspicion at their interrupting the course of general Reform, by their pretended zeal against isolated instances of corruption in a particular place. He could not but seriously regret, that the time of the House was wasted, as it had been that evening, with a motion like that before it, while the far more important measure of Reform, on the progress of which the public mind was rivetted with intense anxiety, was awaiting discussion. With such a measure before the House, and in the peculiar state of the public business, in consequence of its all-absorbing magnitude, the present Motion, so far as it professed to correct the evils of election, was a complete farce. Yes, he repeated, the resolution then under consideration was a perfect mockery; as if, forsooth, bribery and corruption were such strange phenomena in the present system of election, and as if the practice of making fictitious votes, and using undue influence ever poor and unprotected electors, were wholly unknown to the immaculate Gentler men who were just now so anxious to 497 pounce, with the talons of the law, on certain wretched electors of Cold blow lane. Had hon. Members never heard of a place called Westmoreland? Had they never heard of the elections of that county? Was there any thing like fictitious votes, or undue influence, or bribery, or corruption, on those occasions? Were they not as notorious as the sun at noon-day? and not only so far as Lord Lonsdale was concerned, but were they not practised by many other great proprietors, in every other county in England, whose nominees were now such fastidious censors of the practices at Dublin? And was it not, therefore, he repeated, a monstrous farce, with these crying abuses staring them in the face, to assume, most hypocritically, a character of purity, at the expense of some half dozen poor ignorant electors, from the liberties of Dublin? And who, he again asked, were they, who just now so earnestly called down the vengeance of the law on these miserable Dublin electors Why, men who, he could easily prove, at the bar of that House, had themselves spent thousands and thousands in purchasing seats there. It was right that the people should know the manner in which those who professed to be their Representatives, were spending their time—that is, the time of the public. They were sent there to expedite, as speedily as was consistent with justice, a measure in which the country was intensely interested, as that to which alone they could look for the means of a sound system of Representation, and thence of good government, and yet, instead of devoting themselves to the consideration of that important measure, they had wasted already six hours that evening, not to say any thing of the many hours squandered away on other occasions, doing neither more nor less than squabbling, whether 2 l. 7 s. or 2 l. 10 s. had been given, at the last Dublin election, to some dozen poor and ignorant voters, while they, the very judges, too many of them, at least, had themselves paid—bribed was the correct term—thousands, to the "independent" electors, in other "independent" places, for the opportunity of thus evincing their prudish horror of all "undue practices at elections." But the fact was, and it was important, that the public should be acquainted with it, that the whole motion was seized hold of, as a plausible pretext for delaying the progress of the great Re- 498 form measure, which alone could afford a chance for the independence and purity of election; and, viewing it in this light, he could not congratulate the hon. member for Cricklade on his new alliance with the anti-reforming party in that House. It might not be, indeed he believed that it was not, the intention of the hon. Member to promote the mischievous views of that party by his present motion, but still, he must say, that his motion had the effect of making him a most useful ally to that party, at least, a most mischievous friend to the great cause of Reform, of which he was an avowed supporter. This was his sincere opinion, the expression of which, he trusted, would not give the hon. Member any uneasiness. Be that as it might, he would repeat, that he considered, and was sure the public would also consider, the present Motion, like the similar one of the hon. member for Wiltshire, with respect to the Liverpool election, as mere Reform farces, serving no purpose but to delay the only real measure of Reform that had, he might say, ever come under the consideration of Parliament. He objected, therefore, to the hon. Member's Motion, as a mere pretext of delay, and he objected to it as a cloak under which public censure might be artfully directed against the present Irish government, whose unpardonable offence in the eyes of the factious of all parties was, that it was based on liberal and comprehensive principles.
§ Mr. Benett
said, after what had just fallen from the hon. Member, as to his motives for counting out the House on the Liverpool case, he (Mr. Benett) must be excused for reminding the hon. Gentleman, that the Liverpool case was brought forward on a Wednesday night, when the Reform question was not before the House, and no other business was expected. At present it was the hon. member who caused delay; for the hon. Member, having unnecessarily attacked him, he must claim to be heard on this subject. He was as anxious for the success of the Reform measure, and for its rapid advance, as the hon. Member. He had given way again and again, and no one was more ready to make every sacrifice for its triumph. But now his character was implicated for not having pressed forward the Liverpool question, and he was attacked, not only by the enemies of Reform, which were, of course, his political foes, but also 499 by the friends of Reform, who called themselves his political friends, and particularly by the hon. member for Preston. The hon. Gentleman had said as much as that he had counted out the House, because the motion was likely to delay the Reform Bill, whereas he (Mr. Benett) said, that on the night he brought the Liverpool case forward, it could have produced no such effect. Now, however, it must produce that effect; but he could not help that, nor was it his fault.
§ Mr. John Wood
One word in explanation. I had another reason, as the hon. member for Wiltshire well knows; for I had stated it to him in private, as I now shall in public. I told the hon. Gentleman then, that four out of five years of the last Parliament was fruitlessly consumed in the case of East Retford; and I was afraid that we might have the same course over again, were we to proceed in a similar; manner with respect to Liverpool.
§ Lord Stormont
As I was one of the Members present when the House was counted out, I wish to explain how matters were really situated. It was on that day generally known, that Ministers did not want to make a House, but there was one, nevertheless, made, and the hon. member for Wiltshire brought forward his motion. I do not believe that he was any party, however, to the design of not making a House. But what was the consequence? The persons connected with Government were employed in a manner very different from their usual custom; for instead of whipping in, they were whipping out. No less than five-and-twenty Members did I see thus whipped out, and they remained in the lobby until the hon. member for Preston just had a number small enough to move that the House be counted. This is the plain statement of the question, and therefore I appeal to the House, whether Gentlemen on that (the Ministerial) side were not thus the cause of that delay; Gentlemen, too, who throw out aspersions on the Opposition side, that our only object is to cause delay, whenever we object to anything proposed by Government.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
wished to call the attention of the House back to the subject before it, with which the topics introduced had no earthly connection. If the House were to proceed, they ought to do so with some attention to principle. He believed, then, that whenever they thought prosecu- 500 tions necessary, they first determined who were to be prosecuted, and did not give a roving Commission to the Law Officers of the Crown. Now, his hon. friend was not, perhaps, able to grapple with the question precisely, for he did not say, that any one was to be prosecuted; but the hon. Gentleman said, he hoped that the Law Officers would so act as to find out the greater offenders, and thus, without indicating any particular offenders, the House would allow the Law Officers to permit one class of guilty to escape, and yet punish the other. This was without precedent, and he recommended to his hon. friend (Mr. Robert Gordon) to reconsider his Resolution.
Sir Robert Inglis
objected to the Resotion as amended, which would produce only a lame and impotent conclusion. The Report had stated, that there had been undue influence and fictitious voters, and the House had agreed to that this day. It was further stated, that there had been bribery, and his objection to the Attorney General's amendment was, that it left the cases of those who gave bribes, and those who took them, untouched. Under these circumstances, he thought the House would not do its duty if it did not agree to the motion of the hon. member for Cricklade. The reason given for objecting to the whole proceeding was extraordinary—namely, that bribery was so very common. But he would ask the hon. Alderman who said this, was not smuggling common? and ought a detected smuggler, therefore, to escape, because the crime was general?
I beg leave to submit to the hon. Baronet's candour, whether the tribunal to try for the crime of smuggling ought to consist of smugglers? There is a large number of that class in the House, who Have been to various parts of England and Scotland with thousands of pounds, have been returned for boroughs there, and so bought the right of sitting in judgment here; are they not smugglers? I shall say but very little on the subject, and I only hope that the Resolution will be wide enough to extend to all the criminal parties at the late election; for if so, we shall have abundant evidence to prove bribery at both sides. Before the Committee, evidence could only be given on one side, and I hope now, as the House is asked to do justice, that it will do it on all sides. Fictitious voters are spoken of 501 and blamed; but is there any one who knows the city of Dublin, and is not aware that 4,000 of these fictitious electors were voted into that city on one day? To be sure, of this number only 1,800 fell to the share of the Board of Aldermen, and most of these were persons who never before saw Dublin—people from the county of Fermanagh, and God knows where else. But why stop the great measure which should put an end to all these practices? If this Debate had not been raised, we should by this time have made great progress to that result: if we had not had our attention turned to fly-catching, when our object should have been to crush the vulture. A sneer, too, has been cast at the Reform candidates. I know one of them: he had no ambition for a seat in this House, but he lent his name, and his high character, and sacrificed large professional emoluments, in order to do a great good. I defy any man to find a blot on the character of Louis Perrin—a purer and a higher character there never was. It is asked, where was the money found? My answer is ready. There were subscriptions at both sides, and there was a large one of which he knew nothing; at the other side there was a large one, and that is continued. But that one shilling was spent by him, I utterly deny; and if it came to his knowledge that one vote for him was obtained by bribery, there is not a mortal who would more readily spurn it with scorn. I have no motive but that of truth for speaking thus of my friend, and I will abandon his character if there be any one man from Ireland who will say that he believes otherwise of Mr. Perrin. I hope that for the rest of the night we may get on in the best way we can. I mean, that we may get on with the real Reform Bill. With respect to the right hon. member for Montgomeryshire, I certainly could not withhold a smile at his zeal, which, when it caught a criminal, would immediately punish him. But, after his thirty years' labour in this way, how many has he caught, and has he satisfied the people of England? The answer is easy. What are they now looking for? What do they demand, notwithstanding the right hon. Gentleman's stoical determination to punish criminals when the curtain is drawn up? But how seldom is it drawn up? and how can the people be satisfied while Corfe Castle, and other pure boroughs, where the electors never 502 give a vote but for the man of their choice, or rather for the man who is chosen for them, are allowed to remain? I say nothing as yet; but let the roving Commission be given to the Law Officers, I promise that they shall be abundantly supplied with evidence. Let us now, however, go to the great work which will make bribery almost impracticable. I do not say impossible; for human nature will, unfortunately, not permit that; but I do say, that the effect which will result from the successful motion of the noble member for Buckinghamshire, which has severed the tenure from the vote, will make it imperative on the people of England to protect themselves by the Ballot, and then there will be an end of bribery.
§ Mr. Lowther
said, he must utterly deny, that his noble relative who had been alluded to (Lord Lonsdale) had created votes, and driven freeholders to the poll, as mentioned by the hon. member for Preston. If he had so conducted himself, he would have been liable to be impeached. The votes the hon. Member alluded to were legal votes; and the practice to which he alluded had been begun by the opposite party.
Sir Robert Peel
wished to make an observation directed only to the order and form of the proceedings of the House—a matter of consequence when they were about to direct legal proceedings to be taken—and he would not be seduced by the hon. and learned member for Kerry, who complained of delay, to enter either upon the effect of the noble member for Buckinghamshire's amendment, or any other subject not connected with the question before the House. The simple matter was this:—The House had come to a resolution, that the system of bribery and fictitious voters at the Dublin election was a direct infraction of the law of the land. It was too late to consider that now, as it had passed; and it was proposed to follow it up with another—indeed, with two. One was to the effect "that the Law Officers of the Crown in Ireland be directed to bring to justice such persons as were guilty of bribing voters." An amendment was proposed, to leave out the last part of the resolution, and to substitute for it words to this effect:—"such persons as were concerned in illegal and unconstitutional practices." An objection had been raised at the other side, that it was not the practice of the 503 House to give vague directions, but to select the persons to be brought to justice. He did not believe that to be correct; for it would be recollected, that, on an important occasion, the House had voted an Address to the Crown, after the riots of 1780, in very general terms. It was very vague, and only requested that his Majesty would direct the Law Officers of the Crown to prosecute any persons who were engaged in or instigated those riots. It appeared to him (Sir Robert Peel), however, that there was a considerable objection to the wording of the Resolution. The hon. and learned Civilian wished it to be so shaped as desiring the Law Officers to prosecute all such persons who might have been guilty of illegal and unconstitutional practices. It was too much to assume the guilt of any individual. Every prosecutor, it was true, might assume. I that, and the Attorney General, no doubt, did so in every prosecution; but the House of Commons ought not to do anything, or use any expression, which might prejudice any parties; and he would, therefore, rather see the word "charged" substituted for "guilty." Now, if they had voted, that the system pursued was an infraction of the law, surely it was too little that one class only should be punished, and it would be better if all who were charged with this infraction were directed to be prosecuted. In the first place, he thought it would be better to use the common phrase "prosecute" than "bring to justice;" and he would, therefore, suggest, that the wording be altered thus—"That the Law Officers of the Crown be directed to prosecute all such persons as shall appear liable to be prosecuted for an infraction of the law."
§ Lord Althorp
said, as it appeared to him, it did not follow from the terms of the first Resolution that the Attorney General should be called upon to prosecute. Whether he should or should not, constituted an independent question, and upon it the House was then about to decide. Every Gentleman agreed that there should be some prosecution, and also that there should be some distinction or degree of offence observed in its being instituted. He believed he might add, that all admitted that the corrupter—the tenderer of the bribe to an ignorant and poor elector—was a more fitting subject for the vengeance of the law than the corrupted, or receiver of the bribe. It 504 was with this view that the hon. and learned Attorney General had framed his resolution, and that he expected the House would sanction it. In supporting it, he saw nothing inconsistent with their duty in their refusing to prosecute certain parties against whom corrupt practices had been alleged, and selecting the more guilty persons, who were the cause, or original instruments, in those practices. The ends of justice would be more promoted by their punishing the briber than the poor bribee; and it would be better to select persons "guilty," instead of "charged" with bribery, contrary to the suggestion of the right hon. Baronet in the latter case. He conceived, that by adopting the hon. Baronet's suggestion, too much discretion would be placed in the hands of the Law Officers, and the door would be opened to unnecessary delay. Then, with respect to the other offences, of which the report of the Committee made mention, as having been committed at the Dublin election, he thought it better that the resolution of the House should be confined to such as, being positively illegal, admitted of a legal remedy, leaving the mere moral offences, for which there was no legal remedy, out of consideration at present.
Sir Robert Peel
maintained, that, if the noble Lord acted on this moral view of the case, perjury might pass unpunished, and yet it ranked in the eyes of most people much more as a moral outrage, than the illegal practices of giving or receiving bribes.
§ Sir John Newport
said, there was this difference—that perjury, being an illegal offence, admitted of a legal remedy, while the practice of making fictitious votes, to which his noble friend chiefly alluded, was a moral, but not a legal offence.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
thought, that as perjury called for punishment, at least as loudly in the eye of law and morals as bribery, it should have been included in the hon. Attorney General's motion.
The Attorney General
did not include perjury, because his main object being the punishment of the richer and comparatively enlightened corrupter at elections, and not the deluded tool, a victim of his malpractices; bribery was the only crime which had been alleged against these more guilty parties.
Mr. C. W. Wynn
should have preferred an inquiry at the Bar of the House into 505 the practices, agents, &c., at the Dublin election, to a hasty resolution calling upon the Law Officers of the Crown to prosecute, as, besides its being more conformable with the established usage of Parliament, it would enable the hon. member for Kerry to redeem his pledge to prove bribery and corruption against, the petitioning parties. It was no objection to such an inquiry, that a more extensive plan of Reform was then under consideration, because that plan contained not a single clause with reference to bribery and corruption at elections, though it went to extend the franchise to that class of persons which the experience of elections showed was, of all others, the most obnoxious to the charge of, bribery and corruption.
§ Mr. Hunt
would not be prevented by the taunts of his hon. colleague, that all who took a part in the present discussion did so for the purpose of delaying the Reform Bill, from saving a few words on the Resolutions before the House. Those taunts he held in the greatest contempt. They came with an ill grace from his hon. colleague, after he had been himself fully held up to the censure of the House, for having interposed every obstacle of delay in his power, in the way of an important discussion. He denied the imputation implied in his hon. colleague's taunt. He was not to be diverted by interruption; he had risen to put the House a little to rights. He had been a Member of the Committee, on the Report of which the Resolutions before the House were founded, and he was convinced, that it would be folly to prosecute for perjury, as he was confident that no Jury in Ireland would find a verdict of guilty against the parties implicated in it at the late Dublin election. He was also convinced, that the parties themselves were unconscious of their crime, and regarded it as a mere every-day practice at Irish elections. They were cautioned by the Committee not to commit themselves, and yet they had, with great ingenuousness, owned, some to having given, others to having received, a bribe. He hoped, therefore, they would not be prosecuted on the charge of perjury. While he said this, he did not mean that the House should stop where it was, and not prosecute at all. If they did so, they should be laughed to scorn by the people of England—not the less so if their pretext was, that they 506 wished to pass on to the consideration of a measure which, he was sure, when passed into a law, would be productive of more bribery and corruption than was ever known or heard of at elections in England.
§ The House divided on the amendment moved by the Attorney General, corrected as follows:—"That the Law Officers of the Crown be directed to institute prosecutions against the individuals who were charged with having given bribes to certain electors for the city of Dublin, during the late election." Ayes 224; Noes 147—Majority 77.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adam, Admiral C.||Cradock, Colonel|
|Acheson, Viscount||Creevey, T.|
|Althorp, Viscount||Curteis, H. B.|
|Anson, Hon. G.||Davies, Col.|
|Atherley, A.||Denison, J. E.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Dixon, J.|
|Barnett, C. J.||Duncannon, Viscount|
|Bayntun, Capt. S. A.||Dundas, C.|
|Belgrave, Earl of||Dundas, Hon. Thomas|
|Benett, J.||Dundas, Hn. Sir R. L.|
|Bentinck, Lord C.||Dundas, Hon. J. C.|
|Berkeley, Captain||Easthope, J.|
|Bernal, R.||Ebrington, Viscount|
|Bernard, T.||Ellis, W.|
|Blackney, W.||Evans, Col. De Lacy|
|Blake, Sir F.||Evans, W. B.|
|Blamire, W.||Evans, W.|
|Blunt, Sir C.||Fergusson, Sir R.|
|Bodkin, John J.||Ferguson, R.|
|Bouverie, Hon. D. P.||Ferguson, R. C.|
|Bouverie, Hon. P. P.||Folkes, Sir W.|
|Brabazon, Viscount||Forbes, Sir C.|
|Brougham, J.||Fox, Lieut.-Col.|
|Brown, J.||French, A.|
|Browne, D.||Gillon, W. D.|
|Bourke, Sir J.||Gisborne, T.|
|Buller, J. W.||Godson, R.|
|Bulwer, E. L.||Graham, Sir S.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Grant, Right Hon. C.|
|Burdett, Sir F.||Grant, Right Hon. R.|
|Burton, Henry||Grosvenor, Rt. Hn. R.|
|Buxton, Thomas F.||Guise, Sir B. W.|
|Byng, George||Halse, J.|
|Byng, G. S.||Handley, W. F.|
|Calvert, C.||Harcourt, G. V.|
|Callaghan, D.||Harvey, D. W.|
|Calley, Thomas||Hawkins, J. H.|
|Campbell, J.||Heneage, G. F.|
|Canning, Sir S.||Heron, Sir R.|
|Cavendish, C. C.||Heywood, B.|
|Cavendish, W.||Hill, Lord G. A.|
|Chaytor, W. R. C.||Hodges, T. L.|
|Crampton, P. C.||Hodgson, John|
|Chichester, J. B. P.||Horne, Sir W.|
|Chapman, M. L.||Host, Sir J.|
|Clifford, Sir A.||Hoskins, K.|
|Clive, E. B.||Howard, H.|
|Colborne, N. W. R.||Howard, P. H.|
|Hudson, T.||Petit, L. H.|
|Hughes, W. H.||Petre, Hon. E.|
|Hughes, Col. W. L.||Philips, G. R.|
|Hume, J.||Philips, C. M.|
|Hutchinson, J. H.||Pepys, C. C.|
|James, W.||Ponsonby, Hon. G.|
|Jeffrey, Rt. Hon. F.||Power, R.|
|Jephson, C. D. O.||Poyntz, W. S.|
|Jerningham, Hn. H. V.||Price, Sir R.|
|Johnston, A.||Protheroe, E.|
|Johnstone, Sir J. V.||Pryse, P.|
|Killeen, Lord||Ramsbottom, J.|
|King, E. B.||Rice, Hon. T. S.|
|King, Hon. R.||Rider, T.|
|Knight, H. G.||Robinson, Sir G.|
|Knox, Hon. Col.||Rooper, J. B.|
|Labouchere, H.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Lamb, Hon. G.||Russell, R. G.|
|Lambert, H.||Russell, C.|
|Lambert, J. S.||Ramsden, J. C.|
|Leader, N. P.||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Lee, J. L. H.||Sanford, E. A.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Scott, Sir E. D.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Shell, R. L.|
|Lennox, Lord J. G.||Sinclair, G.|
|Lennox, Lord W.||Skipwith, Sir G.|
|Lester, B.||Smith, John A.|
|Lloyd, Sir E. P.||Smith, John|
|Loch, J.||Smith, R. V.|
|Maberly, Col.||Smith, M. T.|
|Maberly, J.||Stanhope, Captain|
|Macdonald, Sir J.||Stanley, E. J.|
|M'Namara, W.||Stanley, Right Hon. E.|
|Mangles, J.||Stanley, Lord|
|Marjoribanks, S.||Stephenson, H. F.|
|Marshall, W.||Strickland, G.|
|Martin, John||Strutt, E.|
|Maule, Hon. W. R.||Stuart, Lord P. J.|
|Mayhew, W.||Stuart, Lord D. C.|
|Milbank, M.||Stewart, E.|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Mills, J.||Thicknesse, R.|
|Milton, Lord||Throckmorton, R. G.|
|Moreton, Hon. H.||Torrens, Colonel|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Townsend, Lord C.|
|Mostyn, E. M. L.||Tynte, C. K. V.|
|Mullins, F. W.||Tyrrell, Charles|
|Musgrave, Sir R.||Uxbridge, Earl of|
|Newport, Sir J.||Vere, J. J. H.|
|Norton, C. F.||Vernon, G. H.|
|Nowell, A.||Villiers, T. H.|
|Nugent, Lord||Vincent, Sir F.|
|O'Connell, D.||Waithman, Ald.|
|O'Conor, Don||Walker, C. A.|
|O'Ferrall, R. M.||Warre, J. A.|
|O'Grady, Hon. Col.||Webb, Colonel|
|Ord, W.||Wellesley, W. T. L.|
|Osborne, Lord F. G.||Westenra, Hon. H.|
|Paget, T.||Weyland, Major|
|Palmer, C. F.||White, Colonel|
|Palmer, General||Whitmore, W. W.|
|Parnell, Sir H.||Wilbraham, G.|
|Payne, Sir P.||Wilde, T.|
|Pelham, Hon. C. A.||Wilks, J.|
|Pendarvis, E. W. W.||Williams, W. A.|
|Penlease, J. S.||Williams, Sir J. H.|
|Penrhyn, E.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Willoughby, Sir H.||Wyse, T.|
|Wood, J||Denman, Sir T.|
|Wrottesley, Sir J.||Lushington, Dr.|
§ The next Resolution proposed by Mr. Robert Gordon, read as follows, viz.—"That it appears to this Committee, that certain individuals holding official situations in Ireland, or considered to be connected with the Irish government, did, at the last election for the City of Dublin, in contravention of the resolution of the House of Commons use undue influence in favour of, and with a view to aid and assist in the election of the sitting Members of the city of Dublin."
said, that the time had at length arrived, in which, without mixing up with the vote on this resolution any considerations connected with the bribery said to have prevailed at the last election for the city of Dublin, the House could enter upon the discussion of the conduct pursued by the government of Ireland during that election; conduct respecting which this one thing was clear, that strong disapprobation of it was conveyed in the resolution then before the House. The hon. Member who had moved that resolution, had stated, that he thought, after reading the evidence taken before the Committee, that the right hon. the Secretary for Ireland, would be the only member in the House who would think that there was any thing extraordinary in the expressions of that resolution. Notwithstanding that declaration, he would confess that it did still appear to him extraordinary, that a report of a Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to try the merits of an election petition, should, when it intended to convey censure, be so ambiguous in its wording. His belief was, that the language of the resolution adopted by the Committee, was language which the House would not receive as the ground of censure, or imputation on the Government—namely, "That it appears to this Committee, that certain individuals holding official situations in Ireland, or considered to be connected with the Irish Government, did at the last election for the city of Dublin, in contravention of the resolutions of the House of Commons, use undue influence in favour of, and with a view to aid and assist in the election and return of, the sitting members for the city of Dublin." Now, if this report contained any ambiguity, and it was impossible to 509 contend that there was not ambiguity in it—indeed, on the part of the Committee, it looked almost like intentional ambiguity—it seemed only natural to infer, that it arose from a feeling in the Committee, that it was inexpedient to take further proceedings upon this transaction, and that it had therefore refused to designate the individuals in the Irish government whom it deemed culpable. He was, therefore, not a little surprised to find, that the ambiguity of which he complained in the resolutions of the Committee, was not less apparent in the resolutions which the hon. Member, with great pain to himself, as he now stated, proposed as a vote of censure on the Irish government. The hon. Member advanced in his progress to an ambiguity far greater than his previous ambiguity, for he only said, in his present resolution, that official influence was exercised in favour of the sitting candidates. Having heard the charges which the hon. Member brought forward, and having also listened to his summing-up of the evidence on this occasion, he (Mr. Stanley) was still in a state of doubt, whether, in rising to defend those whom the resolution attacked, he knew who those individuals were. The hon. Member had said, that he did not intend to cast any blame upon the noble Marquis at the head of the Irish government, as he was a nobleman whom he (Mr. Gordon) highly esteemed and venerated. But what said another hon. Member who had served on the same Committee? "I do mean to throw censure on the Marquis of Anglesey, by this resolution." What then was the consequence? Here was a resolution founded on a resolution of a Committee, appointed to decide on an election petition. And here he must observe, that the members of the Committee had got themselves into this difficulty—that they had said, that official influence had been used by some persons at the last election, though they could not tell by whom. Having got themselves into that difficulty, and there being a strong opinion among them that no further proceedings ought to be had on that part of the case, two of its Members had come down to the House, of whom one called upon the House to affirm a resolution which he interpreted in one sense, and the other called upon them to affirm the same resolution, which he interpreted in a very different sense. Thus it was, that in discussing the resolution then 510 before the House, he knew not who were the individuals he was called upon to defend. One thing, however, was clear, that the object of the resolution was to convey censure generally, because no person was individually attacked in the existing Government, on the ground of its having interfered unduly in the last election—a charge, of which no Irish government ever stood more clear among all the governments which had been its predecessors, than the present. ["Hear, hear," from the Opposition, and laughter.] He asserted such to be the fact; and if hon. Gentlemen meant by their sneering cheers to deny it, he was ready, if they liked, to prove it. The hon. Member who moved this resolution had stated, that the present was a novel proceeding on the part of the Committee, and had admitted that this was the first time in which an Election Committee had called upon the House to affirm a resolution, stating undue influence on the part of the Government in an election. If, then, the proceeding was extraordinary, as he really believed it to be, he trusted that the House would bear with him whilst he went on to show that there were no grounds to justify the House in consenting to such a resolution. He objected, in the first place, to the right of the Committee to go into the question of undue interference: and he did this upon very strong grounds, quite independent of all personal considerations for the Irish government. He maintained, that the question of undue interference in elections on the part of the Government, did not, even when proved, vitiate the return of the Members elected. He defied any Member of that House to point out a single case in which a return had been vitiated upon that ground. It was distinctly laid down in Male on Elections, that undue interference would not defeat an election; and in the case of the Helston election petition, decided in 1813, the Committee came to a resolution, that corrupt practices had taken place between the Corporation of that borough, and a certain peer, whose name was mentioned. It was proved upon that occasion, that the candidates went down to the Corporation with a letter of recommendation from this Peer in their pockets; and yet the Committee had decided, that the return was not on that account bad. If this were the case, and if a return could not be defeated by the proof of undue interference, then 511 he said, that the Committee ought not to examine into the question of undue interference. He would state the reason why. It might be said, that the charge of undue influence on the part of the Government, was, in this particular case, made part of the petition complaining of the return, and that the Committee was therefore appointed to try it. But the words of the Grenville Act proved beyond ail dispute, that the matter into which the Committee was appointed to inquire, was only the merits of the election and of the return. The words of the oath ran thus, "To inquire into the merits of the election and return." This was a very proper limitation of the inquiry of the Committee; for if the Committee were to push their inquiry further, see the length to which the doctrine would go. Any man who had a private grievance, or an imaginary private grievance, to complain of, would only find it necessary to have it inserted in an election petition, and then the Committee must inquire into it, no matter whether it had reference to the merits of the election or not. Besides, what were the other provisions of the Act? In order that the conduct of indifferent parties might not be called in question, the Act provided, that the sitting Members, the petitioners, and the returning officer, should be the only parties with a right to appear before the Committee; and their right to appear was founded upon this—that it was their conduct and their claims that were alone contested. If the Committee examined further, they would proceed to a point equally irreconcileable with law and with justice; for how could it be reconcileable with either, that a party should be condemned on the evidence of witnesses of whom he knew nothing, and whom he was not present to cross-examine or to contradict, and upon charges of which he knew nothing till he was declared guilty of them? He did not mean to say, that cases might not arise in which a Committee would have a right to inquire into the question of undue interference. But what had been the course pursued in the present instance? On the very first day of the Committee's sitting, the Counsel for the petitioners stated, that he did not intend to go into a scrutiny, but to proceed altogether upon the allegations of bribery and undue influence. Now, if the learned Counsel had gone into a scrutiny, and into the allegation of undue influence, the inquiry as to who had exercised 512 that undue influence might have come in incidentally, as the exercise of that influence might have affected the vote of the individual against which the scrutiny was directed. But in this case, no vote was objected to before the Committee; and the first witness examined by them, was an individual who had voted for the petitioners, and against whose vote not a shadow of an objection was raised. In such a case, he contended that it would be a great hardship if the Committee were permitted to enter into the examination of charges made behind the backs of the parties, accused upon evidence which they could not cross-examine, and upon points not affecting the merits of the election. The Committee certainly had entered into the examination of such charges; and the House was placed in a situation of some difficulty in arguing upon them, inasmuch as they had been imperfectly gone into. Even if the House should decide to go into them on the present occasion, it would be found that there was not such a case made out against any party, as would justify the House in coming to a vote of censure. The first witness in the case was a man of the name of Long, the material part of whose evidence was this:—"What did Captain Hart say to you on the subject of the election?—He said, he came to me on the subject of the election; I asked him what he had to say? He said he had been directed to come to me by the Lord Lieutenant, and that his Excellency had directed him to request my vote for the Reform candidates at the election; I asked if I was to understand he came to me officially, and he said I was." Here he must remark, in the first place, that it was taken for granted, that Captain Hart filled a responsible situation in the household of the Lord Lieutenant. But it was proved, that at the time in question, Captain Hart filled no official situation in that household. He would not, however, insist strongly on this part of the case, for it was not denied that the Lord Lieutenant had expressed his wishes strongly to Captain Hart, on the subject of the late election. If any Gentleman would look at the state of the country at that moment, at the question which was then agitating it, and at the situation in which Government was placed, he must be blind—nay, he must be mad, or more than mad—if he could shut his eyes to the fact, that Government did 513 entertain very strong wishes on that point. Mr. Long went on to state:—"I said I was sorry I could not comply with the request, inasmuch as I was very much interested for a particular friend of mine, who was one of the candidates, Mr. Shaw. He said, that he was sorry that I was not able to do as required, inasmuch, as if I did not, he had to be the bearer of a disagreeable message; he said, that he was ordered to tell me, that if I did not vote as he required, I should be discontinued coachmaker to his Excellency. I asked him if I was to understand, that I was thenceforward to be discontinued; he said, yes, I was, and he took his departure, first having stated that it was not to me alone he was to go, but to all the trades-people, and he shewed me a list, which I did not read; he said it was a list of the tradespeople he was to go to, according to orders." The substance of this conversation, however, being communicated the next day to the Marquis of Anglesey, that excellent nobleman, with a promptitude that did him honour, immediately issued an emphatic contradiction to the report that he had ever authorized any such instructions. Sir John Byng, in the course of his examination, gave the following evidence on the subject:—"In consequence of something you heard respecting the interference of the Lord Lieutenant, what did you do?—I went both to Mr. Long and to Lord Anglesey. When I went to Lord Anglesey, I told him there were reports about the town, that some of the tradespeople he employed had been threatened with losing his custom if they voted against the Government candidate. I told him I thought it right to tell him so, and that I either had been, or was going, to Mr. Long, to tell him not to mind any such representations, for I was sure that he, Lord Anglesey, could not mean it. He said he was extremely obliged to me. He said, 'it is too bad these statements should be going about, therefore I have committed to paper what my sentiments are; here is the paper.' I know it was in his hand-writing; that I remember perfectly well, I know his hand-writing so well. He said, 'I am very glad you are going to see Mr. Long; I wish you would show him this paper,' and I could almost swear he said to make it public, to give publicity to the paper. I took it, and shortly after I got home, Mr. Long, for whom I left a message, called upon me, I said, Long, 514 I have troubled you to come; I called on you, and as you were not at home, I troubled you to come to me; I did not like the idea, that it should be said for a moment that you should lose Lord Anglesey's custom; I should be very sorry if you did. I have had some conversation with Lord Anglesey, and I can pledge you my word, that vote as you like, you will neither lose his custom nor mine. He expressed himself obliged to me, and gave me his reasons for wishing to vote for what were called the Opposition candidates; I told him I thought them very good reasons; I said it did not matter; I said, Do not mind what anybody tells you, vote as you intended; and I believe I showed him that paper; indeed, he tells me I did so. I am confirmed in saying so." This was, on the part of Lord Anglesey, a frank and manly course of proceeding, which it well befitted so high-minded a man to follow on the first impulse, as it appeared he actually had; yet, but for this paper, there would not have been even the shadow of a charge against his Excellency, according to the hon. Gentleman's own showing. He would ask the House, how a man of Lord Anglesey's character could possibly reconcile it to his own feelings, that reports of so malignant a nature should remain afloat un-contradicted? He had, in fact, no alternative, and he accordingly wrote the document in question, which Sir John Byng immediately took to Mr. Long, for the purpose of showing him, that let him pursue what line he might, he should be deprived of no advantage which he then possessed, through the interference of Government. It referred to the opinions of the Administration as matter of public notoriety, but added, that any threat which might have been held out in the event of refusal to support those opinions, by the support of the Reform candidates, was equally unauthorised and unfounded. But how did Mr. Long repay this straightforward and honourable dealing, which no man, however upright, need have been ashamed to avow? Why, for two or three days afterwards, he took no notice whatever of the communication, until he happened to have an accidental interview with one of the Opposition candidates, who informed him, that it might be made the means of bringing the Government into trouble and embarrassment. Then, indeed, in a spirit worthy of the meanest, 515 and lowest, and most pettifogging Attorney, did he seize on the supposed opportunity afforded him by the generous good feeling of Lord Anglesey himself, to bring the noble Marquis technically within the meaning of the resolution of the House of Commons. The communication had been made through Sir John Byng on Wednesday, and it was not until the Saturday following, that he undertook to specify the terms of the letter, which he did not profess to do verbatim, but merely expressed his recollection of their substance. He confessed he had kept no copy of it. This was his evidence:—"Can you tell the contents to the Committee?—Not verbatim, I cannot; lean tell the Committee the purport of it and the effect. As nearly as you can.—It commenced by stating Lord Anglesey desired it to be communicated to several persons employed by him, that their votes are requested for the Reform candidates at the city of Dublin election. With respect to persons holding offices under Government, or receiving the pay of Government, the case is different, their votes are expected; the first was requested, the other was expected." Now, even admitting that the letter had been written, and that Mr. Long's recollection of the contents was exact, still some difference might exist between the document itself and the memorandum made by Mr. Long, and put in evidence before the Committee. Some points might have escaped his recollection in the interval between the perusal of the letter by Sir John Byng, and the day when he took his memorandum, and he acknowledged himself, that it was not a verbatim copy, but a memorandum of the purport of the letter, which he then submitted to the Committee. The memorandum stated, that the letter commenced by saying, that Lord Anglesey requested the vote for the Reform candidate, from the tradesmen who were employed by him. Now, it must be recollected, that this was a memorandum, and not a circular letter, and it was only read to Mr. Long, in order that no misunderstanding might exist in his mind on the subject of the consequences of his vote. [Mr. Robert Gordon: Lord Anglesey desired Sir John Byng to show Mr. Long this written communication.] But when did Lord Anglesey desire Sir John to show Mr. Long this paper? Why, at the very moment that these scandalous 516 reports were prevalent in Dublin, that he would cease to employ all tradesmen who voted against the Reform candidate. "No," said Lord Anglesey, "I will not remain under this stigma. There is a memorandum of my intentions and of my wishes; you may show it where you please; my wishes on the subject of the election are well known, but I will not be accused of an intention to turn off my tradespeople for not voting as I may wish them." That was the time when Lord Anglesey desired Sir John Byng to give publicity to his sentiments, and he might ask, was not that the properest period for making them public? But Mr. Long had omitted to insert in his memorandum an observation contained in the document, that the tradesmen were not looked upon by Lord Anglesey as partisans against the Government. It was not convenient to Mr. Long to recollect this somewhat striking remark, and yet it was upon Mr. Long's recollection of this document, that the House was that night called upon to proceed against Lord Anglesey. It might be inquired who Mr. Long was? and the answer was, that he is a person who, by favour of some of the household of Lord Anglesey, had obtained a portion of that nobleman's employment, in his trade of coachmaker. He had not thought it beneath him to intrigue amongst the household of the Lord Lieutenant, in order to obtain a larger portion of the custom of Lord Anglesey than he then enjoyed, and to endeavour to have the business of another transferred to him. Mr. Long confessed himself to have been a warm partisan against Lord Anglesey and the Government in the election; and, amongst other means of opposition, he had not scrupled to avail himself of the memorandum which Lord Anglesey had put into his hand for his own individual satisfaction. The next evidence which was adduced in support of this charge was that of Mr. Kempson, who stated, that he thought Reform was wanted; but, though secretly a reformer, he could not support the Reform candidates, because the Corporation were the ascendancy, as he termed them.—meaning, probably, the most powerful party in the city. The memorandum which formed the subject of complaint was also shown or communicated to him; but he said, he was not to be influenced by any arguments which Mr. Hart might urge, to induce him to vote for the Go- 517 vernment candidate, as he had in the meantime already promised his vote to the Lord Mayor; and he professed to be glad of an opportunity to urge this excuse to the Corporation, by saying that he was not able to vote for their candidate, having already promised his vote to the Lord Mayor. He acknowleded also, that Captain Hart had not attempted to exercise any influence over him whatever, and added, that his promise to him was entirely of a voluntary nature. Now, these two cases were the only ones where—let every strain be put upon the evidence—the wishes of the Lord Lieutenant had been signified to individuals in that mode. And because Lord Anglesey had put those wishes on paper, he was to be rendered subject to the resolution of the Committee first, and, as a necessary consequence, of the House subsequently, should they think this paltry matter worth proceeding in. He must express his congratulations to the hon. Member who had brought it forward, in having been able so well to disguise the concern he must have felt at having to make so strong a charge, and to express a supposition, that he had done violence to his feelings in having veiled them so well. With respect to the evidence of Mr. Bassegio, even the hon. Member himself had not laid any great stress upon that, and, indeed, seemed to have mentioned the name of that person for no other purpose but to raise a laugh, which might give some relief to the painful feelings which he must have entertained, as a supporter of Reform, in bringing forward such a motion. He would then refer to the connexion with Baron Twyll, though he did not well know whether to deal with him as an agent of the Marquis of Anglesey, or a private individual; and here he must say, that when the hon. Member (Mr. Robert Gordon) had expressed it to be his opinion, that it was a matter of indifference to the House whether it was Lord Anglesey, or Baron Twyll, who were implicated in this matter, for he must be allowed to say, that it was not such an indifferent thing, as to either Baron Twyll or Lord Anglesey, as the hon. Member supposed; neither was it a matter of indifference to him as to who was the party implicated, for he was the person whose unpleasant, though imperious duty it was, to vindicate the Government from the charge of using undue influence at the Dublin election. He was aware of this difficulty with respect to the case against 518 Baron Twyll, and that no conversation, which was said to have passed between Baron Twyll and any other individual, could, by any possibility, implicate Lord Anglesey, neither could Baron Twyll be looked upon as Lord Anglesey's agent; nor the latter as responsible for his acts. It was certainly true, that Baron Twyll was Lord Anglesey's Private Secretary; but then he himself had friends and connexions in Dublin—he himself was an elector of Dublin; he had been in that city some years before, and was the friend of one of the candidates, and he had a perfect right to canvass for that candidate, whether he was connected with Government or not. There were two witnesses as to the conduct of Baron Twyll in this affair; the first was a Mr. Tindal, who had had the misfortune to be a bankrupt wine-merchant, and who was appointed by the Corporation to the situation he then held. Baron Twyll wrote a short note to Mr. Tindal, requesting to see him for a few minutes at the Castle; and a charge against Baron Twyll was founded on a vague statement of a conversation held by Mr. Tindal with that gentleman, and with another individual. The entire charge, so far as Baron Twyll was concerned, exclusively rested on vague statements of conversations, from time to time, between the Baron and certain of the electors, and Mr. Tindal amongst the number. The force of such evidence, the House must be aware, almost wholly depended on tone, manner, and other colloquial etceteras, which might either be misrepresented, or very inadequately conveyed, just at the pleasure of the relator, without any very material literal deviation from the truth. In reference to the facts adduced before the Committee, he had received a communication from Baron Twyll, which contained an indignant disclaimer of the interpretation put upon his expressions, as addressed to Mr. Tindal. The testimony to which he would first refer, was that of Mr. Tindal, who, on being applied to by Baron Twyll, made answer, that he was anxious to obey the Government, but having been lately elected to a situation which he held by the Corporation, he felt unwilling to vote against their interest, by supporting the Reform candidates. He then desired to have a statement of his case laid before the Lord Lieutenant, in order that he might be permitted to remain neuter; but to this proposition Baron Twyll, of course, 519 could not accede, for his lips must have been sealed upon such a subject, in presence of the Lord Lieutenant. The evidence of Mr. George Studdart, another police Magistrate, was much to the same effect. He also avowed, that he had been appointed to a post by the Corporation, which exercised considerable patronage in aid of the cause of anti-Reform, and therefore, were he to vote in support of the Reform candidates, he should be acting in a way adverse to the interests of his friends and patrons—the corporators. To this Baron Twyll rejoined, that if he was appointed by the Corporation, he should likewise recollect, that he was paid by Government. The witness was asked, whether such were the exact words used by Baron Twyll? He replied, that they were, as exactly as he could recall them. This speech might, very possibly, have been made by Baron Twyll; but still no charge could be founded on it against the Government. The reply amounted in effect to no more than this; since he was drawn one way by the claims of the Corporation, and another by those of Government, he ought to consider himself bound to neither, but free to choose according to his own discretion. The witness added, that had he voted against the Reform candidates, he did not imagine that Lord Anglesey would have dismissed him, although he owned he; should not desire to trust to such an experiment. The right hon. Gentleman then noticed the independent votes of two Barristers, whose places were held at the will of the Government, but being of firmer minds than the preceding witness, they voted against the reform candidate; and had they, he might ask, experienced any ill effects from their vote? He would, at that stage of his observations, take the opportunity of reading to the House an extract from the orders to the constabulary force of Leinster, dated the 4th of May last, relative to the election then about to occur. The Lord Lieutenant thereby gave directions, that all persons employed in the constabulary force, who possessed the right of voting, should be suffered to go and give their votes; but they were strongly reminded, that, in being permitted to do so, they were to abstain strictly from becoming partisans to any candidate whatever at the elections; and this order was the only one which had been issued by Government on that occasion. The statement to which he was now about to advert, 520 with respect to the case of Baron Twyll, vas certainly the most serious of all the charges; but it was so incredible, and so contradictory, that, on the unsupported testimony of a conversation, said to have been held with Baron Twyll, he could not credit it. The witness was Mr. Oultman, he head Coal-meter at Dublin. He received a letter from Baron Twyll, conveying that gentleman's compliments, and an expression that he would be glad to see him at the Castle at three o'clock. Mr. Oultman went to the Castle, and Baron Twyll then asked him for his own vote, and for his influence with the Coal-meters of Dublin as a body. Mr. Oultman stated, that the Baron, during this conversation, represented the Corporation and Sir Abraham Bradley King to be with the Government in the election; and this statement was so utterly incredible, that it was not possible for Baron Twyll to have uttered so absurd a statement to one who, from his position in the city, must have known it to be untrue. This circumstance alone must throw discredit over the evidence of this witness. Some observation was made, that if Baron Twyll had promised to put the Coal-meters of Dublin on a level, in point of advantages, with those of London, nothing more would have been heard of the conversation between him and Mr. Oultman; and the Committee asked that person, if the Company of Coal-meters had suffered, in consequence of having voted in the way they did? To which it was replied, that the very morning many of the Meters had voted for Shaw and Moore, the warrants were withdrawn. Now, he must remark, that this withdrawal of the warrants was not a partial proceeding, but was general to all the Meters, as well those who had voted with, as those who had sided against Government; and next, he must say, that the repeal of the duty on coals had come into operation on that very day, and that there being nothing left for these Coal-meters to do, their occupation being thus annihilated, the warrants were, as a matter of course, withheld. Besides, it was a matter altogether under the control of the Board of Customs, acting under the directions of the Government on this side of the water, and one in which the authority at the Castle had nothing to do. So much for the cases against the Irish Government, and now to recal the attention of the House to such precedents as existed on this subject. And he must say, that, according 521 to precedent, the case must be strong indeed which would jutify their resorting to such an extreme course as that of instituting proceedings against a peer of the realm. The last instance of the kind occurred in 1702, when the Bishop of Worcester proceeded to lengths in an election which imperatively called for the interference of Parliament. He had sent to one of the candidates a dictatorial message, desiring him to desist from standing for the county, accompanying it with a threat, that he would denounce him to the clergy of his diocese; he also spoke at large upon the subject to his clerical brethren at Confirmations and Visitations; and, not content with all this, he aspersed the obnoxious party and all his ancestors to the laity, menacing those who should support him with the hint that he would discontinue their leases, as a punishment for their contumacy. The House of Commons, accordingly, voted an Address to the Crown, requesting that he might be degraded from the office of Almoner, which he then held; and the Address was complied with. In 1780, the Duke of Chandos, Lord Lieutenant of the county of Southampton, was accused of having interfered with the privileges of the House at an election, and it was proved that he had written 300 or 400 letters round the county, calling on the freeholders for their votes in favour of a candidate he had supported. A Committee of Privileges sat upon this case, and he was found guilty of a breach of privilege; but when the matter came before the House, the report of the Committee was ordered to be taken into consideration that day four months, by a majority of eighty-seven to thirty.* This was a very strong case of interference, and much stronger than any which had been proved against Lord Anglesey. Another case was on record so late as 1813—the Helston case—in which the House would take no steps, because they had been entrapped into a vote for receiving the Report of the Committee of Privileges which had sat upon the petition. The right hon. member for Montgomeryshire had, with his usual acuteness and sagacity, detected the difficulty into which the House had got, and had declared that it had been entrapped. [Mr. C. W. Wynn, did I say entrapped]? He thought such was the expression of* Hansard's Parl. Hist. vol. xv, p. 1315–18.522 the right hon. Gentleman; but, however, the purport of the right hon. Gentleman's observation was, that if the House passed a resolution to take the report of the Committee of Privileges into consideration, it pledged itself in effect to adopt ulterior proceedings. These proceedings had been moved and objected to; but the proper period at which the objection ought to have been made was, before the House had adopted the resolutions of the Committee. On the several grounds which he had stated, and principally on an ex parte statement, the House was now called upon, by the hon. Member's motion, to declare and affirm the resolution of the Committee, and thus entail on themselves the necessity of taking ulterior measures with respect to Lord Anglesey. He had, however, gone through all the evidence which was on the Report of the Committee, and looking at the paltry nature of that evidence, he would ask, whether any case was made out sufficient to justify the House in acceding to the motion before it? No man at the present day could be so blind as to deny, that the views of Government on political points ought to be supported by the dependents of Government, and he hoped he might be allowed to say, that every Government had a right to expect support from those who were in its employment. He contended, that all former Governments had acted on the same principle, and carried that principle further than it had been carried in the present instance; he would meet the Motion therefore with a direct negative.
§ Mr. Hunt
did not understand the cheers from the Ministerial side of the House. He knew nothing of the Marquis of Anglesey; he never entered into any collision with him; and, taking it generally, he respected the character of the noble Marquis. But here was a charge of undue influence against the noble Marquis, and it was the duty of the House to interfere and make inquiry. It was a farce to justify the exercise of influence at the late Dublin election because former Governments had been guilty of the same misconduct. Mr. Long spurned at the threat held out to him, as appeared from the evidence of Captain Hart, who, perhaps, went a little further than his instructions, and Gen. Byng went round to correct the mistake, but not till the threats from the Castle had appeared in the Dublin news- 523 papers. Mr. Long was perfectly exonerated in the conduct which he had pursued at the late Dublin election. A Swiss perfumer was discharged by the Castle for having voted against the Government candidate, although he had paid for his situation in the Battle-axe Guards. However, the Swiss was subsequently restored to his situation. He (Mr. Hunt) considered, that the source of justice was corrupted when the police Magistrates of Dublin were unduly influenced by the Marquis of Anglesey. The agent of the Government, Baron Twyll, sent for these Magistrates, and told them that they must vote for the Government candidates, although one of them said, that Mr. Shaw was his relative, and the father of Mr. Shaw his early friend. Mr. Tindal's evidence was clear upon this point, and he voted against his friends, in favour of the Government candidates. What could be more direct influence than that? The case of Mr. Studdart, the second police Magistrate, was precisely similar. He said, he had held a situation under the Corporation; that he had on former occasions voted for them; that he would wish to remain neutral, and give no vote on this occasion, but Baron Twyll, the agent of the Marquis of Anglesey, told him, he had to choose between his two situations; and that although one had been conferred by the Corporation, it was paid by the Government. Yet these cases were lightly glossed over by the right hon. Member (Mr. Stanley), as if, forsooth, they did not afford the most palpable evidence of the exercise of undue influence. In some cases it might be true, that no direct personal influence had been used by the Marquis of Anglesey; but it would be a waste of time to argue, that the agents of the Castle had not exercised undue influence at the last Dublin election. The whole tenour of the evidence taken before the Election Committee would prove it, although, here and there, the direct interference of the Lord Lieutenant could not be exactly brought home to him. Whoever committed injustice, whoever authorized an undue interference with the elections of Members to serve in that House, should, in his opinion, meet with the censure of the House. Baron Twyll and Captain Hart were to be considered as the agents of the Marquis of Anglesey, for they would never have dared to use his name as they had done, without authority. 524 He had no doubt that these things had come before the public on account of the honest and straightforward character of the Marquis of Anglesey, who had disdained to resort to the concealment of an intriguing man. The Resolution was expressed in the mildest possible terms, and in his opinion did not go far enough. If his Majesty's Ministers chose to do so, he had no doubt, from what they had just seen, that they could command a large majority to vote with them a negative that undue influence had been used. If they did so, he was sure it was what the most decided enemy of the Reform Bill could wish; for, after that, the people of England would care very little for such a Reform as would be given by a Government of such principles.
explained respecting the non-arrival of witnesses, and particularly as to the refusal of the Committee to receive the evidence of Mr. M'Crossland. He had yet to do justice to the character of that respectable individual. It was represented in the Committee, that Mr. M'Crossland, a near connexion of Lord Plunkett's, had actually tendered a bribe. This assertion was made on the afternoon of Thursday, the intelligence of it reached Dublin on the Saturday; on that same day Mr. M'Crossland embarked on board the steam-boat, and reached London on the Monday morning, when he was refused to be heard by the Committee, although the Report had not been made, and he was prepared to deny the charge upon oath.
contended, that the Report of the Committee did not deserve much respect, if it were true, as the Chairman of it had said, that it was difficult to determine whether the Committee or the witnesses had been most bewildered. He had it under the hand of the Marquis of Anglesey, that he had not wished a single individual to be coerced; and although it might excite a sneer, he believed, that the city of Dublin was dissatisfied that so little influence had been used during the election. As to the Marquis of Anglesey not daring to turn out police Magistrates, he would only say, that the Marquis would dare to do whatever was his duty. Having known Baron Twyll from his youth, he could bear testimony 525 to his unimpeachable character, and knew he had acted at the election only as a freeman of Dublin; and had stated, from beginning to end, that he had not had, and could have, no communication with the Marquis of Anglesey. The Baron was not the agent for the Marquis; and if he had thought fit to distribute 500 l. among the voters, it would be most unjust that his conduct should implicate the Lord Lieutenant. Common sense revolted at an argument to the contrary. Baron Twyll had distinctly told him (Lord Uxbridge) that he had never used the name of the Marquis during the whole election, and that he never held out a single threat to any voter.
§ Mr. Ridley Colborne
adverted to the refusal of the Committee to receive the evidence of Mr. M'Crossland, who had arrived after the case on both sides had been closed, and when it was impossible to open it again. The present Motion had certainly been brought forward with out any instruction from the Committee; and he, for one, regretted that the hon. Member (Mr. Robert Gordon) had thought such a course necessary. It only revived a painful subject; and it was the misfortune of Ireland that every thing was there made a matter of party triumph. The right hon. Secretary had discussed the question in a manly spirit, but he would rather that the right hon. Secretary should have met the Resolution with a motion for the previous question, or of the other Orders, than by a direct negative. If he were driven to a vote, he should, however, oppose the Resolution, as he thought it stronger than the case required.
§ Mr. Lefroy
said, that he could not see how any Gentleman who had read the evidence could vote for the negative that any undue influence had been exercised. The Resolution would leave room for either inference, that Baron Twyll had usurped the name and authority of Lord Anglesey, or that he had acted as the agent of that noble Lord. It would leave it open to them to examine Baron Twyll at their Bar, by which the Lord Lieutenant might be exonerated from all charge. Another course would be, for the noble Lord to institute a criminal information against Baron Twyll for usurping the authority of his name and office, and that would give an opportunity of denying upon affidavit that any such authority had been given to him. It was a most remarkable circum- 526 stance, if Baron Twyll had taken this liberty with the Lord Lieutenant's name, that up to this moment he had been cherished in the noble Lord's service, and that Captain Hart was, in the month of June following the election, promoted in the same service. He thought the House could take no other course than to agree to this Resolution, or to rescind the Resolutions which stood upon their books as to the interference of Government at elections.
§ Lord Althorp
said, that the Resolution was so vague, making a general charge against the Irish Government, without fixing the blame upon any individual, that the House could not with justice assent to it. The hon. and learned Gentleman himself, who spoke last, was doubtful whether the interference of Baron Twyll was altogether unauthorised, or was warranted by the Lord Lieutenant. If the House passed such a sweeping censure, it must be followed up by the dismissal of the whole Irish Government, although there was no direct charge against any member of it. The utmost that had been proved by the ex parte statement was, that the Marquis of Anglesey expressed a wish that the candidates favourable to Reform should be elected, and he allowed members of his household to make it known to his tradespeople and others, that he was desirous that they should vote for those candidates. But when he found that they had carried their imprudence so far as appeared by the evidence, he immediately took care to correct the false impression which they had made. Besides, it did not appear in any part of the evidence, that Baron Twyll made use of the Lord Lieutenant's name. He hoped and trusted, that the House would agree to the Motion of his right hon. friend, and give a direct negative to so unjustly vague a censure upon the whole Irish Government.
§ Mr. Henry B. Baring
thought the hon. member for Cricklade was not obnoxious to blame for bringing the subject forward. At the same time, as he (in the Committee) had disapproved of making a Special Report, he could not support a Resolution which was still stronger than the Report.
Mr. C. W. Wynn
could assure the House, that he was unwilling to prolong this debate; but he felt, that it was a judicial duty they were called upon to discharge, and from which they ought not to 527 flinch. He could not abstain, therefore, from throwing in a few remarks upon the subject. The question was brought before the House by a tribunal constituted by Act of Parliament, and directed to report any special matter which might come before it, in the course of its inquiry, to this House: for the duty of Committees was not, as the right hon. Secretary for Ireland supposed, simply to try the matter of the petition which they were appointed to consider; it was also their duty—expressly, by statute, laid upon them—to report to the House any other special matter which might present itself in the course of their inquiry. In the present case, the Committee reported, that undue influence appeared to have been exercised in the late city of Dublin election; the hon. member for Cricklade, the Chairman of that Committee, came forward with a resolution founded upon that report—and the proposal was made, to meet that resolution with a direct negative. The House, therefore, was called upon to give a verdict, that it does "not" appear from the evidence which has been given, that any official influence was unduly used at the Dublin election. If a decision of that kind should be placed upon the Journals of the House, he wished to ask whether, in the ensuing general election to a reformed Parliament, it was to be understood, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the First Lord of the Treasury, for the time being, should be at liberty to send round a circular letter to every person holding office, high or low, intimating that it was expected, that he would support such or such a candidate? If the Resolution now under consideration, should be negatived, then the House of Commons would determine, that the exercise of official influence in elections of Members to serve in Parliament was no offence. To his mind, the evidence upon which the Resolution was founded was most conclusive. Had the witnesses been few in number, and had their evidence been confined to only one or two instances of undue influence, there might, perhaps, have been some room to doubt; but the number of cases proved—proved, too, by different witnesses, each of whom confirmed the other, satisfied him that official influence had been actively exercised at the late Dublin election. That being the case, what would happen at the next election for that city, if the House of Com- 528 mons should determine, that the exercise of that influence was not improper? Instead of being exerted privately and secretly, that influence would then be exercised in open day, and Government might proclaim at the Market Cross, and in the public places, "This is the candidate whom we wish to return; you, who are dependent upon us, or expect favours from us, must support him." That official influence had hitherto been sometimes exercised, no man could deny; but then it had been exercised in holes and corners, because those who made use of it were conscious that it was illegal, and subject to the severe censure of this House. Hereafter, no concealment would be necessary, and none would be observed. From the manner in which his right hon. friend had argued this case, he seemed to have forgotten the case of the Duke of Chandos. What was the argument of Lord Nugent in that case? "Shew us," said he, "that the noble Duke has used the influence of his office of Lord-lieutenant—shew us that he has applied to the clerks of the peace in the character of Lord-lieutenant—and I admit, that a case would be made out for the interference of the House. But this seems to be simply the interference of an individual nobleman, in his individual capacity, who expresses his wish that a certain candidate should be returned." In the present case, it had been distinctly proved, that the influence used was of an official character. It was true, that the Lord Lieutenant did not interfere in person; but an individual holding an official situation under him, went to two police Magistrates, and told them what course it was expected that they should take in the election. The fact of the Private Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant having so applied to the police Magistrates, was a primâ facie proof, that the influence used was the influence of Government. For how, after all, must this influence of necessity be exercised? It could only be through those who held inferior situations in the Government. It was well known, that Baron Twyll had exerted the influence of his office to induce the electors to vote for particular candidates. If that influence had been used without the sanction of the Government, it must, of course, have been resented, and so unworthy a servant would have been removed. From that time to this, however, no disapprobation of the conduct of Baron 529 Twyll appears to have been expressed by the Lord Lieutenant. Had he acted without authority, the noble Marquis would never have suffered one, who had so grossly abused the influence of his office, to have remained for another hour in any situation attached to the Government. As no notice, however, of the matter had been taken, the Marquis of Anglesey had recognised the interference of Baron Twyll. He was disposed to do justice to the Government of Ireland, thinking that the conduct of the Marquis of Anglesey, in the high office which he had filled, both under the present and the former Government, had been such as to entitle him to the gratitude of both countries. The private respect he felt for the noble Marquis, and the knowledge he had of the merits of that nobleman as a public servant, would dispose him, if he saw any course which he could conscientiously pursue, to pass over the subject without further notice; but he was called upon to give a verdict, whether the facts stated in the Resolution were proved or not. He was therefore bound to say, that in his opinion they had been clearly made out; and if they were passed by, the disgrace would be transferred from the Marquis of Anglesey, to that House. They would furnish a strong argument in favour of Reform, of any change, however extensive, did they declare, that an action which, by repeated votes of Parliament, had been stigmatized as an infringement of the privileges of the House, and perhaps a violation of the laws of the land, should be passed by without censure. If the House took no step in the matter, it would pronounce a verdict against the privileges of the Commons. The right hon. Gentleman had alluded to the course pursued by him on a former occasion; but had his Majesty's Ministers behaved as the Ministers of that time, no difference would have been found in his conduct. He would then have repeated all his former arguments, and if they had not been effective, he should have ranked himself among the opponents of the second Resolution; because the House ought not to allow a resolution imputing criminality to an individual to stand upon its Journals, unless that Resolution was to be followed up with more decided measures. If the House were unwilling that a vote of censure should stand upon its Journals against the Irish Government, it should prevent this 530 Resolution also from appearing upon its Journals. The argument of Ministers amounted to this—that the subject was altogether of too trifling a nature to be brought under the consideration of the House. It appeared to him, however, that if the Private Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was to interfere with the police Magistrates—and with those employed in the administration of justice, and was to tell them that they were expected to vote for particular candidates—and, moreover, when an individual states, that he is under the strongest possible obligation to another candidate, and requests only to remain neuter rather than to vote as the Government requires—if he was to be told, that he could not be excused, because others would expect to be excused also; if all this were to be done, and the House of Commons to take no notice of it, the greatest evils must result, and, hereafter, every Government of Ireland would consider itself at liberty to dictate to every individual over whom it had the slightest influence. That was such an extent of influence—he might call it of tyranny—that he never would sanction it by his vote.
An Hon. Member
said, the Resolution moved by the hon. member for Cricklade, and the course which the Government had thought proper to pursue, had placed him and some other members of the Committee in rather a difficult and embarrassing situation. He attended the Committee regularly, and heard the whole of the evidence. Having done so, and having bestowed upon that evidence all the consideration possible, he could not help coming to the conclusion that some degree of undue influence had been used at the election—and could not but assent to the Report which was made by the Committee to the House. In consistency, therefore, with his vote on that occasion, he ought to support the Resolutions of the hon. Gentleman; but the corollary with which he had accompanied it, which, after resolving, that undue influence to a certain degree—and to a very trifling degree—had been exercised, called on him to resolve that a gross infraction of the privileges of this House had been committed, prevented him. He could not consent to the corollary, and, therefore, meant to oppose the Resolution.
§ Sir George Warrender
could not bring his mind to vote in favour of a Resolution to pass a severe, censure on the Irish Go- 531 vernment for its conduct in the late election for Dublin. He had read, with the greatest attention, the whole of the evidence, and although he admitted, that some degree of undue influence had been exercised, he could not give his support to a Resolution which would visit the Irish Government with a heavier censure than it deserved. He would even go further, and vote with the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for giving a direct negative to this Resolution; because he was prepared to say, that, unless the exercise of some influence be allowed, the business of Government could not be conducted.
Mr. Robert Gordon
knew, that his situation was a difficult one, but it had been rendered much more so, because there had been a wish, on the part of some hon. Members, to turn their observations into personal attack. The hon. member for Preston (Mr. John Wood) was the first to begin. The hon. Member expressed a hope, that he should not be offended at his remarks, and he begged to assure the hon. Member, that he might make himself perfectly at ease on that score. He had been somewhat more surprised, and hurt at some of the observations of the right hon. Secretary for Ireland. In the first few words which that right hon. Gentleman addressed to the House, he was pleased to say, that the case had been fully and fairly submitted to the consideration of the House, but subsequently he seemed to think it was a good opportunity to make a personal attack upon him. Upon what ground that attack was made he knew not. The right hon. Gentleman began by ridiculing some expressions which fell from him in the course of his address. What the right hon. Gentleman's feelings were he could not tell, but he supposed they were not feelings of pain; for the right hon. Gentleman seemed incapable of feeling pain. At all events, he hardly ever rose in his place to address the House, that he did not give pain to some hon. Member. He could tell the right hon. Gentleman, however ridiculous it might appear in his eyes, that he had approached that part of the subject which it was his duty to submit to the House, with very considerable pain. He had the honour to be personally acquainted with a near relation of the noble Marquis at the head of the Irish Government, and from that, and other circumstances, felt 532 great pain in submitting some of the details connected with the late Dublin election to the consideration of the House. He, however, had not taken the opportunity of attacking the private character, or of making any allusion which could, in the slightest degree, hurt the feelings, either of the Lord Lieutenant or of any of the individuals who were involved in the transaction. All that he endeavoured to do was, fairly and dispassionately to lay the whole case before the House, without any further allusion to individuals than was absolutely necessary to render his statement intelligible, and to explain the grounds upon which his resolutions were founded. Allusions had been made to his having assumed the power to submit these resolutions to the House. The right hon. Gentleman said, that he had received no instructions from the Committee to adopt such a course; but would the right hon. Gentleman point out a case in which any Committee had given such instructions? The usual course was, for the Committee to make a special report, and then for it to be moved, that the evidence be printed. The evidence having been printed, it was generally understood to be the bounden duty of some member of the Committee—not necessarily the Chairman—to bring that evidence under the consideration of the House, and, if the circumstances of the case required it, to move some resolution upon it. Such, at least, was the course pursued in the case of East Retford. The Committee in that case having reported to the House, and the evidence having been printed, an hon. Gentleman, now the Secretary to the Ordnance, who was not the Chairman of the Committee, brought the subject under the consideration of the House, and moved a resolution upon it. He had the honour of being the Chairman of the Committee appointed to consider of the merits of the petition presented against the return of the members for the city of Dublin. In that situation he hoped that he had not assumed any improper or unnecessary power while the investigation of the Committee was in progress. But that investigation having been concluded, the report having been received, and the evidence printed, he felt it to be his duty to submit the case to the House for further consideration. With reference to the manner in which he had discharged that duty, it must be re- 533 membered, that he originally stated, that the principal point upon which he rested the case, was the bribery and the manufacturing of fictitious votes; and that he was particularly anxious to separate that part of the subject from the charge of undue official influence, which was alleged against the Irish government. To the resolution founded upon that first part of the case, the House had already agreed. He rejoiced to have found so strong a feeling on the part of the great majority of the House, that this system of voting should not be allowed to continue. With regard to the second point now under consideration, he was, of course, entirely at the disposal of the House. If hon. Members thought, that official influence was not unduly exercised at the late election at Dublin—if, after the evidence which had been laid before them, they believed that Baron Twyll did not exert the influence of his office to induce many of the electors to vote in favour of the Reform candidates—of course it was in their power to put a negative upon the Resolution. For his own part, however, he had no doubt upon the subject; it appeared to him, clear, that official influence was used, and used improperly. Would Baron Twyll, in his private capacity as a freeman of Dublin, have gone to another freeman, and have demanded his vote for a particular candidate in the manner described by the witnesses examined before the Committee? Again, would any gentleman in his private capacity write to another gentleman with whom he was not personally acquainted, or send a message to him, desiring him to call at his house, for the purpose of receiving instructions as to which way he should vote? He should be very much surprised if anybody were to write to him in such a manner. The hon. Member concluded by saying, that he had only done what he concluded to be his duty.
hoped, that he did not hold, in the opinion of the House, the character which the hon. Gentleman had attributed to him, of never rising in his place without giving pain to some one. He could only say, that if, at any time, in the heat of debate, he had given pain to any Gentleman on either side of the House, or if, on the present occasion, he had said anything painful to the hon. Gentleman, no man could regret it more than he regretted it.
|List of the NOES.|
|Acheson, Viscount||Ellis, W.|
|Adam, Admiral C.||Etwall, R.|
|Althorp, Viscount||Evans, Col. Delacy|
|Anson, Hon. G.||Evans, W. B.|
|Apsley, Lord||Evans, W.|
|Astley, Sir J.||Ewart, W.|
|Atherley, A.||Fitzroy, Lord J.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Foley, Hon. T. H.|
|Baring, F. T.||Forbes, Lord|
|Baring, H. B.||French, A.|
|Bayntun, Captain||Gilbert, D.|
|Belgrave, Earl of||Gillon, W. D.|
|Benett, J.||Gisborne, T.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Godson, R.|
|Berkeley, Captain||Gordon, R.|
|Bernal, R.||Graham, Sir S.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Grant, Right Hon. R.|
|Blackney, W.||Grant, Right Hon. C.|
|Blake, Sir F.||Grosvenor, Rt. Hn. R.|
|Blamire, W.||Handley, W. F.|
|Blunt, Sir C.||Hawkins, J. H.|
|Brabazon, Viscount||Hay wood, B.|
|Browne, D.||Hill, Lord G.|
|Bourke, Sir J.||Hodges, T. L.|
|Bouverie, Hon. D. P.||Hodgson, J.|
|Bouverie, Hon. P. P.||Horne, Sir W.|
|Brougham, J.||Hort, Sir W.|
|Buller, J. W.||Hoskins, K.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Howard, P. H.|
|Bulwer, E. L.||Howard, J.|
|Burdett, Sir F.||Howick, Viscount|
|Burton, H.||Hudson, T.|
|Byng, G.||Hughes, Col. W. L.|
|Byng, G. S.||Hume, J.|
|Callaghan, D.||Jeffrey, Right Hon. F.|
|Calley, T.||Jephson, C. D. O.|
|Calvert, C.||Jerningam, Hon. H.|
|Calvert, N.||Johnson, A.|
|Campbell, W. F.||Killeen, Lord|
|Carter, J. B.||King, E. B.|
|Cavendish, C. C.||King, Hon. R.|
|Cavendish, H. F. C.||Knight, H. G.|
|Cavendish, W.||Labouchere, H.|
|Chichester, J. B. P.||Lamb, Hon. G.|
|Chichester, Sir A.||Lawley, F.|
|Clifford, Sir A.||Leader, N. P.|
|Cockerell, Sir C.||Lee, J. L. H.|
|Colborne, N. W. R.||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Cradock, Colonel||Lennox, Lord J. G.|
|Crampton, P. C.||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Creevey, T.||Lennox, Lord W.|
|Chapman, M. L.||Lester, B.|
|Curteis, H. B.||Loch, J.|
|Denison, J. E.||Lloyd, Sir E. P.|
|Denman, Sir T.||Lumley, J. S.|
|Dixon, J.||Maberly, Colonel|
|Don, O'Conor||Maberly, J.|
|Duncombe, T. S.||Mackenzie, S.|
|Dundas, C.||Macnamara, W.|
|Dundas, Hon. T.||Mangles, J.|
|Dundas, Hon. Sir R. L.||Marjoribanks, S.|
|Easthope, J.||Marshall, W.|
|Ebrington, Viscount||Maule, Hon. W. R.|
|Ellice, E.||Mayhew, W.|
|Milbank, M.||Skipwith, Sir G.|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Smith, J. A.|
|Mills, J.||Smith, M. T.|
|Moreton, Hon. H.||Stanhope, Captain|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Stanley, E. J.|
|Mostyn, E. M. L.||Stanley, Rt. Hn. E. G|
|Mullins, F.||Stephenson, H. F.|
|Musgrave, Sir R.||Stewart, P. M.|
|Nowell, A.||Stewart, E.|
|Nugent, Lord||Stewart, Sir M. S.|
|O'Connell, D.||Strickland, G.|
|O'Connell, M.||Strutt, E.|
|O'Ferrall, R. M.||Stuart, Lord P. J.|
|O'Grady, Hon. Col.||Talbot, G. R. M.|
|Ord, W.||Tennyson, C.|
|Osborne, Lord F. G.||Thicknesse, R.|
|Paget, T.||Thompson, C. P.|
|Palmer, C. F.||Torrens, R.|
|Parnell, Sir H.||Traill, G.|
|Payne, Sir P.||Tyrell, C.|
|Pendarves, F. W.||Uxbridge, Earl of|
|Penlease, J. S.||Villiers, T. H.|
|Penrhyn, E.||Vernon, Hon. G. J.|
|Pepys, C. C.||Vernon, G. H.|
|Petit, L. H.||Vincent, Sir F.|
|Petre, Hon. E.||Waithman, R.|
|Phillips, Sir R.||Warburton, H.|
|Phillips, G. R.||Warrender, Sir Geo.|
|Phillips, C. M.||Wason, W. R.|
|Ponsonby, Hon. G.||Webb, Colonel|
|Power, R.||Wellesley, Hn. W. T. L.|
|Poyntz, W. S.||Westenra, Hon. H.|
|Price, Sir R.||Weyland, Major|
|Protheroe, E.||White, Colonel|
|Pryse, P.||Wilbraham, G.|
|Ramsbottom, J.||Wilde, Thomas|
|Rickford, W.||Wilks, J.|
|Rider, T.||Williams, W. A.|
|Robarts, A. W.||Williams, Sir J. H.|
|Robinson, Sir B.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Rooper, J. B.||Wood, J.|
|Russell, R. G.||Wood, C.|
|Ruthven, E. S.||Wyse, T.|
|Sandford, E. A.||TELLERS|
|Scott, Sir E. D.|
|Sebright, Sir J.||Macdonald, Sir J.|
|Sheil, R.||Rice, Hon. T. S.|
|List of the AYES.|
|A'Court, E. H.||Forbes, J.|
|Ashley, Hon. J.||French, A.|
|Bankes, G.||Gordon, J. E.|
|Best, Hon. W.||Gordon, J.|
|Buxton, F. F.||Hay, Sir J.|
|Chandos, Marquis||Hardinge, Sir H.|
|Clements, G.||Holmesdale, Viscount|
|Clerk, Sir G.||Houldsworth, A. H.|
|Conolly, E. M.||Hunt, H.|
|Cooke, Sir H.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Curson, Hon. R.||Kenyon, Hon. L.|
|Davidson, D.||Knight, J. E.|
|Douglas, W. K.||Lefroy, A.|
|Dundas, R. A.||Loughborough, Lord|
|Encombe, Lord||Lovaine, Lord|
|Estcourt, J.||Lowther, J. H.|
|Fane, Hon. H.||Maxwell, H.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Capt.||Miles, W.|
|Forbes, Sir C.||Miller, W. H.|
|North, J. H.||Stormont, Lord|
|Pelham, J. C.||Stewart, C.|
|Pemberton, T.||Thynne, Lord J.|
|Pollington, Lord||Tunno, E. R.|
|Praed, W. M.||Vyvyan, Sir R.|
|Pringle, A.||Welby, G. E.|
|Pusey, Hon. P.||Wetherell, Sir C.|
|Rochfort, G.||Wortley, S.|
|Rose, Sir G.||Wrangham, D. C.|
|Rots, C.||Wynn, C. W. W.|
|Ryder, Hon. G.||Wynne, J.|
|Scarlett, Sir J.||Young, J.|
|Scott, Sir S.|
|Seymour, H. B.||TELLERS.|
|Sibthorp, Colonel||Gordon, R.|
|Somerset, Lord G.||Lefroy, T.|