HC Deb 26 August 1831 vol 6 cc642-3

Mr. Crampton rose to present a Petition which, he said, referred to a subject which was connected with the privileges of the House. The petition was signed by Mr. Serjeant O'Loghlin, Mr. Perrin, and other respectable inhabitants of Dublin, on the accuracy of whose statements he could place perfect reliance. The petitioners complained that the conduct of the Sheriff and his deputies, at the pending election for the city of Dublin, had been grossly partial to the Corporation candidates, Lord Ingestrie and Mr. Shaw; and that they had violated the Act of Parliament which regulated the establishment of polling booths for the voters, by which means great disorder and confusion had been created, and the voters for the liberal candidates prevented from polling. Four out of the five deputies, appointed by the Sheriff, were members of the Corporation. The hon. and learned Gentleman was proceeding to read some further statements from the petition, when

Mr. C. W. Wynn

interrupted the hon. and learned Gentleman in these details, observing, that the complaints of the petitioners were matters which might, and would, in all probability, be made the subject of an election petition; and, if the petition were now received, the merits of that election petition would be prejudged.

Mr. James Grattan

thought the petition was one which might, with propriety, be received.

The Speaker

said, that every Member knew, that it was not possible to present an election petition until the return was lodged in the Crown Office; and after that, the House could not entertain it, the jurisdiction of the House being deputed to a Select Committee, according to Act of Parliament. The question was, whether this petition involved matter which could alone be tried by an election Committee, as in that case it could not be entertained by the House, whether an election petition were hereafter presented or not. He had only waited in hopes the hon. and learned Member would read the prayer of the petition, as, if it prayed for a remedy for the grievance of which it complained, it was clear the House could afford no such remedy, and the only effect of receiving the petition would be, to prejudge a matter which did not belong to the House.

Mr. Crampton

said, that the prayer of the petition was, that the House would institute an inquiry into the conduct of the Sheriffs and their deputies; and also that it would provide, by the bill now pending, that Sheriffs appointed by Corporations should not act as returning officers in the cities or towns where those Corporations exist. If the latter part of the prayer did not, in the judgment of the right hon. Gentleman in the Chair, take the petition out of the rule which he had laid down, he (Mr. Crampton) could only withdraw the petition.

Mr. Hume

was of opinion, that the second or general part of the prayer took the petition out of the rule which applied to election petitions.

The Speaker

observed, that the general prayer was founded on the allegations contained in the petition, and could not be separated from them.

Mr. Crampton

withdrew the petition.

Mr. Lefroy

wished to know from the Solicitor General for Ireland, whether, in the statement which he made on a former evening, he meant to deny on the part of Sir William Gossett, that that gentleman had accompanied Mr. Latouche in his canvass?

Mr. Crampton

said, that Sir William Gossett had authorised him to deny the charge made by the hon. and learned Member, that he had canvassed for Mr. Latouche. If the hon. and learned Member desired it, he had no doubt he could procure as explicit a denial of the allegation, that Sir William Gossett had accompanied Mr. Latouche in his canvass, which, after all, was but a repetition of the former charge.

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