HC Deb 30 August 1831 vol 6 cc870-1
Mr. O'Connell

said, he had now to present a Petition from a gentleman, named Richard Gurney, under the following circumstances: On the 17th of November, 1830, he, and Charles King, Esq. petitioned that House, claiming to have been duly returned by the legal returning-officer, as Members to serve in Parliament for the borough of Tregony, but that a person, pretending to be the returning-officer had declared James Adam Gordon, Esq. and James Mackillop, Esq., to be duly elected. The case went before a Committee, which Committee had decided, that the petitioners were not persons who had placed themselves in a situation to be heard by petition. They had also charged bribery, as well as a false return, against the sitting Members. But the case having been opened, the counsel on the other side submitted, that they had not qualified themselves, under the Act of Parliament, to appear as petitioners at all. The petition had, in consequence, been found frivolous and vexatious, and the whole of the taxed costs were charged to Mr. Gurney. The hon. and learned Gentleman then went over the 50th, 57th, 58th, 60th, and 64th sections of the Act, chiefly for the purpose of considering how far the petitioner could claim relief by way of appeal from the decision of the Committee. He thought that, under the 64th section, which gave a party, amerced in the whole costs incidental to an election petition, the right of recovering a part of the expense from those who were joined with him in that petition, the petitioner was entitled to relief. If the Speaker did not think, that this was a fit subject for appeal, he would move to lay the petition on the Table, and give notice of a motion for granting the petitioner such relief as, in his judgment, he thought him entitled to.

The Speaker

said, he had seen the petition, but he was not sure that he had examined it with all the attention which the nature of it deserved. Perhaps, the best course the hon. and learned Gentleman could pursue, would be, to suffer the petition to be brought up, read, and laid on the Table; and then to adjourn the Debate to a future day. The reason he proposed this course was, because there were a great number of points in that petition well worthy of the attention of the House.

The petition to be printed, and the Debate adjourned to Monday.