HC Deb 31 August 1831 vol 6 cc951-3

On the vote for 20,853l. for the expenses of the Police Watch Establishment for the City of Dublin,

Mr. Hume

wished that a portion of this vote—namely, 1,476l. to the Recorder of Dublin, should be postponed till that Gentleman returned to the House, as he wished to raise a question upon it. He doubted whether he ought to have a seat in Parliament.

Mr. Spring Rice

said, that the hon. Member might propose, that the whole vote should be postponed, but it could not conveniently be separated. It would be better to wait, and raise the question that hon. Member referred to at another time.

Mr. O'Connell

concurred in the wish for postponement. He was decidedly of opinion the Recorder of Dublin ought not to sit as Representative of that city. Moreover, he wished to call the attention of the House to the appointments of Police Magistrates at Dublin, who were generally selected from the Corporation, and were violent political partizans. They had given great cause for complaint on many occasions—he would, therefore, suggest, that as the public paid them, the Government should have the selection of them.

Mr. Spring Rice

was well aware that a general revision in the Irish police was necessary, but the question relating to the Recorder was no reason that the whole vote should be postponed.

Mr. Henry Grattan

opposed the postponement of the Grant, as the Recorder was not present in person to defend himself.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he would raise no question relating to the Recorder at present, but he objected to the general principle of the vote, which was, to pay the officers of the Corporation of Dublin, whose rapacity had been a complete curse to that city. For many years they had assessed the public to a tax for supplying the city with water; at length some inquiry took place, and the Master of the Rolls decided, that about 74,000l. ought to be refunded. He thought that some portion of that sum might be made available for the purposes of this grant. Why should the Government pay these Corporation Magistrates, over whom they had no control, while the Corporation, which had the patronage of the appointments, was plundering the people of Dublin. Instead of a robbery, as this had been called, it was scarcely a restitution of ill-gotten wealth.

Mr. Lefroy

said, the hon. and learned Gentleman had, in his tirade against the Corporation of Dublin, omitted to notice that the Government really had some control over the police Magistrates. As it paid them, it was consequently able to remove them if any suspicion of delinquency appeared, but this was the first time he had ever heard that there was grounds for such an insinuation.

Mr. O'Connell

again asserted, that the Government were not responsible for the acts of these Magistrates. They were placed in a ridiculous position between the Government and the Corporation, and the people of Dublin suffered from the maladministration of justice in consequence. There was a great difference between the power of appointment, and the power of discharging, and it was most necessary that Government should put an end to all truckling in the administration of justice.

Mr. Dixon

said, the Corporation of Dublin ought to pay for the police of the city. It was known to have considerable revenues, and he did not see why its police ought to be paid more than the Magistrates of Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Mr. Crampton

said, he hoped to see the police force of Ireland shortly revised by the act of the House, and the Irish Reform Bill would, he trusted, contain a provision to prevent Recorders sitting in Parliament.

Mr. Hume

said, he would not, after this declaration, press his objection.

Vote agreed to.

3,784l. for the expenses of the Commissioners of Judicial Inquiry. 1,000l. for the expenses of the Record Works, not yet completed; 40,000l. for providing employment for the Poor, and relief of distress in certain districts in Ireland, were then granted.