HC Deb 08 July 1831 vol 4 cc966-7
Sir J. Owen

said, that his return had been petitioned against, and that under the 9th of George the 4th, he should only have time till to-morrow to prepare and give in a list of those electors, who polled for his opponent, to whom he intended to raise objections. He was not previously aware of the nature of the objections that were to be made against his return, and he had sent for such a list as was required, but could not receive it until after the time appointed. He therefore requested an extension of the time for taking the petition into consideration, till the 11th of August. He should be prepared to deliver in the lists ten days previous to that period. The House must be aware that a petitioner against a sitting Member had an advantage, for he could choose his objections, while his opponent had but a short time to prepare his answer. In this case that advantage was particularly great, because it was necessary for him to deliver his list of objectionable votes before the petitioners against his return had entered into the necessary recognizances. The principal charge was not directed against himself, but against the High Sheriff, whose duty it was, to be present at the Assises on the 19th instant, only two days before this petition was to be taken into consideration, and as his presence in London would be necessary, he hoped this would be an additional motive for the House to agree to his motion, which was, that the petition should be taken into consideration on the 1lth of August instead of the 21st of July.

Mr. Phillips

observed, that the hon. Baronet had the same time as the petitioner.

Mr. C. W. Wynn

observed, that no sitting Member could be considered to have as much time as the petitioner, for the petitioner was aware of his own intention to come forward, but the sitting-Member could only learn that by the petition being presented. It would be impossible that a sitting Member, against whom a petition was presented only on Monday, should be prepared to go into it to-morrow; at the same time, it was not right to allow a greater delay than was requisite. A fortnight would be ample, and he should say, that the 4th of August would be preferable to the 1lth, as the day on which the petition should be taken into consideration.

Lord Althorp

admitted, that to insist upon bringing forward the list to-morrow would be unjust, but he had no objection to the time being extended to the 4th of August.

Sir John Owen

did not think the difference very material. The examinations must occupy more than a week; he would therefore move, that the petition be taken into consideration on the 4th of August next.

Sir John Wrottesley

agreed with the hon. Baronet, that no further time should be allowed the High Sheriff to answer the charge than was sufficient to do justice.

Petition to be taken into consideration on the 4th of August.