HC Deb 11 July 1831 vol 4 c1024
Colonel Sibthorp

wished to ask the noble Lord (Althorp), why delays were continually impeding the distribution of the Deccan Prize Money. Great alarm existed with respect to this among a class of highly respectable people, and it was necessary to have a speedy termination, particularly to those who had only a life interest, and who, consequently, were much afraid whether they should succeed in getting any part of it.

Lord Althorp

replied, that the money was nearly ready for distribution, when certain parties in India claimed part of the property, as having been improperly seized, and which ought not to have been treated as prize-money. This claim was decided in India in favour of the claimants. This claim ought, therefore, to be subtracted from the prize-money. An appeal was made from this decision to the Privy Council, who decided it, not on its merits, but on the competency of the tribunal—and affirmed, that it being one of a military nature, it could not be decided on by a Court in the East Indies. The case was then referred to the late Attorney and Solicitor Generals, who decided, that the claim made was not valid. The parties objected to this, as the Attorney and Solicitor General were not impartial judges, they having been professionally employed on the other side. They had then referred it to the present Solicitor-. General, who wished the case to be heard over again. It would be speedily brought on and decided, and payment made.