HC Deb 05 March 1832 vol 10 cc1114-5
Sir Robert Bateson

presented a Petition from the City and Liberties of Londonderry, that the Grand Jury Laws might be amended. The petitioners complained that expenses were incurred which were altogether unnecessary in their opinion; that many offices paid out of the Grand Jury cess were merely political, and, therefore, ought to be paid by Government. The petitioners further asserted, that they were compelled to pay for a much larger Constabulary Force than was required.

Petition brought up, and on the Motion that it be printed,

Lord Killeen

said, as the hon. Baronet had stated that the petitioners complained of the amount of the Constabulary Force, he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for Ireland, whether he contemplated any measure for the improvement of that force.

Mr. Stanley

said, he had a measure in preparation for altering and amending the laws relating to the constabulary force in Ireland; he trusted it would be found calculated to increase their efficiency, and diminish the expense of that force.

Mr. Wyse

said, the Grand Jury Laws in Ireland positively required revision. The Grand Juries, by the existing system, had no control over the expenditure of the county, although they had to make the cess; it would be a great improvement if they had such a control over the charges to which their respective counties were subject, as that House had over the public expenditure. At present, if they refused a claim, they could be compelled to pay it by the mandate of a Judge. Until these laws were very much improved, the people of Ireland would never be satisfied with their administration.

Mr. Henry Grattan

knew an instance, which occurred recently, where the whole twenty-four gentlemen who composed a Grand Jury, unanimously refused to make an assessment, as they thought there was no ground for such a proceeding; but they were compelled to do so on the mandate of the Judge who went the circuit. The greatest abuses existed, and the most gross frauds were committed, under the present system; the Clerks of the Crown, and other officers connected with the counties of Ireland, were appointed by the Crown, and therefore, ought to be paid out of the public purse.

Petition to be printed.

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