HC Deb 14 February 1833 vol 15 cc659-60
Mr. Goulburn,

in rising to move the postponement of the consideration of the Coleraine Election Petition, said, that the petitioners complained, that, at this election, several persons having a claim to register were refused by the Barristers, and their names not received. Between the English and Irish Bills upon this subject, there was a wide distinction—in England, the decision of the registering Barristers was final; but in Ireland, when any persons thought themselves aggrieved by the award of these functionaries, they had an appeal to the Judge at the next assizes. The next Londonderry assizes commenced on the 20th of March. If this question were now discussed by the Committee, and the Judges were afterwards called on for their opinion, they might think themselves bound to adhere to the decision of the Committee; and, on the other hand, the Committee might say, that as the power of deciding had been intrusted to the Judges of the land, they had no power. Now he proposed to avoid both these difficulties by having the opinion of the Judges taken, so that it could afterwards be submitted to the Committee for their adoption or rejection. His wish, therefore, was, that the consideration of the Coleraine Petition should be postponed till Friday, the 27th of March, and, as the opinion of the Judges would be taken on the 20th of March, the Committee could then have the benefit of it for their guidance.

Mr. Littleton

thought, that the right hon. Gentleman could not have been properly instructed as to the facts of the case, and he should only now observe, that strong as it might appear to be to the right hon. Gentleman, the other side would seem equally strong when it came to be heard. He ought to add, that the petitioning candidate and his friends had been ignorant of there being any reasons to delay the consideration of the Petition, and had made preparations for instantly bringing it to the decision of a Committee.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that one of the difficulties anticipated by the right hon. Gentleman would not occur, for no Committee of that House, upon a question of election of a Member of that House, could be bound by the opinions of any or all of the Judges. There was, therefore, no necessity for waiting on that account. But, on the other hand, there were many reasons why the consideration of the petition should not be delayed. The witnesses had already been sent for, were on their way hither, and of course would speedily arrive, and must be kept at the expense of the petitioner if any delay should occur.

Motion negatived.