§ Lord Althorp
moved the Order of the Day for the House to resolve into a Committee upon the Irish Disturbances' Bill.
House in Committee.
§ On the 24th Clause, prohibiting any fire, bonfire, smoke, &c. as a signal,
§ The Solicitor General
said, that that might be as easily made the means of conveying a signal as anything else, and that the whole question would be as to the intent of the parties.
proposed an Amendment, the object of which was, to confine the operation of the clause to the proclaimed districts. The purpose of most of those signals was to give notice of the approach of the tithe-collector; and if this clause was to be permitted to extend to quiet districts, the Bill would become much more of a tithe-collecting Bill than it was already.
§ Lord Althorp
observed, that if it could be supposed that all the districts not actually proclaimed would be in a state of profound quiet, the Motion would be reasonable enough. But as that was not to be hoped for, and as it was good to be able to employ a preventive power, he thought the Motion ought not to be agreed to. The prohibition to make signals in quiet districts was no hardship, and it might have the effect of preventing them becoming so disturbed as to render it necessary for the Lord-lieutenant to proclaim them.
said, that the clause was not capable of being applied to facilitate the collection of tithe, but it was capable of preventing the assembling of tumultuous bodies of men, whose object was to obstruct by force and violence the collection of tithe; and in his opinion the clause ought to be operative in that way.
said, that if the operation of the clause was confined to tumultuous meetings, he would withdraw his objection.
§ Mr. Henry Grattan
also objected to the clause. He would leave out all the words after the word "making," in the second line, down to the word "signal," 976 in the twelfth, and then the clause would be as follows:—"Be it enacted that from and after the passing of this Act no person shall make, aid, or assist in making, any signal, notice, or call, to or upon any person or persons whatever to assemble together;" and so on to the end of the clause. He thought it expedient to make this alteration in the clause, as it was notorious that on the 24th of June, and some other clays, the peasantry in Wick-low, and in some other parts of Ireland, were in the habit, and had been in the habit, from time immemorial, of lighting bonfires on the different hills; and under the clause as it stood at present they would be compelled to prove that this their compliance with ancient custom was not giving an illegal signal under this Act.
§ The Solicitor General
thought that the words to which the hon. Gentleman objected ought to stand part of the Bill, as it was incumbent on the prosecutor to show that these signal-fires were lighted knowingly and illegally.
§ Amendment withdrawn, and the clause agreed to.
§ On the 26th clause being read.
§ Mr. Ingham
proposed the insertion, after the third line of the clause, of the following words:—"Excepting so far as it may concern the arrest or imprisonment of any person in custody in such district, and not brought to trial within three calendar months." He thought that otherwise the indemnity afforded by the Bill would be too comprehensive.
§ The Solicitor General
contended, that unless the indemnity provided by this clause were given, it would be absurd to expect that either military or civil officers would act with the necessary vigour. This indemnity only applied to what was done in a proclaimed district in pursuance or execution of any power or authority conferred by the Act. Therefore, if any officer, either civil or military, did any thing illegal, and exercised his authority in any way which was not sanctioned by the Act, he would still be liable to an action in the civil, or to an indictment in the criminal, courts. It had been repeatedly said, in the course of this debate, that this Bill suspended the Habeas Corpus Act; but the fact was not so. The Bill merely said, that a person in custody under this 977 Act should not, for three months from the day of his arrest, be entitled to be removed by writ of Habeas Corpus to have his case examined by a Judge; but at the expiration of three months, the party so arrested could claim as a right to be brought to trial; or if he was not brought to trial, could claim as a right his being brought before a Judge by a writ of Habeas Corpus. He considered the clause, as it stood, to be indispensably necessary to the efficacy of the Bill, and he should strenuously oppose the Amendment.
affirmed, that, by this clause, a military man, if in pursuance or execution of any power conferred by this Act, he committed the greatest outrage that ever was committed, was completely protected from all legal punishment. The clause provided, that all officers and soldiers acting in pursuance or execution of such power or authority should be responsible only to Courts-martial. Now, if an officer, after committing an enormous outrage in execution of the powers of this Act, should, before the knowledge of its perpetration reached the Horse-Guards, either sell or resign his commission, he could not be made responsible to a Court-martial, as he would no longer be in the army. He would then only be responsible to civil process; and to make that responsibility a nullity, this clause provided, that he should not be questioned in any civil or criminal court. He maintained that things might be done in pursuance of this Act, which were not in conformity with this Act, and that things might be done in execution of it which were not merely contrary to its letter, but which were also more outrageous than its spirit, outrageous as every body admitted its spirit to be. This clause, therefore, provided the most monstrous indemnity for outrage that ever was inserted in an Act of Parliament, or that ever was inflicted upon an oppressed and injured people. By this clause, not only were all magistrates and peace-officers protected from all process in the civil or criminal courts, but even if they grossly misconducted themselves, nobody was entitled to prosecute them save his Majesty's Attorney General. The Bill cleared magistrates and peace-officers from all responsibility to any body save that most innoxious officer to all persons who act under the authority of the Government, the King's Attorney General. The Diabolus Regis would be for them a protecting 978 angel. He asked the Government to alter this clause in such a manner that no persons, save those who were acting bona fide, and not maliciously, under the authority of the Bill, should be indemnified against the legal consequences of their misconduct. But this alteration he knew the Committee would not make, and therefore he should vote in favour of the Amendment.
§ Mr. Cutlar Fergusson
said, that it appeared to him that this clause was taken from an Act of Parliament, passed by the Irish Parliament during the Rebellion, and which Act granted indemnity to those who acted in pursuance of it, in order that vigorous measures might be executed more effectually. The indemnity proposed by the clause was more extensive than was required, or than was safe or even proper to grant. The clause was not well considered by those who had the framing of it, and he would certainly vote against it.
said, it could not be expected that soldiers, acting under the provisions of the Bill, would do their duty if they were not duly protected; and he conceived that this clause did no more than afford adequate protection. He acknowledged that it was unconstitutional, but so was the whole Bill, and yet it was rendered necessary by the disturbances in Ireland, which disturbances, justifying the passing of such a measure, also justified the present clause.
§ The Solicitor General
could assure the Committee, that the clause under consideration would not allow crimes committed by soldiers acting under the Act to go unpunished. The hon. and learned member for Dublin had said, that it deprived the people of all protection against the outrages of the soldiery. That he most unequivocally denied. If any such outrages were committed as those supposed by the hon. Member, that clause would not protect the guilty party. It would be necessary for him to show that he was acting in the discharge of his duty. It would not do to say: "I was a patrol at the time;" he must prove that he was bona fide carrying the law into execution. If, for instance, a soldier were to insult a woman under pretence of searching for arms, he would certainly be punishable under the Act.
§ Mr. Cutlar Fergusson
thought, that it would be perfectly impossible, as the Bill stood, to punish a soldier so acting.
§ Mr. Sheil
said, that, in giving such protection to soldiers, they were going far beyond the old Insurrection Act, and he could see no cause why they should do so. They could not plead inconvenience; for it was well known that there were only two or three actions brought against soldiers acting under the old Insurrection Act. Could the Government show, what alone could justify the additional protection then asked, that the provisions of the old Insurrection Act were not adequate to protect the soldiers? He denied it; for experience showed, that the soldiers were fully protected under that Act. The learned Solicitor might be right in his position of law; but he said, with the greatest possible deference and respect, that this was an Act, of which English lawyers had had no experience. It had been clearly shown by his hon. and learned friend, the member for Dublin, and his hon. and learned friend the member for Monaghan, men of high standing and reputation at the Irish bar, what the effect of this Act would be. His hon. and learned friend, the member for Dublin, proposed that no man who acted in the bona fide discharge of his duty should have a verdict given against him; but how was that to be tried? Not by a Jury? Why, should an officer, who was specially directed by the terms of a proclamation to enforce the utmost rigour of the law, for the suppression of seditious meetings, not be cited before an ordinary tribunal. He was willing to protect the military; give them an adequate protection, but do not take away from the people all protection. Give the defendant treble costs in case of an improper or uncalled for prosecution and if he have acted in the bona fide discharge of his duty, though in mistake, let the Judge have the power of qualifying the verdict. Was not that sufficient? If it were a probable case, let the Jury return a verdict accordingly. He did not wish that the soldiers should be put in a situation of peril; but he did not wish to put them in such a situation as would deprive the people of all protection from the outrages of the soldiers.
§ Mr. Robert Grant
said, it appeared to him that there were two classes of delinquents who were confounded by the hon. and learned member for Dublin. There were, in the first place, such as transgressed unwillingly—such as contravened the law, either by acting negligently, or by over 980 zeal, but who nevertheless acted bona fide. It was to such persons that the protection of the clause then before them was directed. The other class, however—such as from love of plunder, or any other cause, committed outrages, were not afforded any protection by it. He thought it right that the Committee should observe the distinction, in order to understand the operation of the clause thoroughly. He had looked into the Bill to see whether all the offences created under it could be brought under the cognizance of a Court-martial, and he felt satisfied that they could. A soldier committing any such offences as had been supposed by the hon. and learned Member, would not only be punishable under that Act, but also under the Mutiny Act and the Articles of War, so that his crime would be doubly cognizant.
§ Mr. Henry Grattan
thought that the protection granted to the soldiers by that clause, ought only to be granted in a country which was in a state of revolution. If Ministers meant to say, that Ireland was in a state of insurrection, or bordering on insurrection, they ought to say so boldly, but they ought not to come down to that House and endeavour to pass a clause which insinuated that the country was in a state of insurrection, and would be justifiable only when it was in such a state. He had many cases in his possession, of the most horrible acts committed by officers while on Courts-martial during the time when Ireland was formerly under Martial-law, in every one of which the delinquents escaped with impunity. He therefore thought that the present clause ought not to be acceded to.
§ Mr. O'Dwyer
said, it had always been the practice of the Government of Ireland to defend the acts of their servants, however culpable they might be. As an instance of this assertion he would state a case. Some time since, in the south of Ireland, a man was tried for murder; a Magistrate who was anxious to procure a conviction actually kidnapped the witnesses for the defence, and kept them out of the way until the trial was over. Their absence was perhaps not the cause of the prisoner being convicted, but capitally convicted he was. An action was afterwards brought against that Magistrate when Mr. Barrington, the Crown solicitor, about whom so much had been said during these debates, was instructed by the Go- 981 vernment to defend that Magistrate; the law officers of the Crown were specially retained to defend him, and the unfortunate individuals who originated the proceeding had to pay all their expenses. The Magistrate he presumed had his expenses paid out of that ample fund which the right hon. Secretary had at his control, but of which he hoped the House would at no distant period, require an accurate account. There was nothing in the articles of war to prevent a soldier from breaking into and searching a peasant's house on the most flimsy pretence. If it were not the intention to take away from the subject every protection, and to hand him over to a Judge in a red coat, he besought the Committee to consider that the poor peasant was entitled to protection. When he looked to the provisions of this clause, however, he could not fail to conclude, that the object was, to give an indemnity of the most extensive and the most effectual kind to every person who committed an offence against the people. That conclusion was confirmed when he looked to the clause in the Bill giving to every Magistrate and police-officer, and, in short, every other person, indemnity, if there seemed to be probable cause for what he might do Why, what was the meaning of "probable cause?" He defied any man, not well versed in the jargon of courts, to understand the meaning and intention of the Bill.
opposed the clause, which he confidently believed would act as a protection for the most atrocious crimes. He himself remembered with what perfect impunity an innocent man had been shot by a soldier at Liverpool, during: the reign of terror in England. A party of soldiers were conducting a deserter through the streets; he ran away, the officer ordered one of his party to fire, the deserter escaped but a bystander was killed. He had made every exertion to bring the case before the public, and to have this atrocity properly punished, but in vain.
§ Mr. William Roche
My recollection of the proceedings of military tribunals for civil purposes, authorizes and impels me to remark that if this Court-martial clause is unfortunately to be retained, the House cannot be too particular in diminishing the evil, in guarding it, if that be possible from abuse and from the tyrannical tendency of such tribunals, when taken 982 out of their natural sphere of jurisdiction. Sir, I can remember the proceedings of some of these Courts-martial in the year 1798, in Ireland. I then recollect to have seen three unfortunate men undergoing the extreme sentence of the law in the city of Limerick (which I have the honour to represent), and a similar number suffering flagellation, within the view and hearing of the dying individuals. That men guilty of rebellion should forfeit their lives, provided their guilt be fairly established, is far from my intention to impugn, but that their sufferings should be wantonly and cruelly embittered, that their last aspirations to the Deity, before whose awful and unerring tribunal they were on the point of appearing, should be thus disturbed and distracted by the shrieks of other sufferers, was such a needless, gratuitous, and ferocious act of cruelty, as could alone be perpetrated by men, who under the demoralising influence of arbitrary power, had become lost to every sense of humanity, and enamoured of cruelty for cruelty's sake. Further, Sir, let any Member of this House turn to the pages of "Plowden's History of Ireland after the Union," and he will find at the close of the first volume, a painfully interesting narrative of the trial of a Mr. Francis Arthur, of Limerick, an opulent and respectable gentleman, and as the narrative demonstrates, a perfectly innocent man; a narrative containing such a hideous mass of injustice and tyranny, of ignorance and rapacity, as to satisfy any impartial mind that military tribunals are utterly unfit for civil purposes, and have a natural tendency to degenerate into injustice and tyranny. This gentleman, Sir, was accused by a suborned and unfortunate man named Maum (unfortunate I only call him, because he afterwards did all that lay in his power to expiate the foul offence) of being concerned in the rebellion, and of an intimacy with Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Maum, Sir, was urged on by men, though of higher rank yet of more abominable character than himself, and at length induced by the prospect of pardon (for he was under sentence of transportation for rebellious practices), to bring this false and foul charge against Mr. Arthur, of which he was convicted by the Court-martial in opposition to every principle of the rules of evidence and the claims of justice, escaping with his life principally because 983 the rapacity of the court or of the influential part of it preponderated over their injustice and cruelty—a court composed, too, of some military men of high rank, and assisted by a Judge Advocate. Mr. Arthur's sentence was commuted by the Government to a mere residence in England, very much arising from the representations and influence of my father, whose sense of Mr. Arthur's innocence and unjust condemnation induced him to interpose; and ultimately, he (Mr. Arthur) was allowed to return to and stay in his native city. Sir, with these recollections and impressions I cannot too strongly express my condemnation of the clause altogether, and my hope that if retained, it will be fenced round with every possible protection against abuse and injustice.
§ The Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. Lynch
moved that the words "That all officers and soldiers, acting in pursuance of such power and authority, shall be responsible only to Courts-martial" be struck out. The House had been repeatedly told that these officers were not to act as a regular Court-martial, but were to administer justice according to the principles of the common law; this tribunal ought, therefore, to be amenable for their acts to the common law.
§ Amendment negatived.
protested against that portion of the clause which enacted that no person should institute a prosecution against any of the persons acting under the authority of the Act, except by the permission of the Attorney General. This prohibition he thought monstrous. There were already sufficient obstacles in the way of persons wishing to prosecute without this restriction; and he considered that the military had sufficient protection granted them in other clauses of the Bill. If this clause were allowed, officers and soldiers might not in violence with impunity. He should therefore move, that this part of the clause be struck out.
§ The Solicitor General
thought the Amendment unnecessary; the Attorney-General would not refuse his warrant when the cause of justice required it. Even supposing the prosecution to be commenced, the Attorney General might defeat it by entering a noli prosequi, which he always had the power of doing.
was well acquainted with 984 the existence of such a prohibitory power in the Attorney General, but he seldom used it unless in some extraordinary cases. He wished that military officers should be amenable to a civil tribunal for offences committed under this Act, and surely the observation of his learned friend was not meant to apply to civil suits.
thought the argument of the Solicitor General convincing, but it was convincing against his own view. If the Attorney General could, under the directions of the Crown, stop any trial, why grant this additional power? It was at least unnecessary, and therefore he would support the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
asked whether the clause had undergone any amendments?
The Chairman replied in the negative.
rose to oppose it altogether, as giving a general indemnity for any act whatever, which might be done in pursuance, or in execution of the powers conferred by this Bill, and leaving no power to have it questioned in any Court of Justice in the kingdom. He took it to be clear law, according to this clause, that if a party was acting under this Bill, anything he might do was indemnified, no matter how atrocious. He might break open houses, or commit any violence under the Act, and with perfect impunity. The Courts of Justice in Ireland carried their protection of officers acting under an Act of Parliament to such extraordinary lengths, that any one committing any act whatever had only to prove that he was at the time in the execution of his duty under an Act of Parliament, and he would have no necessity for such a clause as this to protect him. The words of the Act were more comprehensive than had ever been introduced into an Act of Parliament before. Anything might be done—any property destroyed, and the party doing such injury would be free from responsibility to any civil or criminal tribunal other than a Court-martial. This clause would give an indemnity to soldiers who might think proper to shoot hundreds of the King's subjects. He would at once throw over board the assertion of the right hon. Secretary for Ireland, that this clause was not intended to indemnify all soldiers who might kill people at the order of their officers—but the Act went further, for it indemnified the officers also. A man might have his house burnt and lose the whole of his 985 property by the command of an officer, and yet he would have no remedy by action or otherwise, for he could not get damages at the hands of a Court-martial, and damages were the only things that could recompense him for his loss. By this clause all pecuniary remuneration was wholly excluded. It was the most preposterous clause he had ever heard of, and he was astonished how it could have been contemplated in a civilised country. He would put a case of a general officer choosing to break into a House, burn it, and destroy everything. He would be liable to be tried by Court-martial, but then no damages could be given, and therefore the sufferer could have no redress. But he would suppose the case of an officer committing an outrage, and then quitting the army. The Court-martial could take cognizance of him only as long as he was a soldier, and in that case he would place himself beyond the only jurisdiction whatever that could punish him for his conduct. This clause went beyond any Act of Parliament that ever yet had passed that House, and left no redress whatever, except what could be obtained from Courts-martial, and gave no compulsory process by which it could be got even from that Court. He repeated, that anything which might be done under this Act, was already amply indemnified, and the only effect of this clause would be to give protection to all outrages that might be committed beyond the sanction which it afforded.
§ Mr. Robert Grant
said, he should not refer to the principle, "whether the state of Ireland was such as to justify the measure," but would content himself with defending the clause. A jurisdiction would rest with the Judge in the first instance, to decide whether there was probable good reason for any act committed by persons employed in carrying the measure into effect, or whether such parties had abused the powers intrusted to them. If the Judge had a doubt on the subject, he would send the case to a Jury to decide whether the individuals had acted bona fide or mala fide. If it should appear that they had acted in the latter way, they would not escape punishment—there was no analogy for assuming that they would; but if, on the contrary, an error had been committed in the bona fide discharge of their duty under the Act, was it fit that the error should subject indi- 986 viduals to punishment, and to the jurisdiction of a tribunal with which they were least acquainted? But the hon. and learned Member asked what was to be done if a party retired from the army after committing an offence? Such a case, it would be admitted, was likely to be exceedingly rare, but it was not impossible. Assuming such a case to occur, he declared that it was impossible for a man to put on a character for the purpose of abusing the power it conferred, and then, after committing a malignant act of injustice, to divest himself of that character and escape. Any one attempting to do so would find himself worse than mistaken, he would merely aggravate the punishment of his offence by such inconceivable baseness. Did the articles of war supply means of punishment? He had no doubt they did. He admitted that there was a great deal of vagueness in military law; but, be that as it might, it had always been found sufficient to repress offences committed by the military; and he took it upon himself to say, that there was no offence that could possibly be committed by abusing the provisions of the Act which could not be punished under the articles of war and the Mutiny Act. This clause would protect the military, while in the bona fide discharge of their duty; it would protect them against trial in a civil court, but would send them to a tribunal where they would not escape the punishment of excesses committed in the execution of a lawful mission.
§ Mr. O'Dwyer
was of opinion, that the hon. and learned Gentleman had not answered one of the objections of his hon. and learned friend the member for Dublin.
§ Mr. Sheil
said, that the Insurrection Act gave complete protection to Magistrates so that they could not be prosecuted for anything done under it. And this Bill went still further. No prosecution could be instituted against Magistrates for offences committed under the Bill, unless with the sanction of the Attorney General. There could then be no action at all brought against the Magistrates. Was that intended, he desired to know? He knew a case of a Magistrate who had quarrelled with a gentleman, and who arrested him in the middle of the street of a town, surrounded by people, under the Insurrection Act. The arrest was made after night-fall, and the gentleman was put into gaol. If such a case were to occur 987 under this Bill, the gentleman could get no redress at all. Was that meant? Was it intended to exonerate Magistrates, whatever they might do? They could not be prosecuted for damages, because the Bill specified that no offences committed under it should be questioned except by Courts-martial. The Magistrates could not be prosecuted in the Court of King's Bench. No pecuniary compensation could be obtained—none could be given by a Court-martial—no Courts of Law could take cognizance of the Magistrates' offences. How could this be remedied. By the addition of two words, "bona fide" The Solicitor General said, that injuries committed bona fide, would not be punished; but unless they were so committed they would be liable to punishment. Make that clear in the face of the Bill—introduce the words, that nothing which is done bona fide under this Bill shall be questioned but by Courts-martial. Make it clear that the Act is not to support oppression. Let it not be employed to crush the liberties of the subject one bit more than there is need. When flagitious violations of duty take place let the Act not be so drawn up as to screen them.
§ The Solicitor General
thought the words unnecessary. As the Bill was drawn, actions such as that described by the hon. and learned Gentleman might be prosecuted. An action would lie. If persons in the exercise of authority acted wantonly, they would have no protection from the law, and they would deserve none. No words were wanted to make the actions which were done mala fide punishable, and it was only the actions which were done bona fide which would receive indemnity. Not only individuals who so acted might be brought before Courts-martial, but they might, if the Attorney General pleased, be brought before a Civil Court.
§ Mr. Henry Grattan
would oppose this clause, as the most mischievous, the most dangerous, clause of the whole Bill. It put the whole people of Ireland out of the protection of the law, and gave them no redress whatever in case of oppression or wrong. It ought to be expunged. It was impossible that the people of Ireland should ever forgive England if this clause were passed. It would sow the seeds of separation, and they would grow up to a frightful harvest. It was establishing the government of the sword; and if the 988 Union were to be made the means of establishing such a government, Ireland would be lost to England for ever, England would not find one man in Ireland to lift up his voice or his hand in her favour. So help him God! he would not stand by England, unless he was to have the Constitution. He would not go to war for France against England, but he would go to war against England for the British Constitution. He had been taught that lesson by the resistance to the tyranny of Charles and James, and he would teach it his children. He would disinherit them if they did not obey it [laughter]. Gentlemen might laugh; it was easy for them to laugh, who knew nothing about tyranny; but he did know something of it—he had seen its practices—he had seen men turned out of their houses, and their houses burnt down—and he knew what tyranny was. They might attempt to silence and subjugate the people of Ireland, but in doing so they only hastened the Repeal of the Union. They could not prevent them from feeling—
§ Hæret lateri lethalis arundo.
§ This Clause applied only to a country in a state of war, flagranti bello. He denied that Ireland was so, and therefore he should give the clause his most determined opposition.
§ The Committee divided on the question that the Clause stand part of the Bill: Ayes 141; Noes 67—Majority 74.
§ Clause to stand part of the Bill.
|List of the NOES.|
|Aglionby Hon. A.||Wood, Alderman|
|Attwood, T.||Young, G. F.|
|Cornish J.||Gillon, W. D.|
|Dawson, A. E.||Kinloch, G.|
|Ewart, W.||Oswald, J.|
|Faithfull, G.||Oswald, R.|
|Gisborne, T.||Wallace, R.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Baldwin, Dr. H.|
|Hume, J.||Barron, W.|
|Hutt, W.||Butler, Hon. P.|
|Lister, C.||Chapman, M. L.|
|Parrott, J.||Evans, G.|
|Philips, M.||Finn, W. F.|
|Potter, T.||Fitzgerald, T.|
|Pryme, G.||Fitzsimon, C.|
|Romilly, J.||Fitzsimon, N.|
|Romilly, E.||French, F.|
|Strutt, E.||Galway, J. M.|
|Thicknesse, R.||Grattan, H.|
|Tynte, C.||Grattan, J.|
|Wilks, J.||Lalor, P.|
|Lambert, H.||Perrin, L.|
|Lynch, A. H.||Roche, W.|
|Maclaughlin, L.||Roche, D.|
|Macnamara, Major||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Martin, J.||Ruthven, E.|
|Nagle, Sir It.||Sheil, R. L.|
|O'Connell, Maurice||Sullivan, R.|
|O'Connell, D.||Talbot, I. H.|
|O'Connell, C.||Vigors, N. A.|
|O'Connell, J.||Walker, C. A.|
|O'Connor, F.||Grattan, H.|
|O'Dwyer, A. C.|
|Paired of against the Clause.|
|Tynte, K.||James, W.|
§ Clause 30 read.
declared that he should not be doing justice to the country if he did not resist such a measure as depriving Ireland of the benefit of the Habeas Corpus, to the last extremity. If he were to be the only man who went out, he would divide against it.
§ The Committee again divided on the question, that Clause 30 stand part of the Bill: Ayes 156; Noes 64—Majority 92.
§ [Nearly the same Members who voted against the 26th Clause voted against the 30th Clause, and the following Members in addition:—
|Humphery, J.||Clay, W.|
|Hall, B.||White, L.|
§ Mr. Pryme and Mr. G. F. Young, who voted against the 26th clause, voted for the 30th clause.]
§ Clauses 31 and 32 were then agreed to.
§ Clause 33 read.
§ Mr. O'Dwyer
moved, as an Amendment, that the words giving power to Magistrates of counties of cities, and counties of towns, to act under this clause should be struck out. The character of these Magistrates was notoriously such as to render their exception necessary. They were elected by, and consequently were under the influence of their respective corporations.
supported the Amendment. He had no objection to Magistrates of counties acting in adjoining counties, but he had a strong objection to any Magistrates acting, who were elected in the manner of those corporate Magistrates. But a very short time before the right hon. Secretary came into office, one of these Magistrates was so notoriously corrupt, that he had his regular prices for the favourable exercise of his judicial functions. 990 For taking bail for capital felonies he charged twenty guineas, for common felonies he charged 20l. and so on in proportion.
said, that without giving full credit to the charges brought against these Magistrates, he saw quite sufficient reason for yielding to this Amendment, in the fact that they were appointed by Corporations, and not by the Government. The Government having all the responsibility of the execution of this Act, their subordinate officers should at least be appointed by themselves. He had, therefore, no objections to strike out the words.
§ The Clause with the Amendment agreed to.
§ All the Clauses of the Bill having been gone through, Mr. Stanley brought up several additional Clauses which were agreed to, and the Report was brought up.