HC Deb 05 August 1834 vol 25 cc993-4
Lord Althorp

, in moving, that the report of the Committee of Supply be brought up, stated, in answer to a question put to him last night, and which he was then under the necessity of declaring his inability to reply to, that the expense of the prosecution of Mr. Cohen, the proprietor of the Brighton Guardian, had been defrayed by Government. The circumstance of Government paying the expenses of prosecutions for libels against such functionaries was not new: there were several instances on record.

Mr. Warburton

hoped this case would not be made a precedent of, because it might be greatly abused, and might lead to the oppression of individuals. He was satisfied that the noble Lord would not, on principle, defend such a case.

Mr. Sheil

wished to know whether the expenses of the prosecution were paid out of the secret service money, or whether they were included in the Estimates?

Mr. Secretary Rice

said, the expenses of the prosecution were not paid out of the secret service money.

Mr. O'Dwyer

said, that libels against public functionaries ought not to be prosecuted on slight grounds; but, above all, Government ought not to sanction such prosecutions in the cases of other parties where they were not prepared to take the responsibility.

The Report was agreed to.