HC Deb 22 May 1834 vol 23 cc1248-9
Mr. Lloyd

rose to move an instruction to the Committee on the Baron de Bode's claim, with a view of enabling certain claimants under the conventions entered into between Great Britain and France to be heard by counsel before the Committee in opposition to that claim. The claimants whose case he brought before the House rested upon such real and demonstrable grounds of justice, that he could not conceive there would be any opposition to his Motion. The claims of these parties had been recognized by the Lords of the Treasury in 1830 and 1832. The claim of the Baron de Bode was less grounded than their claims; but if he were allowed an ex-parte hearing before a Committee, and was to have an ex-parte report from the Committee, the funds would perhaps be appropriated, and the just claims of the present petitioners might be put off to an indefinite period. He merely asked, on their part, that they might be heard by counsel before that Committee. The instruction he moved was, that the Committee should take the matter into consideration, so far as to ascertain if the petitioners were interested in the fund, and in opposing the Baron de Bode's claim; and if so, that they might be allowed to be heard in opposition to it.

Lord Althorp

said, that if the Baron de Bode should succeed in establishing his claim, the amount of the fund would pro tanto be diminished. The question, then, was, whether other claimants on the fund ought not to be allowed to be heard by counsel against the baron's claim? He thought that, in justice, the House was bound to allow them that privilege.

Mr. Baring

said, that these discussions showed the inconvenience which must always result from yielding to personal solicitations, and making committees of that House courts of appeal for the purpose of administering justice. It appeared to him, that the necessary consequence of appointing the Committee to inquire into the case of the Baron de Bode was, to give a right to every other person whose claim had been rejected by the commissioners to be heard before the Committee. He wished the House and the Committee well out of the affair.

Motion agreed to.