HC Deb 03 April 1835 vol 27 cc788-90
Lord Hotham

appeared at the Bar with a Report from, the Drogheda Election Committee, that it had met this morning, but had separated again in an hour, without proceeding with any business, in consequence of the unexplained absence of Sir Roger Griesley.

The Report having been brought up, and read,

Lord Hotham

proceeded briefly to call the attention of the House to the serious inconvenience thus produced, and to the expense occasioned to the parties by delay, as the Committee could not now proceed until Tuesday. It was necessary, by the forms of the House, and by the Statute prescribing those forms, that Sir Roger Griesley should be ordered to attend in his place on Monday, or furnish through a witness upon oath, a sufficient excuse for his absence. He hoped, however, that if the hon. Baronet made his appearance before the conclusion of the present sitting, and stated the ground of his absence this morning, some mode might be found of enabling the Committee to proceed without more delay.

Sir Roger Greisley

having entered the House during the speech of the noble Lord, said, that he regretted exceedingly that he had put the Drogheda Election Committee to any inconvenience by his absence, and that he had thereby incurred the displeasure of the House. He begged most humbly and sincerely to apologize for it. The truth was, that he had not been able to retire to rest until half-past four this morning, and that he had last night found the atmosphere of the House so oppressive, that he had been in a state of extreme perspiration, which had been followed by a severe shivering. This was all he had to say, and he hoped it would be enough.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was aware of the evil of delay to all parties, but thought the House was bound in this, as in other cases, to avoid the greater inconvenience that might result from not strictly attending to the provisions of the express law upon the subject. He apprehended that his hon. Friend (Sir Roger Greisley) must attend at the next sitting of the House, and in the meantime the proceedings of the Drogheda Election Committee must be suspended.

The Speaker

said, that the provisions of the Act required that the Member should attend in his place unless a sufficient excuse was made; now he did not know why, if the excuse of the medical attendant was receivable, they should not admit the excuse of the hon. Member himself, delivered by him in his place.

Mr. Cole

stated, that he was once allowed to make an excuse at the Table of the House.

Sir Roger Greisley presented himself at the Table of the House to take the oath, when

Mr. Hume

said, he thought the declaration of the hon. Gentleman would be sufficient. He recollected that, on a former occasion, the oath was dispensed with, and he believed the House would be perfectly satisfied with the hon. Gentleman's simple statement of the cause of his absence.

Mr. Cole moved that the declaration of the hon. Gentleman be received.

The Attorney-General

said, that the Act did not require the statement to be made on oath.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was understood to suggest the propriety of not allowing excuses for absence on such occasions, to be too lightly made.

Sir Roger Greisley,

having been sworn, repeated his statement, and assured the House that he should have given his attendance, but that he was much fatigued and very unwell.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved that the excuse of the hon. Member be received.

Motion agreed to.