HC Deb 14 July 1835 vol 29 cc581-3
Mr. Gisborne

said, that he would not enter into the merits of the case of Baron de Bode, which had so frequently been brought under the consideration of the House, but would confine himself to simply stating his reason for moving for the re-appointment of the Committee which sat last Session to investigate that individual's claim. The Committee stated in their Report that they could not terminate the inquiry before the close of last Session in consequence of it having been necessary for the Baron de Bode to send to the Continent to obtain fresh evidence to establish his claim; but they added that their labours were nearly brought to a close, and recommended the House to consent to the revival of the Committee at an early period of the present Session. During the recess the Baron de Bode had been employed in procuring evidence from the Continent at an expense of 3,000l., and it would be merely an act of justice on the part of the House to consent to the re-appointment of the Committee, in order to enable him to lay that evidence before it. The hon. Member concluded by moving for the re-appointment of the Select Committee to examine into the facts and circumstances of the claim of the Baron de Bode upon the fund received from the French Government for indemnifying British subjects for the loss of property unduly confiscated by French authority, and to report the same with their observations thereupon to the House.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

felt bound to oppose the Motion; and he thought that if the House were not prepared to leave out of view the rights of all other parties interested in the claims, they would join him in opposing it. The Baron de Bode's case was not a new one. It had been before the House from time to time, since the year 1816. The Baron de Bode had had opportunities before the Commissioners, before the Lords of the Treasury, before the Privy Council, and before a Committee of the House, yet he failed in making out his case. In every instance he Baron de Bode failed to produce evidence; and now, at this late period of the Session, he came forward to ask for a re-appointment of that Committee before which he was unable to make out his case last Session. It would be an absolute act of injustice to the other parties interested, if the distribution of the fund were delayed any longer. He hoped, for these reasons, that the House would join him in opposing the Motion.

Mr. Sergeant Wilde

said, that nothing had prevented the Baron de Bode from coming forward earlier but his inability to find any Member who had sufficient leisure to take up his case. It was not the fault of the Baron de Bode that it had not been brought forward sooner. He had looked into the case, and he considered it one of great hardship, and he would venture to say that on its merits there never had been any adjudication. It was remarkable that the case was always met on new grounds, which, when examined, had been invariably rebutted. He thought that the re-appointment of the Committee was only an act of justice.

The Solicitor General

said, that this was only an attempt to make the House a tribunal of appeal from the common tribunals of the country. The funds in question were vested in Commissioners for adjudication and distribution among the claimants, and an appeal was given to the Privy Council, but the Act of Parliament under which the appeal was so given expressly declares that the decision of the Privy Council should be final. The claim of the Baron de Bode was, he contended, the most Quixotic that ever came before the House. The whole had been submitted to a competent tribunal, and that tribunal had adjudicated against the claim.

Mr. O'Connell

contended that the great- est injustice had been done to the Baron de Bode in this case, and if the House refused the Committeee they would seal that injustice. If the Baron de Bode had not an honest claim, the Committee would decide against him; but if, as he believed, the Baron de Bode had an honest claim, the Committee ought to decide for him. It was true that his claim had been twice rejected, but, then, it had been rejected on contradictory grounds. He trusted that the House would revive the Committee, and give him a fair trial.

Sir Robert Inglis

thought that the case had been decided by a competent tribunal, and that with that decision the House ought not to interfere.

Mr. Ewart

denied that a competent tribunal had ever heard the case; and, therefore, contended that it could not be considered as finally decided. In his opinion, the character of the House and of the State would be compromised, if the present Motion were rejected.

Mr. William Roche

declared that there never had been a case which experienced a more indulgent consideration from every tribunal before which it had been brought than the case of Baron de Bode.

The House divided—Ayes 97; Noes 79; Majority against the Motion 82.

List of the AYES.
Attwood, Matthew Gaskell, Daniel
Attwood, Thomas Gillon, W. D.
Balfour, T. Grattan, H.
Bailey, J. Grote, G.
Baring, F. T. Gully, J.
Barnard, E. G. Hall, B.
Bellew, Sir P. Hamilton, Lord C.
Bellew, R. M. Hawkins, J. H.
Blamire, W. Heathcote, R. E.
Blackstone, W. S. Hoy, B.
Blake, M. J. Howard, P. H.
Blackburne, John Lewis, D.
Bowes, J. Long, W.
Brownrigg, J. S. Longfield, R.
Bridgeman, H. Lister, E. C.
Bruce, Lord E. Lynch, D.
Buckingham, J. S. Marsland, H.
Buller, C. Maher, John
Butler, Colonel Marjoribanks, S.
Cayley, E. S. Marshall, W.
Chichester, A. Martin, J.
Charlton, E. L. M'Cance, J.
Clayton, Sir W. Morrison, James
Crawford, W. O'Connell, D.
Dennistoun, A. O'Conor, Don
Elphinstone, Howard Pattison, J.
Euston, Lord Parker, J.
Fergusson, Sir R. C. Pease, J.
Ferguson, Robert Pendarves, W.
Finn, W.T. Pigot, R.
Ponsonby, Hon. J. Trelawney, Sir W.
Raphael,— Tulk, C. A.
Ramsbottom, John Vigors, N. A.
Richards, J. Wakley, Thomas
Ronayne, Domk. Walpole, Lord
Rundle, John Wallace, R.
Russell, Lord Walker, C. A.
Scholefield, Jos. Warburton, H.
Sheil, R. L. Wilde, Sergeant
Sheldon, E. R. Williams, W. A.
Strutt, Ed. Williams, W.
Stuart, Lord D. Wilks, John
Stuart, Lord Jas. Wood, Alderman
Talfourd, Sergeant Tellers.
Thornely, Thomas Ewart, William
Trench, Colonel Gisborne, T.
Trevor, Hon. A.