§ On the Motion of Mr. Hardy, the first Standing Order relative to elections was read by the Clerk as follows:—"That if it shall appear that any person hath been elected or returned a Member of this House, or endeavoured so to be, by bribery, or any other corrupt practices, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against all such persons as shall have been wilfully concerned in such bribery or other corrupt practices."
§ Mr. Hardy
spoke to the following effect:—Whether the risibility of hon. Gentlemen has been excited by the reading of this order I know not; but of this I am convinced, that the case which I am about to lay before the House for its consideration comes within the principle, if not the very words of that order. And, Sir, it is a matter of great relief to my mind that this matter comes before the House at a time and under circumstances fixed upon by the hon. and learned Member himself, who is most interested in the result of the proceeding. I am rejoiced 446 at that fact, because I did fear that the hon. and learned Gentleman might have sustained some inconvenience in consequence of an omission on my part in not having communicated to him the petition which I had to present, but which, or rather a copy of which, I have since learnt, was in his hands before it was in mine. Sir, there was another circumstance which I was apprehensive might have created some inconvenience to the hon. and learned Member, and that was the hour at which the discussion of this case might be likely to come on, in consequence of my notice standing the ninth on the paper for this evening. Accordingly, as soon as I could satisfy myself, which was not until late on Wednesday night, that I had a perfect right to bring it forward in precedence as a breach of privilege, I determined to write, and the next morning wrote a note to the hon. and learned Gentleman, which note I will read to the House:—"Mr. Hardy presents his compliments to Mr. O'Connell, and begs leave to inform him that it is his intention to claim precedence for his Motion of this evening respecting the Carlow election, as involving a breach of privilege.—7, Portland-place, Feb. 11." The answer was, that the hon. and learned Gentlemen was not up, and would not be up for an hour; but in the course of the morning I received the following note:— If any act of Mr. Hardy's could create surprise in the mind of any impartial person, it would be that, after having neglected all the ordinary courtesies between Members, he should have had the almost incredible presumption to address his first communication to Mr. O'Connell, who, however, cannot but feel flattered that Mr. Hardy should send him his compliments." Sir, I trust, if I am to judge by the confidence which the hon. and learned Member has displayed, he cannot but be glad that I sent him my compliments. But I trust also, that this evening the objection which on Thursday night was made to the proceeding by the hon. and learned Member namely, that it was "a mock solemnity," will not be repeated — a designation which, I think, was given by the hon. and learned Gentleman, not with perfect consistency, because he himself thought that it was a case for inquiry, and how a 'mock solemnity" should occupy the attention of the House, or how, if it was fairly a case for inquiry, it could be a 447 "mock solemnity," I know not; but perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman can explain. If, however, it was a case of "mock solemnity," something has passed since Thursday which rescues it from that title. Since Thursday, nay, no longer ago than last night, steps have been taken by two hon. Members which have given this question a solemnity which it never possessed before. I have had an opportunity of conversing with the hon. Member for Ipswich, who a few nights ago treated the question very lightly; and. who stated, to show what his feelings and opinions were respecting it, that it was his intention to move for an account of all the transactions and agreements between all the Members of this House, Whether, upon consideration, he found that such an inquiry would not suit all purposes, I know not; but, from considering the present a case of no importance, it became, in his estimation, of such magnitude and interest that he last night gave notice that he would move for its being heard at the Bar of the House. Another hon. and learned Member last night presented a most extraordinary petition, which I did not hear, but which I have read in the votes of the House, and which appears to me to proceed upon grounds the most extraneous with respect to this matter; for it is presented from a gentleman of the name of Vigors, who, in June last, was elected a Member for the county of Carlow, and who complains of the imputations cast upon him. in the two petitions upon the Table; whereas the petition from Bath never mentions his name at all; and in the petition from Carlow it is only mentioned twice, incidentally; and yet the petition presented last night by the hon. Member for Liskeard complains of illegal, corrupt, and unconstitutional conduct on the part of the former petitioners. But, Sir, I say that my Motion has become one of great importance; for had it not been for my Motion for inquiry into this subject, two hundred and forty-nine unhappy families, amounting to nine hundred and ninety-two individuals, and three hundred and sixteen unfortunate widows and orphans, would never have had their wrongs and distresses brought under the consideration of the House [laughter, and cries of "Hear, hear."] Aye, the hon. and learned Gentleman Mr. O'Connell calls "hear!" but where was he when, as it is stated within the last, few years, the 448 distressing circumstances mentioned in Mr. Vigors' petition took place. Why did not the hon. and learned Gentleman bring forward the wrongs of these un-happy widows and children? Why is it that the circumstances of their case are so peculiarly connected with the circumstances of mine, that those circumstances have only now come out, although it is stated in the petition that the people have been persecuted for years. Having made these few preliminary remarks, I will now proceed with the case which I have undertaken to lay before the House. It lies in a very narrow compass. Most gentlemen must recollect, that on the 27th of last May, the Committee then sitting to consider the merits of the petition complaining of an undue return for the county of Carlow, declared the election of Mr. Cahill and Mr. Maurice O'Connell void. On the 28th of May, the next day—so that the freeholders of the county of Carlow could not have been consulted on the subject—the hon. and learned Member for Dublin called on Mr. Raphael, and proposed to him to become a candidate for the county of Carlow, at the ' same time telling him that the expensę, could not exceed 2,000l. After that, a meeting between the parties was appointed at the House of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin; but owing to some mistake, it did not take place. On the 29th of May, only two days after the seats had been declared void, the hon. and learned Gentleman wrote the following note to Mr. Raphael:—9, Clarges-street, May 29, 1835.MY DEAR SIR.—I remained at home, at some inconvenience, until after the hour I mentioned. I was sorry I did not remain longer, as you called shortly after; but. as you left no letter or other indication of acceding to my proposal, I take for granted that you decline my offer—be it so. I only add my belief that you will never again meet so safe a speculation. I am quite sure I never shall hear of one.I have the honour to be, my dear Sir,Your very faithfulDANIEL O'CONNELL.Now, Sir, this reminds me of what has been quaintly said by one of our poets—The thing for sale calls forth the seller's praise,and certainly if it had been wanted to puff one of the seats for the County of Carlow, nothing could have been better than the expression used by the hon. and learned Gentleman, when he assures his 449 friend that it is so safe a speculation that he will assuredly never hear of such another. It would seem, Sir, from his earnestness in the cause, that the hon. and learned Member for Dublin was very anxious that the County of Carlow should be honoured by having so distinguished a representative as Mr. Raphael. In consequence of this note, a meeting between the parties took place at the house of the hon. and learned Member on Sunday, the 1st of June; at which meeting the hon. and learned Gentleman wrote and delivered into Mr. Raphael's hand the following letter:—9, Clarges-street, June 1,MY DEAR SIR,—You having acceded to the terms proposed to you. for the election of the County of Carlow—viz., you are to pay before nomination 1,000l., say 1,000l., and a like sum after being returned—the first to be paid absolutely and entirely for being nominated—the second to be paid only in the event of your being returned—I hereby undertake to guarantee and save you harmless from any and every other expense whatsoever, whether of agents, carriages, counsel, petition against the return, or of any other description, and I make this guarantee in the fullest sense of the honourable engagement—that you should not possibly be required to pay one shilling more in any event, or upon any contingency whatsoever.I am, my dear Sir, your very faithfulDANIEL O'CONNELL.A. Raphael, Esq.A bargain was thus entered into between the hon. and learned Member for Dublin and Mr. Raphael. I ask his Majesty's Attorney-General, if he will favour us with his opinion, if he ever witnessed a more complete bargain and sale? What was the subject matter of it? A seat in Parliament. If it had been a bargain for a horse there can be no doubt that it would have been enforceable in a court of law; but it is not enforceable in a court of law because it is a bargain for a seat in Parliament. Will any man tell me that Mr. Raphael would have sat in this House as representative of the County of Carlow, if it had not been for the 2,000l. Will any man tell me that Mr. Raphael would have been recommended to the electors of the county of Carlow by the hon. and learned Member, if it had not been for the 2,000l. What more is wanted for a bargain? As it is necessary to show that the hon. and learned Gentleman did not think the money of no importance, I beg the attention of the House to the notes which the hon. and learned Gentleman subse- 450 quently wrote to Mr. Raphael; in which he asks over and over again for the 1,000l. The hon. and learned Gentleman wrote as follows:—9, Clarges-street, June 4, 1835.My DEAR SIR,—I have heard from Mr. Vigors this day our prospects are quite bright.Now as the bargain had been concluded only on the 1st of June, and as this note was written on the 4th of June, what could Mr. Raphael's prospect have been? The hon. and learned Gentleman's recommendation of Mr. Raphael had not arrived in Carlow; and I am therefore at a loss to divine what could be meant by "our" prospects. The note proceeds:—I will arrange your address for to-morrow's post, and my own for immediate publication. I at present entertain no doubt of success; you will hear again from me to-morrow. Who is Mr. Hamilton, with whom you have deposited the 1,000l. I do not know any person of that name in London. I hope I shall soon have the pleasure of sitting by your side in the House. Till to-morrow, I have the honour to be,Your very faithful servant and friend,DANIEL O'CONNELL.On the 8th of June, the hon. and learned Member for Dublin writes to Mr. Raphael again:—London, June 8, 1835.MY DEAR SIR,—I sent off yesterday my letter to the electors of Carlow on your behalf; all my accounts confirm my opinion of an easy victory, I doubt whether there will be more than the show of a contest, but I am assured in any event of success. I send you a slip of a Carlow newspaper, showing that you are already nominated under the most favourable auspices. I also send you the draft of an address; I beg of you to peruse it, and to return it to me with any corrections you. may deem necessary, or if you approve it, then with your signature; my wish is that you, should alter it as little as you possibly can. I also send you a sealed letter from Mr. Vigors. I beg of you to return the address as near to four o'clock this day as you can, that I may transmit it to The Dublin Pilot for publication on Wednesday next. All the good men of Car-low see that paper. Let me know who the Mr. Hamilton is with whom you deposited the 1,000l. I expected you would have lodged it at Mr. Wright's. It is time this were done,Faithfully yours,DANIEL O'CONNELL.Now, Sir, this is the bargain which I have thought it my duty to bring under the consideration of the House. And when, being excited to do so, I was beginning the other evening to state the case, I was 451 called to Order, Sir, by you, because, as you observed, the only question then before the House was, that the petition should lie on the Table; I was observing, that from the circumstances I did not draw the inference that sheer money went into the pockets of the hon. and learned Gentleman. The House must have seen what weight has been attached to that admission. They must have seen that though I am but a little man when I accuse, when I acquit I become of great magnitude and importance. But, Sir, on the occasion to which I have alluded, I was going on to say, that although in consequence of the contest which had taken place for the county of Carlow, and of the petition which had followed, there might not have remained any sheer money in the hon. and learned Gentleman's pocket, yet that that did not signify. There are men to whom the gratification of their ambition is a matter of much greater consequence than any money consideration; and if the hon. and learned Gentleman believed that his political influence and importance would be increased by adding Mr. Raphael to the number of his party in this House, we can easily understand his anxious inquiries about Mr. Hamilton. But, Sir, when I recollect that the seat was abandoned by the hon. and learned Gentleman (as appears by the newspapers) on the second or third day of the sitting of the Committee, I do not very clearly understand how the money in question could have been expended. Carlow is a small county, with scarcely as many voters in it as there are in the borough which I represent. I must believe, therefore, that the contest could not have been very expensive. But what would have been the case if there had been no contest? And if there had been no contest, of course there would have been no petition. And 1,000l. was given solely for the nomination; when the hon. and learned Member expected not merely an easy victory, but not even the shadow of opposition. What then would have become of the balance of the money, if the rival candidate had relinquished every effort? I find it a part of the bargain that Mr. Raphael shall not be called upon for one shilling more; but I do not find it a part of the bargain that any portion of the money shall be returned to him. These, Sir, are the circumstances of the case. As I have already remarked, they lie in a very narrow compass; and I have 452 seen no defence of them except in a public paper, in the estimation of which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin stands high, and in the petition which was presented last night it is said that nothing is more common than arrangements of this kind; indeed it is expressly stated, "that the money transactions alluded to in the said petitions were, as your petitioner avers, and is advised, strictly legal, constitutional, and honourable; that the great majority of your hon. House is accustomed to make similar money arrangements in respect to their seats in the Commons' House of Parliament." And, Sir, it is stated in the paper to which I have alluded, that nothing is more common than that one candidate should pay all the expense; and that, in the present instance, Mr. Vigors had reputation and popularity, in the benefit of which Mr. Raphael was to participate. But I am yet to learn that an hon. Member who offers himself to his constituents has a right to sell his reputation. If he have those qualities, and not a plentiful purse, he has no right to go to a rich friend and say, "Do you pay all the expenses of the election, and you shall have half my popularity, and half my reputation." I cannot understand how any such bargain can be legal. If it be so, this is the first time that I have ever heard of it; and I cannot understand how any person who calls himself an agent in such a bargain, especially if that person be a Member of this hon. House, can attempt to vindicate a bargain of such a description. I cannot call the hon. and learned Member for Dublin an agent: I wonder that he condescends to call himself an agent, because I never heard of an agent who undertook to be responsible— of an agent who declared—"I hereby undertake to guarantee and save you harmless from any and every expense whatsoever, whether of agents, carriages, counsel, petition against the return, or of any other description," I do not know how a person who enters into such a compact can be called an agent. I should rather think that Mr. Vigors, the petitioner of last night, was the agent of the hon. and learned Gentleman at Carlow, rather than that the hon. and learned Gentleman was the agent of Mr. Vigors in London. Well, the consequence of this bargain is, that the hon. and learned Gentleman puts in two Members for the county of Carlow—one his old and familiar friend Mr. 453 Vigors, whom he returned, I suppose, ex animo, the other his new and much-esteemed acquaintance, Mr. Raphael, whom he returned, it seems, ex contractu. Thus the hon. and learned Gentleman gained to himself a very great advantage in that which is the chief object of his ambition— the maintenance of his influence in Ireland. But whilst the hon. and learned Gentleman obtained this advantage on the one hand, it appeared on the other to be matter of very little importance or consideration with him what sort of a representative the people of Carlow might happen to get. He has influence in Carlow—he exerts that influence, and returns Mr. Raphael. What do the people of Carlow know of Mr. Raphael?—they never see him—they never hear him—they have no ocular demonstration either of his physical or intellectual abilities. All they know of him is his address, and in that there is nothing of his own but his name. Now, it is said that the hon. and learned Member exercised upon this occasion nothing more than his moral influence in Carlow. But I humbly contend, that I am in the hearing of a great many other lawyers in this House, that if a man possess a moral influence in a borough or a county, he has no right to make use of it for a money consideration. I have seen a new writ moved for this Session, in order to replace a noble and learned Lord who, having been for some time the third part only of a Chancellor, has at length be-come a whole one. A seat in this House having thus become vacant, a new writ has been moved for, and a gentleman has come forward as a candidate for the borough which the noble and learned Lord lately represented, in which borough it is well known that a noble Lord of the highest respectability—and no one respects him more sincerely than I do—possesses a very great deal indeed of moral influence. Now, I should like to know what would be said of that noble Lord if he went and made such a bargain as this for the sale of his moral influence? Nay, I will put a still more analogous case, I believe there are some constituencies in the country who would be glad to receive a candidate recommended by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth. I will suppose a gentleman to whom that right hon. Baronet should go and say, "I know very well that if I recommend you for such a borough or county, you will be sure to be returned; 454 give me 1,000l. for putting you in nomination, and another 1,000l. when you are returned, and then I will send you a laudatory letter which shall introduce you to the constituents of the place, and make sure of your election." I should like to know if such a circumstance had transpired with respect to the right hon. Baronet, whether the walls of this House would have been stout enough to stand the vibration of the cheers with which the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Dublin, would be saluted when shooting forth those arrows of invective with which his quiver is ever so abundantly supplied. I have stated what the bargain was; and this, perhaps, is all that it is necessary for me to do; because whatever the consequences of the bargain were, how the money was expended, to what purposes it was applied, are points which, as regards my motion, are not in the least degree important. The question is, how the hon. and learned Gentleman had the power to enter into the bargain, and what the bargain entitled him to do with the money for which he stipulated; because, looking only at the face of the bargain, there appears to be nothing to prevent the hon. and learned Gentleman from putting every farthing of the money not actually spent in the election expenses into his own pocket, for his own personal aggrandisement or advantage. It is, therefore, hardly necessary that I should state more upon the subject. I cannot help observing, however, that when I first read the statements which were made of the circumstances which afterwards occurred, I could not help asking myself, why was it necessary for the hon. and learned Gentleman to recommend Mr. Raphael, an unknown man to the electors of Carlow, at all? Was there no Irish patriot who would go and present himself to the freeholders of Carlow, and offer to fight their battles in this House? Was there no man except an unknown London merchant who could spend, if necessary, the trifling sum of 2,000l. in legal expenses for the purpose of vindicating the people of Car-low, and doing justice to Ireland? It appears that there was a gentleman who did make inquiries upon the subject—a gentleman whom I respect for his straightforward conduct during the time that he sat in this House—I mean Mr. Feargus O'Connor. He, it appears, had made inquiries upon the subject; but as soon 455 as this was intimated to the hon. and learned Gentleman, he at once writes a note to Mr. Raphael, in which he says, "It is not my fault that Mr. Feargus O'Connor called upon you: refer him and everybody else to me. I want part of the 1,000l. to send over." And on the same day the hon. and learned Member wrote this note to Mr. Hamilton:—SIR,—I beg you will hand my son, Mr. John O'Connell, the 1,000l. placed with you by Mr. Raphael for my use. My son will give you a voucher for it.I have the honour to be, Sir,Your obedient servant,DANIEL O'CONNELL.It was upon this ground that I made the observation I did the other evening with respect to the hon. Member for Youghall; because, although he was the beaver of a note from the hon. and learned Member for Dublin claiming payment of a sum of money deposited by Mr. Raphael in the hands of Mr. Hamilton, it did not follow that he should know for what purposes that money was to be delivered to him. However, if this inquiry goes on it will be for the Committee—supposing one to be appointed—to inquire into all the circumstances of the case. I do not know that it is necessary for me to make any further observations with respect to the facts of the case. I have laid them fairly before the House, as I have felt it my duty to do; and if the hon. and learned Gentleman can get rid of them, either by argument or evidence, I for one shall rejoice that I have given him the opportunity of vindicating his conduct, and I think the hon. and learned Gentleman himself will be grateful to me. Before I sit down I shall only beg to make a single observation with respect to what fell from the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary, (Mr. Sheil) the other night. That hon. and learned Gentleman, for a purpose too evident—for the purpose of exciting the prejudices of the Ministerial side of the House against ray Motion—chose to represent me as put forward on this occasion by the Conservatives. Now there happens to be a Gentleman, sitting at this moment, I believe, behind the Treasury bench, to whom I mentioned my intention more than two months ago. Every Gentleman around me hears what I say, and if there be a man on this the Opposition side of the House who heard me mention it to him a month ago I would have him stamp 456 me as a villain. And the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary, for the purpose, as I say, of creating a prejudice against my Motion, puts me forward, ironically, no doubt, as the leader of the Conservative party on this occasion. I do not pretend to be the leader of a party. I am not of the Monboddo breed of politicians. I know little of the articulation of the joints of a tail either politically or anatomically; but this I know, that I come into this House an independent man. I entered this House upon the principles so eloquently described by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) when he introduced the Reform Bill, and upon which the noble Lord expressed his determination to take his stand: "I take my stand," said the noble Lord, "upon a ground which shall enable me to reform abuses and arrest commotion." That is the ground upon which I also am disposed to take my stand, and if a desire to reform abuses and arrest commotion, constitutes one of the peculiar characteristics of the Conservatives, I at once avow myself to be a Conservative. That, at all events, is the course of policy I am determined to pursue as long as I have the honour of a seat in this House. With respect to bribery and corruption, I call upon the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary and all his friends on that side of the House to say, whether they ever found me flinching when they were inquiring into cases of bribery and corruption— whether at Stafford, at Warwick, at Ipswich, or in any other instance which has been under the consideration of the House, since I have had the honour of a seat in it. I wish to be consistent; and I cannot understand the conduct of those Gentlemen who, after having hunted with a keen and greedy scent, all the little peccadilloes of obscure men in particular isolated instances, loose all their scent, and find their energy for pursuing the chace completely paralysed as soon as they approach a wholesale dealer in seats. I have always been startled at the policy of those Gentlemen. They call themselves Radicals —they monopolise the name of Liberals. Liberals indeed!—their liberality, I think, was not shown the other night. If such be their liberality, I must say I have seen such a specimen of it as to determine me never to belong to that sort of political Pharisees, who strain at a gnat, but, when occasion suits, find no difficulty in swallowing a camel. With these observations 457 I conclude by moving:—"That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the circumstances attending the traffic and agreement between Mr. Daniel O'Connell and Mr. Alexander Raphael, touching the nomination and return of Mr. Alexander Raphael for the county of Carlow, and to report the minutes of evidence, with their observations thereon."
my first observation is, that I think the resolution just moved by the hon. Gentleman an extremely paltry one; it does not sufficiently extend the inquiry it challenges and demands. With that observation I leave the case in the first instance. My next observation is directed to that part of the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech, the commencement of it, in which he introduced the correspondence that took place between him and me previous to his motion on Thursday last. The hon. and learned Gentleman prefaced his remarks upon that point, by stating that I had been furnished with a copy of the petition, before the petition itself bad been placed in his hands. That is a fact I utterly deny. I utterly deny the truth of that statement. And yet the hon. and learned Gentleman stated it as a fact, and was cheered by four-fifths of the hon. Gentlemen who sit on that side of the House. This I suppose was a specimen of the impartiality with which the circumstances of the case are to be heard, and the determination of the House expressed. But I am not surprised that they should not be impartial, and I believe they have not the hypocrisy to assert that they are. Yet when I heard the cheer of the party opposite, it put me in mind of a circumstance which was described to me by the present Chief Justice of Ireland—Chief Justice Bush. After the rebellion of 1798 (I had the statement from his own lips), when the amnesty had been passed, granting pardon for all crimes committed during the rebellion, murder alone excepted, he (Chief Justice Bush), being at that time at the bar, was engaged as counsel for a prisoner at Wexford. This man was tried upon an indictment for murdering a yeoman, named James White, and two witnesses appeared upon the table to support the prosecution. The case was tried before Baron Michael Smith, the father of the present Baron Smith. Well, two witnesses appeared upon the table to prove what certainly was the fact, that the prisoner had been engaged, in the rebellion, and they, moreover, 458 swore that they saw him kill with a pike the yeoman James White. With that evidence the case closed on the part of the Crown; and Mr. Bush was asked whether he had any witnesses to call for the prisoner? Oh yes, he had one witness, and but one, but upon the evidence of that witness he should confidently look for an acquittal. With that he placed the yeoman, James White, in the witness-box, who swore positively that he was alive, and had never been killed. The witnesses for the prosecution were in Court, and no doubt could have identified the man; but the Judge thinking the case was at an end, left it to the Jury to pronounce their verdict. The Jury retired and deliberated for a short time, and at length, returning into court, gravely pronounced the prisoner "guilty." "Guilty!" said the Judge, "how can you convict a man of murder, when the party supposed to have been killed by him is alive and looking at you?" "Oh," said the foreman of the Jury "the prisoner ruined a gray horse of mine, one of the finest in the kingdom; for that offence he will escape any punishment under the indemnity Act, and, therefore, we are determined to hang him on the charge of murder." This was described to me by the present Chief Justice of Ireland as a literal fact. Now, when I heard the cheers of the hon. Gentlemen opposite to-night, I thought that I, like the prisoner at Wexford, was to be convicted of one offence because I had committed another; that I was to be convicted of corruption because I had put down Toryism. That is my real crime. It is not that a man was returned at the trifling expense of 2,000l. for a contested county election, but that seeing Toryism, as the gray horse, again riding rough shod over Ireland, I forgot every passion and prejudice of my own—forgot all my own wrongs, and threw the whole of my influence in the country in opposition to the Tories. Yes, my offence is, that I put myself forward as an instrument to support the present Government, and to keep the Tories where they now are, and I trust always will be. I call upon the House, then, to look upon this matter, not as a mock solemnity, although I certainly cannot help thinking that there is something of mockery in it, but as a matter of grave and serious consideration. The hon. and learned Member for Bradford (Mr. Hardy) beard me the other evening when I 459 stated that I knew an individual who declared that the hon. and learned Member had expended upwards of 7,000l. in his own election. The hon. and learned Gentleman heard me speak of that election. He heard me repeat the statement I had heard. Yet neither on the former evening, nor in the course of his speech to-night, has he said one word in contradiction of it. Oh, then, I know what his mock solemnity is. Oh, then, I know what his straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel means. For mark, his party was accused of purchasing votes at from 3l. to 20l. a piece. [An Hon. Member: Not at the last Election.] Oh, no not at the last election. Votes came otherwise at the last election. No one but the hon. and learned Member himself knows what were the costs and expenses of the last election. But I come to the question. There is not a man in this House, or out of it, who does not know that this is a party attack; that it is the attack of a party who have used the press, and bribed the press to assail me— that very press, amongst others, which belongs, in a great measure, to a Member of this House, and who himself expended 30,000l. or 40,000l. in his election for an English county, I shall, perhaps, revert to this part of the subject again before I sit down, for I do hope that this case will be a useful one, I know what the amount of hypocrisy in this House is. I know how many of those who affect to see a mote in the eye of their neighbours, will still allow the beam to remain in their own. I have often been the instrument, by means of my enemies, of effecting much public good; and I fancy that such will be the result of the present inquiry, which ought to be extensive and searching, and not a miserable, paltry, and pitiful investigation, which the hon. and learned Member for Bradford conscientiously limits to a particular transaction. Instead of being confined to such narrow and contemptible grounds, the inquiry ought to extend to the whole of the late general elections. We have sage doctors amongst us, men learned in the forms and technicalities of the House, who, no doubt, would oppose such a proposition; but I dare you to the contest. If you ask for inquiry at all, I hope you are prepared to make it extensive and general. There are two points to be ascertained in this inquiry. Of the charge of personal bribery and 460 corruption I was acquitted the other evening. Oh yes I was, for what did the hon. and learned Member for Bradford say to-night? "When I charged the learned Member for Dublin," said he, "I was described by his friends as a pigmy; when I acquitted him I was considered a giant." I know not whether I am acquitted by the Gentleman who interrupted me, but this I know, that of the charge of personal bribery and corruption, I am fully and completely acquitted by 200 or 2,50 of the hon. Gentlemen who sit on this side of the House. I wish to know whether the hon. and learned Gentleman shrinks now from the acquittal which he gave me the other night of personal corruption, or of having put money into my own pocket? and whether he now goes back to his original charge, driven to it, of course, not by the Conservatives, but by his own honourable and conscientious feelings? Why the noble Lord, (Stanley), the Member for South Lancashire, who is not now in the House—[It was intimated that Lord Stanley was present.] Oh, I beg the noble Lord's pardon, but not seeing him in his proper place, I naturally supposed he was absent. I was about to state that the noble Lord, in his speech the other evening, drew the distinction between personal and pecuniary corruption, and I thought that the hon. and learned Member for Bradford had drawn the same distinction to-night. I understood him to do so distinctly. But I take up the case precisely as it stands—I take up the case which the noble Lord spoke of—the case of personal corruption and pecuniary corruption. I go into both; and I defy either the one or the other to be brought against me in any shape that can reflect upon my personal or political integrity. I take up both; and I fear not the result. You may, by a majority, name a Committee before which I will not go. Yes, you may do this; but if you do, I tell you your Committee would be so stigmatised by its formation, that the public at large would pay no regard to its proceedings. I want an independent Committee—a Committee whose verdict of acquittal would really be a purification from (he charge. That is the Committee I want; and shame upon you, if you have congregated here to put partisans on the Committee against me. Well I take up both the cases put by the noble Lord, Am I guilty? Is there any charge against 461 me of personal corruption? Is there any proof of my having improperly used that moral influence which the hon. and learned Gentleman supposes me to possess? And here let me remark, for one moment, on the hon. and learned Gentleman's great candour—his Christian candour on this subject. He has read the charges made against me;—would it not have been as charitable if he had also read my reply to those charges. And when he talks of Mr. Vigors, as if that gentleman was a person inferior to him in any thing, would there not have been as much of Christian candour in his statement, if he had informed the House that Mr. Vigors distinctly asserted that not one farthing of the money remained, or was ever intended to remain in my hands. Oh, I thank you for your candour, I thank you for your Christian charity, and I thank you for your kind forbearance. I come back to the double point of view which this case presents. Does it present anything of what is called personal corruption—does it present anything of pecuniary corruption; I laugh to scorn the second, and begin with the first. I distinctly admit that I have very considerable influence in Ireland. I admit that I have a degree of influence which ought not to be left with any one man in Ireland. I admit that I have a dangerous influence in Ireland. I have an influence, which in a sound state of society, no man possibly could have in Ireland. Would you wish to make that influence all-powerful. If you do, take up the unjust, the partial, the (I will not call it odious, but) criminal statement which has been made by the hon. and learned Gentleman. If you take up his view and con6rm the justice of his statement, will you diminish my power in Ireland?—will you diminish my influence with the oppressed in that country? No; you will add to it by another injustice. The people of Ireland will say, "It is not the fact which has been condemned, but the advocate of our rights—the defender of our privileges —the sustainer of our liberties, and thus another gross and glaring injustice has been perpetrated upon us." I certainly never heard any thing so perfectly and completely framed for the purpose merely of injustice as the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman; yet if he refuse to do me justice—if he refuse to give me a liberal and enlightened Committee, does 462 he not know that he will be adding tenfold to my power in Ireland. Nay more, I have some influence in England too; I may meet the hon. and learned Member at Bradford, and there I shall be at liberty to proclaim against him the history of the election of Pontefract—if, indeed, the hon. and learned Member should ever stand for Bradford again, which, from all I can hear, I am disposed to think as exceedingly doubtful. Does he wish to increase my power in England? If so, let him persuade the House to do me an. injustice, and he will be taking the surest means to secure his wish, because my power is bottomed entirely upon injustice —partial injustice in England, general and universal injustice in Ireland, I admit that I have as powerful influence as any man in Ireland—nay more, I admit that I am the hired servant of the people of Ireland—I admit that they have amply indemnified me for having given up my profession and the reasonable prospects I had of enjoying the otium cum dignitate of the Bench, and the case and abundant income which would thus have been secured to me in my old age. But for the abandonment of this prospect, the people of Ireland have amply indemnified me; and it is my duty to exert every power I possess to procure for them in this House representatives of their wants and their wishes—to exclude from this House, whenever I can, those who are indifferent or directly opposed to their interests—and, above all, to exert all my influence against those inhuman creatures who, deaf to the widow's tear and the orphan's shriek, can smile amidst the woe and wretchedness they have created about them, and who, whilst human beings fall and perish at their very threshold, think only of the triumph of their party, and of their individual importance. I am upon the question of influence. Let me state to the House the real facts which occurred at the election for Carlow. The statement will not occupy much time, and I think it will be found to be instructive. In the election which took place just before the Reform Bill was passed, Sir John Milley Doyle and Mr. Blakeney, were returned for the county of Carlow. So strong at that time was the excitement of the county, that the old Orange Tory interest did not dare to enter into a contest, Sir John Milley Doyle and Mr. Blakeney, therefore, were returned without opposition, on the throwing out of the Reform 463 Bill in the House of Lords there was another election, at which, after a short contest, Mr. Wallace and Mr. Blakeney were returned; but the moment that the contest began, a cruel scene of persecution was commenced on the part of the Tory candidates. The present Motion attempts to get rid of that. The new-made Member for Bradford has no heart for the weeping widow or starving orphan. Is this irrelevant to the present matter? Oh! the irrelevancy of the widow's cry; oh! the irrelevancy of the orphan's tear. Ye are all lovers of right and justice, but the moment an appeal is made to the most endearing ties of humanity, that is irrelevant. I will not weary you; I may mention, however, that at the election at which Messrs. Wallace and Blakeney were returned, a system, of persecution and cruelty was carried on to a horrible extent by the Tories. I can prove, by the statement of Mr. Vigors, that there were at that time 1,100 individuals turned out from, their houses and homes—that there were 193 widows, and I cannot tell how many orphans, driven from the shelter of their homes, by the cruel, the bitter, the horrible and unrelenting hostility of the Tory landlords. I put it to every English Gentleman who hears me, whether he wilt shut this out of the inquiry? Of what materials can you be composed if you resolve to shut these proceedings out of the inquiry? I am ready to prove these things at the Bar of the House or before a Committee. Both Messrs. Wallace and Blakeney having, under the circumstances I have described become Members for Carlow, another general election shortly took place—the election which followed the election to office of Sir Robert Peel and the duke of Wellington. See what the state of the county of Carlow was at that time. Two men, the present Members for the county, determined to support the new Administration—an Administration which took part with that interest in Ireland which was opposed to the views and wishes of the great majority of the people—an Administration during whose brief existence the "No Popery" flag waved over the head of the Lord-lieutenant as he sat in the theatre at Dublin, and during whose brief existence the right hon. Gentleman, the Recorder for the city of Dublin, and his hon. and learned Colleague in the representation of the University of Dublin, 464 together with the right hon. Mr. Gregory, all decided enemies of the Roman Catholics, were made Privy Councillors. Here, then, the triumph of Orangeism was for a time complete. But the triumph was a brief one; and it is fortunate that it was so; for, laugh and sneer as you will, if the people of this country had been so misguided as to trust to that infatuated party a continuance of power, Ireland would have been convulsed in such a way that every man of property and intelligence would have been found in the popular ranks. When this party first came into power, a Conservative fund was formed in the county of Carlow, at which a large amount of subscriptions was received, to carry on the warfare of the elections. Is there a man who doubts that large sums of money were subscribed by the Conservatives for this purpose? When you talk of the purity of election, let us see what the purity of the Conservatives has been. Let us have a full inquiry, and let us see what money has been subscribed, for what it has been subscribed, and in what manner, and for what purposes it has been expended. Let not the hon. and learned Member for Bradford come forward with his studied and well-prepared sentences to ask for a limited inquiry; but, if his intentions be sincere, let him join with me in probing the evil to the bottom. If the hon. and learned Gentleman will do that, I will undertake to prove that subscriptions to a very extraordinary amount were got together by the Carlton Club for the purpose of carrying the elections in different parts of the kingdom. Let those who doubt it but give me the opportunity of producing my proofs, and I will change their doubts into conviction; if, indeed, they be open to a conviction of that which they are unwilling to believe. Well, in Ireland this plan was carried on with very considerable success. How did the present" Members obtain their seats for the county of Carlow? Let the inquiry commence, and you will have from every part of that county abundant proof of the means by which those seats were procured. You smile at this. If you knew all you would tremble. The whole of Ireland was assailed by the Conservative party. Carlow was attacked by two men of fortune—one having large property in the county, the other known to be a possessor of very great wealth. These men, entered into the contest, determined at 465 any expense to carry their election. Under these circumstances Mr. Blakeney retired from the contest, and Mr. Wallace would not promise to come forward. Thus the county was left without a candidate in the Liberal interest. If it be a crime to seek for a candidate—I was guilty of a crime. I sought for a candidate—I sought for two candidates—I sought in vain. For the first time, under these circumstances, Mr. Raphael introduced himself to me. This was at the general election which took place after the accession of Sir Robert Peel to office. His agent, Mr. Pearson, wrote to me upon the subject, stated that Mr. Raphael was High Sheriff of London for that year, and gave him a high character for respectability and political integrity. I had never heard of the man before. He proposed that he should stand as candidate for the county of Car-low, declaring that he would instantly purchase a large estate in that county (if there should be one to be purchased), if he were returned a Member for it. I answered Mr. Pearson's letter, and I will insist upon having my reply to that letter laid before any Committee that shall be appointed by this House. That was my first step—for this thing has been taken up by the hon. and learned Member for Bradford as if the 28th of May was the first time I ever heard of Mr. Raphael. Indeed, the hon. and learned Member does not appear to have read my answer which was inserted in the papers, if he had, he would have seen that Mr. Raphael admits that the 28th of May was not my first acquaintance with him on the subject of an election. I stated to Mr. Pearson what my views were generally, and as to Carlow I stated particularly that I would make further inquiries and give him the details respecting an election for that county. I told him that it could be ascertained what number of electors would vote for Reform candidates, and what number for Tory candidates; that by the result of the Committee of this House, the balance was in favour of the Tories, and that unless certain men would add their interest to the Reformers, in order to outnumber the Tories, Mr. Raphael ought not to stand. I got a letter from Mr. Pearson, telling me that Mr. Raphael had offered to stand as a candidate for Pontefract, that he was High Sheriff of the city of London at the last general election, and that be had 466 stood as candidate for Leeds. However my opinion of Mr. Raphael may be altered now, I knew nothing of him at that period to his disparagement, nor do I know any other disparaging circumstance of him now except this transaction. My excuse, then, towards the county of Carlow, and towards this House, for recommending him to be the Member for Carlow is, that at that period I had heard nothing derogatory of Mr. Raphael, Mr. Wallace declined to become a candidate at the general election, whereupon, so strong was the popular feeling against the present Members, that there started up as a candidate a young gentleman who had just gone through his courses at the University —a Mr. Cahill. He added the name of my eldest son with his own as a popular name, but who had been already returned for Tralee, and did not therefore, want to be returned for Carlow; but the reformers stood a contest of four days under those two names against the sitting Members. This I state for the purpose of showing the House how strong the popular party are in that county. The sitting members were returned; their return was petitioned against, and this was the case proved against them. It was proved that the county voters had not been exhausted at the close of the election. Why were they not? Because the law agent of Mr. Bruen put the long oath to every voter that came up to vote for Mr. Kavanagh; and the law agent of Mr. Kavanagh put the long oath to every voter that came up to vote for Mr. Bruen. Was that all? No. The agents for the popular party feeling a repugnance—it is only the sanctified man who does not—at this profane use of the oaths, said to the agents of Bruen and Kavanagh, "We know your object—your object is delay; you gain three minutes between every second vote. Now we will give you those three minutes, but don't put the oaths." That was accepted. What does the conscientious Member for Bradford think of that. What was the next step? The next morning the agents of Bruen and Kavanagh said "three minutes are not enough—we can wear out five; and if you do not allow five minutes between every two voters we will put the oaths." It was found by experiment that they could, wear out five minutes, and accordingly they got five. Well, they found that even five were not enough, and wanted to extend it to six or seven; but 467 the opposite agents would not give more, so the other party continued, after a short interval, to put the oaths, until they actually entirely put the county out of court. To me, who love the democratic principle, it is a most deplorable thing that those vexatious proceedings—whatever money might be paid for them—should have taken place at Carlow. The hon. and gallant Member who has lately presented a petition against me, challenged inquiry. I challenge him. Let him come before a Committee. I can prove that there was a contract between him and Mr. Kavanagh to adopt this system. I will not pledge myself to the House, but I should like to examine him upon that point before a Committee. There never was anything in the history of contested elections so outrageous. Well, Mr. Vigors, having stood a contested election against the brother of one of the sitting Members for the county, for the town of Carlow, in which he was defeated, finding, under the circumstances I have just stated, that a petition against the county Members could be so strongly supported, brought the case before a Committee of this House. They proved the facts I have mentioned; the election was set aside upon that account, and a new writ was issued. Now, the House may wish to know what was the first step which the elected Members, Mr. Bruen and Mr. Kavanagh, then took. Mr. Austin was counsel for the petitioners—the successful counsel; and mark, the very moment the Committee decided that they should be unseated, that very instant Mr. Austin was retained by them for the petition that was to follow the next election, thus marking the determination to bring the case again before another Committee! Now I ask the House, did they ever hear of such a proceeding as that. And do you wonder, now, that the gentry of Ireland, who play such pranks, have not any authority there, and that he who stands up against them, and for the people, has power and influence in that country? I implore of you take away that influence! You can have it in one moment by doing justice to Ireland; but by continuing injustice to Ireland and injustice to me, you only augment it. Well, that was the situation of things Was I wrong, then, in looking out for a candidate to oppose that party? Mr. Wallace had given little, I believe nothing towards that contest and the petition Mr. Vigors had had the misfortune to be 468 before a Committee, and any gentleman who has been twelve or fourteen days before a Committee of this House knows what a quantity of dry money (as it is called) is required on such an occasion, Mr. Vigors, who, although a gentleman of independent circumstances, was not so rich as the Members for the county, had expended money enough. Here, then, was a county vacant, and the popular detestation excited by the outrages that had been committed on the unoffending Caholic peasantry by the Tory landlords. What would the House think, when a remonstrance was made to the agent of one of those landlords against the cruelty of these proceedings, and when he was told that the persecuted peasantry who were ejected from their homes had nothing to eat—what would the House think of the answer that was made?—" Let them eat each other." That fact is denied, I admit; but give me a Committee, and I tell you I will prove it. That was the situation of the county of Carlow when the new writ was issued, I had been written to by a most influential person in the county of Carlow on the subject of the election. But it was not enough to have candidates, because with that generous and popular self sacrifice, which is so familiar to the cheerers of the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, who only think of patriotism, and never think of the pounds, shillings and pence which a contested election costs, candidates of the Tory party were already in the field. Alas! Sir, pounds, shillings, and pence are absolutely necessary. I sought but one gentleman in England who would become a candidate for the popular interest. We wrote to Ireland, and did all we could to procure another candidate; but we were not able to find one who would face the candidates on the other side, after the determination that had been exhibited, that all opposition was to be worn out by expense, and that there was to be another election petition. Under these circumstances what occurred? Why, pending the writ, Mr. Raphael, as Sheriff of London, came to the Bar of this House with all his paraphernalia of office. I saw him received by many hon. Members in the most friendly manner. He spoke to me in the kindest terms—he wrote to me in the kindest and most flattering terms. People, indeed, had told me, more than once, that there was relying no upon him—that he was a faithless 469 person. Why, Sir, I confess I never believed it. He was the first Catholic who, for 300 years, had been Sheriff of London. In Ireland for forty-five years— I wish the House to mark this—in Ireland for forty-five years Catholics had been capable of being members of the Corporation of Dublin; and yet, during those forty-five years, not one single Catholic Was made a member of that Corporation. Now, recollecting that fact, and seeing that the Corporation of the City of London had elected Mr. Raphael their Sheriff, I put this question to the House—if it be true what his calumniators say of him, why did they not come forward and state it at the time of his election in their Common-hall? But, instead of being accused, he was lauded I found him then the Sheriff of the City of London, expressing the strongest feelings with respect to Ireland, and the strongest anti-Tory sentiments. Why should I listen to his calumniators? Don't I know what calumniators are? Is it new to me that calumniators are liars of the worst description? Why, for the last thirty years, no living man has been half so much assailed as I have been. Six times a-week in three Dublin papers, twice a-week three papers in Dublin, once a-week four papers in Dublin, have been assailing me with calumnies. I confess, therefore, that I disregard calumniators, and I did disregard the calumnies against the first Catholic Sheriff of London. But what had he been doing? He had been in constant communication with Mr. Vigors and the Reform Carlow Committee (I mean those who were attending the Committee of this House in London), telling them that he would become a candidate, and promising to become the purchaser of an estate in Carlow. Under these circumstances, where is my personal turpitude because I took up the cause of Mr. Raphael, and recommended him to the county of Carlow against the Tory candidates. I took up the cause of the High Sheriff of the City of London, and recommended him to the county of Carlow as a fit and proper candidate. Is there any turpitude in that? I am now separating the two parts of the case—the personal grounds from the pecuniary grounds. There is my case as to personal grounds; and is there any man in this House who will tell me that Mr. Raphael was not as fit a person to represent the county of Carlow as either of the 470 present Members? One of those hon. Members has an hereditary estate. It is said that he is descended from Macmurrough. He is certainly of high genealogy, and of large fortune; but these do not give him a feeling for wishing the people of Carlow to be in a better condition— these do not qualify him to represent their wants and their wishes. The other hon. Member is a Gentleman whose father purchased lands in the county of Carlow, who was a successful Commissary in the American war; but does that give him a title to trample on the people of Carlow. Mr. Raphael was a gentleman who was abundantly able to purchase land in that county —who had told the people that he would make such purchase—who was High Sheriff of London—who had proclaimed his attachment to those principles which I prefer, and who had even in his written declaration stated that he would go as far as I would for the good of Ireland. That declaration contained nothing but an unequivocal abhorrence of the principles of a Tory Administration, and an unequivocal adherence to a Liberal Administration. I put it to the House and to the country, whether I was in the slightest degree criminal in adopting that man? Had he been in this House at this moment, is there any man to reproach him? Why, he was in this House, and was met by every Gentleman as an equal, and was treated by them upon full terms of equality; and I want to know whether an English merchant, who has acquired property in trade, is not to be treated on the footing of a gentleman? Why, is not that how all large properties are realized? Is trade any disparagement? Well, Mr. Raphael set up to represent a county. He was a member also, it seems, of Brookes's Club. He had gone through that ordeal; and, therefore, I do laugh to scorn all those who say I did wrong to support him as a candidate for the county of Carlow. I do candidly admit that I did not do it till I had exhausted Ireland. There was a family in Ireland with whom I was at personal warfare at the time. But I forgot my resentment. I said to one of that respectable family, I think some of your relations have treated me ill, but I don't care one farthing about that; stand for Carlow, and I will go with you from door to door to secure your return. He declined and then, as a last resort, I adopted an English man, under those professions 471 which I have already stated. And that is my situation. Now, whatever turpitude is attached to that, let it be so! Let the hon. and learned Member for Bradford say in what he was Mr. Raphael's superior at that period? What! was he not once Member for Carlow? And I ask this fearlessly, at that period what was there about Mr. Raphael that made him in any degree the inferior of the hon. and learned Member for Bradford? Nothing—nothing at all. He would, 'tis true, have voted the same way with me; but should I have recommended him or any man if he would not. His principles were known. He had written them, and put them in print. I am quite sure that if he had gone from that pledge he would have heard of it both here and elsewhere. Therefore, on this part of the case—the personal part— I stand upon these facts. Let any Gentleman put his hand to his heart, and say, notwithstanding I have been the stock in trade to nine-tenths of those I see before me. What! no! Had you a dinner—had you a public meeting at which I was not your stock in trade? Who was your constant theme? It was not the hon. and learned Member for Bradford. And yet, when I recollect what occurred between him and me—we happened to be in the Temple together—when I met him afterwards, I confess the recollections of early youth came over me, and I regarded him with feelings of personal friendship—I greeted him, as one of ray earliest acquaintances, with a warmth of heart which he affected to return. Yes, I will do him the justice to say he affected. What did I hear next? "Why, that he had got some persons to give him a dinner at Leeds before this Raphael affair happened at all. [Mr. Baines: Not at Leeds.] Oh t well I perhaps read it in The Leeds Mercury. I suppose it was the hon. Gentleman's own—but I wont call it by that familiar and savoury name. But what was my surprise to find that the man whom I had treated with the warmth of friendship — well, I don't care—what was my astonishment to read a speech he made there, in which he alluded to the religion I respect, and treated it in the lowest terms that could possibly be used! Not only was there a spirit of fanaticism running through that speech, but there was a most gross personal attack upon myself. I have the newspaper, and can produce it, containing the speech, stating that all my politics were mercenary. I read it 472 and marked it at Brookes's three or four days ago. I put it to him whether, in assisting Mr. Raphael in the county of Carlow, under the circumstances stated, I did anything unbecoming the station that I bear towards the Irish people, and the station that I bear as a gentleman? By birth, by education, and in everything, but in one unfortunate event (and for which let me suffer the taunts of the world for avoiding its recurrence), I am his equal; and even when I say that I bow to the House—but, I ask how I have degraded myself in the slightest degree from that station? What have I done inconsistently with my station to the people of England, or the people of Ireland, in bringing forward Mr. Alexander Raphael to the consideration of the Irish constituency? So much as to my personal corruption, as it is called. Am I to blame in endeavouring to get two votes on this side of the House? Am I to blame in wishing to throw out the present Member for the county of Carlow? Of one of them I say nothing; but the other I hope will come before this Committee, where the facts can be inquired into, and where he must either clear his character from the most horrible imputations, or the Committee must place him in that situation in which he ought to be placed, if he be guilty of what is publicly charged against him. I only demand inquiry at the same time, stating distinctly that I have not the least fear of producing a list of evidence which will demonstrate the truth of those charges [call of question by Mr. Scarlett]. I am obliged to the hon. and learned Member who cries question. I put it to the House whether I have not, though at some length, confined myself to the first question—personal corruption. I now come to the pecuniary corruption. I don't want a pigmy or a giant to acquit me of that charge. There is not a man in or out of this House who does not feel that I am totally free from the slightest taint. I defy calumny. I defy the charges of those who read selected letters, and rest their charge upon particular passages. The hon. and learned Member for Bradford says he never heard of one man undertaking for another. Why, surely he has not forgotten his professional mind? The very word used "guarantee" is the very word which one man uses to answer for another. What are the facts? During the Election Committee Mr. Raphael was in constant communication with Mr. Vi- 473 gors, and with the county of Carlow. He had written me a letter, without announcing to me that he had written to Carlow. He happened to be present with Mr. Vigors, at the Zoological Society in Regent Street. A messenger arrived to announce that the Committee had declared the election void. Mr. Raphael instantly said to Mr. Vigors, "I am your man!" They talked of terms. Mr. Vigors stated, that it was absolutely necessary that funds should be furnished to meet the legal expenses of the election; for, said he, "I am now exhausted." Mr. Raphael spoke as to the amount. He thought 2,000l. a large sum. Vigors then said that he must be off to Ireland, and asked whether Mr. Raphael could not name a mutual friend to conduct the transaction. Raphael named me. Now mark—I tell the House that I will prove that distinctly. I had it from Mr. Vigors's lips; Mr. Vigors has written it, and I only implore the House to carry this with them, that throughout this tissue of slanders by The Standard, The Times, and of every body else, Mr. Vigor's conduct has not been impeached by any human being as to his integrity and honour, as a man and a gentleman. Now that was the strongest point which could be attacked, if those newspapers could have tarnished the character of Mr. Vigors, when he came forward with that most unequivocal declaration contained in his letter to me, and I now ask the hon. and learned Member for Bradford how he could avoid noticing that declaration? The very moment Mr. Raphael published his letter, Mr. Vigors stated that I paid every farthing to him. What was the meaning for suppressing that fact? The hon. and learned Member for Bradford was a Recorder for a time. What an admirable Judge he must have made, if having heard one part of the case, he left out all the rest! I am ready, before an honest House of Commons to enter into a full inquiry; but to decide upon a question where you have taken only one part of the case, and totally omitted all that has been said on the other side—I will say it is not English. It is un-English to the last degree. I know it is said of the contests in my country, that every body who comes to take a part, is waiting to see which is the weaker, and which is the stronger party, and side by the stronger; but in England, when. two persons are found fighting in the street, everybody comes up 474 to see fair play. I admit that there is that distinction. But the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, although knowing all the facts well, yet had suppressed every fact that told in my favour. [Ministerial cheers.] Good God! What was the meaning of those cheers I heard from those benches (the Opposition) when the hon. and learned Member made his statement? Are there more Englishmen there than the hon. and learned Member for Bradford? Englishism is banished [oh!]. I like that groan; it well becomes the hon. and learned Member for Norwich—aye, from the Member for Norwich.
§ The Speaker
If the hon. and learned Gentleman has any observations to make, he will have the opportunity for making them when the hon. and learned Member for Dublin sits down.
§ The Speaker
, Does the hon. Member rise to order? I think he is speaking merely because he considers himself to have been personally alluded to. If so, he will have an opportunity to make his observations when the hon. and learned Member has sat down.
§ Mr. Scarlett
, I rise to order Sir, It was, however, my intention, to preface what I had to say, by declaring that I did not give any groan nor any exclamation at all. [order! chair!]
§ The Speaker
, The hon. Member is quite aware that he cannot rise for the purpose of making any observation.
§ Mr. Scarlett
, I assure you, Sir [order! chair.]. I hope I may be believed when I say [chair, order,]—The question is this — I wish to state [order!].
, I am sorry I have given the hon. Gentleman so much uneasiness. I am sincerely sorry I mistook him. However, I did not mistake him in calling "Question" a while ago. Well, Sir, I have stated that part of the case that relates to pecuniary corruption. Now I beg to remind the House, that at the period in which the question arose as to the amount to be given by Mr. Raphael towards the expenses, counsel were retained by the rejected members for another petition. And here I have to complain of the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, who, in putting this case of 475 pecuniary corruption, did not tell the House how Mr. Raphael's share of the expenses was paid. He could not have a contest in a county in Ireland for five days, nor even the appearance of a contest, without incurring expenses. Is not that manifest. Was any one ever engaged in a contested election who had not money to pay for legal and necessary expenses. Now, when I stated to the House the conversation between Mr. Raphael and Mr. Vigors on the 28th of May, I also stated (and I am ready to prove ft), that my name as the depository of the money was first mentioned by Mr. Raphael. Mr. Vigors then came to me, and stated that it was impossible for him to go to the contest with a less sum than two thousand pounds. My answer was, that it was not likely two thousand pounds would be given for the mere chance of being returned; but that if he could get one thousand pounds to be joined with money of his own to pay the expenses of the contest, then, he would be entitled to be reimbursed any extra expenses which the contest might lawfully put him to; and if there was any surplus remaining over, there were the widows and orphans of those who had fallen victims to the merciless conduct of the landlords, and whose waiting and screams were in vain assailing the ears of their oppressors for bread to keep them from starving. But as to a petition against the return, there was no doubt there would be one, because Mr. Austin had already been retained by the unseated Members; so that they must have a contest, or a show of a contest, in order to have afterwards a petition. Well, Sir, there was a contest, and there was a petition. Is there any evidence of the slightest allegation that I was to get one penny of the 2,000l. for myself?. Where is the allegation? I challenge the hon. and learned Member to read that allegation. Has Mr. Raphael made it? He has not. He has said directly the reverse. In one of my letters I said—"Return me this letter, as it vouches 800l. for me." But where has the hon. and learned Member found the allegation? He has not made it—I do him the justice to say he has not made it. The party by whom he is supported shouted him on to make it, but, he has not made it; and I defy any man to make it, who reads the documents that have been published. Mr. Vigors remained in London during the Saturday 476 after the decision of the Committee, to see whether I could arrange between Raphael and him. The Carlow men also remained till Saturday, to see if an arrangement could be made between Raphael and Vigors. On Sunday it was imperative on Mr. Vigors to be off to Ireland. On Sunday, the 31st of May, Mr. Raphael, after declining to see me on the Saturday, saw me; and on that day he agreed to give for the legal expenses of the election 1,000l.; and to give, the moment he was returned, another 1,000l.; and the only question which the House has to ask is, whether these two sums have been given for a legal or an illegal purpose. The hon. and learned Gentleman has not this night ventured to say that they were given for either purpose; but, by supposing cases, he says that these things may be turned into improper uses. What may not be turned into improper uses? But I want to know what sort of a Recorder the hon. And learned Gentleman would be, if, instead of trying the case that was before him, he tried a factitious case—an imaginary one —not before him? What the hon. and learned Gentleman might have paid at Pontefract for legal or illegal expenses cannot be ascertained. But it is not because money is paid that bribery is committed. There are legal expenses at elections; but under the pretence of paying legal expenses, illegal ones are often paid; hence bribery and corruption are often included under the pretence of paying legal expenses. Indeed, all bribery is committed under this pretence. Nobody says boldly and at once — "I will bribe!" But to judge by what might happen is nothing—it is absurd. It is not only ungenerous, that is not the word, it is infinitely harder; yet this is the species of calumny with which they come out upon me, and make a charge against me—not because anything has happened, but because something might happen. I may be asked, why did I agree that Mr. Raphael should pay the specific sum of 2,000l. My answer is, because that was the wish of Mr. Raphael himself. He told me that he had stood for Leeds and Pontrefact, and had paid on both occasions more money than he was told he would have to pay; and when did any hon. Member on the other side ever enter into a contested election who had not more to pay than he was told he should have to pay. Under these circumstances, Mr. 477 Vigors was satisfied that the liability of Mr. Raphael should be limited; and it was limited. He indeed lodged 4,500l., with a Mr. Poole, in Salisbury-street, Strand. But the particulars of that transaction are gone out of my mind. However, the stipulation made by me for Vigors was, that Raphael's expenditure should be limited to a specific sum. Now, I put this question to the House—Am I one shilling the better for all this? Nay more, did I retain one shilling of the money a moment beyond the time it was called for? The day after the conversation between Raphael and Vigors, the latter left London for Ireland. That was on the 31st of May. On the 4th of June I received a letter from him, which I communicated to Mr. Raphael, with his details of the election proceedings. But was I to get one shilling of the money? Whose money was it? I sent 500l. by a check, and 300l. by a draft, to Mr. Vigors in Ireland, before I was asked for it: and the only delay I ever made in the payment of it was, when a gentleman, an agent, asked me at seven o'clock in the evening, at the door of this House, to pay him the balance due to him; I told him that if he would come to me in the morning, at eight o'clock, he should have the money. He came, and I gave him the money, and by mistake I gave him fifteen pounds over the money that came into my hands from Raphael. Oh! if after this any man says I was to get the money let him state it. Let it not be insinuated, but let it be and. And let that man say it at his risk, that I was to get one penny of it; that I was to be tarnished, as the petition from Bath says, with one farthing of it. Never was a poorer or more unfounded insinuation. I want no Committee on this point. Can any man show me an allegation even that I had any part of this money? Raphael was disappointed. He is my enemy: I am not his friend, certainly. He has given utterance to many many foul falsehoods. I have stated that already, and I repeat it here; but I defy him, I call upon him, I taunt him with his inability to state that which he has never yet stated, namely, that I ever received, or was promised one penny of this money. Is it not cruel that I should have to defend myself, then, from insinuation. I put it to the mind of every honest and honourable Gentleman, whether any thing can be more cruel than that accusation which is not 478 embodied enough to be boldly asserted by anybody, which nobody dares to utter, but which the baseness of party induces a man more basely to insinuate? Now, Sir, I was not to get any of this money when it was originally placed in my hands; did I keep a penny of it?—did I detain a farthing of it?—Did 1?—Have you not the evidence of Mr. Vigors, who states that I gave him every penny? And this evidence is to be overlooked—this evidence is to be kept out of sight—and I am to be arraigned before this House in good set and round terms, and beautiful impromptus are to be made, excellent jests retailed, and even Scripture is to be quoted against me. I did not get one penny of the money. Yea; who dares to say I did? Nobody! Who says I did not have, and was not to have, one penny of it? The unimpeached and unimpeachable Mr. Vigors—Mr. Vigors, the man whom nobody depreciates—the man whom every one admits to be among the most respectable gentlemen in the community. I defy party spirit, even in Carlow—even in Carlow, where it runs in the kennels,—to bring one single charge, or solitary accusation, against the character of Mr. Vigors. I feel on this occasion, as it is natural I should, after the loads of calumny which have been cast upon me—the obloquy and slander that have been heaped upon me— the ingenuity which has been used to pervert every fact and circumstance against me. I appeal to every honorable man who hears me, and the mind of every honourable man will readily furnish an excuse for my dwelling on this part of the subject. I was not, I say again, to get one penny of the money; I did not get one penny of it; I would rather die ten thousand deaths than have any man state, with the slightest colour or appearance of foundation— though no man has done so yet—that I was to get one penny of the money, or that any man should have the least colour for stating that I did actually get one penny of it for myself. Having been the agent between the county of Carlow electors and Mr. Vigors, and this sum of 2,000l. having been obtained, the House has a right to inquire whether it was employed by any individual in furtherance of any bribery or corruption, or for any improper purpose. Now, who is the man who says it was? Who is it who says it was? Who is it who does not know what it really was for? Mr. Vigors hag stated 479 in his petition that he got the money, that he is responsible to the House for its expenditure, and that he is ready to show how he spent it. And what does the hon. Member for Bradford do? Leaves out Mr. Vigors's evidence, and the application of the money altogether. The hon. Member for Bradford has the resolution—I will call it by no harder name—to propose to this House a motion for an inquiry, from which the question of the application of the money shall be altogether excluded. Good God! was ever anything heard so outrageous? What do I want? Full, fair, and impartial inquiry into the application of every penny of that money ["Hear, hear!" from Mr. Hardy], I thank him for that; why did he not put it in his resolution? He cries "Hear, hear!" now, but it would have been better, for the accommodation of his conscience, had he included it in the resolution he originally proposed. The election commenced somewhere about the 18th of July; there were five days' polling, and one day's nomination; there were three booths in the county, and the deputies and officers of those three booths. The full sum for all this expense that Mr. Vigors had to account for is 1,000l. Is there any man in this House who doubts that 1,000l. was actually spent in defraying these expenses? Well, then a petition comes on, another 1,000l. is advanced. Does any man doubt the extent of the demands on that 1,000l. What is Mr. Raphael's case? Mr. Raphael's case is—and this is the only point I would wish to have left to arbitration— the only one I would leave to the arbitration of any gentleman of any party in this House—Mr. Raphael's case is, whether by the guarantee I gave to Vigors, he was bound to go on with the petition at his own expense, after the 1,000l. was ex pended. The question arose; Mr. Vigors decided it against himself; and then Mr. Raphael, against ray advice and Mr. Vigors's entreaty, changed the solicitor, appointed a solicitor of his own, and went on for seven or eight days in a hopeless controversy before the Committee. Why do I state that? To meet the case of Mr. Raphael out of the House, for in the House his case is, that the entire 2,000l. was expended, and that he expended more besides in legal expenses. I have trespassed at considerable length upon the House, but it was my duty and my right Now let me sum up. As to the personl 480 corruption—a point upon which the hon. Member for Bradford made a digression to the Monboddo tails, and the impromptu which called forth the impassioned and vehement cheerings of the hon. Gentlemen opposite—as to the personal corruption in procuring and assisting Mr. Raphael to sit for the county of Carlow, I am perfectly free from censure, or from blame, or from the reprobation of Parliament. As to the 2,000l. pecuniary corruption, if the hon. Member for Bradford had been allowed to go on, according to his own opinions, I should not have heard of it at all: he has, however, made that charge, but even to-night he has not distinctly persevered in it; and even if he had, it is refuted, not only by the petition, but by every document in the case. He talks of possibilities, however; and having defeated him on the realities of the case, I will now meet him on the possibilities. The hon. and learned Member says, this money might have been applied to certain purposes. Might! He must take the circumstances of the case. Was there not abundant room for expenditure in the situation in which the people in the county of Carlow were placed, and in the distresses of the poor? And am I to be shut out from proving the reality of that expenditure, and the magnitude of that distress, in order to show the utter impossibility of one penny less being spent by any body? Now, Sir, I come back again—after I have been hunted through the newspapers for six months, after I have been the theme of every Tory meeting, every Tory dinner, and every election that has taken place, I ask the House whether it is not unbecoming a man to give the slightest countenance to charges of this kind, when all I ask is, a full, complete, fair, and fundamental inquiry? I then mean to ask more. Let that inquiry be made by fair and honourable men. I any by fair and honourable men; for men who are fair and honourable for other purposes, are not, so when they have political or personal interests of their own involved. I see before me not judges but accusers, not jurors but partisans, not arbitrators but persons interested, humble as I am, in putting me down. It may be vanity in me to suppose so, but can I avoid that vanity when I read the newspapers for the last six months, although I see the men who condemn me behind my back sitting opposite congregated together, and disclaiming any 481 intention to pack the Committee against me? Now, I will not be put down by an attempt to pack the Committee. I will not submit to it. There has been a Committee agreed upon, I am told, and that arrangement has been broken off. All my life I have been battling—and one of the misfortunes of Ireland is, that all my life I have been battling against faction, gamblers with the loaded dice, who have the chance in their own hands. Am I to submit to a Committee of this description? Oh, I entreat you, hon. English Gentlemen, who may be led away by party—I regret that I cannot carry the adjuration further than England and Scotland—I call upon hon. Englishmen and Scotchmen to protect me against a packed Jury —a packed Jury determined not to try, but to convict me. As to my accuser himself, I have no objection to his being my accuser, but I have the strongest objection, from the manner in which he has treated me, to his being one of my judges. Yes, I have; and it was on this account that I alluded a while ago to O'Sullivan. The hon. Gentleman was one of those who made that attack on the Catholics of Ireland, on which they were shut out from any defence, unless indeed they sent over to Ireland to the Catholic Bishops for authority. Now, when I know this, when I hear the hon. Gentleman's speech, when I see him coming forward under pretence of neutrality and attacking me, and when I see acts of injustice reiterated in his place, and repeated at a dinner at Bradford, I own I would rather be tried by a certain black gentleman who holds his court in a certain warm region, than I would by the hon. Member for Bradford. No; I am before the English people, and to them I appeal. I am the enemy of every corruption; I am for searching through and exterminating it. But let us not have the mockery of a single case. I call upon you now to act; the time is come—the Parliament is reformed — the benefits of the Reform Bill can be lost only by corruption. Let us go into a full inquiry of the monies expended by the Reform Association on the one hand and the Carlton Club on the other. Why the people of England are entitled to it, I want it for them. Let me have the happiness of exposing this to the people of England, which I state to be the fact— that at the last general election corruption and bribery reached to a height before 482 unparalleled and unknown. Men both in the law and the army were sent to every accessible place, and money in treasury franks was received to carry on the war. The old freemen were engaged again for the purpose of supporting men—there happened to be such candidates, but not returned—who had not one single qualification of legislators or statesmen, and who did not possess either the public or private character which would have warranted their return to this House. Let us have these things inquired into. Why talk to me of the mote in my eye, when the beam is in your own? Meet me firmly and fairly. Give me a Committee, and let me have the evidence printed and laid before the people of England. Give me the Committee, and I will put a notice on the paper before we leave the House tonight, of my intention to move for leave to bring in a Bill—mark this, assist me to pass it—to indemnify all the witnesses except myself, who shall give evidence before any Committee of this House of Commons, from all suits, actions, and indictments, by reason of anything contained in their evidence. The hon. and learned Member for Bradford, now so anxious on this Motion, was one of the lawyers who were the most anxious of any in the House to prevent people committing themselves in the Great Yarmouth case. "Do not criminate yourself," said the hon. and learned Gentleman to every witness. Why should not a man criminate himself? It is useful to criminals, but it is useless for the purposes of justice. If it be an English privilege, have the benefit of it for indemnity, but not for absurdity. I challenge you all, cheerers of the hon. Member for Bradford there, if you are as pure as you insinuate by that cheer, to come with me to the ordeal, join with me in the Bill of which I have just expressed my intention of giving notice; let every man be indemnified for every thing connected with his disclosures before a Committee of this House, and then make it punishable as a misdemeanour to make a wilful or corrupt statement before any such tribunal. At present it is no offence at all in civil law; make it an offence and join with me in this Bill. I will detain the House no longer. I feel that I have subjected myself to the accusation of having improperly supported Mr. Raphael; thus have I defended myself against the charge—not the charge, 483 but the base insinuation—that I have one farthing of pecuniary corruption to defend. I am already acquitted by the verdict of the English people, and I am sure to be by this House.
§ Mr. Walter
said, the learned Member had spoken of the public press, and by an allusion, had connected some portion of it with a Member of that House, by which Member he found the learned Gentleman was understood to mean him. He should have little to say in reply, because he was very certain, and so must be the learned Member, that be had no authority for his assertion. He could, however, assure the learned Member that he was much better satisfied with his attacks in that House, than with his menaces out of it—of which there had been plenty—amonghis dignified followers. It might, perhaps, not have been quite safe to reply to him before those gentle personages; but in that House he could repel his slanderous insinuations without fear, except that degree of timidity which any one unused to speak often must feel. The learned Member overrated his own importance if he supposed that he (Mr. Walter) had ever thought it worth his while to make the learned Member the object of attack in any publication whatever. He was himself as well qualified as any one to judge of the effect of such attacks; for from the moment when, in compliance with a public requisition, he sought to obtain the station he occupied in that House, and in the county which he had the honour to represent, every species of libel had been heaped upon him by his political opponents; but those libels failed in his case, and if they had not equally failed in that of the learned Member, he could tell him why—and he regretted that the learned Member had left the House without hearing this part of his answer—because their characters were different. To him (Mr. Walter) these libels were mere matter of contempt, because they were false; they galled the learned Member for Dublin — they provoked his wrath in the House, his menaces out of it, for the opposite cause —he knew, he felt them to be true—and with this observation he would leave that branch of the subject. While, however, he repelled what he must call a most unwarrantable interference with himself personally, he hoped he should not be considered as setting himself above those honourable labours which had been the 484 pride of his life, as well as the foundation of his fortune; but he was sure the House would perceive it would be unbecoming in him to obtrude further upon its attention his private affairs, which had been so improperly obtruded upon it by another. Now, with reference to the other, part of the learned Member's attack—viz., the expenses of the Berkshire election, the learned Member had, so long ago as 1833, threatened in Dublin to make some grand exposure on the subject. Why had not the learned Member done so? Because he knew that he was incapable of doing it at the very time he uttered his threat. Great error and exaggeration had prevailed on this head, but it must be obvious to the House, that if there had been the slightest ground for charge against him, the matter would have been brought to issue at the time. But what had his election expenses in the year 1832 to do with the subject then before the House—viz., the sale of a seat last summer? The learned Member appeared to have received money in a way that he ought not; and, by way of making out a similar case, the hon. and learned Member charged him (Mr. Walter) with having expended money. He would not detain the House by dwelling on such contradictory absurdities. He had never attempted to seduce the virtuous innocence of the learned Member by any pecuniary offers; he therefore could not see what right the learned Member had to make any charge against him upon a subject of which he had not the slightest knowledge, and with regard to which, whatever he might fancy he knew, was totally wide of the truth and erroneous. Whatever he had expended, went from his own pocket. He had extorted nothing in pence from the poor and needy: his course, therefore, in that House was free and unembarrassed: he could support his opinion, and give his vote in such manner as his conscience might suggest to be the fittest. The object of his contest was to give beneficial effect to the Reform Bill, which professed to prevent the traffic in seats in that House; if the statements which they had heard were true, the object of the learned Gentleman had been to violate that Bill. Whether his (Mr. Walter's) object, or the object of the learned Gentleman, was to be carried into effect, depended on the decision to which the House might come upon this case. He hoped they had not destroyed 485 English boroughmongers in the detail, to suffer—what the hon. Member for Stafford had very properly called — a wholesale dealer for seats in Ireland.
§ Mr. Wason
was compelled to complain that the hon. and learned Member for Bradford had disclosed what had passed in private conversation. He had certainly told the hon. and learned Member that he had some idea of proposing a resolution of instructions to be given to the Committee, and wrote it down before his face, The resolution was to the effect, that there be laid before the House, an account of the expenses of all elections since and during the last general election; that an inquiry be made into all the preliminary arrangements of the said election; that the whippers in on both sides of the House be examined; and that certain parties connected with the Carlton Club, who had been publicly accused of receiving and using money at those elections, be examined. Whatever might be the character of the present motion, one thing at least was clear—that no Committee could be appointed, under existing circumstances, which would inspire confidence. Whatever might be thought of the character of such a Committee within the walls of that House, the public out of doors would regard it with anything but respect. As a proof that this observation was well founded, he would beg to call the attention of the House to a paragraph which appeared in one of the newspapers of yesterday evening, the Standard. It was as follows:—"We must again warn the public to look steadily to the Committee to be appointed in Mr. O'Connell's case to-morrow night. Nothing but the artful packing of the tribunal of first instance can, we are persuaded, save Mr. O'Connell from the consequences of a full exposure of conduct, the lightest penalty of which, if the primâ facie evidence is to be trusted must be his and his son John's expulsion from the House of Commons." This, he requested the House to observe, came from one of the most respectable organs out of doors of the party opposed to those political principles to which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin gave his support. It must be obvious from that, as well as from various considerations to which he need not then more particularly advert, that the public never could be satisfied by the decision or report of any Committee; he was therefore of opinion, that the safe, proper, 486 and satisfactory course would be, to examine evidence at the Bar of that House, and in his apprehension there was only one portion of any such evidence which could in the least affect the hon. and. learned Member, and even from that he entertained not the shadow of a doubt that the hon. and learned Member must come forth fully and honourably acquitted. On all the other points ha had already been tried, and a decision pronounced upon his conduct by an adverse Judge. By that Judge he had been unequivocally declared innocent. The hon. Baronet, the Member for Westminster was the Judge to whom he alluded, and he, as the House must fully remember, in his letter to Brookes's Club, pronounced upon the conduct of the hon. and learned Member as complete a decision of acquittal as could possibly be imagined, for he confined the whole of his accusation to the use of unbecoming language. Now, could they believe the hon. Baronet capable of confining himself to the paltry charge of mere language, if he could proceed upon any ground of substantial reality? No doubt many accusations of various kinds had been made against the Member for Dublin in reference to the Carlow election, but nothing could be plainer than this—that the hon. Baronet considered every one of the more material charges wiped away, or he never would have written a long public letter without the least allusion to them, nor would he have occupied himself with a matter of comparatively trifling moment when subjects of so very grave a nature presented themselves to his view. He (Mr. Wason) was therefore fully warranted in saying that nothing more remained to be tried. After what occurred, and was said in the Great Yarmouth case, as well as in other accounts, the Members who sat at the same side on which he did, were bound scrupulously to examine any petition relating to the purity and freedom of election which might come supported by the advocacy of hon. Members on the opposite benches, and if any reason could be added, to those, which already existed, for instituting such examination, it might be founded on the fact, that the present was the only petition which had come to the House so supported; at the same time he could not help expressing a strong conviction that there was no Parliamentary ground for the proposed inquiry. He maintained it to be indisputable, that if 487 there had been any political corruption, that if to-morrow the Committee were to pronounce the hon. and learned Member for Dublin guilty of a violation of the Statute, the very next day information would be filed against him for recovery of the penalties attaching to such an offence; but a decision of that nature, coming from any fairly-appointed Committee, could alone produce such an effect, could alone give rise to the hope of success in proceeding with such informations, for at the present moment the fact that no such informations had been filed was proof positive that no living man believed such a prosecution would be attended with success. Let any Sawyer in that House state it as his professional opinion—let any man as a lawyer or statesman deliberately declare it as his opinion that such a prosecution could be successful, and he would acknowledge himself egregiously in error. He had never once heard any lawyer venture to say that in letter or in spirit the statute had been violated, and here was the anomaly into which they had been led—that of going into a Committee without one tittle of evidence to support a criminal charge against the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. They were going into a Committee to hear testimony as to whether the allegations contained in the petition of Mr. Vigors were or were not well founded.
§ Mr. Warburton
wished to move a few words by way of amendment. He did not consider that the resolution went by any means far enough. It did not allow the hon. and learned Member for Dublin an opportunity of giving that complete refutation to the charges there preferred against him which be (Mr. Warburton) entertained no doubt he was in a condition to offer. The resolution was too narrow in its scope to allow the introduction of evidence to show the manner in which the money had been expended. He should therefore move the addition of the following words to the resolution as it already stood—"and the application of the money said to have been received, together with the circumstances under which it was received and expended."
§ Mr. Hardy
wanted nothing but a full, fair, and impartial, inquiry; but he confessed it did not appear to him that the amendment of the hon. Member for Bridport was in the least degree necessary; not that he had any objection to the in- 488 troduction of those topics which the hon. Member for Bridport professed himself anxious to bring under the examination of the Committee, but because he considered his own resolution, as it stood, amply sufficient for such purpose. He considered it quite a matter of course that those subjects would be included within the inquiries of the Committee. If, however, the House were of opinion that an express declaration was necessary for the purpose, be was ready to submit,
§ Mr. Hume
said, that nothing could be fairer than the conduct of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, It was, however, most material that the express declaration of the extent of the inquiry now proposed by the hon. Member for Bridport should be adopted by the House. It was essential to the purposes of justice that an opportunity should be given of showing that the bargain was not between the hon. and learned Member for Dublin and Mr. Raphael. 'Yes, he would repeat his assertion—the bargain was not between the hon. and learned Member for Dublin and Mr. Raphael, but between Vigors and Raphael.
§ Mr. Williams Wynn
observed, that the resolution alleged that there had been a negotiation for an agreement between the hon. and learned Member for Dublin and Mr. Raphael; that allegation might, no doubt, be met by evidence for the purpose of rebutting it, and then doubtless a different question would arise; Still that other question lay within the scope of the inquiry, even though the amendment of the hon. Member for Bridport had never been moved. The main question was, had there or had there not been a negotiation of the nature stated? And he repeated, that in order to the investigation, of that question, no addition to the resolution was necessary, at the same time that he did not feel any objection to the-words proposed to be added. As he before said, he thought them unnecessary, for it was clear the application of the money was part of the res gestœ. It was obvious that, after the agreement made the money might have been applied to the purposes contracted for, or might have been diverted from that to other purposes, legal or illegal, as the case might be. All these were then fit subjects for inquiry and be therefore entertained no objection to that part of the proposed inquiry; but he entertained an insuperable objection to 489 investing a Committee with power to go into the general political state of the county of Carlow. He objected to the Committee being engaged with inquiries as to the number of widows or the destitution of the orphans who might belong to that county. That was perfectly distinct from the objects of the Committee, which, in his opinion, should embrace all the circumstances affecting the negotiation and bargain, but should be strictly limited to those circumstances.
§ Mr. Scarlett
observed, it had been fully admitted that a sum of 2,000l. was to be paid into the hands of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, to whatever purpose it might afterwards be applied. It might or it might not be applied to the furtherance of the power of the hon. and learned Gentleman, but if it were so applied, all men must clearly be of opinion that such an application of it would be against the principle of that great measure, the Reform Act, which the hon. and learned Gentleman himself had been so active in promoting. The Reform Bill was passed for the express purpose of putting an end to that species of public scandal, and now the fit subject for the Committee to inquire into would be, whether or not the hon. and learned Gentleman had been guilty of any offence against that or any statute designed for the better carrying out its principle, or in any way having a tendency thereto. He was one of those who thought that some years, ago there was a great necessity for a little reform. A small reform, however, was not adopted, and the ancient patrons of seats in that House, who brought into it so many men of distinguished patriotism and talents, had lost their influence; but let them beware lest, in transferring power from those ancient patrons, they had not placed that power in hands infinitely more dangerous; likewise let them remember the old political maxim, that "whomsoever you give political power, to that quarter will property flow," and they had now before them a remarkable exemplification, showing how true that maxim was. Formerly there existed nomination boroughs, now there was a purchase and sale of the representation of counties. When he had before intended to rise to order, his object was to call the attention of the House to the obligation which lay on the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, in using the indulgence which the House conceded to 490 him, not to cast imputations on Gentlemen who had no connexion with the matter in which he was engaged, and not to mix them up with his own defence. As to the Amendment which had been proposed by the hon. Member for Bridport, he did see words in it which, as he thought, would let in the investigation of many other matters of a like nature, and many even of those suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin in a speech which the House had just heard. In his judgment, if such inquiries were at all admitted, they ought to be instituted before a distinct Committee and upon a distinct Motion. For these reasons he felt anxious that the House should adopt the original Motion without the Amendment, proposed by the hon. Member for Bridport.
§ Lord Sandon
wished to know if the proposed inquiry was intended by the hon. Member for Bridport to embrace all the circumstances connected with the late Car-low election, because, if it was proposed to drag before the Committee the whole history of those transactions, that object would be much better effected by acting on the notice already given respecting those matters than by adopting the Amendment then before the House. Nevertheless, he should not so much object to the Amendment, if there were a distinct understanding that it was not to be made a cloak to shelter or conceal the main object of inquiry, from which he contended all attention would be driven if some definite limit were not placed to the inquiry. Looking at the notice which, had been given and withdrawn, and looking, too, at the defence which had been made by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, he saw every reason to suppose that the more extensive inquiry, which he feared, was actually intended by the mover and the supporters of the Amendment. It was, therefore, most material that there should be at) explicit understanding on the subject. If it was fitting that the several cases of I he widows and the orphans should be gone into by another Committee, and on a different Motion, it would of course be the pleasure and the duty of the House to engage in such an inquiry; but, most assuredly, not at a time when it was occupied with a transaction such as had then been brought under their consideration. Once more, then, he begged to inquire what was the interpretation which the mover of the 491 Amendment himself put on his own proposition?
§ Mr. Warburton
said, he meant by his amendment that the Committee should extend their inquiry to the actual application of the sum in question. If, for example, it appeared that it was given to such or such a family for such a purpose, then, without going into the whole state of the county of Callow at or before the election, a few questions more would show whether or not the money had been fairly applied.
§ Lord Sandon
was satisfied with the application which the hon. Member for Bridport gave of the proposed amendment, and the limits now being; distinctly ascertained, he should abstain from offering any opposition to the amendment.
§ Motion amended, agreed to.
§ Mr. Hardy
rose to nominate the Committee. An arrangement bad been come to between him and the hon. and learned Member, through the intervention of mutual friends, for the purpose of agreeing upon the names of the number requisite for forming a Committee, and he regretted that, both in that and in other respects, it had been made too much of a party question. [Tremendous cheering from the Ministerial side of the House.] He begged hon. Members to recollect which side of the House had made it a party question, before they indulged in such triumphant cheers. As to the formation of the Committee, he begged to add, that no name had been suggested by him, and that it was a Committee upon which he could not think of serving. The hon. and learned Member moved that the following: Members form the Committee:
Mr. Ridley Colborne, Lord Francis Egerton, Mr. Bannerman, Mr. Barneby, Sir Ronald Ferguson, Sir John Yarde Buller, Mr. William Orde, Sir Charles Broke Vere, Mr. Warburton, Sir Eardley Wilmot, and Mr. H. G. Ward.
§ Mr. Warburton
wished to state some of the circumstances connected with the selection of names which had now been submitted to the consideration of the House. It was perfectly true that arrangements made out of the House were not always binding within doors, but he thought the present was an occasion in which every honourable man would feel himself bound by what had occurred out of doors. Himself, the hon. Member for Cheshire, the hon. Member for Monmouthshire, and the hon. 492 Member for Edinburghshire, met for the purpose of choosing the requisite number to form the Committee. Having met, as he stated, for the purpose of arranging who were the most fit to compose such a Committee, he confessed he was most anxious that a person of such transcendent talents as the hon. and learned Gentleman—that a man fining so large a space in the eyes of his own countrymen, and occupying no small degree of attention in this country—he was, he did not hesitate to acknowledge, most anxious that a person of that distinction should be tried by his Peers; it was, besides, the express request of the hon. and learned Gentleman himself. He, therefore, naturally wished to nominate as a member of that Committee the right hon. Baronet opposite, the Member for Tamworth, looking upon him as the representative of a large party in that House. If that right hon. Baronet had agreed to serve on the Committee, it would, of course, have been necessary, or at least fitting, that some Cabinet Minister should also be nominated, and he suggested the name of the "right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, and the number agreed on was eleven, including the Chairman, The objection to the right hon. Baronet proceeded from the right hon. Baronet himself; accordingly, neither he nor the President of the Board of Trade was named in the list of the Committee; the hon. Member for Cheshire brought him the list, as having been approved on the other side, and be considered the arrangement final, supposing the Member for Tamworth, and the President of the Board of Trade to have respectively retired, and he certainly considered the list perfectly fair. He saw the Member for Dublin on the subject, and obtained his consent; it was therefore impossible that any change could be adopted, and that was the reply he made when applied to on the subject while going out to divide on the motion of the hon. Member for Bath. The other list prepared on the occasion was as follows:—
Mr. Ridley Colburne, Mr. Bannerman, Sir R. Ferguson, Mr. W. Orde, Mr. R. Clive, Lord Francis Egerton, Lord Eastnor, Mr. H. G. Ward, Sir C. Broke Vere, Mr. B. Hall, and Mr. Wilson Patten.
Sir George Clerk
said, that in a case of that kind he naturally desired, as any one so connected with it must, to make the selection of persons as impartial as possible. 493 Having met the hon. Members already mentioned, they agreed upon the general principles which ought to guide them in making the selection. In the first place, they desired to put on it men holding high official situations at present. On the other hand, they wished to nominate some who had recently filled situations of importance under the Government of his right hon. Friend the Member for Tarn worth; it was also thought expedient that there should be no Members for Ireland on the Committee; then, likewise, it was considered that five should be selected from each side of the House, and that the eleventh should be chosen, not, as was usual in the case of other Select Committees, from the same side of the House with the mover, but from amongst those of the same side of the House with the individual whose character might be affected by the inquiry. It was, indeed, at first arranged that five should be selected from one side of the House, and five from the other, and one neutral, and it was suggested that a person of this description was more easy to be found on that side of the House on this question. Afterwards a new arrangement was proposed, in consequence of a suggestion that the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, and the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, should also be members of the Committee. It, however, appeared to him that there were circumstances which precluded the possibility of his right hon. Friend's acceptance of that office, and therefore that suggestion was not acceded to on his part, considering, as he did, that the Committee being of a judicial nature, it was important not to name those who would not attend. Thus they broke off the negotiation before the names of many Members were put down; but, as his right hon. Friend was not named on the Committee, he contended that the name of the right hon. President of the Board of Trade should not be put down. He considered, then, that he was perfectly at liberty to choose five names from that (the Opposition) side of the House, selecting persons who were free from all suspicion of personal hostility to Mr. O'Connell, while he on his side would not object to any five names proposed on the other side, however warmly they were in the habit of exerting themselves in favour of the cause they espoused. He thought it better that there should be no professional men on the 494 Committee, and he had selected five names, having first ascertained that the Gentlemen nominated were willing and able to attend. These names were before the House, and it was for the House to form their judgment upon them. On his part, he took no exception to those named on the opposite side—neither to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, the Member for Newcastle, the gallant General who was the Member for Nottingham, the hon. Member for Bridport, nor the hon. Member for St. Alban's, all of whom were remarkable for the political warmth they exhibited on all occasions.
Mr. John Stanley
observed, that when t was found that the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth could not serve on the Committee, it was arranged that no Member of a corresponding station on the Ministerial side of the House should be one of its Members. The hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets was then proposed, but he was objected to on the ground of his being a judicial person, and his name was therefore struck out, and another Gentleman on the other side was also struck out for the same reason. He had himself no objection to the list as submitted to the House. The only question was, whether there were to be nominees? The Committee itself was to be constituted with these provisions, that the Members should be taken from both sides of the House, that no Member for Ireland should sit upon it, and that it should not contain, any Member of the present or the late Administration,
§ The list of the proposed Committee was again read over.
§ Mr. Warburton
objected to the name of Mr. Barneby being on the list. He entertained no personal objection to that hon. Gentleman, but he did not think that he had sufficient standing in the House to carry a proper degree of weight. There had been a departure from the original agreement, according to which the name of Dr. Lushington was on the list; but that had since been removed, as well as that of Mr. Wilson Patten. He (Mr. Warburton) should propose that either Lord Clive or Mr. Wilson Patten be placed on the Committee, instead of the hon. Member for Droitwich (Mr. Barneby).
§ Lord John Russell
was extremely anxious that some arrangement should take place, or that the Committee could be 495 named without giving vise to any serious difference of opinion. Although there had been some misunderstanding respecting the names, yet he had thought that his hon. Friend the Member for Bridport, and the hon. Baronet, the Member for Edinburghshire, had come to an arrangement on the subject. He admitted that the Committee, as originally agreed upon, contained the names of hon. Members having more experience in the House than the hon. Member for Droitwich, who was now proposed; but when he considered that the discussion had proceeded without that excitement on either side of the House which might have been expected from the nature of the question, and as every one was aware how desirable it was that the Committee should be appointed without a division, so that they might at once proceed calmly, and without apparently different views, to the consideration of the subject, he thought that it would be much more advantageous if his hon. Friend did not press the question to a vote. He would only add, that although the list of the Committee now proposed was not exactly the same as that previously agreed upon, still, as far as he was concerned, he did not think that the fairness of the names could be questioned.
§ The name of Mr. Barneby was placed on the list, and the other names were agreed to.
§ Mr. Warburton
proposed that a nominee should be appointed on each side. He might be necessary in the cross-examinations of witnesses to press questions with great severity, and that could be much better done by nominees than by members of this Committee. If this were not done, some of the members of the Committee might be heated by the nature of the cross-examinations that might be pursued by other members. If the hon. Member or the hon. Baronet was prepared to name a Gentleman as a nominee, he (Mr. Warburton) would also do so on the part of Mr. O'Connell.
§ Mr. Robinson
objected to the appointment of nominees. He did not see on what principle the House could consent to such a proposition. When a fair Committee was appointed, and the requisite information was furnished to enable them to form a correct judgment, he did not see the necessity for nominees. He objected to it also as it was a departure from the course pursued in similar case?
Mr. John Stanley
observed that the hon. Member was mistaken in supposing that it was a departure from the usual course to appoint nominees in such a case as the present. In this case it was clearly understood between the parties when the list of the Committee was agreed to, that a nominee should be appointed on each side, and this was considered a material point. It was desirable to keep the members of the Committee as much as possible from any thing like violent heats, or to excite any feelings calculated to prevent them forming a cool judgment, and certainly this was not likely to be the case if the Members had to cross-examine the witnesses at great length.
§ The Speaker
then read the names of Sir Frederick Pollock and Mr. Sergeant Wilde, who were appointed nominees.