HC Deb 04 July 1836 vol 34 cc1172-3
Mr. Harvey

said, he had a petition to present from certain persons who felt themselves aggrieved by a statement made in that House by his Majesty's Attorney-General on a former occasion, when he (Mr. Harvey) presented a petition from those parties, complaining of the conduct of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests in reference to the disposal of certain manors in the county of Radnor. The Attorney-General said, that they were instigated to take the course they had adopted by an attorney of the name of Parsons. The petitioners stated, that so far from Mr. Parsons having instigated them to take that course, they had applied to him in the regular course of business to defend and conduct their case. He begged also to present a petition signed by several persons in the county of Radnor, complaining that the manors in that county had been sold in a way very disadvantageous to the public. Since the former discussion on this subject, he (Mr. Harvey) had learned that on the manor which was sold to Mr. Watt for 1,200l. that Gentleman had, by intimidation and other means, succeeded in getting seventy poor persons to attorn the little properties which they held to the amount of 200 acres, upon which several of them had built cottages, and which they had possessed for twenty or thirty years free and unmolested. Now, cheap as land was in Wales, the property thus gained by Mr. Watt was at least worth 1,200l. He thought that these petitioners had a right to complain that those manors belonging to the public were not disposed of by public auction.

The Speaker

begged to call the hon. Member's attention to the first paragraph in the first petition he had presented. The petitioners stated, that "having read with astonishment a statement made in the House of Commons, &c.;" he submitted to the hon. Member that such a petition could not be received.

The Attorney-General

said, that he, for one, would take no objection to the reception of the petition, though certainly the objection started by the Speaker could not be got over. With regard to the statement he had made on a former occasion, he would only repeat, that he received his information from a quarter to which the greatest credit was due, and that he had no reason to doubt a single word of the information he had thus received. Indeed, he was since informed, that a great number of the names to the former petition had been actually n the handwriting of Mr. Parsons.

Mr. Harvey

said, that so gross a charge against a gentleman, a highly respectable attorney and a banker, in his own town, could not of course have been made by the Attorney-General upon light grounds. The learned Gentleman must have some reason for believing it. He (Mr. Harvey) most undoubtedly did not believe it, and if the gentleman so accused should write to him (Mr. Harvey) demanding an investigation, he would certainly move that he be examined at the bar on the subject.

The first Petition withdrawn.

Sir E. Codrington

said, Mr. Watt had bought this property for 5,000l., and that he had not benefited by it a single shilling. The proceedings complained of had not been taken by Mr. Watt, but by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, who were obliged to complete their bargain with him.

Second Petition laid on the Table.