HC Deb 08 June 1837 vol 38 cc1247-9
Mr. Sergeant Goulburn

presented a Petition from a Mr. Staple, the Solicitor to the Portland Cemetery Bill, who complained that the hon. Member for Marylebone (Sir S. Whalley) had, after the Bill had passed through the Committee, inserted the words "Primrose-hill, or any part thereof;" and although that hon. Gentleman had supported the first and second reading of the Bill, he yet told the Solicitor that unless he consented to these words being inserted in the Bill, he should oppose the third reading.

Sir Samuel Whalley

thought that he had great reason to complain of the course adopted on the present occasion. The persons promoting this Bill being his constituents, they had begged him to take charge of it. He had moved accordingly the first and second reading, but it was not till after the second reading that he was aware that it gave to the promoters of it a roving commission to establish a Cemetery anywhere within ten miles of the metropolis. The hon. Member for Finsbury had called for a plan of the site, and on the plan being produced it was found that the intention of the promoters was to wrest Primrose-hill from the public, a place to which they had had access for time immemorial. The insertion of a clause was then moved in these words:—"Provided that nothing in this act do allow the said company to use Primrose-hill for any of the purposes of this company." He had moved to add the words "or any part thereof." He afterwards found that these words, though he had believed them to have been adopted by the Committee had not been inserted, and applied to the Clerk to the Committee in consequence. He told the promoters of the Bill, that if the words were not there he should oppose the Bill. Had the matter stopped there he should not have had so much ground of complaint; but the promoters of the Bill had been to him, threatening to present a petition against him unless he would withdraw his opposition, and agree to support the Bill. His reply was, that the presenting of the petition would not weigh with him, nor induce him to withdraw his opposition.

Mr. T. Duncombe

thought the threats held out ought to be inquired into, and also the conduct of the Clerk to the Committee. He therefore moved that Mr. Staple (the person from whom the petition emanated) and Mr. Rose, the Clerk to the Committee, be called to the bar.

Mr. Wallace

seconded the motion,

Mr. Staple

appeared at the bar, and stated, in answer to questions:—That he recollected the proviso proposed by Mr. Wakley. Having ascertained that the words "or any part thereof" had been introduced he applied to the Committee Clerk to know on what authority that introduction had taken place. He afterwards found a note addressed to Sir Samuel Whalley, signed by Mr. Pitman, containing that suggestion; and having seen that gentleman, he said he had written that note, and that Sir Samuel Whalley had told him he did not consider the words of any importance; but Mr. Pitman considered they were legally of importance, and he got them introduced by Sir Samuel Whalley. He saw Sir Samuel Whalley on the Monday afterwards, who said that the witness might take any course he chose; He accordingly placed his petition in the hands of Mr. Angerstein, but afterwards withdrew it, because he was told that, if he did so, Sir Samuel Whalley would withdraw his opposition to the Bill. He was told so by Mr. Sutton.

Mr. Sutton

was ordered to attend but not being present the subject was postponed.

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