HC Deb 11 February 1839 vol 45 cc219-20
Mr. Praed

rose to put a question to the noble Lord the Secretary of the Home Department upon the subject of a statement which had appeared in the public papers relative to a gentleman of the name of Frost, who was a magistrate of the county of Monmouth, and also a delegate to a body now meeting in the metropolis, calling itself the National Convention. It was stated that this individual had received a letter from Lord J. Russell, stating to him, that if he did not withdraw from the proceedings of the Convention he would recommend the Lord Chancellor to remove his name from the commission of the peace. He (Mr. Praed) wished to know whether it was true that official notice had been called to the fact that this magistrate was a member of the National Convention; and whether, after that official notice had been taken, he still continued to be a magistrate?

Lord John Russell

said it was quite true, that upon observing in the public prints that Mr. Frost had attended public meetings of a violent character, and had been appointed a delegate to the National Convention, he directed a letter to be written to him to account for these circumstances, explaining that it was not with any view to a legal prosecution, but with a view to ascertain whether he ought not to recommend the Lord Chancellor to withdraw his name from the commission of the peace. In Mr. Frost's answer, which was at very considerable length, he stated that he certainly had attended meetings at which there were some speeches made of a violent character, but that he was not answerable for such language, and did not approve of it—that be was a member of a body to be called the National Convention, but that it was a body for the sole purpose of preparing and presenting petitions to Parliament. Upon this explanation he replied, that he should not think it necessary to take any step at present; but that it was the duty of Mr. Frost, as a magistrate, to do all in his power to preserve and respect the peace.

Mr. Praed

inquired if the noble Lord would have any objection to lay the correspondence upon the table of the House?

Lord J. Russell

replied, that he would rather not answer that question without further consideration.

Mr. Praed

then intimated that he should repeat the question to-morrow.