HC Deb 17 January 1840 vol 51 cc127-95

The Order of the Day for taking into consideration the petition of Messrs. Hansard was read. Lord John Russell moved that John Joseph Stockdale be called to the bar.

Mr. F. Kelly

begged to inquire whether the more correct and formal course of proceeding would not be to call in the real witnesses previous to the examination of Mr. Stockdale, in order that the allegations contained in Messrs. Hansard's petition might be substantiated? At present a petition had been presented to the House, but they had no means of knowing whether the statements contained in that petition were well-founded or not. He apprehended that before any subject of these realms could be placed in the situation of a party accused, it was necessary that evidence should be given of the commission of the offence of which he was accused.

The Attorney-General

would remind his hon. and learned Friend of two facts—first, that Mr. Hansard had been called to the bar, and had proved every one of the allegations contained in the petition; and secondly, that they were not then in the Court of Queen's Bench. He would also remind other hon. and learned Members, that in that House they were not bound by the technical rules which obtained in the courts of law, but were bound to proceed according to the well-established practice of Parliament, which required, that when a complaint was made against a party for having been guilty of a breach of the privileges of the House, he should be called to the bar and questioned.

Mr. Stockdale

called in, and placed at the bar.

The Speaker

What is your name?—John Joseph Stockdale.

What is your occupation?—Author, printer, and publisher.

The Attorney-General

Are you the plaintiff in an action of "Stockdale v. Hansard and others?"—I am.

Was that action commenced in August last?—I am not quite certain, but, from the way in which the question is asked, I have no doubt it was.

Was it commenced for a publication which, to your knowledge, was ordered by the House of Commons?—Certainly.

Did you send any person to procure a copy of that publication?—I did so.

For the purpose of bringing an action upon it?—Most certainly.

Whom did you send?—I submit, Mr. Speaker, that I am not bound—that I have no right—to answer that question.

Sir Robert Inglis

moved that the party do withdraw.

Mr. Stockdale

was, accordingly, ordered to withdraw. When he had retired,

Sir Robert Inglis

said it was perfectly clear that the object of the last question put by the Attorney-general was not to criminate the party at the bar, nor to exculpate him. If it had any meaning at all, its object must be to criminate some other parties.

The Attorney-General

begged to deny most respectfully, but at the same time most emphatically, that the question had any such object; but he thought it most material that the House should know how this proceeding had been conducted; and if, peradventure, it should turn out, as he had some reason to believe it would, that Mr. Stockdale sent his own son to buy a copy of the publication; that the son, having purchased a copy, brought it to his father, and that the father kept it till it was produced, or ready to be produced, in evidence in the case—he thought that that would be a material circumstance for the consideration of the House; because they were now to consider whether this Mr. Stockdale had really received an injury, and had bona fide proceeded to recover an indemnity for that action, or whether he had not, by design and premeditation, violated the privileges of the House. If such objections were to be taken to the questions proposed it would be most embarrassing, and it was for the House to determine whether they would prevail, and so render that proceeding abortive which had been approved of by a large majority of the House, even although it was disapproved of by some most respectable Members.

Sir Edward Knatchbull

differed from his hon. Friend, the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. Inglis) in the objection which he had taken to the question. He did not attach much importance to it, nor did he see any reason why it should not be put. He was, however, very much surprised at the course taken by the Attorney-general in replying to his hon. Friend's objection. What had the Attorney-general said? Why, that the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford, had interrupted the course of the examination for the purpose of rendering the whole proceeding void. He thought it would have been infinitely better for the hon. and learned Gentleman, holding so high and important an office in the country as he did, not to have thrown out any insinuation of that kind. No beneficial result could be expected from a proceeding conducted in such a spirit as that manifested by the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He (Sir Edward Knatchbull) admitted the importance of the privileges of the House, and was anxious to guard them; but he could not consent to act in such a spirit as that indicated by the Attorney-general, and which could not be otherwise than highly detrimental to the character of the House.

Viscount Howick

protested against their being led into a debate upon a point which was not merely incidental but immaterial. If the House thought right to have an answer to the question, they could, no doubt, compel it; but he would respectfully suggest to the Attorney-general that it was not expedient to do so. It appeared to him that the answer would not have the slightest bearing upon the subject; because, assuming for a moment that Mr. Stockdale was a party really aggrieved—that the publication was in fact a libel upon him—that he had a bona fide ground of complaint; or assuming that any member of the House were in that situation—why, under such circumstances, he would be perfectly justified in sending a friend or a connection of his own to purchase the paper of which lie complained, in order that he might have the opportunity of furnishing the necessary legal proof of its publication. In this instance Mr. Stockdale did not complain of the publication to his son; but of the publication to the world, of which the sale to the son was a proof. It appeared to him, therefore, that the question was entirely beside the subject, and as the examination of the party, and the subsequent debate upon it, were likely to extend to very considerable length, he begged to suggest that it was not advisable to enter into an incidental discussion upon an immaterial point at this period of the proceeding.

The Attorney General

assured the House that he had no desire to put any question that, in his humble judgment, was not material to the elucidation of the point—whether a breach of privilege had been committed or not. If it were the opinion of the House that the question he had put to Mr. Stockdale had not a direct bearing upon that point—that it was not necessary to the elucidation of the matter so as to enable the House to form a correct opinion upon the subject, he would not persevere in it.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that he thought the House ought to have all the circumstances of the case before it. The objection to the question in the present instance came not from the hon. baronet (Sir R. Inglis) opposite, but from Mr. Stockdale himself. But he really did not see why Mr. Stockdale should object to it, if the action had been brought by him bona fide to recover compensation for a real injury. There might indeed be a reason for objecting to it, if by possibility it could have happened that there had been a regular concoction of the action for the purpose of setting the House at defiance. He did not say that it was so; but unless it were so, he did not see why the question should be objected to.

The Attorney General

resumed the examination of Mr. Stockdale, who was again at the bar.

Whom did you employ to procure a copy of the publication?—Is it necessary for me, Mr. Speaker, to answer that question?

The Speaker

You must answer the question.

Mr. Stockdale

My second son.

The Attorney General

What did you do with the copy which you so procured? I have it in my own possession now.

Has it ever been out of your possession from that time to this?—I believe not.

Whom did you employ as your attorney?—I respectfully submit whether that may not be an improper question for me to answer. Of course I have personally no objection. He is here in attendance.

Name him, if you please?—Must I do so?

The Speaker

You must answer the question.

Mr. Stockdale

Thomas Burton Howard.

The Attorney General

Have you brought any former actions against Messrs. Hansard?—I have.

When was the first action brought?—I think it was in 1837 or 1836, I am not quite certain.

Was that for a publication which took place by order of this House?—Yes, it was.

In that case, was there a justification that the book published by you was an obscene publication?—There was so.

Together with a general plea of not guilty?—I believe so.

Upon that occasion did not the jury find that the book was an obscene publication?—They did so in part; but I believe I shall be right in informing the House that the book itself could not have been put in but by my own special permission.

But was not the verdict for the defendant upon the ground that the publication was obscene?—There was a difference among the jury.

But was not the verdict given in favour of the defendant upon the ground that the book was an obscene publication?—Certainly not of the twelve, I believe.

Do you mean to say, then, that Lord Denman took the verdict of a majority of the jury?—It was partly on that ground that I moved for a new trial. That was one of my pleas; having observed that two, I believe, of the jurors had only given their consent to the verdict, sub silentio.

Was a new trial granted?—No.

Then, in that case, you recovered no damages?—Certainly not; nor did I receive any costs, which I believe I am entitled to at this moment.

Did you sue in that case in forma pauperis?—I did; but with no shame to myself.

Was the next action that you commenced entered upon because it was imputed to you that you had published an obscene book?—It was.

How did you procure the first copy, upon which you brought the first action?—By purchase, from Messrs. Hansard.

Was the purchase made by your son?—By the same son.

Did you procure the copy upon which you brought the second action likewise by your son?—I did.

Have you kept that copy in your possession ever since?—I believe so; I am not aware that it has been out of my possession; or if so only for a day or two, in the hands of my professional adviser.

Did you desire your son to go to buy it with the view of bringing an action?—Most certainly; and I believe, also, avowing that it was for that purpose.

The publication contained substantially the same imputation upon you?—It was another copy of the same.

In the second action, I believe, there was no justification that the book which you published was an obscene publication?—I don't think there was.

In the second action, you executed a writ of inquiry before the sheriff?—I did.

Did you show the book to the sheriff's jury?—No; because the case having gone by default, I had no occasion to show the book.

Are there any plates belonging to that book?—There are.

Did you show any of those plates to the jury?—No; it was the business, as I conceived, of the defendant lo show anything that there was to be shown?

Was there any request made, in any quarter, that the book should be produced, and the plates shown to the jury?—There was, by Messrs. Hansard's solicitor, who, I believe, showed a book in court, which I did not know of, and which was very strangely put under the place on which I was standing, so that on sitting down I saw it, and asked whose it was.

But the jury did not see it?—Not from me.

Nor, as far as you are aware, had any inspection or view of the book?—I believe not. I referred them to Messrs. Hansard's solicitor, who, however, said that he was not in attendance for Messrs. Hansard.

Was that the same book that the jury had found an obscene publication in the first trial?—I don't know.

I do not mean the same copy, but the same work?—I don't know, it was generally the same: but whether it was the same edition or not I can't tell.

It was either the same edition, or some other edition of the same work?—That I can't tell.

Then you brought another action upon a third copy of Messrs. Hansard's publication?—Yes.

That was purchased also by your son?—Yes.

For the purpose of bringing an action?—Most certainly.

Had you at that time received the 100l. for the injury to your character, which was awarded in the second action?—I am not quite certain whether I had or not at that time.

Recollect.—If I had not then received it, I received it afterwards; but allow me to say, that instead of 100l. I believe I should have received 5,000l., but for the omission of its being put to the jury at what sum the damages were laid.

The jury in the first trial, when the issue was, whether the book was or was not an obscene publication was, I believe, a special jury?—That I really don't know; but I do know that the Lord Mayor and Court of Alderman have stated that the book was strictly a professsional book, and that neither the book itself nor the plates were obscene.

Was that the same work?—That I don't know.

It might be a copy of another edition of the same work?—It is impossible for me to tell whether it was or not, because I have discovered that some of the works published by me have been pirated to a very great extent: and that the copies thus pirated are extremely imperfect, containing not the whole, but portions only of the work.

But did not the work, in all these in- stances, purport to be the work of a Dr. Robertson?—The work of which you are speaking, was the work of the late Dr. Robertson, and assisted by his brother, who were employed by Dr. Bailey.

Did you not know, that a letter was written by Dr. Bailey denying that the book was published with his authority?—I do.

And was not that letter introduced into another edition for the sake of giving currency and zest to the publication?—Yes; but I also know that Dr. Bailey wrote another letter, of which I have a printed copy (and I may have the original) requesting, after having the work in his possession, and after refusing, in the first instance, to have it dedicated to him, requesting anew that it might be dedicated to him, under all the circumstances.

What ! a letter requesting that the work might be dedicated to him, after having expressed the greatest reprobation and disgust at it?—No, before that.

How long?—Many years; no less than eight or ten.

Now, will you allow me to ask whether you attended the execution of the writ of inquiry in the third action, and whether the book was produced on that occasion?—I did not witness it.

Were the plates produced on that occasion?—Not by me.

Were they produced by any one for the inspection of the jury?—I understand, that whilst I was addressing the jury, the plates were produced and sent round the table.

By whom?—Not by me; for I did not know of the existence of the book in the building.

You prevented the jury, as far as you could from seeing the book or the plates?—I told them that I had no copy of the book in court, and stated my reason for not producing one.

Did you bring your action with the view of contesting the power of the House of Commons to order the publication?—I submit, Mr. Speaker, that that is not a question for me to answer. I trust that I shall be protected.

The Attorney General

I withdraw the question, and now, let me ask you, have you had any notice served upon you with respect to the resolution of the House of Commons?—I have; I think two days, or it might be only one day, before the House rose last Session.

You had copies of certain resolutions of the House of Commons served upon you?—I had.

In the course of the proceedings, have you had other notices served upon you?—Yes; I think I have had two or three, but I am not certain.

Amongst these notices was there a copy of the resolution of the House, respecting the right of the House to publish what they thought proper for the information of the public?—Yes.

And that it would be a breach of the privileges of the House to question its power to order such a publication?—Yes; but, from my own reading and my acquaintance with the great statesmen of other times, I knew that the House did not possess that power.

Then you proceeded with the action, having received notice of the resolution of the House?—Certainly I did.

By Lord John Russell

Have you brought any copy of the notice you received with you?—No.

By Mr. O'Connell

In point of fact, have you any objection to admit that you brought the action to try the power of the House?—I trust I shall be protected from committing myself.

Mr. O'Connell

I think that the question may very properly be put.

Mr. Stockdale

was ordered to withdraw.

Sir R. Peel

begged to suggest whether the point could not be elicited in a better manner. In the schedule of documents attached to the petition of Messrs. Hansard, there was a letter purporting to be from Mr. Stockdale to Messrs. Hansard, which was in the following terms: Gentlemen—The Commons, in Parliament, has usurped a tyrannic despotism, and having, with the reckless audacity characteristic of all vulgar assemblies or mobs, from the nursery to the plains of revolution, become desperately emboldened, by even so contemptible an advantage as that over a Polack and a Shaw, and refulminated its tremendous and concentrated powers against my pauperized person, I lost no time to seize the gauntlet, boastingly thrown down in the moment of factious exultation over a traveller and attorney, and, for the third time, challenged, single-handed, the would-be enslavers of my country. The action is brought against you for republishing the libel, and I hereby assert the unquestionable rights of Britons against an usurped privilege of the Commons in Parliament, and of which the solicitor of the Trea- sury was duly apprised at the same time with you. I am, Gentlemen, your humble servant, J. J. STOCKDALE. 27 August, 1839. James and Luke G. Hansard and Sons, Esquires, & c. & c. & c. Now, if Mr. Stockdale admitted himself to be the author of that letter, would there not be a distinct avowal of the whole point that the House wished to ascertain?

Mr. O'Connell

withdrew his question, in order that that suggested by the right hon. Baronet might be put.

Mr. Law begged

to suggest that Mr. Stockdale should be at liberty to make any explanation he might deem necessary; and not be confined to the mere admission that he wrote the letter in question. Because Mr. Stockdale might have written the letter under an impression that he had been injured by a tyrannical exercise of the power of the House; and with a conviction that he had a common law right of action, of which the House could not deprive him.

The Attorney General

replied that Mr. Stockdale, in common with any other person who might be called to the bar of that House, would have ample opportunities of making any explanation he might deem necessary.

Mr. Stockdale

was again called in.

The Attorney General

addressing him, said: Will you be good enough to tell me whether you are the author of this letter? It bears date 27th August, 1839, and purports to be addressed by you to Messrs. Hansard. It is as follows: [the right hon. and learned Gentleman read the letter at length; and a printed copy of it was placed in the hands of Mr. Stockdale, who, as he received the book, said; Allow me to observe that I have never seen this book, Mr. Attorney.]

The Attorney General

Will you tell me whether you wrote the letter of which that purports to be a copy?—I do not at all doubt it.

Do you believe it?—I do not doubt it; but I do not know if, because I have not the original letter to compare with it.

By Mr. Law

Allow me to ask whether, when you wrote this letter, you were impressed with the belief that, as a British subject, yon were entitled by the law of the land to commence an action?—Most undoubtedly.

Mr. Stockdale

ordered to withdraw.

Lord John Russell

then rose and said: After the statement made by Mr. Stockdale, I can only now move that Mr. Stockdale, having brought an action against Messrs. Hansard for the publication of a report ordered by this House to be printed, has been guilty of a high contempt and breach of the privileges of this House.

Sir E. Knatchbull

wished to ascertain the exact course which the noble Lord intended to pursue. He took it for granted, that if the House should confirm the proposition of the noble Lord, he would move some resolution for the punishment of the party; but was it the noble Lord's intention to proceed immediately with that motion, or first of all call the Sheriffs and other parties to the bar?

Lord John Russell

said his intention was to conclude the case with regard to Mr. Stockdale, and afterwards proceed against the other parties.

The resolution having been put by the Speaker,

Mr. Law

addressed the House, and observed, that he did not consider a very precise case had been presented by her Majesty's Attorney-general, through the examination of the party at the bar, or that a case had been sufficiently made out to justify this court; in many of its outward forms it was a court, though it might not be in substance—to justify this House to proceed to adjudicate upon it in the terms proposed by the noble Lord. It was true they had extorted from the party under examination an admission that he had written a particular letter—a letter, no doubt, in point of style indecorous, in point of taste of the worst description, and in the application of its terms to be reprobated by any one of good taste or judgment; still, substantially, that letter merely asserted that a particular privilege claimed by this House was one which the legal tribunals of the country had not found to be substantiated—a privilege which he, as a British subject was prepared to contest in a British court of justice, and that as a party in such contest, and being further questioned upon the subject at the bar of the House, he most distinctly and unequivocally declared his firm conviction, that by the laws of the country he was entitled to maintain the action he had brought. And was it to be endured that the privileges of this House which had been submitted to solemn adjudication in a court of justice, should not be controverted as a matter of fact by a British subject in other courts of justice? He was anxious that this House should not proceed with rashness, and find itself in a position from which it would be difficult, if not disgraceful, to retire. He, therefore, implored the House, at least not upon the meagre information before them, and upon such a case, to proceed to adjudicate that the conduct of Mr. Stockdale, in contesting their privilege, which they had themselves submitted to be considered and questioned in a court of justice, was thereby guilty of an infraction of the privileges of this House. He would rather for the dignity of the House, that that matter should be determined neither affirmatively nor negatively; and he should, therefore, propose, as an amendment, that Mr. Stockdale be now discharged from his attendance at the bar.

Sir R. Inglis

seconded the amendment. He should have preferred that the House had not violated, as he thought it had violated, the spirit, however much it might have complied with the forms of a court of justice. He was perfectly convinced, that in no court animated by the spirit of justice would such a question have been put as was put by the Attorney-general to Mr. Stockdale. No judge would have permitted the last question, at least, to have been put to him, who, it should be remembered, was not a witness, but a party, and whose answer might have prejudiced himself. The letter would have been treated in a court as a privileged document. But, waving the question either of form or substance, he would ask the House to look to themselves alone, and now, as on a former occasion, to consider whether they were clearly prepared to go on with the consequences of the motion of the noble Lord. It was true that by an act of sovereign authority—because they had constituted themselves as sovereigns of this country—by an act of sovereign authority it was true, they might take one of their fellow subjects, and consign him to the prison of Newgate. In the first place he would ask, did they mean to state in the Speaker's warrant, that the commitment was for a contempt of the House of Commons? Was it to be specified in the warrant which the Speaker would officially sign, that John Joseph Stockdale stood committed for a contempt of this House? He would assume that that would be the case. What if John Joseph Stockdale moved to-morrow for a writ of habeas corpus? Did they mean to say that the mere production by the sheriff of the Speaker's warrant would prevent the judges of the Court of Queen's Bench from liberating the party? [An hon. Member—"Yes,"] Did they mean to say that it would stop an action for false imprisonment? He knew what the answer to his first question would be perfectly well. He was aware that when the warrant of the Speaker, if it did not come incidentally, but directly before the court, they would merely look to the Speaker's signature; but would that prevent the party bringing an action? He apprehended it would not. Upon that point, therefore, they would find new difficulties in their way next week. Did they mean to maintain that any person, against whom the Speaker's warrant was executed, should be denied his right to bring an action of false imprisonment against the party executing it? Was that the law of England? He felt entitled, supported by higher authorities than the authority of the Attorney-general, to deny that it was the law. He never had denied that any person, of whatever rank or station soever, who should, in the face of the House, commit a breach of privilege, could not be justly consigned by the warrant of the Speaker, to Newgate; but he did deny, in this case of constructive contempt, that the right of any subject to bring his action for false imprisonment against the officer executing the Speaker's warrant could be taken from him. Therefore, although he should have preferred a direct negative to the proposition of the noble Lord, yet he most cheerfully concurred in the amendment proposed. He hoped and believed that those who voted for bringing Stock-dale to the bar, and had assisted in this inquisitorial proceeding, in which the very plaintiff to the action was made to convict himself, would consider, ere it was too late, whether they might not, with perfect consistency, assist the noble Lord's motion, and ere it was too late, escape from the difficulty into which the House had got itself. The present question was not directly before the House last night, and therefore, although there might be some loss of character on the part of the House in the eyes of the public were they to retrace their steps, still he thought they might, with less loss of character, retreat from the contest, than if they were to persevere in a contest which it was his most deliberate conviction, could only enly end in the further degradation of the House.

Lord Eliot

was anxious, before the House were called upon to vote, that the question should be distinctly understood. He wished to know whether the breach of privilege alleged against Stockdale consisted in writing the letter which appeared in their minutes, and which was so worded as to justify not only reprobation, but punishment? If this were the ground of their proceedings, he should, for one, give his concurrence to the motion of the noble Lord; but, on the contrary, if the question to be affirmed was, that Mr. Stockdale had been guilty of a breach of privilege for merely calling into question, before a court of justice, one of the assumed privileges of the House, then, in consistency with the votes he had al ready given, he could not concur with the noble Lord.

The Attorney General

admitted, that the ground on which they were proceeding was not the particular language made use of by Mr. Stockdale in his letter, but it was the fact of his deliberately bringing an action to call in question the privileges of the House, and to treat as a libel that which had been published by order of the House of Commons. He thought that was ample ground for the House taking the step now proposed. The hon. and learned Gentleman, the Recorder of the city of London, had said that this was a meagre case. What facts did the hon. Gentleman want for forming his judgment? It was in evidence, and not disputed, that there was published by the authority of the House a certain report on which Mr. Stockdale brought an action. There was a justification pleaded, that the imputation cast was true, and that the book was an obscene publication. A special jury unanimously came to the conclusion that it was an obscene publication, there was a verdict for the plaintiff, and subsequently a new trial was refused. Then Stockdale brought a second action for the same cause, admitting, that he was at the time fully aware, that the publication was authorised by the House of Commons. To that action there was no plea of justification, but merely a demurrer to the jurisdiction, and Stockdale recovered 100l. damages. He then brought a third action for the same cause, admitting, that he employed his son to buy copies of the book profes- sedly for the purpose of bringing his action. Without at all therefore relying upon the peculiarly offensive terms in which the letter written by Stockdale was conceived, it was enough to observe, that Stockdale stated in that letter, that he brought the third action because he denied, that the House had any such privilege as was claimed by it. Now, according to his understanding of the resolution on the journals of the House, passed almost unanimously on the 30th of May, 1837, it was declared, first, as essential to the just exercise of the legislatorial and inquisitoral functions of the House, that the power of publishing its reports, votes, and proceedings, should exist. Stockdale brought his action denying that power. Secondly it was declared, that it was a breach of privilege for any one to contest that power: Stockdale had done it. Under these circumstances, could any reasonable doubt be entertained, that a breach of privilege had been committed? The motion of his noble Friend was, that Stockdale had been guilty of a high contempt, and guilty also of a breach of the privileges of this House. And while those resolutions remained on their journals he did not see how it was possible any person could deny that proposition.

Sir Robert Peel

had one observation to submit to the House, for the purpose of clearing up and removing every possibility of doubt and misapprehension as to the nature of the motion now before them. These proceedings would be left as matter of record; and he, therefore, submitted to the noble Lord, that the resolution ought distinctly to recite the offence by which the breach of privilege in this case had been committed. For instance, it ought to recite, that Stockdale had brought an action for libel contained in a publication which had been printed by the authority of the House; that the House had declared that any person bringing such action was guilty of a breach of privilege; and that Stockdale, therefore, had been guilty of a breach of the privileges of the House When he (Sir R. Peel) referred to the offensive terms contained in the letter, he did not do so for the purpose of aggravating the punishment of the party; he entertained no ill feeling against Mr. Stockdale on account of that letter; but he thought the resolution affirming the breach of privilege ought to recite the particular offence.

Lord John Russell

confessed, that he was about, in the first instance, to move a resolution nearly in the terms suggested by the right hon. Gentleman; but after he Attorney-general had remarked (which he considered of very great importance), that if they recited the particular grounds upon which they adjudged that Mr. Stockdale was guilty of a breach of privilege of the House, and if the question came to be argued hereafter—seeing that their privileges were so much now in question—it might be said, that although the House had a right of inflicting punishment for any indefinite breach of its privileges, yet that an action and proceedings, with regard to the publication of a libel, was not a matter that came within hat privilege. To specify, therefore, the particular grounds of Mr. Stockdale's offence in this instance might hereafter be made use of as an argument against the House. He agreed with the force of his hon. and learned Friend's objection, and he perfectly recollected, that it was likewise the opinion of his hon. and learned Friend, the Solicitor-general. His learned Friend, who had studied so long and deeply this question, was of opinion, that the House should be very cautious how they made any special affirmation in the resolution; and he was himself certainly more inclined to be cautious, in consequence of what had fallen from the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, because it appeared to him, that that hon. Baronet was disposed to go much further than the judges. The hon. Baronet seemed disposed to say, with regard to any commitment by the House of Commons, in the exercise of its power of committal, that although the House might, in certain cases, possess that power, still it might afterwards be made a matter of action in any court of law, to ascertain whether the House had exercised that power rightfully or wrongfully, and whether what had taken place within the walls of that House did or did not constitute sufficient ground for the House to exercise it in that particular case. He owned he saw, in every step they were taking, more and more an inclination on the part of some hon. Members of the House to raise difficulties and obstacles in the way, in order very much to lessen, if not ultimately to destroy, their privileges; it therefore became them to be particularly cautious what it was they asserted upon this subject. What appeared to him to be at present the pro- per course, was to exercise their right of adjudicating Stockdale to have been guilty of a high contempt and breach of privilege. Having so resolved, and having set the question, with regard to the power of the House, so far at rest, they then might proceed to consider what ought to be the punishment to be inflicted on the offender. This he considered to be the better course than that which the right hon. Gentleman suggested, although it was much like what he himself had originally intended to propose.

Mr. Thomas Duncombe

agreed, that no doubt should exist in the mind of any hon. Member, and more particularly in the public mind, as to the course they ought ultimately to adopt in this matter. But he was satisfied that great doubt would exist in the public mind, unless there was stated in the resolution the particular offence of which Mr. Stockdale had been guilty. It appeared to him, that they were already shrinking from their own resolution, and that they dared not now put upon their journals that Mr. Stockdale was guilty of contempt for having brought an action. That really was what it now amounted to; and unless they did put upon their votes an exact statement of the offence, and a description of the breach of privilege of which Stockdale had been guilty, they might depend upon it the public would say that the House of Commons had sent Stockdale and the sheriffs of Middlesex, who were elected by the popular voice, to prison, without daring to state the offence they had committed; and they would say, that the House were smuggling those individuals into prison. He believed it was clearly understood yesterday evening, that no Member was at all pledged by the vote then given to go one jot further than that of calling the parties to the bar. Upon that understanding he himself took no part in the debate; for he really believed that the House would fail in doing justice to Mr. Stockdale and the sheriffs if they did not bring them to the Bar in order to account for their conduct. By bringing them to the Bar it would be doing them justice, because they would be able to state that they were not really the offenders; that they had acted under the sanction of the Court of Queen's Bench; that that court had said to them and the whole world "You shall not be wronged without receiving redress; if any one has injured you, come to us, and we will afford you relief. "But what said the House of Commons? "You think we have wronged you by libelling you: but, nevertheless, you shall not go to the courts of justice for redress, if you do we will punish you for a breach of privilege and for a contempt of this House." That was exactly the position of the question at present, and he wished to know did the House intend to carry this matter out against those individuals, when they should state that they had acted under the authority and sanction of Lord Denman? He believed they would not. Why did they not act now as they acted last year, in regard, certainly, to a trifling case, but equally illustrative of the principle involved in this. During the passing of the Municipal Police Bill, there was a clause forbidding persons under sixteen years of age being served with spirits in public houses. But if a person under sixteen years of age drank spirits in a public house, was the penalty inflicted upon him? No: the penalty was imposed on the publican. Why not do the same with regard to these individuals? The sheriffs and Mr. Stockdale were no more to blame than Mr. Hansard; and why was Mr. Hansard, on the one hand, to be ruined with the expenses of these proceedings, or why were the sheriffs and Mr. Stockdale, on the other hand, they having acted with the authority of the Queen's Bench, to be equally crushed? He regretted to be compelled to take the course he should do on this question; but it would be in perfect consistency with what he had hitherto done. He voted against the resolutions of 1837, and, also, against the resolution of last year, and he should repeat that vote this evening. He had looked into the subject, and had listened to the various speeches made and pamphlets written upon it, and he most conscientously believed that the further they went, the greater injustice they would commit. He might be in error in his opinion; but, if he did err, he did so with many distinguished Members of that House, with the greatest authorities upon the laws of the country, and also with, he firmly believed, public opinion. He called on the House to hesitate before it would send any of the individuals summoned before it to prison; but above all, he hoped that the document which should record their decision should bear on the face of it the distinct offence upon which the alleged breach of privilege was to be declared.

Mr. Pemberton

said, it was with sincere pain he offered any opposition to the course proposed to be taken in vindication of the privileges of the House. He was ready to admit, that if he considered only the merits of the particular case; and there were any occasion on which the House could interfere to stop any action of law, it could not assert its claim on a more favourable opportunity than the present. The plaintiff here had received 100l. damages, although he had received no injury, he had persevered in the course he had taken against the printer of the House, with full notice of the privileges claimed by the House, and there could be no public sympathy for him individually. But the great question for the House to consider was, whether they could do what they thought just in the particular case without inflicting a most serious wound upon the constitution of the country? The question which the House was then called upon to decide was, whether they should now assert a privilege, which they had asserted 130 years ago, which was then decided against them, and which, after that decision, they had abandoned up to the year 1837. He trusted that the House would feel convinced, that in the present state of public opinion, it was not advisable to advocate a claim of privilege, which, for 100 years and more, they had suffered to sleep in abeyance, and in contradiction to which there was a long and uninterrupted series of decisions. Whatever course the House might now think it necessary to adopt, he at least could not come under the censure of having suppressed his opinions on the subject, till the difficulties had arisen. He had felt himself, with the utmost pain, compelled to take a view of it adverse to that of the majority when the resolutions of 1837 were first submitted to the House. From that time to this he had endeavoured, again and again, however feebly and ineffectually, yet still honestly, and to the best of his ability, to point out the difficulties which existed, and which made, in his opinion, the doctrine of privilege now put forward, not only untenable in point of law, but utterly incapable of assertion, even if it had any foundation in law. It was most important that the House should consider what the question really was on which they were asked to decide, and though he knew that the opinions he was uttering were not palatable to the House, he would earnestly request the noble Lord who took the lead in this mat- ter, to consider whether there was any legal foundation for the extravagant claims of privilege now set up. They were now called upon to vote Stockdale guilty of a breach of privilege for having commenced and prosecuted an action which the House of Commons had declared to be unlawful, and a breach of privilege, but which the courts of law had decided to be maintainable. In what situation did this matter stand? Stockdale had brought an action against the Messrs. Hansard, who had permitted judgment to go by default. Now, the effect of permitting judgment to go by default necessarily was the admission by the defendant of wrong done, and of the plaintiff's right to recover in the action, leaving for future consideration only the amount of the injury which had been inflicted. The Messrs. Hansard, under the direction of the House of Commons, no doubt, had permitted judgment to go by default; they admitted having published a libel upon the plaintiff, who had thereby sustained damage. In this state of things, what, he asked, could the court of justice do but that which it had done? Upon what point could it even exercise any discretion, supposing that it were desirous of reviewing its decision? Nothing, in fact, remained, but to ascertain the amount of damage done to the plaintiff. The House was now asked to pronounce the bringing of any action which the House denounced to be a breach of privilege, punishable by way of imprisonment. Now he would ask, whether this question was not raised in this country in the commencement of the last female reign, whether it had not then been decided against the House of Commons, and whether the House had not in every instance, until the resolution of 1837 was passed, acquiesced in the decision? If it should be found that this was the case, he would implore hon. Members not to permit themselves to be led away by a totally different consideration, whether the judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench, as to these papers being privileged or not, was a right or wrong decision. The question which they must now decide was, whether the House had a right to interfere to stop the prosecution of an action on the ground that it involved questions affecting its privileges, and that such questions were not cognizable in any court of justice. Personally, he had no more regard for the courts of justice than for that House, but he earnestly trusted that the House would not enter into a conflict which must have consequences most pernicious to the country, unless they were quite sure both that it was necessary, and that they were in the right. This very point in the same form had arisen in the great case of "Ashby and White," referred to by his hon. Friend last night. It had been then decided, he said, not whether rightly or wrongly, against the House, and from that time to the year 1837, though case after case had occurred in which exactly the same question arose, the House of Commons never once disputed the decision. They had now resolved that it was the right of the House of Commons to publish whatever they might think fit to send forth to the public; that no court of justice had the right to consider the propriety of that publication; that it was a breach of the privileges of the House to bring an action which the House might declare trenched upon their exclusive privileges; and it was for having violated that resolution that it was now proposed to commit Stockdale, and would be, he presumed, afterwards proposed to commit the sheriffs and other parties concerned in the business. It was because the sheriffs had presided over the jury, and levied the damages upon a writ of execution, that they were now called upon to appear at the bar. Had or had not this very proceeding been formerly declared by the House of Commons to be an offence, had or had not the question been determined against them? In the case of "Ashby v. White" in 1703, the question which arose respected the exclusive jurisdiction of the House of Commons quite as much as any that could possibly arise about the publication of papers. That case was an action brought by a person at Aylesbury against the returning officer for illegally rejecting his vote. The House of Commons had declared, on that occasion, that the right of voting for a Member of Parliament was a question to be decided exclusively by the House of Commons. That, no doubt, was just as much the subject of exclusive jurisdiction as the right of publication. It was so for the purpose of the return; but it was not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the House to determine the right of the elector to recover damages for a wrong done to him, any more than it was now in the exclusive jurisdiction of the House of Commons to determine whether Stockdale should recover damages for the wrong which Hansard upon the record, admitted to have been done to him. The House of Commons upon that occasion took up the question exactly as it had done now. They passed first a resolution, that the qualification of electors of Members of Parliament is determinable only before the House of Commons; next, that Matthew Ashby, having, in contempt of the jurisdiction of this House, commenced and prosecuted an action at common law against W. White and others, constables of Aylesbury, for not receiving his vote at an election for a Member of Parliament for the borough of Aylesbury, is guilty of a breach of privilege; and lastly, that no person shall presume to commence or prosecute any action or indictment of this description, and that all attornies, counsel, and others, guilty of aiding and abetting the same, are also guilty of a breach of privilege. He asked if there was any distinction between the present case and that of "Ashby and White." In both instances the House had resolved that the subject matter of the action was of its exclusive jurisdiction, and that its prosecution was a breach of privilege, subjecting the plaintiff to the consequences of a contempt. What, then, was the result of the case of "Ashby and White?" The House of Commons of that day did what the House was now called upon to do—they committed the plaintiff in the action. Now, if the House at that time failed in its attempt to extend the doctrines of privilege, and if for 130 years they had never sought to disturb the settlement then come to, though adverse to themselves, he would most humbly entreat them to pause before coming to a vote, which once passed could not be recalled, and the consequences of which no man in the House could foresee. This was no partisan question, and if by any personal sacrifices he could prevent the agitation of it, there was none which he would not make, but he believed the question to be of the Very essence of the law. The House would, he was sure, permit him to state the result of the case to which he had referred. Did the committal of the plaintiff stop the action? It did not. Judgment passed against the defendant in the action; he refused to pay, as Messrs. Hansard refused to pay, the damages; and in the course of a regular process of law, he was com- mitted to prison. He hoped the House would be guided by the effect of the proceedings on that occasion, and earnestly consider whether the same consequences must not inevitably follow in the present case. The House committed Ashby for a breach of privilege, and the Court of Queen's Bench committed the defendant for non-payment of damages. Did this proceeding strike terror into the delinquent? It occasioned no less than fourteen new actions. In every one of these actions the plaintiff was committed by the House of Commons. Did that stop the prosecution of the actions and the recovery of the damages? Not in any one action. The result of the present proceedings would inevitably be the same He thought his learned Friend the Attorney-general, though he might probably have misunderstood him, had asserted, that the resolution of the House in the case of "Ashby and White" never came before the House of Lords.

The Attorney General

explained, that what he had said was, that the case came before the House of Lords on a motion in arrest of judgment. The House of Lords as a court of error, could only consider the record, which made no mention of the resolution of the House of Commons, and therefore he had said, that the resolutions of the House was not before the House of Lords.

Mr. Pemberton

was quite sure that his hon and learned Friend had not been intentionally inacurate, and that he had misunderstood him on the former occasion, but it did not in the least affect the point to which he was anxious to draw their attention. They were told, that the privilege now in question was not the privilege of the House of Commons only, but of Parliament; that the Houses of Lords and Commons were the court of Parliament, and that it was from their decision that the Queen's subjects must take the law of privilege. He implored the attention of the House to what the House of Lords had resolved upon this subject, on which it was said the jurisdiction of both Houses was concurrent, and of equal authority. The resolution of the House of Lords of the 27th of March, 1704, was, that any person has a right to maintain an action against an officer who illegally rejected his vote; that the declaring Matthew Ashby guilty of a breach of the privileges of the House of Commons, for prosecuting an action against the constable of Aylesbury, for not receiving his vote at an election, after he had, by the common and proper methods of law, obtained a judgment of the court for the recovery of his damages, is an unprecedented attempt upon the judicature of Parliament, and is in effect to subject the law of England to the votes of the House of Commons. He was unwilling to excite any warmth of feeling on this subject; he was most anxious that the House should regard only the simple justice of the case. The second resolution of the Lords was, that the deterring an elector from prosecuting an action in the ordinary courts of law, when deprived of his right of voting, and the terrifying attornies, solicitors, counsellors, and serjeants-at-law from soliciting, prosecuting, and pleading in such causes, by voting their so doing a breach of privilege of the House of Commons, is manifestly assuming a power to control the law, to hinder the course of justice, and subject the property of Englishmen to the arbitrary votes of the House of Commons. He said nothing as to who had the right in this question—Lord Holt and the House of Lords, or the House of Commons. But the resolutions of the two Houses on this subject, on which it was said their jurisdiction was concurrent, were in diametrical opposition to each other, and whichever of these had since prevailed and been acquiesced in by the other party, must be taken as deciding the law. Would any one say that the privilege of the House of Lords or House of Commons was worth one farthing except as it was part of the law of England? It was because the privilege of both Houses was part of the law of England—a part entitled to as much reverence as any other, but to no more—that it was entitled lo the respect and obedience of all the Queen's subjects. For the same reasons, and no other, a necessary consequence had followed, that whatever court had jurisdiction in a particular case to decide upon the law of England, had jurisdiction to decide upon a point involving that privilege which was part of the law of England. There was no distinction in this case between the privilege of the House of Commons, or the House of Lords, and the prerogative of the Crown. They all stood upon the same ground, and, however invidious it might be to tell the House that a court of requests would have the power of deciding upon its privileges, yet he would ask if their privileges were greater than any other part of the law on which these courts might decide, or the prerogative of the Crown, on which they might decide? It was not because those courts had jurisdiction specially over the privilege of the House of Commons, or the privilege of the Lords, or the prerogative of the Crown, that they decided the action which gave rise to this debate, or any other action, but because those privileges, and that prerogative, were part and parcel of the law of England, recognized and obeyed by the Queen's subjects. For this reason, and for no other, they were entitled to our obedience, and, being entitled in that character to our obedience, they must be subject to the determination of those courts appointed to administer the law. Now, what was the result of the case of "Ashby v. White," in which the very question now at issue was raised? The consequence of the conflict between the House of Lords and the House of Commons was this—that the House of Commons committed, as the House was now about to do, the attornies and solicitors, and they did what he confessed it appeared to him the House was on the same principle called upon to do—they committed the counsel also. Now, he would ask the House, not that he was at all desirous of seeing the course which they were about to take extended to the counsel also, but he would ask them why, when they committed the attorney, they would not commit the counsel in the action, three in succession? And permit him to say, though not in a tone of defiance, that if they did commit the counsel, they would not stop the proceedings, though there should be 300 committed. Let them not think, that by committing half the bar they would deter the remaining counsel from lending their assistance to suitors in a court of justice. On that occasion, however, the House of Commons committed the attornies, the agents, and the counsel in the cause. Now, what was the result of that proceeding? The House of Lords committed in their turn the officers of the House of Commons. This proceeding was followed by a prorogation of Parliament, and what was the result of that prorogation? Every one of those individuals who had been committed by the House of Commons was that very moment discharged, and the consequence was, that every one of the plaintiffs re- covered the damages which he had obtained in the action at law. Now, this must be the result in the present instance. But, he would ask, did the House of Commons renew the conflict? Did the House, after that prorogation, re-assert the claims which had been made? Because, if they did not, every man must see that, right or wrong, they acquiesced in the decision of the House of Lords, when the sole question was, whether they would part with the privilege claimed by the House of Commons of closing the doors of the courts of justice against the Queen's subjects in all cases which involved the privileges of the House of Commons. And what was the feeling of the public with respect to those who had been imprisoned by the House of Commons? What did Burnett say on the subject? He told us that the people flocked in hundreds and thousands to them, considering them as martyrs in the cause of the public; and he also told us that the investigation brought into discredit the privileges of the House of Commons; and further, that the result of that investigation was found to be—a conclusion in which he could not agree with the reverend Prelate—that the House of Commons had no power to commit any body but their own members. Now the House would not deny, he was sure, that the question at issue did arise in the case of "Ashby v. White," and that it was decided. Had there been any subsequent occasion on which that determination had been rescinded, and if not, had there been any occasion on which the decision might have been reversed? In the course of the very next year a similar action to "Ashby v. White" was brought; precisely the same question arose, and the House of Commons never interfered. Had no subsequent occasion arisen in which there had been afforded an opportunity of interfering. He entreated hon. Gentlemen to recollect that the question was not whether the privilege now claimed were valid or not in law, but whether it were examinable in a court of justice. Now, had or had not cases arisen since the decision in "Ashby v. White" in which that question had been tried? If so, had the House of Commons interfered to stop the actions. They all of them knew that such cases had arisen, and that they were not only numerous, but might even be divided into classes. Now, was there one privilege more desirable than that the House of Commons should have the power of publishing a correct account of what was spoken within the walls of Parliament? The House claimed the privilege of publishing with impunity its votes and proceedings; but was it not equally important that what the House permitted to be published in the course of their debates should be truly and fairly laid before the public? Had the public no right to know the grounds on which their representatives founded their votes, and the facts on which they had relied in arriving at a decision? If they had such a right, surely it was essential that the debates should be presented to the public in the most accurate form, and they should not be left to the inaccuracies of the reporters, which were formerly great, although the debates were now almost as accurate as they could possibly be. Now, although it might be material that the House should have the privilege of publishing whatever papers and evidence they might think necessary it was, to say, the least, quite as important that they should have the power of publishing the debates which contained the foundation of their votes and proceedings. Who, he would ask, read these enormous cartloads of rubbish which were constantly issued by that House, and which were afterwards only available as waste paper? The way in which they were communicated to the public, that was to say their pith and marrow, was in the form of debates, and therefore it was important that the House of Commons should be at liberty to publish those debates. But here, again, their privilege was not the privilege of publication, for he had only to call the attention of the Speaker to what he would then only put as an hypothetical fact, that he saw strangers in the gallery, and that moment, although every Member in the House were to vote against him, the House must be cleared. Now, what was the reason of this? That their privilege was one of secrecy and not of publicity—because they pen up at a time when secrecy was considered necessary for the protection of Members. It was because, when the privileges of the House of Commons grew up, they were intended and applied for the protection of the House against the Crown, and it never was intended that they should be used against the people. Privileges were intended to be means of defence, and not instruments of tyranny. They all of them knew that cases had again and again been brought before the courts in which these questions had been entertained. It was not necessary to go over all of them; he would take the last and greatest case of all, that which brought the principle contended for to the severest test. The House of Commons committed Sir Francis Burdett for a speech made by him in the House of Commons. Sir Francis Burdett told the House of Commons, "I will do that which you are so apprehensive of—I will make the question of your privileges the subject of a decision in the House of Lords." He did so; and did so in the boldest manner. He brought an action for false imprisonment, not only against the officers of the House, but also against the Speaker himself. Now if there ever was a case in which the House of Commons were authorized to stop an action, that was it. But the House did not do so, because they found that ever since the case of "Ashby v. White," privilege, like prerogative, had been examined in the courts of law, and, finding this to be the case, the House of Commons did not degrade, but rather ennobled itself, by setting the example of the Representative Majesty of the Commons bowing to the superior majesty of the law. The question of privilege was argued in that case with the concurrence of the House of Commons, and the question was decided in their favour. But the result of the inquiry was wholly unimportant to the present question. Let hon. Members recollect that the question now at issue was not whether the privilege claimed existed, but whether the claim was to be tried in a court of justice. The question was, whether the House would interfere, not by law, but in the absence of law, and in defiance of law. But it was impossible to conceive a case in which the House of Commons was more bound to interfere than in the case of "Burdett v. Abbott." Sir Francis Burdett brought a writ of error, and had the very point tried before the House of Lords, and after the House of Lords and the Queen's Bench had decided against him, he brought another action against the officers of the House of Commons. In neither of these cases did the House of Commons say, "This is a question which shall not be tried by the courts of law." He earnestly, then, implored hon. Members not to enter now into a conflict in the assertion of a privilege which had not been asserted for 130 years. He laid aside for the present all considerations relating to public opinion. He was quite satisfied that eventually the popular course would be that which it was the right and just course to pursue. But he asked the House not to advance the claim which had been made until they were satisfied that the decision in "Ashby v. White" had been in some measure reversed. He would now call the attention of the noble Lord opposite to the consequences to which this motion, if carried, would lead. He would assume that the House of Commons would act on the resolutions which it had passed affirming this principle, that the House of Commons would in no case permit the courts of justice to entertain questions which involved the consideration of their privileges, and that the House would take the high course which they had already taken in the last action, and refuse to appear again to any writ. He asked them to consider what would be the necessary consequence. He took it that Mr. Stockdale was not a person bound by any peculiar tics to any peculiar place. Now, why had he appeared before them on the present occasion? For this reason, they might depend upon it—because Mr. Stockdale knew, perhaps better than they did, what the tone of public opinion was on this subject. The House first tried the action on the merits, and the jury decided in their favor. In the next action the House of Commons refused to defend on the merits, but stood on its privilege, as excluding the plaintiff from his right to sue. This being decided against them, they refused to appear on the assessment of damages, and the jury gave Mr. Stockdale 100l. as damages. Why did they do so? For the same reason that they gave large damages in the case of general warrants, because they thought that the House was asserting a privilege which was inconsistent with the law of the land, and the liberty of the subject. In the second action, therefore, they gave 100l. damages; but the House still persisted in the publication, and a jury then gave 600l. damages. Why so? Not because Mr. Stockdale had sustained any injury, but because they thought, rightly or wrongly, that the contest was not between Mr. Stockdale and Mr. Hansard, but between the law of the land, and the liberties of the subject on the one hand, and the despotic power of the House of Commons on the other. Now, the House was about to commit Mr. Stockdale, but why would they commit him? Because he chose to be committed, and he would make an annuity and an income out of that determination. A prorogation at the end of the Sesssion would release Mr. Stockdale. But he might be released much sooner. A dissolution was not impossible. If the House proceeded in this course, it was certain. Did any man believe that the House of Lords would recede from their own resolution, in which they were supported by the law, and which was confirmed by the acquiescence of the House of Commons for 130 years? What then would be the consequence of a conflict between the Houses of Parliament? But suppose a dissolution did not take place, there must be a prorogation. What would be the effect of that? Mr. Stockdale would be in prison until either a prorogation or a dissolution took place, and the moment afterwards he would bring an action for false imprisonment. They might tell him that the action would not lie. But they would refuse to put their defence on record—they would not submit a defence to a court of law; they would let judgment go by default; they would repudiate the protection of the judges—they would have nothing to do with it. They must adopt this course if they meant to preserve any colour of consistency. Otherwise it would be justly said, that they were willing to admit the jurisdiction of the law, when they had a good case, and denied it only when they had a bad one. They could not therefore appear to such an action. He defied them, then, to take that step, without exposing themselves to the ridicule of the whole civilized world. Did they doubt what would be the result of an action? Did they not remember that the people were represented in that court by the jury, who, whether rightly or wrongly, he cared not which, had given damages to the amount of 600l. in a case where there had been no injury inflicted? He would ask the House whether, if Mr. Stockdale were thrown into a dungeon for six months, a jury would give less than 6,000l. instead of 600l.? He thought they would not. Let the House observe by what accident it was that they were able to interfere now. If Parliament had not been assembled un- til the usual time, and if it had not been for an unusual circumstance, an event in which all Her Majesty's subjects most cordially rejoiced, the damages which had been given would have been recovered—the 600l. would have been in Mr. Stock-dale's pocket, and he would have been in France before the meeting of Parliament. There he would have stayed until Parliament was prorogued, and then he would have returned to England, purchased another copy of the work, brought a new action, and recovered new damages, and have returned to France to spend them. A Royal marriage would not take place every year lo bring about a meeting of Parliament within the first four days of term. As surely, then, as Parliament would be assembled at a later period, what he had stated would take place. Was that a desirable state in which to place the law? Whatever view other hon. members might take of the nature of this contest, he ventured to declare that the contest really and simply was, whether they would proceed with the law or against it? What would be the consequence of their present course? What was the very next motion to be brought before the House? What did they intend to do with the sheriffs? Let them not say "We are not discussing the question of the sheriffs." The two questions could not be separated. Whose officers were the two sheriffs? They were the ministerial officers of a court of justice, and had no more discretion about levying or not levying an execution when directed to do so than about the most absolute part of their duty. They were the mere machines for executing the processes of the court. They could not refuse to act, for if they did attachment must necessarily follow. But what was it the House called upon the sheriffs to do? To disobey the orders of the court of which they were officers and the mere machines, without possessing any discretion, and being bound by oath to execute the commands of that court. It was not merely the order of the judge upon the bench which they called upon the sheriff to disobey, but the order of Queen Victoria, pronounced in due course of law in in that court of which they were the servants. The House might send the sheriffs to Newgate, if they would; but could they free them from the obligation of the solemn oath which they had taken in the face of God and their country to do their duty as the servants of the court whence process had been issued? Would they proceed to deal in that manner with those officers because they thought they could condemn them in safety, and suffer the higher powers, under whose commands they had acted and were bound to act, to remain untouched? What had been the conduct of those officers? They had acted with great caution; they had not acted spontaneously; but they seemed to have paid more respect to the opinion of the House than, perhaps, was consistent with that rigid performance of their duty which justice required. Was there any one hon. gentleman in the House who would agree that it was just to commit a man for doing that which it would be a gross violation of his duty not to do? Would they commit the Sheriffs of London for doing that which they said was illegal, and refused to contest the point of legality with the power which was the source of the proceeding? They would commit the sheriff, and yet would not venture to touch one hair of the head of the jury who gave such exorbitant damages for the plaintiff. They would commit the sheriff, who had summed up the case to the jury in his capacity as presiding judge, and who did all he could to mitigate the damages, and stated the case for them when they would not attend to state it themselves, and yet they would not touch the jury who awarded the damages. They would attack the attorney for the plaintiff; but where was Mr. Platt, a Queen's counsel, and Mr. Carrington, the counsel for the plaintiff, who had argued the case before the judge, and disputed the privileges of the House in plain and express terms? Why did they confine themselves to the small game, who were too weak and feeble to resist them, and refrain from entering into a contest with the more powerful condemners of their course? Against the Chief Justice and the judge who pronounced the law to be against the House they had taken no step—he was obliged to say—because they durst not. But if they would take a manly course, they would at once call upon the judges to come to the bar of the House and tell the House why they had presumed to administer the law of England according to their own oaths, and that which in their consciences they believed to be the law. Why did they not summon Lord Chief Justice Denman to the bar, and ask him how he had dared, upon a point coming before him in con- troversy in an action between two individual, to express an opinion and administer the law upon the privileges of the House of Commons, those privileges being part and parcel of the law, and for that reason only coming under his consideration and for that reason alone being worth one straw? What did Lord Chief Justice Holt say in the case of the Earl of Banbury? That persons had been indicted for murder. The House of Lords having decided that he was not Earl of Banbury, and the question having occurred in the King's Bench whether such determination was conclusive upon the judges of that court, they decided that it was not conclusive, and that upon the record before them they must hold (in opposition to the resolution of the House of Lords) that he was Earl of Banbury. Nothing could illustrate more strongly the sense in which either House of Parliament was the exclusive judge of its privileges. The House of Lords was exclusive judge for the purpose of determining whether Mr. Knollys was Earl of Banbury, for the purpose of sitting in the House of Lords. They decided that he was not, and his representatives have ever since been excluded. When the same question came before the Queen's bench in a matter arising for their determination they had exclusive jurisdiction, they decided differently from the House of Lords, their decision was conclusive, and the result was that Mr. Knollys was not heard at all. Lord Chief Justice Holt was required by the House of Lords to answer for his decision against their decision, and the answer he gave was that which he presumed Lord Dennian would give, and that which he trusted all men who presided in a court of justice when placed in like circumstances would never want the courage to give—it was, that when he was summoned in due course of law to explain the judgment he had given. he would give an explanation, but that he would never give it at any other time or in any other place. The fact was, that according to the reporter of those times there was much talk and vapouring in the House of Lords, but it all ended in smoke. He urged upon the attention of the House the necessity of settling this question, and establishing the law by the concurrent determination of Parliament, they would then have satisfaction amongst the people upon this subject, and no difficulty or opposition on the part of the courts of law. That course they would be obliged to take at last, and he therefore put it to them whether it would not be more manly to do so at once, than to go on in the present unworthy conflict, in which, whether they were worsted or victorious, they could gain nothing but discredit.

Sir C. Grey

said, there is some inconsistency in the arguments which the honorable and learned Member for Ripon has addressed to our fears. For, first, as if to check too great a boldness, he has drawn a picture of the consequences of our proceedings, in which the most appalling object is that of the judges standing at the bar of the House; and, then, he has taunted us, as if for cowardice, in not daring to bring them there at once. If I saw any precipitate rashness in our proceedings, I should be as anxious as the hon. and learned Member to check it: but, when I recollect the length of time since this question first arose—the laborious investigations of more than one select committee—the repeated resolutions of the House—and that this is the third action at law which Stockdale has brought against the servant of the House, in defiance of those resolutions, it seems to me that we have acted with a proper caution and deliberation; and that, if we have at last come to a conclusion to which we are prepared to adhere, all intimations of danger, and especially from a member of the House, ought to operate as incentives to an energetic progress, and not as inducements to a wavering inaction. Being myself one of the profession of the law, and having held for several years the highest judicial station in India, I have approached the consideration of this question without any prejudices either against courts of law or the judicial office: and I do not go so far as, it seems to be considered, that the arguments of her Majesty's Attorney-general, and, indeed, some resolutions of this House, have gone towards precluding courts of law from all consideration of the orders of either House of Parliament. I cannot, upon that point, find any distinction which is completely satisfactory to my own mind between prerogative and privilege; and, just as I think that the courts may be called upon to look at the order of the sovereign, whether it be for the levy of ship money, or any thing else, to see if it be within the prerogative; so, if the ordinary working of the machinery of a court of law brings before the judges any order of this or of the other House of Parliament, I think the judges are bound to consider whether it is, upon the face of it, an order which may be legal, or is one which cannot possibly be so. If it is an order which any facts or circumstances would support and justify, they have no right to inquire whether those facts or circumstances have existed, but must presume, in favor of the order, that they did. If, on the other hand, an order were to be brought before them which no facts could possibly justify, such as an order for the Sergeant at Arms to put a party to death, it seems to me that the judges would be bound to disregard it, and to treat it as a nullity. But, even in that extreme case, this House must rescind its order from becoming itself, convinced of its illegality, and not because it is compellable to do so by force of the judgment of any court of law: and whenever the House remains satisfied, as it does in the present instance, of the legality of its order it is impossible for it to regard any prosecution of those employed to execute the order as anything else than an interruption of its proceedings, and a breach of privilege by whomsoever it may be committed. The cases of Ashby v. White, and of Burdett v. Abbott, do not appear to me to affect, in any way, this position. There has never been an assent or acquiescence on the part of this House, which any one can seriously regard as having given such force to the resolutions of the House of Lords in the case of Ashby v. White, as to bind the House of Commons to take the definition of its privileges from the decisions of courts of law; and, according to the opinion which I have already expressed of its being open to the courts of law to take a limited cognizance of our orders, I see no inconsistency with our present proceedings, in the fact of the Attorney-General having gone before the judges either in the case of Burdett v. Abbott, or recently in one of the actions between Stockdale and Hansard, to argue as to the legal effect of the orders of this House. In both cases I conceive that the Attorney-general felt a confidence that he could shew to the judges that the order was one which it was within the privileges or lawful powers of the House to make, whenever it might appear to the House that circumstances called for it; and that the judges would respect it without entering into any enquiry whether such circum stances had or had not excited. In Burdett v. Abbott, these expectations of the Attorney-general were realized in Stockdale v. Hansard, they were not. Upon the questions, therefore, that are now before the House for decision, I consider that if we continue to think the order to Hansard to publish our proceedings was justifiable, it is impossible for us to do otherwise than regard all who have attacked or prosecuted those who were employed to carry that order into execution as having committed a breach of privilege. But although in technical language it may be convenient to denominate every breach of privilege, a contempt, it is plain that the several parties stand in very different degrees of actual offence towards the House. Stockdale is entirely a volunteer; a private person, not called or led into this contest by the duties or functions of any public office, but one who, in pursuit or defence of what he supposed to be his interests and rights, chose to set up his own opinion against the resolutions of one of the principal bodies of the state. He, without taking into consideration the time of his letter, which has been read at the bar, may fairly, and, without resorting to technical language, be deemed to have been wilfully guilty of a contemptuous and contumacious defiance of the House of Commons. The sheriffs, on the other hand, it is but fair to suppose, have done nothing more than what they were convinced they were called upon to do by the obligations of the public office which they hold; and, as to them, the object of the House must be not to punish, but merely to do what is absolutely necessary for the assertion of our privilege, and the protection of Mr. Hansard, the servant of the House. As to the judges, according to the view which I take of their duties, all we have to complain of is an erroneous decision: and thus vanishes, from before my eyes at least, the alarming vision of those venerable personages standing at the bar of the House. I can indeed imagine cases, in which, for the vindication of our privileges, it might become necessary to call judges to the bar of the House, but no such case seems to me to exist at present, and I hope it never will. With a reference, however, to the further progress of this case, and as I have never yet found an opportunity of stating my opinion on the legality of our original order for the publication and sale of our proceedings, I will now do so, but with- out entering, at present, into any reasoning on the subject. My opinion then is, that occasions may arise, in which it may be necessary for the due performance of its duties, that this House should publish its proceedings to all the world; and that no one but the House itself has any right to determine whether those occasions have arisen or not, or how long they continue. The common and general law of the land recognizes many cases in which the publication of matters injurious to the reputation of individuals is permitted, and privileged even in private life, upon the ground that it is called for by a degree of public convenience, and general expediency, which is of more consequence than the protection of reputation. Thus, in giving the character of a servant, you may say with impunity, if only it be said with honesty, what may render it impossible for a servant ever to obtain another service; or, if it be a woman, that which may make her an outcast of society. Communications of a similar nature may be made between partners in trade, or others who have a common interest in knowing the truth respecting the subject of the accusatory statement. There is no question made by any one, but that amongst the Members of the House of Commons likewise, there is even on these grounds a privilege of making such communications, but the doubt raised is as to the extent and degree of publicity to which the privilege extends. To me it seems, that a careful and full consideration of the vast scope of the powers, and functions, and duties of Parliament, will satisfy any one, that it may frequently be the case, that nothing less than a general and indiscriminate publication to all the world, will either sufficiently inform all who have a manifest and legitimate interest in the proceedings of Parliament, or will enable the House of Commons to act energetically as the grand inquest of the nation, or to take its share in legislation without the risk of doing more harm than good. The four judges of the Queen's Bench are reported to have themselves admitted freely, in their judgment of the 31st May, 1839, that the House is privileged to publish accusatory matter in its proceedings—to have admitted, also, that there is no statute, nor any text of law, nor any judicial decision which has fixed the mode or extent of publication; but to have adjudged and determined upon grounds of analogy and deductions from legal principles, that the publication must be confined to Members of the House; and to have gone so far as to say, that the papers of a Member containing accusatory matter ought to be destroyed at his death by his executor. We, Sir, as it seems to me, may affirm on the contrary, that the judges by admitting, as they could not help admitting, the right of any publication at all of accusatory matter, for Parliamentary purposes, have admitted our whole case; that there is no other foundation for the precise degree of publication which they are willing to concede to us than, I will not call it the fancy, but the reasoning of the judges; that no reasoning can enable a judge to perceive better than the House of Commons itself can perceive, from the facts and circumstances with which it has to deal, the extent of publication which is necessary for the right conduct of its proceedings: that, for the justification of its acts in the eyes of those of whom it is the representative, it is necessary, that the House should have the privilege of making, not only its own Members, but the people at large, acquainted with the grounds on which it acts: that this is especially necessary when those grounds are the crimes of individuals, or the misdeeds of whole classes of the people: and that a continually progressing publication of voluminous printed proceedings for the use of the British Parliament is necessarily and unavoidably a publication to a vast many others than the Members themselves. Sir, neither my veneration for the solemn office of the Judges, nor my sincere and deep respect for their learning, talents, and worth, nor my regard for them as private persons, can prevent me from saying upon this occasion in my place in this House, and for the important purpose which we have in hand, that to me it seems to be in the highest degree unreasonable, and nothing less than absurd, to acknowledge the existence of a privilege of publishing and printing accusatory matter in the proceedings of Parliament for the perusal, use, carrying about, discussion, and debate of 658 Members of the House of Commons, and of all the Peers of the Realm, and of the officers and clerks of both Houses, and of the several persons whose duty it may be to advise her Majesty as to acts of legislation, and, at the same time, to attempt to establish, on no basis more substantial than that of legal deductions and argument, a prohibition against any of that numerous body of communicants, or any of those who are employed in the printing and publication of the documents permitting either wilfully or by negligence, that any one, but themselves, should obtain a sight of such particular passages in the vast mass of printed papers as may affect the character or offend the feelings of any one.

Sir E. Sugden

rose, not for the purpose of carrying further the discussion of the question then before the House, but rather for the purpose of putting a question to the noble Lord opposite, and to the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-general. There appeared to him to be considerable difficulty in carrying the discussion much further at present; but, without occupying the time of the House with any observations of that nature, he should content himself with inquiring from the noble Lord and the learned Attorney-general, what they intended to ask of Mr. Stockdale when he should next appear at the bar of that House—what did they propose to do when the time came for asking Mr. Stock-dale whether he had anything to offer in defence or explanation of the conduct which he had pursued? Was it their intention to put that question at the next stage of the proceedings, or at that which was to follow the next? Did they mean to make the enquiry when he was called to the bar, or subsequently to the intended order for his committal? Eight different persons had been required to attend, some were treated as witnesses, some otherwise. The noble Lord had begun by treating these parties as witnesses, but had conceded to him that they were not before the House in that character. Yet the hon. and learned Attorney-general had treated Mr. Stockdale as a witness, at least had spoken of him as a witness, and yet had put some questions as though he were not a witness. Although he did not for a moment affirm, that the House of Commons was bound to follow the practice of a court of law in its mode of proceeding, yet unless there were some very strong reason for departing from the rules and usages of the courts, he thought that legal forms had much better be observed; and he took it for granted, that no opportunities of being heard would be denied to Mr. Stockdale, when he stated anything necessary to his defence or vindication. They must first call Stockdale to the bar, and then proceed to commit him to gaol. Now, what effect would that proceeding have on the other persons who were next to be called to the bar, especially if their nerves were not of the strongest kind? He would first call on them to state their own case, before the House carried into effect the course they proposed with respect to Stockdale. He wished before he sat down just to call the attention of the noble Lord opposite, and the Attorney-general to this one point, in answer to the hon. Gentleman's observations. In the case of "Ashby and White," which had been before referred to, it went on appeal to the House of Lords; and although this House had said, that it was a breach of privilege for any such action to be brought, yet the other House had decided against them. But, in point of fact, the rights and privileges of the House of Commons, were the privilege of the House of Lords, and formerly, when both branches of the legislature were united and were one body, the privileges were common to both, and when they separated, their privileges became the privileges of each. The only difference now was, that they exercised their privileges separately. When, therefore, the House of Lords came to their decision in the case of Ashby v. White, it could not be argued that they did not know what the privileges of the House of Commons were, as they had not been cognisant of them in that case; for, if that were admitted, it must be allowed that they did not know their own privileges, because the privileges of that House were their own privileges. When, therefore, they came to that decision, they determined that, in the case of Ashby v. White, the privilege claimed was not their own privilege any more than it was of that House. He wished now to state why his impression was, that he should not vote against Mr. Stockdale. Nobody could feel any commiseration for him; he was in fact making a trade by this unhappy business. There could be no doubt of the publication being obscene, and that he was, therefore, entitled to no damages; nobody could, therefore, feel much for Stockdale, and he had, moreover, acted in defiance of this House. But he would now explain to the House, why he felt that he could not vote against him. He thought it necessary, both for the purposes of justice and the honour of this House, that they should state in the commitment, the offence and the cause of the commitment. He was likewise of opinion, but only speaking for himself, that although they stated the cause of the commitment, neither the Queen's Bench nor any other authority could release the offender under a writ of habeas corpus if this House committed him, and it was equally clear, that no action could be maintained for false imprisonment. But that did not show the justice of their proceeding. There was, however, no reason to suppose that this House, in the exercise of its privileges, would fall into such an error. They had powers which could not be abused, except it were by mistake. Nobody could say, that there would be any willing abuse of the powers which were given to them. But he wished to know upon what point they would now commit Stockdale. He would put the letter out of the question, for it was too paltry; it was one unworthy of an Englishman to write; but was it on the expression which he had made use of, as an Englishman might, that he would try his right against this House? He might dislike the way in which he stated his determination; but still he found no fault with him for his resolution. Upon which, then, of the actions did they commit him? He wished the House to observe this. Not upon the first, because they had met him in conflict, argued against him, and been beaten. [The Attorney-General: It was a contest with Messrs. Hansard.] It was the case of this House. Well, then, on the second action he (Sir E. Sugden) could not vote for his commitment, because he had voted in the committee in his favour, and therefore could not vote against him in this House; and the reason he had done so was this, that in that action they had met him fairly, and been beaten by the opinion of four of the judges of England, and as the law had allowed him to bring a second action, and it had not suited the views of the House to put in their proper defence to that action, knowing that the result of any course being adopted against him by this House, would be his removal to a dungeon, he (Sir E. Sugden) had voted in the committee against any harsh proceeding towards him, in reference to either the first or second action. It appeared to him, therefore, that the only ground on which they could attack him, was the third action which he had brought during the recess of the House, and against their resolution. But to do that, they must put the resolution as against the judges of the land. That, however, seemed not a wise way to vindicate their privileges, or to try the question against Stockdale. It would make his fortune, and not be a proper way to assert their power. He believed, that this first step would lead them on; and he knew it to be a bad step. If they had the privilege, this man had invaded it knowingly, in order to obtain damages. He had already stated his view on the subject, but he wished to impress on the House his opinion against deciding upon Stockdale's commitment, before he or the other persons who were to be called to the bar, were heard as to what they could state in defence or justification of their conduct.

Mr. Wakley

should not have troubled the House with a single word on this occasion had it not been for some observations that were made by the hon. and learned Gentlemen who had just sat down, and also by the other hon. and learned Member for Ripon, with reference to the case of Sir J. Hobhouse. The hon. Gentleman had asked the noble Lord when it was intended to give the other defendants and Stockdale an opportunity of being heard in their defence, or in justification or extenuation of the conduct they had pursued. He hoped that the whole of the House would agree with him in the propriety of giving them that opportunity. Nothing damaged this House more in public opinion, and nothing was more likely to produce an injurious effect than having called a person to their bar without putting any question to him as to what he could state in defence of his conduct to throw him into a dungeon. But he wished to remind the House and the country, and some hon. Members who seemed on this occasion to be seized with such an extraordinary fit of liberalism, what was actually done in the case of Sir J. Hobhouse. In the year 1819, Sir J. Hobhouse published a pamphlet called A Trifling Mistake. In that pamphlet were contained some strong remarks on the conduct of this House, but not by any means so strong, or likely to affect the excited state of the public mind at that time, as was sometimes found in these days. What did he state in that pamphlet? He said, then, and unfortunately he found it was true, and too applicable in these days, "That the House of Commons was not protected by love but fear, and that they rested their protection on the Horse Guards." He said also, "He should like to know what was to prevent the people from coming to the House, locking the doors, and throwing the key into the Thames." That pamphlet was considered as a breach of privilege, and the printer was ordered to the bar. He attended on the following day; he had permission to give up the name of the author, and what was done then? A Member of this House rose and said he was empowered to state that Sir J. Hobhouse was the author of the pamphlet. Was the offender called to the bar and asked what he could say in justification? No. Now, let them observe, this was for the publication of a pamphlet, and he might have been proceeded against in an ordinary court of law for libel, but no such course was taken, and yet that was in the good old Tory times of 1819 Sir John Hobhouse was not brought to the bar to be heard in justification, but was actually committed to Newgate without the opportunity of saying one word in his defence. And that act was done by the friends of the gentlemen opposite—by those gentlemen who professed the Tory principles professed by the hon. Gentleman opposite. ["Question."] The hon. Gentleman called question—that was always the case whenever they felt the shoe pinch. Yes, anything that would divert the mind when the truth was told; but what he had stated was a fact of history. He for one was willing to take on himself all the responsibility that could belong to him as a Member of this House in consequence of the course pursued by the Government on this occasion. He thought they were now in the right path, and he only regretted it was not entered into at an earlier period. Having stated thus much for the conduct of the Government, he should not discharge the duty which he owed to his own feelings or to the House if he were not, and he trusted the right hon. Baronet would excuse him for saying it, to express his warmest approbation of the course the right hon. Member for Tamworth had taken on this subject. The question under the consideration of the House was one of the most important that had ever engaged any part of the legislature of this country. It was a question, in fact, the determination of which was to decide whether there was to be an English House of Commons or not, whether it was to be a House in which they could exercise any privileges for the benefit of the people independent of the hereditary branch of the Legislature. Was it to be endured that every thing which the House of Commons could assert as a privilege was to be carried to the House of Lords, and that that House should determine whether they should enjoy it or not? It was said, that by the constitution, the people of England were sitting in this House, The right hon. Baronet had put this question most admirably during the last Session. He said, "We can only support our privileges by public opinion, if that is with us, we shall succeed, but if against us we shall fail." And he would say that was the common sense of the question. He wished not to say anything that was of an irritating nature, but at the same time he would state his own opinion candidly and fearlessly; and he would say for one, that he was prepared to make any sacrifice as a humble Member of this House or as a private individual rather than he should consent to see the prerogatives, if he might term it such, or privileges of this House determined by the hereditary branch of the Legislature. How was this House treated by the House of Lords? He would repeat one of their orders as correctly as his memory would permit him. It was to this effect—"And be it observed, that in conferences with the lower House, no Member of that House be permitted to sit either at conferences or in committees in our presence, except it be some decrepid old man, who by connivance may be allowed to sit in a corner, but not to be covered." Could any body fancy that with such a resolution as that, if they followed the theory of hon. Gentleman opposite, they would have any privileges or power in this House independent of the authority of the House of Lords? He for one would never consent to it, but he entreated the Government to go on calmly and steadily in the course they had taken. Every feeling of agitation or party should be discarded from the mind in discussing a question of this nature, and although he observed on the opposite side a disposition to prolong this proceeding by discussion, he entreated Ministers to persevere in their course; for the more they discussed it, the more would the public think of this matter, and the more firmly would the public be persuaded that what the House of Commons was now doing was for the public good, and not injury, and that if the power the House was now seeking to retain were to be lost, they never could regain it without a violent revolution.

Lord J. Russell

wished to answer the questions which had been put to him by the right hon. Member for Ripon, and likewise to suggest some alteration in the form of proceeding which he had proposed. The right hon. Gentleman had asked him, in the first place, whether it were proper to go into the rest of the cases, and hear what the other persons who were summoned to the Bar to-day had to state in their de- fence, before proceeding against Stockdale. To that his answer was decidedly in the negative. He did not think with respect to the other cases, that it was of any consequence, as there was nothing which would be stated in connexion with any of them in extenuation of Stockdale's offence. That offence had been committed by him in bringing his action, as he was the person who had set in motion the whole of this proceeding. Whatever might have been the fault of others, he could not see anything that could happen in the course of this proceeding to exonerate Stockdale from a charge of breach of privilege in bringing that action against which the resolution of this House was directed. As to the other question of the right hon. Gentleman, "Whether Stockdale should not be asked whether he had anything to say in his defence?" he must own that he did not see what they could draw from such an examination. The statement of Messrs Hansard in their petition was, that they had been served with a legal process at the suit of John Joseph Stockdale, for publishing the evidence taken before a Committee of the House. Now, if they had made any false statement in that respect, it would appear from the examination of the solicitor, whereas it appeared that Stockdale avowed that the action was brought by him, and that he had done it purposely to try the rights of the House of Commons. If any hon. Member of the House thought that the case of Stockdale would be made better by asking him any questions, he would not oppose it, but he thought the whole statement of Messrs. Hansard was admitted at once by Stockdale as to the real facts of the case. He had intended to move a resolution, stating in the first place that Stockdale had brought an action against the House, and was thereby guilty of a breach of privilege; but his hon. and learned friend near him made an objection to that form, and he then moved the resolution which was now before the House; but he certainly now thought it better, with his hon. and learned Friend, that there should be a previous resolution stating the fact with respect to Stockdale, and then a resolution declaring him guilty of a breach of privilege of this House by bringing the action, and that if those two resolutions were carried, there should be a further resolution for his commitment. He would, therefore, withdraw the resolution he had moved, and now move one which, we understood, was to the effect—"That Stockdale had brought an action against Messrs. Hansard for publishing, by the direction of the House, evidence that was taken before a Committee of the House."

Mr. Law

rose to order. This motion could not be put from the chair, as there was an amendment on the previous motion.

The Speaker

said, that it could not be moved unless the hon. Member consented to withdraw his amendment; but if he did that, the original motion might then be withdrawn, and this motion be afterwards made.

Mr. Law

could not consent to withdraw his amendment and to have an entirely-new resolution substituted, involving entirely new questions, and not setting forth the whole, and therefore not setting forth the true facts of the case. It would be most unjust to the individual who had been brought before them merely to state that he had commenced these proceedings, without adding that he had done so after his right to maintain his action had been adjudicated upon. If justice was intended to be done—and he could not conceive that there was any other intention—it was unfair to state acts without the circumstances affording an exculpation or explanation of them. The resolution which set forth that the party had presumed to bring this action ought also to set forth that he had been suffered to succeed in a former action, and that the courts of law had held that the action was maintainable, so as to bring before the House the precise point whether, although the party had committed a breach of the privileges of the House, he had done so under circumstances which showed that the breach was a wilful one, and one which ought properly to be made the subject of punishment. The fact was truly what the House had extracted from Mr. Stockdale when he appeared at their bar, that Mr. Stockdale had instituted these proceedings for the purpose of trying in a court of law whether the privilege contended for really existed, and did so, under a firm conviction that the law would maintain him in the course which he had taken, and that at common law he was entitled to proceed. When it was proposed to him to withdraw his amendment, he must require that the new motion should set the case upon its proper footing, and should state that the proceedings now under consider- ation had only been instituted after Mr. Stockdale had successfully combated the question upon a former occasion.

Sir E. Sugden

thought that the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down did not deal justly with the noble Lord, who had only amended his motion in compliance with the suggestions offered to the noble Lord by him and those who sat on his side of the House.

Mr. O'Connell

observed that the noble Lord would now see the consequences of endeavouring to conciliate Gentlemen opposite. The question was, whether he should enter into a compromise with the right hon. and learned Gentleman as to the form of proceeding; and the noble Lord was now told that, if he did so, they must at that late hour renew the whole discussion. By this means they would have the remainder of the night taken up by the discussion on this question alone. The greater part of the discussion of that night had been on the question as to whether or not they should put in force and adhere to the resolutions which they passed on this matter in 1837 and 1839. The able argument of the right hon. Member for Ripon was directed to this point. The effect of the resolutions was to declare that the House would act with vigour on them; and having so decided, if they now resolved not to act upon them they would stultify themselves, and their proceedings would appear to be perfectly ridiculous. Hon. Gentlemen did not manfully propose to rescind the resolutions, but they resolved that they should remain in full force, but that they should have no effect whatever. Thus, then, instead of the House acting vigorously and with decision in vindication of its privileges, it was not to act at all. When he heard hon. and learned Gentleman talk so much of popularity and love of liberty, he could not help congratulating hon. Gentlemen on the client whom they have to defend. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were perfectly silent when they heard that the people of England were to bear the expenses of these proceedings, and to be liable to the damages that might be given in these actions; but when he alluded to their client, Mr. Stockdale, he was immediately met with a Conservative cry of "oh." Had they forgotten that Mr. Stockdale had been convicted of publishing indecent libels? and yet this was the person who was under the special protec- tion of the representatives of the religion and the literature of England. This person said that he was an author, printer, and publisher. They had heard something of the works of which he was supposed to be the author. Were not his publications declared, on the oaths of twelve special jurymen, to be obscene libels? This, then, was the man whom such a large portion of the chivalry of England, and almost the whole of the English bar, were so anxious to defend. This was the man whom they were ail so anxious to vindicate in every possible way, and if the world were not to be dissolved in his defence, they at least were threatened with a dissolution of that House. They had been gravely told of these proceedings being an attempt to crush a British subject, and of the necessity of dissolving the English Parliament, to get out of the difficulty in which they were involved. And this was to be the case after that House had solemnly pledged itself to the proposition, that they could not perform their functions to the public unless they possessed the power, and, of course were able to exercise it. The hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge—(Mr. Law)—had talked of the importance of maintaining the authority of the judges of the Court of Queen's Bench. But the House should recollect that the hon. and learned Gentleman was not altogether a disinterested person in this matter. The hon. Gentleman was the only common law judge in that House, and was not the argument that he was pursuing the assertion of his superiority over that House; and everybody knew that in his case there was no danger of having an application from that House for a removal. But suppose the case of a person in the judgment-seat who chose to introduce political lecturing, and indulged in pointed comments on the proceedings of that House, and contrasted them with those of another place. Now, he knew nothing more improper than that a judge on the judgment-seat should indulge in such proceedings, nor could he conceive anything more inconsistent than the condemnation, from such a place, of the proceedings of the Government in another part of the empire. He could conceive nothing more unbecoming or indecent, than such a person, in such a place, discussing the conduct and proceedings of Lord Normanby's government in Ireland, This was a matter most worthy of the attention of the House of Commons, and deserved it censure. With reference, however, to the case itself, the decision of the Court of Queen's Bench was paltry in the extreme. They stated, that they could not proceed against the Speaker, but they alleged that they could against all who acted under his orders. The judgment of Lord Denman was most unsatisfactory. He had never seen from a judge a less legal argument. There was little in it that would strike the mind of a sound lawyer. At one time high professional reputation was considered of importance on the judgment-seat, but it appeared to be no longer the case. There could be nothing so un-lawyer like or absurd as many of the passages in the judgment. The judgment laid it down that any printed paper published among 658 members of Parliament was a secret, but how stood the case when Parliament was at an end? What was to become of the secret then? Oh, then, if anybody read the paper, the Court of Queen's Bench said it was a libel. So, too, if a Member died, when his papers came, into the hands of his executor, if the executor sent them to his lawyer, to see what they werere about, the executor, according to the judgment, was guilty of a libel. Never was a more absurd judgment, and never a worse client in the hands of such learned, grave, and reverend signors. Public opinion, after all, was that on which alone the governments of the world, even that at Constantinople, had to rely, and public opinion you could not have with you unless you gave public reasons why that opinion ought to be with you. In the case of Burdett v. Abbott, the Court of King's Bench and the House of Lords decided that the warrant of the House of Commons was a justification; now the Court of Queen's Bench decided that a document published under the authority of the House of Commons was libel. Where was the common sense or law of this? It was time for the House to take its stand—it ought to have done so sooner—it ought to have done so in 1838. The great mistake had been, and he had protested against it at the time, in submitting the question to the Court of Queen's Bench at all. Let the House commit no more such blunders? they were in the right, and let them now firmly take their ground. This was no party question, nor did it concern party politics. The best speeches which had been made on the subject, and he could not be charged with flattery in this, were decidedly those made by the right hon. Member for Tamworth; speeches more persuasive, better reasoned, more conclusive, were never heard in the House. This, then, was no party question—it was a question whether the House of Commons, the representatives of the people, should do their duty to the people. He would not go into any points of law. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, in the performance of his functions in his court, might commit any person for contempt of that court, and no one would dispute his right to do so. Let the House do in their high court what that hon. Gentleman was so clearly empowered to do in his ordinary court; let them vindicate the rights of the people of England; let them assert the power to inform the people of what it was so essential for them to know, and let them defend their officers who were engaged in diffusing that knowledge among the people.

Sir R. Inglis

begged to say one word in explanation. The hon. and learned Gentleman had spoken of the individual at the bar as being the client of himself, and his hon. and learned Friends. This was a point which the hon. and learned Gentleman should have refrained from introducing at all, as utterly irrelevant to the question; but as it had been mentioned, he begged to inform the hon. and learned Gentleman that the only client whom he defended was the law, and with it the liberty of his fellow-subjects. But was it for the hon. and learned Gentleman who so had traduced the women of England—

Mr. O'Connell

That is false.

Sir R. Inglis

appealed to the Speaker.

The Speaker

said that most undoubtedly if one hon. Gentleman imputed to another that he said that which was untrue he was out of order.

Mr. O'Connell,

in his turn, would appeal to the Speaker. The hon. Baronet had charged him with having traduced the women of England, and that charge was false.

Sir R. Inglis

would ask whether the hon. and learned Gentleman meant to say that he had made that charge believing it to be false?

Mr. O'Connell

replied that if the hon. Baronet imputed to him that he had traduced the women of England the hon Baronet said that which was untrue, and which he must know to be untrue; or, which he ought to know to be untrue.

The Speaker

said, he must call upon the hon. and learned Gentleman to with draw the expression he had used. He understood the hon. and learned Gentleman to have stated, that another hon. Gentleman had said that which he knew to be untrue.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he had gone too far; he should have said, "which the hon. Baronet ought to know to be untrue."

The Speaker

must require a more unqualified retractation. The hon. and learned Gentleman ought not to state that another hon. Gentleman had said that which he knew to be untrue.

Mr. O'Connell

would appeal to the Speaker. He had been accused of making a charge against the women of England; ought not that charge to be withdrawn, being, as it was, utterly unfounded.

The Speaker

said, if the hon. and learned Gentleman denied the truth of that assertion, he was quite sure the hon. Baronet would not persist in his statement. He felt it to be the duty of the hon. Baronet to withdraw that statement, and he should equally call upon the hon. and learned Member for Dublin to withdraw the expression he had used, and which was quite contrary to the orders of the House—namely, the imputing to another hon. Member that he had stated that which he knew to be untrue, or which he ought to know to be untrue.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he would at once withdraw the expression he had used, and he called upon the hon. Baronet opposite to do the same.

Sir R. Inglis

begged to ask whether he was to understand the hon. and learned Gentleman as denying that he had ever in his place in Parliament, traduced the women of England

Mr. O'Connell

said, he could not hesitate one moment in assuring the hon. Baronet and the House that such a charge was totally false.

Sir R. Inglis

under that impression would withdraw an expression which he had used only hypothetically. He would only add this observation, that the hon. and learned Gentleman, in introducing the merits or demerits of a certain publication, which the hon. and learned Gentleman probably knew much more of than he did, had set a very objectionable ex- ample in diverting the attention of the House from the plain legal question before it.

Mr. Law

said, that although the charge which had been made against him by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin was wholly irrelevant to the matter under consideration, yet if the majority of the House was composed of Gentlemen sensible, as heretofore, to attacks on private character, it would not refuse to listen to the few words which he had to say in his own vindication. He complained of the tone, manner, and assertions of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, as conveying an imputation upon him that he had, on the seat of justice, improperly and unnecessarily introduced topics of a political character, reflecting on the administration of Lord Normanby in Ireland. It was very easy to pervert what had been truly and properly said, arising out of a proceeding before a court, and by skilful perversion of the words employed in a newspaper, to frame a commentary such as that which had been made by the hon. and learned Member. That was not the proper place to go into particulars, but he did feel it to be his duty to say, that the hon. and learned Member, unintentionally, he had no doubt, for he could not believe that one so sensitive of any observations reflecting on himself, could be so ungenerous as, contrary to his better knowledge, to asperse the character of another; he must say the hon. and learned Member had most unjustly misrepresented any words which had fallen from him in the discharge of his judicial duties. He certainly never intended to mix up political matters and references to Lord Normanby with any judicial proceedings. He did not believe any one ever heard the name of that nobleman breathed from his lips while he sat on the seat of justice. The story which had been so much ornamented by the hon. and learned Member originated in this:—there having been of late a great increase of crimes of violence against the person, upon the suggestion that there might be circumstances in some cases entitling them to more favourable consideration, he did take leave to observe when offences were rife, some example was necessary, even if a mistaken lenity had been elsewhere exhibited. That observation arose out of no political feeling, nor had he any intention of calling in question the policy pursued in Ireland, or any desire to impeach the conduct of any individual connected with the administration of justice. He was quite sure he never made use of any expression that could justify or even extenuate the terms which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had been pleased to employ on the present occasion.

Mr. Darby

submitted, with all deference to the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, that the character of the party against whom any process might be directed, had nothing whatever to do with the real question at issue. It was a question of right and wrong—of strict and impartial justice—and resolved itself simply into this, whether Mr. Stockdale, whatever might be his character, was properly brought to the bar or not. The case of Sir J. C. Hobhouse, cited by the hon. Member for Finsbury, was not at all in point, for there a contempt had clearly been committed, which, in the present instance, had not been proved. He congratulated the country upon the course which this proceeding had now taken. The noble Lord, and the Attorney-general had already sounded a retreat, and given up the point. The only Member who had the courage to stand by the course he had originally taken, was the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth. He insisted on the reasons of committal being recited in the warrant. The noble Lord shrunk from doing so, and that alone showed clearly that he was afraid to try the question. The noble Lord did not venture to carry out his principle; and he now proposed to commit Stockdale, not for bringing the action, but for some indefinite contempt. The authority of the law, therefore, remained triumphant; they could not counteract the decision of the Queen's Bench. The Attorney-general had accused him, upon a former occasion, of having misstated the effect of that decision with respect to the power of inquiry into commitments, on which point the noble Lord was now making his escape; but upon reference to the published report, he found he had correctly stated it.

The Attorney General

said it was most painful for him to come into collision with the Court of Queen's Bench, where he had practised all his life, and where he should continue to practise, while he had the honour of belonging to the legal profession. If he had exerted himself to defend the privileges of the Commons of England against the judgment of that court, it was only because he felt himself in all duty and conscience compelled so to do. With respect to the misstatement on a former occasion of the hon and learned Member who had just sat down, he contended that the publication of the short-hand writer's notes fully justified every syllable that fell from him (the Attorney-general), The hon. and learned Gentleman, referring to one part of the statement said, the court had intimated that they could review commitments of that House. All the judges did not say so, although Lord Denman distinctly intimated that he reserved to himself the right to examine any commitment the House might make. That opinion, however, was contrary to the doctrine laid down in the King v. Patty, and to all the authorities from that day to the present. The hon. and learned Gentleman declared that his noble Friend shrunk from his original position, by proposing that the cause of the commitment should not be stated in the warrant. He had no difficulty in saying that, if his opinion were followed, the cause of commitment should not be stated in the warrant. (Cries of "Spoke, spoke.")

The Speaker

intimated that the hon. and learned Gentleman, having already spoken on the question, could only now be heard in explanation.

Viscount Howick

rejoiced in the determination of the hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge not to withdraw his amendment. The question, it appeared to him, would be put before the House much more simply, clearly, and satisfactorily, by the resolution which his noble Friend had moved in the first instance, than as proposed it should stand in its altered form. At the same time he entirely differed from the opinion that by putting it in an altered shape they would, in any respect, appear to recede from their original position. It would appear on the journals that Mr. Hansard's petition had been read; that Stockdale, being called, admitted he was the person who brought the action; whereupon naturally and immediately the House came to the resolution that he had committed a contempt. Their proceedings would be perfectly plain, simple, and orderly; and there was no occasion whatever for reciting in the resolution any further grounds than appeared by the order in which the proceedings appeared on the journals, It had been suggested by the right hon. and learned Member for Ripon (Sir E. Sugden) that Stockdale might be heard in defence. He begged to appeal to the superior knowledge of the chair whether, in such cases, it was not contrary to the invariable practice, both of that and the other House of Parliament, to hear a party accused in justification of the contempt committed? The uniform course of both Houses was this: upon complaint being made either by a Member in his place, or, as in this case, upon petition, of a breach of the privileges of the House, to desire the attendance of the party accused, to ascertain simply the fact whether he admitted the asserted breach of privilege; if he did so the House immediately proceeded to visit the breach of privilege in such manner as it should think fit. It then remained for the party, if he had any thing to offer in extenuation of the offence, to do so, not by speech, which might be one of extreme insolence to the House, but by petition, presented in the proper and ordinary mode by some Member in his place. That course was open to Mr. Stockdale, and he trusted, after the discussion which had taken place, they would now proceed to determine, first, whether Mr. Stockdale had committed a breach of privilege or not; and, if so, then, secondly, how it was to be visited.

The House divided on the original question. Ayes, 249; Noes, 100: Majority, 149.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hon. G. R. Bolling, W.
Adam, Admiral Brabazon, Lord
Adare, Lord Viscount Bramston, T. W.
Aglionby, H. A. Bridgeman, H.
Ainsworth, P. Briscoe, J. I.
Alston, R. Broadwood, H.
Anson, hon. Colonel Brocklehurst, J.
Archbold, R. Brodie, W. B.
Bailey, J. Brotherton, J.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Browne, R. D.
Barnard, E. G. Buller, C.
Beamish, F. B. Bulwer, Sir L.
Bellew, R. M. Busfeild, W.
Berkeley, hon. G. Callaghan, D.
Bernal, R. Campbell, Sir J.
Bewes, T. Cavendish, hon. C.
Blackburne, I. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Blair, J. Chapman, Sir M. L.C.
Blake, M. J. Chetwynd, Major
Blake, W. J. Chichester, J. P.
Blakemore, R. Childers, J. W.
Blennerhassett, A, Clay, W,
Blewitt, R. J. Clayton, Sir W. R.
Clements, Viscount Hinde, J. H.
Clerk, Sir G. Hindley, C.
Collier, J. Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.
Collins, W. Hobhouse, T. B.
Colquhoun, J. C. Hodges, T. L.
Compton, H. C. Hodgson, R.
Conygham, Lord A. Hope, hon. C.
Coole, Sir C. H. Horsman, E.
Courtenay, P. Hoskins, K.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Howard, F. J.
Craig, W. G. Howard, P. H.
Crompton, Sir S. Howick, Viscount
Curry, Serjeant Hughes, W. B.
Dashwood, G. H. Hume, J.
Denison, W. J. Humphery, J.
De Winton, W. Hutton, R.
Divett, E. James, W.
Donkin, Sir B. S. Jenkins, Sir R.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Duff, J. Langdale, hon. C.
Duke, Sir J. Lascelles, W. S.
Dunbar, G. Leader, J. T.
Dundas, C. W. D. Lemon, Sir C.
Dundas, F. Lennox, Lord G.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Lister, E. C.
Dundas, Sir R. Loch, J.
Du Pre, G. Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Easthope, J. Lynch, A. H.
Edwards, Sir J. Macnamara, Major
Elliot, hon. J.E. Marshall, W.
Ellice, E. Maunsell, T. P.
Ellis, J. Melgund, Viscount
Ellis, W. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Erle, W. Milnes, R. M.
Etwall, R. Monypenny, T. G.
Evans, Sir De L. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Evans, G. Morpeth, Viscount
Evans, W. Morris, D.
Ewart, W. O'Brien, C.
Fielden, J. O'Brien, W. S.
Finch, F. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Fitzpatrick, J. W. O'Connell, D.
Fitzsimon, N. O'Connell, M. J.
Fleetwood, Sir PH. O'Connell, M.
Fort, J. O'Conor, Don
Gisborne, T. OTerrall, R. M.
Gordon, R. Palmer, C. F.
Gore, O. J. R. Palmerston, Lord
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Parker, J.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Parker, R. T.
Grattan, J. Parnell, rt. hon. Sir H.
Greg, R. H. Pattison, J.
Greig, D. Pease, J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. Pechell, Captain
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Handley, H. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Harcourt, G. G. Philips, M.
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Philips, G. R.
Hastie, A. Pigot, D. R.
Hawes, B. Price, Sir R.
Hawkes, T. Protheroe, E,
Hawkins, J. H. Pryme, G.
Hayter, W. G. Pryse, P.
Heathcoat, J. Ramsbottom, J.
Heathcote, G. J. Redington, T. N.
Hector, C. J. Rice, E. R.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Rich, H.
Rickford, W. Talbot, J. H.
Roche, W. Tancred, H. W.
Rumbold, C. E. Teignmouth, Lord
Rundle, J. Thornely, T.
Rushbrooke, Colonel Tollemache, F. J.
Russell, Lord J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A. Turner, E.
Salwey, Colonel Turner, W.
Sandon, Lord Vigots, N. A.
Sanford, E. A. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Scholefield, J. Villiers, Lord
Scrope, G. P. Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R. H.
Seale, Sir J. H. Waddington, H. S.
Seymour, Lord Wakley, T.
Shelburne, Earl of Walker, R.
Sinclair, Sir G. Wallace, R.
Slaney, R A. Warburton, H.
Smith, B. Ward, H. G.
Smith, R. V. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Somers, J. P. White, A.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Whitmore, T. C.
Spears, A. Wilbraham, G.
Standish, C. Williams, W.
Stanley, hon. E. J. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Stanley, Lord Wilshere, W.
Stanley, M. Winnington, T. E.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Winnington, H. J.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Wood, C.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Wood, G. W.
Steuart, R. Worsley, Lord
Stuart, W. V. Wrightson, W. B.
Stock, Dr. Wyse, T.
Strickland, Sir G. Young, J.
Strutt, E. TELLERS.
Surrey, Earl of Maule, hon. F.
Sutton, hn. J. H. T. M. Fremantle, Sir T.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Eaton, R. J.
Acland, T. D. Eliot, Lord
A'Court, Captain Filmer, Sir E.
Ashley, Lord Fitzroy, hon. H.
Attwood, W. Forester, hon. G.
Attwood, M. Freshfield, J. W,
Bagge, W. Gladstone, W. E.
Bailey, J. jun. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Baring, H. B. Godson, R.
Baring, hon. W. B. Greene, T.
Barneby, J. Grimsditch, T.
Barrington, Lord Grimston, hon. E. H.
Bentinck, Lord G. Grimston, Lord
Blackstone, W. S. Halford, H.
Bradshaw, J. Hamilton, Lord C.
Broadley, H. Heathcote, Sir W.
Bruce, Lord E. Heneage, G. W.
Bruges, W. H. L. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Buck, L. W. Hope, H. T.
Castlereagh, Lord Hope, G.W.
Christopher, R. A. Ingestre, Lord
Conolly, E. Ingharn, R.
Copeland, Alderman Inglis, Sir R. H.
Cresswell C. Jackson, Serjeant
D'Israeli, B. James, Sir W. C.
Dowdeswell, W. Jones, J.
Duncombe, T. Jones, Captain
Duncombe, hon. A. Kelly, F.
East, J. B. Kemble, H.
Knatchbull, rt. hon. Sir E. Praed, W. T.
Pringle, A.
Lefroy, rt. hon. T. Richards, R.
Lincoln, Earl of Rolleston, L.
Lowther, hon. Col. Round, C. G.
Lowther, J. H. Round, J.
Lygon, hon. General Rushout, G.
Mackenzie, T. Shirley, E. J.
Mahon, Lord Smyth, Sir G. H.
Maxwell, hon. S. G. Stormont, Viscount
Neeld, J. Sturt H. C.
Neeld, J. Thompson, Alderman
Nicholl, J. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Ossulston, Lord Verner, Colonel
Packe, C. W. Walsh, Sir J.
Pakington, J. S. Williams, R.
Palmer, G. Wood, Colonel.
Pemberton, T. Wood, Colonel T.
Pigot, R. Wyndham, W.
Plumptre, J. P. Young, Sir W.
Polhill, F. TELLERS.
Pollen, Sir J. W. Law, hon. C. E.
Powerscourt, Viscount Darby, G.
Lord J. Russell

then moved that John Joseph Stockdale, for the said breach of privilege, be committed to the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms attending this House, and that the Speaker do issue his warrant for his committal,

Sir E. Knatchbull

said, that with all respect for the judgment of the noble Lord, he was not in a condition to give his assent to the motion just proposed. It was not his intention to repeat the arguments which had already been so fully stated to the House, and he should therefore content himself with saying, that he was quite satisfied with the reasons which had been urged against the previous motion by the learned Gentlemen sitting on his side of the House. This singular feature attached to the debate which had just concluded, that with the single exception of the Attorney-general, all the high legal authorities in the House were on the side of the question he advocated. He considered this to be a question in which the liberty of the subject was deeply involved, and, as an independent Member of the House, he was reluctant to assent to a motion which would give the House a power likely to be used to the infringement of the liberty of the people. He should therefore move the following amendment to the motion:—That in the case of Stockdale v. Hansard,' judgment having been suffered by default, this House is not n a position to take further proceedings."

Mr. Alderman Copeland

seconded the amendment. He was sure, that the people out of doors were decidedly opposed to such proceedings as the noble Lord suggested to the House. What object could be answered by committing to the custody of the serjeant-at-arms Mr. Stockdale, who had confessed at the Bar, that he had only exercised the constitutional right which belonged to every British subject. He would rather allow that miserable man to pass away from the Bar than see the House degraded by such a proceeding. As a citizen of the metropolis and as the representative of a large manufacturing district, he looked upon this as one of the most important subjects that had ever come under the consideration of the House; and he had no hesitation in giving his most cordial sanction to the amendment. He was not anxious to mix up party considerations with this question, but he would ask where was it to end? The House was now about to enter into a struggle in which he feared that its dignity and privileges might be lost. Would they, in the present state of the country, follow up the committal of Mr. Stockdale, by a motion for the committal of the sheriffs to whom the preservation of the peace of the country was intrusted?

Mr. Kelly

said, it was of the last importance that the House should distinctly understand the course which the noble Lord opposite intended to pursue. The noble Lord originally proposed a resolution to the effect that Stockdale was guilty of a breach of the privileges of the House, and for some time, the House was in ignorance whether the alleged breach of privilege consisted in writing a libellous letter reflecting on the House. He was in the recollection of the House as to whether the noble Lord, the Member for East Cornwall did not rise and put the question to the Attorney-general, and whether before an answer was given to that question, the real nature of the breach of privilege was properly understood. But he presumed it was now to be taken that the supposed breach of privilege consisted in the bringing of an action calculated to call in question the privileges of the House. At that late hour, it was not his intention to enter into the discussion of the matter, and he rose only for the purpose of entreating the noble Lord opposite to inform the House whether he had at all taken into consideration this question. Supposing the House agreed to authorize the Speaker to issue his warrant for the committal of Mr. Stockdale, would that war- rant of committal state on the face of it, the particular breach of privilege for which a subject of the realm was about to be sent to prison? The noble Lord, would, no doubt, do him the favour to answer that question, and then he should have one more question to trouble the noble Lord with. If it were the wish of the House, he was quite content that the noble Lord should answer both questions at once. The next question was, supposing that the warrant of committal should state on the face of it the particular breach of privilege for which Stockdale was committed to prison, was it not then clear, that by any action he might bring the privileges of the House would once more be called in question in a court of law? He was quite aware that Stockdale might be deprived of the means of raising the question, because the Speaker might be directed to issue a warrant of committal, which should not set forth the particular breach of privilege, and then the ground of his committal would not be examined into by the Court of Queen's Bench, and he would not be able to bring himself by habeas corpus before that court. But still he might commence an action, and that would raise the question; and would the noble Lord then advise the House to remain quiescent, to allow the action lo proceed, to allow judgment to pass by default? Or, would he call on the House to appear to and defend the action. If the noble Lord took the latter course, he would virtually abandon the course he now advised the House to pursue. But, supposing that the House adhered to the principles on which the previous resolution was founded, and supposing that Stockdale, after being committed by the House should commence an action for trespass and false imprisonment against the sergeant-at-arms, then if the House suffered judgment to go by default, large damages would be awarded, and the House would have no means of preventing Stockdale from obtaining those damages out of the pocket of the sergeant-at-arms, and putting them in his own. With that consequence before the eyes of the House, he hoped the noble Lord would inform them whether the warrant of commitment would or would not set out the grounds of the commitment, and if it did, and Mr. Stockdale were to bring an action founded upon it, whether they would be called upon to instruct the Attorney-general to defend such action, or would they allow judgment to by default.

Lord J. Russell

said, the state of the question in his view of it was this. The House in 1837 had entered into certain resolutions with respect to the power of publishing the evidence taken before committees of the House, and to its belonging to the House, and to its being essential to the exercise of the functions of the House as a branch of the Legislature; also, with respect to the House being the sole judge of their own privileges, and declaring that the bringing those privileges in question before any other court was a high breach of the privilege of Parliament, rendering any one who committed it liable to the displeasure of the House. These were not, as had been lately and in the course of the debate that evening stated, any new privileges. They were the ancient privileges of Parliament. It appeared that Stockdale had acted in direct contravention of those resolutions. It appeared that he had brought an action in a court of law, in contempt of those resolutions, and had obtained judgment in that action. What, then, was the proper course for that House to adopt? It was competent for them to pursue their course on the resolutions of 1837, or it was competent for them to abandon those resolutions altogether. Not to proceed against Stockdale, and yet to maintain those resolutions would be to place the House in an absurd and ridiculous position, and he did not think that the House would assent to such a proposition. With respect to the questions of hon. and learned Gentlemen, when the hon. and learned Gentleman asked whether the warrant would contain the causes of committal, and in what manner it would be expressed, he (Lord J. Russell) would say, that it was not for him to state what ought to be the course of the House, but the House had heard the Attorney-general state what in his judgment was the proper course, and, therefore, he thought it probable that the House would agree to that course, and that the warrant would not contain any particulars, or any recital of the causes of committal, but that Stockdale would be committed as having been guilty of a breach of privilege. But the hon. Gentleman put a further question, and asked what, supposing the warrant not to be framed in that form, but to set out the cause of committal, would then be the course which the House would pursue in the event of Stockdale's bringing an action founded on the warrant. In answer to that he said, that with regard to these hypothetical actions, it would be sufficient for the House to take any course which he or any other Member might offer when the case actually arose. But he wished to call the attention of the House to the importance of this amendment. He thought, that if the House were to pursue the course of letting judgment go by default in cases similar to that which had given rise to this discussion, and were thus to signify that they would proceed no further in the matter, that would in effect overturn the resolutions of 1837, and overturn that which was, in fact, only a declaration of the privileges which had belonged to the House of Commons for a century and a half—namely, that the House was the sole judge of its own privileges. Let the House consider what would be the effect of a contrary course. When an action was brought in a court of law, and they instructed the Attorney-General to appear and defend the action, it would be said that the House recognized the authority of the court of law, as the hon. and learned Member for Liverpool said in observing that they could not well say that they could not well say that they would admit the right of the court of law if the judgment was for them, but not if it was against them. But if they did not go into the court of law, what then was said? Why, another argument was immediately used, and it was urged, that as you do not go to defend your cause, but let judgment go by default, you have no right to complain. Thus in either case they submitted all their privileges to be decided by a court of law, and not, as heretofore, by the House itself. This, then, he thought, was a most important question; and it was proper that the House should understand the importance of it; and that they should see that in it was involved, not any particular privilege—that the question was not as to the privilege of printing, or the case of Messrs. Hansard alone, but that in giving up this, they were giving up that which was the foundation and security of all the privileges of the House of Commons.

Mr. Cresswell

said, he should not have trespassed upon the House but that the noble Lord had somewhat misconceived part of what he had last night addressed to the House. What he said was, that when a defendent allowed judgment to go by default, he thereby implied that he acquiesced in it, and that he had no grounds on which to object to it. He had thought that the Attorney-general had explained to the noble Lord that this was the case, and he was surprised to hear the noble return to the subject. But what was the question they were then called upon to decide? They were called upon to commit this person. He, and those on his side of the House, disclaimed him as a client. He felt that such a person was contemptible; but they were not committing Stockdale, but a fellow-subject in his person. Hon. Members who opposed the course of the noble Lord on this subject were defending, not the cause of Stockdale, but the cause of a subject in his person. Stockdale might be a bad character; but that did not give the right to the House of Commons of punishing him as they thought fit. Would any man say, for instance, that the House would be justified in saying, "Because Stockdale is a bad man, we will send him into Palace-yard, and have him well whipped?" Could such an illegality be supported? No one would say so. But it was argued, "Because the resolutions of 1837 stand on our journals we must adhere to them, and we shall be disgraced if we do not act upon them." Were they not, then, disgraced last year? Oh, it was conceded, was it? What, then, was the cause that they were now so sensitive and so earnest to vindicate themselves and their privileges? But if they were now so sensitive and so earnest to vindicate themselves and their privileges, why act only on one of the resolutions? If it were disgraceful not to have acted last year on one of the resolutions, it was now quite as disgraceful not to act on that other resolution which stated that the judges would be guilty of a contempt if they contravened the pleasure of the House. The House was bound to act upon both the resolutions or neither. He asked the noble Lord and the House, therefore, to pause before they proceeded further in the matter. But if they were to act upon one resolution only, perhaps to act on the latter would be, in one respect, the less inconvenient; for, if the judges were sent to Newgate, they would be lodged near the Central Criminal Court, and would be ready to try prisoners as they came in. But the effect of their present course was this, that if Stockdale or any other person had done an act respecting which he asked the judges whether it was lawful or not, for that he must be sent to Newgate. They could not escape from this, that they in. fact said this, that be the individual whom he may, any one merely questioning the courts of law as to the legality of an act of his, has been guilty of a breach of privilege, and to Newgate he must go.

The House divided on the original resolution: ayes, 239; noes, 135: majority, 104.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hn. G.R. Conyngham, Lord A.
Adam, Admiral Courtenay, P.
Adare, Viscount Cowper, hon. W. F.
Aglionby, H.A. Craig, W. G.
Ainsworth, P. Crompton, Sir S.
Alston, R. Curry, Serjeant
Anson, hon. Colonel Dash wood, G. H.
Archbold, R. Denison, W. J.
Baring, rt. hon. F.T. Divett, E.
Barnard, E.G. Donkin, Sir R. S.
Beamish, F. B. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Bernal, R. Duff, J.
Bewes, T. Duke, Sir J.
Blackburne, I. Dunbar, G.
Blair, J. Dundas, E. W. D.
Blake, M. J. Dundas, F.
Blake, W. J. Dundas, Sir R.
Blakemore, It. Du Pre, G.
Blennerhassett, A. Easthope, J.
Blewitt, R. J. Edwards, Sir J.
Bolling, W. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Brabazon, Lord Ellice, E.
Bramston, T. W. Ellis, J.
Bridgeman, H. Ellis, W.
Briscoe, J. I. Erie, W.
Broadwood, H. Etwall, R.
Brocklehurst, J. Evans, Sir De L.
Brodie, W. B. Evans, G.
Brotherton, J. Evans, W.
Browne, R. D. Ewart, W.
Buller, C. Finch, F.
Bulwer, Sir L. Fitzpatrick, J.W.
Busfeild, W. Fitzsimon, N.
Callaghan, D. Fleetwood, Sir P. H.
Campbell, Sir J. Fort, J.
Cavendish, hon. C. Fremantle, Sir T.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. French, F.
Chapman, Sir M.L.C. Gisborne, T.
Chetwynd, Major Gordon, H.
Chichester, J. P. B. Gore, O.
Childers, J.W. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Clay, W. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Grattan, J.
Clements, Viscount Greig, D.
Clerk, Sir G. Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.
Collier, J. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Collins, W. Handley, H.
Colquhoun, J. C. Harcourt, G. G.
Compton, H. C. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Hastie, A. Pigot, D. R.
Hawes, B. Price, Sir R.
Hawkins, J. H. Protheroe, E.
Hayter, W. G. Pryme, G.
Heathcoat, J. Pryse, P.
Hector, C. J. Ramsbottom, J.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Redington, T. N.
Hinde, J. H. Rice, E. R.
Hindley, C. Rich, H.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Roche, E. B.
Hobhouse, T, B. Roche, W.
Hodges, T. L. Rundle, J.
Hodgson, R. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Hope, hon. C. Russell, Lord J.
Horsman, E. Rutherford, rt. hn. A.
Hoskins, K. Salwey, Colonel
Howard, F, J. Sandford, E. A.
Howard, P. H. Scholefield, J.
Howick, Viscount Scrope, G. P.
Hughes, W. B. Seale, Sir J. H.
Hume, J. Seymour, Lord
Humphery, J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Hutton, R. Shelburne, Earl of
James, W. Sinclair, Sir G.
Jenkins, Sir R. Slaney, R. A.
Jervis, J. Smith, B.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Smith, R.V.
Langdale, hon. C Somers, J. P.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Leader, J. T. Speirs, A.
Lemon, Sir C. Standley, C.
Lennox, Lord G. Stanley, Lord
Lister, E. C. Stanley, M.
Loch, J. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Lushington, rt. hn. S. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Lynch, A. H. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Mackenzie, W. F. Steuart, R.
Macnamara, Major Stuart, W. V.
Marshall, W. Stock, Dr.
Maunsell, T. P. Strickland, Sir J.
Melgund, Viscount Strutt, E.
Mildmay. P. St. J. Talbot, J. H.
Milnes, R. M. Tancred, H. W.
Monypenny, T. G. Teignmouth, Lord
Mordaunt, Sir J. Thorneley, T.
Morpeth, Viscount Tollemache, F. J.
Morris, D. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
O'Brien, C. Turner, E.
O'Brien, W. S. Turner, W.
O'Callaghan, hon. C. Vigors, N. A.
O'Connell, D. Villiers, hon. C. P.
O'Connell, M. J. Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R. H.
O'Connell, M. Waddington, H.S.
O'Conor Don Wakley, T.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Walker, R.
Palmer, C. F. Wallace, R.
Palmerston, Viscount Warburton, H.
Parker, J. Ward, H. G.
Parker, R. T. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. White, A.
Patten, J. W. Whitmore, T. C.
Pease, J. Wilbraham, G.
Pechell, Captain Williams, W.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Philips, M. Wilshere, W.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Philips, G. R. Winnington, H. J.
Wood, C. Young, J.
Wood, G. W.
Worsley, Lord TELLERS.
Wrightson, W. B. Maule, hon. F.
Wyse, T. Stanley, hon. E. J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Ingham, R.
Acland, T. D. Inglis, Sir R. H.
A'Court, Captain Jackson, Sergeant
Ashley, Lord James, Sir W. C.
Attwood, W. Jones, J.
Attwood, M. Jones, Captain
Bagge, W. Kemble, H.
Bailey, J. jun. Knatehbull, rt. h. Sir E.
Baillie, Colonel Law, hon. C. E.
Baring, H. B. Leffoy, rt. hon. T.
Baring, hon. W. B. Lincoln, Earl of
Barneby, J. Litton, E.
Barrington, Viscount Lowther, hon. Col.
Bentinck, Lord G. Lowther, J. H.
Blackstone, W. S. Lygon, hon. General
Boldero, H. G. Mackenzie, T.
Bradshaw, J. Mahon, Lord
Broadley, H. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Bruce, Lord E. Neeld, J.
Bruges, W. H. L. Neeld, J.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Nicholl, J.
Castlereagh, Viscount Ossulston, Lord
Christopher, R, A. Packe, C. W.
Conolly, E. Packington, J. S.
Copeland, Alderman Palmer, G.
Darby, G. Pemberton, T.
De Horsey, S. H. Pigot, R.
Dick, Q. Plumptre, J. P.
D'Israeli, B. Polhill, F.
Dowdeswell, W. Powerscourt, Lord
Duncombe, T. Praed, W. T.
Duncombe, hon. A. Pringle, A.
East, J. B. Richards, R.
Eaton, R. J. Rolleston, L.
Egerton, W. T. Round, C. G.
Eliot, Lord Round, J.
Filmer, Sir E. Rushout, G.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Shirley, E. J.
Forester, hon. G. Somerset, Lord G.
Freshfield, J. W. Stormont, Lord
Gladstone, W. E. Sturt, K. C.
Godson, R. Thompson, Alderman
Greene, T. Verner, Colonel
Grimsditch, T. Vivian, J. E.
Grimston, Viscount Walsh, Sir J.
Grimston, hon. E. H. Williams, R.
Halford, H. Wood, Colonel
Hamilton, Lord C. Wood, Colonel T.
Heathcote, Sir W. Wyndham, W.
Heneage, G. W. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Herries, rt hon. J. C. Young, Sir W.
Hope, H. T. TELLERS.
Hope, G. W. Cresswell, C.
Ingestre, Viscount Kelly, F.
Lord J. Russell

said, that the conduct of the sheriffs in this case had certainly been a breach of the privileges of the House, as they had seized the goods of Messrs. Hansards; but as they had refused, as it appeared, to pay over the money levied on the sale to Stockdale, it might be conceived that they did so in order to await the instructions and pleasure of the House. Much must depend upon the examination of Stockdale, and the construction to be put upon it. It might be also that the sheriffs would not put themselves forward in order to avoid the judgment, but to carry it into effect by paying the money they had in hand over. Hitherto they had endeavoured to evade the payment, so much so that one hon. Member said they had not done their duty; indeed, it seemed to him that they had not done entirely according to the direction of the courts of law, or according to the orders of that House. There would be difficult questions arise on that. He thought that with respect to the other persons named in the summons, they should be ordered to attend again on Monday next.

Alderman Copeland

was of opinion, that if required to-morrow, or rather that day, the sheriffs must of necessity pay over the money. He was aware, that Mr. Stockdale, having taken the benefit of the Insolvent Debtors' Act, had induced his assignees to move the court to pay over the money to his assignees. He trusted the House would follow out the resolution which had been carried for committing Stockdale to the custody of the sergeant-at-arms whilst proceeding against the sheriff. He protested against the decisions of the House. He revered the law, and he thought it highly improper to deal with the sheriff's of London in the mode proposed for having discharged their duty, which they had sworn to do on entering their office. He called on the House to finish the farce by committing the sheriffs.

Captain T. Wood

said, the sheriffs, at all events, had shown no disrespect to that House, and had only discharged their duty. They had delayed the execution of the order of the. Court of Queen's Bench to the last moment, and had shewn very great deference to the House. He hoped they would be dismissed without being summoned to the bar of the House.

Sir R. Peel

wished to ask how the sheriffs would stand with regard to the House? To-morrow they might stand in a different position. If by a process of the Court of Queen's Bench they were compelled to pay the money, they would have to consider their case on Monday in a different point of view.

The Attorney General

said, if it were possible to call the sheriffs to the bar and finish that night, it would be very desirable; but from information he had received he believed it was totally impossible, that that could be accomplished. According to the common practice of the Court of Queen's Bench, the case would certainly not be argued to-morrow, and he was informed, that there was no possibility of the rule being made absolute to-morrow that the money should be paid over to Mr. Stockdale's assignees. The House might, therefore, rest on a well-grounded belief, that the sheriffs would be in the same position on Monday.

Sir R. Peel

did not wish to prejudge the cause of the sheriffs, but should be sorry that they should get out of their difficulty by any evasion. He had rather that there should be a discrimination between the case of the sheriffs and the plaintiff in this case; but he should be sorry to be told on Monday, "Now the sheriffs have paid the money, and now we stand on different grounds." He would much rather in that case go on that night. If the Attorney-general felt convinced, that on Monday they would be as competent to consider the case of the sheriffs as they were that night, he had not the slightest objection to adjourn it till then; but he should be very glad to be assured of their legal position, that it would not be altered on Monday.

The Attorney General

I certainly can give no such assurance.

Mr. Alderman Copeland

hoped the House would proceed that night with the case; it was his firm belief, that it would come on in court to-morrow.

Lord J. Russell

said, when so many Members had gone away, it was quite impossible for him to consent to go on with the case that night. He thought the best course would be, to meet to-morrow at twelve o'clock, and then go on with the case. He would therefore move, that the sheriffs be summoned to attend at the bar to-morrow at twelve o'clock.

Mr. Kelly

said, it would be very inconvenient to follow that course. To call on all the under sheriffs to attend at the bar of the House during the day-time, unless there was some great necessity for it, would be exposing the public to the greatest possible inconvenience. He begged leave to move, as an amendment, that the House be adjourned till Monday.

The House divided on the original question:—Ayes 116; Noes 36: Majority 80.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Howard, F. J.
Alston, R. Howard, P. H.
Archbold, R. Hughes, W. B.
Baillie, Colonel Hume J.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Hutton, R.
Beamish. F. B. Jervis, J.
Blake, M. J. Kemble, H.
Blake, W. J. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Blewitt, R. J. Lemon, Sir C.
Briscoe, J. I. Loch, J.
Broadwood, H. Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Brotherton, J. Marshall, W.
Bruges, W. H. L. Maule, hon. F.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Melgund, Viscount
Busfield, W. Mildmay, P. St, J.
Campbell, Sir J. Morpeth, Viscount
Cavendish, hon. C. Morris, D.
Cavendish, hn. G. H. O'Brien, C.
Childers, J. W. O'Brien, W. S.
Clay, W. O'Connell, D.
Clements, Lord O'Ferrall, R. M.
Clerk, Sir G. Palmerston, Lord
Collins, W. Parker, J.
Copeland, Alderman Parker, B. T.
Craig, W. G. Pease, J.
Curry, Sergeant Pechell, Captain
Divett, E. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Duke, Sir J. Philips, M.
Dundas, C. W. D. Pigot, D. R.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Rice, E. R.
Dundas, Sir R. Roche, E. B.
Easthope, J. Rolleston, L.
Elliott, hon. J. E. Russell, Lord J.
Ellis, J. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Etwall, R. Salwey, Colonel
Evans, W. Sanford, E. A.
Ewart, W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Finch, F. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Fleetwood, Sir P. H. Stanley, Lord
Fort, J. Stock, Dr.
Fremantle, Sir T. Strickland, Sir G.
Gisborne, T. Strutt, E.
Gordon, R. Talbot, J. H.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Thornley, T.
Greene, T. Turner, E.
Grey, right hon. Sir C. Turner, W.
Grey, right hon. Sir G. Vigors, N. A.
Grimsditch, T. Waddington, H. S.
Harcourt, G. G. Wallace, R.
Hawkins, J. H. Warburton, H.
Heathcoat, J. Ward, H. G.
Hector, C. J. Williams, W.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Wilshere, W.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Wood, G. W.
Hobhouse, T. B. Wyse, T.
Hodges, T. L.
Hodgson, R. TELLERS.
Horsman, E. Steuart, R.
Hoskins, K. Price, Sir R.
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Law, hon. C; E.
Bailey, J., jun. Lincoln, Earl of
Baring, hon. W. B. Litton, E.
Boldero, H. G. Lowther, J. H.
Bruce, Lord E. Mackenzie, T.
Christopher, R. A. Pakington, J. S.
East, J. B. Pemberton, T.
Filmer, Sir E. Plumptre, J. P,
Fitzroy, hon. H. Praed, W. T.
Godson, R. Pringle, A.
Grimston, Viscount Round, C. G.
Grimston, hon. E. H. Round, J.
Hamilton, Lord C. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Heathcote, Sir W. Stormont, Viscount
Hinde, J. H. Thompson, Alderman
Hope, G. W. Verner, Colonel
Ingham, R. Williams, R.
Inglis, Sir R. H. TELLERS.
Knatchbull, right hon. Sir E. Kelly, F.
Pollock, Sir F.

Sheriffs and under sheriff to attend the House on the following day.

House adjourned at one o'clock.