HC Deb 13 March 1840 vol 52 cc1186-9

Lord John Russell moved the Order of the Day for the consideration of the petition of Messrs. Hansard, relative to the action brought by Mr. Stockdale, for a fresh publication of the same matter as was the subject of the former actions. The noble Lord said, he proposed to take the same course as in the last action, namely, to declare that the bringing the action was a breach of the privilege of the House; and he would, therefore, move the resolution agreed to on the 17th February, with the alteration only of the circumstances, as stated in the present petition:— Resolved, that John Joseph Stockdale, by commencing and prosecuting the action now depending at his suit against James Hansard, Luke Graves Hansard, and Luke James Hansard, and in which a notice has been given of a declaration filed on the 9th day of this instant March; such action being brought for acts done by the defendants as the officers and servants of this House, and under and pursuant to the authority of the orders and resolutions of this House, made in exercise of the privileges of Parliament, has been guilty of a contempt of this House, and a violation of the privileges thereof; and that all sheriffs, under-sheriffs, agents, bailiffs, officers, clerks, and others, who shall act, aid, or assist in the continuing, furthering, and prosecuting the said action, will also be guilty of a contempt and violation of the privileges of this House, and subject themselves to the severe censure and displeasure of this House.

Sir R. Inglis

said, that there was some plausibility in the resolution when it passed last time, but there was none now; for they had just been considering a bill, declaring that the bringing of these actions was not unwarranted; and when they talked of the officers, who were they? The Serjeant-at-arms; he was appointed by the Crown. The chief clerk at the table was appointed by the Crown; and even for the choice of a Speaker they required the sanction of the Crown. Having, then, no officer, they could not justify any person acting as such; and, besides, they ought only to protect a man who printed a paper specially ordered to be printed by the House. After the preamble of the bill, however, it was a waste of time to pass this resolution, and he would certainly divide against it.

Lord John Russell

said, that this was the fifth action brought against Messrs. Hansard for publishing the report of the inspector of prisons, and he did not see why they should now alter the course they took upon the former occasions, and for which the majority of the House thought that they had power. It was an extraordinary assumption of the hon. Gentleman that they were altering or abandoning any privilege by the bill they were now passing. The bill proposed to give a more speedy remedy for the protection of officers publishing under the authority of the House, and did not abandon any remedy the House already possessed. For himself, he could see no other course that the House could take than pass these resolutions.

Mr. Law

would vote against the resolution, if it should be pressed, for he thought that the House had neither gained honour nor credit in the course they had already pursued. He would not concur in the committal of any other sheriff, plaintiff, or attorney; and he, therefore, thought, that it was useless to pass another resolution.

The House divided.—Ayes 98; Noes 33. Majority 65.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Hope, hon. C.
Aglionby, H. A. Houston, G.
Aglionby, Major Hume J.
Archbold, R. Humphery, J.
Baring rt. hon. F. T. Hurt, F.
Barry, G. S. Hutt, W.
Berkeley, hon. H. Hutton, R.
Bernal, R. James W.
Bewes, T. Lambton, H.
Blair, J. Langdale, hon. C.
Blake, W. J. Lockhart, A. M.
Bowes, J. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Bridgeman, H. Morris, D.
Brocklehurst, J. Morrison, J.
Brodie, W. B. Muskett, G. A.
Brotherton, J. Palmerston, Visc.
Busfeild, W. Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.
Butler, hon. Col. Pechell, Captain
Callaghan, D. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Clay, W. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Collier, J. Pigot, D. R.
Craig, W. G. Protheroe, E.
Curry, Sergeant Rae, rt. hn. Sir W.
Dalmeny, Lord Rickford, W.
Douglas, Sir C. B. Roche, W.
Dundas, C. W. D. Russell, Lord J.
Du Pre, G. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Salwey, Colonel
Evans, G. Seymour, Lord
Evans, W. Sharpe, General
Fitzalan, Lord Smith, R. V.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Stock, Dr.
Gisborne, T. Strickland, Sir G.
Gordon, R. Strutt, E.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Surrey, Earl of
Graham, rt.hn.Sir J.C. Sutton. hn. J.H.T.M.
Grey, rt. hn. Sir C. Tancred, H. W.
Harcourt, G. G. Teignmouth, Lord
Hawkins, J. H. Thornely, T.
Hector, C. J. Tufnell, H.
Hindley, C. Verney, Sir H.
Hobhouse, it. hn. Sir J. Vernon, G. H.
Hobhouse, T. B. Vigors, N. A.
Hodgson, R. Wakley, T.
Hollond, R. Wallace, R.
Warburton, H. Wood, B.
White, A. Wrightson, W. B.
Wilde, Sergeant
Williams, W. TELLERS.
Williams, W. A. O'Ferrall, R.
Wilshere, W. Parker, J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Mahon, Lord
Attwood, W. Maunsell, T. P.
Attwood, M. Palmer, R.
Broadley, H. Perceval, Colonel
Buller, Sir J. Y. Polhill, F.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Richards, R.
Darby, G. Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Duncombe, hon. W. Shaw, rt. hn. F.
East, J. B. Smith, A.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Tennent, J.E.
Goring, H. D. Vere, Sir C. B.
Halford, H. Walsh, Sir J.
Henniker, Lord Wood, Sir M.
Hope, G. W. Young, Sir W.
Jones, J. TELLERS.
Mackenzie, T. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Maclean, D. Law, hon. C. E.

Resolution agreed to. It was also ordered that a copy of it be served on the sheriff and under sheriffs of Hertford.