Mr. M. J. O'Connell
said, he was requested by the hon. Member for the county of Mayo (Mr. M. Blake) who was at present in custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms, for not having attended when called upon to be sworn as a member of the Cardigan election committee, to state that the hon. Member had been in Ireland for more than a month, but hearing that his presence was likely to be required in the House, he left Dublin on Monday night, but unfortunately the steam vessel on board of which he was embarked, did not arrive in Liverpool 474 until a quarter of an hour after the departure of the mail train on Tuesday. He therefore did not arrive in London until yesterday evening. Mr. Blake was a young Member, and he trusted that the House, taking ail the circumstances of the case into consideration, would consent to the discharge of his hon. Friend, upon payment of the fees. He concluded by moving that Mark Blake, Esq. be discharged out of the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms on paying his fees.
§ Lord G. Somerset
said, that in consequence of its having been necessary to send a messenger to Ireland, Mr. Blake's fees, upon this occasion, would amount to about 25l. or 30l. This might be considered a sufficient punishment to the hon. Member for his inattention, but if the fees had been merely a nominal sum, he should not have been inclined to accede to the motion. He thought that some regulation should be adopted for compelling Members, who in future might absent themselves when called upon to serve on election committees, to defray the expense which the parties to such petitions might incur in consequence of their absence.
§ Sir G. Grey
concurred in the suggestion thrown out by the noble Lord. The system of payment of fees operated unequally. In the present case Mr. Blake would have to pay 307. because he happened to live in Carlow. If he had lived near the House he would have had to pay only the ordinary fees, which were inconsiderable in amount.
§ Motion agreed to. Mr. Blake ordered to be discharged.