HC Deb 11 May 1849 vol 105 cc363-5

Report considered.


rose to propose a clause, which was to give compensation for the loss of their offices to Mr. Butler, the Marshal of the Record Court, and three sergeants-at-mace, who had held their offices, the youngest for fourteen and the eldest for thirty-two years. They had all been duly, legally, and regularly elected by the corporation of Dublin, and therefore they were entitled to compensation. In proof of this, he was proceeding to cite the analogous cases provided for in the Counties Courts Act, when


reminded the hon. Gentleman that a Motion for compensation could not be made when the Speaker was in the chair.


then moved that the Bill be recommitted for the purpose of proposing his clause.


said, he had been obliged to read the clause twice over before he could believe that his hon. Colleague was serious. It now appeared, however, that it was no joke, and with the leave of the House he would explain the matter. In 1841 the corporation of Dublin was reformed. Perhaps he ought scarcely to say that it was reformed, for many of the privileges originally in the Bill were curtailed, and many provisions were added which only tended to embarrass the corporation. Among these was this case of compensation. One of the present claimants, Mr. Judkin Butler, then filled the office of city marshal. He was dismissed by the new corporation—he would not state on what grounds, but it was certainly not for his good behaviour. He claimed compensation under the Act, and the city of Dublin awarded him a compensation of 250l. a year. Mr. Butler was dissatisfied, and appealed to the Lords of the Treasury, his political friends being then in power, and they awarded him for the loss of his office the sum of 464l. 7s. 4d. After Mr. Butler was dismissed from his office of marshal of the city, the Recorder conferred upon him the office of Marshal of the Record Court, at a salary of 400l. a year. It was an office over which the corporation had no control whatsoever; and the Bill, moreover, did not abolish the office at all. The Bill merely proposed to enact that, from and after the passing of the Act, the system of attachment out of the Record Court should cease, and the proceedings should be rendered analogous to proceedings in the Court of Queen's Bench, Exchequer, or Common Pleas. The system of attachment in the Record Courts of Ireland was infinitely worse than the Palace Court system in London. He would give an example. He held in his hand a writ with the return upon it. It was an attachment issued against a widow, named Catherine Brady, for a debt. Furniture valued at 36l. was seized and sold. The costs were 4l. 6s. 10d., and the return upon the back of the writ was, that the goods had been sold for 4l. 10s. 9d., and that the marshal (Mr. Judkin Butler) had handed over to the plaintiff 3s. 11d. For the sake of peace, he had consented to assist the hon. Gentleman the Member for Athlone in obtaining some compensation for those persons out of the Consolidated Fund. But when the Chancellor of the Exchequer declined to accede to the proposition, the hon. Gentleman tried to quarter them upon the citizens of Dublin. The improved feeling of society had done away with executions in Dublin, and it was rumoured that the hangman was going to claim compensation; and, after all, it would not be a more preposterous one than that of Mr. Butler. He had never heard of a more monstrous proposition than that the corporation of Dublin should have to compensate the officer of a court over which they had no control. He (Mr. Reynolds) would as soon give compensation to a parcel of highway robbers. He protested against the attempt to defraud the citizens of Dublin, by making them pay those cormorants of the Record Court.


said, that the hon. Member for Dublin had said, he would as soon give compensation to a parcel of highway robbers as to those cormorants of the Record Court, and at the same time he admitted that he had attempted to obtain compensation for them out of the Consolidated Fund. He had accompanied him (Mr. Keogh) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to obtain compensation for them, yet he now called them cormorants of the Record Court, and said he would as soon think of giving compensation to a parcel of highway robbers. The former Member for Dublin (Mr. O'Connell) was the very first man who supported in the House the giving of compensation to the officers of the old corporation. What were they to think of the present Member, who endeavoured to prevent compensation being given to men, the average of whose ages was 65 years, and one of whom was 73 years old?—and, not contented with doing so, he must also scatter slander upon their hitherto unimpeachable characters. On turning to the case of Mr. Judkin Butler, it appeared that that gentleman—and he was a gentleman by birth, education, and conduct—who was said by the hon. Member for Dublin to have been dismissed for no good conduct, had been removed, and Mr. Thomas Reynolds, brother of the hon. Member, appointed Marshal of Dublin in his place. So that he had been removed to make way for the hon. Member's brother.

After a few words in explanation from MR. REYNOLDS,


opposed the clause. It was a claim upon the corporation of Dublin, of which due notice ought to have been given.

Debate adjourned till Friday, 25th May.

The House adjourned at a quarter before One o'clock, till Monday next.