§ MR. THORNELY
said, that on Thursday last the hon. Member for Montrose 978 (Mr. Hume) presented a petition from Mr. Grantley Berkeley, a candidate at the late election for West Gloucestershire. That petition had been read before the Committee on Public Petitions, and they were unanimously of opinion that it was an election petition. He therefore moved that the Order of the 2nd of December, that the petition do lie on the table, be discharged, for the purpose of the petition being withdrawn.
said, he wished to know, before the Order was discharged, whether a person complaining of an election was to he obliged to prosecute a petition before a Committee of that House? He could not understand how the character of that House was to be maintained if any person who was able to prove that offences of the most heinous nature against the law had been committed at an election, had not some mode of giving such proof without being ruined by an opposed election petition. He had inquired how far the person in question was able to prove the allegations in this petition, and was informed that that person was perfectly prepared to prove them, but that he would not enter the lists to demand justice, opposed as he would be by two individuals of great property. The petitioner stated that the bribery, treating, violence, and intimidation at the election in question were monstrous, and that every rule and order respecting elections were there outraged.
§ MR. FITZSTEPHEN FRENCH
begged to inquire whether this petition was not something of the same nature with that which had been presented respecting the election for Cork, and which, on the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Youghal (Mr. J. Butt), was ordered to be printed with the Votes?
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, that since the petition referred to by the hon. Member for Roscommon (Mr. F. French) had been printed, he had read it, and had no doubt that it was in the nature of an election petition, and, having been presented after the time for receiving election petitions, that petition ought not to have been received.
§ MR. GRENVILLE BERKELEY
said, he could state, upon good authority, that the most unqualified contradiction could be given to the assertions contained in the petition presented by the hon. Member for Montrose.
§ Order discharged.
§ Petition withdrawn.