HC Deb 16 December 1852 vol 123 cc1569-70

laid on the table the Report of the Committee of the Derby Election. The report was then read by the Clerk at the table, and is as follows:— Your Committee appointed to take into consideration the matter of the petition of certain inhabitant householders of the borough of Derby, and to report thereupon to the House, have examined witnesses, and heard counsel as well in support of the petition as in behalf of the right hon. William Beresford, Secretary-at-War, a Member of the House, and have agreed to the following Report:—Your Committee have to report, with respect to the special allegations contained in the Petition before them, that the evidence which they have taken has satisfied them that a plan for an organised system of bribery had existed in the borough of Derby at the last election, and that the right hon. William Bores-ford wrote a letter to one John Frail, of Shrews-burs, in the following terms:—' A good and safe man, with judgment and quickness, is wanted immediately at Derby. I suppose that you cannot leave your own place. If not, send some one whom you can trust in your place. Let him go to Derby on receiving this, and find the County Tavern, in the centre of the town. Let him send his card to Cox Brothers and Co.'s lead works, as coming from Chester. That will be enough. Yours, W. B.—Monday.' That in consequence of such letter one Thomas Morgan, of Shrewsbury, was sent to Derby by the said John Frail, and, acting on instructions there received, was subsequently detected and apprehended whilst carrying out the aforesaid plan of an organised system of bribery, proved before your Committee to have existed. Your Committee, however, do not find sufficient evidence to satisfy their minds, that the arrangements, scheme, and objects, as referred to in the petition, wore known to and concurred in by the right hon. William Beresford, Secretary-at-War, and Member of the House; but your Committee are of opinion, that the equivocal expressions of this letter ought at least to have suggested to him the idea that an improper use might be, and in fact was, made of the letter; and they find a reckless indifference to consequences which they cannot too highly censure. On the Motion of MR. GOULBURN, the Report and Evidence were ordered to be printed.

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