HC Deb 13 March 1854 vol 131 cc703-4

said, he rose to repeat a question which he had put to the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a previous occasion, as to whether it was the intention of the Government to take any further proceedings against Mr. Shaw, of the Dublin Commercial Journal, for publishing a penny periodical unstamped? When he asked this question before, the right hon. Gentleman gave him an answer which he (Mr. Lucas) believed was founded upon a misapprehension of the facts. The right hon. Gentleman, in contradiction of a statement made by him (Mr. Lucas), then stated that the verdict of the jury was, as he was informed, in opposition to the charge of the Judge. Since then, he (Mr. Lucas) had seen a shorthand writer's notes of the charge, and he was of opinion, as were also some gentlemen whom he had consulted, that the verdict of the jury was in strict accordance with the charge. He now wished to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he still retained the opinion he had before expressed, and, if he did not retain that opinion, whether it was the intention of the Crown to direct successive prosecutions until a verdict in accordance with its wishes could be obtained from a Dublin jury?


said, that he had not referred to the charge of the Judge since the last occasion on which the question was put. He was not personally cognisant of the proceedings on the trial, but it would be most surprising to him, if the authority from whom he obtained his information should prove to have been in error. At the same time, he was not aware that the conduct of the Government would of absolute necessity depend upon the fact to which the hon. Gentleman had referred. The hon. Gentleman had asked whether it was the intention of the Government to raise successive suits until they got a verdict in their favour. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had never said anything which would imply that the Government had any such intention. The Government had acted in compliance with the advice of their legal officers, under whose consideration this matter now was; and it was impossible for him to announce anything as to their future intentions until he had learned what was the advice given them by these functionaries.