§ The Serjeant-at-Arms, attending this House, informed the House that he had taken Colonel FULKE GEEVILLE into his custody.
§ MR. J. D. FITZGERALD
said, he was authorized by the hon. Member for Longford to state that he was absent from his place, when the members of the Hull Election Committee were summoned to be sworn, on account of what he conceived to be imperative and urgent public duty; but immediately that the notice of the General Committee on Elections reached to his residence in Ireland, stating that he had been selected as a member of the Hull Election Committee, he started on his return to London for the purpose of performing the duty which had devolved upon him; and on his road he met the Serjeant-at-Arms. He (Mr. FitzGerald) was authorized to say that the hon. and gallant Gentleman did not intend in the slightest degree to neglect his duty as a Member of that House, or to be guilty of any disrespect to the House. He was also requested to state that if any parties had been put to any inconvenience or expense by his absence he very much regretted it.
§ SIR FRANCIS BARING
(Chairman of the General Committee on Elections), said, that all the proceedings taken in this matter were taken in pursuance of the Act of Parliament; none of the steps hitherto adopted could have been avoided; but now further steps to be taken were in the discretion of the House. It was necessary, 1013 according to the Act of Parliament, that the hon. and gallant Member should be sworn at the table to serve on the Committee, but it was also in the discretion of the House to instruct Mr. Speaker to censure the hon. and gallant Member, or to take any other course it thought fit. He hoped, however, that the House, after hearing the statement of the right hon. find learned Member for Ennis, would not think it necessary to proceed to any further step. The hon. and gallant Officer must be aware that he had put parties to considerable inconvenience and expense, and it was unnecessary, under the circumstances, to add to the pain he must feel on that account by any censure from Mr. Speaker of the House. He therefore moved that Colonel Greville be discharged from the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms on the payment of the fees.
§ That Colonel Fulke Greville be discharged out of custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms upon payment of his fees.