HC Deb 08 February 1864 vol 173 cc218-9

said, he wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which he had already asked him in the lobby, obtaining but a very unsatisfactory reply. A notice was standing for that evening in the name of the right hon. Gentleman relative to the introduction of a Bill which was understood to have been necessitated by the recent escape from justice of the convicted murderer Townley. On Friday night the Under Secretary of State moved for papers connected with the Townley case, and as he understood these could not be in the hands of hon. Members for some days, he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman not to prejudge the case by any statement until the papers had been produced.


said, he hardly understood the Question which the noble Lord had put to him. He had felt it his duty to give notice at the earliest day of a proposal to correct what he believed to be a serious defect in the law, and he should, therefore, ask leave to bring in the Bill for the purpose that evening. In the course of his introductory statement it would be necessary to refer to the Townley case, but lie should have occasion to allude very slightly to the Correspondence which had been moved for. There would be ample opportunity for comment, either on the second reading of the Bill, or upon a substantive Motion, when the papers were produced.