HC Deb 01 July 1868 vol 193 cc471-2

Order for Committee read.


in moving "that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," said, the object of the present Bill was to assimilate the law in Ireland to the law in England, and to deprive a plaintiff in an action for libel of costs unless he got 40s. damages. In Ireland at present a verdict in an action for libel for one farthing carried costs, and that law had worked great hardship in several recent cases.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee).


said, he was glad to find that his hon. Friend the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) had directed his efforts to endeavouring to remove the defects which existed in the law of libel in Ireland, and that he had abandoned the crude attempt which had been made at the commencement of the Session with regard to the law of libel in this country. As soon as the latter Bill had been thoroughly understood it was evident that such a measure would not receive the assent of the House, and many hon. Members who laboured under a misapprehension with regard to it, and who at the outset intended to support his hon. Friend, felt bound, on becoming olive to its effect, to give the measure all the opposition in their power. He regretted, however, to say that Members of that House had been so worried by circulars sent to them by a body calling itself the Provincial Press Association, that it had become very difficult for them, in the presence of an impending election, to perform their duty. For his own part, he had resisted all attempts at intimidation by an association of tradesmen who were intent on benefiting themselves at the expense of the public.


said, that his hon. Friend, having omitted to make a speech when he withdrew the former Bill, had apparently disburdened himself on the present measure of the speech he had intended to have made on the last. He would not now reply to the remarks of his hon. Friend, but would, if he had the opportunity, answer the objections both of his hon. Friend and of other hon. Members in the course of next Session.

House resumed.

Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read the third time To-morrow.