HC Deb 06 June 1872 vol 211 cc1271-3

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether there is any foundation for the report that the Treasury has refused to allow the expenses of any witnesses required from abroad in support of the prosecution against the person styling himself Sir Roger Tichborne?


Sir, this is one of four Questions on the Paper upon this subject. I cannot pretend to be surprised that hon. Gentlemen who placed these Questions on the Paper should feel so great an interest in the matter. But another question arises, and a very serious and important question—namely, how far it is desirable that this House should be made the theatre of discussion as to the preliminary arrangements for the trial. The Government have seriously considered this subject, and I have now to state, with every respect for the Gentlemen who have put down these Questions, and without at all questioning their right to do so, that Her Majesty's Government mean to consult the interests of the public by declining to answer these Questions.



said, that as he could not acquiesce in the views just expressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in reference to this case he was desirous of eliciting a reply from Mr. Attorney General; because if the hon. and learned Gentleman should refuse to give the information required he should call attention to the subject to-morrow evening on the Motion for going into Supply. He would therefore ask Mr. Attorney General, with reference to the Tichborne case, Whether, assuming the evidence as to the tattoo marks is reliable, it is necessary to incur the delay and cost of bringing witnesses from Chili and Australia; and, whether, in advising the Government to pay the costs of this prosecution, consideration was given to the allegation that this tattoo evidence was known to members of the family at the time that the offence of perjury was committed?


Concurring as I do most entirely in the views which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has lately expressed, I trust the hon. Gentleman and the House will excuse me if I follow my right hon. Friend's example.


asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he has received from Dr. William Massey Wheeler, late surgeon of the Victorian Exploring Expedition, a statement respecting his knowledge of Arthur Orton, whom the claimant to the Tichborne Estates is alleged to be; and, whether in consequence of the facts therein stated he will direct the said Dr. Wheeler to be examined by the Treasury Solicitor before any further expenditure of the Public Money is incurred in connection with the contemplated criminal prosecution?


said, in reply, that for the reasons he had already given he must decline to answer the Question.