HC Deb 19 June 1873 vol 216 cc1167-8

said, that, in explanation of the Question he was about to put, he begged leave to state that the previous day the Lord Chief Justice of England charged the Attorney General with the responsibility of protecting the administration of justice by bringing before the Court all persons whom he might consider guilty of contempt of Court in reference to the present case. He would now ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the prosecutions for contempt of Court in reference to the Tichborne case, Whether on the part of the Government he is prepared to pay such costs; and, if so, whether he so acts by the advice of the Attorney General, or on what other legal advice; and also, as to the general expenses of this prosecution, whether he is prepared to state the amount already paid or incurred, and to what extent the Government are pledged to provide funds for this purpose?


Sir, the costs which have been incurred by anything that has been done under the direction of the Chief Justice in this matter are already provided for, under the head of "Law Charges," by the Vote of this House; and therefore I have no duty to discharge with regard to asking the Attorney General's or anyone else's opinion on the subject. As to the second part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, which asks as to the amount of the costs already paid or incurred in the prosecution now pending, that Question appears to me an improper one. It can only—I will not say that it is intended to have such an effect—but it can only serve to prejudice the case which is now pending.