HC Deb 20 April 1875 vol 223 cc1360-1

moved— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House a Copy of the Reports taken in shorthand of the proceedings be-fore the Court of Queen's Bench in the several cases of Contempt of Court tried and adjudicated in that Court in relation to the Tichborne Trial; account of the expenditure occurred in relation to the said trial up to the present date, specifying the amount paid to the witnesses who were examined and also to witnesses who, although subpoenaed, were not examined, and stating, as in other cases of Crown prosecutions, the sum paid to each of such witnesses; and Copy of Affidavits sent to the Secretary of State for the Home Department in relation to the said trial, and especially as to certain statements and conduct of the foreman and other members of the jury. The hon. Gentleman said, it was most desirable, in the interests of the motion to be made on Friday, and with a view that the public agitation on the question should cease, that these Papers should be produced. The hon. Gentleman who supported him in the matter (Dr. Kenealy) had unfortunately disappeared; but he hoped some other hon. Gentleman would second him. If the Papers were produced they would show that nothing more scandalous had ever occurred in a Court, and it was most desirable that the House should have them for reference, and to satisfy themselves as to the nature of the trial. With regard to the costs, they had not been informed how the £55,000 returned as the costs of the brief had been spent, and he had, as far as he could, insisted upon having them before the House. It was the more necessary that they should be produced, as many witnesses brought over to prove that the Claimant was not Tichborne had declared that he was, and had been paid large sums of money in order that they might not prejudice the case for the prosecution. The last Papers were the most important of all, because there had been a great deal of perjury in the case, and the foreman of the jury had stated that he had given his verdict on the faith of letters purporting to be written by the sisters of Arthur Orton, and addressing the defendant as "dear brother." which they had since declared on oath that they never wrote.


seconded the Motion.


said, he should not enter into a discussion of the merits of the case. Speaking on the part of the Treasury he had no knowledge of any shorthand minutes of the case. Such Papers as were in the solicitor's office to the Treasury were open to his inspection. With regard to the cost the fullest information should be given of the cost to this time; but he had not the means, nor would it be desirable, to give information as to the sums paid to the several witnesses. That was an unusual course, which had only once been pursued, in the case of the Welsh fasting girl.


said, he must decline to give the Papers included under the last head of the Return, which had always been treated as private and confidential. But the hon. Gentleman could get letters from the parties who made those communications, and they might be read, which would have the same effect.


said, he should not press the Motion; but he did not think that, for the sake of fair play, the documents should be withheld.

Question put, and negatived.