, in rising to move—That Mr. Speaker do issue Ms Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Ireland, to make out a. New Writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the County of Clare, in the room of Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, Baronet, who, since his Election for the said County, hath accepted the office of Attorney General of Victoria,said, a Motion for a New Writ was usually moved without observations, and taken as a matter of course. There were, however, features of novelty in the present case, which required some explanation on his part. It was right that, in a matter of this kind, care should be taken lest they should, by an omission or commission, act contrary to precedent or to the usage and custom of Parliament. It was in the knowledge of the House that in July last Sir Colman O'Loghlen, who, up to that time was sitting for the county of Clare, died—
§ MR. E. JENKINS
, rising to Order, asked Mr. Speaker, whether there were in the possession of the House any authoritative documents upon which this Motion could be made?
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, he was not prepared to answer the question, until the hon. and learned Member had his opportunity of laying his case before the House.
suggested to his hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, that he would have done well to wait until his statement was concluded before attempting to intervene. By the practice of the House, when a Member rose on his own responsibility to move a New Writ, he was never asked for Papers. Sir Colman O'Loghlen, who died last July, was one of the most honourable and high-minded Members of that House, and. the county of Clare was so anxious to mark their respect for his name and family, that they took the unprecedented course of electing in his place his brother, Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, then absent in the Colonies. On the 28th July, 1877, the Speaker's Warrant was issued for the Election, and, on the 10th August, Sir Bryan O'Loghlen was returned. Par- 45 liament did not, however, sit until the January of the present year. On the 16th February, Sir Bryan was returned for the county of West Melbourne, under the auspices of the Colonial Government then in Office. On March 30, he accepted the Office of Attorney General of Victoria, and the evidence he (Mr. Sullivan) adduced for that fact was the statement of a responsible Minister of the Crown, made in the hearing of the House, which had always been so jealous of its Privileges that it had never called for other evidence. On the 30th March, the Speaker of the Victoria Constitution issued his Warrant for a new Election for West Melbourne, because Sir Bryan O'Loghlen had accepted an Office of profit under the Crown. He was re-elected under the 17th section of the Victorian Act. The present Motion was made under the 7 Anne, c. 7, s. 25. The 25th section defined "new Office" to be any Office under the Crown created subsequently to the 25th October, 1707, and provided that the holder of any new Office should not only vacate the seat of a Member, but be incapable of election so long as he held such Office. Section 26 laid down that if a Member accepted an office, not a new one, he would not be incapacitated for re-election; but must submit himself to the ordeal of re-election. He based his Motion on the 25th clause, and held that the Office which Sir Bryan O'Loghlen had accepted was a new Office of profit under the Crown, and that it incapacitated the holder of it, so long as he held it, from being re-elected or taking his seat. He admitted this was a novel Motion, as there was no precedent in reference to a Colonial appointment; but there was a precedent for the issue of a Writ for the election of a Member in place of one who had never taken the oath and his seat. That had occurred in the Session of 1847–8, when an elected Member who had not taken the oath and his seat doubted whether he had not disqualified himself in respect of some contracts, and accordingly applied for the Chiltern Hundreds, and after debate, it was allowed that he could do so. Here, then, was the case of a Member who had never been sworn, who had never appeared at the Bar, who never took his seat, and who was allowed to vacate it and accept an Office of emolument under the Crown. As to 46 whether the Office accepted by Sir Bryan O'Loghlen was such an Office, he would refer hon. Members to the statement which had been made officially that day, that that gentleman had vacated his seat in Victoria because, as the Resolution of the House in Victoria stated, he had accepted an Office of profit under the Crown, and he had done that in compliance with a clause of the Victorian Constitution, which did not incorporate the Statute of Anne, to which reference had been made. He submitted that the seat was vacated, and accordingly moved for the issue of a Writ.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Ireland, to make out a New Writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the County of Clare, in the room of Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, Baronet, who, since his Election for the said County, hath accepted the office of Attorney General of Victoria."—(Mr. Sullivan.)
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I am sure there can be no disposition on the part of anyone to question the statement of the hon. and learned Member for Louth; but, at the same time, it must be borne in mind that this case is a peculiar one, and that we have no exact precedent for such a mode of vacating a seat. Under the circumstances, I think it would be more in accordance with the dignity of this House that we should proceed in the matter in a manner somewhat more solemn than usual. It is, I think, desirable to appoint a Select Committee to inquire into the case; because, without questioning the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman, it is evident we have not before us, as in the case of an acceptance of the Chiltern Hundreds, any Papers to which we can. refer. I beg, therefore, to move that a Select Committee be appointed, to inquire whether Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, the Member for the county of Clare, has since his election accepted an Office or place of profit under or from the Crown, and that they be directed to report whether, under the circumstances, he has vacated his seat in this House by the acceptance of that Office.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "a Select Committee be appointed to inquire
whether Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, Member for the County of Clare, has since his Election accepted an office or place of profit under or from the Crown, and that they be directed to report their opinion whether he has vacated his seat by the acceptance of the said office,"—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer,)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. SPENCER WALPOLE
thought it would be better to amend the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer by inserting in it words referring to the particular Statute affecting the question.
§ THE ATTOENEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. GIBSON)
thought it would be inconvenient to insert any reference to a particular Statute, as there were several Statutes of the Irish Parliament affecting the question, also Statutes made after the Union; and the whole question might be raised under the words of the Amendment.
hoped that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would take steps to insure that the Report of the Committee upon this question should be presented to the House before the end of the Session.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
There shall be no delay in nominating the Committee. It shall be done immediately.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Words added.
Main Question, as amended, put.
Ordered, That a Select Committee he appointed to inquire whether Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, Member for the County of Clare, has since his Election accepted an office or place of profit under or from the Crown, and that they he directed to report their opinion whether he has vacated his seat by the acceptance of the said office.
And, on July 30, Committee nominated as follows:—Mr. Secretary CROSS, Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH, Mr. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Mr. SPENCER WALPOLE, Mr. ATTORNEY GENERAL for IRELAND, Lord FRANCIS HERVEY, Sir WILLIAM DYKE, Mr. WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER, Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT, Mr. WHITBREAD, Mr. BUTT, Mr. SULLIVAN, and Mr. ADAM:—Power to send for persons, papers, and records; Five to be the quorum.