HC Deb 10 May 1878 vol 239 cc1712-3

said, that he had to move the following Resolution:— That it is a high Breach of the Privileges of this House to obstruct the freedom and independence of Members of Parliament in putting questions to Ministers, upon their responsibility as representatives of the people, and in the discharge of their public duty, such questions being framed in decorous language, and having for their object to elicit information on matters of public interest. He need hardly say that he did not mean to move this Resolution in a spirit of hostility to anyone. But he thought it right, being himself a sufferer by the practice of which he complained, to elicit some opinion from the House on a matter which, in the words of his intended Resolution, affected "the freedom and independence of Members of Parliament." In the course of last Session, he put a Question to the Home Secretary, with reference to a woman named Mina Jury, who was one of the most important witnesses in the trial of the Tichborne case. A statement reached him that she was a convict in 1847, and all knew that she was convicted for robbery in 1875. He asked the Home Secretary, whether the person convicted in 1875 was the same as was convicted in 1847? and the right hon. Gentleman assured the House that she was not. That occurred in August, and in the September following there was a trial, and a Superintendent in Scotland Yard, who had been appointed to find out the antecedents of Mina Jury—

Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,

House adjourned at Seven o'clock till Monday next.