HC Deb 21 June 1888 vol 327 cc790-1
MR. W. E. GLADSTONE (Edinburgh, Mid Lothian)

I wish, Sir, to make a personal explanation which will not detain the House more than a few minutes at the outside. I see reported in the newspapers an observation of the Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer in Ireland—a most becoming observation, I think, couched in most becoming terms—to the effect, practically, that there ought not to have been comments made in this House upon the case of the prisoners sentenced at Castlemartyr for exclusive dealing while the proceedings were in course of review in the Court of Exchequer. While entirely concurring in that observation, I wish to say that I was absolutely unaware that the proceedings either were or could be brought under review in that particular manner. It is within the cognizance of the House that they were not brought under review in the ordinary course contemplated by the Crimes Act of last year, and for this very simple reason—that none of the sentences amounted to more than one month, and, consequently, none of them gave a right of appeal. The application of habeas corpus to the Court of Exchequer was a proceeding I was not aware of; and certainly if I had been aware of it I should not have put any Question to the Government on the matter until it had been decided by the Court of Appeal.

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