§ MR. SPEAKER
acquainted the House that he had received the following Letter, relating to the Attachment of Mr. Gent-Davis:—
§ Nov. 27, 1888.
§ Mr. Speaker,
§ I have the honour of communicating to you, for the information of the House of Commons, that I have this morning directed an attachment to issue against Robert Gent-Davis, Esq., the Member for Kennington, for contempt of Court in appropriating to his own use, and neglecting to pay into Court, a large sum of money which was received by him in a fiduciary character as receiver and manager appointed by the Court, and has not been paid by him into Court in pursuance of my order to that effect.
§ I have thought it right to make this communication to you for the purpose of accounting for the probable absence of the honourable Member, and testifying my profound respect for the honourable House.
§ I have the honour to be, Sir,
§ Your most obedient servant,
§ FORD NORTH,
§ One of the Judges of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice.
§ To the Right Hon.
§ The Speaker of the House of Commons.
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
May I ask whether that notification vacates the seat, or what effect it has on the seat?
§ MR. SPEAKER
That is a question which it is not for me to answer. I have only done my duty in communicating to the House the letter of the learned Judge.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
This letter from the learned Judge creates a very grave aspect of affairs. I think it is usual in such cases for the House to move in reference to them. This letter contains a grave imputation 485 upon an hon. Member, and I presume that the Leader of the House will deem it to be his duty to submit a Motion to the House on the subject. Unless the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to take such action as will purge the House of the stain or stigma which rests upon it at present, I am persuaded that action of another kind will be deemed necessary by those sitting on this side of the House.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
The hon. and learned Member will not expect me to make any statement on this subject without any Notice whatever. I was not aware of the letter which has just been read having been received, and therefore I am wholly without information as to the facts of the case, beyond those communicated to the House. It appears to me that this is a matter which rests with the Courts of Law, and that I have no duty to discharge in reference to it. I will consider what the hon. and learned Gentleman has said, and if I find it necessary I will make a statement on the subject.