HC Deb 02 August 1889 vol 339 c185
MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

I wish to ask the Chief Secretary with regard to the case of Dr. Tanner whether, as Ministers maintained in yesterday's Debate, that the charge against Dr. Tanner (of which he had. solemnly declared himself innocent) had been proved against him, and as he was precluded by the expulsion of his counsel, and the consequent withdrawal of his solicitor from carrying the case to a higher Court, he will be afforded any opportunity now of bringing forward his defence? I should also be glad to know what steps the Government intend to take in regard to the sentence for contempt of Court?


The right hon. Gentleman will see that, to carry out his request, would be altogether beyond the power of the Government, and utterly irrational and unreasonable. Dr. Tanner had full opportunity of producing his defence, and, as he made none, the natural conclusion is that he had none to make.


Then is it to be understood that the right hon. Gentleman will not allow an inquiry as to whether the sentence of one month's imprisonment with hard labour was justifiable?


That is a question which does not come before me. If it is desired that the Lord Lieutenant should exercise the prerogative of mercy, of course it should be brought before the Lord Lieutenant in a proper manner, by petition.