HC Deb 14 February 1895 vol 30 cc818-9

The adjourned Debate upon the Motion of Sir H. James for a Select Committee was resumed by

MR. TIMOTHY HEALY (Louth, North),

who said he was sorry to oppose a gentleman who was so courteous on all occasions; but he wished to ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he would omit the words instructing the Committee to report— ''Whether the case is such as to require further action in respect of such Returns on the part of the House. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said he did not want to insert the two words. For himself he was convinced that the point taken by the right hon. and learned Gentleman was a good one, that it was fatal, and that if we raised our Petition the seats would be vacated; and how could a Member of the Committee, who was convinced of this, wish to stop there? All the requirements of the case would be met if there were enquiry, if it were made known what had taken place and was upon record; and the Committee need not be bound to come to the further conclusion suggested in the Motion. It was that language he objected to. He was satisfied what the outcome; would be if the Committee were bound to report under this instruction. His point was, that the proper tribunal to come to such a decision was Her Majesty's Judges; and for the House to overhaul an election after the time allowed to others for objecting to it had passed, would be a revolutionary proceeding. He, therefore, appealed to the Mover to omit the concluding words of the Motion.

SIR H. JAMES (Bury, Lancashire)

said it was in order to meet the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman that these words had been inserted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was it; to prevent the Committee giving a judicial decision to vacate the seats, and to leave it to the House, not only to determine the matter, but also specially to determine whether the case was such as required any further action. If it did not call for further action the gentlemen would keep their seats. So it was to carry out the very view expressed by the hon. and learned Gentleman that these words were inserted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If the hon. and learned Gentleman thought it well, he might confer with the Leader of the House, and ask him to strike out the words; but to strike them out would defeat the object the hon. Member had in view. There could be no objection to delay if he required further time for consideration.

[Debate Adjourned to Wednesday.]