HC Deb 20 June 1899 vol 73 cc69-70

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any objection to lay upon the Table of the House, and cause the same to be printed and circulated to Members, two petitions of right, dated respectively the 5th November, 1888, and the 22nd November, 1894, presented by Colonel E. Mitchell, retired, through the Home Secretary to the Queen, humbly praying to be paid certain money which he alleges to be due in connection with his service of 31½ years in the Army and retirement; whether Her Majesty was pleased to issue her Royal fiat on the first-named petition, and whether the second petition was kept back from Her Majesty the Queen; and whether such a course is in accordance with the Petition of Right Act of July, 1860.


The petition presented by Colonel E. Mitchell, and dated 5th November, 1888, was laid before the Queen, who issued Her Royal fiat; and the matter was tried before the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, and decided against the petitioner. The petition dated the 22nd November, 1894, was stated by the petitioner to be almost identical with another petition dated the 10th July, 1890, which had been laid before the Queen. In accordance with the usual practice that repeated petitions on the same subject are not laid before the Queen—a practice not, in my opinion, at variance with the Petition of Right Act of 1860—the 1894 petition was returned to Colonel Mitchell. I cannot, therefore, undertake to lay this petition on the Table; but, if it be thought necessary, I do not think that there would be any objection to laying on the Table the petition of 1888.