HC Deb 24 February 1904 vol 130 cc898-904

Motion made, and Question proposed!, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £2,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1904, for certain Miscellaneous Legal Expenses."

* SIR ALBERT ROLLIT Islington, S.)

said the foot-note explanatory of this item was in the following terms— The excess arises in respect of expenses incurred in connection with the arrest and extradition of Whitaker Wright, and the case of the convict Lynchehaun. He should like a little more information as to the details of this expenditure which he quite approved. He wished to know the exact amount incurred in respect of Whitaker Wright's extradition, because £2,000, merely in respect of his arrest and extradition, was in itself somewhat a large sum. He hoped, however, it was not the whole amount that the Government was going to contribute towards the costs in this matter. The state of affairs in relation to the winding up of companies and the frauds in connection with many of them had been such that it was absolutely deterrent to any private prosecutor to enter upon proceedings and so to add to losses already incurred. This remark applied to the liquidation of too many companies, and the result was, on the one hand, impunity for the offender and absolute waste, as the report of the liquidator of companies showed, of many millions of money, in a manner most detrimental to the true trade interests of the country. It was in the end advantageous to trade that occurrences of this kind should not take place without prosecution. In the debate on the Address the Attorney-General had made a statement not only of the facts from his point of view and also of the law for which everyone must have the greatest respect even when, like himself, they ventured to differ from it, but he answered what he supposed to have been some reflections upon his own honour and impartiality in the treatment of this matter.


This Vote is not for the prosecution of Whitaker Wright. It is limited strictly to the expenses of extradition and the hon. Member must confine himself to that.


said he accepted that ruling at once. He only wished to say that the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman as to his own conduct was almost unnecessary, and everyone assented to it without a single reservation. He hoped, however, the right hon. Gentleman would feel that, justice having been vindicated, there was some reason for the course that was taken, and that there was a moral and a legal obligation on the State to do more towards payment of the costs of the prosecution than was implied in this Estimate. This was justified by the result of the trial, which he and others had anticipated, and their action had thus been justified.


thanked his hon. friend for his frank and friendly words. The total cost of the proceedings for the extradition of Lynchehaun was £1,014, and there was a further claim which was estimated at £300. In the case of Whitaker Wright the total cost was £1,150. Extradition proceedings in America, as his hon. friend was aware, were for various reasons expensive. The amount in this Estimate rid not represent what the Government had undertaken to pay in connection with the Whitaker Wright prosecution. These costs would be put on the law charges, which would be brought before the House in the ordinary way.


said he ought to move to reduce the Vote by £1,147, the whole of the costs incurred in the Whitaker Wright extradition. The ground of his objection was that Whitaker Wright ought not to have been allowed to escape from this country after the decision of three Judges. He himself thought that Whitaker Wright was likely to escape, and on 11th March he asked a Question—of course, contrary to propriety, because nearly all pertinent Questions in this House were said to be contrary to propriety. His Question was— I beg to ask the Home Secretary what steps, if any, are being taken by the authorities to prevent any attempt to escape from criminal justice by Mr. Whitaker Wright. And the Home Secretary replied— The hon. Member has given me no notice of that Question; he had better put it on the Paper. Before he had time to put it on the Paper Whitaker Wright escaped, and was intended to escape. He believed that if Whitaker Wright had been a poor man it would not have been necessary to spend £1,100 to secure his extradition; he would have been instantly arrested. He maintained that the circumstances under which Whitaker Wright was allowed to escape looked as if there was one law for the poor and another for the rich. He moved the reduction of the Vote by £100.

Motion made, and Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £1,900, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Swift MacNeill.)


said that Whitaker Wright having escaped, it was desirable that the extradition should take place, and that he should be brought back here for trial. What he complained of was that the man was allowed to escape from the country at all. The Law Courts had undoubtedly held that Whitaker Wright had committed a very grave offence for which he ought to be punished, and he ought, therefore, to have been kept under some sort of police surveillance until the Attorney-General issued his warrant for the arrest. Under the circumstances he would vote for the Amendment of his hon. friend.

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

thought that the Attorney - General ought to reply. It seemed to him that one of two courses ought to be taken—either that the Attorney-General should acknowledge that he had committed a mistake in this matter, or that there should be an Appropriation-in-aid for this amount out of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's salary.


said he would not be in order in going into the matter beyond the statement he had made the other day in the debate on the Address. The Government took every step in their power, and the extradition proceedings were successful. He had heard no suggestion that there was any remissness on the part of the Home Office, or of anyone connected with the administration of justice in connection with the escape of Whitaker Wright; and he felt sure that the hon. and learned Member was not serious in suggesting that the Home Office had connived at his escape. He

submitted that the expenses were properly incurred.


said he would not go so far as to say that the Home Office connived at Whitaker Wright's escape, but they neglected their duty. He still held to the opinion that if Whitaker Wright had not been a highly placed gentleman he would not have bean allowed to escape.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 126; Noes, 214. (Division List No. 16).

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Foster. Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Pirie, Duncan V.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Gilhooly, James Power, Patrick Joseph
Allen, Charles P. Goddard, Daniel Ford Price, Robert John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Grant, Corrie Reddy, M.
Barry, E. (Cork. S.) Griffith, Ellis J. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Harmsworth, R. Leicester Redmond, William (Clare)
Beaumont, Went worth C. B. Hayden, John Patrick Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Bell, Richard Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Blake, Edward Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Roche, John
Boland, John Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Runciman, Walter
Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Johnson, John (Gateshead) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Brigg, John Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Schwann, Charles E.
Broadhurst, Henry Joyce, Michael Shackleton, David James
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Kearley, Hudson E. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Kilbride, Denis Sheehy, David
Burke, E. Haviland Lambert, George Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Caldwell, James Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Slack, John Bamford
Cameron, Robert Leigh, Sir Joseph Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Leng, Sir John Soares, Ernest J.
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Levy, Maurice Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Lloyd-George, David Sullivan, Donal
Causton, Richard Knight Logan, John William Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Lundon, W. Tennant, Harold John
Condon, Thomas Joseph MacVeagh, Jeremiah Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.
Crean, Eugene M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)
Crombie, John William M'Hugh, Patrick A. Tomkinson, James
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) M'Kean, John Toulmin, George
Delany, William Mansfield, Horace Rendall Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway) Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N. Wallace, Robert
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Mooney, John J. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Murphy, John Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Nannetti, Joseph P. Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney)
Donelan, Captain A. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) White, George (Norfolk)
Doogan, P. C. Norton, Capt. Cecil William White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Duncan, J. Hastings O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Ellice, Capt E. C (SAndrw's Bghs O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Emmott, Alfred O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Young, Samuel
Esmonde, Sir Thomas O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert O'Dowd, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Swift MacNeill and Mr. Labouchere
Fenwick, Charles O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond O'Mara, James
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Flynn, James Christopher Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Anson, Sir Wlliam Reynell Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Arrol, Sir William Bain, Colonel James Robert
Baird, John George Alexander Greville, Hon. Ronald O' Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Balcarres, Lord Hall, Edward Marshall Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Baldwin, Alfred Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leed Hambro, Charles Eric Pemberton. John S. G.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry) Percy, Earl
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Hare, Thomas Leigh Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Platt-Higgins. Frederick
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Plummer, Walter R.
Beckett, Ernest William Haslett, Sir James Horner Pretyman, Ernest George
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Pym, C. Guy
Bignold, Arthur Hay, Hon. Claude George Ratcliff, R. F.
Bigwood, James Heath, A. Howard (Hanley) Reid, James (Greenock)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Heath, James (Staffords., N. W. Remnant, James Farquharson
Bond, Edward Heaton, John Henniker Renwick, George
Boulnois, Edmund Henderson Sir A. (Stafford, W. Ridley, Hn. M. W.(Stalybridge
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Brassey, Albert Hickman, Sir Alfred Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hogg, Lindsay Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Bull, William James Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Butcher, John George Hoult, Joseph Round, Rt. Hon. James
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow) Houston, Robert Paterson Rutherford. W. W. (Liverpool)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Cautley, Henry Strother Hudson, George Bickersteth Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Cavendish, R. E. (N. Lancs.) Hunt, Rowland Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)
Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire) Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Sharpe, William Edward T.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Chapman, Edward Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Charrington, Spencer Kerr, John Smith, H. C (North'mb Tyneside
Clare, Octavius Leigh Kimber, Henry Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Clive, Captain Percy A. King, Sir Henry Seymour Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Coates, Edward Feetham Knowles, Sir Lees Spear, John Ward
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lauric, Lieut.-General Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.
Coghill, Douglas Harry Law. Andrew Bonar, (Glasgow) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M' Taggart
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monmouth) Stock, James Henry
CON. Irwin Edward Bainbridge Lawson. Jn. G. (Yorks., N. R.) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cripps, Charles Alfred Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Stroyan, John
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Cust, Henry John C. Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Dalkeith, Earl of Llewellyn, Evan Henry Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Long, Col. Chas. W.(Evesham) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Davenport, William Bromley Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Denny, Colonel Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Dickson, Charles Scott Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Tuff, Charles
Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Macdona, John Cumming Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Maconochie, A. W. Valentia, Viscount
Doxford, Sir William Theodore M'Calmont, Colonel James Walker, Col. William Hall
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Malcolm, Ian Warde, Colonel C. E.
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Manners, Lord Cecil Webb, Colonel William George
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Markham, Arthur Basil Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunton)
Faber, George Denison (York) Martin, Richard Biddulph Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)
Fardell, Sir T. George Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.) Whiteley, H. (Ashton und.Lyne
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.E.
Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Milvain, Thomas Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks
Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Flower, Sir Ernest Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Forster, Henry William Morrell, George Herbert Wylie, Alexander
Fyler, John Arthur Morrison, James Archibald Wyndham, Rt Hon. George
Gardner, Ernest Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Garfit, William Mount, William Arthur Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Muntz, Sir Philip A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland - Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc) Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Newdegate, Francis A. N.
Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.) Nicholson, William Graham

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Resolutions to be reported.

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