HL Deb 04 August 1831 vol 5 cc732-3

The Earl of Eldon rose to move, pursuant to notice, "That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, praying that his Majesty would be graciously pleased to lay on the Table, a copy of the Indictment lately preferred in the Court of King's Bench in Ireland, against Daniel O'Connell, and others, on which Indictment the accused had been convicted." He begged leave distinctly to state, that, in making this Motion, he did not mean to cast the slightest imputation on the conduct of the Irish Law Officers. He could say from his own observation, that the Irish Bar was eminent for ability, and that the Irish Law Officers generally did their duty well. His Motion had regard, not to the past, but to the future, and his purpose was, to bring in a bill, providing that when a temporary law was enacted, any prosecution commenced while the law was in force should not be abated by the expiration of the law, but should be carried on to its full termination, in the same manner as if the law had still remained in force. It certainly was not a suitable state of things, that persons most properly prosecuted and convicted under such temporary Act, should be allowed to escape punishment, merely owing to the expiration of the Act before the punishment could be inflicted. In the indictment in question, counts might have been inserted, as he conceived, on the Common Law; but, however, his only object at present was, to lay the foundation for a bill to the effect which he had stated. He was not aware that there was any objection to the Motion. —Motion agreed to.