HL Deb 08 March 1831 vol 3 cc179-80
Lord Clifden

said, that he had a Petition in his hands, to be presented, from the rev. Mr. Martin Doyle, the object of which was, to clear his character from certain imputations which that rev. gentleman understood had been cast upon it in that House. He had some doubts whether this Petition could, in point of form, be received; but the petitioner stated that, he had been for fifteen years parish priest of Donegal, in the county of Carlow, which was within a mile and a half of the residence of Lord Farnham—that in the course of that time he had been a member of an association for preserving the peace of the country— that he had been instrumental in detecting and bringing to justice certain persons who had been great disturbers of the public peace, and had received the. thanks of the Protestant Rector of the parish, and Grand Jury of the county of Carlow —that he had been very intimate with Lord Farnham, who was a member of the association to which he alluded, and he expressed his conviction that Lord Farnham was too honourable a man not to bear witness to the truth of his statement; and, finally, he produced four affidavits to show that he had no concern with the disturbances on account of tithes, although he knew that they were a most grievous burthen to the country.

The Duke of Buckingham rose

to order. This was not a petition, and the noble Lord himself had stated at the outset, that in point of form it could not be received.

Lord Clifden

contended, that he had a right to read the address of the Grand Jury at least, if not. to read the affidavits.

The Lord Chancellor

was unwilling to interrupt one of their Lordships, and more particularly when he was speaking for a party who stood on his defence. But really they must preserve some order in their proceedings. In the other House they had a Speaker, whose peculiar business it was, to preserve order; but their Lordships' Speaker had no more to do in that respect than any of their Lordships; but, speaking as a Peer, he must observe, that all this proceeded on a breach of their privileges. The petitioner complained of what had passed in that House, although he could not, without a breach of privilege, know what passed there. To be Sure their Lordships winked at these things; but if a man came there with a distinct statement of a breach of privilege, they must take notice of it, and therefore the matter had better be left on what his Lordship had already stated, and on what another noble Lord (Farnham) might choose to say.

Lord Clifden

observed, that he had already pretty well attained his object.

Lord Farnham

hoped, although this proceeding was not regular, that the House would indulge him with a few words. He had before stated, that he had been well acquainted with Mr. Doyle, and had a good opinion of him. It was perfectly correct that he had been a member of the association for preserving the peace of the country, and had done much for that object. He had been instrumental in bringing to justice a desperate gang of burglars, three of whom had been hanged, and two transported. It was perfectly correct that he had received the thanks of the Grand Jury of the county of Car-low. But at the time when he was on terms of intimacy with Mr. Doyle, he was not concerned in politics, nor engaged in agitation on account of tithes, or any other political object. He confined himself to his parochial duties, except in so far as he was concerned in the preservation of the peace of the country. But in the course of the last two years he had assumed a different character. He had already stated, that he had a high opinion of Mr. Doyle, when he was intimate with him, and very much regretted that he was obliged to change it.

Petition withdrawn.