presented a Petition from Mr. John Wright, complaining of having been struck by a witness in one of the Committee-rooms of their Lordships' House, and praying that he might be heard at the bar.
Mr. Wright was accordingly called to the bar, and sworn.
In answer to questions put to him by the Lord Chancellor, he stated, that he was an agent for the Ship-owners of Sunderland opposed to the Sunderland Dock-Bill, then under the consideration of a Committee of their Lordships; that immediately after he had quitted the Committee-room that morning, and while still in the House of Lords, he was accosted by Mr. James Allison, a ship-builder of Sunderland, who was a witness on the other side of the question, who said to him, "How dare you allude to me in your speech?" and then struck him in the face; that he made no reply, but thought it his duty, both to their Lordships and to himself, to bring the matter before the House. He had certainly addressed the Committee on behalf of his clients, and in the course of that address had certainly 426 alluded to Mr. Allison; but he hoped that when the observations which he had made should come to be read by the short-hand writer, it would appear that they were perfectly fair, and such as he was entitled to make in the discharge of his duty.
Mr. Wright withdrew; and Mr. Allison, on the motion of the Lord Chancellor, was ordered to attend at their Lordships' bar the next day.