HL Deb 22 August 1839 vol 50 cc482-3
Lord Brougham

presented a petition from Mr. Thomas Bradley, late lieu tenant-colonel of his late Majesty's 2nd West-India regiment of foot, in which the petitioner went over the whole of the dispute which had occurred between him and Sir George Arthur, and which has been before the public repeatedly for several years past. The petitioner complained of the injustice under which he had so long suffered, and concluded his statement in these words:— It must be evident to your Lordships, from your Lordships from the above statement, that your petitioner has been deprived of his commission with on trial, and without having been guilty of any military offence whatever: and your petitioner, therefore, humbly prays that he may not be deprived of the ordinary privilege pf a British subject, but that your Lordships Will at least enquire for what reason he has been stripped of his commission, after twenty years of arduous service in the West-Indies and America. After adverting to the facts of the case, the noble and learned Lord said he was greatly astonished that any difficulty should stand in the way of justice being done to this injured gentleman by restoring him to his rank in the service. Even if Mr. Bradley had acted erroneously (which, in his opinion, was not the case), he bad, assuredly, suffered quite enough. He had suffered a long imprisonment in a most unwholesome climate; he had been ousted from the service; he had been deprived of his commission, and had suffered a pecuniary loss of 1,900l.. It was a case of very great hardship, and he hoped, that his noble Friend, at the head of the Executive Government, would take it into serious consideration.

The Duke of Wellington

said, that as a commission of which he was a member, was now sitting, and had been sitting for a considerable time, before which, cases of this nature might be heard, he did not wish to offer any opinion on this petition. The noble and learned Lord had not stated that her Majesty's permission had been asked, and had been given, for the consideration of this subject. He, therefore, recommended to the noble and learned Lord to withdraw the petition to give the noble Viscount an opportunity of judging whether it would be proper to advise her Majesty, that she should assent to its being considered.

Viscount Melbourne

said, it was the practice of the other House to refer to the Crown in cases of this nature, but he was not aware, that such was the practice of their Lordships' House.

Lord Brougham

said, they might receive a petition for inquiry into malversation, military or civil, if it did not involve an application for money.

The Duke of Wellington

said, he felt no hostility towards the petitioner; but they ought to take care that the rules which were usually followed with reference to questions of this nature should be properly adhered to. He was anxious that the circumstances should be inquired into in the most indulgent manner.

Lord Brougham,

after what had been said by the noble Duke, would withdraw the petition. By doing so, he distinctly marked his opinion, that to petition Parliament on such a subject was the very last step that ought to be taken.

Petition withdrawn.

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