HL Deb 14 June 1842 vol 63 cc1513-5
The Marquess of Clanricarde

wished to put a question with respect to a special commission said to be about to be issued for the trial of prisoners at Tipperary. No one could more fully appreciate than he did, the importance of the speedy succession of punishment to crime, but this was a principle which was in some cases liable to abuse. In the present instance, the commission was to commence on the 21st of the present month, while the assizes for the county commenced on the 24th. This was the information which he had received, and if it was true, he must say that this commission did seem to merit the character of being a gross job. It was true that the circuit usually commenced at Wicklow, and it was some time before the judges reached Nenagh, where the next assizes were held, but there was no reason why the circuit should not be made to commence at the latter place. The expense of the commission, he was informed, would amount to 3,000l., which would of course be divisable among the members of the legal profession, who, he understood, had great influence over the Government. He begged to ask whether the information with regard to the commencement of the special commission and of the assizes was true, and whether any estimate had been furnished to the Government of the expenses of the former?

The Duke of Wellington

was not prepared to afford answers to the questions of the noble Marquess. He thought that the noble Marquess ought not to have brought forward the charge of jobbing by the Government without having previously afforded an opportunity to the Government to make inquiry into the subject.

The Earl of Wicklow

thought, that the information of the noble Marquess could not be correct, because, if the special commission was to commence on the 21st, there would be no judges disengaged to go circuit on the 24th.

The Marquess of Clanricarde

said, that if that were so, his observations of course fell to the ground. He had been told, however, that the two chief justices were to go on the special commission.

Lord Fitzgerald

thought that the circumstance to which the noble Marquess had referred was perfectly capable of explanation, and that if he had given notice of the question which he had put, no difficulty would have arisen. The assizes, it appeared, commenced on the 24th instant, but in the ordinary course of things the court would not sit at Nenagh until the middle of August. This might be sufficient to account for the issuing of a special commission. He deprecated the use of the term "job," until its applicability was well ascertained.

Subject at an end.