HL Deb 14 March 1867 vol 185 cc1765-6

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee on the said Bill read.


said, their Lordships would recollect that, with respect to the outrages at Sheffield, it was proposed by the Bill that Special Examiners should be appointed by the Commissioners to conduct the local inquiry. It was now proposed that if the Royal Commissioners declined to conduct that portion of their inquiry themselves, the Chairman might apply to the Secretary of State, who might appoint not more than three persons to conduct the inquiry, who must be either of the Commission or barristers of not less than ten years' standing. This alteration would involve certain others, and he therefore proposed that the House should go into Committee, pro formá for the purpose of making these necessary Amendments.

Lord CRANWORTH and Lord WHARNCLIFFE made a few observations which were not heard.


said, it was believed—whether truly or not he could not say—that the men who actually perpetrated these outrages in Sheffield were not the men who planned them, but that in the background there were other persons who really procured their perpetration. The Commission might elicit the fact whether this was so or not. As it was, the actual culprit or culprits walked about as innocent men; but when the Commission began to operate, and the culprits could save their lives, they would come forward and give evidence, and then they would walk abroad again just as they did now. The men would be just in the same position that they were in now, with this difference—that their character would be discovered and others would know what they had been guilty of. No mischief could be done; nothing could be done but what would operate beneficially. The case was so exceptional as to justify this exceptional legislation; were it otherwise, no one would be more unwilling than himself to support such a measure.


said, that if it were desired to postpone the further consideration of the Bill for a week it would be better not to prolong the present discussion, and he would therefore reserve any remarks he had to make.

House in Committee (according to Order); Bill reported, without Amendment; Amendments made; Bill re-committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next; and to be printed as amended. (No. 44.)