HL Deb 11 August 1888 vol 330 cc378-80

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.


said, that he wished to contradict a rather absurd statement which appeared in The Times newspaper—that he and his noble Friends went out in a body after the second reading as a kind of demonstration against the Bill. Of course, there was nothing further to be done with the Bill after the second reading had been agreed to. But, independently of that, as a matter of fact, his noble and learned Friend (Lord Herschell) and himself remained in the House some time after the second reading, and his other noble Friends simply went out because the Business of the House was practically concluded.


said, he would take the opportunity of adding to what had been said that some remarks had been attributed to him ill reference to the action of the Judge in the case of "O'Donnell v. Walter," which had no foundation in fact. What he had referred to was the historical interposition of the Judge. He had not in the smallest degree meant to impute any blame to the learned Judge, nor did he think that any words of his deserved the interpretation which had been put on them.

House in Committee accordingly.


said, he should like to ask one question in regard to what was proposed to be done by the Bill. Among the charges and allegations included in the terms of reference were those that had been made against Mr. O'Donnell; but those charges had already been investigated, and a conclusion arrived at by a judicial tribunal. Would it be within the scope of the inquiry that these charges should be investigated again; and, if not, would it not be as well specially to exclude any matters that had been already investigated?


said, he thought, if he might say so, that the noble and learned Lord's question was founded on a misapprehension. As he understood the case of "O'Donnell v. Walter," the suggestion was that the charges had no reference whatever to Mr. O'Donnell.


said, that was so with regard to many of the charges; but there were some charges which it was believed did or might apply to Mr. O'Donnell.


said, he understood the jury to say that they did not think the charges referred to Mr. O'Donnell. He did not think it would be expedient to alter the terms of the Bill, as it came from the other House. But, no doubt, if the facts were as the noble and learned Lord stated, the Commission would probably consider the terms of the Bill, and exclude everything that was not proper for consideration.


said, he had no doubt that the learned Judges would do all that was right when the inquiry was entered upon.

Bill reported, without Amendment.


said, they were indebted to the courtesy of the noble Earl, who was not present, (Earl Granville), and those who acted with him, for having been able to make such progress with the measure; and under the circumstances of the case he trusted that their Lordships would now allow it to be read a third time. If there were the least objection to this course he would not press the proposal. But, with the assent of the noble and learned Lord (Lord Herschell) and his Friends on the Front Opposition Bench, he would now move that the Bill be read a third time.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a."—(The Lord President.)


said, that inconvenience might be occasioned if the third reading were postponed till Monday. He and his noble Friends willingly gave their assent to the Motion of the noble Viscount, but it must not be understood to imply any diminution of hostility to the Bill.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 3a, and passed.