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early period of the next session; but he humbly hope that I have not committed did not see the necessity of giving a dis- any breach of privilege by the steps I tinct or positive pledge of going into a have taken; and that, if I have done. general inquiry upon the subject, before wrong, it will be attributed to an error in a resumption of cash payments took place. judgment, and not to any intention of Such an inquiry as seemed to be con- doing any thing that might give offence. templated, could, he thought, be produc--I have the honour to be, with the tive of no convenience to the country, utmost respect, Sir, &c. but might, on the contrary, induce much "WILLIAM JONES, inconvenience; but as far as respected "Marshal of the King's-bench Prison." the_measure to which the Bill referred, the subject of it should, if necessary, and if he continued to fill the situation he then had the honour to hold, be brought under the consideration of Parliament at a sufficiently early period next session, for the purpose of determining what line of conduct would be the most proper to pursue.
The Speaker. Under these circumstances, any honourable member may suggest to the House the course of proceeding which he conceives ought to be adopted.
The Marquis of Lansdowne, though he did not oppose the measure then before the House, contended for the propriety of having some extensive and deliberate parliamentary inquiry into the general subject, before the Legislature finally decided as to the resumption of cash pay、ments on the part of the Bank. He disapproved of temporary measures on the subject, was adverse to such Bills as the present being from time to time introduced, and cordially concurred with his noble friends in deeming a general inquiry into the subject to be highly expedient. The Bill was then read a third time and passed.
Lord Castlereagh.-From the nature of the arrest, and the circumstances attending it, I do not think, Sir, that the House is called upon to interfere. I am not aware, as the House was not actually sitting, with the mace on the table, and the Speaker in the chair, when the arrest took place, that any breach of privilege has been committed. But, if any gentleman entertains a doubt on the subject→→→ if any gentleman conceives the privileges of the House to have been violated-then it is proper that a due degree of jealousy should be manifested, and that an inquiry into the circumstances should be instituted. It is not, however, incumbent on me to propose that inquiry; for, as far as I can judge, our privileges cannot be affected by any occurrence which may take place in the chamber appropriated to the sittings of the Commons of the realm, when they are not regularly assembled there. On one point, I think there can be no dif ference of opinion. It must be quite obvious to every man, that the marshal has not acted wilfully in violation of the
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
LORD COCHRANE.] Mr. Speaker acquainted the House, that he had just received a letter from William Jones, esq. marshal of the King's-bench prison; and
and is as followeth :
the said Letter was thereupon, by direc-privileges of the House.(Hear!)-No tion of the House, read by Mr. Speaker, blame can attach to him, since he has submitted himself to the judgment of the House of Comnions, after having done that which he considered his duty as a civil officer. Having had lord Cochrane in his custody, from which he had escaped, the marshal was bound not to pass over any justifiable means of putting him under arrest, whenever a fair opportunity_oc curred. As far as the individual officer is concerned, it is quite clear that he acted from a sense of duty; and that it is only necessary for him to know what the privileges of Parliament are, to act in conformity with them, on any future oc
Mr. Wynn.-Sir, it certainly appears to
Lobby, Tuesday, 4 o'clock, 21st March, 1815. "Sir;-I beg leave to inform you, that having received information that lord Cochrane (who had made his escape out of my custody out of the King's-bench prison) was in the House of Commons, between two and three o'clock this day, I thought it my duty to take him into my custody, and to convey him back to the King's-bench prison. I shall be obliged to you to inform the honourable the House of Commons of what I have done, and that I am in waiting to receive the com-casion mands of the House upon this occasion. I
only be considered as coming down to take his place-and, in that case, I know not of any privilege that could exempt him from this particular species of arrest. If, however, any gentleman has serious. doubts on the question, the regular course would be, to refer the letter to a Committee of Privileges; because, in a case of this kind, if any difference of opinion exists, the greatest attention ought to be paid to the perfect examination of all its circumstances.
me that the present arrest cannot be considered as a breach of the privileges of Parliament. Let us, in the first place, examine whether an arrest of this peculiar description could be prevented by parliamentary privilege. I do not know under what circumstances any member of this House is privileged from arrest, having broken prison, where he had been confined in consequence of a regular conviction. I cannot conceive how an arrest in consequence could be opposed. Now what are the circumstances attending the Mr. Tierney-Sir, I perfectly agree in arrest of the noble lord? He was taken the sentiments of the noble lord, with on one of the benches of the House, the respect to the conduct of the Marshal of House not being then regularly sitting. the King's-bench prison, on this occasion.. This must be considered in exactly the He certainly has shewn no disposition to same light as if he were arrested in his commit any offence against the privileges way down to the House; and it cannot of the House, and he has taken the earliest be maintained, that the privilege of a opportunity to state what he has done. member of parliament would, in his pecu- But, Sir, I do not agree with the noble liar case, protect him in his transit. The lord in thinking, that this case presents no only other point to be considered is, the circumstances that deserve to be farther entrance of a peace-officer, or of any other looked into. We are told, that lord Cochperson, who has no right to come here, rane has broken prison. As a private inbut by the permission of the House.dividual I may know this; but, as a Undoubtedly, if any officer, acting under member of Parliament, I am ignorant of a warrant, or any other authority, entered it. I know that lord Cochrane was conthe House without having received its pre- victed, because the record of that convicvious permission, I should hold that to tion was laid before us; but I do not know be the highest breach of its privilege that whether he did not afterwards receive a could be committed, and it should not be full pardon. I consider this to be the suffered to pass unpunished. But, Sir, case of a member regularly elected to this applies only to the House when serve in Parliament, and coming down to sitting, and not to the place in which we take his seat. Now, Sir, the House is usually assemble. These walls are not regularly adjourned until ten o'clock in peculiarly appropriated to our use. If, the morning-and I recollect occasions at half-past three o'clock, this day, a when the Speaker did take the chair at message from the Throne came down, that hour. Suppose, then, a member, directing us to meet, not in this House, about to take his seat, came down here at but, for instance, in the Painted Chamber, an early hour, with the proper documents or in any apartment in the King's palace, in his hand, and desired to be instructed we must proceed thither; for we assemble in the mode of proceeding-and, while here only under the writ calling on us to waiting, an officer entered, arrested him, meet in Westminster; and, therefore, I do and took his person away, would not this not think that any privilege is attached be a case to call for the interference of merely to these walls. If it were otherwise, the House? I know the individual who that privilege would be available in the has arrested lord Cochrane has not manicase of any stranger. Any man coming fested any wish to conceal the circumwithin these walls, guilty of an offence stance. But it might be the other way. against the laws, and sitting himself down, Some persons might desire, from sinister would be placed exactly in the same situa- motives, to arrest a member of this House tion as the noble lord. If the House were under these circumstances. I do not sitting, he would, of course, be ordered think, therefore, that the case is quite out, and he might then be taken; but if such a matter of course as the noble lord he came in here when the House was not has stated. Unless, Sir, I had your authositting, I can see nothing peculiar in the rity, which would weigh much with me, place which is used for our assembling in, that the case was not such as called for that could privilege him from arrest. It investigation, I should wish that the House appears to me, that the noble lord could would institute some proceeding on the
subject-not against the Marshal of the | King's-bench, whose conduct appears to be open and candid-but to prevent the circumstance from being drawn into a precedent on some future occasion, where the principles that day laid down, might be made use of for an improper purpose.
The Speaker-I confe feel this matter to be very new to us all. In the short time which has elapsed since it occurred, I have given it all the attention I could, and on particular parts of the case I have very little doubts. I think the Marshal, under the circumstances which occasioned him to act, is not likely to fall under the displeasure of this House. I am also of opinion, that the individual who came into this building, at an hour when the House was not sitting, could claim no special protection from the place in which he was. But I think it also appears equally clear, that he was legally returned to Parliament, and that he came down, in order to go through the necessary forms, and to take his seat. Whatever may be the grounds of inquiry, we ought to refer the matter to a Committee of Privileges, to see whether or not any foundation exists for a complaint of breach of privilege. This will be found the safer course; and if it be thought necessary, we are at liberty to adopt it.
Lord Castlereagh-I stated, when I before addressed the House, that if a doubt arose in the mind of any gentleman, it would be competent for him to submit a motion on the subject. As a doubt has been expressed, and very properly expressed, I think it right that some proceeding should be adopted. Indeed, even if less doubt were expressed, the jealousy with which any thing like an infraction of our privileges ought to be viewed, would render some proceeding necessary. I, therefore move, "That the said letter, and the subject matter referred to therein, be referred to the Committee of Privileges to examine the matter thereof; and that they do report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the House."
On the question being put,
Mr. Bennet rose and said-Sir, I am just come from examining, as one of the committee appointed for that purpose, the state of the King's-bench prison. I found lord Cochrane confined there, in a strong room, fourteen feet square, without windows, fire-place, table, or bed. I do not think it can be necessary, for the purposes of security, to confine him in this manner.
According to my own feelings, it is place unfit for the noble lord, or any other person whatsoever.
Mr. Wilbraham Bootle When lord Cochrane was visited, not more than half an hour had elapsed from the time of his arrest, and perhaps the Marshal had not had time to select that situation in the prison which would be sufficiently secure, and at the same time proper for his lordship's accommodation. I trust and hope, it is not the intention of the Marshal to keep the noble lord in the place so justly described by the hon. gentleman. I particularly rise to suggest, whether it would not answer every purpose, and save considerable trouble, if the Marshal were called in, and asked, whether the sentence of the noble lord had expired, or whether he had received his Majesty's pardon? This, I conceive, would clear the way for any subsequent proceeding.
The Speaker-We have before us the record of conviction, and the sentence of imprisonment for 12 months. Whether this has been done away, in any other manner, than by suffering the penalty, admits of proof. The Marshal has, however, told us, that the noble lord escaped from his custody. It remains for the party complaining of breach of privilege to disprove the assertion.
Lord Castlereagh observed, that as there was a question behind, of the principle whether a member arrested in the House bad any ground to plead privilege of Parliament, he should recommend a reference of the question to a committee.
The motion was then agreed to, and the committee appointed to sit to-morrow.
this manner called to lay on particular | pose was, a duty on tobacco equal to that taxes, without a fair discussion as to the lately laid on in Great Britain, Parliageneral state of the revenue, of which ment having recognized the principle of they were to form a part. One sum was assimilation; and he was only anxious moved for at one time, then followed an- that the resolution should bear this date, other at a different period, and the general that the importing merchant in Ireland financial statement did not make its ap- might know the duty he would be liable pearance until so late a period of the ses- to pay from this date, upon the passing sion, that no attendance for its discussion of the Bill, and not have to complain of could be expected. To the plan pursued any surcharge of which he had not full in the Ways and Means he had in par- notice. Would not this be preferable to ticular an objection, because in his opinion, waiting until after the importation from the entire wants of the country should be the United States, and being obliged either Jaid before them, instead of this partial to take stock on hand, or to allow the disposal of them. He would prefer, that vender to raise the price of his commodity a real estimate of the revenue of Ireland, by the full amount of the new duty which compared with the expenditure of that the public, as consumers, would pay, and country, should be fairly produced. The the revenue receive nothing? In compliidea was delusive of raising additional ance with the expressed wish of the right sums there, when it was avowedly unable hon. baronet, he had declined moving this to meet its own debt. He could have no duty when the English duty was imposed: objection to Ireland paying her fair pro- but the ratification of the treaty with portion of the public burthens, but this America had made it necessary to lose no mode prevented his really ascertaining farther time, if we would have a producwhat that proportion was; he therefore tive source of revenue. The right hon. hoped the right hon. gentleman would baronet had wished for an exposition of defer his measure until a future period. our resources before he voted any thing. Did he then think that we had a redun dance? Did he not himself tell the House, on a former night, the fearful amount of our deficit? Did he not know that no
Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald said, that if any delusion prevailed with respect to the financial situation of the country, that delusion was not imputable to him. He, on the contrary, had always stated to Parlia-budget could be brought forward for Irement the circumstances in which Ireland land until after the English budget was was placed, and had not concealed from stated-until the estimated expenditure of Ireland the sacrifices that she would be both countries was ascertained, and the called upon to make. He had desired to share of Ireland's contribution to the joint make no partial statement; but he appre-account fairly stated? If the right hon. hended that the course which, with the baronet wished to defer it for the purpose approbation of the House, his right hon. of having full discussion, he apprehended friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he was affording him the means of for England, had proceeded on in this that discussion, by not waiting until that country, was equally open to him to time arrived. He had only one other follow; nay, he took blame to himself point to notice, which he would take this that he had not followed it before. Were occasion of doing; that, sensible as he not the votes of supply, were not the mili- was of the great importance of a review of tary and naval votes granted for the joint our finances, and far from wishing to service of the United Kingdom? Was not create delusion or prolong it, he would the admitted deficiency of the Irish reve- now give notice, that either he, or his right nue, was not the statement of the right hon. friend, the Chancellor of the Exchehon. baronet himself, a sufficient justifica-quer of England, would, probably on the tion of the proceedings? It was idle to first day after parliament met again, prodeny it. What now was he blamed for? pose the revival of the committee of finance, He would anticipate, if he were permitted, in the hope that they would be able to the sitting of the committee for a moment present to the House a fair view of our reor two, and would mention the nature of sources and of our wants, in which he his resolution. He had some time since should be glad of the right hon. baronet's mentioned to the right hon. baronet, that assistance. he had new duties of customs in contemplation; that which he was about to pro
The House then resolved itself into the committee.
BIGAMY-CASE OF MR. LATHROP MURRAY.] Sir Samuel Romilly rose to lay upon the table the Petition from Mr. Lathrop Murray, of which he had given notice yesterday. Of the individual, he knew nothing, and in general he was averse to the interference of the House with the proceedings of courts of justice; but in some cases of peculiar circumstances, such an interference might be necessary and useful. The individual who this day came before the House, had been recently convicted of bigamy before the Recorder of the city of London. Sir S. Romilly said he had had an opportunity of seeing the whole of the case and the evidence, and it appeared that the allegations in the petition upon that authority, were well founded. The fact was, that at the age of eighteen, the petitioner, being with his regiment in Ireland, was married to a woman much older than himself, in a private room, by a dissenting minister (he not being himself a dissenter), without banns, licence, or any of the usual formalities. Some years ago he married a woman in England by licence, and his second wife was fully apprised of the facts attending his first marriage, which was properly held to be invalid. For this offence he was indicted by a total stranger, and the only evidence was, that of the dissenting minister who had officiated at the first marriage; and to prove the second, the register and the declarations of the petitioner. At the trial his counsel had taken several objections, which they urged should be reserved for the decision of the Judges, but by some mistake the points were not reserved, and sentence of transportation was passed upon the prisoner. Until 1795, sir S. Romilly observed the punishment for bigamy had been only twelve months imprisonment, and burning in the hand; but at that date a statute was passed, empowering the Judges to transport for seven years: but this severity was only exercised in cases of great flagrancy; and in the present it seemed natural to expect that an imprisonment for six, nine, or twelve months, would have been ordered. The Attorney General refusing to give his fiat for a writ of error, as the objections had been omitted on the record, the petitioner applied, but in vain, to the Secretary of State's office, and from thence to the Prince Regent for a pardon, or for liberty to transport himself, accompanying his prayer with an affidavit of his second wife, that she
was acquainted with all the circumstances. of his first marriage, and with the opinion of several civilians that the first marriage was illegal. The only answer returned was, that he must be sent with the other felons to Botany Bay, and in consequence he was compelled to make the present application to the House for relief."
Sir H. Montgomery said, that he had heard something of this case; and if the petitioner did not deserve transportation for bigamy, he did for swindling; for he had, on a former occasion, been married in Ireland, by a respectable dissenting mi nister, Mr. Black, to a young girl who had a fortune of 500l.; after he got this money, he deserted the girl, and never afforded her the smallest support.
Mr. Addington hoped the learned gentleman would withdraw the petition, as the case of the petitioner was at present. under consideration.
Dr. Duigenan said, that the marriage of a minor in Ireland could not be set aside, according to the laws of that country (which he presumed was proved by Dr. Black upon the petitioner's trial), unless a suit for that purpose was commenced within twelve months after such marriage had been celebrated. But this was not stated to have been the case with respect to the petitioner.
Mr. Lockhart recommended the consi deration of the petitioner's case.
Mr. Bathurst seconded the suggestion of his right hon. relative (Mr. Addington), adding, that should the learned gentleman withdraw the petition, he might of course present it again, if the decision of the executive government should not be agreeable to his judgment.
Sir Samuel Romilly, after animadverting upon the extraordinary doctrine of the hon. baronet, that because a man had been guilty of a certain offence, he ought to be punished for that of which he had not been guilty; and also upon the opinion of the learned judge (Dr. Duigenan), that the House should decide upon what he " presumed" a certain witness to have deposed upon the trial of the petitioner; consented to withdraw the petition, upon the understanding that the right hon. gentleman would let him know when the proper department should have decided upon the appeal of the petitioner, who was induced to request the presentation of this petition to the House, apprehending that from the delay of any answer to his application to the Secretary of State, he