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charge; but he would assert, that, next to the merit of not having delivered a political charge, he was entitled to praise for having given so good a one. It was said, that the opinions of judge Smith were opposed to those of Mr. Justice Fletcher. For judge Smith he had a great respect. He admitted his talents and his character; but if he were to form his opinion from some of his works, which it had been his fortune to read, and to recollect that they were published by a learned judge on the bench, he could not form the highest opinion of his judgment. With the exceptions he had mentioned, the whole of his (Mr. B.'s) authorities remained uncontradicted. But then came the hon. member for Cork (Mr. Hutchinson), who had got into the most laudatory mood, and praised the whole of the administration of justice. He had eulogised the purity of the twelve judges, the grand and petit juries; in fact, all the civil authorities connected with his part of Ireland. They were all pure, and wise, and just, and impartial. This general and unqualified praise, on the part of his hon. friend, reminded him of the story told of Mr. Hargrave, who had been appointed recorder of Liverpool, and who was so pleased with the appointment, and with the manner in which he had been received, in the discharge of his judicial functions, by the good people of that to en, that on his return he could never cease talking of them, and always in a strain of the highest eulogy. "The magistrates," Mr. Hargrave would say, "oh, they are the kindest, the most humane, and most considerate set of men I ever had the pleasure of meeting. They all seem delighted at every opportunity of making themselves useful. The attornies who practice there are a most upright and deserving set of gentlemen. They are worthy of a much higher rank and better fate, and would do honour to the wig and gown in any part of the country. Then, the juries are so kind, and attentive, and obliging; and their suitors who proceed in that court, they are so civil and so candid, so grateful for the smallest portion of justice, that it is really a satisfaction to administer it to them." "And the criminals ?" said a gentleman who was listening to this laudatory statement, "Ah, the poor criminals," continued the learned recorder, "why, really, for poor fellows in their situation, they were the best and the worthiest set of men I ever met" [a
laugh]. It was so with the hon. member for Cork. His praise was so general, that none were exempted-judges, jurors, grand and petty, recorder and all were all generally pure-all sacred in Cork and its vicinity. To be sure, the hon. member's praise of the judges was well meant, but it was rather something too little to say that the twelve judges were " generally" pure. In England, we said that all our judges were pure and uncorrupt. What notion would a foreigner have of our administration of justice, if he were to be told that our judges were "generally pure?" He (Mr. B.) had not said, that the judges of Ireland were corrupt, but he did say, that owing to the system pursued in that country, they were more liable to be swayed by prejudices than was consistent with the pure administra tion of justice. It had been admitted, that the court of King's-bench in Ireland was pure, but this was put forth with so much ostentation, promulged in so triumphant a manner, that one might imagine that the same could not be said of the two other courts. The hon. and learned gentleman went on to implore the House to consent to the motion. The assent to it could be productive of no injury; but he would maintain, that it would tend to promote conciliation-to avert a discontent, of which they could not foresee the consequences. It was said, that this was not the petition, and did not speak the sentiments, of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. He maintained that it was, and that the sentiments it contained were those of that great body. The body from which it emanated were looked up to with confidence by their constituents, and they would forgive any little excess of zeal, when exerted for an object which they had all so much at heart. There was no surer way of making the sentiments of the petition be echoed from one end of Ireland to the other, than by now saying, that the language of it was indecent-that the parties from whom it came were not respectable. That one sarcasm, of calling it a condemned tragedy, would tend to rouse six millions of people to rally round their two thousand leaders. He would advise the House not to criticise this petition with too nice severity. He called on them to look at Ireland. It was now in that state which excited the fears of those who never feared before; and even while he was speaking Ireland might be in serious danger. Let
the House, then, open the doors of its grand committee of justice to this petition. The effect would be, to suspend all danger from popular feeling-to excite hope in the minds of all, from the anticipation of what might be done in the next session. He called upon them, then, in the name of six millions of people whose interests were so much concerned-in the name of those whose peace was disturbed-and in the name of the empire at large whose security was threatened, to put an end to all fears of present danger, by holding out an assurance to the petitioners that their case would be considered.
Mr. Hutchinson, in explanation, repeated, that if the petitioners asserted, that justice was not fairly administered to them by the judges of the land because they were Catholics, they stated what was false; that if they stated that grand and petty juries in the South and West of Ireland did not administer justice fairly to them because they were Catholics, they stated what was false; for the greater part of the juries of that part of the country were themselves Catholics. This was what he had said, and he was surprised at the very gross misrepresentation of his sentiments which had been given by the hon. and learned gentleman.
Mr. Brougham said, that his hon. friend had used very strong language. He was sure his hon. friend did not mean to quarrel with him; but if he did, he could assure him that he would not quarrel with his hon. friend. He objected to the terms used by his hon. friend, principally because they happened to have no foundation.
Barnard, visc. Barrett, S. M. Bennet, hon. H. G.
Broughton, sir W.E.R.
Buxton, T. F.
Calcraft, J. sen.
The House divided: Ayes 59; Noes 139.
Calcraft, J. H.
Denison, W. J.
KING'S MESSAGE RESPECTING VIS COUNT ST. VINCENT'S ANNUITY.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented the following Message from His Majesty:
"GEORGE R.-His Majesty, taking notice of an Act of Parliament, which has made provision for extending to the Viscount St. Vincent an Annuity granted to the late Earl of St. Vincent, and the Heirs Male of his body, and being desirous that a Pension granted to the said Earl by the Parliament of Ireland should be extended, in like manner, to the Viscount St. Vincent, recommends this object to the consideration of the House." Ordered to be considered on Monday.
PETITION OF G. RoWAN.COMPLAINT AGAINST A MEMBER.] Brougham said, it would be in the recollection of the House, that he had last night presented a petition from a Mr. George Rowan, which contained a serious charge against an hon. member of that House. He had stated upon that occasion, that he had no knowledge either of the party who signed the petition, or of the charges which that petition contained. He had, therefore, upon the suggestion of the president of the Board of Control, after hearing the positive denial given to the accusation by the party whom it implicated, consented to withdraw the petition. But he was now bound to state, that the petitioner having referred him for information to an hon. member of the House, he had made the required reference, and the result of it had been, to make the charges in question assume a much graver interest than he had origi nally attached to them. He felt that he should, as a public servant, desert his duty
to that public, if he did not in consequence proceed further in this matter. The hon. member to whom he had referred for information, had written to him in the following terms "I know Mr. G. Rowan; he is a relative of mine. I never heard any thing against him, except the charges on which he was dismissed from his situation; and, whatever was the merit of the charges against him, there can be no doubt that they were prosecuted from the most base and treacherous motives. He is a clever, and at the same time a cautious, man.' He (Mr. B.) was not at liberty to mention the name of his informant, and he therefore declined giving it. Indeed, it was not necessary for him to give it, since his informant had said nothing against the hon. member who was charged, but had only done that which he was bound in justice to do-namely, speak to the ability, and more particularly to the caution, of Mr. G. Rowan. He now thought it necessary to state, that he should either take another opportunity of presenting Mr. Rowan's petition, or else ground some future proceeding on it. He hoped that, in a matter of such importance, the House would allow him a day or two to consider of the line of conduct which it might be expedient for him to adopt,
USURY LAWS REPEAL BILL.] Mr. Serjeant Onslow moved, that the Report of the Committee on this Bill be next received, upon which, a member whose name we could not learn, moved as an amendment, that it be put off for three months. After a short discussion, the House divided: For the original motion 21; for the Amendment 26. The bill was consequently lost.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, June 30. MARRIAGES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.] On the committal of the Marriages at St. Petersburgh bill,
Lord Holland said, that the present bill had his entire concurrence. He only regretted that it did not extend to all marriages contracted by British subjects, and solemnized in the chapels of our ministers abroad; for, although no lawyer, he had no doubt of the validity of such marriages himself, yet many respectable persons did entertain doubts on the subject; and, though lawyers when ap
plied to had given an opinion favourable to the validity of such marriages, yet such opinion had always been clogged with the observation, that there had been no decision on the subject. He regretted that, during a session in which so much of the law relating to marriages had been taken from the common law, and placed on the Statute-book, no statute nor clause, nor even dictum, had been uttered, for setting at rest this question of the legality of marriages solemnized in factories abroad, or in the chapels of our ambassadors.
The Marquis of Lansdown concurred in opinion with his noble friend as to the necessity of some declaratory law on the subject.
Lord Colchester was also desirous that another session should not pass without some measure being brought in for setting the question at rest.
The Earl of Liverpool entirely agreed with what had fallen from the preceding speakers. At the time the present bill was brought in, he had said, that the only objection which could be made against it was, that being confined in its operation to marriages solemnized at St. Petersburgh, it might give rise to doubts of the validity of other foreign marriages. He believed it was a completely recognised principle of our laws, that marriages made in foreign countries, according to the laws of those countries, were valid; but the present bill had no reference to that case, There were two ways in which marriages might be regularly solemnized by British subjects abroad. They might either be made according to the laws of the respective countries, or the parties might be married in the House of the minister. long as the factory at St. Petersburgh existed, marriages solemnized by the chaplain there were conceived to be of the same effect as if they had been solemnized in the house of the ambassador; but it having happened that the factory at St. Petersburgh had been put an end to, the question had arisen, whether marriages made there, not according to the laws of Russia, were valid in this country. It was with a view to that particular difficulty that the present bill was brought in. He should have no objection to a general measure, if it were thought necessary.
The Earl of Lauderdale said, there was no doubt as to the law regarding marriages made in foreign countries according to the laws of those countries; but the doubt
was, as to marriages made in British factories abroad, or in the chapels of ambas sadors; and, respecting these, there ought not to exist any doubt, since a short bill might be passed on the subject during the present session.
The Lord Chancellor said, that during the fifty years he had been in the profession, he never heard of any doubts till the late bills were brought in, whether marriages performed in the chapels of our ambassadors were valid. There was no no doubt that they were good marriages; and he was persuaded that no contrary opinion would ever be sanctioned by ju'dicial authority.
The bill went through the committee.
APPELLATE JURISDICTION.] order of the day for the second reading of this bill,
The Earl of Liverpool moved the first resolution, recommended by the select committee, for increasing the number of day's during which the House would hear appeals, from three days to five days in the week.
Earl Grosvenor objected to the compulsory clause for enforcing the attendance of peers, and thought it would be worth while to see first, whether a voluntary attendance could not be procured. If this resolution were adopted, it would lead to a singular anomaly; part of a cause might be heard by three peers, another part by three other peers, and the conclusion by three others, who had heard perhaps little or nothing of the case, and the deputy Speaker could only give his opinion. At present, the House had the advantage of the opinion of the noble and learned lord on the wool-sack; which, notwithstanding that habitual doubt and hesitation which he had himself good-humouredly acknowledged to belong to him, certainly, swayed the opinion of many noble lords. They had also the advantage of the noble and learned earl's vote, which they could not have from the deputy Speaker.
Lord Manvers hoped the House would pause before they adopted this resolution; for if agreed to without modification, the House must sit all the summer.
Lord Erskine thought, that if the bill which had been read the second time that evening passed into a law, their lordships would, in a short time, be under no difficulty at all on the subject of appeals; because he was sure, that if they appointed proper commissioners (of which he had
no doubt) they would have faithful and enlightened assistance from the judges of the court of session, and from the eminent persons of the Scotch bar, and the best effects might be anticipated. In his opinion, the great arrear arose from their having brought before them points of fact, and not points of law. It never was intended that appeals on facts should occupy their lordships' time. But it might be said, what was to be done in the interim, while the inquiry was going on by the commissioners? He would say, nothing should be done. They must go on as they could. The present seemed to be meant as a preliminary step; and he for one could not consent to any change in the manner in which the House should exercise its jurisdiction. For his own part, he was so well satisfied with the manner in which the judicial business of the House was conducted by his noble and learned friend on the woolsack, assisted by another noble and learned friend (lord Redesdale), that he professed he could see no remedy for the evil, but impounding him in that House [a laugh!]. It was very true, they might lose the benefit of their services by death; but he believed they were too much men of honour, seeing their usefulness, to suffer any thing but death to cause the House a loss of their services. He might say, that he knew something of the law; but of Scotch law he was as ignorant as a native of Mexico. And yet he was quite as learned in it as any one of their lordships who could be appointed deputy Speaker, and who could but bring to his office a legal apprehension. For his own part, he was above seventy years of age, and could not be compelled to take any part; and he should, therefore, if the resolutions were adopted, leave their lordships to themselves.
The Lord Chancellor said, he did not see because his noble and learned friend was above seventy years of age, that he should, therefore, have such an utter obliviousness of what was going on, that he should not assist in the business of appeals in the House of Lords. He thought that in the case of any future Chancellor retiring, the minister should make his attendance a condition of his pension. A noble earl (Grovenor), in the plenitude of his knowledge, might perhaps have no doubts on any point of English, Irish, or Scotch law; but, when the noble earl
took upon himself to taunt him with hesitation, and doubting, he would tell that noble earl, that when they were de. ciding causes in the last resort, and their decisions were to give the law to other courts, they could not be too cautious. The time was fast approaching when his natural life must terminate; and for his judicial life, it had already been too long; but, when the termination of his natural life did arrive, that degree of caution, which was called doubt and hesitation, would be his greatest comfort; because, by means of that caution, he had reversed decrees, and prevented the injustice of A keeping possession of property which of right belonged to B. If their lordships would compare his conduct during the twenty years which he had sat on the judicial bench, with the conduct of any of his illustrious predecessors-and he did not fear the comparison; on the contrary, he invited it he was sure that the comparison would not turn out to his discredit. On that account he could not but feel indignation, when he was informed of the language in which his conduct had been arraigned in another place, by those who ought to have known better. It had been publicly asserted, that appeals in the House of Lords were nothing more than appeals from the lord chancellor in one place, to the lord chancellor in another. He should like to know, whether the persons who dealt in such assertions were aware that there were many appeals to their lordships from the Chancery, in cases which had never been heard at all by the lord chancellor, but which had been decided by the Master of the Rolls, or the Vice-chancellor ? For instance, the great case of Clinton v. Cholmondely was not an appeal from the Lord Chancellor; and there were a number of other appeal cases now before their lordships of a similar description. Besides this, he should like to know whether the gentlemen in Westminster-hall had yet to learn, that lord chancellors were not ashamed to retract their opinions, when they had reason to believe that those opinions were formed upon erroneous grounds. He would undertake to say, that not one of the distinguished characters who had sat before him upon their lordships' woolsack; had ever shewn the slighest reluctance to reverse his judgment, when it was shown to be incorrect; and he would fearlessly ask, whether he himself had ever exhibited any unwillingness to reconsider before
their lordships any of the decisions to which he might have previously come in another place? He could say most conscientiously, that he never had; and for that very reason, the insinuations which had been thrown out against his judicial conduct were as cruel and vexatious as they were unfounded and unjust. He had never upon any occasion declined, on the contrary he had made it his continual practice, to state at length the various grounds upon which he rested his decisions; in order that the bar might be enabled to declare to their clients, whether those decisions were correct or not. And he defied any man to point out a single case where the correctness of them had been doubted, in which he had not expressed his gratitude to the party who suggested the doubt. If persons acquainted with the practice of his court had made upon his conduct the observations which had been made upon it by those who were totally unacquainted with it, he should indeed have felt them acutely: but he was happy to say, that those observations did not proceed from those who had the best opportunities of marking his conduct. They came from those who knew little or nothing of the subject-who had scarcely ever put a foot into his court; and who were not therefore particularly well qualified to judge of its proceedings. He would add, that, upon that very account, they were bound, in common honesty, to abstain from throwing out random insinuations, which were calculated to hurt, in the opinion of the king's subjects, an individual, who, if he was not a great judge and he did not venture to call himself a great judge-at least filled a great judicial situation. Having said thus much regarding the. doubts and hesitations with which he had been taunted, he now came to the subject more immediately before their lordships. The bill then before the House ought not to be considered with reference to the present lord chancellor, but all future lord chancellors. And it appeared to him, that however sedulously they might attend to their judicial duties in that House-and he could assure their lordships, that whether in office or out of office, he would always attend in his place, whilst strength was left to him-no reform that their lordships might make in their own judicial regulations would effect much good, unless a very great change were, at the same time, made in those of