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Parliamentary Debates

During the First Session of the Tenth PARLIAMENT of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and IRELAND,

appointed to meet at Westminster,

14th June, 1831,
in the Second Year of the Reign of His Majesty


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Fifth Volume of the Session,

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mation was laid against them for feeding

cattle upon their own land; for which offence Wednesday, October 5, 1831.

they were brought before two Magistrates, MINUTES.) Bills. Read a third time; White Boy Offences. one of whom was a curate of the Estab

Committed ; Arms (Ireland); Labourers' House Rent; lished Church, and fined 5l. and costs.
Hospitals Registration (Ireland).
Returns ordered. On the Motion of Mr. O'Connell, of the The petitioners declared their intention to

quantity of Guernsey and Jersey Spirits imported into appeal against the order, when the Magis-
London since the 5th July, 1831:-On the Motion of Mr.

trates made them enter into recognizances, Home, the Expenses of the Bankruptcy Courts about to be formed; and of the number and particulars of Petitions and seized their cattle for payment of the presented to the House of Commons.

expenses, which they afterwards recovered, Petitions presented. By Mr. O'CONNELL, from Raheen, for disbanding the Yeomanry (Ireland); from the Magisirates,

on account of the illegality of the proceedBurgesses, and Protestant Freemen of Galway, to extend ing. They were then charged with an the Franchise of that place to the residents, without dis assault upon a person of the name of St. Mary, Youghall, for the abolition of Tithes ; from the Collins, put forward as the prosecutor, Inhabitants of Cappoquin and Castlederwent, and Jewellers on which charge they were acquitted. of Dublin, for the Repeal of the Union ; from certain Indi- They then wished to prosecute the inviduals, against the present system of Insurance Companies. By Mr. R. GORDON, from the Minister, Church

former Collins for perjury, but were wardens and Inhabitants of the Parish of Cannington, for baffled by a variety of legal expedients, a Repeal of the Beer Act. By Sir ROBERT BATESON, from and sustained great hardship and expense. the Mayor, Magistrates, Clergy, and other Inhabitants of Coleraine (Ireland), praying the continuance of the Grant These ill-used men had travelled 600 to the Kildare Street Society.

miles in search of justice, but obtained

only injustice. They complained particuIRISH MAGISTRACY.) Mr. O'Connell larly of the partiality of the Magistrates. presented a Petition from four Labourers He believed that these statements were in the County of Cork, complaining of founded in fact, and as the conduct of two the conduct of certain Magistrates, and of Magistrates were impugned, he wished to the administration of Justice at the Petty give his hon. and learned friend, the SoSessions (Ireland). He thought the pe- licitor General for Ireland, an opportunity titioners made out so strong a case, that to inquire into the facts. had it happened on this side of the Channel Mr. Cramplon said, he had seen the it would have produced more petitions petition before, and had made some inthan the case of the Deacles. The peti- quiries into the circumstances through a tioners represented, that they were the te- private channel, but without communinants of a Mr. Macarthy, and that an infor- cating with the Magistrates who were the VOL. VIII. {Third?


parties accused, and he was inclined to not believe they were personally corrupt, but think, the petitioners were themselves he heard with great satisfaction there was much in fault as well as the man Collins, to be some change in the system. with whom they were at variance on a Mr. Henry Grattan said, so long as there point of disputed possession. One of the were grievances to redress, he for one should petitioners had been found guilty of an make complaints ; but what he wished at assault

upon that person, and it was from present to bring before the House was, a sworn information relating to this assault ihe custom of giving blank summonses by that the petitioners desired to indict many Irish Magistrates to persons who Collins for perjury. The Judge refused to did by no means deserve such confidence. try the cause, and sent it to the Sessions, He had seen cases of great oppression and there the Grand Jury threw out the growing out of this practice. bill. He had reason to believe Collins Sir Francis Burdett said, such a practice was exonerated on the merits of the case was evidently liable to abuse, and ought to itself, and not from any technical diffi- be wholly put an end to. He fully beculty. From all his inquiries he bad lieved, from several cases recently brought reason to believe that no case of cor- before the House, that a complete revision ruption could be made out against the was required with respect to the constituMagistrates.

tion of the Irish magistracy. Sir Robert Bateson was of opinion, that Petition to be printed. these petitions were brought in, night after night, for the particular purpose of tra- ProsECUTIONS ON ACCOUNT OF Reducing the conduct of the Irish Magis-LIGION.) Mr. Hunt presented a Petition, trates, and keeping up excitement. He numerously signed by respectable persons, believed on the whole, the laws were as Iohabitants of the Metropolis, setting forth justly administered as in this country, and their disapprobation of Prosecutions on he spoke as an Irish Magistrate.

Account of uttering Religious Opinions, Mr. Hunt said, one good effect was and praying that Mr. Taylor might be caused by these discussions. They made relieved from the very severe punishment the law officers of the Crown inquire into he was suffering, which was contrary to the cases of alleged misconduct on the justice and exceeded the sentence passed part of the Irish Magistrates. He should upon him. be happy if the same course was followed Mr. Hume would seize every opportunity in this country.

to declare his detestation of the laws under Mr. Estcourt considered the insinua- which this man suffered. The House detions of the hon, member for Preston most served some censure for permitting such uncalled for. He had no doubt, if any laws to be enforced. He did not mean case of oppression could be made out by these remarks to express any particular in England, however humble were the anxiety relating to the individual who was suffering parties, that the law officers of the subject of the petition ; but he would the Crown would promptly attend to it. maintain, that every man had a right, which Petition laid on the Table.

ought to be inviolable to express his opinions Mr. O'Connell moved, that it should be upon religious questions, and, indeed, upon printed. He thought he had some reason all other matters which were not at war 10 complain that his statements had not with the principles of public morals. The been duly attended to. He had no doubt country could not be said to be in possession from the information of the attorney of the of much liberty, when a man was liable to petitioners, that the facts could be distinctly be punished, not for acts, but for opinions. proved. The report upon the face of it evi- Lord Althorp thought, that the publicadently shewed a neglect of duty on the part tion of all religious sentiments ought to be of the Magistrates.

unrestrained and free, provided they did Mr. Blackney said, the two statements, not militate against the peace and delike those on most Irish questions, differed cency of society, or contradict the first so completely, and were so much mixed principles of religion. As to remarks on up with partizanship, that there was great the characters of public men, he desired difficulty in deciding upon either of them. there should be no restraint whatever on the The great ground of complaint respecting publication of opinion; but this case was the Irish magistracy was, that there were somewhat different. It operated against too many churchmen among them, he did the principle on which the foundation of public morals was laid. On the best con- Jity at their own discretion. Protection was sideration of Mr. Taylor's offence, he did principally required by the young and not think it required the interference of thoughtless; not that it could be harmed Government.

by the statement of facts, by calm Mr. O'Connell fully concurred with reasoning, or by philosophical discussion, those who thought that plain and direct but by insult, burlesque, ridicule, and attacks upon the Christian religion ought passionate appeals, such as this man Tayto be prevented as much as possible, lor was in the habit of using. He apbut the question was, whether they could peared in the costume of a clergyman, be best prevented by contemptuous neg- and did all he could to insult the feelings lect or prosecution. He feared the latter and principles of every man attached to could never put down opinion. In the the Christian religion. case of Carlile, for instance, many persons

Mr. Lamb observed, that the prosecubegan to look upon him as a martyr; and tion against Taylor had not been instihad not this man, Taylor, created a sort tuted by Government. Taylor was a perof party round himself to support and son who had made the most horrid and uphold him in his ribaldry? He lived on disgusting attacks upon everything the prosecution, which was a bounty on his people had been taught to venerate; for trade, and the more he was prosecuted, this he was prosecuted, and found guilty the more he was encouraged. Feelings of by a Jury—and this petition called upon sympathy, indulged towards a man sup- the Government to interpose the prerogaposed to be oppressed, operated upon tive of the Crown to defeat the verdict of people to such a degree that they became a Jury, without any evidence to show that partial to his opinions, and thought them the verdict was contrary to law or fact. right, because they were convinced his No man could suppose for an instant that oppressors were wrong. Nothing short of Taylor was punished on account of free extirpation could put opinion down. He discussion. Nobody reprobated prosecuhoped to see the time when every Christian tions more than he did for mere opinion, would feel himself so strongly armed in his but was it not notorious that this man at own convictions, as not to require prose- his trial exhibited himself in the garb of a cution to support them.

Christian minister, and outraged all deSir Robert Peel said, the unaffected decency by his conduct. Such a disgusting testation expressed by the hon, and learn-farce deserved punishment, for it never ed Gentleman of the doctrines and con- could be allowed to go forth to the public duct of Taylor, he was sure met with the that the most atrocious blasphemy should full concurrence of the House. He had enjoy impunity. Nothing certainly but heard the hon. and learned Member's strong cases could justify prosecution ; remarks with great satisfaction. He also but he believed this was a case of that agreed with him in thinking, that very kind, and that Mr. Taylor fully deserved great discretion ought to be exercised in the visitation he had met with. instituting such prosecutions as that under Mr. Ruthven said, he fully agreed in which the person in question was suffering. the necessity of keeping discussion within He had successfully tried the experiment the bounds of reason and decency, so as of non-prosecution, but it was extremely to afford equal protection to all persons difficult to withstand the representations with regard to the particular case now of good and religious men. As to the before them, he believed it had excited a question which had been propounded by general horror throughout the country, the hon. member for Middlesex, he be- and the only excuse that could be made lieved few would agree with him that there for Mr. Taylor was insanity. He ought should be unqualified impunity, or that not to be allowed to go at large; neither all laws which bore upon the questions of ought he to be treated with undue severeligion and morals should be repealed. rity, or confined to a particular prison, Why, what would be the result of such a whose regulations bore very grievously state of things, but that people whose feel- upon

him. ings were outraged, would resort to per- Mr. John Campbell said, it was utterly sonal violence ? He acknowledged it was impossible that any Government could difficult to lay down any precise rule, but tolerate such a scandalous outrage as the he could never admit that every person conduct of this unhappy man presented. might attack the first truths of Christian-d He had collected a multitude of people,

and in a public theatre burlesqued the public blasphemy against the Holy Scripmost solemn rites of our religion, and tures. He regretted that the hon. Member had insulted all the feelings which the had put forth the opinions he had with the community most reverenced. It was weight of his authority, and to correct absurd to suppose such a man excited them as far as he could was the motive sympathy.

why he had addressed the House. Petition to lie on the Table.

Petition to be printed. Mr. Hunt, in moving that it should be printed, said, he did not mean to say any- CALL OF THE HOUSE.] Lord Ebringthing in favour of Taylor, or attempt to ton wished to know from the hon. and justify his conduct. He had never read learned member for Kerry, whether it was - his writings, or heard him speak ; but the his intention to enforce ihe Call of the complaint of the petitioners was, that the House on Monday next. punishment exceeded the offence. He Mr. O'Connell said, he felt it a duty he concurred with other hon. Members in ought to perform, but as he had some thinking that they had better have their doubts as to the propriety of causing present laws, with all their faults, than to general inconvenience on account of the be exposed to the attacks of an infuriated Irish Reform Bill, he should propose that rabble.

the Order be discharged. Mr. Hume wished to know what the Lord Ebrington said, that considering noble Lord (Lord Althorp) meant by first the condition of the country, he should principles of religion. He would find that feel it his duty to enforce the Call of the the State in different parts of the empire House, and he, therefore, gave notice he tolerated Jews, Hindoos, Mahometans, should do so on that day, in order that he and other sects, all of whom were as much might bring forward a motion upon the opposed to the first principles of Christ state of public affairs. ianity, as the person whose conduct was now before the House.

Every person Money PAYMENT OF WAGES BILL.] ought to be tolerated, whatever opinions Mr. Littleton moved that the Bill be now he might entertain, provided he did not read a third time. disturb the peace of society.

Mr. Hume felt himself bound in prinallowed by the right hon. Baronet who ciple to oppose the third reading of this had recently presided over the Home De- Bill. He never could consent to a law partment, that the laws on this subject which would have the effect of fettering ought to be enforced with great discretion, the hands of both masters and operatives, but unfortunately that was of no avail, for or that should prevent the one buying, any individual, or self-constituted Society, and the other selling labour, on the best might prosecute. One of two things, terms. He had hoped the day for these therefore, ought to take place; either the restrictions had gone by, and that we had laws should be repealed, or some regula-grown so much wiser by experience, as to tion should be made as to prosecuting for believe that no man could take such care such offences. He never could tolerate of another's attairs as the individual hima man being punished for publishing an self. The main evil under which the honest opinion. He claimed to have that commerce of the country had suffered, privilege himself, and he was willing to arose from the restrictions imposed by allow it to others.

ignorant legislation, which prevented Mr. Trevor begged very seriously to ask labour being bought and sold at the the hon. member for Middlesex, if he be market price. The persons who had pelieved such doctrines as Mr. Taylor was titioned in favour of the Bill, he believed convicted of preaching, had not a ten- were unacquainted with its probable effects dency to interrupt the peace of society? -he feared they would find, that instead He differed from the hon. Member, and of plenty of work and high wages, it would applauded the Society which had prose- produce a monopoly in the hands of a few cuted this man, and were ready to under- persons, who would grind the workmen down take a duty which the Government to the lowest degree of misery. The meadeclined. From the statement which the sure was injurious in policy, and mishon. Member had made, it might be pre-chievous to individuals ; he, therefore, prosumed this person had been prosecuted for posed, for the word “ now” that the words certain doctrinal points only, instead of this day six months” be substituted.

It was


Lord Granville Somerset said, that , upon this Bill. With the moderation and nothing had occurred since he had deli- care which were becoming to a subject of vered his opinions on this Bill, to make such very great importance, he (Mr. Wilhim believe those opinions were erroneous. liams) should embrace the objects of his He still believed the Bill would operate learned friend's attack, in the order in injuriously to both masters and workmen, which he took them, and he hoped that, but after the discussions that had taken when they were fully stated, as clear'a place, he did not expect to alter the opin- case for the necessity of change and ions of the House ; he would, therefore, amendment would be made out, as any content himself with recording his own. person could conceive. He should con

Sir Robert Bateson said, he resided in sider the subject as one which affected the manufacturing district in the vicinity the administration of justice in an enlarged of Belfast, and he knew both masters and and most important sense. His learned workmen were favourable to the principle friend (the member for Boroughbridge) of the Bill, and he also knew that many had begun by stating, that he could not industrious work people had suffered very think of abolishing the whole system of much by the Truck-system, in having these Courts, from the long continuance damaged goods forced upon them. Its of it; and he reminded the House, with provisions might be obnoxious to the prin-warmth and earnestness, that that system ciples of political economy, but he was had very long received the patronage quite sure the present system required al- equally of Whig and Tory Chancellors. teration.

Such an argument would be equally good The House divided on the Original Ques- to justify the continuance of any system, tion : Ayes 61 ; Noes 4–Majority 57. however vicious or pernicious; and yet Bill read a third time and passed. systems were not perpetual, but were often

modified, or entirely changed, to meet the BANKRUPTCY Court BILL AD- wants and opinions of society. But his JOURNED DEBATE.] The Order of the learned friend had said, that he might be Day for resuming the debate on the Second brought to consent to the modification of Reading of the Bankruptcy Court Bill read, these Courts, though not to the abolition

Sir Charles Wetherell complained, that of them; for the system was good, his there had been a partial distribution of learned friend said, and by him should it some statements relating to the Bill; he be defended. Without any disrespect to had not received one, although he under any one person now concerned in the prestood several of his learned friends bad. sent transactions of the Courts—for he

Mr. Hume said, there ought to be no utterly disclaimed all personalities, and mystery, whether this Bill would cost believed, that among the Commissioners 25,0001. or 50,0001.; he wanted to know, there were many honourable and learned whether the Commissioners were to be men-he was convinced, that the whole entitled to superannuations.

system was utterly bad, and that it reMr. John Williams was sure, that quired one entire and complete change. 9,0001. would be saved by the plan, if His learned friend had objected to the there was any truth in figures.

multiplication of places by the Bill, to the Sir Charles Wetherell thought the patronage it would give to the Lord Chanhonour of the Chancellor of the Exchequer cellor, to the pension to be paid to the concerned in this ; they were about to retiring Chancellor; and, lastly, he obestablish a Court which was likely to cost jected to the Bill because he said, that no 40,0001. per annum, and they had no competent opinions had been pronounced knowledge of the materials.

in its favour. He (Mr. Williams) would · The Attorney General said, there was first take one opinion of the learned Gennothing of mystery in his statement ; he tleman's in which they were equally had distinctly stated the cost of the pro-agreed. His learned friend had said, that posed and the present Court.

the question was one of the very highest Mr. John Williams rose and said, that importance, and of the greatest moment his hon, and learned friend, the member that it was full of intricacy, and that for Boroughbridge, upon the previous de points of legal decision were submitted to bate on this question, had made a very the present Commissioners of Bankrupt. general, and therefore, in the opinion of Upon these points there could be no difmany persons, a very successful attack | ference of opinion. He agreed with his

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