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into a composition made by his predecessor upon views and statements which coald not be now adduced. It had been asserted that there was no valid appeal under the existing law, and this in the teeth of several instances where appeal bad been made, and made successfully. In his opinion it would be most unwise to re-open compositions which had been made at a time when no agitation existed, and made too, after cool deliberation on the part of those who entered into the contract. Such a proposition was calculated to shake the very foundation of property, and he, for his part, could not agree to the extent of the provisions made upon this point by Government.
Sir E. Sugden, as allusion had been made to the affair of Rathcormac, would take the liberty of saying a few words on the subject. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had published it to the world as his opinion, that the homicides which had taken place at Rathcormac were murders. Now, he would as a lawyer, state his opinion on the subject. He would state to the House that the opinion published by the hon. and learned Gentleman was not founded in law, and the publication of that opinion had been productive of great mischief in Ireland.
Mr. O'Connell admitted, that he was not so fortunate a lawyer as the right hon. Gentleman. With respect to the opinion which he gave in the transaction at Rathcormac, it was given after he had been consulted upon the subject professionally, and if those who consulted him thought fit to publish the opinion which he gave, he could not prevent them. By that opinion, however, he would still stand. From the statement made to him when he was consulted upon the point, it appeared that a more foul Rnd horrible murder had never been committed. It was a murder most base and horrible. From the statement made to him it appeared that the Held was enclosed. [Sir E. Sugden—No, No.] He was glad to hear that denial. The right hon. Gentleman was too good a lawyer not to know the value of the fact. Kleven witnesses proved to the enclosure. There certainly was trespass, aud a murder had been perpetrated, whk-b was still •navenged. For hb put he was gfcd that the queatKM* of e*vtattt* bad been agitated by «» e«u«*wt a lawyer as the l^tfct htW OiHilte«*aft. la cW$i«g the «*** «4 « Munta be d?4 rot M »w
pute anything to the soldiery who were employed on the occasion. They only acted in obedience to orders. When the army were employed in Ireland they never exceeded their orders. The observations of the right hon. Gentleman, so far from overthrowing, vindicated his opinion. Murder bad been done in the case at Rathcormac, and many others had been committed in Ireland, without retribution. In Rathcormac seven human lives had been lost for a sum of three shillings and fourpence. Such a thing could not occur in any other country in Europe.
Sir E. Sugden was sorry this question had arisen, but by whom was it raised? By the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, who could not regret more than he (Sir E. Sugden) what had taken place at Rathcormac. The hon. and learned Gentleman might turn round and cry "Oh," but he did not care for the hon. and learned Gentleman's acting. It would have no effect but to lessen the respect which he might otherwise feel for him. The hon. and learned Gentleman had given his opinion, and it was published, with his name attached to it. On what ground did the grand jury ignore the bill? It was an easy matter for an hon. Member in his place in that House to detract from the purity of a judge, and the integrity of a jury; but such a proceeding would reflect little credit on him who did so. The hon. and learned Gentleman said there was an enclosure. This he denied. There was no enclosure; but, on the contrary, there was fair access. There was an open way which was blocked up from the inside by carts and other obstructions, which it was quite lawful to remove. Again, he would insist that, in point of law, there had been no murder.
Mr. O'Connell said, that ihe right hon. Gentleman could not have read the charge of Justice Foster, who did not use the argument of there being no enclosure. The speech of Judge Foster, which was a long and rambling one, made no allusion to an enclosure. He had done that learned personage injustice, forsooth. A man who had been twenty-five years a barrister without a brief, and was then by a hop. step, and jump, transferred to the bench. With respect to the question of 1 enclosure, there was a Gentleman in the Henii-e who had seen the spot, and could testify to the enclosure. He was glad , (hit the question had been raised,
elicited an opinion from the highest Chancery lawyer England ever produced, that if the place was enclosed a murder had been committed.
Mr. E. B. Roche knew the haggard, and could state distinctly, that it was as well inclosed as any other haggard in Ireland. He saw it before and after the transaction, but was not there at the time when the murder took place. He agreed with the hon. and learned Member foi Dublin in characterizing it as a most foul murder.
On the Question that the clause, as amended, stand part of the bill, the Committee divided. Ayes 103; Noes 88; Majority 15.
List of the Ayes.
Aglionby, H. A.
Barnard, E. G.
Blake, M. J.
Blake, W. J.
Briscoe, J. I.
Campbell, Sir J.
Childers, J. W.
Fleetwood, Sir P.
Hall, Sir B. Handley, H. Hawes, B. Hawkins, J. H. Hayter, W. G. Hector, C. J. Hobliouse, rt.hn.Sir J. Hodges, T. L. Hoskins, K. Howard. P. H. Howick, Lord Hume, J. Hull, W.
Lefevre, C. S.
Lynch, A. H.
Muskett, G. A.
O'Brien, W. S.
O'Connell, M. J.
O'Ferrall, R. M.
Parnell, Sir H.
Pendarves, E. W.
Philips, G. R.
Reddington, T. N.
Roche, R. B.
Roche, Sir D.
Rolfc, Sir R. M.
Russell, Lord J.
Smith, R. V.
Somerville, Sir VV. M.
Stanley, E. J.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Stewart, J. Strangways, J. Thompson, C. P. Thornely, T. Townley, R. G. TroubriiJge, Sir E.
A'Court, Capt. Bagge, W. Bailie, Col. Baker, E. Baring, hon. F. Bateson, Sir R. Blackburne, I. Blennerhasset, A. Bramston, T. W. Broadley, H. Brownrigg, S. Bruges, W. H. L. Chandos, Marq. Chute W. L. W. Codrington, C. W. Compton, H. C. Coote, Sir C. H. Corry, hon. H, Dalrymple, Sir A. Darby, G. De Horsey, S. II. Dunbar, G. Eastnor, Lord Vise. Eaton, R. J. Egerlon, W. T. Estcourt, T. Fellowes, E. Filmer, Sir E. Freemantle, Sir T. Gladstone, W. E. Gordon, hon. Capt. Goulburn, H. Graham, Sir J. Grant, F. W. Greene, T. Grimsditch.T. Grimston, hon.E. Grimstone, Visct. Hale, R. B. Hawkes, T. Hayes, Sir E. Herbert, hon. S. Hinde, J. H. Hodgson, R. Hogg, J. W. Holmes, W.
Hope, hon. C. Hope, G. W. Hotham, Lord Hurt, F. Ingham, R. Jermyn, Earl Jones, T. Kelly, F. Knightley, Sir C. Lockhart, A. M. Lucas, E. Mackenzie, T. Mahon, Lord Meynell, Captain Nicholl, J. Norreys, Lord Packe, C. W. Pakington,J. S. Palmer, G. Parker, R. T. Parker, T. A. W. Peel, Sir R. Peel, J. Perceval, G. J. Polhill, F. Powell, Colonel Praed, W.T. Pusey, P. Rose, Sir G. Rushbrook, R. Somerset, Lord G. Stanley, Lord Sugden, Sir E. Teignruouth, Lord Trench, Sir F. Tyrell, Sir J.T. Vere, Sir C. B. Villiers, Lord Vivian, J. E. Wodehouse, E. Wood, T. Young, J.
Perceval, Col. Lefroy, rt. lion. T.
Clause added to the Bill.
Petitions presented. By Lord Rrdisdalh, from a place in Shropshire, against any Appropriation of Church Property to other than Ecclesiastical purposes; and from Clergy of Northumberland, against certain parts of the Benefices Pluralities Bill.— By the Earl of Gobford, from Youghal, in favour of the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Bill. ■*
Appointments In Canada.] The Earl of Winchihea begged leave to ask the noble Viscount, whether any information had been received by her Majesty's Ministers as to the appointment of the Gentleman, Mr. Gibbon Wakefield, to whom he had last night alluded? He had also to ask, whether the information reported in the public press was correct, namely, that Sir John Colborne had resigned the command of her Majesty's troops in Canada? and whether it was true, that the Earl of Durham had applied for an additional military force .'
Viscount Melbourne said, he had received no information on the subject of the appointment alluded to. As to the resignation of Sir J. Colborne, he believed it was true. He was not aware of any alteration in the situation of Canada, that called for an increase of the troops in that colony.
The Earl of Winchilsea wished to know whether her Majesty's Ministers, had received any communication from Sir John Colborne, on the subject of his resignation? In the present situation of Parliament, when they were on the point of separating, and when they saw this important colony so peculiarly situated, he thought that this country had a right to expect full information on every point connected with it. He could not doubt for a moment the appointment of one of the persons to whom he had before adverted, and he should now ask the noble Viscount, hoping to receive from him a plain answer, whether such an appointment as that to which he hail referred in the second instance had taken place, or wns likely to take place? lie should say, if two such appointments did (ako place, that he would not be worthy of holding a seat in that House, if he allowed the session to pass without calling their Lordships' attention to the subject, and taking the sense of the House upon it.
Viscount Melbourne said, he certainly did not think, that the appointment last referred to by the noble Earl had taken place. He repeated, that there was nothing in the present situation of the colony, thai required a reinforcement of troops.
As to the resignation of Sir J. Colborne, it was no doubt true, that the gallant officer had requested that an arrangement should be made, to enable him to relinquish the command in Canada. Conversation ended.
Juvenile Offenders.] The Marquess of Lansdowne in moving, that the House should go into Committee on the Juvenile Offenders Bill, stated, that as the measure was one of much importance, he felt it necessary to explain its nature and object. Their Lordships must be aware, that for many years past there had been a very great increase of juvenile offenders—that was, of offenders under twelve years of age. This, it had been remarked, was the case in every part of Europe, but to a greater degree in this country than in other states. A laborious inquiry had been instituted, in order, if possible, to ascertain the probable causes of this increase of crime. By some it was attributed to the rapid increase of the population, and the growth of large manufacturing towns, while others found some peculiar circumstances in the state of society in England, which they were of opinion occasioned the evil. But, whatever the cause might be, the increase of juvenile depravity was most appalling. As the result of an inquiry made in one great manufacturing town, that of Manchester, it was ascertained, that in four years the number of children absolutely abandoned or found lost in the streets amounted to 8,610. In 1832, there were 1,954; in 1833, 2,104; in 1834,2,117; and in 1835 they amounted to the enormous number of 2,435.* With respect to the commitments of juvenile offenders throughout the country, the result had been, as taken from accounts lately made up, that in the last two years 5,174 males and 1,275 females under the age of 16 years were committed for various crimes, the average of the two years being 2,587 males, and 637 females. The ratio in London was still gieater. For many years
it had been in contemplation to establish prisons particularly adapted to criminals of this description, with a view to their reformation. If anything were wanting to show the necessity of such a course being adopted, it was to be found in the inadequacy of the existing prisons, for the attainment of such an object. There was no want of attention or of a desire on the part of those to whose custody these unfortunate criminals were consigned, to provide as far as they could, for their separation from old and hardened offenders. But the committee which had inquired into this subject were of opinion, that those prisons, though suited for the correction of adult criminals, were not fit places for the custody or the reform of offenders of a tender age.
The Duke of Richmond observed, that a Committee of their Lordships' House had decided against the propriety of confining the children together in hulks, where crimes had been committed to an alarming extent; and suggested that they should be confined either in barracks, or elsewhere on shore, up to the period of their transportation.
Bill went through Committee.
The Report to be taken into consideration on a future day.
Partisan Magistrates.] Lord Wharncliffe rose, pursuant to notice, to move for a copy or copies of any petition, memorial, or other communication made to the Lord Chancellor, from any person or persons residing at Leeds or its neighbourhood, or in the wapentake of Skyrac, respecting the insertion of certain names in the commission of the peace for the West Riding of the county of York. Their Lordships would recollect, that a short time back, his noble Friend, the lord-lieutenant of the West Riding of the county of York, moved for certain papers connected with the insertion of certain persons' names in the commission of the peace in the West Riding of the county of York, and he should not have thought it necessary to follow up that motion, had it not been for what had fallen on that occasion from the noble Baron, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which, if allowed to pass unnoticed, would be likely t0 <]o great injury to the course of justice. The case of the West Riding to which his noble Friend had alluded, he woul.l , ,,,), .wornto slate to their Lordships,
and he thought he should not find it difficult to show, that the names in question had been inserted for the express purpose of introducing into the magistracy political partisans. The borough of Leeds contained several townships, and their Lordships well knew, that by the Municipal Corporations Act, the borough of Leeds had a separate commission of the peace; and that the borough magistrates did the whole duty in the borough of Leeds, the county magistrates having no power to interfere. Now, on the 23rd of February, 1836, he had brought before their Lordships several appointments which had taken place under the Municipal Corporations Act; and he then endeavoured to show, that the power of appointing magistrates under that act, had been undoubtedly used for party purposes, and to the exclusion of proper persons who ought to have filled the office of magistrates. It so happened, that twenty-two persons were named upon the commission of the peace for the borough of Leeds; and out of those, seventeen were of Government politics, and four others were very unlikely to act at all; leaving, therefore, seventeen Whigs to one Conservative in the magistracy. Now, he should not have objected to the appointment of these individuals, who were certainly very respectable person!, if it had not been the case, that Leeds was a borough before the Municipal Corporations Act passed; and if other individuals had not acted as borough magistrates with acknowledged ability and im^ partiality, who were therefore in some sort subjected to an affront by an exclusion from the new commission, simply because they differed in politics from a majority of the persons who composed the towncouncil. He came now to the appointment of magistrates for the West Riding. He would show what was the amount of business transacted by the borough magistrates; and he would add, that he had yet to learn, that the business was performed negligently, or with any thing else, but impartiality. It appeared, that a petty session was held at Leeds one day in every week, on the Tuesday; and the return of cases heard from January, 1837, to January, 1838, was but 200; averaging four cases weekly, and without any prospect of increase—the hours of attendance for the magistrates being from half-past twelve till about three o'clock. He thought that this showed, that as far as the business of
the borough of Leeds went, there was no treat necessity for any increase in the number of magistrates for the West Riding. There were eighteen magistrates, of whom eleven attended, three did not act, although they had qualified, and four had not qualified at all. Well, then came the new commission; and when it came, his noble Friend (the Earl of Harewood), was quite ready to attend to any application which might have been made to him, showing, thai magistrates were wanted in any particular part, of the county. He could bear witness, thai his noble Friend had frequently inserted the names of persons in the commission of the peace, who were ftdverse to him in politics, merely on the ground that magistrates were wanted in any particular part of the country. He had himself often recommended gentlemen of polities different to his own to his noble Friend, for from the friendship and intiMacy which bad so long subsisted between them, and the length of lime during which We had bee* oonnoebed with the administration of jastioe, his noble Friend did him the bononr to ask his advice occasionally. aftA to pay some Attention to his suggestions; and he eoald say, thai his noble Fvk*><1 tad never exhibited the slightest beaftatic* in <ynrtprying with soch a Tcion. >e application, however, ^as made to bis noble F riend; bnt, curious «*«o«gh, he was told to be prepared for the oifonm-stanee thai hurl since taken place;
for his informants told him, thai they knew
thin an intrigue was going on 10 put ear- j The noble and learned Lord
Leeds; and all, he believed, within the very town itself. They had no connection with the county, and were all merchants in Leeds, and, therefore, if they were to be put in the commission of the peace at all, they might have been put in the commission of the peace for the town itself. He thought it impossible to say, that the commission of the peace under the municipal corporations, was fairly conslituted; and yet the noble and learned Lord, and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster had said, in that House, in as many words, that if they found the magistrates to be all on one side, they would appoint persons on the other side, in order to make a balance. They said, that it was not iu human nature for persons to be satisfied with the decision of a bench of magistrates who were opposed to them in politics. He believed that it was no such thing, and that the applications of individuals to the magistrates had nothing whatever to do with politics. He believed, that parties did not care one snap of the finger what were the politics of the magistrate to whom they addressed themselves, provided that their complaints were heard and adjudicated on with impartiality. He would say, therefore, that this principle of putting magistrates on the Bench in order to restore a balance was most injurious. He wanted to know where it would end? If the noble and learned Lord corrected and doctored the commission of the peace according to his Taste, his successors might do tie same.
Lord Chancellor for ever. Were other