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merit for indemnity. The state of the case, was briefly this; in 1813 a convention had been entered into at Madrid, when Sir W. A'Court was British ambascourt, by which the Spanish was bound to indemnify those persons who had suffered in the war in the South American colonies. That Convention was ratified by Ferdinand on his restoration, and a commission was appointed to carry it into effect, but little hope was entertained, that the obligations under it could ever be fulfilled. He remembered, that Mr. Canning had spoken despondingly of the success of that commission, but claims were registered under it to the amount of two millions sterling on the part of British subjects, and Spanish claims to the amount of twelve hundred thousand. Subsequently, however, a compromise had been entered into, by which the British claimants compounded their claims, for 900,000/., and the Spanish for 200,000/ That compromise had been carried into effect; of the 900,000/., 600,000/. had been paid in specie at the time, and 300,000/. had been created in bonds, on which the interest had been paid regularly till within the last three years. Now, he having been the person who had negociated that treaty, the persons who held those bonds imagined, that he would probably take an interest in its fulfilment, and had, therefore, applied to him frequently to lay their case before Parliament; but he had dissuaded them from petitii 'nig' oft thai
as he had thought, that they ely on the honour and credit lent to sec, that a treaty of such conditions should be
would they not have heard long since of a threat of reprisals? And did they not believe, that if a threat of reprisals had been issued the money would have been produced before this time? If fraud and dishonesty were practised by a government, even though it were a liberal government, such ought to be the course pursued. These parties, then, had not merely a claim on the justice of the Spanish government, but they had also a claim on the honour and good faith of this country, which was bound to see that that treaty to which those persons had submitted on the faith of their own Government, was strictly fulfilled. Such, indeed, had been the confidence which that circumstance inspired, that at a time when Spanish funds of every other description were unsaleable in Europe, these bonds not merely kept their former standing in the market but actually rose in value. He did say, then, that if these bonds were found to be no better security for payment from the Spanish government than any others, the loss ought not to fall upon those holders, but that they were entitled to be indemnified by their own Government. He would now present the petition. He would not make a motion on this occasion ; but he thought, that these parties ought to receive some redress. If, however, nothing could be done, he thought, that the House ought to come to some resolution on the subject.
Viscount Melbourne said, that persons having claims hud undoubtedly a right to call on the Gov. >i,„,,.,,i ,,f noj^fl^^^^M enforce those cUi
were observed by ih>. Kj,. .1, ,
So far as this, he concurred wiTb t(Q
it was intended Mr. Sheil should act, and as to the opinion of the other party alluded to, he observed that little stress could be laid on the recommendation of that gentleman, as he resided at a distance of nineteen miles from the place in question, and therefore could not be a competent judge as to whether a necessity for the appointment of another magistrate existed or not. Subsequently to this he received a communication from the Lord Chancellor of Ireland on the subject. The noble and learned Lord stated, that Mr. Sheil had been recommended to him by the lordlieutenant as a party whose appointment was desirable on the ground that it would tend to a more satisfactory administration of justice in that particular locality, and he answered this communication by assuring the noble and learned Lord that there was no occasion whatever for such an appointment, there being already six or seven magistrates who discharged the duties at petty sessions in a highly satisfactory manner, and that in short the appointment would not for other reasons be a proper one to make. Notwithstanding this, however, the noble and learned Lord thought fit to introduce Mr. Sheil into the magistracy of the county of Westmeath, and such a mode of proceeding was so contrary to the doctrine laid down a few nights ago by the noble and learned Lord on the woolsack, that it was impossible not to call their Lordships" attention to it. The noble and learned Lord on the woolsack, on the occasion to which he referred, recognised the propriety of confidential communication between the lords-lieutenant of counties and the keeper of the Great Seal in relation to all appointments to the commission of the peace; but that was a very different case from the present. In that case it was alleged by the noble Earl, the lord-lieutenant of the county of York, that parties had been appointed to the magistracy from political motives; but how was the allegation met? why, by showing, that the noble Earl was the party who was in fault, because he had neglected to enter into communication with the Lord Chaucellor on the subject. Those noble Lords who heard what fell from the noble and learned Lord on the woolsack understood the matter as he did, and his understanding of the observations of the noble and learned Lord was, that had the noble Earl stated to him any local reasons which rendered such appointments inexpedient,
they would not have been made. This was his understanding of what passed in the debate to which he referred, and it. was, therefore, impossible for him not to be struck with the contrast which existed between the conduct of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland and that pursued by the noble and learned Lord on the woolsack. There was a great deal of excitement during the last election for the county of Westmeath in the town of Mullingar. It was found necessary for the peace that troops of soldiers and large bodies of police should be brought into that town, and on the evening of the 11th of August a
Lord Plunket said, that he was induced to interrupt the noble Marquess, not because of anything he had said in reference to himself personally, but merely to apprise their Lordships that no objection was intended to be offered to the motion with which the noble Marquess meant to conclude. The object of the noble Marquess was the production of the evidence taken before the commissioners who presided at the inquiry held on this subject at Mullingar on the report of those commissioners, and as he, so far from objecting to that motion, was ready to consent that the whole of the papers should be laid on the table, he submitted to the good sense of the noble Marquess, whether his interruption was not justifiable. The noble Marquess must be aware that the statement of facts which he was about to enter upon grew out of the evidence taken during the inquiry ; and how, he asked him, were their Lordships to assume whether his statements were correct or not until the evidence on which they were founded was before them. It was impossible to go into the case in the absence of the evidence, and therefore, the noble Marquess must see, that the course he wa saboutto pursue was clearly irregular. The noble Marquess might aver that to be the fact on the one hand, while he might be justified in denying it on the other; and as such a proceeding could not be otherwise than painful to their Lordships, he hoped the noble Marquess would postpone what he had to say until the papers were placed upon the table of that House. Their Lordships would then be in a position to determine who was right and who was wrong, and not before.
The Marquess of Westmeath said, that the noble and learned Lord had no right
trespass on his patience, or the exercise of his undoubted iddressing their Lordships in le had done. It wouldjseem le and learned Lord had ini for the purpose of making a :lf; but he must be allowed oble and learned Lord that Jingwas not consonant to the .heir Lordships' House. In nduct whicli he thought fit to was a difference of opinion and the noble and learned 1 he wanted was to lay Parounds for his motion, and tided he had a perfect right
Melbourne. You can have the ut any statement, less of Westmeath. Yes, but iscount must permit me to ordships the grounds upon I for their production. In when he brought this matter Lordships, he was without lation, because the Irish GoI not choose to enter into m with him; and what was hy that libels had been shown from all quarters, for which ve brought the parties to the louse, had he thought fit, or he laws of his country. The , was, that he had been grossly ■ the Irish Government, and as, that he had no desire to iduct cushioned. The noble Lord was fully aware of his >ring the subject forward that he were not prepared for the lat was not his fault. He re stand upon his right, and . bound to withdraw from his .votild not.
Melbourne. No statement is there is no objection to your
less of H'cstmcath said, that scount had no right to stop :ourse he was pursuing. He ■ight,nnd therefore he would icre was on the evening to /ertcd a tumultuous meeting Duse in Mullingar, and after id resident Magistrates had Mr. Sheil and Mr. Fitzsimons icmsolves to this meeting. In e stated, as he believed at the
i» tti-n mrlividllMs wlmm lip
had named were found in the public-house by the police ; but in this he was wrong, as they were not found there, but made their appearance immediately after the police had obtained admission to the house. They, however, identified themselves with the transactions which took place, and, consequently, the error into which he had fallen was of no importance whatever, as the effect produced was exactly the same. The fact was, that he had been misled in this instance. But why had he been misled? Simply because the Irish Government wished to take advantage of him. He would now state nothing which could not be borne out. The parties who went to the public-house on the occasion referred to were twenty-five policemen, and they were accompanied by the chief constable, and the resident magistrate. The chief constable, as was his duty represented the transaction to the proper authorities. Indeed, he would have been guilty of misconduct if he had not. But what was the consequence? Why, that Mr. Deglisau received the thanks of both Colonel Shaw Kennedy and Colonel O'Donoughue for his conduct. He begged' their Lordships to bear this in mind. Mr. Deglisau heard nothing more of the affair for many months, not until he was called upon by the Government to furnish a copy of his report. The occurrence took place in August, and it was not until December that this report was called for by the Government, although their attention had been previously directed to the circumstance. Mr. Deglisau had not only been grossly insulted and spat upon, but his personal safety rendered it necessary, that he should be attended by two orderlies during the whole of the election. On the night of the 11th of August he was accosted by Mr. Fitzsimon in an insulting manner. Mr. Fitzsimon asked him what business he had there; and although Mr. Sheil knew Mr. Rowan, the resident magistrate well, he allowed him to be shoved and pushed about without even once in, terfering to prevent it. The Irish Government thought the matter of sufficient importance to institute an inquiry and it was not a little remarkable, that when he first stirred in it he was informed, that the official report had been lost. Althouo-h this statement had been made, it appeared from the testimony of Mr. Fitzsimon, that the report had passed into the bands of
Afr Shpil It u-ns aft^rwnnU in «Y.A
session of Mr. Fitzpatrick, the secretary of the Liberal Club; and he was able to show that its contents were known to Priest O'Brien, Priest O'Farrell, and several other parties connected with that club, in subsequent committees. Mr. Drummond, in a studied manner, endeavoured to get rid of the subject, and it was not until he had been suddenly called on for the report by Lord Morpeth, that he took any steps to obtain it. How was it possible, after snch prevarication on the part of the Irish Secretary, that the affairs of that country could be properly carried on. On the 11th of December Mr. Drummond wrote to Mr. Rowan as follows:—
"I hare to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 9th instant, referring to the conduct of Messrs. Fitzsimon and Sheil, and I am to inform you that these gentlemen having been called upon for an explanation in consequence of your report, they transmitted to the Government statements differing in many respects from yours. In consequence of this variation, it was directed th;it the papers should be sent again to you for any observations you might have to offer; but owing to some accident, which cannot at present be accounted for, the papers cannot be found in the office. Search is still making for them, and a letter has been written for the purpose of ascertaining whether they hare been sent to the Irish Office in London. If found, they will be immediately transmitted to you. If not found, it will be necessary to call on all parties concerned for copies of the letters and statements.'
In this letter Mr. Drummond stated, that Mr. Fitzsimon and Mr. Sheil had been called to account; but what was the testimony of Mr. Sheil on this head? Why he denied, that he had ever been called on for explanation by the Irish Government. [Lord Plunkct: How does that appear ?] It appeared from the evidence given by Mr. Sheil on the inquiry. What was it that further appeared from that evidence? Why, that .Mr. Drummond was in communication during the whole of these transactions with JVf r. Sheil. Mr. Sheil declared, that the .Lord-lieutenant was perfectly satisfied with his conduct; but what did Mr. Drummond say? Why, that Mr. Sheil Iiad been written to for explanation. There ■was, then, mistake somewhere; for Mr. .Sheil not only denied Mr. Drumniond's statement, but asserted, that the Lordlieutenant was satisfied with his conduct, ft was true, that after the occurrence at the public-house, Mr. Fitzsimon apologized
both to Mr. Rowan and Mr. Deglisau, but he at the same time used language towards the police, which was insulting to them and the Government. Mr. Rowan declared that he appealed to Mr. Sheil to maintain tranquillity, but without effect; and he was then told, that the police had no right to be there to interrupt the freeholders. From the evidence of the son of the person who kept the public-house, it appeared, that there was only five beds in it, and consequently, as the persons assembled in it, amounted to fifty-one, it was clear they were amenable under the " Tippling Act." The Government, however, dispensed with the law, and turned round on their own officers; but what sort of tribunal was it by which they were tried, Mr. Deglisau was ordered, on Tuesday, to appear at Mullingar ; on the Monday following, to take his trial. On Wednesday he went to Dublin, to see Major Warburton; and it was not until the Friday that he reached Mullingar; so that, in point of fact, he had only a single day to prepare for his defence. He applied to the Commissioners to enforce the attendance of the witnesses he was anxious to examine; but what was the answer of the Commissioners to that application? Why, they told him, they possessed no such power. All they could do, they said, was to administer an oath, and if a witness refused to come forward, they had no means of compelling his attendance. This was singular, but strange; still he was himself called on to appear, simply because he had brought this matter under the notice of their Lordships. He really should be glad to hear from the noble and learned Lord whether such Courts as this were to bo resorted to in all future times? It was Mr. Sheil who gave rise to the disturbance, and yet he supposed that Gentleman was to be continued in the commission of the peace for the county of Westmeath. He had no doubt, that when these papers were placed on their Lordships' table, they would exhibit a pretty picture, with respect to the manner in which the Irish Government was carried on. He would defy them to get rid of the conduct of which their protege had been guilty. But how different was the course of proceeding in this and in other cases. Mr. Blacker had been dismissed from the commission of the peace, merely because, an Orange emblem had been placed in the balcony of one of his windows, without