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South - Eastern Railway – Mr. nimous in their Report; they agreed upon Wray.) Mr. Hawes, in rising to bring all the material facts. Mr. Wray was a forward the Motion of which he had given public officer, holding an appointment of notice, could assure the House that it was considerable trust and responsibility, and not without considerable pain that he felt very large sums of public money passed it necessary to call their attention 10 a through his hands. It appeared that in portion of the Report of the Committee 1836, Mr. Wray allowed himself to be reon the petition of the South-Eastern Rail- tained as the paid agent of a private comway Company. He had hoped that Her pany to promote the success of a Bill inMajesty's Ministers would have spared troduced on their behalf, into Parliament. him the trouble of making, and the House Mr. Wray stated that his engagement was the pain of listening to, the statement of of a strictly professional character. That facts to which he now felt it his duty to engagement, it appeared, consisted in call their attention. He knew little or canvassing Members of Parliament, and nothing of the gentleman whose conduct, subsequently in paying 3001. to a Member he was about to bring under their notice. of Parliament for the services he had renHe had no personal feeling whatever dered to the Company, he having been a towards that gentleman, and he was not Member of the Select Committee, and aware that, except in his capacity as a having voted upon that Committee. He public officer, he had ever spoken to him. (Mr. Hawes) had not spoken to any MemBut, after the notice which the conduct ber of the profession on this subject who of Mr. Wray had received from the right had not expressed regret at Mr. Wray's hon. Home Secretary, he considered it his conduct, who had not strongly condemned imperative duty to ask the House and the it, and who had not entirely disclaimed country to decide whether the strong dis- the idea of considering such services in approbation the right hon. Baronet stated the light of professional services. He (Mr. he had expressed with regard to Mr. Hawes) understood that the right hon. Wray's conduct was a sufficient punish- Baronet (Sir R. Peel) had given Mr. ment for the offence that gentleman had Wray a general permission to exercise his committed. It might be said this was a profession while he held the office of Relate period of the Session for bringing ceiver General. He (Mr. Hawes) consiforward a question of this nature : but he dered, that in this case Mr. Wray had not must remind the House that the Report of acted in the exercise of his profession, but the Committee to which he had referred that he had abused the privilege granted was not laid on the Table until the 12th to him by the right hon. Baronet. Here of July. The matter was then left en- was a paid officer who, instead of devoting tirely in the hands of the Government; his attention to his public duties, became but it was not till the 19ih of July that the paid agent of a private company,
and the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) through whose hands a bribe was conveyed addressed a letter to Mr. Wray-that to a Member of that House. What was being the same day on which he (Mr. the opinion expressed by the right hon. Hawes) had written to the First Lord of Baronet (Sir J. Graham) upon such conthe Treasury (Sir R. Peel), intimating his duct as this? He thought the House would intention to bring the Report under the be surprised to find that the right hon. notice of the House. The letter of the Baronet had taken no nolice whatever of right hon. Home Secretary to Mr. Wray this circumstance. In the letter which in was not printed till the 22d of July, and that House the right hon. Baronet had he thought the House would admit that it said was strongly condemnatory of Mr. was next to impossible for him to have Wray's conduci, there was not even brought this subject under their considera- passing allusion to this very remarkable tion at an earlier period. He (Mr. Hawes) circumstance. There was no fact in wished also, before he took such a step, to this case which might not be found in obtain the sanction of others to whose the shape of admission in Mr. Wray's judgment he greatly deferred ; and this own evidence. It might be important to circumstance had alone prevented him ascertain what course the House had from instantly calling the attention of the taken in cases somewhat similar to this ; House to the Report. Now, what had and it was for them to consider whether, been the conduct of Mr. Wray? The in accordance with former precedents, Committee, he might observe, were ana-' they could consistently pass in this slight VOL. LXXXU.
manner over conduct which directly in- | times ; and he might now add, that there volved a breach of the privileges of the was nothing worse in former times than House. It was known to many hon. were the transactions of the present day. Members that in 1695 very serious abuses He had shown what the House of Comwere brought under the notice of the mons had done with men high in office public. At that period Members of Par- -men of rank and station, and at the liament and persons in very high stations time of the South Sea bubble he fogad were implicated in a system of jobbing that the following Resolution had been somewhat similar to that which had been adopted :exposed. The House then came to this
“ 'That the taking in or holding of stock by general Resolution
the South Sea Company for the benefit of any “ That the offer of money or any other ad- Member of either House of Parliament, or per. vantage to any Member of Parliament as a son concerned in the Administration (during fee or reward for him to promote the further the time that the Company's proposals, or the ance of any matter depending, or to be trans- Bill thereto relating, were depending in Paracted in Parliament, is a high crime and mis- liament), without any valuable consideration demeanor, and tends to the subversion of the paid, or sufficient security given for the acEnglish Constitution."
ceptance of or the payment for such stock, and There could be no doubt that all lawyers the difference arising by the advanced price of
the Company's paying or allowing such person would construe such a Resolution to com
the stock, were corrupt, infamous, and danger. prehend rewards given afterwards as well ous practices, and highly reflecting on the as bribes given before the Act done. It honour and justice of Parliament, and destrucwas also well known that at cummon law tive of the interest of His Majesty's Governit was a misdemeanor to offer any reward ment.” 10 any public servant for doing that which the case now before the House was one he was bound to do without any reward. in which an attempt had been made to But the matter which he now sought to influence the conduct of Members of the bring under the consideration of the House House of Commons, by the application of was not one altogether new. He would money belonging to a public company. read a short extract to them, showing what Then, he would ask, was the House of had been done in the case of Mr. Bird : Commons in the present day to pass over
“Mr. Bird attended according to order, and such a case? Would they be satisfied was called in, and being at the bar was with the weak and undecided letter wbich told by the Speaker that there had been the right hon. Baronet had written? It a complaint made against him to this House
now time to make a stand against for offering money to Mr. Musgrove, a Member of this House, to present a peti- such proceedings, and to call upon the tion to this House. Whereunto he said, Ministers of the Crown to maintain the that some persons did apprehend that a Bill purity of the subordinate departments of depending in this House for selling an the Government. He had already referred estate, late of Mr. Howland, did affect their them to what had been done in the House interest in part of that estate, and therefore of Commons, and he had no doubt that desired him to prepare a petition to be pres the proceedings of the House of Lorus sented to this louse for the providing for iheir interest, which accordingly he did; and that would be found to be in consonance with he being a stranger to the proceedings of this those of the representative branch of the House, and there being a title in the case, and Legislature. In fact, the Journals of the knowing Mr. Musgrove to be a gentleman Lords showed this, as miglit be seen from of the long robe, did intend to give him a the following Resolution : guinea for his advice in that matter ; but understanding by Mr. Musgrove that he had “ It is resolved by the Lords Spiritual and committed an error in so doing, he begged Temporal in Parliament assembled, that the pardon of Mr. Musgrove, and as he did now taking of stock belonging to the South Sea of this House, and then withdrew. Resolved, Company, or giving credit for the same withthat the said Mr. Bird be called in, and that out a valuable consideration actually paid or Mr. Speaker do reprimand him upon his knees ' sufficiently secured, or the purchasing stock by at the bar. And he was called in, and upon any director or agent of the South Sea Comhis knees reprimanded accordingly, and then pany for the use or benefit of any person in discharged."
line Administration, or any Member of either He called their attention to this matter for late Bill relating to the South Sea Company
House of Parliament, during such time as the The purpose of showing them how affairs was depending last year in Parliament, was a of this kind were dealt with in former notorious and most dangerous corruprinn."
Though this was a matter of great import- | Mr. Bonham, for his services as a Member of ance in the House of Commons, as well as this House, and as a Member of a Select out of doors, yet he refrained from the use Committee, to which the Bill of this Com. of any barsh expression ; and he might the Secretary of State has not adverted in the
pany was referred ; a circumstance to which add, that throughout the whole proceed- letter addressed to Mr. Wray. That in the ings of the Committee, there was nothing opinion of this House, such conduct deserves even approaching to harshness. He was
not only the serious animadversion of the bound furtber to state, that Mr. Bonham House, but disqualifies Mr. Wray from holding concealed nothing — that he frankly told an office of trust and responsibility under the all he knew-and that the Committee
Crown.” acquitted Captain Boldero of all personal Sir J. Graham said : As the hon. Memcorruption, though his conduct was most ber for Lambeth has so frankly and unindiscreet. But, at the same time, the reservedly stated the opinion which he Committee were quite of opinion that that entertains of my conduct, I must say, Gentleman would not, if the Solicitor to that I do not blame the course which he the Ordnance had been a man of a dif- has thought proper to take upon this ocferent character, have allowed himself to casion. It appears to me that the
quesbe entangled in such transactions. For lion now before the House may be disMr. Wray, however, there was no excuse. posed of with very little loss of time, for He took the money in question to Mr. the whole of the circumstances of the case Bonham, that gentleman being at the lie within a very narrow compass. But, time under great obligations to him. He before I proceed to consider those facts, did not say that by way of any disparage- or to call the attention of the House to ment to Mr. Bonham, but for the purpose the conclusions which must necessarily be of showing that Mr. Wray ought to have deduced from them, I beg to say that I been the last man in the world to solicit am not at all about to dispute the constibim to become concerned in such affairs. tutional doctrines which the hon. GentleNothing could be so indefensible as was the man has laid down. I have no intention conduct of Mr. Wray. In bringing these whatever of denying the weight of those proceedings under the consideration of the precedents to which he has referred us. House, he stood forward in the discharge I quite concur with him in thinking that of a painful duty. If he had not under- no care is ill bestowed which has a tentaken that duty, ihe parties still could not dency to preserve the purity of this House; have escaped the just censure of the and I also agree with him that it is exHouse, for some other Member would posed to some danger from the spirit of have been induced to call on them to pro speculation which at this moment prevails ; nounce an opinion. In taking this step, and furthermore, no man can, for a mohe was sanctioned by the judgment and ment, doubt that strict impartiality ought opinions of several hon. Members, and 10 be religiously observed by the Members he felt that it now remained for him to of this House in every matter, public or take the sense of the House on the fol- private, upon which they are required to give lowing Resolutions:
a vote. It is also equally unquestionable “ That it appears from the Report and Evi- that no crime is greater than to attempt dence laid before this House by the Select 10 seduce the Members of this House from Committee on the South Eastern Railway the strict and uniform observance of that Company's Petition, that Mr. Wray, the Re- impartiality which forms one of their first ceiver of the Metropolitan Police District, was, duties. After expressing these several in the year 1836, the retained and paid agent opinions, I now proceed to the other obof a private Company, to promote the success of a Bill introduced into Parliament on their servations which I feel called upon to behalf. That it also appears, from an Answer make. In the first place, I must observe to an Address of this llouse, that the Secre- that I have not risen for the purpose of tary of State for the Ilome Department has, defending Mr. Wray; nor is it my intenin consequence of the Report and Evidence re
tion in any respect to palliate his conduct, ferred to addressed a letter to Mr. Wray, ex: and, therefore, all that I have now 10 say pressing his strong disapprobation of Mr. Wray's conduct, That it appears to this may be very briefly brought before the House, upon a reference to the Evidence, that House. To the best of my judgment, I Mi. Wray, on behalf of the South Eastern have in this case endeavoured to do jusRailway Company, paid the sum of 3001, rice, and to give effect to that which I derived from the sale of Railway Shares, to conceived to be the decision of the Com
mittee. The hon. Member who brought dence before the Committee, that the part forward this Motion bas told the House taken by Mr. Bonham was taken without that he had no acquaintance with Mr. any reward or promise whatever; and the Wray, nor any knowledge of him previous opinion of the Committee to that effect is to the investigations which took place be set forth in the Report as clearly as it is posfore the Committee. Now, it so happens sible to make any kind of statement. Bot, that, notwithstanding I have been in office then, it is asserted, that the alleged offer during a period of four years, I never yet made to Mr. Bonham was made at the sog. came into personal contact with Mr. gestion of Mr. Wray. The witness Sewell Wray. He is to me a perfect stranger ; 1 said it was made principally at his suggestion therefore cannot have been influenced to--that is, at the suggestion of Mr. Wraş. wards him by any favourable feeling. Now, I fearlessly state, that in this matter can most truly state that until I wrote the I can have no favourable feeling towards Jelter which has been brought under the Mr. Wray, for he is unknown to me-notice of the House, I never had any wbile, on the contrary, I have long been acintercourse with Mr. Wray, nor have 1 quainted with Mr. Bonham, and I am proud ever received any application on his be- to call that gentleman my friend. He has half from any friend of his, nor have I committed a very grave error, and Mr. been solicited with reference to him in any Bonham never dissembled the extent of forin whatever. When I wrote to him, that error. I regret that he should have therefore, I felt myself perfectly free to been betrayed into it, but he still is my take a dispassionate view of his case. The friend, and I shall continue to call him my hon. Gentleman has expressed strong re- Friend; but, though Mr. Wray is not gret that he should have been under the even known to me, I still am bound to do necessity of bringing forward the Motion him justice. From the evidence, or at upon which the House now finds it ne- least from a part of it, it would appear cessary to decide. I confess I feel some that Mr. Wray had some peculiar and surprise that, as he did consider it his personal objects in making the offers which duty to make this Motion, he should have were said to have been made to Mr. thought proper to make it at so late a period Bonham-that, in fact, he was a creditor of the Session. I must say I think it very of Mr. Bonham, and expected io receive unfortunate that these Resolutions were not the amount of his debt out of the proceeds proposed ten days ago. Looking round of such advantages as were expected to me, I do not at present see any Members of accrue from these railway transactions. that Committee, excepting the hon. Gen. But these assertions have been altogether tleman, who presided over its deliberations, disproved. Nothing can be more clear and one other Member. [Mr. Hawes : than that Mr. Wray did not touch a single There are three Members of the Commit-farthing of the money which came into tee present.) Well, admitting that there Mr. Bonham's possession. My prejudices, are three present, three out of fifteen is a as I have already said, are against Mr. very small minority. But, setting aside Wray, and in favour of Mr. Bonham, and questions so comparatively unimportant, I wrote to Mr. Wray under the influence į proceed to call the attention of the of those impressions. Mr. Wray, when he House to this--that the matter really al came before the Committee, was told to issue is, have I or have I not fulfilled the bring his private account which he had at recommendations of the Committee ? Drummonds'; but the Committee did not Now, for that purpose, I repeat that I examine that account. And Mr. Elgood used my best endeavours. I think I have was also in attendance, but he was not been fortunate enough to render those called in by the Committee. From Mr. endeavours successful; but before I enter Wray's account at Drummonds', it was into the discussion of that point, there are clear enough that neither directly nor iniwo or three circumstances to which I wish directly did he derive any benefit from to advert, and it appears to me that those these railway transactions. To say thus circumstances ought not to be lost sight much, is due in common justice to Mr. of. The hon. Member for Lambeth says Wray. The hon. Member for Lambeth that Mr. Wray bribed a Member of this says, that I have not referred to the payHouse, and by the bribe which he gave ments made to Mr. Bonham by Mr. Wray; him purchased his co-operation. What is but these were payments made long anterior the fact ? It was distinctly shown in evi. I to the period into which it was the duty of
the Committee to inquire. That which I framed by the Chairman, did not stop at wished to do was, to notify to Mr. Wray the words “serious animadversion;" but my strong disapprobation of the course that there was added to that expression a pursued, and I did notify my disapproba - sentence, to the effect that “the attention tion of the whole transaction. My wish, of the Secretary of State for the Home as I have already said, was to give effect Department ought seriously to be called to the Report of the Committee, and I to the conduct of Mr. Wray." I was, Sir, think it important that any hon. Member assured that these last words were, after a should notify wherein I failed to give discussion in the Committee, deliberately effect to that Report; and I think I have withdrawn, and that there was no division succeeded in causing such measures to be upon them. That circumstance, when it taken as should meet the exigencies and came to my knowledge, did most maequity of the case. With respect to Mr. terially influence my conduct in the steps Hignett, I can of course have no hesita- which I took with respect to Mr. Wray. tion in saying that his conduct was proved If the words originally contained in the to have been such that it became neces- | Report had been retained there when it sary he should be removed from the place was presented to this House, I should he held in connexion with the Board of have thought that the Committee deemed Ordnance. As to the conduct, however, it necessary for me to adopt some exof Mr. Bonham and Captain Boldero, it tremely stringent measures with respect was shown that their conduct was not so to Mr. Wray, and I should have acted acculpable as that of Mr. Hignett; but yet cordingly. [Mr. Hawes: The right hon. it was the opinion of the Committee that Gentleman has not told all that passed they should withdraw from the service of with regard to Mr. Wray.) I am quite the Crown, and that their conduct was sure that I am stating correctly the facts inconsistent with the strict impartiality that were narrated to me by the noble which should characterize officers of Go- person who formed one of the Comvernment Departments and Members of mittee ; and the observation of the hon. this House. So soon as Mr. Bonham and Member confirms me in the opinion Captain Boldero learned the decision of which I have already expressed as the Committee, they tendered the resigna- the disadvantages of discussing a ques. tion of their offices, and tbose resignations tion like the present in the absence of were accepted. At page 13 of ihe Re- those hon. Members who were port the Committee say
Committee, and who would be able, if “ Your Committee cannot conclude without present, to state the facts beiter than I calling thc attention of the House to the evi- can do. The real question which is before dence given by Mr. Wray, the Receiver Ge- the House is, whether in fulfilling the neral of Police."
functions of the high and responsible That evidence is fully set forth in the office which I have the honour to hold, I Report, and nothing can be more clear have acted fairly and with strict regard to than this, that no payment was made to justice and impartiality? I contend, Mr. Bonham. I am called on to give my therefore, that I have a right to enter into opinion as to the punishment that ought to a consideration of what took place in the be inflicted on Mr. Wray. I find that Committee; and I do assert that the immediately after the passage I bave just knowledge on my part of the fact that the quoted, the Committee gave it as their words which I have repeated were proopinion that the conduct of Mr. Wray posed to be inserted in the Report and called for very severe animadversion. were deliberately left out, did most maLooking, then, at the Report of the Com- terially and justly weigh with me in mittee, and at the fact upon which it is writing the letter which it became my founded, I still hesitated before I made up duty to address to the individual whose my mind on this question, whether or not conduct was referred to in that part of I should dismiss Mr. Wray; and before I the Report. All the individuals implifinally decided I inquired of more than cated in these transactions, have, in so far one Member of the Committee-since it as Her Majesty's Government had it in was not a private Committee -as to what their power, been punished. Mr. Hignett occurred with respect to the part Mr. was dismissed from his situation as Solicitor Wray took in the transaction. I was told to the Board of Ordnance. Two others, one that the part of the "Report, as originally a Member of this House, and the other a