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that a deliberative body, with due regard the other courts. He wished to know with to their own high station, and to the great what justice they could ask witnesses to power they possess, and the great injury give evidence before their Committees, by they may by possibility inflict, could have which they would subject themselves to taken on such proposal being made. My penalties such as that which the petitioner Lords, I venture to warn you against the bad incurred ? He said penalties, because notion that dignity consists in taking sud- the petitioner had already incurred exden offence, and in putting down all who penses, and which would be further in. question your proceedings. There may be creased. If witnesses were to be subject good grounds for the statements of those to such actions, they could not, in justice, who come before
for protection. Your be expected to come forward and tell the Lordships do not possess the means of in- whole truth on matters upon which it was vestigating the merits between the con- necessary for the House to be informed. tending parties; but if those grounds exist, Lord Stanley protested, on the part of the assertion and proof of them will be the Government, against the doctrine that available to the party complaining in any the House was abandoning those persons court of justice in the kingdom.
who gave true and faithful evidence in Lord Campbell would warn their Lord. obedience 10 their Lordships' orders, ships of the infinite importance of the step There could, he believed, be hardly a disthey were now about to take. If they re- sentient voice to the proposition that it was fused the Amendment he had proposed, their duty to protect those persons. By they would be declaring to all the world the vole the House had just come to, they ibai let an action be brought against any had not abandoned one jot or tittle of the one for wbat he might have said before a privileges of the House; but what they Committee of their Lordships' House, they had done was to abstain, on the recomwould not interfere to protect him, even mendation of his noble and learned Friend, though he should be a Peer of the realm from taking a hasty course the moment a
Lord Brougham had always said that petition had been presented. They had the House had the right to commit for been recommended to take some short contempt of its privileges. The courts of time to examine into precedents of the law had the same right. He would ask, course adopted on former occasions, in however, if an action were brought against order to assist them in arriving at a dea witness for something which he had said cision upon the course to be taken in the upon oath in the Court of Queen's Bench, present instance. He conceived that neiwould the Lord Chief Justice ca!l the ther their Lordships' privileges nor the plaintiff and his attorney before him and cause of those persons who had given evi. ask him on what account his action was dence before them, were compromised, if, brought; and if they replied “On account upon conflicting opinions being expressed of what the defendant bad said before by the highest authorities upon such a you," would the Lord Chief Justice then question, their Lordships took twenty-four say, " Then I commit you for contempt?” hours to consider the wisest course to Yet that, he considered, would be tanta pursue. mount to acceding to the Motion of his The Earl of Ellenborough could not noble and learned Friend near him. He but feel apprehension is, after the Report would only add, that if the statements of the Select Committee, the House should contained in the petition were true, this adopt the course recommended by the nowas one of the most ridiculous actions ble and learned Lord opposite, that a most that had ever been brought against any serious effect would be produced upon person.
evidence given in future before Commit. On Question, That the words proposed tees of their Lordships' House. It was to be left out stand part of Motion? House essential that evidence given before those divided ;-Conteni 33 ; Non-Content 22: Committees should be given without the Majority 11.
apprehension of punishment-it was esResolved in the Affirmatwe. Then the sential that it should be given without original Motion being put,
fear. If witnesses--even although they The Marquess of Clanricarde contended should ultimately receive indemnity-were that if they allowed their privileges to go to give evidence under the apprehension, to the courts of law, they gave up their so embarrassing and distressing to nervous prorogatives and submitted themselves to minds, that they might be forced into a
court of justice as a result of their testi-might weigh the consequences of every mony, they would flinch from telling the step. truth, and their Lordships would find The Earl of Ellenborough apprehended, themselves unable to exercise one of the that the duty of the Select Committee most important of their functions, that of would only be to examine into and report extracting truth from witnesses before to the House what had been done on forCommittees.
mer occasions. · Lord Brougham agreed, that nothing The Duke of Richmond said, it had was more important than that evidence been suggested by some noble Lord, wheshould be given without apprehension; ther the words spoken by the petitioner but be feared their Lordships could not might not have been in conversation with carry out the principle contended for by the Committee, and not as strict evidence his noble Friend opposite. Suppose in upon oath. He (the Duke of Richmond) this case the petitioner had given false was chairman of that Committee, and evidence before the Committee against could inform the House that the witness Mr. Harlow, the latter had only to preferstood in the witness box, and answered his bill of indictment before the grand upon oath the questions put to him, and jury, and, upon the bill being found, the which he was bound to answer. witness would then be put upon his trial examination of the kind that took place for his evidence.
efore the Committee upon Gaming, it Lord Cottenham said, that the House was necessary to put the most searching having rejected the Amendment of his questions. With all the blackguards the noble and learned Friend, the question Committee had to deal with, it was most before them was the original Motion of difficult to get any evidence at all, except his noble and learned Friend on the from the police, The petitioner had given Woolsack. The petitioner had stated abis evidence in a very proper way; and it most distinct breach of privilege; and was to be hoped the House would protect that having been brought under the atten- him. If the minutes of evidence had not tion of the House, they had postponed been printed, the House must have trusted the consideration of the case to search for to the Committee's Report. But in these precedents. What were the Committee cases the House sent their evidence to to inquire into? Into the question what the other House, and they choose to sell their privileges were? Or into the mode it. No men would give evidence if they of asserting them? He apprehended that could help it, when they found they might both those points were perfectly clear and be subjeci to inconvenience and pecuniary plain, and could not be elucidated by the loss by so doing. labours of any Committee.
Motion agreed to, and Committee noLord Campbell believed, that the House
minated. would hereafter regret that his Amendment had been lost. They must now, be supposed, adopt the Motion of his noble FORGERY OF NAMES IN RAILWAY and learned Friend on the Woolsack; but Deeds.) The Duke of Richmond called he hoped that the Committee would enter the attention of the House to two petitions 10-night upon the consideration of the of James Pym; and which had been placed question, and make their Report to-mor- upon the Table, making a direct charge row, by which course only twenty-four against certain directors of a railway comhours would be lost.
pany, or rather stating, that in their deed The Lord Chancellor said, that so far of contract, there were ten or fifteen cases as he was concerned, no delay should of forgery. So serious an allegation should lake place; but his noble and learned not be made without an inquiry being inFriend seemed to consider that the instituted; and he would suggest that a Sequiry of the Committee was much more lect Committee be appointed to which limited than it really was. They had to these petitions should be referred. He was inquire into the whole cause of proceeding aware that some difficulty might be expefrom beginning to end ; and when their rienced in obtaining a full attendance of Lordships considered the result of the Peers, on account of so many being encourse which had been pursued in the gaged upon Railway Committees; but it other House of Parliament, he would would not be satisfactory to the public to suggest a little caution, in order that they allow such allegations to pass unnoticed.
The Marquess of Clanricarde wished Lord Monteagle said, such a case as an to know if the noble Duke proposed to allegation of the forgery of fifteen names refer the Bill, to which petitions related, should not be suffered to pass without to the proposed Select Committee. strict inquiry. Only last night a state
The Duke of Richmond: Only the pe- ment had been made regarding a Member tition ; but I think the Bill ought not to of the other House, who had been renpass until the Report of the Committee dered liable to the amount of 30,0001. by has been received.
the insertion of his name in an Act of The Marquess of Clanricarde objected Parliament without his authority. No to the progress of the Bill being delayed. inconvenience could result from postpon
The Duke of Richmond said, he knew ing the measure; and although he should nothing of the case but this—the peti- regret this particular Bill being lost, he tioners stated that they had never signed would rather that should happen than or authorized any one to sign their names these allegations pass without inquiry. for them, whereas people had sworn that Committee nominated. they had seen the parties sign. The Marquess of Clanricarde appre
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE BILL.) Lord hended that it was a case of perjury, Brougham moved, that the House do repunishable in the ordinary way before a solve itself into a Committee on the Docu
a court of law; but he did not see why the mentary Evidence Bill. The noble and Bill should be delayed on account of this learned Lord explained the state of the allegation, because, supposing all these existing law respecting documentary evinames erased, there would still remain a dence, and the defects which the Bill was sufficiency of surplus to carry on the work. intended to remedy. Railway Bills had Lord Brougham: The House might in of the law; and whilst providing for the
introduced sundry anomalies in this branch pænam of such proceedings delay the Bill. admission of documentary evidence
, omitAfter a short conversation,
ted to attach penalties in cases of fraud. The Duke of Richmond said, he did not The Great Western Railway Company had desire to delay the Bill long, but only obtained the insertion of a clause stating until an inquiry had taken place. He thatmust inform the noble Marquess that the amount of 100,0001. had been struck off by law evidence against them, it was very ex
“Whereas, the books of the Company were the subscription for noncompliance with pedient that they should be also evidence for the Standing Orders, and then would re- ihem.” main the question, whether enough sur. It therefore enacted, that, with respect to plus still remained to carry on the works. all questions of rate, the entries in the It would be absurd to pass the Bill through books of the Company should be evidence all its stages until that fact was ascer- for the Company of all matters contained tained.
in them. The Bill corrected all these The Earl of Devon said, he was tempt- anomalies, and made it forgery to couned to move the adoption of an interme- terfeit certificates of documents. There diate course, as an Amendment on the was likewise a clause to enable the Journals Motion of his noble Friend. Why should of either House of Parliament to be given not the petitions be referred specially to in evidence. The noble Lord concluded the Commiitee of the Bill, with power to by moving that the Bill be commitinquire into the allegations contained in ied, in order that when the Report should those petitions; and also whether, if the be brought up, he might propose his fact were proved, it ought to delay the Amendments, and have the Bill reprinted, further progress of the Bill.
and asterwards recommitted. The Duke of Richmond said, his noble The Lord Chancellor highly approved Friend could not take that course; for by of the suggestion of his noble and learned the Standing Orders of the House, the Friend with respect to constituting the Committee could not entertain the in-printed Journals of their Lordships House quiries proposed, and his noble Friend legal evidence in a court of justice, and must, therefore, give a day's notice of agreed entirely in the proposal to intromoving the suspeosion of the Standing duce a clause to that effeci into the Bill. O der.
Lord Campbell highly approved of the After a few words from the Marquess of Bill. It would simplify the proceediogs Clanricarde and the Earl of Charleville, save expense, and prevent anomalies
House in Committee. Bill reported he had some reason then for believing that without Amendment. Amendments made. the delusion would be but temporary, and
that the people would return to the EstabFree CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.] The lishment; but he had given consent for Marquess of Breadalbane presented pe- the erection of a temporary building, on titions from the General Assembly of the the condition that it should be removable Free Church of Scotland, the Inhabi. at six months' notice, which he thought tants of Wick, and of the Free Church a perfectly reasonable one. He was only congregation at Peebles, complaining of anxious to promote the permanent inthe conduct of certain landowners interest of the country. The question beScotland, who peremptorily refuse to grant tween his tenantry and him, was not one sites for the erection of churches for the of principle but of time, and he trusted use of congregations of the Free Church that in ihe end all differences would be of Scotland; also a petition from the Pres. amicably adjusted. bytery of Newcastle upon Tyne, in con- The Duke of Buccleuch said, he should nexion with the Presbyterian Church in not have troubled their Lordships with any England, praying that “the law of pro- observations, had it not been that his perty may be so far modified as to admit name was mentioned in the petition as of the purchase of sites for churches and one of those who objected to and took chapels for the use of members of the Free means to prevent the building of a Free Church.” The noble Marquess stated, Church; and he also wished to take that great dissatisfaction had been caused notice of the extraordinary zeal and diliby the refusal of landed proprietors to gence with which some people laboured grant sites among the community of the to put forward the seceding party, as if Free Church. That community embraced they were the great body of the Church 800 congregations, with 620 ministers. of Scotland. For his own part, he The amount subscribed for the use of the thought, instead of any complaints Free Church since the disruption, was being made against him, that he, on 776,0001., of which 320,0001. bad been the contrary, had great right to com. applied in the erection of churches. He plain of the treatment that he had rehoped that the prayer of the petitioners, ceived, and of the conduct of many perwhich was confined to obtaining the ac- sons connected with the seceding body, commodation indispensable for the free in the part of the country with which he exercise of their worship, would be acceded was more immediately connected. In to; and that their Lordships' would pro- those districts, every species of agitation nounce by an authoritative declaration that was resorted to, and no pains spared to men who were good citizens and obedient excite the worst passions of the people. to the laws, although dissenting from the The agitators talked of toleration--it Established Church, should not be pre- would be well if they only practised a cluded from that free exercise of their little of that toleration themselves which religion which was guaranteed to the pro- they so loudly demanded from others. They fessors of all forms of Christianity by the had described him as a godless tyrant, great principle of toleration inseparable who would trample down their rights; from the British Constitution. If large pro- and this description of him had been given prietors were to exercise their rights of pro- to one of the congregations during that perty in direct contradiction to that prin- most solemn period of divine service, the ciple, we might say that we had a theory administration of the sacrament, and that of religious liberty, but that our practice language was applied to him by the perwould be totally at variance with it. son officiating. Though the worst feeling
The Earl of Cawdor denied, that in the was thus exhibited against him, he hoped conduct which he had observed with re- that he had preserved his own miod free gard to the adherents of the Free Church, from the influence of any angry sentihe had been actuated by the harsh and
As he had so far occupied their oppressive motives attributed to him by the Lordships' attention, he should just add, Rev. Mr. Begg and others, or that he had that having heard it was intended to perwished to exercise an extreme right in form divine service and adıninister the order to obstruct the enjoyment of re- sacrament in one of the parishes with ligious liberty. He had, in the first in which he was connected, literally on the stance, objected to the erection by them roadside, he wrote in order to have arof a permanent place of worship, because 'rangements made for preventing this ; it
did, however, take place within a field at, had left the Established Church, by reno considerable distance. But it was not fusingthein the means of erecting places alone the congregation of one parish which of worship, abused the rights of property, met there; it was a vast concourse of and placed those rights in great jeopardy. people assembled from all the adjacent Though he did not agree in the principles parishes. What he said arthat time was, that upon which the recent secession had taken he saw no reason why the parties, whose place, it was impossible not to admire and case was now under consideration, could respect the motives by which the seceding not do as o ber Dissenters did—why, for members of the Church had been actuated example, th y might not go to the next - they had acted in a most noble and town. Then he had been accused of dis- disinterested manner, and had sacrificed missing servants of his for joining the all prospects of worldly advantage for conFree Church. So far from that being the science' sake. It could not be said that fact, he had not interfered with overseers the Free Church did not inculcate sound of his who had exercised their influence doctrine and pure morality; but he rewith the labourers in his employment to gretted, with the noble Earl opposite the induce them to join the Free Church. intolerance manifested by some of its He had not been actuated by any illwill members. He thought, tbat while not a towards the Free Church of Scotland; few of them would resist persecution and he might state that he had in his themselves, they would not be slow to employment persons who had become persecute others; but he considered that members of that Church, and in whom the conduct of great landed propriehe placed the most entire confidence. A tors, who, after the disruption had taken great number of his tenants in different place, endeavoured to embarrass and parts of the country had also become harass the members of the Free Church, members of the Free Church, but with by preventing them from purchasing tbein he had had no difference. He sites in localiiies where a place of worbelieved that not one quarter of the dis- ship was needed, was greatly to be decontent to which the noble Marquess had precated. He believed there was referred would have been manifested but proprietor in Ireland, who, however strong for the itinerant agitators who had gone his Protestantism might be, and however about the country, and who, instead of he might disapprove of the Popish reinculcating charitable feelings, had excited ligion, would not allow a site for the erecfeelings of hostility against the Established tion of a Roman Catholic Chapel. The Church and the landed proprietors. They law, as it now stood, was certainly in had, in effect, used the language of a rev. favour of those who refused such grants gentleman who had taken a prominent The petition presented by his noble part in that movement, that“ the Estab- Friend prayed that the law might be lishment was a great moral nuisance, altered, and he considered that if these which ought to be swept from the face of refusals were persisted in, some alteration the earth.”
would be necessary.
In the case of the Lord Campbell said, he did not wish to railroads their Lordships had interfered throw any blame upon the noble Duke with the rights of private property in a (Buccleuch), or the noble Earl (Cawdor), manner which called forth the nightly vitubut he was anxious to state generally his peration of his noble and learned Friend sentiments upon a subject so interesting (Lord Brougham), who had left the House. to his native country. He considered the Having done this, he did not see why, noble Earl (Cawdor) was fully justified in if it became indispensably necessary, it doing everything in his power to prevent would be any violation of the just rights the disruption of the Church of Scotland; of property, if, under certain restrictions, for in his (Lord Campbell's) opinion the they should provide, that on reasonable disruption of that Church would be a tre- compensation being given to a proprietor, mendous national calamity. He thought sites should be granted for the erection of that the Church of Scotland, for which he places of worship in connexion with the entertained the highest respect and reve- Free Church. This might be done by rence, had, for many generations con- appeal to the Court of Session, or some ferred the greatest benefits upon that other tribunal. He boped, however, that country. But he must say, that any great such a step would not be necessary, and proprietor in a county or parish, who that if a reconciliation between the Es. would endeavour to persecute those who tablished Church and the Free Church