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cause great dissatisfaction in Scotland. jnion that every man ought to contribute It appeared to him that the parochial boards to the poor according to what he had would be desirous 10 give every satisfac- that was, according to his means and subtion to the ratepayers, and to adopt that stance in the general sense of the term ; mode of assessment most to the benefit of and he congratulated Greenock that there their constituents and the objects they had the people seemed to meet without squab. in view. With regard to the means and bling to provide decently for the poor. substance system, it had been followed in But did it follow that the same sensible Greenock for a number of years; the one- course would be followed in every parish half being levied on lands and houses, and in Scotland ? There did appear to be a the other half on the means and substance strange obstinacy on the part of the Go. of the inhabitants other than lands and vernient-he did not use the word in houses, being very nearly the second plan an offensive sense--in adhering to the described in the Bill. The assessment in term “means and substance” without esGreenock was considered in Scotland to plaining what was to be understood by the be a heavy one, being 6,0001. in a town phrase, and how they were to be got at. with 38,000 inhabitants. If that mode of A meeting had been held in the county of assessment were given up, the effect would File, where resolutions were passed genebe to relieve the wealthy inhabitants at the rally favourable to the Bill, but concluding expense of the middle and poorer classes. I with a strong protest against inserting the It was said that it was hard to assess funded phrase “means and substance” without property; but, for his part, he could not defining its meaning. He objected also see the hardship. The mode of assessing to the operation of the measure in cases on the means and substance was this. A where resident proprietors were to be taxed pretty numerous committee was appointed, upon their whole means and substance, and among them there were always wherever situated, for half the support of some who knew something of the circum- the poor in the parish. Take his own case. stances of each individual in the town. He was the only resident proprietor in the They accordingly fixed a sum at which parish where he resided. The effect of the they estimated each man's income, and Bill would be that he would be taxed for seni him an intimation of the sum ou which one-half the support of the whole poor of they proposed to assess him. If he felt the parish, though his property did not aggrieved, he complained to the board, amount to one-lenth of the parish. Such and they appointed a day on which they a mode of assessment was a premium on would hear the reasons of appeal; and in absenteeism. He did not say he should almost every case an amicable settlement leave the parish; but if he did so, he of the matter was come 10. They did not might say, without any egotistical feeling, assess on incomes below 401.; and on in- that his absence would be an injury to the comes between 401. and 1001. they assessed parish. on a reduced scale. On all incomes above Viscount Duncan said this discussion 1001. the rate of assessment was equal. showed that it was easier to find fault with The best proof that this system worked a measure than to bring forward a good well was, not that it had existed in one; but he thought the House ought to Greenock for twenty-eight years, but that leave the clause as proposed by Her all his communications from Greenock Majesty's Government. The local boards were in favour of preserving this mode of would decide which of the three modes of assessment.
assessment they would adopt; and then Mr. Escott observed, that if a parish there was a safeguard against the operation adopted that first method, funded property of local prejudices by the controlling would not be included in “means and power lodged in the board of supervision. substance,” and would not contribute. Mr. Redington complained that under
Mr. Darby would support this clause, this clause an Irishman coming to Scotchiefly on the ground of the statement and would have bis whole property rated, made by the hon. Member for Greenock ; while, by the 72nd Clause, they refused as he thought they ought not to alter a relief to Irish paupers. The learned Lord mode of rating which was found to have Advocate stated that he did not wish to already worked well.
alter the law of Scoiland with regard to Mr. Edward Ellice was clearly of opi- the rating; he wished that he would be
equally unwilling to alter the law of Scot
HOUSE OF LORDS, land in regard to the mode of acquiring a settlement.
Monday, July 14, 1845. Mr. Poulelt Scrope said, that his Act MINUTES. Sat First.- The Lord Wynford, after the Death was declaratory rather than legislative, and
of his Father.
BILLS Public.-14. Colleges (Ireland); Waste Lands (Austhat it had improved the system of rating
tralia) ; Recognizances for Costs in Bills. throughout the country.
9*. Administration of Justice (Court of Chancery) Acts Sir J. Graham said, that it was the
Amendment; Constables, Public Works, (Ireland).
Reported.--Dog Stealing. uniform mode of rating proposed in the ga. and passed: Administration of Criminal Justice (Lord Act in question, which had proved a Denman). failure.
Private.-14. Shuldham's Divorce ; Lady's Island Lake
and Tacumshin Lake Embankment; Monmouth and Mr. Edward Ellice said, that as the
Hereford Railway ; South Wales Railway; South Eastwords " means and substance" were not ern Railway (Tunbridge to Tunbridge Wells). sufficiently defined, he should divide
29. Newport and Pontypool Railway; Aberdare Railway;
London and South Western Metropolitan Extension Railagainst the clause.
way. The Commitlee divided on the Question, 3a. and passed :-Bristol and Exeter Railway Branches ;
Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway; Reversionary Inthat the clause stand part of the Bill :
terest Society ; Middlesbro' and Redcar Railway; WaAyes 92; Noes 32 : Majority 60.
terford and Limerick Railway; Dublin and Drogheda Clause agreed to.
Railway; Newry and Enniskillen Railway; North Union
and Ribble Navigation Branch Railway ; Saint Helen's On Clause 53 being put,
Canal and Railway. Viscount Duncan proposed
PETITIONS PRESENTED. From Guardians of Newcastle
Union, for Alteration of Poor Law Act (Ireland) in reAmendment, to add the words on paro. spect to the Repayment of Money advanced for Building chial boards” to this clause. He did not Workhouses.-By Marquess of Clapricarde, from Guardpropose this in any feeling of hostility to
ians of South Dublin Union, for Amendment of Poor
Law Act (Ireland).–From Guardians of Galway Union, the Bill, but with the view of allaying for Inquiry into Operation of Poor Law Act (Ireland), public feeling in Scotland against the with a view to the Removal of certain evils complained board of supervision.
He felt this so
of. From Guardians of Clogher Union, in favour of the
Law of Settlement Act. -- From Stockholders, and others, strongly that he should take the sense of of the District of Yass, for Alteration of Law relating the Committee on the subject.
to Territorial Revenue and Disposal of Land (New The Lord Advocate thought that
South Wales).–From Clergy of Parish of Bramber, and
several other places, against the Colleges (Ireland) Bill. would not promote any public object 10 adopt the Amendment of the noble Lord. He thought it would destroy the inde
LANDLORD AND Tenant (IRLLAND)
COMMISSION pendent action and the efficiency of the The Earl of Devon said, he had been in
PROPOSED MEASURES.] inspector to have him dependent on the parochial board ; but on any reasonable House of Parliament, and he found it
communication with Members of the other ground of complaint they could always would be impossible to carry into a law apply to the board of supervision, who would dismiss him. He, therefore, must
during the present Session of Parliament
measures which he intended to introduce resist the Amendment. The Committee divided on the Ques- Commission, over which he had the ho
founded on the Landlord and Tenant tion, that these words be there inserted : -Ayes 1l ; Noes 81: Majority 70.
nour of presiding. One of those meaClause agreed to.
sures proposed a short form of lease to be
executed between the parties, at a reClauses 51 to 55 agreed to.
duced expense in every respect, the GoHouse resumed. Committee to sit vernment being favourably disposed to again.
wards reducing the stamp duty. That House adjourned at a quarter past one. was a short Bill; but there was another
Bill upon the subject of ejectment and HOUSE OF LORDS,
distress, and, in fact, embodying nearly
all the recommendations of the CommisSaturday, July 12, 1845.
sion. He hoped to be able to introduce MINUTES.] Bills. Public.—24. Administration of Jus | both at an early period in the next Sestice (Court of Chancery) Acts Amendment.
sion o! Parliament. Private.-9a. Saint Matthew's (Bethnal Green) Rectory. Reported.-Birmingham Blue Coat Charity School Es. Lord Brougham approved of his noble tate ; Saint Helen's Canal and Railway; Aberdare Rail
and learned Friend's intention to postpone way; Newport and Pontypool Railway; London and South Western Metropolitan Extension Railway. the measures to which he had referred.
Ile should have been hud, however, to have seen the first, which was described Committee ? - Yes, my Lord, I can prove it; as a short Bill, introduced.
and the statement was perfectly false, The Marquess of Clanricarde hoped
The LORD CHANCELLOR : You may with.
draw from the bar, but you must not leave the the measures referred to would be brought
House, in upon the earliest opportunity next Session, and allowed to rest for a short
Peter Taite Harbin was then called to period, so that there might be time to as- the bar, and examined by the Lord Chancertain the opinion of the Irish people
CELLOR. with reference to those measures. He
What are you ?-An attorney and solicitor. had long entertained a conviction, which Were you the attorney employed by the every year had become stronger, that in last person to bring this action ?-I was emlegislating for Ireland, Parliament ought ployed by the last witness to bring an action. to consult the feelings, habits, and per- Against Thomas Baker?-Yes, my Lord. haps even the prejudices, of the Irish
For defamatory language ?--For defamatory
language, my Lord. people. The Earl of Wicklow was sorry that the spoken in giving evidence before a Commit
Are you not aware that those words were Bills were not to be brought in this Ses- tee of this House ?- The Report states that sion, as he thought they should neces- the words were spoken in a Committee besarily accompany the Landlord and Ten-fore this House. ant Bill. He should now expect the
And that was the foundation of the action? noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies
-It was, my Lord. to announce his intention of postponing the subject? You are aware that a complaint has
Do you wish to say anything further on that latter measure till next Sesson.
been made of your conduct in that respect; do
you wish to say anything to this House on the Breach or PriviLEGE.] Order of the subject of that complaint ?-I would observe, Day for the attendance of Peter Taite my Lord, that the instructions were laid beHarbin and John Harlow read.
fore an able counsel, who advised on the subJohn Harlow called to the bar, and exa
ject, before proceedings were taken, and the
action has been brought in consequence of that mined by the Lord CHANCELLOR.
opinion. Where do you reside, Mr. Harlow ?- At 9,
Are you going on with that action ?-It is Leicester-square, my Lord.
at present pending. Have you brought an action lately against I have not had instructions to discontinue
Do you mean to proceed with that action ? Thomas Baker ?— Yes, my Lord.
it. Perhaps you will allow me to state, my For what have you brought that action ; for false and malicious language uttered be: Lord, that the information which Mr. Baker fore the House of Lords in giving evidence gave before your Lordships' Committee was before a Committee of this House? - Yes, my tion has been quashed, and in the Report Mr.
perfectly unfounded, inasmuch as the convicLord.
Baker stated that he should be able to prove Have you anything further which you
what he stated to be true. 10 say on that subject ?— The only thing I wish to say is that I am very much injured in my immaterial to the present question. You may
The LORD CHANCELLOR : That is wholly affairs by the statement which was made, and withdraw; but you must not leave the House. which is entirely untrue.
You are aware that a complaint has been The witness then withdrew, made to this House of your conduct in bring- The Lord Chancellor : I now move, ing that action ?-Yes, my Lord.
my Lords, that John Harlow has been guilty And the complaint is, that it is a breach of of a Breach of the Privileges of this the privileges of this House ?-Yes, my Lord.
Lord Brougham :* My Lords, in rising vilege at the time the action was commenced ; to address you on what I consider to be and I hope your Lordships will give me the beyond all comparison the most momeans of seeking redress, since I have been so
mentous question that has been mooted materially injured by that statement.
since I have had the honour of a seat in By Lord CAMPBELL; Then you still mean to go on with the action ?-1 am not at this this House, I cannot avoid casting my moment prepared to say that I will.
eye back with some satisfaction over the You are not prepared to say you will not?
four years during which I had the honour, - No, my Lord.
by the gracious appointment of my late By the Earl of RADNOR: Are you prepared Sovereign, to preside over the proceedings to say that you have suffered in your business in consequence of that statement before the * From a Pamphlet published by Ridgway.
of your Lordships; and I account it in every I treated with contempt the arguments view, both general as regards you, and asserting their usurped right, I exposed, personal 10 mysell
, a matter of great gra- I assailed, I laughed to scorn ihe assumptulation to me, and possibly, I might say, tion of power without right on which that a source of grateful feeling toward your privilege was made to rest. If there be Lordships, that during those four years, any ground for proceeding here to commit though there were many occasions on this attorney for doing his duty by his which the privileges of this House might client, in bringing this action for his be asserted, and, although upon vo occa
client, there was then the same power, sion did I shrink from the discharge of
which the Commons' House of Parliament
my duty when I felt it imperative on me to might have used. They were supposed support to the utmost those just privileges, to have been generally well aware of the yei that no occasion ever presented itself extent of their privileges; they were ever on which I was called upon, as Speaker abundantly prone to assert them, from of this House, to make such a Motion as the time downward of Holt, who said that that which it has now fallen to the hard they “kept a bawk in the shape of their lot of my noble and learned Friend to Serjeant, whom they were obliged to gramake-that Motion for interfering with tify by flying him forth to take his prey the strong hand of mere force, or, 10 miti, from time to time:" with all their dispogate the expression, under cover of our sition in every age of their existence, from privileges interfering by the strong arm of the earliest to the latest day, down to the power with the ordinary administration of year 1810 (the writ of error justice. I rejoice that I, presiding in the brought till 1817); notwithstanding that highest court of law-ihat I, presiding the question was brought before a rival amongst the judges of the last resort in all House of Parliament, and that rival House suits, as well criminal as civil was never was thus made party to the dispute, nay called upon to put from the Woolsack a the judge of its privileges in the last requestion which should interfere with the sort; notwithstanding all these feelings, ordinary course of the law, and should by and precedents, and principles, the other the interposition of this House, and with House of Parliament suffered that questhe arm of power, stay the ordinary ad- tion to be argued, and they allowed me ministration of justice. My Lords, the to take my seat every day as a Member of subject of Parliainentary privilege was not their body, after my assault upon their new to me when I entered these walls. 1 privileges, without a whisper being urged bad the opportunity during a long life against my professional privilege when it passed in Parliament, and upon more than was used in defence of my client. And one occasion, of assisting in the discussions this brings me to the body of the arguwhich took place in the House below, on ment in the case before us; and I will what was called, and justly called, the begin by admitting, whoever may deny great case of Parliamentary privilege, them, I am not here to deny that the real raised in the discussion affecting Sir just privileges of both Houses of ParliaFrancis Burdett. My Lords, I argued that ment-for whatever belongs to one House case at your Lordships' bar, and I will belongs also to the other--are past all only observe, in passing, that there was doubt. It is the privilege of Parliamentanother felicity which I now find I en- I won't say that it is to be gathered from the joyed, and of which I was not at the mo- assertions or the assumptions of either ment sufficiently aware; for though 1 House--but the privilege of Parliament, argued that writ of error at your bar, whoever may deny it I will not, is this though I contended against the privileges and it must ever be guarded most sacredly asserted by the other House, though, pro by Parliament, as necessary for its very virili parie med, I attacked them, I was existence, and much more so to enable pot called upon as this attorney is now either House to perform its duty—its pricalled upon, to suffer for venturing as an vilege is to remove all obstruction to the attorney to do his duty to his client. I discharge of that duty—to liberate any was permited by that lower House, albeit Member of either House respectively by a Member of it, as your Lordships do not the vote of that House, if he shall be conseem disposed to suffer this attorney, 10 strained in his person; to inquire, and perform my duty to my client, and for for that purpose to call all persons before balf the day I impeached their privilege ; l them, treating such persons when called,
as witnesses would be treated in all courts of assent of the Crown. And, lastly, we are justice ; to examine all who shall be called condemning as well as trying parties before them, and if they will not answer, to brought before ourselves, for injury done commit them—if they prevaricate, whether to ourselves, against a law made by ourthey are examined on oath here, or not selves; and, as if that did not fill the upon oath, as in the other House, to measure of this lawless power, as I call it, commit them for that prevarication-Ior, at all events, this irresponsible power, will add, not for the purpose of punishing we take upon ourselves the execution of
met word perjury, because there is a punishment the sentence we ourselves pronounce upon awarded to that offence by the law, to be our own judgment of condemnation ; folinflicted after trial and conviction; more- lowing our own prosecution for injury over, to break open repositories for the done to ourselves, against our own laws, purpose of obtaining evidence, to break made at our own good pleasure, by our open outer doors, to enforce the attend- own mere authority, for our own behoof, ance of witnesses, and to compel wit. ! but which laws are never promulgated till nesses to attend, and when attending, the case has arisen, and till we make a rule to answer. All these things are clear to meet it. This is the final measure of privileges, together with the absolute free the cup of power, which you call privilege, dom of speech to the Members of both as you fill it to the brim, nay, even to overHouses which, by the by, is a sta- flowing; and it is against this that I most tuary freedom, though by a declaratory, humbly, but most confidently take leave not an enacting law-the freedom from to protest; it is against this that I enter arrest absolutely, and from all personal my solemn dissent, not merely on behalf constraint. All these are the privileges of the Crown, not on behalf only of the which I admit to be sacred, imprescrip- other branches of the Legislature, but on tible, inalienable, and absolutely neces- behalf of the people of England, and on sary; and it is on that absolute necessity behalf of their most sacred liberties, do I for the very existence of Parliament that enter my protest; and suffer me to add, I ground my clear and unhesitating ad- without offence, that I enter this protest mission that such privileges do by law on behalf of another body—I don't mean exist. But when I am asked to go a step merely the lawyers and the judges, and the further, and concede to each House the law and the administration of justice in power claimed by both-claimed inferen- Westminster Hall, but on behalf of the tially by the other House, and insinuated highest court of law in this land-on beby this, though clearly asserted by neither half of the ultimate court of error of that -a claim by each to have the power of court at whose hands is sought remedy determining, from time to time, what are and redress from all other courts, if any ils privileges; and from time to time, as wrong has been done or error committed occasion may arise, to declare what con- -on your behalf, my Lords, and for your stitutes a breach of those privileges; and sake, who are the hereditary judges of that 10 inflict punishment on the parties who supreme tribunal, 1 protest against this shall be declared to have violated them: anomalous, and inconsistent, and selfish, -here I must needs pause; for this is and repugnant power, which is sought to takiuginto our own hands a judicial power; be assumed and exercised by this House nay, more, it it is making ourselves law. -- the highest tribunal of justice in this givers, declaring our own laws, each House country--which ought, above all, to set an for itself, and without the intervention of example of not violating the law, and of the other House, or of the Crown. In the not erring against the eternal principles of second place, it is making ourselves pro- universal justice. My Lords, you are now secutors for a breach of the law which we called
for the first time in the hishave thus made for ourselves, and when tory of Parliament since I have been a we ourselves are the only parties to the Member, and I believe almost the first act of legislation. Thirdly, it is making time in any period of your history, to inourselves judges without jury, to try the terfere directly, I say, directly—and with offenders declared such by ourselves; so the mere force of your own privileges, to that we, ourselves, proceed by ourselves, drag a plaintiff before you, and to stop an for offences, declared by ourselves 10 be action lawfully commenced in one of the committed against the law made by our- courts of Westminster Hall, for an injury selves for ourselves, and without the alleged to be sustained by our fellow-sub