moved the order of the day for bringing Mr. John Gale Jones to the bar. Mr. Jones being brought accordingly,
§ The Speaker
addressed him as follows:—"John Gale Jones; a complaint having been made to this House of the publication of a scandalous and libellous handbill, reflecting on the proceedings of this honourable House, and the conduct of certain of its members; and the printer of the said hand-bill having been called to the bar of this House to answer for the said publication, alledged that you are the author thereof. What have you to say in your behalf?"
answered, I acknowledge, Sir, that I was the author of that paper, and I am extremely sorry the printer has experienced any inconvenience on my account.
§ Mr. Jones complied.
.—"I sincerely lament that I 501 should have incurred the displeasure of this honourable House: and I trust they will not consider that, in what I have done, I was actuated by any sense of disrespect to its privileges, or the persons of any of its members individually, or that I had any other motive in mentioning the names of the two honourable members alluded to, save that they happened to be connected with a subject of public discussion. I have always considered it the privilege of every Englishman to animadvert on public measures, and the conduct of public men; but in looking over the paper in question again, I find that I have erred; I beg to express my contrition: and I throw myself on the mercy of this honourable House; this House of Commons, which, as an important branch of the constitution, has always had my unfeigned respect."
§ The Speaker
then addressed the House, and put the question, "That the said John Gale Jones, in having been the author of the said paper, and having caused the same to be printed, has been guilty of a gross breach of the Privileges of this House." This question was carried nem. con.
then rose and said, that after the vote just passed, he thought it impossible the House should not follow it up by some further resolution, which should mark its own sense of the insult offered to its high authority, by the person now at the bar, and by making a proper example, warn such persons from taking upon them to comment in such a way upon the proceedings of that House, and the conduct of its members. As to himself, he could appeal to the opinions of those who knew him best, whether during the twenty years he had been a member of that House, he had ever evinced a disposition for personal severity. If an hon. baronet, who made some observations on this subject last night, were now in his place, he should say something in answer; but as he was absent, he should refrain. For the present, he should only say, that from the frequency of those comments, insulting to the dignity of that House and the persons of its members, which had of late prevailed, he thought it high time some measures should be adopted effectually to check such proceedings; and, that the House should mark its sense of its own dignity on the present occasion, by inflicting some exemplary punishment on the person at the bar. He therefore moved, That John Gale Jones, for his 502 offence, be committed to his Majesty's gaol of Newgate.
§ The question was then put and carried nem. con.
then adverted to the case of John Dean, the printer, who attended at the bar yesterday, and was now in the custody of the Serjeant at arms, and said, that from the manner in which Dean had conducted himself, the readiness with which he gave up the name of the author of the libel in question, the contrition he had shewn for his offence, and the consideration that he was an honest and industrious man, with a family, and not in affluent circumstances, he should now move that he be discharged without paying fees.
§ The Speaker
said, he understood the prisoner was prepared to comply with the usual forms of the House, by presenting a petition praying for his release.
§ Mr. Yorke presented a Petition from Mr. Dean setting torth, "That the Petitioner has carried on the businesss of a Printer nearly three years, and was employed by Mr. John Gale Jones, of No. 10, Brill Terrace, Somers Town, to print the hand bill which has so justly drawn upon the Petitioner the punishment of the House; and that the manuscript of the said hand bill, now in the possession of the Petitioner, and ready to be produced before the House, is in the hand writing of the said Mr. John Gale Jones; and that the said hand bill was worked off by the Petitioners workmen, without the personal attention of the Petitioner; and that the Petitioner is highly sensible of the offence he has committed, and most humbly prays forgiveness of the House."
§ Ordered, "That the said John Dean be now brought to the bar of this House, in order to his being reprimanded and discharged." He was accordingly brought to the bar, where he received a reprimand from Mr. Speaker, and was ordered to be discharged out of custody without paying any fees. The reprimand was as followeth, viz.
§ "John Dean;—Complaint having been made to this House against you as the printer of a scandalous and libellous paper, reflecting on the proceedings of this House, and the conduct of some of its members, you were ordered to attend, that you might answer the charge; and having thereupon attended, you have acknowledged yourself to be guilty of the offence alledged, declaring indeed at the same time your sincere contrition for your misconduct, 503 and naming the author of the libel.—This House could not but highly resent your offence; and, with a just regard to its own dignity and authority, upon which depend the rights of the whole Commons of this Realm, it declared, by its unanimous resolution, that you were guilty of having grossly violated its privileges; and committed you accordingly to the custody of the Serjeant at Arms.—Nevertheless, your demeanour at the time of confessing your guilt at the bar, the penitence which you then expressed, and which you have again repeated in your Petition this day, accompanied by the means which you have afforded of detecting the principal delinquent, have duly weighed in your favour: In consideration, therefore, of these particular circumstances in your case, this House has consented that you be now no longer detained in custody, and moreover that you be discharged without the payment of any fees, and you are now discharged accordingly.
§ Ordered, nem. con., "That what has now been said by Mr. Speaker, in reprimanding the said John Dean, be entered in the Journals of this House."