HC Deb 27 June 1823 vol 9 cc1318-9
Mr. Brougham

said, it would be in the recollection of the House, that he had last night presented a petition from a Mr. George Rowan, which contained a serious charge against an hon. member of that House. He had stated upon that occasion, that he had no knowledge either of the party who signed the petition, or of the charges which that petition contained. He had, therefore, upon the suggestion of the president of the Board of Control, after hearing the positive denial given to the accusation by the party whom it implicated, consented to withdraw the petition. But he was now bound to stat, that the petitioner having referred him for information to an hon. member of the House, he had made the required reference, and the result of it had been, to make; that charges in question assume a much graver interest than he had originally attached to them. He felt that he should as a public servant, desert his duty to that public, if he did not in consequence proceed further in this matter. The hon. member to whom he had referred for information, had written to him in the following terms:—"I know Mr. G. Rowan; he is a relative of mine. I never heard any thing against him, except the charges on which he was dismissed from his situation; and, whatever was the merit of the charges against him, there can be no doubt that they were prosecuted from the most base and treacherous motives. He is a clever, and at the same time a cautious, man." He (Mr. B.) was not at liberty to mention the name of his informant, and he therefore declined giving it. Indeed, it was not necessary for him to give it, since his informant had said nothing against the hon. member who was charged, but had only done that which he was bound in justice to do—namely, speak to the ability, and more particularly to the caution, of Mr. G. Rowan, He now thought it necessary to state, that he should either take another opportunity of presenting Mr. Rowan's petition, or else ground some future proceeding on it. He hoped that, in a matter of such importance, the House would allow him a day or two to consider of the line of conduct which it might be expedient for him to adopt.