On the motion of Sir R. Peel,
the Order of the Day for the further consideration of the Report of the Committee on the forged Exchequer-bills Bill was read.
§ The bill recommitted.
§ Clauses 1, 2, 3, and 4 agreed to with verbal amendments.
§ On clause 5 being read,
§ Sir T. Wilde
said, he wished to submit to the committee certain alterations which he proposed to make in the present clause and also in subsequent clauses, and he thought it would nave time if he now stated 1222 the reasons which induced him to propose them. The present clause, as well as. every other clause in the bill, should, he thought, be read with a reference to the speeches which the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government and the Chancellor of the Exchequer made when the bill was brought in, because from them the object of the Government could be best understood. He owned, that he was somewhat disappointed and surprised to ascertain that the alterations he intended to propose were supposed to be open to objection; for he certainly had not the slightest wish to embarrass the proceedings of the Government, but merely a desire to carry into effect what he understood to be the object of the Government in proposing the bill. He was not now aware that any part of the amendments he proposed could have the effect in any degree of frustrating that object. The present clause related to the duties imposed on the commissioners, and it was, of course, of great importance that no question should hereafter arise as to who, was the intention of the Legislature with respect to these duties. What it was intended the commissioners should do ought to be clearly defined; for on the duties which the commissioners would be called on to execute depended important interests. In them might, perhaps, be involved the ruin of many very respectable persons. There were among' the number to be affected by the bill persons whose interests at stake amounted to 30,000l., 40,000l., and 50,000l.; and though they might be in such a condition of life as to prevent so fatal a consequence as ruin from being the result of the loss of that property, yet it was obvious that the bill was of the greatest importance to them. In proposing alterations in the present clause his object was to carry out the intentions of the Government, and to do nothing more. He had attended to the speeches made on the introduction of the bill, and as there was then little discussion or expression of opinion in regard to the justice or policy of that House paying the alleged forged public securities, and as a right hon. Gentleman opposite deprecated any discussion on that point until the facts were brought before the House by the report of the commissioners, he did not presume at that time to offer any remarks to the House, though it occurred to him that some of the statement! made on the occasion gave 1223 a colour to the case which did not properly belong to it. But now it was extremely important to take care that the bill should present the case to the House in a proper shape, to enable it, when the report of the commissioners came before it, to determine on the question of the propriety of paying the bill-holders. It was distinctly stated, that it was not intended to delegate to the commissioners the power of pronouncing any opinion or determination with respect to their claims. The commissioners were to ascertain the facts of the case, and, those facts being ascertained, the matter was then to come back to the House; and it was for the House to consider the course which it would be proper and judicious to pursue. Among other observations made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, it was said, that the House should be cautious in indicating any opinion on the propriety of paying these forged bills,, because such a proceeding might involve a principle of vast importance to the public; and might, according to the observations of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, have the effect of preventing in the receipt and circulation of public securities the caution and care on which the public safety depended. As he apprehended, the whole foundation on which these bill-holders could expect the public to relieve them from loss, if their bills turned out to be forged, was this: that by reason of the misconduct of a certain public officer, effected through the want of a sufficient control and check in his department, they had been subject to a great fraud, committed against them, and consequent loss. This was consistent with that general principle, the justice of which no one would dispute, that if the agents of an individual were able, in consequence of the want of proper caution on the part of the principal, to commit frauds on the public, the principal should be the sufferer. and not the victims of the fraud. From having been counsel to Mr. Beaumont Smith, he was aware of the importance of having this principle brought into discussion on the presentation of the report of the commissioners, but he did not believe it would arise. He had looked at the bill to see what the commissioners were required to do, and what to report. The clause the committee were at present considering, enacted,—That the said commissioners shall, by all-such means as to them may appear best, with 1224 a view to the discovery of the truth, inquire into the case of every owner or holder of any document purporting to be an Exchequer-bill which shall be referred to them by the Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury, and shall from time to time report to her Majesty what they shall find concerning the manner of the issue, circulation, deposit, or possession of every such document, and especially in what manner the owners or holders of such documents received the same; whether in exchange for other bills, and if so, in what manner such exchange was made, or whether by purchase in open market or otherwise, and if so at what rate of purchase; or whether by way of deposit as securities for loans of money, and if so at what rate of interest and for what time such loans were made, and whether such loans were renewed, and if so, how often and for what time; and also, whether the owners or holders of such documents received the same in the usual course of business, and whether they employed any and what means of inquiry into the genuineness of such documents; and all other matters and things whereby, in the opinion of the said commissioners, the truth may be better known touching the premises.These were the several inquiries to be made by the commissioners, and it might be inferred from the circumstance of their report being ordered to be laid before the House that the House would be put in possession of all the information received by the commissioners. But the words in the clause he had just read directing the commissioners to report "what they shall find" would prevent this result; for though they might appear technical, they were perfectly well understood in all legal proceedings, and would be well understood by two of the commissioners, who were men of legal knowledge and habits, to mean that they were to report, not the evidence, but their conclusions to be drawn from the evidence. Following up the object, as he conceived, of the Government, in introducing the bill, he should propose the addition of the words directing them to report" the evidence which shall be taken by them," as well as "what they shall find." Of course there could be no objection to the commissioners reporting their opinion; but, at the same time, it was essential that the House should know the premises from which that opinion was drawn. Recollecting what was said, on the introduction of the bill, respecting the necessity for a stringent inquiry, and the propriety of laying the most accurate information before the House, he could readily conceive that the words introduced, requiring the commissioners to report 1225 " what they shall find," were intended to meet all that was proposed. But they would have no such effect; and he deemed it of great importance to the justice of this case that the evidence should be laid before the House. He might be told, perhaps, that there was no doubt but that the commissioners would lay it before the House; but still it would be more satisfactory to have the clause drawn in an explicit manner, directing them to report the evidence. No party with honest views could desire any concealment. He had given notice of an alteration he intended to propose in the preamble, and which would operate on the present clause. As it stood it suggested the expediency of the commissioners inquiring into the means whereby these documents came into the hands of parties. He proposed to introduce words declaratory of the expediency of an inquiry also into the means whereby these documents were made and issued. The insertion of the word "issued" was necessary to make the preamble correspond with the subsequent enactment. In order that the case might be properly brought before the House, the House must know whether this fraud had been committed, notwithstanding the observance of due care and caution, and committed in such a manner, and under such circumstances, that no prudent foresight for the future could protect the public against a similar injury; or whether it had been the result of such an imperfect system, that very little care and caution would suffice to protect the public in future. But certainly, unless the House were made aware of all the facts of the case, it would not be able to form an accurate judgment as to whether the fraud had arisen from circumstances necessarily incidental to the existence of such securities, or merely from an imperfect system capable of cure. He believed that the present fraud had been committed, not from any negligence on the part of the officers now occupying the department, but from the pursuit of a system which had been thought sufficient by several successive officers to protect against fraud. If it should turn out that that which the public had a right to look to as authentic evidence of the genuineness of those bills—namely, the official seal—if it should turn out that that had been so carelessly attended to that any person could obtain access to it, then Would he say that want of due care and 1226 caution had been the sole cause of the commission of the fraud. Therefore did he wish to suggest that the commissioners appointed by the bill before the House should report under what circumstances those Exchequer-bills had been made and issued. He was aware that a prior report had been made, but he had reason to think that it did not contain all the evidence which had been given. He did not mean to say, that there had been any intentional suppression of important evidence, but that evidence might have been withheld which was considered irrelevant. He, however, had reason to believe, that evidence had been given which was highly important, and quite relevant to this part of the subject, which did not appear in the report to which he alluded. His desire was, that the House should be in possession of the whole facts of the case, in order that it might exercise a sound discretion. It was necessary to know under what circumstances the bills in question were made, in order that they might see whether the fraud had been the result of an imperfect system, before they proceeded to the second stage of the question— namely, whether the bill-holders had done all that they ought to have done on receiving those bills. The first alteration, then, which he should suggest would be an investigation into the circumstances under which the bills were made, his object being, if it should turn out that the bill-holders were true and bonâfide bill-holders, who had received those bills honestly and with due caution, to prevent its being said to them hereafter, "We know you are honest men, we see you are unfortunate, and we pity you; but it is of great importance to the public that those securities should be maintained and such misfortunes, being inseparable from them, must occasionally happen." Another alteration he proposed in this clause was, that the bills which the bill-holders held should be stated in a distinct schedule. He had reason to believe, in the first place, that Rapallo had still 100,000l. worth of bills of the same character in his possession; and that being the case, it seemed to him expedient that the House should not say what course it would take, lest he (Rapallo) might, by foreseeing what that course was to be, induce persons to take those bills. The House must therefore, take care, while it put itself in a position of doing justice to 1227 certain bill-holders, whose names were perfectly familiar as the holders of the bills, that persons should not hereafter come forward and prefer other claims upon the bills now in Rapallo's possession. He therefore proposed that the bills should be described in a separate schedule. There would be no difficulty within a week of obtaining the name of every bill-holder. None of those bills were under 1,000l.; they were not scattered through the country, and he had no doubt that they would all be found in London. In order to protect the public against a future claim they might require official notice to be given by the present holders of their claiming payment of those bills. He, therefore, proposed that the present holders of the bills, with their names, and a description of the bills in their possession, or a description of the bills without their names, should be set forth in the schedule. By the 8th clause a power was given to any of her Majesty's judges to award a writ for bringing up any person in the criminal custody to be examined, if the judge should so think fit, and here he proposed to add, after the words, "at his discretion," the following—Upon the certificate of such commissioners, or any two of them, that the evidence of any such person is necessary to the effective prosecution of the inquiries, or any of them, directed by this act.He next proposed to add a clause which he understood was the subject of some attention. That clause was,And be it enacted, that it shall and may be lawful for the several and respective persons claiming to be bonâ fide holders of the several documents purporting to be Exchequer-bills, which are mentioned and described in the same schedule here underwritten, or any of them, to attend and be heard by themselves, their attornies and council, before the said commissioners, and to produce such evidence before the said commissioners in relation to the matters referred to them as such person or persons may be advised, in such manner, and at such time or times as the said commissioners shall order, appoint, and direct.Of course those commissioners must have the power of controlling and directing the proceedings for the purpose of due order and convenience. It Would be observed that the nature of the inquiry suggested in the 5th clause extended to the manner of possession, to the circum Stances under which the bills were received 1228 whether in exchange for other bills, &c. Now, many of the persons holding these bills were entirely unused to legal proceedings, or to the manner of submitting evidence and of putting questions, and were unapprised altogether of that species of evidence which it might be necessary to produce, in order to found a given conclusion. There was nothing more reasonable than that they should have professional assistance, that they should be heard by counsel, and that they should have the power of producing and examining witnesses, and of cross-examining any witnesses that might be called against them. Now, the 5th clause provided that the commissioners should not merely inquire, but report what they shall find concerning the manner of the issue," &c, or in other words, give their own inferences and conclusions from the evidence. If the commissioners were simply to take the evidence and report upon it, then justice would not require more than that counsel and attorney should have the power of examining the witnesses. But, if any power of judgment be delegated to the commissioners, then must it be apparent —unless all such proceedings in courts of justice were superfluous—that the several parties interested, whose commercial existence, perhaps, depended on the issue, should be allowed to have professional assistance. It might be said, that such a course would take up much time; but was time to be put in competition with the satisfactory elucidation of the truth in a matter of so much importance? Besides, to none would a saving of time be more useful than to those very parties to many of whom he believed delay was almost as bad as absolute ruin. They it was who had the greatest interest in haste and expedition, and he knew of no reason which her Majesty's Government could have for haste that must not operate in a tenfold degree as regarded the parties interested in the transaction. If the reports of the commissioners we to be of any avail, he maintained that these parties should be permitted to have counsel. The other clause which he proposed was,And be it enacted, that the said commissioners are hereby required to meet for the prosecution of the inquiries directed by this act at such time and times and at such places as the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury shall appoint and the said commissioners are hereby required to report upon 1229 the several matters and things hereby referred to them, within months from the passing of this act, or within such further and other time as the said Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury shall name and appoint.He had the greatest confidence in Mr. Sergeant Stephen and the Earl of Devon, with whom he wag acquainted, and he had no doubt of the desire and ability of the other gentlemen to discharge the duty of commissioner with every efficiency, as he was sure the Government would not appoint any one not deserving of confidence, but he wished nevertheless that a spur should be given in the way of expediting the proceedings. In order that there might be no embarrassment thrown in the way of those proceedings he did not object to giving the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury the power of enlargement as they might think fit. To the publication of the evidence he could see no possible objection, and in withholding it from the public no object could be obtained beyond that of screening some individual or individuals, which he was sure the Government did not want to do. If disclosures were required by justice, they should be made without reference to their effect upon certain individuals. He could not understand who the persons could be of such importance as to impede a fair inquiry into the case, such an inquiry as would enable the House to do proper justice to the parties. If they turned out to be bonâfide holders of those bills he was sure the House could have little hesitation in adopting that course which justice pointed out; and therefore was it that he felt it his duty in point of justice to submit these amendments to the House, which he preferred doing in an aggregate form to taking them one by one.
§ The Solicitor- General
said, he was not disposed to differ from many of the amendments suggested by his hon. and learned Friend. The real difference would be as to the mode of carrying those amendments into effect. The object of the commission, as he understood it, was not, as suggested by his hon. and learned Friend, for the purpose of obtaining information as to the mode in which the parties became the holders of those Exchequer-bills, but for the purpose of obtaining a history of those bills, and of tracing that history from the period at which they were issued until they got into the hands of the present holders. The present 1230 holders of them were enforcing no legal right; they merely came to the Government asking for compensation for forged Exchequer-bills, and the Government wished to ascertain, and clearly to ascertain, the circumstances under which they had become possessed of those bills. He quite agreed with his hon. and learned Friend, that that House and the public should be fully informed of every circumstance connected with those bills. It was never intended by her Majesty's Government that the evidence taken before the commissioners should not be reported and laid before the House. The intention of her Majesty's Government was, that the commissioners should report fully to the House, or, in the first instance, to the Treasury, the report to be subsequently laid before the House; but he could not quite agree with his hon. and learned Friend in the propriety of compelling the commissioners to report the whole of the evidence, and of obliging the Government to lay the evidence, so reported, before the House. He could conceive particular instances in which it might not be judicious or proper to lay the evidence before the House; and he could not help suggesting that if it were understood that the whole of the evidence was to be reported to the House, a full inquiry might be in some degree prevented. He thought it would be better to leave the matter to the discretion of the commissioners, as in all ordinary cases of commissions; but he must repeat that there never was the slightest wish on the part of the Government that the question should not be fully investigated, and the evidence laid before the House. That being the case, he should hope it would be unnecessary to introduce a clause compelling the commissioners to hear the counsel and evidence of every individual who chose to make any complaint against the Government. It would be exceedingly and obviously inconvenient to leave it discretionary with every holder of these bills to say, "I am myself the best judge of what I require. By act of Parliament you are obliged to hear me. You must hear my counsel, my statement, my witnesses, and any one I choose to bring forward, for the Legislature has so enacted." He could not speak from experience, but he believed there was no case of a commission of inquiry in which the commissioners were compelled to hear whatever witnesses the parties interested. 1231 might choose to bring forward. The commissioners would conduct the inquiry according to their discretion—a course which he deemed far preferable to that of rendering it imperative on them to hear counsel and receive evidence in every case, as proposed by his hon. and learned Friend. His hon. and learned Friend said, that the present bill-holders were not interested in delay. Certainly, the great mass of bonâ fide holders were not; but would his hon. and learned Friend say, that another description of holders might not be interested in thwarting this inquiry, and endeavouring to withhold instead of elicit the truth? His hon. and learned Friend's argument, too, totally failed as regarded the necessity of parties being heard by counsel, as the commissioners had not to decide any matter connected with the question. They had only to inquire, and that inquiry was to be followed by any act which the House might think fit to adopt. They might direct further inquiry, but if the evidence itself were reported to the House, as his hon. and learned Friend said it ought to be, then, he asked, could there be any necessity for allowing every bill-holder, as well he who was interested in thwarting the proceedings as he who was interested in getting at the truth and accelerating the proceedings, to compel the commissioners to hear him and his counsel as long as they pleased? As to the other amendments, when his hon. and learned Friend said it might be important to ascertain the mode in which these bills had been made and issued, it was, no doubt, important to know the means under which they got into circulation; but if his hon. and learned Friend meant that this commission should proceed on the same inquiry as that commission which had just reported to the House, then he could not help thinking that they were imposing upon this commission that which it was not the intention of the Government to do when it was appointed, and which did not appear to him to bear immediately on the subject; not that there could be any wish on the part of the Government, but that the fullest investigation should be made into the mode in which these forgeries took place, and the bills were issued, and if his hon. and learned Friend confined the inquiries of the commission, so far as they were relevant to the matter in question, there would be no 1232 objection to them. With respect to the amendment which his hon. and learned Friend proposed for scheduling all bills, and not to leave it to the discretion of the Government, his hon. and learned Friend said there would be no difficulty, in the course of a week or two, in ascertaining a description of all bills from all persons now holders of them. That might be so; and, if so, there would be no objection to introduce those bills of which they could get a description into a schedule to the act. But, at the same time, he thought it was not right to confine the inquiries of this act to bills so scheduled, because there might be other bills, and they might, in point of fact, be working a great injustice by such restriction. Except that there would be no other objection to the clause being altered in that respect, it might be more convenient to discuss these amendments when they came to those parts of the bill where his hon. and learned Friend proposed to insert them; because the variation of a phrase might possibly obviate the objections that were now made to some of them; but he would add, that as to this particular amendment to have the bills scheduled, there would be no objection to do so if the Government were allowed to refer such other bills as they might think proper.
§ Sir R. Inglis
said, the question immediately before the committee had reference to the 3rd line of the 5th clause, in which the hon. and learned Member for Worcester proposed, after the word "any," to insert the words "of the." But although he took occasion to enter pretty largely into the merits of this subject, yet both he and the hon. and learned Gentleman who followed him abstained from expressing any opinion as to the course which the Government would take towards the bonâfide holders of these bills. He would also abstain from expressing any opinion upon that point. As far as he could collect, the amendments of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite were three. The first had reference to reporting to the Crown in the first instance, and through the Crown to this House, the evidence which should be taken by the commission; by the second, the commission was empowered to examine not merely into cases referred by the Treasury, but also, other cases of bills mentioned in the schedule of this act. With regard to that point, the hon. and learned Gentleman had ex- 1233 cluded from the schedule all cases which the Government might think fit to submit to the commission; but on the understanding which was stated by the learned Solicitor-general, he entirely concurred in that amendment. As to the third amendment, viz.,—that parties should be permitted to appear by themselves, their counsel, or attornies, he could not give his consent to it; but he cordially agreed in the prayer which the hon. and learned Member for Worcester addressed to the Treasury, that no time might be lost in coming to the decision of this question. Personally he had no interest whatever in these Exchequer-bills, but he felt that the most cruel treatment which bonâ fide holders of these bills could sustain was delay; and he would say, that if they could not agree to a limited period in which the commission should be required to make its report, at least the Government should exercise the influence they possessed to induce the commission to proceed as summarily as was consistent with justice, so that their report might be laid on the Table of the House in the existing Session; and that something might be done in reference to those who might be bonâ fide holders of these bills—his hon. and learned Friend did not deny that some were, and he believed the majority were—to relieve them from the cruel state of embarrassment in which they were at present placed.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, that with the exception of the suggestion that parties should be heard by themselves, their counsel, or attorneys, they were differing practically about a shadow. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Worcester had admitted, that as to two of the commissioners, he had the highest possible opinion of them; that the Earl of Devon and Mr. Sergeant Stephen he knew to be men of high legal attainments and integrity, and that two men more fitted for the duties of commissioners could not have been found; and he (Sir R. Peel) was sure that hon. Gentlemen on the other side, from what they had known of Mr. Mitford, the third commissioner, in his connection with the Treasury, would admit, that he was as much entitled as the other two commissioners to their favourable opinion. It was considered desirable, when the three commissioners were appointed, that the third should not be a professional man, and at the same time a person not connected with these commercial matters, but 1234 nevertheless one possessing a knowledge of general revenue and finance. Mr. Mitford possessed those qualifications, and it was impossible to name any person in whom greater confidence could be placed than in him. Those three commissioners having been appointed, the general presumption was in their favour, and that they would properly discharge the duties committed to them. With respect to the production of the evidence, he agreed in the general principle, that the report would be unsatisfactory unless accompanied by evidence; but it never was in the contemplation of the Government to withhold the evidence from the House. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, that that evidence might bear hard on individuals not now in office, but who might have been in office, and that on that account it might be withheld. He agreed with the hon. and learned Member, that no part of the evidence should be withheld merely on that account, nor did he see how it could, because this bill enacted that the commissioners should "inquire into the case of every owner or holder of any document purporting to be an Exchequer-bill, which should be referred to them by the commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury, and should from time to time report to her Majesty what they should find concerning the manner of the issue, circulation, deposit, or possession of every such document." If they found there was any negligence in making out these bills, he did not see how the commissioners would be warranted in refusing a full investigation into that subject. He could conceive it to be part of the case of a holder of these bills to show that no vigilance or diligence on his part could have induced him to take caution against the loss he had sustained, and therefore it might be the duty of these commissioners to hear that case upon the part of such holder. He thought, however, it was better not to make it imperative by law to publish every part of the evidence; for he could conceive cases bearing upon the public interest in respect of the forgery of Exchequer-bills, which it was not at all necessary to produce, and which it might be desirable that the commissioners should have the discretionary power to produce or not as they thought proper; but, as a general rule, he thought that the evidence, where it was at all material, whether it bore hard on any individual or not, should 1235 be produced. He quite agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. Inglis), that, it was of the utmost importance to proceed with the inquiry without delay; and, upon that principle, he would ask, with reference to the amendment proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman, whether, considering the length to which some speeches of counsel might extend, if they gave an absolute right to every party to be heard by his counsel or attorney, it might not have the effect of protracting instead of expediting the inquiry. Two of the commissioners were men of great legal attainments, and he trusted that the House would leave it to them to determine as to the best mode to be adopted in this respect, for great inconvenience might arise by giving every person of supposed interest in these matters an indiscriminate right to be heard by his counsel or attorney. The real points at issue were exceedingly narrow. They had on both sides agreed that the inquiry should be full and complete, and that all the evidence in the case of individuals, or in the matter generally, should be laid before the House before they were called upon to decide what course should be taken upon this subject.
Lord J. Russell
quite agreed with the right hon. Gentleman, that the points upon which any difference of opinion existed between the Government and his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Worcester were exceedingly few. With respect to the bills being placed in a schedule, the learned Solicitor-general had admitted that there should be a schedule of that description, but that power should be given to the Treasury to refer any other bills to the commissioners. Upon that point they agreed. With regard to the next point, as to the publication of the evidence, the learned Solicitor-general said it was the intention of the Government that the evidence generally should be published. That, he thought would be satisfactory, if it were left to the Crown— that was, to the Treasury, rather than to the commissioners, to decide as to what part of the evidence should be withheld. It should be the duty of the commissioners to report the whole of the evidence to the Treasury, and it should rest with the Treasury, and not with the commissioners, to judge whether, upon the ground of public expediency or public feeling, any and what part of it should be withheld. 1236 He therefore thought that the declaration of the right hon. Baronet upon the subject, with that understanding, was satisfactory. The only remaining point was as to counsel being heard, if any of the parties required it. They gave a power to the commissioners to report from time to time, and therefore with respect to cases in which no lengthened inquiry was necessary, the reports as to them need not be deferred on account of other cases; but as to other cases, in which the inquiries were more lengthened, he did not think the answer of the right hon. Baronet would be quite satisfactory to those parties. His hon. and learned friend the Member for Worcester said, very truly, that the established mode of ascertaining the truth and justice of any case was by hearing counsel and attorneys at the bar, and that might be necessary now. As to the reason for suppressing the use of counsel on account of the proceedings being thereby protracted to an inconvenient length, they would remember that last year, when they were discussing the propriety of what was to be done as to the delays in the courts of Chancery, not a word was said that it was owing to the length of the speeches of counsel that those proceedings were so delayed, and that therefore those speeches must be abridged, but that further means must be given for hearing those counsel. In the same way, in other courts of law, a party was never deprived of the use of counsel, but further means were given for their being heard. They should adopt, then, in this instance, a remedy of the same kind, and, if necessary, have other commissioners. It was possible, as the learned Solicitor-general said, that there might be some persons who had only a supposed interest in this inquiry, and that it might lead to a protraction of that inquiry for them to be heard by counsel, but that was such a mere possibility that not much weight could be attached to it as an objection, and therefore, rejoicing that they agreed on two of the points proposed by his hon. and learned Friend, he must say that he thought his hon. and learned Friend was right in asking for the other point.
said, it was extremely satisfactory to find that the difference between the Government and his hon. and learned Friend, the late Solicitor-General was reduced to a single point. It would, no doubt, be more 1237 satisfactory that all the evidence should be reported to her Majesty, and then that so much of it as it might be considered inconvenient or impolitic to publish should be withheld. He also thought it extremely desirable to come to an arrangement on the other points; and, notwithstanding the anticipated remark of the noble Lord, he did not agree with his hon. and learned Friend as to the necessity, propriety, or benefit of giving every party an absolute right to be heard by himself, his counsel, or attorney, and "to produce such evidence before the commissioners in relation to the matters referred to them as such person and persons might be advised, in such manner and at such time or times as the said commissioners should order, appoint, and direct." He thought it was impossible to doubt, that as far as any evidence or any comments on that evidence were calculated to throw light on the subject, the commissioners named in the bill would do that justice to the public and themselves which the case called for; and it would be better than suggesting a remedy by-and-by, to leave it entirely in their discretion. It would be better to wait and see whether it would be necessary to give the commissioners any admonition as to the restrained and narrow way in which they exercised their discretion. His hon. and learned Friend had compared these proceedings With what took place in a court of law or equity; and the noble Lord seemed to think there was an end of all argument on the subject from the moment he alluded to the supposed benefit of counsel in any suit; but he was sure, when they considered what was the course of proceeding in every court of law, and in every commission which issued similar to this, or rather not similar to this, for none similar to it had there been before, and then took the trouble to compare them with What might take place under the present inquiry, they must immediately perceive the absolute necessity of leaving this as a matter of discretion with the commissioners, instead of making it imperative upon them. As to actions at law, some question was always raised between the parties, which Was considered the issue between them, to which the evidence Was directed, and the speeches of counsel were or ought to be directed. It was the Same in courts of equity, and, with respect to commissions, such as were ap- 1238 pointed for distributing certain funds among a number of claimants, every person made his claim; each case was a suit; it was competent to hear evidence, and the question then was, whether a person was or was not entitled, and if he were, then to what amount; but he could conceive that there would be no limit to the present inquiry. Every party who went there might have a proposal to make. One might suggest one course of proceeding, another, another. Every party who was connected with one of these bills would have a right, apparently, by the proposed clause, to go before the commissioners, and raise every possible issue that could be raised, and call evidence to any extent, and address the commissioners at any length. He was sure the House would agree with him, that nothing could be more inconvenient than the existence of a legal right to prosecute inquiries of the nature proposed to any length which the parties might think proper. If the amendments now submitted to the House were agreed to, who could talk for a moment of setting any limits whatever to the proceedings of the commissioners? They would be confined by no plea, there would be no issue joined; the parties concerned, their counsel and agents, might wander into any inquiry, however remote, and might produce any evidence, however irrelevant. If ever there were an inquiry which afforded no hope of being brought to a termination, he would take upon himself to say, that the inquiry before these commissioners as proposed to be regulated, or rather set free from wholesome regulation, by his hon. and learned Friend, was of that description. If witnesses were to be produced and counsel heard at the discretion of every one who thought proper to make himself a party to the inquiry, he declared his inability to see where the proceedings of the commissioners were to terminate. For these reasons he could not help endeavouring to impress upon the House as strongly as possible his conviction, that it would be very much better to leave to the commissioners that power with which by the bill it was proposed to invest them; and let them upon their responsibility raise such questions, as they thought it right and expedient to enter upon, and to conduct their investigations in such manner as they might think most conducive to the public interest. If, in the course of the 1239 proposed proceedings justice were refused to any one, the doors of Parliament were open, and he might prefer his claim to that House with every reasonable confidence of obtaining redress. When the necessity arose it would be quite time enough for that House to take upon itself the task of dictating to the commissioners on any matter of detail. He was as favourable as any one could be to allowing all who thought they had any rights to assert to go before the commissioners and endeavour to raise those questions which they conceived they were entitled to bring forward, but he would leave it to the commissioners to decide what subjects they would inquire into, and how far, and in what directions, they would carry their investigations. He would not expose the commissioners to the chance of being compelled to carry out their inquiries into the manner in which the funds had originated, no matter how distant the period of that origin might be, or how difficult so ever might be the acquisition of anything like exact information; and in cases where the commissioners themselves saw no necessity for minute investigation, he could perceive no necessity for binding them to examine every act of carelessness or neglect imputable to certain persons during the last six or seven years. The inquiry, as proposed to be modified by his hon. and learned Friend, was one to which no limits could be set. It was a project of—he would not say of litigation, but a multifarious and unbounded inquiry, injurious to the parties themselves, unprofitable to those who sought to make it beneficial, and not creditable to the wisdom or policy of those by whom it was instituted.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
said, he wished to know whether the commissioners under the present bill were to be remunerated for their trouble, and whether the clerks under them were to be paid, and in what sums. There were those filling places in the Exchequer superior to such clerks, and through whose negligence those frauds had been committed; such men, he thought, ought to be made to pay, not only in purse, but in person.
§ Sir B. Peel
replied, that there could be no question about remunerating the clerks employed under the commissioners; but as to the commissioners themselves, they certainly had not stipulated for any specific remuneration, and he thought it Would be better to postpone the considera- 1240 tion of that subject till they saw the duration, extent, and nature of the duties which those commissioners had to per- form; at the same time he need hardly remind his hon. Friend that it would be too much to expect professional men, whose time and talents formed their capital—it would be too much to expect such men to give up to the public a great quantity of that which was so valuable to them without receiving any return. They were men of high character and attainments; nothing, therefore, could be more obvious than that they ought to be remunerated. As to the principle of fine and imprisonment put forward by the last speaker, he really must protest against that.
§ Clause as amended was agreed to.
§ On clause 6,
§ The Solicitor General,
who spoke in a low tone of voice, was understood to suggest that the commissioners should from time to time report the evidence brought before them to the Treasury.
§ Mr. Wakley
said, that the bill would stand much better otherwise. There was a general opinion out of doors that the Government was in fault; of course he did not mean the present Government, but the last, and there could be no doubt of the great advantage of setting the world right upon that point, supposing them to be in error. The commissioners, it was said, were in the highest degree worthy of the confidence of the country. If that were so—and he did not say it was otherwise—it would be better to trust to the commissioners than to the Treasury. He hoped, therefore,, that the noble Lord would see the propriety of leaving the whole matter in the hands of the commissioners, and allowing them to act upon their responsibility. The public, he had no doubt, were prepared to pay the bonâ fide holders of the Exchequer-bills, but they desired to have a most searching inquiry.
Lord J. Russell
said, that before the suggestion alluded to had been made, he distinctly understood that there was no wish on the part of her Majesty's Government to screen any one; the only reason suggested for withholding any part of the evidence was, that the disclosure of it might prove injurious to the holders of other Exchequer-bills. As there was no question respecting any attempt to screen the conduct of any one, he did think that 1241 the Treasury, possessing the advice and assistance of experienced public officers, had much better receive the reports of the commissioners; and thus the Treasury could be held responsible for the whole of the proceedings, as it was on them that the onus ought to rest. If the Treasury suppressed anything material they might be called on in Parliament, for to Parliament they were responsible. He was favourable to leaving the whole matter to the discretion and responsibility of the Government, and he should therefore support the suggestion of the Solicitor-general.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, that the general rule would be to publish the evidence; to withhold any of it would be the exception, and the Treasury would certainly not withhold any part of the evidence in order to avoid compromising any individual; but there were cases in which it might be just as well to abstain from publishing the evidence—for example, evidence relating to the modes in which Exchequer-bills might be forged. In general, he held that the evidence ought to be produced.
observed, that if the commissioners reported only when they thought proper, and what they thought proper, the House of Commons would not get any information; but, on the other hand, if the reports were made to the Treasury, the case would be materially altered, and for this, amongst other reasons, that the commissioners could not be as good judges as the Treasury of what ought to form the rule and what the exception as regarded the publication of evidence; and no doubt Government would feel bound to see that substantial justice was done; he therefore thought that the mode proposed of reporting to the Treasury ought to be adopted.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses to 14 having been agreed to,
§ Sir T. Wilde
rose for the purpose of moving the amendments of which he had given notice. He said that he had confidence in the commissioners; that he had also confidence in the judges; but he would leave neither the judges nor the commissioners without the aid of counsel. He would not agree to frame the bill in such a way as to deprive them of the advantages which the presence of counsel supplied. The bill must be framed so as to secure justice for the public, and if there were to be no counsel the public 1242 would be without their remedy. It was true that witnesses might be called, but it required something more than ordinary intelligence and common sense to illicit truth from witnesses. To grant the parties concerned an opportunity of producing their witnesses, and at the same time to deny them the aid of counsel, was to give the public the semblance of justice and to refuse them the reality. Should it be said in that House that time was wasted in the hearing of counsel? If it were not wasted, on what ground could the aid of counsel be refused to the parties interested in those Exchequer-bills; and let the House remember that a cause was often decided by the manner in which evidence was placed before the persons who were to pronounce judgment, and not only was it important that evidence should be presented in a favourable manner, but in order to illicit truth it was necessary that questions should be put in the forms best calculated to accomplish that object, — forms with which none were practically acquainted except persons of considerable experience in courts of justice; even the relevancy of questions often became matter of long and earnest discussion. He need hardly remind the House that many of the bill-holders at this moment were on the brink of ruin—their fate would be decided by the commissioners; but then the House proposed to refuse them the ordinary assistance which any man might have on an affair of 4Cs. They were now to suppose that all holders of Exchequer-bills were bonâ fide holders; they said they had embarked their fortune upon the faith of the public credit, and they earnestly desired to have the opportunity afforded them of laying their case before the commissioners to be appointed under the bill. His learned Friend the Solicitor-General, in fact, sought to deny those parties substantial justice. The bills were all to the amount of 1,000l.; the holders of them were all well known. He had not the slightest doubt but the Government had the name of every one down in some list, yet his learned Friend was to suppose, and wished the House to suppose, that some unknown persons were to get possession of the bills, in order to embarrass the commissioners and the Government. But how were these unknown persons to get possession of the bills? Certainly the Government would not afford any facilities to any one for such a purpose, 1243 nor was it likely that the holders of the bills would do so. It was wholly a suppositious case on the part of his learned Friend, and rested upon no sound foundation; yet the House of Commons were asked, upon that suppositious case, to deny to the parties, holders of these bills, that which was only substantial justice. There were two issues to be tried; first, whether the holders of the bills were bonâ fide holders for a valuable consideration, and whether they came into their possession in the regular course of their dealings; and secondly, whether the bills had been issued fraudulently for want of an effective control in the office from which they were sent forth to the public. His learned Friend had said, that if counsel were allowed, they would wander into evidence— wander' was his word —wander into evidence as to the latter issue. Now, in his mind, nothing could be more important than that all the parties, who were already well known, should be allowed to produce Such evidence as they might be advised to do, and that that evidence should be laid before the commissioners in a proper manner, which could only be done by men well acquainted with the manner of fully eliciting the truth. "But what was the answer to this?" said his learned Friend, "the commissioners would do justice." No doubt they would; but what did they know of the case? They might as well gay, ' Trust the judges, they will examine the witnesses, and elicit all the facts." Now, that was well illustrated the other day, when a learned Judge refused to examine from the depositions which were before him; and most properly so, for the moment a judge began to ask questions, except those dictated by the previous evidence, he, in some measure, became a party to the case. His learned Friend said, the parties interested were not to be allowed to call what evidence they pleased to prove their case, because the commissioners would use their discretion in the matter. But what did the commissioners know of the case? He knew it was a very common saying, that where counsel were engaged, they made long speeches to the waste of much time; indeed, he knew that long speeches were very dull and dry, except to those interested in the cause, and he had known many gentlemen, who were celebrated for long speeches while at the bar, when 1244 elevated to the bench, the very first to complain of the waste of time by counsel; he had known many instances of that kind; but what was the length of a speech when put in competition with fair and impartial justice? Was the House prepared to deny these bill-holders the ordinary privileges of law, the privilege of laying their case before the commissioners according to the advice they might receive, upon the supposition that other parties might come in and delay the proceedings? He trusted not, but that the House would grant them their substantial right—the right of being heard by their counsel and witnesses. With respect to the delay which it had been said would necessarily follow the employment of counsel, he would only say, that in very many cases within his own knowledge the employment of counsel had led to the saving of much valuable time. But many of the cases he knew must be disposed of in a few minutes. He alluded to the cases where bills were held by bankers who had taken them in the regular course of their business. He knew also the case of a gentleman of the utmost respectability—a gentleman whose transactions amounted to 16,000,000l. or 18,000,000l. a-year. He was the holder of bills to the amount of 50,000l., and his case could not last long. There might be many other eases equally fair; but the question was, whether they would deny those parties those means which the, law and the constitution gave them —- the means of laying their case before the commissioners in their own way, and the means of eliciting the whole truth. Every one, acquainted with the courts of law was aware, that the impression made upon the minds of the judge and jurors was frequently very different after the address of the counsel upon the evidence to what it was before: the counsel gave his whole attention to the case, and he brought forth remarks upon the evidence which often wholly changed its character and prevented injustice. He did not for a moment entertain a doubt of any one of the gentle men who were to be commissioners, but they would by their office be in the nature of judges, and, like the judges, let them hear counsel for the parties who came before them, before they came to any decision upon the evidence. He thought no answer had been given to the case he had made out, and therefore he would persist in his clause.
1245 It was said, the parties were not there in the exercise of a legal right; granted, that was their misfortune; but they were now demanding common justice, which he trusted they would obtain. He trusted the committee would not be led away from the main question, which was, had the parties received those bills fairly and properly, and had there been any negligence in the department whence they were issued? and for the purpose of proving those issues, counsel ought to be allowed. He, therefore, moved, that the clause, which he had already read to the House, in his former speech, relative to employing counsel, be brought up.
§ The Solicitor General
said, the address of his learned Friend the Member for Worcester had not removed his objection to the clause he proposed to add to the bill. The question he put to the committee was, were they to take the conduct of the commission out of the hands of the commissioners, for the purpose of vesting it in those of any party who might choose to appear, and claim to be interested in any of the bills? Surely his learned Friend did not for a moment suppose, that if any one of the parties made application to the commissioners to have a particular witness or witnesses examined, they would not at once summon the party wanted. The clause was to give parties leave to attend with such evidence as they might be advised; but how were they to get their witnesses there? They had no power to force them to appear, except through the commissioners. If the clause were agreed to, it would take the whole control of the proceedings out of the hands of those conducting the commission, which, in his opinion, would be most improper. The inquiry ought to be conducted like every other parliamentary commission, leaving it to the discretion of the commissioners to examine what witnesses they thought necessary, and to conduct the investigation in the manner they thought the best to elioit truth. The commissioners had not the power to decide anything at all—they were to take and report evidence to her Majesty, and there their functions ended. He thought the clause wholly unnecessary, and would therefore oppose it.
Clause brought up and read a first time. On the question that it be read a second time,
§ Sir R. Inglis
said, the hon. and learned Member for Worcester sought by his 1246 clause to give the claimants a power and privilege not sought for by the Crown. He could not consent to give one party a power which the other had not, and therefore he could not concur in the proposed clause.
Lord J. Russell
said, the Government had the power of appearing by the law advisers of the Crown. It would be wrong were parties to appear by their counsel, did not some person appear on behalf of the public; but he did not understand his learned Friend near him to propose such an absurdity as that one party should have counsel and the other not.
§ Mr. Wakley
The decision of the House would hereafter have to be taken upon the evidence reported by the commissioners—of course that decision must necessarily depend very much upon the manner in which that evidence was taken. In his opinion it would amount to a denial of justice to the parties if they were precluded from giving that evidence in the best manner they could. The House would not do its duty if they did not introduce the clause, which had his entire support.
§ Mr. C. Buller
said, to his mind the question before the House was one entirely of a judicial nature; and why, he would ask, should the House deviate from the ordinary rules which governed similar cases? He trusted that no petty considerations of convenience would induce the House to depart from those ordinary and wise rules. If they did they would commit an act of gross injustice.
§ Sir R. Peel
The question was not whether counsel was to be allowed to make speeches and examine witnesses; it was whether the House would confide to the commissioners the power to elicit truth in the manner they thought best. The commissioners were not partial men, nor were they unknown. Two of them were professional gentlemen of great reputation—one of them had been a Master in Chancery, and surely he was somewhat acquainted with the manner of receiving evidence; the other was Mr. Sergeant Stephen, who, in addition to a long practice at the bar, had formed one of the commissioners appointed to inquire into the laws relating to real property, and surely he also would be enabled to judge of what was the best manner of proceeding in the elucidation of truth. He thought that if the hon. and learned Gen- 1247 tleman succeeded in carrying his clause, that in every case the claimants should have the privilege of employing counsel, then the discretionary power invested in the commissioners would be removed. He thought that it would be better, in any case, to allow the commissioners to decide whether counsel should be employed either by the holders of Exchequer-bills or by the Treasury. Certainly it would be better to pursue this course, than to fetter the Crown by such an obligatory clause as that now proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. Why not trust this matter to the discretion of the Crown and the commissioners? It should be remembered, that the commissioners did not sit as judicial authorities—their object was to investigate, not to pronounce judgment.
§ Sir T. Wilde,
in reply, asked, whether confidence in the ability, learning, and judgment of the commissioners selected by the Government was a fair argument to urge in defence of the course pursued by those who opposed his motion? He did not think that it would be just to the parties having claims upon the Government, if the commissioners were invested with the powers of deciding what was or what was not evidence. What was the case with those who acted as judges in our courts of law? A judge could not refuse to hear legal evidence; and why should the commissioners have the power of refusing? Who were to select the witnesses?—were the commissioners? He thought that the inquiry would be imperfect and unsatisfactory, unless the Treasury was allowed to appear by counsel. Each person having claims should have the power of appearing by counsel and stating his case. The question was not whether commissioners were trustworthy. It was not a question of confidence or no confidence on the part of the gentlemen selected to act as commissioners. Let the Treasury state their case, and let the bill-holders state theirs. Would the House give to the commissioners the power of selecting the cases which should be heard before them? Was it just or proper that the holders of Exchequer-bills should be deprived of the power of examining witnesses? If a committee of this House had been appointed to investigate the matter, would the claimants have been refused to employ counsel? Certainly not. They would have had the power to appear 1248 by legal advisers. It had been urged that the commissioners were not to sit as judges, they were, to pronounce no opinion on the matter. This he considered like a very inconclusive argument. He thought that if the inquiry was conducted in the manner now proposed by Government, it would prove to be illusory, and a mockery of justice.
§ Mr. G. H. Vernon
was anxious to do justice to the parties concerned, and he was still more anxious to do justice to the public. He would not willingly be a party to bring the question before the House with a prejudice against either the holders or the public, and from the strong opinion which had been expressed by hon. Gentlemen opposite that justice could not be done unless counsel attended on behalf of the bill-holders, he felt convinced that if the proposition were not acceded to, the question would come before the House with a prejudice in the public that full justice had not been done towards the holders. The hon. Gentlemen opposite had said that full justice could not be done unless counsel attended to protect the interest of the bill-holders. Under these circumstances, he hoped the Government would give way, and permit the clause to be added to the bill. Although, if he were a holder of Exchequer-bills he should be perfectly satisfied to leave the whole question to the discretion of the commissioners, yet, considering the learned Member for Worcester as the representative of the bill-holders, and having heard what had fallen from that hon. and learned Gentleman, he thought it would be the least inconvenient course to accede to his proposition. The only inconvenience that could arise from doing so would be delay, and for that the holders would be answer able, and by it they alone would be the sufferers. For his own part he thought there would be ample security in trusting to the discretion of the commissioners and therefore he should vote with the right hon. Baronet if the question came to a division, but he had thought it right to say what he had said to guard against a prejudice which he foresaw was likely to arise.
§ Mr. Kemble
wished to be informed by the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, whether the inquiry was to be conducted in an open court, to which the public would be admitted?
§ Mr. Kemble
stated, that he felt much interested in this question, as he had undertaken originally to present to the House a petition of the claimants. He would not press for the parties concerned to have counsel employed. It was his opinion, if the law-officers of the Crown were placed in the court in hostility to the holders of Exchequer-bills, that their cause would be considerably damaged. He also thought that the inquiry should be an open one. It was his intention to vote against the motion of the hon. and learned Member.
§ Mr. F. T. Baring
perfectly concurred in the arguments urged by his hon. and learned Friend in support of his proposition. He thought parties had a right to expect a full and fair investigation into their respective claims. The public also ought to have the power of enforcing the examination of those witnesses which were necessary to the elucidation of the truth. He thought that the interest of all parties would be better effected by having counsel employed to conduct the case of those who had claims upon the Government. In saying this, it was not his wish for a moment to cast any reflections upon the character of the gentlemen who were appointed to act as commissioners. He considered them to be gentlemen of high and deserved reputation. He did not, however, consider that the commissioners alone should be invested with the authority of asking questions and sifting evidence. He thought that no step should be taken by the commissioners before counsel was appointed to defend the interests of the Crown.
§ The Solicitor-General
said, that the hon. Member opposite was mistaken in supposing that there was a clause in the bill investing the commissioners with the power of hearing counsel on the part of the Crown. It was unfair to suppose that the commissioners would hear counsel on the part of the Crown without giving the parties holding Exchequer-bills the same privilege. He thought that the bill acted fairly to all parties concerned. They were placed precisely on the same footing. The bill gave a discretionary power to the commissioners, but at the same time, the claimants and the Treasury had equal advantages extended to them.
§ Mr. Hardy
said, he conceived it most desirable that every holder of Exchequer- 1250 bills should have the power of appearing before the commissioners by counsel. If a person thought it necessary to call in the assistance of counsel or an attorney for the support of his claim, and his application to the commissioners for their sanction were refused, the commissioners would be placed in a very invidious position. In such a case, a claimant might very justly complain that his case had not been properly investigated, in consequence of his not being allowed to have the assistance of counsel. It must be remembered that the commissioners would be the agents of the Government, that they would have to report not only the evidence, but their opinion upon the cases brought before them; and he thought, therefore, that the Government ought, to use a phrase common in courts of justice, to come before the House with clean hands.
§ Mr. Hawes
said, if the commissioners were to decide in what cases they would or would not hear counsel, the result would be, that parties to whom the assistance of counsel was refused would complain that their cases had not been properly investigated, and the House would be called upon to go through such cases again. His opinion was, that this investigation should be conducted according to the ordinary forms of judicial inquiries; that a party should appear to make out a case, that another party should appear to oppose, and that a tribunal should be constituted for the decision of the question.
§ Mr. M. Attwood
conceived that it would be only justice for the Government to pay the amount of those bills which were held honourably, and under circumstances that precluded suspicion. It would, however, be the duty of Parliament to inquire into all the circumstances. Now he (Mr. Attwood) was personally acquainted with many of the holders of these bills, and he could therefore affirm that the holders were men of such character that they courted the fullest investigation; and if they thought the investigation would be more advantageously proceeded with by the assistance of counsel and attorneys, he thought it hard upon them to be refused the course which they conceived would ensure a proper representation of their claims.
§ The House divided on the question that the clause be read a second time. Ayes 64; Noes 77: Majority 13.
|List of the AYES.|
|Arkwright, G.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Attwood, M.||Morris, D.|
|Barclay, D.||Morrison, Gen.|
|Baring, rt. hn. F. T.||Morrison, J.|
|Barnard, E. G.||O'Brien, J.|
|Bernal, R.||O'Brien, W. S.|
|Blewitt, R. J.||Palmer, G.|
|Bodkin, J. J.||Parker, J.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Powell, C.|
|Broadley, H.||Protheroe, E.|
|Brodie, W. B.||Rawdon, Col.|
|Browne, hon. W.||Rennie, G.|
|Buller, E.||Ricardo, J. L.|
|Busfeild, W.||Richards, R.|
|Butler, hon. Col.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Cayley, E. S.||Scholefield, J.|
|Christmas, W.||Smith, B.|
|Crawford, W. S.||Somers, J. P.|
|Dawson, hon. T. V.||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Easthope, Sir J.||Stewart, P. M.|
|Ebrington, Visct.||Strickland, Sir G.|
|Ellice, rt. hon. E.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Evans, W.||Thornely, T.|
|Forster, M.||Tuffnell, H.|
|Gibson, T. M.||Villiers. hon. C.|
|Gill, T.||Wakley, T.|
|Hall, Sir B.||Wason, R.|
|Hardy, J.||White, L.|
|Harris, J. Q.||White, S.|
|Hawes, B.||Wood, B.|
|Howard, hn. C. W.G.|
|Humphery, Mr. Ald.||TELLERS.|
|Martin, J".||Wilde, Sir T.|
|Masterman, J.||Buller C.|
|List of the NOES.|
|A'Court, Capt.||Fuller, A. E.|
|Ackers, J.||Gaskell, J. M.|
|Adare, Visct.||Gordon, hn. Capt.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Allix, J. P.||Greenall, P.|
|Antrobus, E.||Hamilton, W. J.|
|Bailey, J. jun.||Harcourt, G. G.|
|Baring, hon. W. B.||Hardinge, rt.hn.SirH.|
|Baskerville, T. B. M.||Hepburn, Sir T. B.|
|Beresford, Major||Hodgson, F.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Hodgson, R.|
|Bradshaw, J.||Hope, hon. C.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Buck, L. W.||Irving, J.|
|Buckley, E.||Jermyn, Earl|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Johnson, W. G.|
|Campbell, A.||Jones, Capt.|
|Chetwode, Sir J.||Kemble, H.|
|Clerk, Sir G.||Knatchbull, rt. hn Sir|
|Corry, rt. hon. H.||Law, hon. C. E|
|Darby, G.||Lincoln, Earl of|
|D'Israeli, B.||Lopes, Sir R.|
|Douglas, Sir H.||Mackenzie, W. F.|
|Douglas, Sir C. E.||MacGeachy, F. A.|
|Eliot, Lord||Marsham, Visct.|
|Emlyn, Visct.||Morgan, O.|
|Escott, B.||Peel, rt. hn. Sir R,|
|Follett, Sir W. W.||Peel, J.|
|Pigot, Sir R.||Trotter, J.|
|Pollock, Sir F.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Pringle, A.||Verner, Col.|
|Reade, W. M.||Vernon, G. H.|
|Round, J.||Wood, Col.|
|Russell, C.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Scarlett, hon. R. C,||Wyndham, Col. C.|
|Somerset Lord G.||Young, J.|
|Sutton, hon. H. M.||TELLERS.|
|Tennent, J. E.||Fremantle, Sir T.|
|Trench, Sir F. W.||Baring, H.|
§ House resumed. The report to be received.