§ MR. HENNESSY
said, he rose to call attention once more to the burning of Queen's College, Cork, and to complain of the conduct of the Government in calling on the citizens of Cork to pay £7,000, when there was every reason to believe that the fire was the malicious act of an official within the College. He asked for the production of certain papers in the hands of the Government calculated to throw light on the subject.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, that this was not the first time that the hon. and learned Gentleman had brought this matter forward. When he did so on a previous occasion, the House, on a division, decided that the papers, being in the nature of depositions relative to a criminal charge, ought not to be laid on the table. The city of Cork had no reason to complain, because the demand for the £7,000 had not been persisted in, and the Government had proposed a Vote of £4,500 for repairing the college. The Town Council of 540 Cork had therefore reason to congratulate itself on the generosity of the Government and the House. There was no advantage to be gained by re-opening the question already decided by the House.
§ COLONEL FRENCH
said, the city of Cork, at any rate, had nothing to complain of. It was clear that the Government did not consider this burning as a malicious injury, inasmuch as they had obtained a Vote from Parliament for the repairs of the building.
§ LORD FERMOY
said, he did not think that the question had been satisfactorily arranged. The Government had certainly, in the first instance, given credence to the notion that the fire was occasioned by some of the Ultramontane party, with which he had nothing in common, at a time when they had in their possession letters from a Professor of the college and other parties, clearly proving that the fire was purely accidental. He thought that the citizens of Cork, having gone to considerable expense to relieve themselves from the odium of such a charge, had good grounds for feeling dissatisfied with the Government in this matter. He was of opinion that the question should be thoroughly investigated.