moved for a return of all prosecutions ordered under the Procession Act in Ireland. He did so with the view of finding whether the construction put on the Act by the noble Viscount opposite, was that which the Law Officers of the Crown put on it. It was said by the noble Viscount it was an essential feature in the Act, that the procession should be on the occasion of an anniversary, and that the law did not attach on such processions as did not take place on anniversary days. He found that the majority of the prosecutions had been instituted for processions on anniversary days; but he found also that there had been some for processions on other occasions than on anniversaries. He made the motion because he thought it was essentially necessary that the law should be known. He wanted to see what the Law Officers of the Crown thought of the offence, and their opinion could be best collected from the indictments they had prepared on the subject. He therefore moved for a Return of Copies of Bills of Indictment preferred under this Act, at the assizes at Tyrone, for an offence on the 12th July, 1833; at the assizes at Tyrone, for an offence on the 19th December, 1833; and at the assizes at Londonderry, for an offence on the 5th February, 1834. The first was at an anniversary procession; the others were not so.
§ Viscount Melbourne
, without saying any thing at all about the Return, or what it would or would not shew, must take the opportunity of declaring that he did not agree with the noble Lord, that in order to bring processions within the Act, they must be on anniversary days. He apprehended that there were general words in the Act which covered all other occasions; and if there were none, it was evident that the Act would be easily evaded, by merely fixing a party procession to take place on the day before or after any particular anniversary.
§ Motion agreed to.