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did not include in his reference to the com-s had adduced precedents which might have mittee, the Criminal and Pauper Lunatics induced the house to go immediately and of Scotland and Ireland ?
without delay into the proceeding. There Mr. W. Wynne replied, that in those were certainly many precedents for excountries there were provisions which ren- pulsion, but not one of them rested on dered the necessity of any interposition of the grounds on which the present case the legislature less pressing than in England stood. In the whole code of British juris. and Wales.-A committee was theu ap- prudence there was no rule more strong pointed.
thau that any man who had been acquitted (CHARGES AGAINST MR. CAWTHORNE.) or condemned could not again be tried for General Porter said, he rose in pursuance the saine offence. This was a principle of of the notice he had given with reference our established law, routed as he hoped to one of the members of that house. He in every man's breast, and against which felt himself unfortunate in his inability to be trusted that no one would dare to set perform the task he had undertaken, in his face. There was another circumstance the manner its importance demanded. which ought to weigh heavily in the conHe assured the house, that he had not the sideration of the house. He stood there slightest enmity or rancour towards the legally qualified; he had been returned, person who was the object of his motion, and returned without opposition, by a very and he bad therefore neither claimed nor large body of electors. If he had been solicited the support of any individual. tbought ineligible, the moment of election He bad felt himself called upon by an im- had been the time for stating that ineligi. perious sense of his duty as a member of bility; but no such attempt had been the house, but above all, by his sincere made, and he had been unanimously rewish to maintain the honour and character turned for one of the largest county towns of the profession to which he had been at- in the kingdom. He would not enter into tached for upwards of 30 years. Actuated any discussion of the merits of the sentence as he was by these sentiments, it could not by the court martial, although that was a be surprising that he should look up with subject from which he would never sbriok respect to the decisions of those courts when it came regularly before the house. martial whose proceedings he was persuaded with regard to precedents of expulsion, were uniformly dictated by justice and im- there were several in the cases of Mr. partiality. Thinking as he did, he felt Wilkes, Mr. Walpole, and others; but be that a person who had been tried by 16 of contended, that none of these cases was the most respectable characters among the applicable to his own. The hon. general officers of the army, and found guilty of 11 bad disclaimed any feeling of personal hos• charges out of 14, and who had been con-tility towards him. It was certainly very victed of a crime only short of felony, was kind of him to bring the subject forward. not a fit person to sit among the represen-This he would declare, that when he stood tatives of the country. He wished the in a similar situation before, he felt much house to be in full possession of the case, inore depressed, and much more oppressed and then to put it to the dignity and ho-than he then did. But had he at the nour of the house, whether a person who time to which he alluded known what he had been so stigmatized was worthy of a seat then knew, he would not have troubled in parliament ? He should conclude with that house for a moment on the subject. his motion; at the same time he trusted, He meant, bad he known that the first that if a debate arose, be might have the law officer in the house, the Attorney Geprivilege of expressing himself more at neral of that day, had declared that the large. He moved, “That the Charges sentence of a court martial was too flimsy made against John Fenton Cawthorne, esq. a ground on which to found the proceeda member of this bouse, and the sentence ings which had terminated in his expulsion pronounced against him in consequence from the house. by the Court Martial appointed to try him, Lord Howick would not have said any thing together with the proceedings of the house upon this motion, had it not been for some thereon in session 1795-6, be now read." expressions which fell from the bon. memThe motion was seconded by Mr. Spencer ber who had spoken last. He apprehended Stanhope.
that that hon, member bad mistaken the naMr. Cawthorne wished the bon. general ture of the case entirely, when he talked had stated more fully his sentiments, and about another trial for the same offence,
about his election and his qualification was so clear, that he believed he need say This was nota question of election or qua- nothing further in support of it. He was lification. The objection did not stand on not aware that any objection whatever these grounds. The view which his hon. could be urged to this method. The io. friend had taken of the case was this: terest of all parties concerned would be whether it was consistent with the dignity, best consulted by proceeding upon sound the purity, and the honour of that house, and constitutional principles, by adhering that a person labouring under the stigma to the general rules of justice, and keep attached to his character, by the sentenceing the individual case as much as pose of a court martial, and the proceedings on sible out of view, except in so far as it dewhich it was founded, should be consider-pended on these rules and principles. The ed as a fit member to sit among them ? only objection to this which he could pose The question was, whether the house possibly anticipate was the delay which is sessed the power of re-expulsion, and it would occasion, and the consequent painit did, whether it was fit and proper to ex. ful suspense in which the individual might ercise it in this particular instance ? It was thus be involved. But the delay would a proceeding undoubtedly of the utmost not be very long, and the individual ought importance; for whether it was considered to recollect that be now stood in a situs as affecting the character of the individual, ation in which he was sorry that, after -and the character and purity of that house, what had passed, he had placed himself. or as involving those great constitutional After this motion had passed, he would principles that ought to govern the right move for a coinmittee to search into the of election, there was no question more precedents, and, after the report of that deserving of the serious attention and care committee should be on the table, then ful examination of every person who bad bis hon. friend would have an opportunity to decide upon its merits. It had afforded to propose whatever he thought best ber bim, and must have afforded to others, coming the dignity of the house, the hor great satisfaction to observe, that in bring-nour of the profession, and the interests of ing forward this business no mixture of the public. passion or personal rancour had appeared. Mr. Spencer Stanhope, having seconded His hon. friend, from the manner and the motion, would say merely that he had temper with which be proposed his motion, intended to submit to the house, after the had evinced, wbat indeed he was well disposal of the present motion, a motion aware of before, that he acted from prin- similar to that which the noble lord bad ciple and not from passion--that he had just declared it was his intention to pror truly stated that he was not an oppressor, pose. For the question ought assuredly but that be was actuated only by a con- to come to a solid and impartial decision, scientious regard to the best interests of and were it even only pro formd, it would bis profession, of the house, and of the be the duty of the house, on such a solemn public. In this temper he hoped the in- occasion, to appoint a committee to search vestigation would be pursued, and therefore the Journals for precedents. he was very much disposed to accede to a Mr. W. Herbert observed, that it was suggestion that seemed to be thrown out by not his intention to oppose the motion ; the person who spoke last, wben he said, that but he felt himself called upon to express he rested his case on precedents. In order his opinion. With regard to the question, to ascertain what precedents were analo- it did not appear to him to be one which gous to the present case, or in any degree could rest on precederit. The only ques bore upon it, it was his intention, if the tion was, whether the house bad a primotion had passed, to have moved for the mary right of expulsion, and whether it appointment of a committee to search bad a right of re-expulsion? Then the into precedents. Cases precisely similar only remaining question would be with reto the present, perhaps, they could find gard to the propriety of enforcing that none, but they might find many cases right, and whether there were grounds for analogous to it, and some of these might exercising that discretionary power? The probably be in the recollection of several proof of this right could not rest on precemembers of that house. At all events, it dent. No person could deny the exis. would be of advantage to proceed with our tence of the primary right of expulsion. judgments instructed by a careful exami. If that was allowed, the other right of renation of the journals of the house. This expulsion must follow as of course. It was a question, consequently, not of pre-was to be made, let it be one for the poo cedent, but of principle. He conceived nishment of a sinner, and not to conceal that it was a right which was vested in bis iniquity. What the house should dethe house, for the maintenance of its own cide, would become a precedent, for it was rights, principles, honour and dignity. to the glory of the nation, and the honour He was aware that some persons would of the military character, that there was no argue, that the exercise of such a right by case directly in point. If the object of the the house trenched upon the right of the noble lord was delay, he could assure him electors. That he denied : he conceived it would answer no purpose, for the quesit was a right inherent in the house for its tion should certainly be decided. He own protection. There could be no right trusted it was not to be supposed that the in the electors in contradiction to the right noble lord meant to throw the broad shield of the house ; without such a right in the of power over the member who had so conhouse, accumulated disgrace might attach ducted bimself. If such a construction to its character. The same individual could be put upon the motion, he hoped might be sent back to parliament, whom the noble lord would withdraw it. it had stigmatized in the face of Europe Lord Folkestone thought that the two and the world. As it seemed to be the last gentlemen who had addressed the opinion of the house that this question house had mistaken the question, which should be referred to precedeut, he had no was merely, whether the proceedings of objection that it should be put in posses- 1796 should be read. He hoped it would sion of every possible information, and not be assumed by the hon. gent. opposite, should therefore not resist the motion, that his arguments had been assented to,
General Gascoyne asked, why the house because they had not been answered. The was to be kept in suspence upon such a bon. gent. seemed averse to going into a question ? It appeared to him that the pro- committee, and had stated that there was no position of the noble lord was the sugges- precedent that applied to the present case, tion of the member against whom the mo. He could assure him that he was so contion was directed ; and yet the noble lord vinced there was not a precedent, that he had said, that be should not have risen had intended to have made a similar motion to it not been for what had fallen from that that which the noble lord had suggested; member. What were the precedents to and the noble lord would allow him to which the noble lord thought fit to refer state, that there being no precedent was a the house? If he was inclined to trespass strong argument to bring forward in an. upon the time of the house, he would take swer to a proposition for expelling a memevery one of the precedents, and would ber, and therefore he should support the noshew that they had no more to do with this ble lord's proposition. There was an exquestion than they had to do with a ques pression used by the same hon. gent., and tion of bankruptcy. If the bouse an- also by the noble lord, with reference to the xiously wished to see precedents, he had no disagreeable feelings the discussion might objection ; but upon the principle of their excite. They had observed, that if such conveying any information to the house, disagreeable feelings were experienced, the he was against the motion. There was person must thank himself. He admitted, one precedent before the house upon which that upon a question of this kind, personal the house could not be misiaken. There teelings must be left entirely out of the was the precedent, that Jobu Fenton Caw. case; but he thought it extremely unfair thorne was, for infamous and ungentle-to prejudice the house, by stating that a manlike conduct in the year 1796, expelled member had put himself in a situation in the house. Till that could be erased from which disagreeable feelings were likely to the Journals of the house, there could not be excited. Perhaps, it might turn out be a precedent more decisive. He was that the person alluded to had as much riglit sorry that the decision might hurt the feel- to sit in this house as any other member. ings of the member to whom it was refer. In such case, it would be peculiarly unjust red, but be bad himself rendered the dis- to reproach him with having placed himcussion necessary. Supposing there was self in a situation in which he was liable to not to be found any prcedent which ap- have his feelings wounded. It was bis lied to the present case, was the house to wish, and be hoped it was the wish of every make one merely to cover that which was one, to have this question decided as spees disgraceful and infamous ? If a precedent dily as possible,
The Attorney-General said, that his only time, he was required to adopt such a priiimotive for assenting to the motion which ciple, he was to be denied the means of the bon. general had made, was that of informing bimself, and no precedent whatwhich notice had been given by the noble ever was offered. He trusted such a prolord. If the noble lord had not announced position would be discountenanced. He his: intention of moving the house that had thought it necessary to trouble the search should be made in the Jouroals for house with his opinion tbus early, on ac, that information which the Journals affor. count of the manner in which the question ded, he was quite free to declare that he had been treated. The noble lord bad should have given the motion of the hou. been cautioned not to throw the shield of general his immediate negative, undismay- power over the member to whom the dised by any of those menaces he had often cussion referred. The noble lord had not heard utiered in that house. He should thrown the shield of power over the member, have thought it his duty to the public, his He bad thrown the shield of the constitution duty to the law of the land, his duty to over the member, as he hoped he would over the constitution of the country, bis duty every member, if he should stand in need of to the rights of the electors of the coun- it. Tbere had been allusions made to certain try, who formed the constituting body of fanciful notions of honour and dishonour, the house of commons, to bave given his which could never be made the ground of immediate and decided negative to the mo- any rational proceedings in any court of zion. He should have done so, because he justice. It was impossible that the house was at a loss to conceive that the minutes could found proceedings on any inaxims proposed to be read before the house, or principles of such a nature. He becould be made the ground of any proceed- lieved that the electors of this country, as ings by a parliament recently elected, and long as they possessed those feelings which because he thought that the house would an attachment to their own rights and the have been justitied in putting a negative constitution of the country was calculated on a proposition for the adoption of any excite, would be convinced, that those proceedings upon such a ground. He who opposed the motion of the hon. geshould have done so, because he should neral were the true friends of their rights, have thought it his duty to have guarded and of the constitution, against trusting hiniself with any power Mr. Bragge Bathurst said, that it was that was not subject to law, and to those necessary for him, who had been a memrules, in the exercise of wbich he had ber of the parliament in which the member some system to act upon. He should have referred to bad been expelled, to vindin rejected those rules of proceeding, by cate it from something that had fallen from which he was called upon to consult the a learned gent. (the attorney-general) who feelings he might more or less kindly en- was not a member of that parliament. He tertain towards a particular individual. begged to be understood as not wishing to He should not have been less disposed to enter into the question, either of the pro. have done so when it was proposed that he priety of searching for precedents, or of was to act upon the sentence of such a reading the proceedings of the house. As court as had been described ; not that be to the question of searching for precedents, had any thing to say to the prejudice of no material objection had been made. such a court, or its utility for the purposes He could have wished that in this early for which it was instituted for military of- stage of the discussion, the consideration of fences ;--for offences truly military, he be- personal feelings had not been introduced. lieved a Court Martial was the most pro- it could have no other effect than that of per tribunal. But to ask him at once, with preventing the cool and dispassionate deout bis knowing whether there were any precision of the question. However, it was cedents to make the sentence of a court only his intention to notice what had falmartial, in which there was no trial by len from the learned gent. Did be mean jury, no challenge of jurors, in fact, none to say that the proceedings of the court of the privileges that constituted the trial martial were not now, or were not then, a by jury-to ask him to inflict a penalty proper ground for the house to exercise a that never attached to any sentence of a privilege not disputed, of expelling one of court of common law, was to ask him to its members? No sach opinion, he was do that to which it was impossible be could persuaded, bad been maintained in the assent; and, particularly when, at the same house when the question was determined
by the last parliament. It appeared to used the word flimsy, as applied to the him that the question ought to be disen- sentence of a court martial. tangled of all legal niceties. It was inon. General Gascoyne stated, in explanation strous to say, that if the house was satisfied that he did not say the broad shield of gothere was such a body of crime proved to vernment had been thrown over the delinhave existed, whether the crime was of a quent. He only cautioned the noble lord military nature or in a moral view, that it to avoid doing any thing which might be had not power to act. But the learned so misconstrued ; nor did he say that the gent. should have stated what be meanthouse should take the proceedings of a by a crime purely military; a crime court martial for their guide; although might be military, and yet, in the course he differed from the learned gent, on his of the enquiry before a court martial, notions of honour, he was as willing to there might arise, as in this instance, abide by the honour of a court martial, a case of moral turpitude. The ground as the decision of a court of justice. on which he apprehended parliament de- Lord William Russell observed, that alcided was, that there was such a corpus though this question had been already disdelicti, as fully justified them in the exercussed and decided, still there was no cise of their power. It was impossible to reason why the house should not, under carry the question before a court where it the present circumstances, exercise its could have been better decided. When it discretion, and come to an opinion. came on again before the present parlia- Mr. R. Ward did not rise to detain the ment, be trusted that no objection would house by entering into the merits of this quesbe made on the ground of the defect of tion, his object merely was, to receive further evidence, or any statute of limitation explanations from the learned gent. (the atwhich seemed to be hinted at, as if this par- torney-general) as to his application of fanciliament could not look at the same evidence ful notions of bonour, &c. to courts martial. that had been given during a previous par. The Attorney-General declared, that he liament. If it was fit to re-exercise a right did not apply the words honour or dishonow, which had been exercised before, nour to a court martial; he had already there could be no difficulty, If the exer-stated, that the aceeptation of proceeding cise of the right was not bad then, it could not on any such fanciful phrase would not be be bad now. The only question was, whe- received in a court of justice. ther the house could re-expel a member Mr. Adam was exceedingly sorry to feel who had been expelled by a former parlia- himself obliged to trouble the house on ment
this subject, after the ample discussion it The Attorney-General, in explanation, had undergone in this preliminary stage; declared that he never meant to question but the warmth of some members having the grounds of the proceeding in the last superseded the perfect good humoor with parliament, a subject on which he was not which the noble lord had introduced his sufficiently informed. If the house thought motion, made him rise, in the hope of esthat the evidence (independent of the sen- tablishing the question on its original tence) was conclusive, they had been right ground; and certainly he must confess, in doing as they had done. All that he that the mode proposed by the noble lord heid said was, that any sentence, and more appeared to him the best which the nature especially any brilitary sentence, must be and importance of the case demanded. It an insufficient ground for such a proceeding. was a proceeding founded on the princi
Captain Herbert asked, if the learned ples of the constitution, to which every gent. thought the sentence of a court mar-member was willing to submit, at the same cial too Aimsy a ground of proceeding, time that it maintained the dignity of the what ground would be expect: Tbe learn- house, and the regularity of its proceeded gent. was in error when he said that no ings. He was a little surprised to hear a right existed in the person tried by a court distinction taken between principle and martial to challenge his judges. It was precedent ; for his part, he did not think both the right and the practice. He was there was any, as applied to this case, for the surprised how the learned gent. could thiok one would be found to contain the other ; as he had expressed himself, without deem- or, to be more explicit, he thought that ing the act of the last parliament a flagrant precedent contained principle. He was injustice.
old enough to remember the proceedings The Attorney-General denied having in 176+, on the expulsion of Wilkes for