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Privilege—Committal Of A Member By The Court Of Queen's Bench For Contempt

Volume 218: debated on Tuesday 31 March 1874

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Report Of The Select Committee

Power to the Select Committee on Privilege to report Observations, with Minutes of Evidence.

Report brought up, and read, as follows:—

"The Select Committee on Privilege, to whom was referred the Letter of the Lord Chief Justice of England to Mr. Speaker, informing the House of the Commitment of Mr. Whalley, a Member of this House, for Contempt of Court, 'for the purpose of considering and reporting whether any of the matters referred to therein demand the further attention of the House, have considered the matters to them referred, and have agreed to the following Report:—
  • "1. Your Committee have had before them two Orders made by the Court of Queen's Bench in The Queen versus Castro, with the affidavits and exhibits upon which such Orders were founded, the first dated the 21st of January 1871, and the second dated the 23rd of January in the same year.
  • "2. By the first of these Orders, Mr. George Hammond Whalley, then and now one of the Members for Peterborough, was ordered to attend the Court of Queen's Bench to answer for his Contempt in writing a certain Letter and Statement, which was printed and published in the newspaper called "The Daily News" of the 21st of January 1874.
  • "3. By the second of these Orders Mr. George Hammond Whalley was adjudged to be guilty of Contempt in having written such Letter and Statement, and it was thereupon ordered that he should for such Contempt pay a fine to the Queen of £250, and be imprisoned in Her Majesty's gaol at Holloway until such fine be paid. These Orders, and the affidavits and exhibits upon which they were founded, are printed in the Appendix.
  • "4. Your Committee, having had such Orders and affidavits proved before them, proceeded to afford to Mr. George Hammond Whalley an opportunity of making such observations on the matters referred to them as he might desire to offer.
  • "5. Mr. George Hammond Whalley has put in a written Statement, parts of which appear to your Committee to he irrelevant to the specific object of the present inquiry; but your Committee consider that it would not be expedient to omit any portion of what he deemed essential to lay before them.
  • "6. Under all the circumstances of the case, your Committee are of opinion that the matters referred to them do not demand the further attention of the House.
  • "7. And your Committee also desire to express their opinion that the Lord Chief Justice fulfilled his duty in informing the House of the fact that a Member of the Moose of Commons had been imprisoned by the Court of Queen's Bench.'"
  • Report, with Minutes of Evidence, to lie upon the Table, and to be printed. [No. 77.]