Imatges de pÓgina

BIGAMY_Case of MR. LATHROP Muro was acquainted with all the circumstances RAY.] Sir Samuel Romilly rose to lay of his first marriage, and with the opinion upon the table the Petition from Mr. La- of several civilians that the first marriage throp Murray, of which he had given notice was illegal. The only answer returned yesterday. Of the individual he knew was, that he must be sent with the other nothing, and in general he was averse to felons to Botany Bay, and in consequence the interference of the House with the he was compelled to make the present proceedings of courts of justice ; but in application to the House for relief. some cases of peculiar circumstances, such Sir H. Montgomery said, that he had an interference might be necessary and beard something of this case; and if the peuseful, The individual who this day titioner did not deserve transportation for came before the House, had been recently bigamy, he did for swindling; for he had, convicted of bigamy before the Recorder on a former occasion, been married in of the city of London. Sir S. Romilly Ireland, by a respectable dissenting misaid he had had an opportunity of seeing nister, Mr. Black, to a young girl who the whole of the case and the evidence, had a fortune of 5001.; after he got this and it appeared that the allegations in the money, he deserted the girl, and never petition upon that authority, were well afforded her the smallest support. founded. The fact was, that at the age of Mr. Addington hoped the learned geneighteen, the petitioner, being with his tleman would withdraw the petition, as regiment in Ireland, was married to a the case of the petitioner was at present woman much older than himself, in a under consideration. private room, by a dissenting minister (he

the under Duigenan said, that the marriage not being himself a dissenter), without of a minor in Ireland could not be set banns, licence, or any of the usual forma- aside, according to the laws of that coun. lities. Some years ago he married a try (which he presumed was proved by woman in England by licence, and his Dr. Black upon the petitioner's trial), unsecond wife was fully apprised of the facts less a suit for that purpose was commenced attending his first marriage, which was within twelve months after such marriage properly held to be invalid. For this had been celebrated. But this was not offence he was indicted by a total stranger, stated to have been the case with respect and the only evidence was, that of the to the petitioner. dissenting minister who had officiated at Mr. Lockhart recommended the consi. the first marriage ; and to prove the deration of the petitioner's case. second, the register and the declarations Mr. Bathurst seconded the suggestion of the petitioner. At the trial his counsel of his right hon. relative (Mr. Addington), had taken several objections, which they adding, that should the learned gentleman urged should be reserved for the decision withdraw the petition, he might of course of the Judges, but by some mistake the present it again, if the decision of the points were not reserved, and sentence of executive government should not be agreetransportation was passed upon the pri. able to his judgment. soner. Until 1795, sir S. Romilly ob- Sir Samuel Romilly, after animadverting served the punishment for bigamy had upon the extraordinary doctrine of the been only twelve months imprisonment, hon. baronet, that because a man had been and burning in the hand; but at that guilty of a certain offence, he ought to be date a statute was passed, empowering the punished for that of which he had not Judges to transpori for seven years: but been guilty; and also upon the opinion this severity was only exercised in cases of the learned judge (Dr. Duigenan), that of great flagrancy; and in the present it the House should decide upon what he seemed natural to expect that an impri- presumed” a certain witness to have sonment for six, nine, or twelve months, deposed upon the trial of the petitioner; would have been ordered. The Attorney consented to withdraw the petition, upon General refusing to give his fiat for a writ the understanding that the righe hon. of error, as the objections had been omit- gentleman would let him know when the ted on the record, the petitioner applied, proper department should have decided but in vain, to the Secretary of State's upon the appeal of the petitioner, who office, and from thence to the Prince Re- was induced io request the presentation of gent for a pardon, or for liberty to trans- this petition to the House, apprehending port himself, accompanying his prayer that from the delay of any answer to his with an affidavit of his second wife, that she application to the Secretary of State, he might be sent out of the country with ambassador whilst he resided there, and other. convicts, who, it was understood, since then by me; and that, to prevent were about to sail.

the possibility of any evasion, British

subjects were requested to conform to that MOTION RESPECTING Aliens.) Sir John regulation. At the request of the goNewport rose, pursuant to his notice, to vernor of this city, I renewed that order, call the attention of the House to a letter &c.” Then came the letter from J. H. from the Under Secretary of State for the Addington, esq. to Edward Cooke, esq. to Home Department, to the Colonial Deo which sir James Duff had referred in juspartment, respecting the admission of tification of his conduct: it was dated aliens into this country. In all periods May 4, 1813, more than eighteen months of our history, the Legislature had taken before lord Bathurst's dispatch, and was care to keep open the ports and harbours to the following purport: " Sir; in order of Great Britain, for distressed strangers; to prevent, as far as may be practicable, and it was the glory of this country, that the introduction from the Continent, of when protection could not be afforded to aliens of suspicious character into this them by other nations, they were sure of country and its dependencies, it appears finding an asylum here. At an early to lord Sidmouth desirable, that instrucperiod of the French revolution, precau. tions should be given to his Majesty's tionary measures were adopted; and ministers at foreign courts, and to the though it was not incumbent on him to British consuls and agents on the Contidiscuss the propriety of that law, yet it nent, to require that such persons as may was material to observe, that the Legis. propose to embark for any part of the Jature had placed strict guards over those British dominions, should, in the first inwho were entrusted with the exercise of stance, apply to them to be furnished its powers. This was enough to shew the with passports for that purpose; and his jealousy of Parliament on the subject. lordship is also of opinion that, in all cases, With the first French war the first Alien when either the character of the person Act expired; it was revived soon after applying for such passport, or the object the commencement of the second French which he has in view, may be objectionwar, and nearly in the same form and able, it would be expedient to refuse it. manner, and with the same powers and N. B. A printed copy of this letter was restrictions, as the former Act. What, forwarded on the 6th of May, 1813, from then, was the surprise of himself and of the Foreign Office, to all his Majesty's several other members, when they found, consuls in foreign countries, for their on the discussion of the conduct of sir guidance."* Now, he would ask the James Duff, that the following letters were House, whether there ever existed a case laid before the House? The first was a in which such extensive powers were so copy of a dispatch from lord Bathurst to delegated, or conveyed in a manner so sir Janses Duit, dated November 29, 1814, loose and improper ? But there was someto this effect:" Sir; It having been re- thing further, which marked it more presented to his Majesty's government, strongly. It would have been a great that you have directed the masters of dereliction of duty not to have communiall British vessels touching at Cadiz, cated to the House the reasons of taking not to depart from that port with any such an extraordinary step; but between Spanish subjects on board, unless such the interval of writing this letter and the Spanish subjecis should be provided with discovery of it, the Alien Act, which your passport, or with one from the go. would have expired, was re-enacted and vernment of Spain, I am to request that brought specially before the House. Was you will acquaint me how far this is not that the period at which this letter founded on fact," &c. In answer, sir should have been submitted to the House? James Duff wrote as follows: “ I beg Was it not proper, as the question did not leave to represent to your lordship, that pass sub silentio, and some of his Majesty's in virtue of the orders of his Majesty's ministers participated in the debate, that government, it has been the practice at this measure should have been communithis port, since June 1813, to allow no cated ? During that time, this circular aliens to go passengers in British merchant vessels or packets, to any of his Majesty's * For copies of the several documents dominions, unless provided with proper referred to in the course of this debate, pass sanctioned by his Majesty's see Vol. xxix, pp. 596, 740.

[ocr errors]

letter was in force; and when the Bill, like a power for them to shift the respons for continuing the Alien Act was sub- sibility from themselves, or rather to de. mitted to the House, no notice was taken legate the powers of the Act to any other with respect to passports for foreigners persons. It would be incumbent on the who wished to come to this country. On House to mark their sense of that transthe contrary, there were passages directly action, and he would therefore submit his negativing the possibility of such a thing motion to them. The right hon. baronet as passports having been granted. The then moved : House knew nothing of that fact, and 1. « That it appears to this House, would not have known of it at present, if from documents laid before it, that in: sir James Duff had not relied on this letter structions were issued, on the 6th of for his justification. But if the Legislature, May, 1813, from the office of the Secrefor good and wise reasons, thought proper tary of State for Foreign affairs, on the reto depart from a general system, and to commendation of the Secretary of State intrust to the highest offices of this coun- for the Home department, to all his Ma. try a temporary power under the Alien jesty's ministers and consols in foreign Act, was it fit that ibe Secretaries of State countries, to require that such aliens as should delegate any of those powers with might propose to embark for any part of out the authority of Parliament? And the British dominions should apply to be who were the persons to whom such powers furnished with passports for that purpose ; were delegated ? He wished the House to and that in all cases when either the cha. consider the situation in which consuls in racter of the person applying for such foreign countries were placed. It was passports, or the object which he had in justly remarked by an hon. and learned view, may be deemed objectionable, it friend of his* on a former occasion, that if would be expedient to refuse it : such a power had been entrusted to con- 2. “ That no communication whatever suls at the revocation of the edict of was made to Parliament of such instruc. Nantes, none of the victims of Louis the tions having been issued until the 14th of 141h's tyranny_would have made their February, 1815, a period of nearly iwo escape out of France. It could not be years, and then only in consequence of denied, how respectable soever the cha. an inquiry into the conduct of sir James racters of some of those consuls might be, Duff, consul-general at Cadiz, on a subject that many temptations might induce them incidentally connected therewith, although to co-operate with the governments of those a Bill for renewal of the Alien Act, under countries in which they resided. But it certain modifications (in aid of which Act appeared that they were not only to exa- such instructions were avowedly issued), mine into the characters of the persons was submitted to the consideration of both applying for passports, but also into the Houses of Parliament, and passed into a objects which they had in view. Did not law in the month of July, 1814; neither the House perceive, that such persons was any notice taken in the said Act of might have to complain of the conduct of any passports having been required to be that very consul to whom they were to procured by such aliens as might arrive apply? Was it not monstrous, then, that in the United Kingdom conformably to the power of refusing passports should be such instructions: vested in such hands? Yet this was not 3. “ That the extraordinary, powers all; many of the consuls were engaged intrusted by the Alien Act to the prioin commercial speculations, and it might cipal Secreiaries of State in Great Britain, happen, that the party who wanted to or the Lord Lieutenant or bis Chief Secrecome to this country wished to embark in tary in Ireland, to be exercised under the a similar branch of trade. It was, there immediate view and control of Parliament, fore, a high breach of duty in the great could be only warranted by the exigency officers of state to commit the execution of the case, and ought not in any degree, of their powers to any such persons,- or under any circumstances, to have been powers which they exercised in ibis coup- delegated by those great officers of state iry under the conirol of the Legislature. to any other persons, without the know. It was sufficient for him to show, that in lege and authority of Parliament; still no one part of the Act was there any thing less should they have enabled all the con

suls residing in foreign countries to pro* Sir James Mackintosh. See Vol. 29, hibit, at their discretion, the embarkation p. 1145.

of aliens for the Voited Kingdom; a power (VOL. XXX.)


presenting great temptations to abuse by tions towards the government of this counsubordinate agents, and liable to be fre- try? The letter was dated on the 4th of quently perverted to objects of extortion May, 1813, when the war on the Contior oppression."

nent was not terminated. It had been Mr. Addington thought that the right much the practice of gentlemen opposite, hon. baronet was under considerable mis- and particularly of the member for Bed apprehensions. The letter of which he ford, to charge the Secretary of State for complained was a mere measure of vigi- the Home Department with exercising his lant precaution in the Secretary of the power under the Alien Act with extravaHome Department, to whom the execu- gant rigour; but he (Mr. A.) bad discotion of the Alien Act was entrusted. It vered iwo papers in his office, which would be for the House to decide, whether, would shew what precautions were resorted in the exercise of his powers, there was to under former administrations. The first any thing criminal in this transaction. On was written when the right hon. baronet, a former occasion, he had detailed the himself held a distinguished situation, motives which induced the department to and when a most respectable nobleman which he belonged to circulate that order; was at the head of the Home Department. and he would now repea that it was It was dated Dec. 16, 1806, and was ad issued in consequence of the constant com- dressed to Mr. Reeves, directing that no plaints of the number of aliens little less aliens who had not resided in England than twenty thousand—who were in this were to be permitted to come from the country, and of the necessity of prevent. Continent, except under the following reing the admission of those whose charac- gulations: they were to specify, in a deters were liable to suspicion. Various in-tailed manner, who and what they were, stances have occurred of aliens having their motives for coming to England, and arrived at the outports, who were sus- the port from which they intended to empected of ill designs, but who were after. bark; and no alien enemy was to be sufwards permitted to proceed, because suffi. fered to come, without the passport of one cient grounds of their intentions had not of his Majesty's ministers resident on the been adduced. The principal object there. Continent. The other letter, of a subsefore was, to remove those impediments quent date, was nearly to the same effect; from aliens in general, and to permit them and all he meant to shew by them was, to land and proceed. The persons who that these precautionary measures did not were entrusted with the power of granting originate with his noble relative. At the passports, were those who must be best time that those instructions were given to acquainted with the character and mo- the consuls abroad, nobody could have tives of the persons applying for them : dreamt of the probability of peace being but the fact was, that this power was not

He was, however, predelegated, as the right hon. baronet had pared to prove that, independent of the conceived, under the Alien Act, but by Alien Act, the Crown had the prerogative virtue of the acknowledged prerogative of of sending strangers out of the country. the Crown, to refuse admission to aliens He then read an extract from Blackstone, of any description. Such prerogative which stated, " that as to everything existed before the Alien Act was passed ; relating to safe conduct for strangers, and, therefore, this letter lese aliens to a Puffendorf had very justly resolved, it is certain degree where it found them; it left in the power of all states, to take such did not oblige aliens to apply for pass- measures about the admission of strangers, ports, and persons who knew that no sus- as they think convenient.” At the time, picion attached to their conduct could however, that the Alien Act was passed, come to this country without them. Since the great majority of the House was dethis regulation was adopted, not one single cidedly agreed on the adoption of a meainstance had occurred of an individual sure of this nature. He believed the ne. coming without a passport, who was re- cessity of such a measure had been strongly fused admission. . He wished to draw the felt, and he considered it only went to attention of the House to ibe general ex- authorize the Secretary of State to do that pressions of the letter; and he would ask which, if it did not exist, he would, in any gentleman, whether, under the cir- some cases, be bound to do, in the exercumstances in which it was written, it cise of a sound discretion on his own re. could any aliens but those who sponsibility: • were strongly suspected of hostile inten- Mr. Whitbread observed, that the great difference between the prerogative, as it regulation was transferring the powers of was exercised before the passing of the the Alien Act, so far as ihey related to Alien Act, and after it, was, that before the Portuguese, to the ambassador of that the year 1793, the prerogative was regu- nation resident here. He had been inlated by law, and the Secretary of State formed that the practice still continued. could only justify himself by showing, For the papers respecting M. Correia it that he had acted according to law. The was his intention to move, as soon as the right hon. gentleman had appeared to be present question was disposed of. greatly surprised, that sir James Duff had Mr. Addington said, that when ihe hon. justified himself under the authority of the gentleman first mentioned this subject in letter that had been sent by the Secretary the House, it was the general impression of State. Until this justification came out that it was his object to bring a charge it appeared as if that letter had been quite against the present Secretary for the forgotten. The noble Secretary of State Home Department, and he was convinced (lord Sidmouth) was, to be sure, as good- the hon. gentleman himself bad supposed humoured a person as could be. He had that it was a recent case. Upon investishewn his good humour by forming a part gation, however, it appeared that it was a of so many administrations, and amalga- case which had occurred five years ago, mating his principles and opinions so when Mr. Ryder was at the head of the easily with those of so many succeeding Home department. He should certainly administrations. He considered this, bow- vote against the granting the papers which ever, to be an ill-humoured act: as it put the hon. member gave notice that he it in the power of any consul abroad who would move for. He would never vole was in an ill humour, to refuse a passport for the production of papers, unless the without any good reason. The right hon. mover made out, at least, a primâ facie gentleman had said, that an alien could case. If the hon. gentleman only wished not be excluded from ihis country merely for these papers to enable him to fish out for not having a passport. How many some matter of accusation against the Sestrangers, however, not alien enemies, but cretary of State, he should oppose the alien friends, were, in fact, excluded by production of them. If the House were sir James Duff's refusing to give them to grant these papers, the hon. gentleman passports. In order to spare the House might then move for all the papers relative the trouble of a second debaie, he should to every case of aliens detained in this take that opportunity of stating the case country for the last twenty-three years. of Don Anselmo Correia, in which a most | Before he sat down, he begged leave to, unjustifiable transfer of power had been move the previous question upon the right made by the Secretary of State for the hon. baronet’s motion. Home Department, to M. de Souza, the Sir J. Newport made a short reply, in Portuguese minister. Because Correia which he contended that the delegation had written some lampoona which annoyed ought not to have taken place without the M. de Souza, he applied to Mr. Ryder, consent of Parliament. who was then Secretary of State, by whom Lord Casılercagh thought the right hon. he was sent to Lisbon, a place which baronet had given to this subject a degree seemed to be peculiarly selected for the of importance which by no means bereception of persons guilty of political longed to it. If ministers were not allampoons (a laugh.] Surely, however, it lowed to make regulations of that nature could not be said that there was any thing upon the subject, he did not know what in such an offence which justified the other arrangements they would be allowed exercise of such a power. There was no- to make. It was an arrangement that thing seditious in it, nothing which tended was, upon the whole, beneficial to the to excite mutiny or disaffection in the aliens themselves. The wish of Governarmy or navy ; it was contained in a Por- inent was, lhat every alien should present luguese paniphlet, which, in fact, had a primâ facie recommendation of his being never been translated into English. The a fit person to be admitted into this counhon. member next read a letter from Mr. try. "If they could not produce this prima Reeves to a Portuguese gentleman, in facie recommendation, it became the duty forming bim that it was necessary to have of Government to make inquiries into their a certificate from the Portuguese minister, individual case, which would necessarily before he could receive a licence for re- subject them to some delay. How could Waining here ; and contended that such a it be expected that the cases of 20,000

so soon restored.

« AnteriorContinua »