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ward the present question, he declared that he was aci tuated solely by that feeling which he hoped hitherto had characterized, and should continue to characterize, his parliamentary conduct; a consciousness of the propriety, if not of the necessity, of what he proposed, and an ardent desire to discharge his duty to the public. The right honourable gentleman then proceeded to quote the reports of the inspector-general of prisons in Ireland. He remarked that many of the evils which now existed had been enumerated in the report of 1805, but that no notice had ever been taken of them in that house, although it appeared from that report, that, in 1500 or 1600 persons imprisoned during 1803, not one in 500 of the committals had been made upon oath, and that fifteen-sixteenths of them had been discharged without trial, or any evi. dence even of a suspicion of their guilt being produced. From the report of the inspector for the year 1807, num. berless heavy grievances appeared to exist. In some instances, the jails were insecure; in some, the jailors were represented as inhuman fellows; in Cork county and city, the scite of the prison was swampy, and calculated to produce fevers and agues, and jobbing and avarice had no bounds. Throughout the whole, the low salaries of the jailors were pleaded as the excuse for corruption, extortion, and negligence. As to food, in some instances the loaf was scandalously small, to many prisoners not three-fourths of a pound of bread was given a day. He particularly alluded to the state of Kilmainham jail, and to the conduct of Dr. Trevor, superintendant of it. He had abstained from bringing forward this business till he was in possession of evidence under the hands of the parties concerned, as to the conduct of this person, who was represented in the narratives of Messrs.
Tandy and Mason as of the most inhuman, hardened, and malignant disposition. The right honourable gentleman proceeded to read several very serious charges against this person.
He concluded with moving that humble address be presented to his majesty, praying that he will be graciously pleased to direct that a special commission should be appointed to inquire into and inspect the condition and government of the state prisons and other jails in the city and county of Dublin, and such other jails in Ireland as they shall
think proper to 'direct their attention to, and to investigate the treatment of the prisoners therein cofined since the year 1798, where ground of corn plaint shall be preferred, and also to examine into the conduct of those entrusted with the rule and government of the said prisons, and to report thereon.
General Mathew seconded the motion.
Mr. Perceval did not oppose it, but regretted it had pot been brought forward when the secretary of state and chancellor of exchequer for Ireland, who could have met the statement of the right honourable gentleman, were present. He agreed, however, to the motion, begging it, at the same time, to be understood, that he did not thereby give his sanction to any of the facts stated by the right bonourable gentlenan.
Mr. 11. Pole bore testimony to the state in which his county prison was kept. He proposed to make the inquiry general, that it might be seen who did and who did not do their duty,
Mr. Beresford so far vindicated the character of Dr. Trevor, as to state that he was generally believed to be a humane man, and that the unfortunate Mr. Emmet had in his (Mr. B.'s) presence, in his last moments, thanked Dr. Trevor for his humanity to him, as well as to the rest of bis fello" -creatures.
Mr. Whitbread though this an inquiry which onght unquestionably to be made, and for the bringing forward of which his right honourable friend was entitled to the thanks of the house.
Mr. Peter Moore would only make an observation or two on what had been said on the other side, and partie cularly by the right honourable the chancellor of the exchequer, with respect to an investigation baving been made into these alleged grievances, by the authority of lord Hardwick as lord lieutenant of Ireland, the report of which he stated to have been laid before tbis house and printed in 1805. Mr. Moore said, that being intent on obtaining all possible information, he regularly watched all the documents laid before this house for that purpose ; and that having given the subject of these alleged grievances his earnest attention, it was almost impossible that such an important document as the report in question could have escaped him, had it ever been before the
house; as from the description given by the right honourable gentleman, it went to preclude all further inquiry, into the claims of justice, so forcibly stated in the various petitions before the house; and that under this impression he was very much surprised when his right honourable friend (Mr. Sheridan) informed him a few days ago, that in a conversation with the right honourable the chancellor of the exchequer, he was told, that such a report had been : made and printed, laying all these grievances at rest; but, in order to remove the doubt which it naturally threw on his own opinion, as coming froin snch authoa rity, he instantly went to the vote office, where, with all the care and diligence with which it is conducted, the officers assisted him in several searches of their books, and at length they found an entry that pointed to something like a report in 1805, as mentioned by the right honourable gentleman opposite. That report, Mr. Moore said, he held in his hand, and the right honourable gentleman would see, on inspection (Mr. Moore handed the report over the table to the chancellor of the exchequer), that it was a report stating only the names and number of pris soners, without the least mark of investigation, or appearance of proceeding thereon; and from the minute ex aminations which had been made in the vote office, Mr. Moore said, he was perfectly satisfied there was no other report. But, continued Mr. Moore, if there ever has been an investigation into these alleged abuses, it must have been very snugly and closely managed, as it must be manifest to the house, that the aggrieved petitioners (without whom such an investigation was a farce), who ought especially to have had notice of it and to have been present, had never heard of it, and were still peti. tioning this house, imploring such a hearing and such an investigation as that which is said to have taken place and been decided on. But he now hoped, that if such a report did exist, whatever it might be, that report, together with all the petitions which had been presented, and all the documents which had been laid before the house, would be referred to the commissioners to be ape.. pointed for making another investigation, who should be instructed to feel and consider the honour and character: of our government to be its first and principal, and the justice due to individuals only as its secondary object. And he hoped and trusted, that in this spirit and underVOL. III.--1808.
standing, the motion of his right honourable friend would meet with the unanimous support of the house. The motion was agreed to nem. con.
MR. DALRYMPLE. Mr. R. Ward again alluded to the discussion which had taken place on a former night as to the causes of the dismissal of Mr. Dalrymple from the office of hydrographer to the admiralty, and stated that he understood an honourable gentleman opposite to bim (Mr. Horner) was now satisfied on this head.
Mr. Horner said, he had taken some part in the conversation on this subject on a former night. He bad since been shewn the correspondence on the subject, and he was satisfied that Mr. Dalrymple had exhibited a degree of contumacy which was probably inconsistent with the performance of his duties to the admiralty. He was of opinion, however, that if the board had exhibited to that respectable gentleman the greatest possible degree of liberality and indulgence, it was nothing but what his long and meritorious services justly entitled him to.
Mr. W. Pole said, that cousidering the manner in which he had formerly been alluded to, when a noble lord, not then present, had brought the subject of the removal of Mr. Dalrymple before the house, and the pe. culiar situation in which he stood respecting that transaction, he trusted he might be permitted to give soine explanation of what bad passed. He said he owed it to the public, to the admiralty, and to himself, to state the circumstances which had led to Mr. Dalrymple's removal : it would give him extreme pain to be under the necessity of bringing any thing before the house or the public that could in any degree tend to create uneasiness to the friends of Mr. Dalrymple, or could at all affect the memory of that respectable gentleman. Mr. Pole said, he understood the honourable gentleman to have expressed himself to be satisfied, that under the circumstances of the case, as he found them in the
the papers which had been prepared, and had been shewn to the honourable gentleman by his honourable friend (Mr. Ward), the board of admiralty could not do otherwise than dismiss Mr. Dalrymple. He understood the honourable gentleman to say, that the duty the admiralty owed to the public, certainly justified them completely in the step they had
taken. He seemed to admit that they had treated Mr. Dalrymple with justice. But Mr. Pole said, he owned it astonished him to hear the honourable gentleman insie nuate, that more lenity might have been shewn, and «hat he should have been better pleased if more indulgence and liberality had been shewn him.
Mr. Horner rose and said the honourable gentleman had quite misunderstood him, he had meant no such insinuation, what he had said was in quite another view.
Mr. W. Pole resumed : he said he was extremely glad to find that he had misunderstood the honourable gentleman. He certainly thought he bad meant such an insinuation. He then begged permission of the house to state the circumstances which led to Mr. Dalrymple's removal ; that about the month of November last, the first lord of the admiralty, upon ascertaining that his majesty's fleets were not supplied with charts upon any regular and settled principle, and considering that great inconvenience had arisen from the king's ships in many parts of the world being unfurnished with proper charts for their guidance, determined to lay down a systein by which in future all bis majesty's ships in every part of the world should be supplied with the best charts existe ing for the station to which they might belong; and in order to effect this most desirable and important object, the first lord of the admiralty had called upon the board to issue their orders to the hydrographer to prepare a proper selection. Mr. Dalrymple, in return to this order, had stated that he was incompetent to make the selection, from not having a local knowledge of many seas, and for a variety of other reasons ; and he recommended that in order to carry the first lord's plan into execution, a committee of ten officers should be appointed to select and arrange the char's proper to be issued to the navy. From the moment however that this committee, as recommended by Mr. Dalrymple, was appointed, it became impossible for them to proceed in the performance of their duty. It had fallen to his lot, as it was a part of his duty, to examine into the state of the hydrographer's office; it was impossible to describe the contusion in which he found it, from Mr. Dalrymple's infirmities ; it could not be otherwise. He wished at all times, as he always had done, to speak of that venerable and respect. able gentleman, with every possible degree of tenderness