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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Sun 3 Mar 2013 - 23:27

One hundred and eleventh Day of Proceedings - Thursday, July 25, 1889



The Special Commission resumed its sittings at the Law Courts this morning. The examination of Mr. Hardcastle, accountant, was continued. He said the legal expenses shown in the books amounted to 9,390 pounds. To Mrs. Moloney there had been paid 3,150 pounds, and to Mr. J.F. Moloney 483 pounds. 9,400 pounds had been paid to persons, but no account was given of the purpose of the payments; 1,200 pounds of the cash expenditure did not go through the bank at all.


The Attorney-General then drew the attention of the Court to a number of documents which had been examined by Mr. Graham, counsel for the Times, and Mr. Asquith, one of the counsel for the Irish Members. In the presence of Mr. Henry Campbell and Mr. Arthur O'Connor he asked his Lordships to look at one of the boxes of letters, so as to see their nature.
Mr. Cuninghame, the secretary to the Commission, said the Court was not now in possession of the boxes. They were brought one by one and then taken away.
The Attorney-General said there would have been no difficulty under ordinary circumstances; but he thought it was necessary that their Lordships should know the condition of the documents. They had given notice for the documents to be produced.
Mr. Asquith then proceeded to state the result of the examination of the documents, which consisted of between 3,000 and 4,000 letters. Out of 1,088 letters in 1884, 42 of them were set aside as having a remote connection with the League. There were only about a dozen letters from Members of Parliament, on immaterial matters. The learned counsel also stated particulars as to letters up to 1884.
Mr. Hardcastle was recalled and cross-examined by Mr. Sexton. He said there were two periods in the existence of the League which were not covered by the books produced. He could not say that the 75,000 pounds not accounted for through the absence of the Ladies' Land League books had been misappropriated.
The President said that was not the point. The money had, it was suggested, been appropriated to Land League purposes, but it was not shown how.


The Attorney-General handed in a number of Parliamentary returns referred to in Sir Charles Russell's speech. Mr. Sexton said these returns were often used to prejudice matters. He further applied that Mr. Soames should put in a list of the sums he had paid to witnesses who had been subpoenaed.
The President said the returns were admissible.
The Attorney-General said Mr. Soames would not put in the list, but he was prepared to give answers with reference to any specific questions as to payments to witnesses.
The President said Mr. Soames could be called if it was thought necessary as to specific matters, but he did not think that the question of expenses had any bearing on the question, as an enormous sum must have been spent on both sides.
Mr. Sexton was understood to dissent from the view on behalf of the Parnellite Party.


Mr. Soames then entered the box. In reply to Mr. Sexton, he said he could not tell the total amount of the expenses he had paid to witnesses. It was a very large amount, and he had kept a strict account of the items. He would not say if it was 50,000 pounds, and he could not tell within 10,000 pounds. In one case, that of the witness Levy, he paid him very low expenses; but afterwards he heard from Scotland Yard that the witness's life was in danger, and he had to provide for him within three days.
The Attorney-General said that was all the evidence he had to offer.


The President said in the ordinary course of the things it would have been for the persons charged to sum up the evidence. He asked Mr. Sexton if he desired to do so.
Mr. Sexton said he had no idea that the case would have reached that stage. He did not desire to sum up until he had seen his colleagues.
Sir Henry James said the Commission had already sat 112 days; and, with the great mass of evidence before them, it was scarcely possible he could reply at the conclusion of the evidence. It was only on Tuesday last that the course they had expected to be taken by the other side was not taken. No less than 40,000 questions and answers had to be considered. If he followed the course pursued by Sir Charles Russell at the conclusion of the case for the Times, he should have to apply for an adjournment until the 14th of August, and have concluded his address by the 24th of August; but seeing that the other Courts adjourned on the 10th, and that the report of the Commission could not be placed before Parliament this Session, and, taking into consideration other circumstances, he applied that the Commission should be adjourned until October 24th, the first day of sitting after the long vacation.
Mr. Sexton was not prepared to offer any suggestion on the application.
The President said as far as the Court were concerned, they would have been glad if the matter could have been brought to a conclusion. He thought the reasons urged by Sir Henry James justified the application.


Mr. Sexton asked whether it was to be understood that the evidence was closed.
The President said not closed if they thought it necessary to call further evidence; but the reasons for doing so must be exceptional.
The Court then adjourned until October 24.
Sir James Hannen, after the rising of the Commission, made an order in his private room with respect to Mr. Condon, M.P., and Mr. John O'Connor, M.P., both of whom have been brought over from Ireland in custody. He directed that both these gentlemen should finish the remaining month of their sentences in a London prison, and that they should be allowed an opportunity of visiting Mr. George Lewis's offices and of consulting with Mr. Sexton, M.P.

Source: The Echo, Thursday July 25, 1889


The Dublin Express deprecates the proposed candidature of Mr. Arnold Forster for West Belfast. It says: - "There is great force in the remonstrance which it publishes from a southern correspondent against the policy of selecting English candidates for Irish seats. Nor would it be fair to Mr. Arnold Forster to offer him the doubtful compliment of fighting a hard battle to wrest a seat from a formidable opponent." What is required is "an Irishman who knows the habits of thought of his countrymen, or who can kindle the enthusiasm of a local democracy."


This is how United Ireland writes concerning the result of Mr. O'Brien's action against the Premier: - "There is no reason to be at all wounded by the Manchester verdict, as Lord Salisbury, having made a plain assertion, did not stand by the meaning of his words, and it took all the ingenious help of a Judge who has made the suppression of boycotting one of the ambitions of his life, to save the Tory Prime Minister from damages upon the humble condition of pleading that he only meant boycotting, while he failed to deny on his oath the one honest meaning his words bore."

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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