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Vol. XX. No. 26.]

LONDON, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1811.

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“ We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer, to any man, either Justice or Right.”MAGNA CHARTA. 801)

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Then will this sanguinary theatre SUMMARY OF POLITICS.

“ of bis domestic cruelties, like the den of

“ Cacus, be laid open to public view, his Ex Officio INFORMATIONS IN IRELAND. “ conscriptions, and bastilles, and soli. In the Tiines news-paper of the 26th " tary murders.”

First of all let me instant, there is an article, which I shall observe, that, after having read the two notice, before I touch upon the subject documents, here referred to, I am fully here proposed for discussion. The Ex Of convinced, that they are fabrications. ficio Informations in Ireland, and especially They are communicated by a corresthe case that I am going particularly to pondent, who calls himself “ GERMAnotice,call loudly for remark; but, I believe, NICUS ;" and, the object of them is,'to tha: I should perhaps have delayed the task keep alive, in the minds of the people for another week, if I had not met with the here, a great horror of the oppressions inarticle in the Times, which I bave men. flicted by Napoleon on all the people tioned above, and which I will now insert. who are under bis sway. Germanicus

-"Our paper of this day contains two compliments our friend I. S. and is, doubt. “ documents of somewhat antiquated date; less, I. S. himself, who, be it observed, " but yet of so much importance, as elu- has not thought proper to accept of my

cidating the manner in which the Con challenge upon the subject of Mr. Ma“ tinent is oppressed, insulted, and plun. dison's speech; but bas preferred let“ dered by Buonaparté and his agents, ting my article run all through the-. “ that we cannot omit inserting ihem. North American Continent without any « They issue from the official bureaus of reply to accompany it. But, supposing “ the Westphalian and French Ministers the above-mentioned documents not to be " at Cassel. The former of them com- fabrications ; supposing the first to be in“ mands the people of Westphalia to tes tended to bully the people of Westphalia tify their joy on the birth-day of Jerome into demonstrations of joy on the anniversary Buonaparié, by public festivals and of king Jerome's birth; supposing it to be “ meetings. The latter directs the re- true, that Napoleon insists upon his stipu. “ ceivers of the Forest rents to secure lated share of the public property in Hanover. Buonaparté his stipulated share of the What then? Have we never on the continent

plunder of the Hanoverian redenues; and heard of such things before ? Have we “ cautions them against the application of never before heard of a nation being bullied “ any part thereof to the necessities of the into rejoicings ? Have we never before heard “ State. Poor, suffering Westphalians ! But of a sovereign's insisting upon his full share of “ to what people of the Continent may the plunder arising from captures ? --The “ not the same epithet be applied ? Your reader may ask, however, what this ar“ lot is the common one of all others over ticle in the Times has to do with Irish In" whom the ferocious Tyrant has extended formations Ex Officio. A very natural ques« his dominion. Poor, oppressed, and suf- tion; and one which, at first sight, may “fering Dutchmen! Poor, oppressed; and appear to be not very easy to answer. “ suffering Swiss! and so may we run The truth is, that the two subjects have “ through the list of European nations. no other connection than this : that, this And perhaps, when the time shall come writer appeared to me to be wasting his “ that the universal Oppressor shall have compassion upon foreigners, while it was " followed his predecessors in guilt, and called for by the situation of one of his own « his internal administration of France countrymen; the publisher of a news-pa" herself sball be exposed to view, her suf. per in Ireland, to whose case I beg leave to ferings and oppressions, though now hid solicit the attention of the reader. I had " in darkness and silence, may be found to been looking at this case ; I had been read“have been only so much the more se- ing the proceedings on it; I had been

vere, as she has been nearer his per. thinking about it; I was just about to

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take up my pen to write upon it, when keep the information suspended over him the above article in the Times caught my for many years, nay, lo the day of his eye. Bless me! said I, how enlarged is death. He roay cause bim to come into the philanthropy of this writer! With court to be tried every term; and he may what pathos he speaks of the poor, put off the trial time after time, as long as suffering Westphalians, Dutchmen, and he pleases; and he may have as many of Swiss! But, has he no feeling for the these informations as he pleases going on, poor, suffering Mr. Cor, his country at the same time, against the same person. man , and his brother public writer? He may, if he pleases, drop for ever any My philanthropy is not, I must confess, of or all of such informations ; he may put 50 enlarged, or rather, over-stretching, a man upon his trial on one information, a kind. I am for thinking of my own and leave the rest hanging over his bead. country before I think of any other; and, He may put him upon bis trial on a subI cannot think and feel for my country, sequent information and keep former ones without feeling for those roho live in it. I in reserve; or he may keep the latest in There are numerous writers who are very reserve and put him upon his trial on the loud in defence of the country' (as they former ones. There is no limit to his aucall it); but who never seem to have any thority in any of these respects. The Atfeeling for any one who inhabits it. This torney General is responsible to pobody is a sort of patriotism, which I do not un either for the grounds of his accusations or derstand. -Now to my case; and, I will for any other part of his conduct relating venture to assert, that one equal to it the to these informations. He may, indeed, be reader has never yet seen or heard of. put out of his place by the King, whenever But, first of all, though I have done it the ministers cupose to advise it; and, how opce before, I must explain the nature of this check is calculated to operate ; in what 'the power of the Attorney General as to way this check is calculated to guide his Informations Ex-Oficio. Io the or- conduct, the reader will not be at any dinary course of our law, when a man is great loss to guess. -All this, however, accused of a crime, there is a bill of in we knew before; but a case has arisen in dictment drawn up and presented against Ireland, which has brought out something, him. If the Grand Jury, to whom the which, I dare say, will be qnite new to the bill is presented, find that there is ground greater part of my readers. The case, for the charge, the accused person is put to which I allude, is that of Mr. Walter upon

his trial; if not, he is set at large. Cor, who is now a prisoner in Newgate in So that, as the reader will see, here are Ireland, under a sentence of libel, flowing two points secured ; first, that there is a from an Ex-Officio Information. Being jury to judge of the grounds of trial be there, and being, apparently, wholly ruinfore the accused can be tried, which is a ed, the Altorney General (Mr. Sauria). pretty good protection against groundless files another Ex-Officio information against charges; second, that the accused must him. Having been served with an order either be discharged at once, or put upon to plead to it, he applied for a copy of the his trial, which prevents him from being information that he might know what it was harrassed by delays and tormented with that he was accused of. But, he was told, suspence. -Now, mark the difference. that he could not have this copy until hs The Information Ex-Oficio is a thing paid the fees of the office and the Stamp Duty which excludes the interposition of the on the Copy. These amounted, he was Grand Jury. It is drawn up by the At- I told, to twenty pounds, and the poor man torney General, and it is placed upon the had not twenty pounds. But, not having file, or list, of things to be tried, without taken out the copy and paid the fees and any previous investigation by any body stamp duty, he was not allowed to plead : but himself, and, ihe man whom he and, as he had not pleaded, he was set chooses thus to accuse, is ordered to come down as guilty of the crime laid to his and take his trial, whenever the Attorney | charge; and, was about to receive a new General pleases. He may file Ex-Ofiicio sentence, without any more ado, when informations against whomsoever he his counsel came into court, on the 28th of pleases, and as often as he pleases against November last, and stated his case, deihe same person. He may cause such manding, at the same uime, that he should person to come and be tried whenever be furnished with a copy of the charge he pleases: :he, may bring him to trial against him, and be suffered to take a fair the next term; or, if he chooses, he may

trial. -Mr. Perrin was one of his coun:

sel, who opened his case, according to the " not be Law and Justice in Ireland. If published report, in these words :-Mr. “ the Court determined that the defendant « Perrin moved the Court to set aside the “ should not be permitted to plead, or see “ judgment had by default against the de. “ his accusation until he paid the sum of " fendant, and that he should be furnished "201., he njust be condemned to lingering á with a copy of the information gratis, or " and hopeless imprisonment without a is that the same should be read to him, and “ trial, for he has deposed that he is not " he be permitted to plead thereto, without “ worth 201.; he has been already sen. paying fees and Stamp Duty on a Copy. “ tenced to two years imprisonment; be. “ He stated from the affidavit of the de “ fore one third of that period has elapsed “ fendant, that the present information " the Attorney-General filed an informa. “ was filed against him by the Attorney “ tion spread over sirteen skins of purchment ; " General, while he was a close prisoner " and calls on him to take out a copy at “ in Newgate; that he never had been ap “ an expence of 201., or submit and suffer “prized of the charge against him, of which he “ as if guilty of whatever imputation it " was still ignorant; that on being served " may cast upon him ; for recollect that is « in prison with a rule to plead to it, he still unknown to the defendunt. . If the At“ directed his agent to apply for a copy “ torney-General have the power not only “ of the charge 10 which he was called on “ to subject this defendant, manacled as he “ to plead ; that he was answered that he “ is, to the necessary and heavy expences could not have a copy, or be made acquainted of a Crown prosecution, upon any charge " therewith, for less than £20, the amount of " which his discretion or his suspicion may the fees and Stamps; and that his plea “ imagine, by an ex-officio iuformation, but « would not be received till he took out a “ in the first instance and before a plea “ copy; that he was not able to

pay

such " shall be received, to the grievous and “ a sum, and that thereupon judgment had "monstrous costs of a copy of the informabeen marked against him for an offence “ tion, under the name of Stamps and Fees “ of which he was still ignorant." " to strip him not only of the constituReader, English reader! Have you no “tional shield which a Grand Jury holds, feeling for this man; this ruined man, “ between every man and imputation, but who is your fellow subject; and, are for the very weapons of defence, and inyour feelings so alive towards foreign “flict a fine for liberty to answer, nay to ers, of whose sufferings you have only heur the charge; what hope can this heard vague and unauthenticated “ unfortunate man entertain of any period ports? But, Mr. Perrin shall speak to you " to his confinement? What hope, that upon this point; for he has done it more " when he has dragged ihrough' half the forcibly than I can." He recollected, “ term, that shall be added to his present " he said, that when the defendant was “ sentence, a new and equally unknown, “ last before the Court, one of their Lord. "equally expensive, and, therefore, equally

ships pronouncing the sentence of the " undiscoverable information may not be « Court, dwelt in language as just as it was “ filed against him? When he may be " eloquent, upon the peculiar advantages equally unable to purchase a trial; and

which even culprits enjoy under our con. may again be called to judgment for “stitution, and forcibly and emphatically " a crime of which his poverty alone bas « contrasted the treatment of the defendant « convicted him ; what security has any " with that of the unfortunate Palm, who man against such informations, if he must « had been sacrificed by the tyrant of the pay a fine at the pleasure of his accuser for Continent to his hostility to a Free Press, liberty to plead "Ah! what security "who had been executed without a trial ; | indeed! And, are we to be told that such a " but what was a trial without the oppor. man enjoys the liberty of the Press ! Again, “tunity of a defence ? If Mr. Cox be not I ask the reader, if he has no feeling; if his “ permitted to defend himself, nay to hear feeling be quite dead towards a fellow cias the charge against him, is it not a lizen in this situation, while his feel“ mockery to call his condemnation trial ings are all alive towards the Westphawhat is the difference between this case and lians, the Dutch and the Swiss ? Palm's? None; and the just feelings The Attorney and Solicitor General both " and sentiments which reprobated the contended most strenuously against this mo* conduct of his persecutors inust befriend tion; and insisted that Mr. Cox ought o the present application; what was to be brought up to receive sentence e tyranny and cruelty, in Germany, can without seeing a copy of the Information,

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and even without an opportunity of hearing cious liberties are secured. But, here we it read. But, let us hear what it was have high situation and rank and conscience that the Attorney General said in answer and oath for the only checks upon a power to the above passage in Mr. Perrin's of accusing, of bringing to trial or susspeech. I beg the reader to mark it well. pending or dropping proceedings, and all

- He said, that a great deal had been this in one and the same person, and that “ said about the hardship of paying fees person, too, removeable at the pleasure of the “ and Stamps; that the rule of the Court Crown! These, we are here told, are quite “ required the fees to be paid on the copies sufficient pledges for the conduct of the At“ before a plea could be received, and torney General! Why, the judges and " that on recurrence to the Statute the the members of both Houses and the King' “ question of Stamp Duty would be ascer- all take oaths, and why should we not “ tained ; that the Court hadno discretion rely upon their consciences and their high “on the subject; he WOULD NOT AN rank? But, if the doctrine be good so “SWER what had been thrown out upon far, why stop here? If these be quite suf“the subject of ABUSE OF HIS AUTHO. ficient securities for bis baving the abso“ RITY and office, that he would not HU. lute power of accusing, arraigning, sus« MILIATE himself to put his character pending or suppressing prosecutions; if “ in issue on the necessity of the present his high rank and oath be a sufficient " information or its length, that the public pledge for his good conduct as to all these « had SUFFICIENT PLEDGES of the matters, why should they not be a suffigood conduct of the Attorney General cient pledge for his passing sentence with“ in the SITUATION AND RANK of the out any trial? Why should Judges and " office, and in the CONSCIENCE and Juries be troubled with any part of the bu. OATH for office of the persons who siness? Why should not the Attorney Geod should fill it ; that he would not rely on neral of himself have the power of put" the circumstances of this case for the ting into gaols and pillories any body that justification of his character ; that he he pleases ? —The Judges in Ireland was satisfied none would charge him with did, at last, allow the unfortunate Mr. oppression or severity, or abuse of the high Cox to hear the information Ex-officio and important power entrusted to him ; that read, and to take his trial upon it. But, I what had been already observed on beg the reader to consider well what a " these matters and on the danger of the state we are all placed in by this power • subject, and the enormous power of the of the Attorney General. Mr. Cox was " Attorney General in inflicting fines, as excused from paying for a copy of the In"it had been phrased, he was sure was formation because he was reduced to that not crpected to weigh with the Court on state, in which he was able to swear that he “ this motion; but was intended for the was not worth twenty pounds. If he had public ear, and to impress a notion of not been able to swear that, he must have .. feeling that the defendant was oppressed paid the money, or he would have been " and persecuted by the Government of sentenced as being guilty without any " the Country ; which he trusted that no trial. What, then, is our state? What "one would seriously entertain a belief man is safe from ruin? Who is there that

-So, he would not humiliate him- may not be made to rot in a gaol, if the self so much as to attempt to shew that he Attorney General pleases ? And are we had not abused his authority! This was not all at his mercy? Have we any other not amiss; but, what he says afterwards security than what is to be found in his is of more consequence. He says, that humanity and conscience He may, if the public have quite a sufficient security he pleases, file an Information Ex-Officio against his abusing his power. And, against me every day of my life; nay, where have they this security? Why, in fifty or a hundred in a day, if he pleases ; the situation and rank of his office; and in and, according to the doctrine now laid his conscience and oath! So,then, away go all down in Ireland, I must pay whatever the famous checks and balances, which have sum he has a mind to make me pay for a been so much applauded in our consti- copy of each of them, or I must be found tution. We are told, that there are two guilty upon each, without any trial at all, Tlouses of Parliament to be a check upon without either Judge or Jury to protect each other; that both are a check upon me ; because I am not allowed to plead ; I the Crown; that juries are a check upon am not allowed to defend myself; 'I am not judges ; and that by these means our pre allowed to answer the charge against me,

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'till I have purchased a copy of the charge to all this is, I know, very short. IT IS at the Crown Office, and have also paid a LAW. Very well; then, let it be tax upon it in proportion to its length. KNOWN TO THE WORLD; that is my So that, I am wholly at his mercy; and reply. Let it be known to the world, every other man in the kingdom is at his that it is the law of England. Let mercy, until we can swear that we are not every body know, that we have such laws. worth so much in the whole world as will Let thèm not be kept in hugger-mugger. pay the fees and the tax upon any informa- We are everlastingly boasting of our tion Ex Officio that he may choose to file laws; and, therefore, it is right that the against us. Few writers and printers can world should know what these laws really swear, the first time, that they are unable are; or, at the least, it is right that we to pay the fees and the tax; but, lhe At- ourselves should know what they are.-torney-General may keep on till he puts Let us now take a look at this power of them in a condition to swear it; and, if the Attorney General as a SOURCE OF they miss paying the fees and the tax, they REVENUE. The money, which a man are marked down as guilty without any is compelled to pay for liberty to plead; trial. Well, then, are we not all at his that is, for liberty to answer the charges mercy? Has he not absolute power over preferred against him by the Attorney the property and liberty of us all ? - General, consists of two parts: fees and shall be told, perhaps, that I am supposing Stamp duty. The fees go into the pockets improhabilities; that such a monstrous of the people at the Crown office, I supabuse of power is not to be supposed. The pose; but, the stamp duty goes into the supposition goes, indeed, very far; but, it Treasury. So that, before a man, accused is within the compass of possibility, and by the Attorney General, can have liberty that ought to be quite enough to put a to answer the charge ; before he can have limit Ao the power, especially as the person the liberty of defending himself; before he exercising it is at all times renoveable can have the liberty of saying that he is not from one of the most lucrative offices, at guilty ; before he can enjoy this LIthe pleasure of the minister of the day, BERTY, he must pay A TAX!--When and is always brought in and put out with you have placed this fact firmly in your the political party to which he is attached. memory, reader, then add to it, that the

But, why do we talk of probabilities ? amount of this tax has no other measure It ought to be quite sufficient to know than the will, the sole will, of the Attorney that ihe thing is possible ; it ought to be General, who may spread his Information quite sufficient for us to know, that there over sixteen skins, or sixteen thousand is an officer in the kingdom who has the skins, of parchment. And, observe, that, absolute power of ruining whomsoeder 'he whether the Information be true or false, it pleases ; this ought to be quite sufficient; is all the same as to the tar; the tax must it ought to be quite sufficient for us to be paid; and, if the person accused be know that in this kingdom, there is an found not guilty, he is not entitled to any officer of the crown, who, at bis arbitrary return of the tax; he has no means of will, may reduce any man, be he who he may, to recovering that; that is so much money a state of pauperisn; or, to muke him pass his gone for ever. And, besides, the Ai. life in a prison. Any man, no matter who; torney General is not obliged to put the for there is no limit to his authority in these accused person upon his trial after he has respects.

He file as many informa- paid the tax. He may then hang the tions Ex-Officio as he pleases against any accusation up over the man's head and man; he may make each of them cost the keep it suspended over him as long as he man any sum that he pleases; and, when pleases; or, as I said before, he may quash he has so done, he may, if he pleases, | it at once, at his own will and pleasure. bring him to trial upon none of them, but Well, but THIS IS THE LAW. A rest satisfied with baving reduced the man quite sufficient answer; but, let all the 10 beggary. He may, 100, if be chooses, people know it, then ; let us not hide our hold the man to bail upon each of them; light under a bushel. Let those who are and thus prevent him from leaving the grown up know what they are liable to; kingdom for his whole life; for the trial and let our children know what they are may be deferred as long as the Attorney born to inherit.--I am aware, that some General pleases; and if the bail do not readers will say: aye, but this law is only answer for any length of time, new in- for writers and printers. Suppose it were formations may be filed. answer not? What then: Are they so few in

may

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