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fect respect, and the assurance of my fervent vows for the welfare of your majesty, and of your most august family; and permit me to subscribe myself,


Your majesty's most obedient,

and most humble servant,



The account which is here given of what passed in the House of Lords and in the House of Commons, relative to the Report of the Committee of the Commons appointed to inspect the Journals of the Lords, was, through inadvertency, omitted to be published together with that Report, at the end of the seventh volume, 4to edition.

The preceding Report was ordered to be printed for the use of the members of the House of Commons, and was soon afterwards reprinted and published, in the shape of a pamphlet, by a London bookseller. In the course of a debate, which took place in the House of Lords on Thursday the 22d of May, 1794, on the Treason and Sedition Bills, Lord Thurlow took occasion to mention “a pamphlet which, his lordship said, was published by one Debrett, of Piccadilly, and which had that day been put into his hands, reflecting highly upon the Judges and many members of that House; this pamphlet was, he said, scandalous and indecent, and such as he thought ought not to pass unnoticed. He considered the villifying and misrepresenting the conduct of judges and magistrates, entrusted with the administration of justice and the laws of the country, to be a crime of a very heinous nature, and most destructive in its consequences, because it tended to lower them in the opinion of those who ought to feel a proper reverence and respect for their high and important stations ; and that when it was stated to the ignorant or the wicked,



that their judges and magistrates were ignorant and corrupt, it tended to lessen their respect for and obedience to the laws themselves, by teaching them to think ill of those who administered them." On the next day Mr. Burke called the attention of the House of Commons to this matter, in a speech to the following effect :

“Mr. Speaker,—The license of the present times makes it very difficult for us to talk upon certain subjects in which parliamentary order is involved. It is difficult to speak of them with regularity, or to be silent with dignity and wisdom. All our proceedings have been constantly published, according to the discretion and ability of individuals out of doors, with impunity, almost ever since I came into parliament. By usage, the people have obtained something like a prescriptive right to this abuse. I do not justify it; but the abuse is now grown so inveterate, that to punish it without previous notice would have an appearance of hardship, if not injustice. The publications I allude to are frequently erroneous as well as irregular, but they are not always so; what they give as the reports and resolutions of this House have sometimes been given correctly. And it has not been uncommon to attack the proceedings of the House itself under color of attacking these irregular publications. Notwithstanding, however, this colorable plea, this House has, in some instances, proceeded to punish the persons who have thus insulted it. You will here too remark, Sir, that when a complaint is made of a piratical edition of a work, the authenticity of the original work is admitted, and whoever attacks the matter of the work itself in these unauthorized publications, does not attack it less than if he had attacked it in an edition authorized by the writer.

"I understand, Sir, that in a place which I greatly respect, and by a person for whom I have likewise a great veneration, a pamphlet published by a Mr. Debrett has been very heavily censured. That pamphlet, I hear, (for I have not read it,) purports to be a Report made by one of your committees to this House. It has been censured (as I am told) by the person and in the place I have mentioned, in very harsh and very unqualified terms. It has been there said (and so far very truly) that at all times, and particularly at this time, it is necessary for the preservation of order and the execution of the law, that the characters and reputation of the judges of the courts in Westminster Hall should be kept in the highest degree of respect and reverence ; and that in this pamphlet, described by the name of a libel, the characters and conduct of those judges upon a late occasion have been aspersed, as arising from ignorance or corruption.

“Sir, combining all the circumstances, I think it impossible not to suppose that this speech does not reflect upon a Report which, by an order of the committee on which I served, I had the honor of presenting to this House. For any thing improper in that Report I am responsible, as well as the members of the committee, to this House, and to this House only. The matters contained in it, and the observations upon them, are submitted to the wisdom of the House, that you may act upon both in the time and manner that to your judgment may seem most expedient; or that you may not act upon them at all, if you should think that most expedient for the pubic good. Your committee has obeyed your orders; it has done its duty in making that Report.

“ I am of opinion, with the eminent person by whom that Report is censured, that it is necessary at this time very particularly that the authority of judges should be preserved and supported. This, however, does not depend so much upon us as upon themselves. It is necessary to preserve the dignity and respect of all the constitutional authorities. This, too, depends in part upon ourselves. It is necessary to preserve the respect due to the House of Lords; it is full as necessary to preserve the respect due to the House of Commons; upon which (whatever may be thought of us by some persons) the weight and force of all other authorities

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