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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT.

THE REDDITCH HORSEWHIPPING…

I ITHE tEEms SCANDAL CASE…

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THE tEEms SCANDAL CASE AND THE LORD CHANCELLOR, The evidence given before the select- committee on the Leeds Court of Bankruptcy has just been issued. The minutes of evidence, with appendix, extend to 242 pages. The first meeting of the committee took place on the 2nd of June, and the last sitting on the 16th. Mr. Howes was elected chairman. The other members were Mr. E. Egerton, Mr. Evans, Colonel Pennant, and Mr. Hussey Vivian. The Lord Advocate and Mr. Bovill served on the committee to examine witnesses, but without the power of voting. The wit- nesses examined during the inquiry were Mr. J. F. Miller (four times), Mr. H. S. Wilde (three times), Mr. E. Bond, the Rev. J. R. Harding (twice), Mr. P. R. Welch (twice), Mr. B. Cariss, Mr. H Fuller, Mr. J. North, the Hon. R. Bethell, Mr. D. Morley, Mr. C. F. Skirrow, Mr. G. Carew, Mr. F. C. New, Mr. C. N. Wilde, Mr. H. P. Roche, the Lord Chancellor, Mr. D. Stewart, and Mr. A. P. Abraham. Mr. Miller's ex- aminatiou occupied two sittings of the committee, the 8th and 9th of June; on the second examination Mr. MSler produced the following letter from the Lord Chancellor in reference to Mr. Richard Bethell, written previous to his resignation of his appointment as registrar:— Saturday May 14,1864. Sir,—It has just come to my knowledge, in the most sudden and overwhelming manner, that my eldest son, lYfIr. Bethell, has been guilty of the most flagrant misconduct. He is stated to me (and the fact admits of no doubt) to have lost during the last twelvemonth very large sums of money by betting at races, and to have raised money to pay these debts by bills of exchange and loans in every quarter; he is also stated to have been for some time in the habit of neg- lecting personal attendance at his office, and to have had his official duties discharged by deputy. I feel it my duty instantly to remove him from his office. I beg you to prepare an order without a moment's delay, stating it has been proved to my satisfaction that Mr. Richard Augustus Bethell has neglected the duties of his office, and is unfit to be continued therein," and that I therefore remove him from the office of one of the registrars of the court as from this day. It would be idle to speak to you of the state of mind I am in; but I am determined that he shall be instantly removed, and that in the manner which justice requires.- Your faithful servant. Westbuky. To the Chief Registrar. The following reply to the letter of the Lord Chan- cellor was forwarded by Mr. Miller: 26, St. Stephen's-square, Saturday, May 14, 1864. My Lord,—I feel deeply grieved to hear what you tell me, but I must entreat of your lordship to do nothing rashly; to delay for a few days, or, at all events, to allow me an opportunity of seeing Mr. B. There is one portion of the information which has reached you which I believe to be incorrect, viz., that "he has for some time been in the habit of neglecting personal attendance at his office, and had his duties discharged by deputy." I do not believe this; I know he was absent for a week at Easter, and that Mr. Keene then attended for him, but he was fairly en- titled to this. I pray of your lordship to suffer this matter to rest in my hands for forty-eight hours; if I can get my foot to the ground I shall be with your lordship to-morrow at eleven. The subjoined letters from Lord Westbury, in an- swer to Mr. Miller, were produced during his exami- nation Dear Mr. Miller,—I am much obliged to you foryour kind, feeling letter. You knew I could not show my face m court it I did not do in this case strict impartial justice. It has n early broken my heart. I will wait until Monday. Do not think of coming out, as I am so ill that I must go to the country.—Yours sincerely, Westbury. May 18. Dear Sir,-—I am much obliged by your kind and feeling letter respecting my son, But it is due to the public that he should resign, and therefore I shall accept and act upon his resignation as from to-morrow. I had no suspicion of his misconduct until the day on which I wrote to you my first letter, last Saturday. It has been to me an over- whelming affliction.—Yours faithfully, WESTBURY. Mr. Miller, in reply to a question from Mr. Egerton, says he investigated the charge of the neglect of duty by Mr. Richard Bethell, and found it to be all a piece of moonshine, as I suspected "—there was, salis Mr. Miller, "DO ground for it whatever:" and he sub- sequently addressed another letter to the Lord Chan- cellor on his behalf, to which the labt, above given, was the reply. In the examination of Mr. Skirrow. the following letter, referring to the misconduct and resignation of Mr. Bethell, is given 1, Upper Hyde.park-gardens, W., Thursday. My dear ebarles,-After a sleepless night, I can think of nothing better than the conclusions I mentioned yesterday. It is useless to attempt to make any arrangement founded on his retaining his office. It would be discredit- able to me his being allowed to remain. He must leave the country immediately. Germany will be the best place of residence, but care must be taken to fix it in a country where the foreign holder of one of his acceptances could not sue him. All that he can do is to devote himself to the education of his children abroad. It will be greatly for the future benefit of his sons if they become good German and French scholars. I shall not listen to any proposal for his return to this country for some years. His childish vanity and weakness are such that he is always the prey of some rascal or other. I am sure he must be indebted to you; I will repay you. But do not lend any more money to him, for it is a direct encouragement to evil. If his wife and six little children, affection for his father and brothers and sisters, and regard for his own character alld posi- tion, have not been sufficient to keep him from plunging a fourth time into these mad and evil courses, nothing wilL In the course of the examination of the Lord Chan- cellor, in reference to the charge that he appointed or desired to appoint his eldest son to the office of Regis- trar at Leeds, his lordship said I think I had better tell you the whole at the circumstances, painful as they are. In the month of May, 1864,1 received from one of my daughters-in-law a letter, in which she enclosed a letter from my son to his brother, and it stated that he had lost a very large sum of money indeed on the turf. That came upon me in an over- whelming manner, and I wrote immediately to Mr. Miller, because I felt that it was impossible that he could do his duty; and it was also stated to me that he had neglected his duty, and I wrote to Mr. Miller a letter, in which I insisted that he should be immediately compelled to resign; I required the resignation to be sent to me the next day. Mr. Miller was at that time, if I recollect rightly, confined to his bed with gout; he wrote me a letter in a very proper tone, and in a very kind spirit; he begged that he might be allowed to make arrange- ments, and that I would not carry into effect any de- termination with regard to my son. I was certainly under the impression that he could not by possibility have acted in the manner in which he had done, er carried on his proceedings without neglecting his duty, and a number of tales were brought to me about it; and I, therefore, was very firm in my determination that I would hear of nothing but his resignation. I probably should not have acted in the same manner with regard to a stranger. With regard to him I was determined so to act, because I thought it would be a reproach to me if I permitted him to continue. The con. sequence was that within a few days his resignation was sent, and from the time of my receiving this im. putation upon his conduct until now, I have never seen him, nor have I had any communication with him, except that on one occasion when he had a son born; when his wife was confined, he wrote me a very proper letter, announcing that event. He went to Paris, I think, and I had formed a firm deter- mination never to appoint him to any office. But in the month of February of the present year his friends surrounded me, and his wife wrote to me, and I ascertained that there was no reproach attaching to him on the ground that he had neglected his duty. I found that it was a false imputation. I was then entreated to give him some appointment, provided he got a release from all his creditors. What I said upon that occasion was this, that I would make no promise, but that I would consider the matter when the release was obtained. Some suggestion was made to me at the time (I think it was by my son's wife, my daughter-in-law) that he might have an appointment to a registrarship in the country. I made no promise, neither did I give any en- couragement to it. This was some time, it I recollect rightly, in the month of February in the present year. Information then reached me that there was so little hope of his being weaned from these courses, that I found be had pursued the same thing at Paris. I then sent for Mr. Skirrow, and begged him never to men- tion the subject to me again, for that I had determined never to appoint him. I am now told, but of that I had no knowledge, that in consequence of the manner in which I had received his wife, or his wife's letters, his wife gave him some encouragement to hope that, if an arrangement was made with his creditors, I might appoint him to Leeds, The consequence was that he was induced, I believe, to go down to Leeds upon that encourgem nt, and to act in the manner that you have heard. All that was unknown to me, a.nd when I found from information I received, that there was no hope of his getting rid of these tempta- tations to go upon the turf again I made the communi- cations that I have stated to you to Mr. Skirrow. Mr. Bovill asked Did your lordship ever give any directions for any order, or draft order, to be made out for the purpose of appointing Mr. Bethell to the London registrarship, which had become vacant by the resignation of Mr. Slingsby Bethell?—Certainly not; never. Did your lordship hear from Mr. Miller of his having drawn out such an appointment, and having had it engrossed ?—I heard of it since this inquiry has taken place, never before; I was astonished when I did hear of it. But Mr. Miller has, from no other motive, I believe than a kind motive, on various occasions solicited me to consider the propriety of appointing my son, pressing upon me that I had treated my son with more severity than I should have done another person. I am ashamed to have ex- hibited any emotion or weakness, but it is hardly possible for me to speak of these things without doing so. The Lord Chancellor further said he had no doubt that his son was led to do and say many things in the hope of producing a state of circumstances that would almost compel his father to make the appoint- ment. The Chairman asked the Lord Chancellor if the ap- pointment of Mr. Welch to the registrarship of Leeds was made by his lordship simply-from his own exami- nation of the names, and knowing who had applied, and what were their recommendations, or whether it was on the application of any other person. The Lord Chancellor replied: It must have been upon my own recollection and knowledge. You see I knew that there must be a vacancy at Leeds, because of the circumstances affecting Mr. Payne; at least I thought it probable that there would be a vacancy at Leec-ls, and I had been desirous of appointing a bar- rister from the northern circuit; consequently, when Mr. Miller brought me the resignation of Mr. Wilde, and told me (which was a very unusual thing) that it was necessary to fill up the office immediately, from the circumstances that I have mentioned to you, I had present to my mind the fact that the gentleman who had been most strongly recommended to me was Mr. Welch; he was on the northern circuit, and at once from my antecedent knowledge, I either wrote the name myself in the appointment that I signed or directed Mr. Miller to fill in the name and give it to him immediately. The resignation came to me by surprise. I had no reason to expect it, and therefore it was done immediately. Mr. Miller, in his last examination, said that to the best-of his recollection he considered he was carrying out the intention of his lordship in the terms of the letter of the 6th of Juiy to Mr. Wilde. In the ease of Mr. Payne, which, was almost, if not altogether, on all fours with this, the Lord Chancellor, Mr. Miller said, never objected to allowing Mr. Payne to retire upon a pension. iw aPpTfed from tte Rev. Mr. Harding's evidence Sr -rari e1^ whom he sent to communicate with Mr. Welch with regard to the share of the money which he (Mr. Harding) considered was due to him, was a clergyman, the Rev. Josiah Bart- lett. The Lord Advocate said: Who is this clergyman you sent down to Leeds ?—The Rev. Mr. Harding: Mr. Bartlett, the Rev. Josiah Bartlett. Why did you choose a clergyman to go and ask for payment of this money ?—Because I thought that we were all acting as gentlemen, and a clergyman would be a proper person to act between us. You thought that he was the most appropriate person to send down upon the subject?—The fact is this, I fead con- sulted him. Among the various documents printed in the ap. pendix, comprising returns, &c., illustrating the mode of conducting basisiess in the Leeds Bankruptcy Court, is the following letter from Mr. R. BetifdS to j Mr. Welch: i My dear Welch-I have not replied to your former l because I am really annoyed at your troubling me ia i5se way you do. Nobody knows better than you do my pmwsafe circumstances—hojv impossible it is for me to make anj- re- payments, as I do not know from one day to another ¥T, course my creditors may take. I am sorry that the oppo- sition to the bill is such. a costly affair, but I cannot aasisfe you. There can be no possible dispute between us as to t&e amount ef liability; but to relieve your mind (wakii. m xnUrirn more punctilious than it used to be), I owe .jost £ l,0o0 money advanced, a:;d some day or other I will either pay it, or at all events give you some sort of security fesS at present I do expect you not to bother me. I ass«x«< I am harassed to death!—Yours, &c., (Signed) R, Bethks^

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