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Right Honourable George Ponsonby, such conduct being contrary to the Rules and Regulations of the Party—disrespectful to the Right Honourable George Ponsonby, and unbecoming the character of a Member of Opposition. 3dly, That he, the said Henry Brougham, did, on or about the 29th March, declare to a Member of Parliament, that it was his opinion that the Right Honourable George Ponsonby was “an old woman,” or words to that effect. The charges being distinctly read by Sir W. W. Wynne, the Prisoner pleaded not guilty. Counsel for the prosecution, Sir Arthur Pigott ; Mr. Charles Wynne, For the Prisoner, Mr. Abercrombie; Mr. Bennet; Mr. Lambton. Sir A. P. opened the case in a short speech of about two hours and a half, in which he took occasion, as explanatory of the present charge, to read
the Annual Mutiny Bill verbatim, and to insist on the absolute necessity of good order and discipline in all constituted society; he then proceeded to
call witnesses on behalf of the Prosecution.
The Right Honourable George Ponsonby. Q. You are a Member of Parliament? A. I am. Q. I believe, Mr. Ponsonby, you hold the office of Leader of the Opposition ? A. I do. Q. Is it an office of honour and distinction? A. It is not, to the best of my knowledge. Q. I beg your pardon, I had been misinformed. Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar? A. I do. Q. Has he interfered with your rightful Privileges as Leader of the Opposition? A. I consider that he has interfered very unwarrantably. He has made motions and put questions without consulting me. In particular, he made a motion respecting the affairs of Spain, without giving me any intimation of it. Q. He left you wholly ignorant and uninformed on the Spanish question? A. Wholly ignorant and uninformed on that and every other subject.
Q. In consequence of the unwarrantable conduct of the Prisoner, have the functions, duties, and profits of your office been diminished 2 A. They have.
Q. On what matters do you now occupy yourself? A. I put questions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the day on which he will bring forward any particular business—I move for the printing of papers presented to the House—I state my opinion, that I am not bound to commit myself until the papers are printed and in the hands 6s Members—I call order when Mr. Pascoe Grenfell is
speaking, and so forth.
Cross-eramined by Mr. Abercrombie. Q. Pray, Sir, by whom were you appointed Leader of the Opposition? A: I do not feel my
self bound to answer that question.
Court.—The witness is not bound—State secrets are not to be disclosed. Q. Pray, Mr. Ponsonby, how long did you hold the office of Chancellor of Ireland? A. Seven months—and five days. Q. Did you receive any, and what Pension, in retiring from that office? A. I now receive four thousand pounds per annum. Mr. Abercrombie.—The witness may go down. Mr. Lambton.—The witness has been going down for some time past. (Aloud laugh.)
Mr. Kirkman Finlay. Examined by Sir A. Pigott. [It being stated that the Witness had some difficulty in explaining himself in English, Mr. was sworn interpreter.] Q. What is your name? A. Finlay, of Glasgow. Q. Your Christian name? A. Caarkman.
Court.—What is the witness's name 2
Sir A. Pigott.—Kirkman, my Lord—in my brief. Q. What is your profession, Mr. Finlay? A. A Member of Parliament. Q. Do you know the Prisoner? A. 1 do, Q. Where have you seen him 2 A. In debating sacieties i' the North. Q. Do you recollect the 26th March 2 A. I do. Q. Did you observe any thing particular in the conduct of the Prisoner towards the Right Hon. George Ponsonby on that day? A. I ded. Q. Relate what you observed to the Court? A. The House was in Kommitee, Mr. Ponsonby had rose to spak, but the Prisoner having rose after him, parsiisted to spak, and tapped him on the shoulder, and said “Set down—set down, I'm in possassion of the Kommitee.” Q. Were you in a position from which you could see the action of the Prisoner? A. I was–
I was setting behind the Trashery Bench.