INQUIRY- REMOVED TO COURT OF "'..' 3.12 *. ''■ APPEAL. : V" : : -'; ";
(By Telegraph.—Own Correspondent.) WELLINGTON, Friday. In Chambers to-day, before Mr. Justice Cooper, Mr. F. E. Bating E.C. (with, him Mr. Blair), applied for an order moving the the AttorneyGeneral' and another—an ehdteavour to. upset the Commission with Judge Sim as Commissioner, appointed! by the Government to inquire into certain allegations of bribery in connection with the Ohinemuri Licensing Committee of June, 1900. —into the Court, of Appeal for hearing. The plaintiffs ■were the members of the Olunemuri Licensing Committee (Fred. Coek,-Thos. Gavin, H. W. Moore, Hugh Poland:,-.and! John-Ede Taylor) and the defendants -Tvere -vfche . Attorney-General |(Dr. Fin'diay, &C.) 'knd! MJv Justice who =>had been appointed -to hold the inquiry. Mr. Baume, TLC, of Auckland, appeared on behalf of plaintiffs, and Mr. M. K.C., and Mr. D. M. Findlay" for the defendtats." Counsel for plaintiffs "were instructed 'by Messrs. Parr .and Bloomfield, of Auckland. Messrs. Martin Chapman, K.C., and Dr. iFmdlay "being retained for the defence. Mr. Baume moved that an order'be made removing th© action into the" Oourt; of Appeal for hearing, on the ground that it • was desirable ..that the.impoiit-; ant and difficult questions £>f law;twhich'; arose in the case shotildHbe ieard -and determined by that Court. The statement of claim set forth that for the of the inquiry, Mr. Justice Sim • • ,was empowered toexamine all books'and documents which, he deemed necessary, and also' to examine on oath -all per- ., eons .whom he thoughtcapable of affordL.' ing 'Itrm information. In- tne premises ,„ itjwas provided that if any-charge -was made against any person it should not * 'be-inquired; into uh'till-at least 48 hours - after a "copy. 65 the" charge ha.9! been - eiffved, on him. ..For the better 'enabling U. hko~ to "carry those points into effect, J ihe jwas empowered to conduct the in'Z «p*hy -tP , - such, places and in such manl; mer as ie- thought fit. T7pon the date -in- question, .plaintiffs -constituted the •'" (Licensing Committee, and Robert Smelt " UusE, SJM, who ihad since resigned his .' 'offWe, "-was ex-officio chairman of the committee. At the date of the Commis- '' eioniio legisiation ihad been proposed as to chaxges relating to the alleged! brib- : - ing or corruption, of members of licensing •' committeee. !By-reason of the premises, -- Mr. Justioe £5m _ had no jurisdiction to ' "■*Snqoire~ihtd"'tSie allegations;-wherefore it iwas claimed tha-t the Commission might Ibo if necessary, it might .. to" the Court "*™ for the purpose of quashing and'setting T it aside, antf that it might be declared -*■ that Mr. Justice Sim ihad no jurisdiction ~ to hold! tfie £hat ihe.be re'Z ibyv-injmicrfcion or "prohibited l .:t>y. , or „ order frfom 6o doing. _: sir. Chapman said: that the only ob- ?:. Jeetiptt.to. the motion which he desired ~ to raise was iihat the matter might be "* more exspeditiously dealt' with oy a '■•■ •-- - '-'- His Honors -None of the Judges could £ take it toore quickly than the Court of '",. -Appeal.. , . .;. ™: Mx. Chapman': Could the case be placid cd.at the top of the list in. connection *J 'with the Conrt. of Appeal? As your '.'. Honor is airare, tie whole paraphernalia •fc cf the Commission is now standing idle. His Honor said l the matter was cerItainly. ome<of-.iirgency. He thought that k the case rfwuldi "be taken to the Court ; of Appeal.. The question, at issue was .', whether *he Government had! power to appoint Bucb; a Commission? A great 2 constitutional question was involved, and .** it-was dfesiiabie that the case should — not he taken until Mr. Justice Williams, [Presidenfc .of the, Court, could! be present- ." He was now occupied in hearing a com- / .pensation . case .at Dunedin, which was expected to last some days, and 1 probably ~- im>uld nois reach Wellington ibefore MonJJ flay weeku w; Mr. Chapman said- the-Government ~ mronld Hke the point to be settled as *' quickly; as possible. It was recognised j? that if a single judge heard! the mat1. fter -there might be an appeal. " TTia Honor: , That would be almost 'j. Bure to happen. ;■- Mr. Baume said l the matter ■was one ■. ef importance -as well as of urgency. Trio clients -preferred- that it should! come ■"? before the Court of Appeal. ':, His Honor said he would make repreEentations to his fellow judges with a View to, having the case taken at the esa-liee-t'tSpssible mraneiifc. ■«.-. : .. - • •Mγ. Findlay: I don't think there would !be any difficulty in getting the initial appointment. Usually nobody is ready to go on >when the Court meets. ' [(lia-ughter.)) _ His Honoy fthen made an order retaoving the case into the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Justice Sim (has postponed! the opening of trie inquiry until April 20. Mr. E. G. B. Moss, solicitor, on whose initiative the inquiry was ordered, will proceed to Wellington to-day.
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