HC Deb 21 February 1831 vol 2 cc782-4
Sir J. Graham

said: although, Sir, there is this pressure of public business, I feel myself unwillingly obliged to intrude upon you a subject of a private nature; and perhaps the House, when they come to learn the reason of my doing so, will be inclined to pardon me. I am the more reluctant to do so, as the subject has reference to a preceding debate. It will be in the recollection of hon. Members, that on a former evening, in the heat of an extempore address to the House, I used the word "demagogue." That word has given offence to an hon. Member, and he has sent to ask me whether that word was meant to apply to him. Consistently with truth I am able to state, that at the moment when I used that expression, I did not use it with reference to the hon. member for Clare, he being the individual who has asked me to state whether the expression was meant to apply to him. At the moment I used the expression, he was sitting behind me, I was not aware that he was in the House at the time, and I can conscientiously state, that I did not know he was present, and did not intend the word to apply to him. So far, Sir, I have stated in compliance with the wish of a noble friend. I will now, on my own part, say a few words with reference to another hon. Member; I did use the expression complained of with reference to another hon. Member, whom I now see present, and I now wish to say, that when I recollect he was not then present— when I recollect the declaration he once made —a declaration that ought to make him more cautious in his language towards others, and to make others more cautious in their language towards him, and more especially when I recollect the situation in which that hon. Member now stands with regard to the Government, I frankly and fairly confess, that I am sorry I used that expression.

Mr. H. Davis

reminded the House that immediately after the expression had been used, the right hon. Baronet declared that he had used it in the heat of debate, and not with reference to the hon. member for Clare, who then complained of it.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that he was most unexpectedly and unnecessarily adverted to by the right hon. Baronet. He did not think that what the right hon. Baronet had said respecting him ought to have been said under the semblance and guise of an apology to another. He utterly denied that he had ever made use of any language, either there or elsewhere, except such as a Christian might have uttered, or a man might be prepared to vindicate, in the sincerity of truth. The right hon. Baronet had alluded to the situation in which he (Mr. O'Connell) stood in reference to the Government. He would take good care, however, to be early in his attendance in this House, with a view of having that situation clearly understood, for a great deal of misconception prevailed with regard to it. He thought it most extraordinary that the right hon. Baronet, when giving an explanation to an hon. Member of that House, should allude to him in so uncalled for a manner.

Here the matter closed.

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