HC Deb 23 June 1837 vol 38 cc1581-2

On Lord John Russell moving the Order of the Day for taking into further consideration her Majesty's Message,

Sir James Graham

begged the attention of the House for a moment. In an evening paper, The True Sun, which he held in his hand, there was an account of the Parliamentary proceedings of last evening, and in that paper there was the following passage relating to himself:—"At five o'clock, Lord John Russell presented himself at the bar, with a message from her Majesty the Queen, when instantly every hat was taken from the head of the wearer, except Sir James Graham, who manifested considerable reluctance, and who eventually complied with this decent testimony of respect, after the Speaker had more than once emphatically repeated 'Members must be uncovered.'" Now, the House would remember, that the noble Lord (John Russell) merely announced a message which he was ordered to bring up. There was some confusion before the Speaker began to read the Message, and several Members on the opposite side of the House had already taken off their hats. He, however, appealed to the Speaker, whether it was not according to the rules and old usages of the House, that all should remain covered until they heard the word Rex or Regina read from the chair. It had a better effect, and it was for that he had waited. The insinuation that had been thrown out against him was most unfair, and he could not, without compromising himself, avoid noticing it. It was not his intention or wish to proceed further with the complaint; and he would only add, that he was not in the habit of making empty professions of loyalty, and he hoped when the occasion came, he would not be found wanting in deference and loyalty to the Crown.

The Speaker

said, the right hon. Baronet had stated the practice of the House most correctly. The House would remember, that on the bringing up the Message there had arisen a considerable cry of "Off hats;" and he had taken the course he did in order to save the time of the House. With respect to the insinuation made against the right hon. Baronet, he must say, that no such conduct had come under his notice.

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