HC Deb 17 February 1847 vol 90 cc126-7

said, that during the period he had enjoyed the honour of a seat in that House, he had repeatedly had occasion to thank them for their kindness towards him; and he hoped they would have the goodness again to extend their indulgence to him while he trespassed on their attention in reference to a matter of a rather personal character. He was anxious to take the earliest possible opportunity to correct an erroneous impression which appeared to have gone abroad with regard to certain statements which he had made in that House. It was said that he had acted with discourtesy; but he trusted that he knew his duty too well to act with deliberate discourtesy to anybody in that House or elsewhere. It had been stated that he had made charges against a certain individual. He denied having done so. He thought it right to recall to the recollection of the House the fact that when his hon. Friend the Member for Marylebone (Sir B. Hall) referred to certain statements made in a blue book with respect to certain union workhouses in Ireland, he did not lose a moment, after the hon. Baronet had resumed his seat, in reading from the book in question a charge which certainly did strike him as being of an appalling character. The House, he trusted, would remember that on that occasion he expressed a hope that the charge would be speedily denied. He made no charges himself against any one whomsoever, but merely relied upon the report of the blue book, sanctioned as it had been by the names of the assistant poor-law commissioners of Ireland, and published under the authority of that House. He distinctly disclaimed having made any charge whatever. He contented himself with merely reading a few pages from the blue book; but he certainly did say, and he now repeated it, that his constituency would not be satisfied if they were to be taxed for the payment of poor rates not levied in Ireland. To this opinion he still adhered, and he still most sincerely hoped that the statement would be denied which averred that there were arrears of poor rates due by wealthy landed proprietors in that country. In conclusion, he would only observe, that no reflection cast upon him in that House or elsewhere would prevent him from discharging his duty towards his constituents and the public to the best of his ability.

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