HC Deb 03 August 1855 vol 139 c1745

requested the permission of the House to explain some words which he was supposed to have uttered on Monday last, and which had caused some pain to the hon. and gallant Member opposite (Admiral Walcott), to whose feelings they were all desirous of paying deference. He had hoped that in the observations which he addressed to the House the other evening, when resisting the Motion of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, he had succeeded in his desire to avoid anything which could give offence to, or hurt the feelings of any one. He had, however, received a letter from the hon. and gallant officer, who seemed to think that he (Sir C. Wood) had said something which was disparaging to the gallant Gentleman's professional character. The words attributed were—"but as the service in question had not been thought worthy of a distinctive mark of honour at the time—a quarter of a century ago—he must decline to accede to the Motion." He had informed the hon. and gallant Officer by letter, and he now declared publicly, that he was perfectly convinced that he never had used those words. He had referred to several of those organs through which the public were made acquainted with the proceedings of that House, and he found no such words attributed to him. He could not have used those words, because the reason assigned by them was not that which led him to resist the Motion. His reason for objecting to the production of the papers asked for was because he did not think it was desirable for that House to interfere with the distribution of honours which ought to proceed from the Crown alone, as being the fountain of honour.