MR. OWEN STANLEY
said, he rose to call the attention of the House to what he considered a great breach of privilege. He had given notice yesterday of certain questions which he intended to put to the Under Secretary for War. He laid them on the table before the clerk, who made no objection to them, and he had given a copy to the Under Secretary for War. He found that the most important part was omitted in the printed copy of the Votes, and he would take this opportunity of calling the attention of Mr. Speaker to the matter. He believed his notice had not been shown to the right hon. Gentleman, and he was perfectly certain that all he had put on the paper was true. He held in his hand an exact copy of what he put upon the notice paper, and he would read it to the House. He wished to ask a question relative to a letter written by Captain Fitzwygram, and he wished also to express a hope that Captain Fitzwygram would not be ordered abroad, and to ask whether there was any intention to have an inquiry into the conduct of the superior officers and others concerned in the late practical jokes and sham duel between officers of the cavalry depôt at Canterbury. He would now read to the House the letter which he wished to bring under its attention, which was written by Captain Fitzwygram, and given to Cornet Baumgarten, who refused to assent to it—My object in writing to Lord Shaftesbury is to defend the regiment, not to damage your character. If my object can be equally well accomplished without damaging your character I am content. To do this I require three things; first, an admission on your part, without admitting all I have said, that enough had occurred to create a prejudice against you; secondly, an undertaking on your part that Lord Shaftesbury shall withdraw in the House—on explanation by you—his charge that the acts committed were 'gross, disgusting, and filthy, and impossible to occur where the commanding officer was a gentleman and a Christian;' thirdly, a positive undertaking to retire.T. W. FITZWYGRAM, Captain.He put it to the hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Peel) whether the conduct of Captain Fitzwygram being known to the Com- 19 mander in Chief, any inquiry was proposed to be instituted into his conduct, and he wished that question to be answered, and to know, also, whether it was not a breach of privilege for the clerk at the table to cut out any portion of a question which had been laid upon the table for insertion in the notice paper?
§ MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member proposed to put a notice upon the paper which is irregular, of course the part of the notice which is irregular would be left out. It is very irregular that any matter should appear in print in the shape of argument, and, in fact, all notices of questions should be made as short as possible. I am not aware of the exact terms of the notice given by the hon. Member, but I have no doubt that, in consequence of the notice containing some matters which were irregular, a portion of the notice was omitted by the clerk.
§ MR. SPEAKER
If I understand the hon. Member, he wished to put a private letter on the Votes of the House. [Mr. STANLEY: No!] The hon. Member has not informed me what the notice was, and I am, therefore, unable to answer the question positively without knowing more about it.
§ MR. FREDERICK PEEL
I think it right to say that I have not received any other question than that upon the notice paper.
MR. OWEN STANLEY
I think the written question that I put into the hon. Gentleman's hands contained that portion of the notice that was omitted.