said, he rose to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the statement is true which has been publicly made, that the Earl of Malmesbury has, up to the date of this Notice, refused to pay the £200 Stamp Duty required by the Act 55 Geo. III. c. 184, to be paid on the Patent of appointment to the office of Secretary of State; and whether, in consequence of such refusal, the Patent of appointment of the Earl of Clarendon to the office of Foreign Secretary does not now exist unrevoked.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he believed there was a point of law involved in the question of the hon. Member. His noble Friend the Foreign Secretary had consented to pay the fees in question provided he could be satisfied that they had been paid by those who preceded him. The appointment did not depend upon the Patent, but upon receiving the Seals from Her Majesty, and therefore no question could arise upon the point mooted by the hon. Member. As it was his interest that as many payments should be made into the Exchequer as possible, he had submitted the question to his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General, and now awaited his report on the subject. If the opinion of the Attorney General was that these fees should be paid, he would certainly lose no time in claiming them, not merely from his noble Friend.