HC Deb 17 March 1864 vol 174 cc183-4

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he will lay upon the table of the House the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown upon the subject of the Tuscaloosa, which was forwarded to the Admiral at the Cape of Good Hope?


replied, that it was well known that, for very good reasons, it was not the custom to lay on the table of the House the opinions given by the Law Officers of the Crown. Those opinions were confidential, and intended for the guidance of the Government. The Government could act on them or not as they saw fit, in the exercise of their own discretion and on their own responsibility; and it was obvious for professional as well as political reasons that it was not proper to lay such papers before Parliament.