§ SIR PATRICK O'BRIEN
said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether the statement is correct that on the occasion of the Earl of Derby forming his administration in the year 1858 the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland was offered to the present Lord Chancellor of Ireland, the Right hon. Francis Blackburne, and then declined by him on the ground of his advanced age, or some similar reason?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, it is very difficult to remember all the offers of office that were made in the year 1858; but I believe that Mr. Black- 1073 burne was then requested by Lord Derby to become Lord Chancellor of Ireland; and I think he declined the offer because he was then in possession of the very dignified and permanent office just referred to by the right hon. Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey), whereas the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland does not partake of that permanent character. I do not believe that age was alleged as the cause of Mr. Blackburne's refusal; and to what "similar reason" the hon. Member alludes in his question I am totally at a loss to conceive.