HC Deb 23 July 1866 vol 184 cc1302-3

I think, Sir, with your permission, I shall be in order in referring to a Question put in the early part of the evening, when I was not able to be in the House, and when I was not even in town. It is only since I entered the House that I received notice from an hon. Friend of the Question that has been put. I believe the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Limerick put a question as to a matter of fact, and I am glad that he has done so, because it gives me an opportunity of correcting any statement which did not strictly conform to truth. I hold in my hand a copy of The Times newspaper containing a report of the discussion the other night on the Queen's University, and it appears by it that I then stated, as I certainly did, that I had seen a certain letter which emanated from Mr. Sullivan. In the next sentence, however, I corrected myself by saying that I believed it emanated from him, and when some dissent was expressed by an hon. Member, I said I believed it because no one else was present on the occasion alluded to in that letter but the members of the Senate, the Secretary, and myself. I am told the right hon. Gentleman has stated that he is authorized by Professor Sullivan to say that he did not write the letter to which I referred, and I am, therfore, very sorry that I should have imputed the letter to him. I am bound to say, however, that the letter, which I did not read at the time, would lead any one to infer that it had emanated from a person who was present at the meeting. I will not read the letter now, because I do not want to justify myself, but it appeared in the Freeman's Journal of the 14th of July. It enters into the conversation between Dr. Corrigan and myself, and others besides myself thought that the letter emanated from a member of the Senate. However, I accept the denial of the hon. Member for Limerick, and I assure Professor Sullivan that I am extremely sorry for having imputed to him statements that in no way emanated from him.