HC Deb 29 April 1873 vol 215 c1137

asked the First Commissioner of Works, If his attention has been directed to an article in the "Times" of the 28th instant, extracted from the "Pall Mall Gazette," in which it is asserted that a "painful rumour is afloat" to the effect that he contemplates the erection of a row of houses in the Green Park, facing Piccadilly, and whether there is any grounds for such a statement?


My attention, Sir, has been called to the paragraph by the hon. Member's Question. I do not think it expedient to call attention to such a paragraph, my opinion being that it would be better to adhere to what I have always understood to be the practice of this House—that no hon. Member should bring any subject under its notice unless there were reasonable grounds for so doing. Now, in my opinion, a paragraph in a newspaper is not a reasonable ground, and for this reason—no persons are more liable to be imposed upon by those who write falsehoods, either for pleasure or for profit, than the managers of newspapers, because they have an idea that they ought to preserve confidence and keep secret the names of persons who libel others, and deceive the public by such communications. I can only say, in reference to the particular paragaph referred to, that it is entirely false, as I have no doubt the writer of it very well knew.