HC Deb 08 June 1874 vol 219 cc1153-4

, Chairman of the Committee on Public Petitions, stated that a few days since the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Colonel Alexander) presented a Petition to the House from Mr. Rigby Wason. Upon examination, that Petition had been found to contain offensive imputations upon the conduct of the Select Committee on Public Petitions. As such, it was not a Petition which could be received, as it almost amounted to a Breach of the Privileges of the House. He therefore moved that the Order that the Petition should lie on the Table be discharged.


said, in assenting to the proposal of the hon. Member, he must express his obligations to him for the consideration which he had shown him, and for the terms in which he had brought this question before the notice of the House; and he must further express to the House his deep regret that he should have presented a Petition embodying an imputation on one of the Committees of that House. He felt that he must assume the whole blame which necessarily and very properly attached to such proceedings, and he should not seek to escape from it by pleading Parliamentary inexperience. What he regretted was, that he did not return the Petition to Mr. Wason, requesting him to withdraw any expressions which might be deemed offensive or objectionable; and he was quite sure that Mr. Wason, who was for many years a Member of the House, and might not be unknown to some hon. Members, would have done what was asked of him. He could only once more assure the House of his deep and unfeigned regret for this occurrence, and his determination in the future narrowly to scan the contents and terms of any Petition he might present to the House.

Order [2nd June] That the Petition do lie upon the Table read, and discharged;—Petition withdrawn.