HC Deb 17 June 1880 vol 253 cc190-1

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, upon the Committee responsible for the issue of the Liberal Circular alluded to by Mr. Justice Lush, the names appear of the following members of Her Majesty's present Government:—Sir William Vernon Harcourt, Lord Kensington, the Right Hon. W. P. Adam, Sir Henry James, and the Marquess of Hartington?


Sir, I must read this Question, in order to have a full view of its scope, in connection with a former Question, wherein the hon. and learned Gentleman asked the Home Secretary what steps he intended to take for the purpose of discovering and bringing to justice those gentlemen whom Mr. Justice Lush had declared to have been guilty of a misdemeanour in issuing a certain circular. I was in a state of happy ignorance upon all the facts connected with this case until the time when I saw the Notice of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and that led me to make inquiries. I did know as much as this, that there was such an Association as the Liberal Association. I further ascertained that there was a Committee of that Association; and, further still, that several Members of Her Majesty's Government belonged to the Committee; but, unfortunately, to the disappointment of the hon. and learned Gentleman, my right hon, Friend the Home Secretary does not belong to it. Under those circumstances, I trust the hon. and learned Gentleman will excuse me from going further into the particular terms of his Question, because he alludes not to the Committee of the Liberal Association, but to the Committee responsible for the issuing of the circular. I know nothing of the responsibility, and, not having the advantage of being an hon. and learned Gentleman, I wish to give no opinion or to describe any particulars with which I am not fully conversant. I hope that I have answered the Question to the best of my ability.