HC Deb 21 February 1882 vol 266 cc1232-3

asked the indulgence of the House to make a personal explanation. He was not in the House on Thursday last when the Attorney General for Ireland was making his speech; but his attention had been directed to an assertion of the right hon. and learned Gentleman in support of the charge of treasonable practices with which he assailed a number of the political opponents of the Government. The right hon. and learned Attorney General for Ireland said that, in October last, he (Mr. O'Donnell) stated that nobody minded the Government of Mr. Gladstone, and that that expression was made against the Government of the Queen. That charge was as gross as it was unfounded. He had always, both in Ireland and in this country, undeviatingly supported the advice of Mr. Paraell, for which his distinguished Colleague had been arrested, that "the Irish contest should be maintained within the lines of the Constitution." He had never in any way spoken against the authority and Government of Her Gracious Majesty; but he had condemned the Government of Mr. Gladstone, as he had a right to do, in the country as in his place in Parliament. He had, like scores of English speakers, described Mr. Gladstone's Government as entirely devoid of influence in Ireland, and as being without any moral force behind him. He had never in any way confounded the Government of the Member for Mid Lothian with the permanent Constitution of the Queen's Government. On the contrary, he had repeatedly, both in Ireland and England, spoken of the right hon. Gentleman's Government as being—[Cries of "Oh, oh!" and "Order!"]


This House is always indulgent to a Member who desires to make a personal explanation; but it appears to me the hon. Member is going beyond the bounds of personal explanation.


said, at another time he could have afforded to treat with silent contempt the baseless and imaginary assertion of the Attorney General for Ireland; but in presence of the manner in which not only personal reputation, but liberty itself, was assailed upon such trumped-up stories, he had felt obliged to take this much notice of the reckless licence of a salaried tongue.

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