HC Deb 24 April 1883 vol 278 cc1062-3

wished to put a Question to the Prime Minister of which he had given him private Notice. Having referred to Hansard for an authentic report of the words used by the noble Marquess the Secretary of State for War in reference to the comparative unimportance of the Parliamentary Oaths Act (1866) Amendment Bill, he should wish to ask the Prime Minister whether he was still in the position to disclaim, on the part of the noble Marquess, the statement which he had attributed to him the other day? The words of the noble Marquess to which he desired especially to call attention were as follows:— It is always a matter of discretion with the Government what measures ought to be named in the Speech from the Throne. It is not usual to include measures which are not considered to be of general or great importance; and this Bill is certainly one which we do not consider to be of great importance, or worthy to find a place among the measures usually enumerated in the Queen's Speech."—(3 Hansard, [276] 120.) He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, now that those words had been brought to his notice, he adhered to his declaration of the previous day?


The hon. Member has given me what he terms private Notice of this Question, and I must say that in this case the term private Notice seems to require some authentic exposition. On my entrance into this House this evening the doorkeeper placed in my hand the Notice to which the hon. Member refers, and since then I have not seen my noble Friend, who is not in the House, and the matter remains exactly in the same position as it was when the hon. Gentleman addressed me before and without Notice. That is to say, I am required at this time to say what were the words used by the noble Marquess in a speech which he made in this House while I was out of it. In these circumstances, I would venture to refer the hon. Member to my noble Friend himself; or, if he would prefer it, I will communicate with my noble Friend.


wished to state that, in the note he had sent to the right hon. Gentleman, giving him Notice of the Question, he furnished a report of the words he had quoted.

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