HC Deb 28 June 1883 vol 280 c1697

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to statements made publicly by Mr. Fraser Mackintosh, M.P. a Member of the Royal Commission on Crofters, in reference to the evidence taken before the Commission, and especially to the following remarks:— Whatever Report the Commissioners may adopt, the mind of the Country, as to the condition, the usage, and the requirements of these people, will be made up, not from the Report, but from the detailed evidence itself, and therefore the appearance of this evidence will be matter of the utmost importance; and, whether it is in accordance with recognised usage to allude publicly to the proceedings of a Royal Commission before the Commissioners have completed the evidence, much less reported?


When Gentlemen are appointed on a Royal Commission by the Crown, it is no part of my duty to criticize their conduct, or what they say to anybody, especially to their constituents, and therefore I can give no official opinion on the subject. If the hon. Member wishes for my private opinion, which is of very little value, I should say that the passage referred to in the Question is a singularly harmless passage. If there is any harm in it, it is in the excess of modesty on the part of the Commissioner attaching greater force to the evidence than to the Report.