HC Deb 21 November 1884 vol 294 cc140-1

I rise, Sir, with your permission, to ask the leave of the House to make a brief personal statement. I have the second place on the Notice Paper this evening for a Notice to call attention to the comparative Expenditure of the late and the present Government, with special reference to statements recently made in an address to his constituents in Scotland by the First Lord of the Treasury. Since I have been in the House I have been honoured with a letter from the First Lord of the Treasury, and it will be better to read it than state the substance of it. He says—

"10, Downing Street, Whitehall,

Nov. 21, 1884.

"My dear Sir,—Seeing you in the House on the evening when my figures used at Edinburgh were attacked and defended, I observed that you did not enter into the debate; but I, having done so once, am not inclined to do it again, in case you should raise the question this evening. The question of comparative expenditure is one for Mr. Childers to deal with. But, as to my own statements, they have in the main been dealt with already, and I now enclose to you a paper which deals with other points, and, so far as I am concerned, contains all I think it needful to say. You are, of course, at liberty to make such use of it as you may think fit.

"Believe me, faithfully yours,


"E. CLARKE, Esq., M.P."

That being the state of the case, Sir, I think it will be consulting the convenience of the House if I do not trouble them by making a speech to which no answer will be given. I will, as soon as possible, put the substance of my statement into print; and, taking advantage of the permission of the right hon. Gentleman, I will append to it the long statement with which he has favoured me in manuscript, and I shall take care every Member of the House has a copy.