§ MR. JOHNS
asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been called to the report of a speech, made by His Honour Judge Thomas Hughes at a political meeting held at Chester on the 29th ultimo, in which, as reported by The Leeds Mercury of the 30th January last and other newspapers, the following language was used, he spoke as follows:—That our Country was in danger, and it was time for them to stand side by side. They 1019 came there Liberals, and he was a Liberal of thirty years standing, and he was just as staunch now. They came there to make the confession that they had not kept their public men up to the mark, to confess that some of their leading men had been making a 'Dutch auction' of infamy of this Irish Question;whether, considering that his honour Judge Thomas Hughes is a Judge of County Courts, the Government have taken his speech into consideration; and, whether the attention of the Lord Chancellor has been drawn to it?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Mr. CHARLES RUSSELL)
Sir, I have received a letter from Mr. Hughes, in which he states that the meeting in question was not a political meeting in the ordinary sense of those words—that is, it was not a political meeting of one Party in politics, but that there were a number of gentlemen present belonging to the two great political Parties. I have brought the matter under the notice of the Lord Chancellor, and also the statement of the County Court Judge, and he does not feel called upon to take any further notice of the matter.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
asked, was not the meeting of the so-called Irish Loyal and Patriotic League called for the purpose of resisting such changes in the relations between England and Ireland as had been over and over again foreshadowed by the Prime Minister?
§ MR. CHARLES RUSSELL
I am not able to answer that Question, as I have no information; but I believe it is a fact that the meeting was presided over by a noble Duke, who is, or was, a Member of the Liberal Party.