HC Deb 18 April 1887 vol 313 cc1121-3
SIR BERNHARD SAMUELSON (Oxfordshire, Banbury)

Sir, I rise to put a Question to the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of which I have given him private Notice. It relates to his speech at Edinburgh, a speech in which the right hon. Gentleman makes a reference to my hon. Friend the Member for the Barnard Castle Division of Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) and myself. The statement to which I refer was, in substance, that my hon. Friend and myself had been "put up" to move the Amendment to the Second Beading of the Coercion Bill. The words, if correctly reported, are given in The Observer of yesterday as follows:— It is true that two very respectable copartners were brought up to the scratch to move and second the Amendment on the present Coercion Bill. And then the right hon. Gentleman goes on to say— But, as a rule, the steadier Gladstonians sit in a kind of silent resignation while the battle is being fought by their wilder friends. The Question I wish to ask my right hon. Friend is this—What is his authority for making that statement? I may, perhaps, be allowed to say that it is entirely unfounded; that my action in regard to this Bill and my Amendment to the Second Reading were entirely spontaneous; and that, with regard to my hon. Friend the Member for the Barnard Castle Division of Durham, he communicated with me immediately on hearing of the Notice which I had given, asking whether it would be quite agreeable to me that he should second the Amendment. I say nothing of the animus of the statement—[Cries of "Order!"]—and I content myself with asking the Question.


I did not, Sir, use the words "put up;" but, I think, I did use the words "brought up to the scratch." The report is accurate, except so far as that I did not say "copartners," which is a misprint for "hon. Baronets." So far, I am obliged to the hon. Baronet for giving me an opportunity of correcting a rather absurd mistake. Perhaps I should have said "came up to the scratch," instead of "brought up to the scratch." I feel confident that, when he thinks of it, the hon. Baronet will not object to that phrase. But, if he does, I have now to express my frank regret to the hon. Baronet for having said anything in the slightest degree painful either to the hon. Baronet, or to the other hon. Baronet the Member for the Barnard Castle Division of Durham.


I would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he should refer to those who are best able to speak on the subject whether what he is reported to have said is correct. I should rather like him to inquire of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian, or the hon. Member for Nottingham.


I thought I had withdrawn the words in the frankest manner. It would be perfectly unnecessary for me to make any inquiry as to the declaration of the hon. Baronet. I am sorry if my answer has given the hon. Baronet any additional ground for complaint.