§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
I desire to put a Question to the hon. Member for the Northern Division of Manchester (Mr. Schwann), of which I have given him private Notice. My attention has been called by more than one of my constituents to a speech which it is alleged the hon. Member delivered at the Free Trade Hall, in Manchester, on Wednesday last. The following is the passage in the hon. Gentleman's speech as reported in the newspapers, to which I wish to draw his attention:—Although the Tories were jubilant at present, the time might soon come when, in vulgar language, they would laugh at the other side of their mouth. We might also find that the men who did not object to sacrifice the liberties of the Irish people would not object to sacrifice the liberties of the English people. Look at what took place on Tuesday night when the Government was put in a minority. He saw that 22 Lancashire Members—he supposed they were Conservatives—formed part of the minority. He desired to point out to Lancashire men that they sent Members to Parliament who did not object to see the daughters of the honest poor insulted in the streets. He hoped they would take due note of their names, and that the knowledge would penetrate into the dull intelligence of the Conservative working men.I should like to ask the hon. Member, Whether he is correctly Reported to have used these words with reference to the Members for Lancashire, who voted in the minority on Tuesday night, and may I express a hope that, on consideration, he may think fit to withdraw this language, bearing in mind that we meet 227 here on terms of fairness, of courtesy, and of some mutual consideration?
§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
The words ascribed to me by the right hon. Baronet are, I believe, perfectly correct. I wish to state to the House that they constitute an inference which I drew from the vote of the minority— the real effect of their vote; but as I have learnt from you, Sir, that it is not proper, even outside this House, to refer to the assumed motives of hon. Members, I have to express my regret for having unwittingly transgressed the Rules of the House, or hurt the feelings of any of my Conservative Colleagues from Lancashire.
§ MR. FORREST FULTON (West Ham, N.)
Does the hon. Gentleman include in his strictures the vote of the right hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers), or of those Members on his own side of the House who—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The point is a personal question between the hon. Member and the right hon. Baronet, and I hope the matter will not be further pursued.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
This question is, I need hardly say, a matter of surprise to us Irish Members. May I ask you, Sir, if we take the trouble of directing your attention to language used in regard to us of a similar kind, whether you will extend to Irish Members the same protection?
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The interruption of the hon. Member is irregular. When the Question was put to me by the right hon. Baronet, who showed me the statement of what was said by the hon. Member for the Northern Division of Manchester, I was naturally desirous to make peace between any hon. Members so far as I could. I suggested to the right hon. Baronet that he should make his statement in such a way as would allow the hon. Gentleman, without any reflection on his personal honour and character, to make such an explanation as I felt sure he would make under the circumstances. I consider that the hon. Member has made a statement which is satisfactory to the right hon. Baronet and to the House, and I hope the House will not take any further notice of a matter which is purely personal between two hon. Members.