HC Deb 07 March 1889 vol 333 cc1156-7

called upon Mr. Summers, in whose name Question No. 61 stood.

MR. SUMMERS (Huddersfield)

I wish to postpone this Question.


Why? I think I can claim that the Question shall be put.


Then I put it.

[The Question was as follows:—To ask Mr. Attorney General whether he is correctly reported as having said, on 16th July, 1888, with reference to the case of O'Donnell v. Walter and another— I have received not the slightest communication from the Government of any sort or kind, direct or indirect, in order to assist me in the performance of my duties as counsel for the defendants; and, whether he is able to give the House a similar assurance with regard to the proceedings before the Parnell Commission Court?]


The quotation of my words of the 16th of July last is, I think, correct- When I was instructed to act for the Times after the Commission Bill was passed, and from that date to the present, Mr. Soames has, from time to time at my request, applied to the officials both in Ireland and England for information as to specific facts and parsons bearing upon the charges and allegations. Mr. Soames has communicated to me the result of such applications, which I have used for the purposes of the Commission. I desire to add that Mr. Soames, on the 14th of February, 1889, stated in examination-in-chief that he was prepared to give the Court every information as to the source from which and the way in which he had obtained the evidence laid before the Court, and that no question whatever was put to him in cross-examination by any of the learned counsel, excepting in connection with the unfortunate man Pigott.


Is it not the case that when I attempted to cross-examine Mr. Soames on this point I was immediately stopped by the Court?


I think the hon. and learned Gentleman was treated by the Court with great courtesy; but I recollect that when the hon. and learned Gentleman wished to ask a question, he was requested to state on what point of relevance he proposed to ask it, and, not being able to say, he did not put it.


I beg leave to say that my recollection does not accord with that of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and I was not treated with courtesy by the Court.