HC Deb 27 March 1889 vol 334 cc931-2

I desire to refer for a moment to a subject which I am sure has been the occasion of great sorrow to every Member of this House. News has reached the House in the course of the last few minutes of the death of one of its Members, for whom every Member has always entertained the highest respect. I feel that in the absence of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. Gladstone), with whom the late Member for Birmingham (Mr. John Bright) was associated during a great part of his career, it would not be fitting or convenient that I should refer at any length to the misfortune that has befallen the country. Therefore, Sir, I desire to postpone any reference to the event until Friday next, when I understand the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian will be here in his place.

*MR. J. MORLEY (Newcastle-on-Tyne)

Sir, I beg to express, on the part of my friends behind me, our entire sense of the considerateness shown by the right hon. Gentleman in postponing his remarks until the arrival of the only man, on this side of the House at least, who could give a full expression to the sentiment of deep regret with which we have heard of this incident. Unfortunately for us in this quarter of the House, it has been our lot to be divided from Mr. Bright on the great controversy of the day. But I am sure that, heavily as we have felt the weight and power of his opposition, it has never in the smallest degree impaired our gratitude, our veneration, and our affection for him. I believe the deepest feeling in the minds of many of us has been one of heartfelt regret that his last days should have in any degree been clouded or made less happy by division from the comrades and fellow-workers of a lifetime. We have lost a great orator. We have lost one who, in his day and generation, was a most wise counsellor. We have lost a true and faithful lover of his country.