HC Deb 05 August 1890 vol 347 c1921

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury a question of which I have given the right hon. Gentleman private notice. It is whether his attention has been called to a poem by Mr. Algernon Charles Swinburne in the current number of the Fortnightly Review, containing a direct incitement to the assassination of the Czar; whether any representation relative to this publication has been made to Her Majesty's Government by the Government of Russia, and whether Her Majesty's Government intend to prosecute Mr. A. C. Swinburne or the publisher or printer of the Fortnightly Review for this gross incitement to assassination of the Sovereign of a friendly nation. Perhaps I may be permitted to read an extract. It says— Night brings but one red star—tyrannicide!" —


Order, order! This House has no control over a poet's opinions.


This question is an illustration of the inconvenience of asking questions without putting a notice on the Paper. I received private notice from the hon. Member about a quarter of an hour ago that he would ask the question. I inquired of my right hon. Colleagues near me whether they had seen, or read, or heard of the publication, and I could not find that any of them had. A question of this consequence ought to have been placed on the Paper in the ordinary way if it was necessary to ask it.


I will put it on the Paper.