HC Deb 19 March 1913 vol 50 c1048

Mr. Speaker, as my name was mentioned in a question, and reply given to-day by the First Lord of the Admiralty, I would ask leave, by the indulgence of the House, to make a very brief statement. I have had nothing whatever to do in any way, sort, or kind with the question being put on the Paper, and I have had no communication of any sort or kind with the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Finsbury (Major Archer-Shee). About two years and eight months ago the editor of "John Bull" handed me the original letter referred to by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Finsbury. I returned it with the following communication:— Dear Mr. Bet tomley,—I am returning you herewith the letter which you were good enough to hand to me to examine. I have read it with profound regret for reasons which must be sufficiently obvious. You will, of course, not expect me to take any action myself in the matter. I am content to leave my honour as a gentleman, and my reputation as a seaman in the keeping of my brother officers and those who have served with me. That was my attitude then and it has remained my attitude ever since.