HC Deb 28 June 1915 vol 72 c1485

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and the permission of the House, I should like to draw attention, by way of a personal explanation, to an observation which the hon. Member for Hanley (Mr. Outhwaite), who is now in his place, permitted himself to make at Question Time. If I caught his observation rightly I understood him to say that I, the present speaker, was a "foreigner in the pay of the British Government."


"In the pay of the Northcliffe Press."


I will address myself to the hon. Member's first observation. It would be quite unnecessary for me to do so if the observation of the hon. Member did not travel beyond this House. All those who are my friends know that I come of English blood on both sides. It is true that I was not born in this country; it is also true that I was nurtured in this country from my early infancy by an English mother, and my father was an Anglo-Italian, who was partly educated and learned his profession in this country. It would be quite unnecessary for me to say these things but for the fact that the observation of the hon. Member will, of course, travel beyond this House, and will be reported in quarters where, doubtless, it will be repeated. For the rest I may say that my own family has contributed five members to the active forces of this country, and two of them have already been wounded in this War, one in the Dardanelles and one in France. As for the observation of the hon. Member, that I am in the pay of anyone whatever, I do not think I need reply to that. Anyone acquainted with my character knows that I am in the pay of no man.