HL Deb 11 February 1840 vol 52 cc84-6
The Bishop of Exeter

said, he had to ask a question, somewhat connected with the subject just discussed. It would be in the recollection of their Lordships that en a former occa- sion the noble Marquess, the Secretary of State far the Home Department, stated that while he did not agree that. Mr. William Pare, the superintendent registrar, had been proved to have beep guilty of certain facts, yet that there were things in which the noble Marquess found in the statement of the congress of the society itself, which induced him to believe that Mr. Pare was not a fit person to hold that office. Now, he had understood the noble Marquess to say that Mr. Pare had ceased to be superintendent registrar; and what he ventured to ask was, whether that individual was dismissed by the noble, Marquess, or whether, as stated by a noble Lord elsewhere, he was not dismissed, but permitted to resign?

The Marquis of Normanby

said, that when ha saw Mr. Pare, he told him the particular allegations which had been made against him by the right rev. Prelate, informing him that he would give him an opportunity of answering those allegations. He at the same time explained to him, that whatever his answer would be, it would not affect his ultimate decision, as to how far, being ostensibly connected with such a society, he was or was not a fit person to remain in the office he then held, but that he reserved that point until Mr. Pare should have an opportunity of making a denial. That denial he told Mr. Pare was to be made, not to him, but to the registrar-general. That communication, he understood, Mr. Pare had made to the registrar-general, the substance of which was contained in the petition that had been presented to their Lordships. Mr. Pare having made what he considered an adequate denial of the particular allegations against him, then tendered his resignation.

The Bishop of Exeter

did not wish to press upon a fallen man. He had ceased to be a public officer, and he should let the matter rest there. But there was an individual mixed up with these transactions who required to be defended. The petition alluded to, made statements against Mr. Foy, from whom he had received a letter denying every one of those statements, and saying he was ready to prove on oath directly the contrary. That was not the only contradiction he had received of those statements. He had also received letters from highly respectable individuals having no connexion whatever with Mr. Foy, who said they were present at one of the society's meetings when Mr. Pare presided, and when the blasphemous, things occurred, although Mr. Pare declared the very contrary in. his petition. He stated this solely for the purpose of vindicating Mr. Foy; the noble Marquess having, he was sorry to say, dealt with, Mr. Foy as if he had done all that he had been charged with doing. One of the allegations contained in the petition was this: "Your petitioner resigned his office of vice-president of the association, in May last, before the alteration of its title, and has ceased to belong to, or to take any part in any Socialist association." Now, he asked their Lordships, as men of common sense and applying their common sense to the construction of those words, whether they would not suppose that that individual had in May last ceased to be vice-president of the association and to take any part in its proceedings? What would their Lordships say when he told them that it appeared by the New Moral World, Nov.30, 1839, that the petitioner was then an active member of the association? For it is said, "At the conclusion of the address (at the meeting of the Socialists at Birmingham) Mr. Pare read to the meeting a memorial to the Government for the adoption of the Socialists at Birmingham, respecting the late disturbance in Wales, and recommending the Social principles as the only means to prevent the renewal of such dreadful outrages, which was afterwards proposed and carried unanimously, and signed in behalf of the meeting by the chairman and secretary of the branch."

The Marquess of Normanby

could only say, as regarded himself, that he had merely stated the fact that Mr. Pare had presented such a memorial. He had pronounced no opinion upon it, nor had he considered it a matter for inquiry beyond the question of Mr. Pare himself, and his fitness or unfitness for the office he held.

Subject at an end.