HL Deb 27 April 1841 vol 57 cc1137-8
The Marquess of Westmeath

said, that seeing the noble Marquess, the Secretary for the Home Department in his place, he wished to ask him a question. He had read in the usual channels of information a letter, purporting to be written by the noble Marquess to the noble Earl the Lord Lieutenant of the King's County in Ireland. Though that letter was not before their Lordships, it would really be affectation on his part to presume that it was not a genuine letter. But there were one or two expressions in it which he would not presume to be genuine until he beard them confirmed by the noble Mar- quess himself. The principal expression to which he alluded was treating a Roman Catholic priest, who was a party to the transaction to which the correspondence related, as a "Catholic rector." Now, the use of designations towards Catholic priests similar to those in the Established Church had been prohibited by the Catholic Relief Bill, He, therefore, was perfectly astonished, that the Protestant Minister of a really Protestant Sovereign should make use of such an expression in a letter written to a public officer. The question which he wished to ask the noble Marquess was, whether he had made use of the expression to which he had referred?

The Marquess of Normanby

replied, that he had received a long letter from the Earl of Rosse, to which he had returned an answer. As for any expressions in them, as far as his own recollection served him, he thought he had used the term 'Catholic priest' when he referred to the gentleman in question; if, however, he had used the expression Catholic rector, it was an oversight of the moment, for if he had reflected, he should not have used it.

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