HL Deb 11 May 1866 vol 183 cc744-5

wished to make an explanation with regard to a matter which arose out of a discussion which took place the other evening respecting the Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench in Ireland. On that occasion he read a letter from. Mr. Napier, the ex-Lord Chancellor of Ireland, in which, as far as he remembered, the writer expressed an opinion that the Lord Chief Justice was the best Judge on the bench, and got through his business with great dispatch. The terms of that letter had given great offence to the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and to the Chief Baron in Ireland, as it was supposed that they conveyed a disparaging comparison with respect to those learned Judges. Mr. Napier had given them the strongest assurance that he had no such intention; but they would not be satisfied unless that explanation were given by their Lordships' House. He (Lord Chelmsford), therefore, desired to state that Mr. Napier said, that it was far from his intention to offer any disparagement to the learned Judges just named, but merely wished to convey his strong sense of the efficiency of the Lord Chief Justice, and that if he had thought that the letter would have been taken as disparaging to the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and to the Chief Baron he would not have written it. For himself, he (Lord Chelmsford) had not had time to weigh the expressions of the letter, but if he had supposed that they conveyed any reflection on those learned Judges, he certainly should not have read it to the House.