HL Deb 16 July 1867 vol 188 cc1617-9

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a."—(The Earl of Kimberley.)


said, that he had something more to say than "Not-Content" to the third reading. From a sense of duty, he felt bound to call attention to the way in which the reports were given by those who were engaged to do so. Their Lordships would remember several points to which he alluded the last time this Bill was under consideration, not one of which was given in the newspaper reports. There was one point in particular, which referred to the isolated position in which the Sovereign would be placed by the operation of the Bill, which it was material should appear, but which had been altogether omitted. He begged to observe in the outset, that many of their Lordships might believe that the reports of what passed in the House were generally pretty faithfully given by those who were appointed to record them. Nothing could be more fallacious than such an opinion. He had often read and heard, without saying a word to contradict it, that it was very extraordinary that the debates in Parliament were generally so accurately reported. It was said that there was such a diversity of speakers, and the difficulty of unravelling points upon which the speakers themselves were not clear was so great, that the manner in which the task of the reporter was executed was deserving of praise. He was well aware that many of the gentlemen filling the office of editor of newspapers were men of the highest attainments in literature, and admirably discharged the duties of their sphere. But there was a Jesuitical treachery in action in the reporters' gallery, with a view to the falsification of the reports. He had a voice which could be heard in every part of the House; he knew what he said was plain enough, and that he did say that the effect of the Bill would be to create a most invidious and insulting isolation as regarded the Sovereign. Not one single syllable which he said upon that point was given in any newspaper which he read. He would take, by way of example, The Times news- paper, which was supposed to give a faithful report of their proceedings. He know it was a most admirably conducted journal in many respects, but not a syllable of what he had said on the point to which he alluded had been given in The Times. There was another subject also to which he referred—namely, a sermon which had been preached in one of the Roman Catholic chapels in Dublin, in which the audience were desired by the preacher to pray especially to the Virgin Mary, and to no one else, for this reason, that the Virgin Mary had been staunch to her Son in His sufferings upon the cross when His Father deserted Him, as was proved, said the preacher, by His having complained of the desertion. Now that opprobrious blasphemy had been enunciated in Dublin, and he adduced it as a proof of the soundness of the declaration which the noble Earl (the Earl of Kimberley) was anxious to do away with. Not a single word of that was given in The Times newspaper or any other newspaper he had seen. To show how base and how cowardly the proceeding was, he would state that every iota of the legal argument which the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack in the execution of his duty delivered was given seriatim. So the reporters heard every word of that argument, and gave all the points, but not a word of any of the points to which he himself had called attention. Indeed, the reporter wound up with this observation—"The noble Marquess asked what was to become of his Motion?" And then was added, "Laughter," Now there was in "another place" a squad of persons told off to do the laughter, which was to carry weight with the public as an argument, and to put honest men, acting in the discharge of their duty, in a contemptible position. Such was the political animus which was shown in the reports of their Lordships' proceedings. It was almost a reproach to their Lordships that one of their number should have to adduce instances of this foul play, and that their Lordships should not devise some other method of having their debates reported. He had frequently, in former Sessions, mentioned to the Chairman of Committees instances of foul play on the part of those reporters, and his noble Friend's answer was that the reports were, all things considered, wonderfully well given. Well, he (the Marquess of Westmeath) admitted that; but he maintained, nevertheless, that there was a system carried or, by the Jesuits, and by the Ultramontane party, with the view of gaining people over to their faith, the object of which was to give false impressions of facts, incidents, and individuals to the public; and he thought that a person, feeling as he did, was justified in calling attention to the matter. He knew the machinery of Jesuitism; he knew the Ultramontane party, and what they were about; he had always denounced them, and would continue to denounce them. He cared not for their enmity, he despised their praise, and he would continue to do so. He had now proved his charge, and it was for their Lordships to consider whether something should not be done to put an end to the detestable and infernal system which he had brought under their notice.

On Question? Resolved in the Affirmative; Bill read 3a accordingly, and passed.