HL Deb 10 August 1871 vol 208 cc1254-6

said, that before the Orders of the Day came on he wished to move that Standing Order No. 18 be read. His object was to put himself in Order for the few remarks which he was going to make.

On Question, agreed to; the said Standing Order read accordingly.


said: There has been a misapprehension, I believe, in the public papers as to some remarks made by the noble Earl (Earl Granville) on Tuesday evening, in connection with certain observations of my own when Prince Arthur's Annuity Bill was before the House. The noble Earl applied the word "impertinent" to some of those remarks, and on my rising to call him to Order he stated he would withdraw the expression if he could find another Parliamentary expression to the same effect. The noble Earl was out of Order in using the word "impertinent;" but he became still more so by, instead of withdrawing, re-asserting the same epithet. The noble Marquess, who is not in the House at this moment (the Marquess of Salisbury), then rose to Order, and the noble Earl (Earl Granville) said, according to the report in my hands—"I am not unwilling to withdraw the word 'impertinent;' but I must say it was not pertinent." Thus, having used the strongest and most offensive expression that could be used—one that would not be permitted in any private society of gentlemen—I ask your Lordships is it becoming to use it in your Lordships House? I hope the noble Earl will not hesitate to state that he withdraws the word "impertinent," as applied to anything I said, and which I submit he is called upon to do.


I understand that in some observations made "elsewhere" I have been subjected to some criticism for being excessively courteous to your Lordships' House. However that may be, I have certainly no wish to be uncourteous to the noble Lord, or to any other person here. I am bound, however, to say that nothing can be more irregular than what the noble Lord has just done. The noble Lord has alluded to a former debate in this House, which he was out of Order in doing, and he has not only done that, but he has raised a point of Order now which ought to have been raised at the moment when that of which he complains occurred. When the noble Lord refers to this Standing Order as applicable to me alone, I must say that I think it singularly applicable to the remarks which he made about Mr. Gladstone. He stated things absolutely without foundation, and that which, if true, he could not possibly know anything about—namely, that Mr. Gladstone is in the habit of treating his Colleagues with a want of consideration, and that he has so much information in his head that he cannot make up his mind on any subject. That, surely, comes under the term "personality" as much as anything could do. I certainly felt some indignation, and in the heat of debate used the word "impertinent." The noble Lord objected to it, and I said I would use any other word more Parliamentary that would apply to the same thing. The noble Marquess, not now present (the Marquess of Salisbury), whom I regard as a great authority as to how far words may be used or not, then rose to Order, and expressed an opinion that I ought to withdraw the word. I appeal to your Lordships whether I did not immediately acquiesce and consent to withdraw it; but if the noble Lord's object now is to ask me to say that, on the Motion for the second reading of a Bill giving an annuity to Prince Arthur, it was pertinent to discuss Mr. Gladstone's personal character, I must entirely decline to do so, and I cannot conceive that the Standing Order which has been read has the slightest allusion to anything of the kind.


said, that the noble Earl had re-asserted the same statement—["Order!"]—and he appealed to their Lordships whether, if he had on the former debate made any remarks which were out of Order, the noble Earl should not have called him to Order; if that had been done, and if it had been the wish of their Lordships, he (Lord Oranmore and Browne) would, have withdrawn any expression which transgressed the rules of debate.


rose to Order. The noble Lord was still transgressing every possible rule of Parliamentary conduct. He did so in the first instance, and now, after having received ample information from the noble Earl — information, indeed, to which he was not entitled, his appeal being out of Order—he was renewing the debate.