HL Deb 19 February 1872 vol 209 cc605-6

My Lords, I rise also to say a few words by way of personal explanation. A communication has been made to me, through mutual friends, that some expressions which fell from me on Thursday night in the debate on the Appointment of Sir Robert Collier have been felt by the Lord Chief Justice as personally offensive to him- self. Now, my Lords, I claim for every Member of the Government the fullest right to discuss with freedom both the writing and publication of the Lord Chief Justice's letter to the Prime Minister, and this right, I have reason to believe, the Lord Chief Justice does not at all contest. But under the circumstances to which I have now referred, although there are several words in that letter which are, perhaps, open to the same objection on our part, I can have no hesitation in expressing my regret for any words which may have justly seemed personally offensive to the Lord Chief Justice.