HL Deb 27 March 1885 vol 296 cc802-3

said, he felt it necessary to refer again to the character of the artices in The Times, and to return to the charge he made the other day. The Correspondent of The Times in Paris had commented upon his Question and the answer of the noble Earl the other day; and yesterday The Times had an article in which it took upon itself to interpret the explanation of the noble Earl as being practically an admission that The Times was a semi-official organ. It would not matter if The Times did not go on almost to declare war against Russia. He was sure that if there were any truth in the suggestion that The Times was a semi-official organ, the noble Earl would give some indication of it. He would, therefore, ask the Foreign Secretary, Whether The Times had put a fair interpretation on his reply, or whether that paper was merely a commercial undertaking, which had no connection with the Government?


I am rather unwilling to continue to take part in the discussion which has arisen between the noble Duke and The Times. I believe that what I stated the other day was that there was no doubt of the fact that for a good many years past it had been an opinion on the Continent that The Times either represented Her Majesty's Government or public opinion; and it may be said that under all Governments these two things are not exactly identical. I went on to say—and I gave my reasons for it—that I thought nobody would suspect me of having written or inspired the foreign articles of The Times during the past year. I really do not know that I have anything further to add.