§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND (Lord ASHBOURNE)
My Lords, I should like to take this opportunity of saying one sentence in reference to a personal matter. My attention has been called, within the last hour before the meeting of the House, to a paragraph in The Daily News this morning, which, under the heading of "Lord Ashbourne and Home Rule," states as follows:—The story goes that in a copy of Thom's Directory for 1885, which has come in due course out of his Lordship's residence, there has been discovered a memorandum of an Irish Home Parliament at least as extensive as Mr. Gladstone's, in the characteristic handwriting of his Lordship; but whether it is tentative or final, whether it correctly expresses Lord Ashbourne's sentiments, or whether it was written to order, there are no means of testing. After some curious adventures, the document, it is said, was purchased at a considerable price by a gentleman of the same politics and profession as his Lordship, and lithographed copies have passed into extensive, though private, circulation.My Lords, the first intimation I ever received of this romantic episode in my life was when I read that paragraph. There is not even the vestige of the shadow of a foundation for the story; and I have only to say that I shall be very much obliged to "the gentleman of the same politics and profession as myself" if he will only give me a private view of one of the "lithographed copies."
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Six o'clock, till To-morrow, a quarter past Ten o'clock.