§ MR. VANCE
said, he would beg to ask the hon. Member for Westminster, Whether it is true, as reported in the Irishman newspaper, 14th July 1868, that he wrote a letter to Mr. Nevin, dated the 2nd July, in which he objected to ask a Question concerning the convicts Warren and Costello, because he "thought that asking the Question publicly could do the prisoners no good, and would only enable the Government to claim and obtain credit for clemency."
§ MR. J. STUART MILL
I believe, Sir, I am under no obligation to answer the hon. Member's Question, but I have not the smallest objection to do so. I have not seen the article in the Irishman, nor have I ever corresponded on any subject with that paper; nor, so far as I am aware, with Mr. Nevin. But I did write a letter to a friend of the two prisoners in question, which contained some words bearing some resemblance to those here quoted. Having been asked by a friend of the prisoners to put a Question concerning them, I thought it right before doing so to lay the case before the friends of the prisoners, in order that they might consider whether, from the point of view of the prisoners themselves, it was desirable or not that this Question should be answered. What words I used I cannot exactly remember; but the statement quoted conveys in two important particulars an extremely inaccurate notion of my sentiments. In the first place, it represents me as having been unwilling to ask the Question. I never was in the smallest degree unwilling, and, as the House is aware, I did ask the Question. Secondly, it represents me as unwilling that the Government should claim or 1557 obtain, any credit. I desire extremely that the Government should both claim and obtain credit for everything meritorious that they have done.