HC Deb 18 February 1884 vol 284 c1207

I sent to the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland last night a Notice, which I hope he received this morning. The Question which I proposed to ask him is this—Whether the Irish Government have resolved to iustitute a prosecution against Captain Barton, Mr. Murray Kerr, Colonel Stuart Knox, Lord Claud Hamilton, M.P., Colonel King-Harman, M.P., or any of the other gentlemen who recently used language inciting to murderous outrage? and, by way of accounting for my desire that the right hon. Gentleman should give an early answer, I may state that all these speeches were made between the periods beginning on October 6, 1883, when Colonel Knox spoke, to January 10, when Colonel King-Harman used the expression, "Keep the cartridge in the rifle."


I only received Notice of the Question this morning. It is an important one, and I cannot answer it without communicating first with the Executive in Ireland. I should feel obliged if the hon. Member would inform me in writing what are the exact passages he referred to, for it is a very difficult thing to decide upon in a case of this kind. I think, however, perhaps, it is one of those cases in which the courtesy every Member owes to another obliges me to state with regard to those Gentlemen mentioned in the Question, who are Members of this House, that I have read a great many of the speeches made, and, generally speaking, I cannot remember any speech which I think would come within the meaning of the phrase "inciting to murderous outrage." "With regard to the question in general, there is no doubt that speeches and observations have been made in Ireland that deserve the sort of attention from the Government which the hon. Member desires to draw to them, and I shall communicate very minutely with the Executive in Ireland upon the subject.


Arising out of the answer of the right hon. Gentleman, I beg to give him Notice that I will put on the Paper to-night the extracts on which I rely, and some of these extracts I shall take the liberty of quoting from his own speeches.