§ MR. LONSDALE
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Dr. Douglas Hyde, who has been selected as a member of the Dublin University Commission, was an unsuccessful candidate for the Chair of Irish in Trinity College; whether there is now in circulation a Gaelic League pamphlet, purporting to have b en written by Dr. Douglas Hyde, in which statements are made, contrary to the facts, that the Irish Society paid the Professor of Irish for proselytising purposes, and accusations are brought against Trinity College of meanness and conspiracy; and whether, in view of this pamphlet, he proposes to allow him to continue to investigate the affairs of the college.
I understand that Dr. Douglas Hyde was a candidate for the Chair of Irish in Trinity College, Dublin, but was not chosen by the trustees in whom the appointment is vested. I have seen the pamphlet in question and cannot accept as at all accurate or fair the description applied to it by the hon. Member. I find in it no ground why Dr. Hyde should not be a member of the Commission appointed to inquire into Trinity College. It is no doubt written with some warmth of expression, but such warmth naturally belongs to pamphlets on Celtic literature. It furnishes ample proof of Dr. Hyde's loyal regard for his own university and his desire to see its usefulness extended and its ancient fame maintained.
In putting the Question Mr. LONSDALE suggested that this too would afford the right hon. Gentleman an opportunity for displaying his facetiousness.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I did not catch the observation, but an hon. Member is only entitled to ask Questions and not at the same time to comment on preceding Answers.
§ MR. LONSDALE
The facetiousness to which I referred was distinctly conveyed in the right hon. Gentleman's Answer which was quite outside the point of my Question.
I am sorry if I gave offence to the hon. Member by my reply. I am not aware of having perpetrated the smallest possible joke. My Answer was a simple statement of fact.