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in the newspaper called “the Times," of Wednesday the 26th of this instant, December, an account had appeared of the proceedings of this House, and a misrepresentation of what, had been faid by several members. It would be necessary to move likewise, that the paper fhould be given in at the table and read.
Mr. Tierney then moved, thar the paper should be given in, which being feconded,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer. rofe and said, he wished to say a few words upon the subject which had given rise to this complaint. The hon. Genileinan certainly had stated the fubftance of what had palled on a former night. It was that he had faid, that if the allusion thrown out was meant to apply to the perfon who was last year appointed Postmaster General, it certainly was utterly unfounded. He did not stop there, however. He did not content himself with ftating that there was no foundation for the imputation he had stated, that the noble person had not only complied with the demands of the law, but he had done a great deal more than the law required him to do; he had stated that so far froin avoiding whit he ought to pay, he had done directly the reverse. Instead of evading the payment of the Aflefled Taxes in a way which would have been highly disgraceful, he had voluntarily given double what the law, called upon him to contribute. The hon. Genileman had certainly then professed to rest on that statement as an undoubted fact in regard to the person. He could not help now saying, however, that it did appear that the perfun of whom he stated the above facts must have been the perfun alluded to by the hon. Genileman, for it would be idle to suppose that he would have acquiesced in the assurance if he lui adluded to any other person. He could assure the hon. Gentleman in point of fact, that it was not from any anxiety respecting that noble person that he had taken up the subject, for when first stated he had not the inost distant conception of the person meant, and it was only from reflesing on the description given, that the person alluded to had religned a pension and bien appointed to an office under government, that he thought he had discovered to whom it was intended to apply. He was anxious likewise to remove the imputation from all perfons in otice under government. He did not conlider the danger in the light in which it seemed to have appeared 10 the hon. Gentleman. He did not confider it as light or venal, but utterly inconfiftent with what ought to be the conduct of a man of integrity and honour.
He wilhed that there should be no ground left by any general charge to suppose that any persons under government were guilty of such a disgraceful proceeding as the hon. Gentleinan had Itated. As to the immediate question before the House, it was certainly impoflible that it could be taken up without marking the breach of privilege. However the House might have connived at the practice of publifhing reports of its proceedings, it certainly was no small aggravation that the speeches of members were misrepresented. He believed, however, that this was not the first time that the hon. Gentleman as well as many others, had experienced it. When 'the breach of privilege was stated; the House was called upon to support its order. He was glad that the complaint was made, as it would thew that the Houfe, though not disposed on every instance to push their privileges, to the utmost rigour, were determined to maintain them, and to assert their dignity. Misrepresentations, he was convinced, equally prevailed in the reports given by papers of all delcriptions. He was glad likewise, that he had had an opportunity of adverting to the principal subject, in so far as regarded not only the character of the noble person to whom he had alluded, but of other persons holding offices under Government. The notice nove taken of the affair complained of would likewise operate as a warning, that the privileges of the House would, in proper cases, be enforced; although they had been too much overlooked in the House it self, and almost wholly out of it.
Mr. Tierney said that he took this opportunity again to repeat what he had faid on a former occasion. When the mat. ter was first stated, he was speaking in a way which fome accused as levity, a proof that he was not in a temper to make grave and serious accusations, and what he had said was merely an illustration of the disposition of people to avoid taxes, when so much was said of what was odioully called evading the payment of taxes. He had stated that there were many people who would not be guilty of what they considered a grofs act of dishonesty that would think themselves justified in availing themselves of the strict letter of the law to avoid the payment of taxes, and the instance he alluded to, he had stated as an ingenious device in that way. He never meant to make any grave and weighty charge against any person. There must be some Gentlemen who were disposed to take mortal offence at every thing he said, and
to represent what in another would be considered as a trifling matter, as a very serious crime in him. This, however, would put him more upon his guard in future. The allusion was mcant only to illustrate what was always held to be a common practice. In looking into an author of note, he had found the same idea stated, though with much more elegance and force than he could pretend to give it. The book. he alluded to was a letter from Mr. Eden to Lord Carlisle. Having stated the income of the country to be 100 millions, and that the tenth of that income would produce no more than 71, he illustrates the practice of avoiding taxes by saying, “ We know that opulent persons can fhut out the rays of the fun to avoid the window tax. (This was supposed to allnde to a noble person whom he should not name, as he meant to beware of anecdotes.) We know that horses are obliged to drag twenty miles extra, to avoid the post duty'; that disinterested enthusiasm was not of rampant growth; it was a sensible plant which shrunk from the touch of the taxgatherer." Such was the idea which he had stated upon these authorities, and it was in illustration of it that he had made the allufion which had given so much offence. He had been called upon at firit with much warmth to name the person alluded to. The right hen. Gentleman, on the contrary, with the most perfect temper, civility, and good manners, had taken notice of it in so far as he conceived it to apply to a certain noble person, and he was ready at all times, if betrayed into an error, candidly to acknowledge, and when he had been mistaken, he thought there could be no shame whateven in admitting it. The right hon. Gentleman certainly was right; my Lord Auckland was the person alluded to. He was not to be intimidated, however, to answer questions put to him in a petulant, offensive manner; but when Genilemen acted wiih politeness and good manners, lie was always ready in candour to give every satisfaction in his power. The miltake had originated in a mistatement of the fortune of the noble Lord in question. The right hon. Gentleman, however, had stated from his personal knowledge, that the account was utterly unfounded, and he knew no better authority when the right hon. Gentleman pledged himself to a fact in such a manner. He now, therefore, withdrew his fan&tion from a statement which had come to him as a rumour. · He could not do more than this. He never had any intention to hurt the feelings of any person ; he never incant
to adduce the fact as a grave and serious charge, and he felt no shame in retračling what he had said, and if he had oc, casioned
harın to the noble Lord'he was sorry for it. Mr. Bankes said, he was forry he was not in the Honfe when the hon. Gentleman first began. From what he had heard, however, of the hon. Gentleman's explanation, he must take the liberty to say, that when the conversation file took place, he had Itated that the story had reached him not from rumour, but from a person of credibility on whom he could rely. Now he had itated the person to whom he had alluded like a man of honour. When that allusion was first made, it was in a way fomewhat different in the impression it made on the House, from the turn which the hon. Gentleman now gave it. He had stated that the noble Lord in question, at the moment of giving an account of his income under the assessed tax bill, had, as not being in receipt of his pension which he had resigned, and not knowing the amount of the profits of his office, reduced his income, to 300l. a year. This too he ltated not on rumour, but coming from a person on whose acouracy he relied.
Mr. Tierney here interrupted Mr. Bankes, and said, tñere was no inconfiftency between what he faid formerly and what he said now. He had said, that he had it froin a person og whose accuracy he thought he could rely; but, on enquiry, he found that this person had it from rumour, from A, B, aud C, consequently he was justified in saying he had sex ceived it only from ruinour.
Mr. Eankes said, he would in a few words junify what he had fated. If a Gentleman stated in the Houle that he had a fact from a creditable person, it certainly was intended to have more weight than if he gave it merely as vague rumour. It turned out now that the hon. Gentleman's person of accuracy, had no accuracy, and that the person he thought was to be relied on, could not be relied on at all. Certainly in matters tending to affect the character, and to wound the feelings of others, Golemen thould be certain of the accuracy on which their statements were fou ded.
Mr. Tirrney wondered that Gentleinen should think that it was poffible for him to see at once what was a rumour and what was not. He had now asked the perfon from whom he had received the story, how he had obtained it, arid he found it was not froin accurate information, but from rumour. Now, therefore, he was aware that what he had conceived to
be founded on accurate knowledge, was nothing more than vague rumour.
The Solicitor General said, that he had at one period of his life lived in some terms of intimacy with the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Tierney), and that intimacy still left a considerable impression on his mind. He could not help thinking still, however, that what the hon. Gentleman had formerly said bore a construction different from what he had now given it, and was calculated to produce different impressions on the House. What he had said of a noble person implied a charge of a very serious nature, and he begged the hon. Gentleman to consider how dangerous it was to ftate• Mr. Tierney interrupted the Solicitor General and stated, that he should be happy to renew his acquaintance with the learned Gentleman, but he did not wish to hear sermons from him. [Here was a cry of order.] .. The Solicitor General proceeded. He said he had no intention of giving the hon. Gentleman offence. He merely meant what the hon. Gentleman had advanced amounted to a very serious charge. It was not the case of a person endeavouring to avoid payment of a tax, by adhering ftrialy to the letter of the law, but it was, if truly stated, a palpable fraud. When fuch a statement, implying such a charge, was advanced, it was very natural that those who were acquainted with persons to whom the allusion could in any shape be conAtrued to apply, should be anxious to justify them from the imputation.
Mr. Tierney, said he never had stated it as at all implying such a fraud, nor was it ever ineant as a grave accusation. If the learned Genileman had applied to the right hon. Gendeman next him, his more accurate recollection, together with his candour, would have informed him that no such thing had been said.
The Solicitor General said, that he had merely stated that what the hon. Gentleman had alluded to as having been done by a noble person would have amounted to a fraud, and that the warmth of those who wished to justify their friends from the imputation was quite natural.
The Speaker said, the House would perceive that this conversation was irregular. On the present occasion they would judge how far he had done right in acquiescing in it, but certainly it had now been carried far enough. On the motion being put, that the paper be given in and read,