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Indiscretions Of Advancing Years

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Indiscretions Of Advancing Years

Post by Karen on Fri 16 Apr 2010 - 3:40


A wild scene was the climax of the debate in the House of Commons on Thursday on the Parnell Commission. The matter had been raised by the Nationalists, who wished to deprive Sir Robert Anderson, the retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, of his pension for the part he played in connection with "Parnellism and Crime." Mr. Campbell, K.C., the ex-Solicitor-General for Ireland, in conciliatory tone, said that from their own point of view the Nationalists were making a mistake in raising the debate. He analysed the situation. "Apart from the question of the privity of Mr. Parnell with the terrible murder of Phoenix Park -".
Mr. Churchill, who occupied the Prime Minister's seat on the Treasury bench, emitted a sharp exclamation, and the Nationalists poured in with loud cries of "Withdraw, withdraw."


Mr. Churchill stepped to the table "The cause of my interruption was the feeling of indignation that after the Pigott forgery it should be held an open question - (loud Nationalist cheers) - as to whether Mr. Parnell was privy to the Phoenix Park murders."
"Withdraw," roared the Nationalists.
Mr. Campbell: I can assure the right Hon. gentleman that I am very little concerned about the present views of the Home Secretary.
Pandemonium ensued.
Manifestly excited, Mr. John Redmond rose. "In view of the fact that the Commission explicitly acquitted Mr. Parnell of all complicity in these murders, is the right hon gentleman justified in making the statement he has made?
The Chairman appealed to members to let Mr. Campbell proceed. "He has not said anything I can order him to withdraw." Rage swept over the Irish benches. Mr. John Redmond sprang up in fury. "I say this is an outrage!"
In the midst of uproar he shouted words of which only a few could be heard. His last sentence was just distinguishable - "If you don't ask him to withdraw he ought not to be allowed to be heard." This was rupturously cheered by the Nationalists. Mr. Campbell, only a dozen feet from the excited followers of Mr. Redmond, faced them stolidly. The Chairman rose again. "I am here to carry out the rules of order."
"Carry them out decently," screamed a Nationalist. For a minute there was pandemonium again. Then Mr. Emmott, in an endeavour to mollify, admitted that Mr. Campbell had not been very happy in his phrases."
"Let him withdraw them," cried the Nationalists. From that moment for exactly five minutes by the clock, Mr. Campbell stood at the table facing his critics, who howled at him without cessation.


The Irishmen were quite beyond control. Mr. Haldane vainly appealed for quiet. Mr. Dalziel asked whether a reflection on Mr. Parnell was not a reflection on members of the House. The Chairman said, "No." That was the climax. Almost livid with passion Mr. John Redmond sprang up. He splutterd out furious words, few of which could be heard in the gallery. Mr. Dillon jumped up. "Three cheers for Parnell," he exclaimed. Lustily the Nationalists gave them. Many jumped to their feet and waved their hats and hands in their excitement. That was the end. The closure was carried by 232 votes to 111, and the motion to take away Sir Robert Anderson's pension was defeated by 164 votes to 94.
Earlier Mr. Churchill had read a statement of Mr. Munro, Sir Robert's superior in 1887, denying that he had authorised him to write three of the "Parnellism and Crime" articles.
Mr. Churchill said that he had come to the conclusion that he ought not to put in force his power to deprive Sir Robert Anderson of his pension. The Blackwood articles seemed to him to be "written in a spirit of boastfulness, in the style of "How Bill Adams won the Battle of Waterloo." His authorship of the three Parnellism articles was only received by "the garrulous and inaccurate indiscretions of advancing years."

Source: Grey River Argus, 22 June 1910, Page 8

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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