The Age of George III

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The Letters of Junius

Letter XXI: To the Printer of the Public Advertiser. 22 August 1769.

[79] SIR,

I MUST beg of you to print a few lines in explanation of some passages in my last letter, which, I see, have been misunderstood.

  1. When I said, that the House of Commons never meant to found Mr. Walpole's incapacity on his expulsion only, I meant no more than to deny the general proposition, that expulsion alone creates the incapacity. If there be any thing ambiguous in the expression, I beg leave to explain it, by saying, that, in my opinion, expulsion neither creates, nor in any part contributes to create the incapacity, in question.
  2. I carefully avoided entering into the merits of Mr. Walpole's case. I did not enquire whether the House of Commons acted justly, or whether they truly declared the law of parliament. My remarks went only to their apparent meaning and intention., as it stands declared in their own resolution.
  3. I never meant to affirm, that a commitment to the Tower created a disqualification. On the contrary, I considered that idea as an absurdity, into which the Ministry must inevitably fall, if they reasoned right upon their own principles.

The case of Mr. Wollaston speaks for itself. The Ministry assert, that expulsion alone creates an absolute, complete incapacity, to be re-elected to sit in the same Parliament. This proposition they have uniformly maintained, without any condition or modification whatsoever. Mr. Wollaston was expelled, re-elected, and admitted to take his seat in the same parliament. I leave it to the public to determine, whether this be a plain matter of fact, or mere nonsense or declamation.

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