SENATOR'S PERSONAL EXPLANATION.

I should like the leave of the House to make a brief personal statement. General Brennan, Chairman of the Clare County Council, asks me to repeat outside the protection of privilege, or to withdraw, the statement I made in the House that at the inquiry into local administration in the County Clare, evidence had been given to the effect that the rates had been used to defend a prisoner, and to pay the deposit of Parliamentary candidates. General Brennan has stated that these services were paid out of poundage fees which the Volunteers, who collected the rates, deducted in return for their services. This statement I fully and unreservedly accept. I have read again the report in the local Press from which my information was derived, and I regret that my interpretation of the report was incorrect, and that I failed to appreciate and mark the important difference between payment out of rates and payment out of poundage fees. I further regret that in my mistaken zeal I commented on the evidence without waiting for the report of the inquiry.