HC Deb 10 July 1838 vol 44 cc130-2
Sir Robert Bateson

did not wish, at so late an hour, to enter into a full discussion of this subject, but, in moving for the return of which he had given notice, he must say, that he thought there had been a strong disposition of late years, on the part of the Irish Government, to run down the unpaid magistrates of the country, and to establish stipendiary and paid magistrates in their place. Hitherto the magistrates had been selected from amongst the resident gentry, and he wished to know why those powers should now be taken out of their hands. He complained that, in many parts of the north of Ireland, stipendiary magistrates had been introduced where there was no occasion for them, and that, in several places, tumult and constant broils had been the consequence. The conduct of the Irish Government had, in this respect, been marked by great partiality, as was also the course they had adopted in putting down and oppressing the Protestants in that part of the kingdom to which he had before referred. Towards the Protestants and Orangemen of Ireland, the Government had acted in a most irritating and insulting manner; but he hoped, that those persons would soon show their enemies that they were not the lawless set they were described to be. He complained also of the partiality which had been shown in the last revision of the magistracy, and of the lord-lieutenants of counties not having been properly consulted. It was true, that they had been consulted, but it had been done so hastily as not to allow them time to give a proper opinion. Now the act, which was called the Lord-lieutenants' Act, had been extended to Ireland by Earl Grey, for the express purpose of the lord-lieutenants being enabled to recommend to the Lord Chancellor, persons whom they considered fit to be appointed magistrates; but that act had, in many instances, been unattended to. He did not attribute this to the noble Marquess who was now at the head of the Irish Government, but he had thought that it had been occasioned by a power greater even than that of the Lord-lieutenant. That, however, had been denied, and he must, therefore, consider it to have been produced by the Jesuits, who were not only numerous in Ireland, but also in England. The hon. Member moved for a return of all the stipendiary magistrates in Ireland, specifying their names, salaries, and emoluments, the date of their appointment, their residence, and the districts under their charge, and for what counties they hold commissions of peace.

Viscount Morpeth

would not offer the slightest opposition to the motion of the hon. Member. There was nothing in the system of the Government of Ireland which required concealment, and he had, therefore, no objection to produce the accounts which had been moved for. He would just explain that, as to the revision of the magistrates having been made hastily, it had entirely arisen from the necessity of the commissions being issued by a certain day, and that with respect to consulting the Lord-lieutenant, he held, that the right of appointing persons to the magistracy rested exclusively with the Lord Chancellor.

Motion agreed to.

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