§ Mr. More O'Ferrall
according to notice asked the following questions of the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland, namely:—1. Whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce any measure during the present Session to carry into effect all or any of the recommendations 1268 contained in a report of a Commission appointed to revise the several laws under or by virtue of which monies are now raised by Grand Jury presentment in Ireland, more particularly as relates to the recommendation to effect a saving of 160,000l. in the expenditure of the county rates in Ireland? 2. Whether any steps have been taken consequent on the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry, in respect to the convict department of Kilmainham prison, which established the fact of great extravagance and misapplication of public monies, under the Inspector of prisons? 3. Whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce a measure founded on the re-pit of the Commission appointed to inquire into the Common Law Courts in Ireland? 4. Whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce any measure during the present Session relative to Ministers' money in Ireland?
§ Lord Eliot
said, the alteration and revision of the Grand Jury Laws in Ireland was an important and difficult subject. With respect to the expediency of adopting the recommendations of the Commissioners, to which the hon. Gentleman referred, he (Lord Eliot) could assure him that very considerable diversity of opinion prevailed in Ireland upon the subject. He was quite sure that if any measure were to be based on those recommendations it would fail to meet with general support. He would remind the hon. Gentleman that there was at the present moment a measure, an experimental one it should be called, applicable to the county of Dublin. That measure had been framed with the intention of embodying a great portion of the recommendations of the Commissioners, particularly in matters of finance, and he thought it very desirable that the House should ascertain the result of that experiment before they proceeded to apply a general measure of that description to all the counties of Ireland. He did not complain of the way in which the hon. Gentleman had put his questions, but they appeared to him (Lord Eliot) to partake of the nature of a statement. The hon. Gentleman had referred particularly to the recommendation of the Commissioners having for its object the saving of 160,000l. per annum. There were several instances in which money had been saved. In one case 12,000l. had been saved out of fines and penalties. A sum 1269 of 16,000l. had been saved in the county of Dublin. With regard to the second question, he begged to say that it was the intention of the Government to provide a separate place for convicts before their embarkation. With regard to the third question, whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce any measure relating to the Common Law Courts, he begged to say that Her Majesty's Government were not prepared with any measure on the subject.