HC Deb 07 July 1845 vol 82 cc83-4
Viscount Clements

alluded to a letter read by the Marquis of Headfort at a meeting held in Ireland last week, of which the following was a part:— Dublin Castle, July 1, 1845. My Lord—I am directed by the Lord Lieutenant to state, for the information of your Lordship and the magistrates of the county of Cavan, in reference to the resolutions of a former meeting of the magistrates of the county, communicated to his Excellency by the Lord Farnham, that his Excellency has appointed Mr. Wilcocks to be superintending magistrate of the county of Leitrim and its borders, and that the following resident magistrates have been directed to place themselves in immediate communication with him for the purpose of more combined and effectual exertion towards the suppression of outrage; and his Excellency trusts that the local as well as the stipendiary magistrates of the county will derive much advantage from this arrangement. Mr. Wilcocks has been directed to cultivate the most confidential intercourse with the local magistracy and with the military officers in command of troops in his district; and his Excellency has no doubt, from his known character and experience, that he will carry out the views of Government with regard to the district thus placed in his charge. He (Lord Clements) wished to know what was meant by a superintending magistrate, and what were the intentions of Government?

Sir T. Fremantle

thought, that if the noble Lord would read the letter throughout deliberately, he would be able to answer his own question, both with regard to what was meant by a superintending magistrate, and the intentions of Her Majesty's Government. But he would inform the noble Lord, that the Government intended to use every exertion, and all the means which the existing law allowed them, to preserve the public peace in the disturbed districts of Ireland. An additional number of stipendiary magistrates had been appointed to those districts. Ten gentlemen had been directed to meet, in order to concert measures for effectually dealing with the state of affairs, and for dividing the districts and arranging the constabulary force for that purpose. It was thought desirable that one of the magistrates, Mr. Wilcocks, should act as the superintending magistrate of the county of Leitrim; with whom the resident magistrates, for the purpose of more combined and effectual exertion, should put themselves into communication, Mr. Wilcocks being the organ and channel of communication between them and the Government. The plan was similar to that which was adopted some years ago in reference to the county of Tipperary. It was not intended that Mr. Wilcocks should have any authority over the other magistrates. As to the intentions of Her Majesty's Government, if the noble Lord would put his question more explicitly, he should be able, perhaps, to answer it more fully. But the Government was determined to use all the power they possessed, and they hoped successfully, to restore order and tranquillity in those districts where outrages had lately taken place.