HC Deb 09 June 1856 vol 142 c1164

said, he would beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether Her Majesty's Government had had their attention called to certain observations of the Master of the Rolls last Tuesday on the case of the Tipperary Bank? The Master of the Rolls was reported to have said: He could not help expressing his great surprise that the Government had allowed this case to go on so long without interfering. Having regard to the English shareholders, he had no hesitation in saying that if the Government remained longer quiescent—if they did not at once hand the matter over to the first law officer of the Crown—they would be guilty of a gross dereliction of duty. It would be proved to the satisfaction, he felt convinced, of the entire English and Irish public, before he delivered his judgment, that the most nefarious frauds had been committed, and if the Government neglected their duty by passing the matter over they could not complain if the public were to say they had been conniving at what had been doing. He wished to ask whether the Government intended to take any steps in accordance with, or in consequence of, the opinion of the Master of the Rolls?


said, he must beg to apprise the hon. and learned Gentleman that on Friday last he saw in a Dublin newspaper, which had been indirectly transmitted to him, observations similar, as he believed, to what the hon. and learned Gentleman had just read. Immediately upon reading the judgment, acting upon his own responsibility, he communicated with the Crown Solicitor to ascertain when the learned Judge was to deliver judgment, conceiving that he would not have made observations so strong if there had not been good grounds for his doing so. As yet he knew nothing of the case beyond those rumours which met the public eye from time to time in the newspapers. But the course of the learned Judge was quite clear, namely, to order the documents in the case to be handed over to the Crown Solicitor, to be laid before him (the Attorney General) for his direction. He had, therefore, as he said, put himself in communication with the Crown Solicitor, and had directed him, if the evidence assumed the character hinted at by the learned Judge, to inform him, in order that he should be enabled to act promptly and decidedly, and put the law in force against whoever were the guilty parties.