HC Deb 09 March 1864 vol 173 cc1706-21


Order for Second Reading read.


in moving the second reading of the Bill, said, that its object was to amend the 17 & 18 Vict. c. 103, entitled "An Act to make better Provision for the paving, lighting, draining, cleansing, supplying with water, and Regulation of Towns in Ireland," and which, among other things, enabled the Lord Lieutenant to increase the constabulary force stationed in any town to act as watchmen by night, and on special occasions by day. This provision having been frequently found inoperative in consequence of the expense, which was thereby thrown on the particular town, the present measure had been introduced to remedy the evil. For this purpose it gave the Lord Lieutenant the power to increase the police force of any town on the application of the town commissioners; and the town commissioners were only to appoint in case the Lord Lieutenant should decline to exercise his power. The Bill was necessary on account of the failure of the police to do their duty in Ireland. This was the opinion of the greater part of the magis- tracy in Ireland, and it received some corroboration from the charges of the Judges of assize. Mr. Justice Christian had recently pointed out that the perpetrators of forty-nine offences of a criminal character went undetected, with one exception. The causes must be found, the learned Judge suggested, either in the unwillingness of the injured person to assist in the discovery of the offenders, or a deficiency of skill and energy on the part of the constabulary, arising probably from their too high military organization. Mr. Justice Keogh made similar remarks, and pointed out, that although cases of sending threatening letters abounded no one had been made amenable. Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, at the Cavan Assizes, drew attention to the fact that thirty criminal offences had been committed for which no one had been brought to justice. The fact was that the magistracy of Ireland were not backed by the police as they used to be, owing to the growing desire of the police to isolate themselves to a great extent from the local authorities of the land. No doubt the police were a respectable body of men; but the distinguished officers at the head of the Irish Constabulary had, he thought, mistaken the functions on which that great force was organized. He could understand the desire of the Secretary for Ireland to protect this magnificent production of his father, which was unequalled for efficiency when it was established. It would be all the more efficient now if Sir Henry Brownrigg would consult a little more the magistracy of the country. The Irish Constabulary cost the country about £750,000, and very little good was obtained for that great expenditure. The night-watching of towns was certainly not one of the objects obtained. In Clonmel the inhabitants paid for night-watching out of their private pockets. Last year, the town commissioners of Coleraine found it impossible to have their town watched under the Act 9 Geo. IV. They took the opinion of Mr. Brewster, who said that the 17 & 18 Vict, did away with the powers they possessed under the 9 Geo. IV. On the 10th of August the town commissioners wrote to Dublin Castle, and, in reply, were acquainted with the charge for supplying them with head constables and police. They were also informed that the Government declined to pay any portion of the charge for night-watching from the Consolidated Fund. The town commissioners asked for three policemen to watch the town of Coleraine by night; but the Inspector General of Constabulary declared that the number was inadequate to provide for the due alternation of night duty and rest, and the least number of men that could be sent was one head constable and ten sub-constables. The expense of such a body would be £600 per annum, while the whole amount of rates which the town commissioners were entitled to levy did not exceed £450. The population of Coleraine was only 6,208. In the county of Derry there was a population of 184,000, and 155 police were considered sufficient, and yet in a peaceable town like Coleraine it was gravely stated that there ought to be eleven additional constables. The most important clause in the Bill which the hon. Member for Clonmel (Mr. Bagwell) had introduced last year was the fourth, by which it was provided that the Lord Lieutenant, on the application of the town commissioners, should appoint a sufficient number of able watchmen. The principal provisions of the Bill were, that it should be lawful for the Lord Lieutenant, or other chief Governor of Ireland, upon the application of the town commissioners, to increase the constabulary force to act as watchmen in the town; but if, after three months from the time of such application, the Lord Lieutenant or other chief Governor did not provide such force, that it should be lawful for the town commissioners themselves to appoint a sufficient number of watchmen to do the duty. The expenses were to be paid by the Commissioners out of the general assessment authorized by the Act of 1854. He trusted the Chief Secretary would advise Sir Henry Brownrigg to accept the compromise contained in the Bill, and he now begged to move its second reading.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir Heney Bruce.)


said, he could not allow the Bill to be read a second time without some remarks. The hon. Baronet, in proposing the second reading of the Bill, had gone out of his way to quote the charges of Judges Christian, Keogh, and Fitzgerald at the recent assizes. It was perfectly true that these Judges had been disporting themselves lately in attacking the constabulary, the country gentlemen, and the magistracy ["No, no!"]; but he thought the observations they had made were unjustifiable and uncalled for. Judge Christian had distinctly referred to laxity on the part of the magis- trates, if not lately, at the summer assizes of 1863, and to their carelessness in the protection of life and property. In the great majority of cases, however, to which Judge Christian referred as instances in which the guilty were not made amenable to justice, the persons injured declined to come forward to prosecute; and how, then, were the police or the magistrates to blame? How could they compel people to prosecute against their will? His hon. Friend had referred to Sir Henry Brownrigg and the military organization of the police force. But if the force were less military, that would not induce persons to come forward to prosecute. He (Sir Robert Peel) could not allow any Judge, no matter whether Judge Christian or Judge Keogh, to go out of his way to insult the country gentlemen, without stating that the police and the magistracy did pull to a very great extent together, and were on terms which did tend to the prevention of crime; nor was it possible to have a force better adapted to the wants of the country than the Irish constabulary. The hon. Baronet had attacked the constabulary, and said that he brought in this Bill because they were inefficient. But he (Sir Robert Peel) thought it was not possible to conceive a more retrograde piece of legislation than that which the Bill would enact. The hon. Baronet wanted to have two forces in the towns which were under the Act of 1854—on the one side those old "Charlies," ill-paid, ill-conditioned, and inefficient, who would go prowling about the streets, not only by night, but in the day time; and on the other the constabulary; and the result would be the peace of the town would be rather disturbed than protected. The Bill of the hon. Member for Clonmel (Mr. Bagwell) was last year rejected by the House; his noble Friend opposite (Lord Naas) moved its rejection, and now the hon. Baronet tried a similar measure. He (Sir Robert Peel) was perfectly aware that at first he did give encouragement to the hon. Member for Clonmel; but upon further information he gave notice that he could not support the Bill; he believed it objectionable, and he believed the present measure objectionable also. It was perfectly true that the town commissioners of Coleraine applied to the Lord Lieutenant for an increased police force; but they asked for only three additional men. But it could not but be obvious that three men could not watch a town so large as Coleraine. The people of Dundalk applied for fourteen men, and they got them; and when Sir Henry Brownrigg proposed that ten men should be gent to Coleraine, he did not propose more than was actually necessary. But why was Coleraine in such a dreadful state of vice and immorality that it required this additional assistance? Cork, Galway, or Waterford did not want "Charlies" to run their heads into every mischief. [Sir HERVEY BRUCE said, he had not stated that vice or immorality prevailed in Coleraine.] Why, then, ask the town to contribute some £200 additional for the support of those men? If Cork, Waterford, and Galway were satisfied with the protection they had at present, why should not Coleraine be? It would be quite evident to any hon. Gentleman who had read the Bill, that it could not become law. Even his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Dunne), who took an interest in everything which affected the country gentlemen in Ireland, could never give his assent to Clause 6. It was not only at night time, but even during the day that they would have those ill-conditioned, ill-paid, drunken old "Charlies" promenading the town. ["No!"] They would be ill-paid because the town rates could not afford to pay them well. If they took £200 out of the rates for the pay of those men, it would leave only about £300 for putting up clocks and other improvements in Coleraine. Was it possible, then, that the House of Commons could consent to that retrograde piece of legislation? He must beg, in the name of the Lord Lieutenant, to take exception to Clause 5. By that clause it was provided that, if the Lord Lieutenant should not, within three months, have sent down constabulary at the desire of the Town Commissioners, then his authority was to be passed over, and those Commissioners were to appoint for themselves. Nothing could be more objectionable. The last paragraph of Clause 4 contained the words, "The salaries and wages shall in no case exceed half the rates which the said Commissioners are authorized to levy." He did not know whether it was the Town Commissioners of Coleraine that drew up the Bill, but what was the meaning of half the rates they were authorized to levy? To levy where? Was it in the town? Was it annually? Suppose the Lord Lieutenant were to send down five additional constables, and if four would cost £180 or £200, five would cost about £250. But if that sum were more than half the rates which the Commissioners were entitled to raise, who was to pay the remainder? The Government would not, and he supposed his hon. Friend would not. It was evident the Bill had been most carelessly drawn, and it was one which he hoped his hon. Friend would not press to n division. Whenever he (Sir Robert Peel) heard of a case in which the constabulary appeared not to have acted respectfully towards the magistracy, he made it a rule to bring it under the notice of the Inspector General, and to ask for an inquiry. If his hon. Friends would only leave matters as they were—for they had got one of the finest police forces in the world, and it was not their fault if persons would not come forward to prosecute—they would find that Judges Christian, Keogh, and Fitzgerald would have every year reason to congratulate the country on the improved state of affairs.


said, while he partly concurred with the Chief Secretary in his objections to the provisions of the Bill, he regretted that the right hon. Baronet held out no hopes of a remedy for the great grievance complained of. Nobody was more ready to admit the great services of the constabulary, but that should not prevent him from expressing an opinion that some slight alterations in the organization of the force would greatly improve its efficiency. Any considerable change in the organization of the body would be a serious evil, but it might in many ways be made more efficient. The case complained of was very simple. His hon. Friend (Sir Hervey Bruce) complained that in the town he represented the constabulary, acting under the orders of the Government, refused to perform the duties of watchmen, But the right hon. Baronet did not touch that point, nor attempt to show that the constabulary performed such duties. On the contrary, he (Lord Naas) believed they had refused over and over again to do so, and the Commissioners of Police had declared they could not. The town of Coleraine was a very small as well as a very quiet place; he could testify to that, because he bad represented it for six years, and was it to be supposed that with thirteen men in the town and district they could not be properly watched? One man kept up at night to patrol the streets would be sufficient, so that out of eleven men one would have to be up only one night in the ten. But the commissioners of the town were ready to pay for three or four men, and then they were told the duties could not be performed unless they received eleven men more, which would cost them a considerable sum. He believed the men were perfectly willing to do the duty, but the authorities in the force had set their faces against it. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would take the matter into his consideration. When he (Lord Naas) was Chief Secretary the thing was partly done, and gave great satisfaction. He had listened with considerable regret to the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman upon the charges of the Judges. The right hon. Gentleman was entirely in error when he stated that Judge Christian had made any attack upon the magistracy. Nothing of the kind. He had got a copy of the charge in his hand, and the only allusion it made to the magistrates was in this single sentence at the end:—" It is for you (the grand jury) and for the magistrates to consider this subject, and to discover a remedy." And when a gentleman holding the position which Judge Christian occupied felt it his duty to make so alarming a statement as that a very small proportion only of the crime committed was followed by detection, the right hon. Baronet was not justified in saying that Judge Christian and the other Judges whom he named had been "disporting themselves" in the country, and making attacks upon the magistrates and the police. He (Lord Naas) was not in favour of establishing a spy system among the police; but the rules about the police not going out without reporting themselves, or wearing plain clothes, which applied exclusively to a military force, were of too stringent a character in regard to a police force, and it would not be considered by those who were most interested in the detection of crime, that these were the best means of setting about it. The right hon. Gentleman might be sure that all the dissatisfaction which existed in Ireland on this subject would not soon subside, and unless something was done, an attempt would be made before long to bring the whole question of the organization and constitution of the Irish constabulary under the notice of the House; and if a Committee in any ways might be found by which the exertions of the constabulary might be rendered far more effective for the public safety. He hoped these remarks would not be construed into any attack upon the constabulary—they were an excellent force, and under most trying circumstances had done their duty; but some alteration in their constitution was necessary to adapt them to the wants of the country. With regard to the remark that people were unwilling to prosecute, he had one observation to make. The Crown undertook the prosecution of every kind of offence in Ireland, and in the present state of things with great advantage to the country, and therefore if there was any indisposition on the part of persons to prosecute that was not so much matter, as the business was taken up in every instance by the authorities themselves. He hoped the right hon. Baronet would consider this important question. He believed that the right hon. Baronet would find little difficulty in making the rules and regulations regarding the police a little more elastic, and consequently much more acceptable to that body, as well as to the public generally.


said, he concurred generally in the views expressed by the right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary, in regard to this Bill, and if there were a division he should certainly go into the same lobby with him. It was, therefore, by no means in the spirit of hostility to his right hon. Friend that he wished to say a few words in reference to some expressions which fell from him in regard to three eminent Judges in Ireland. He thought, considering that those expressions had fallen from a gentleman holding so high and important a position as his right hon. Friend, that they would be misconstrued, and that they would therefore do much injury in Ireland. In his zeal to defend a force of which his right hon. Friend was supposed to be a great favourite—[Sir ROBERT PEEL: No, no—not particularly so]—well, the force was one which was a favourite of his (Mr. Herbert's), and he believed of Irish gentlemen generally, being one of the finest bodies of men in the world. But his right hon. Friend, in his zeal for the defence of that force, had used expressions towards those three Judges which he was certain, upon reflection, he would regret. Having read the charges alluded to of those Judges, he (Mr. Herbert) confessed he did not see anything in them which could fairly be construed either into an attack upon the police or the magistracy of Ireland. They were only doing their duty when they alluded to defects which many persons believed to exist in the police force. That opinion prevailed very generally among the grand juries, and he thought that the grand jurors, to whom those charges were addressed, instead of feeling insulted by them, were glad to hear their own opinions concurred in by the Bench. He had the pleasure of knowing Judge Christian, as well as the other two Judges alluded to, and had witnessed the ability with which they had discharged their onerous duties. He was convinced that they were incapable of saying anything that could be construed into an insult to the police or any other body of functionaries. They all knew how desirable it was that nothing calculated to throw discredit upon the Executive power in Ireland should come from any person in authority. His object in rising was simply to afford his right hon. Friend an opportunity of somewhat modifying his language, as he was certain that the right hon. Baronet never intended to say anything that could be considered disrespectful to those Judges. They were men of the highest character and honour, and who performed their duties in n manner to give general satisfaction to all parties. He wished especially to speak of Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, who was for some time his (Mr. Herbert's) colleague in the government of Ireland. He believed that that learned gentleman was one of the ablest and most temperate Judges that ever sat upon the Irish Bench. He therefore hoped that his right hon. Friend would so qualify his words as to take from them the sting which they certainly conveyed.


wished to explain that in the observations which had just fallen from him, he did not mean to blame the Judges for any remarks they might think it necessary to make. He did not stand there as the champion of the Irish police, but as the advocate of law and order; and when he saw Mr. Justice Christian and the other Judges in their judicial capacity attacking not only the constabulary but the county magistracy for what, he believed, was no fault of theirs, he must say he thought that they were going out of their way altogether. With reference to the remarks of Judge Christian the other day on the cases brought under his notice, in no less than thirty of them parties had refused to come forward to prosecute. When the majority of the cases of failure of justice resulted from persons not coming forward to prosecute, he did not think the Judge was justified in the remarks which he had made.


said, he was glad to find that the county which he had the honour to represent (Londonderry) deserved some praise. Coleraine was no doubt a very orderly place, and had ever been distinguished by the ability and eminence of its representatives, even up to the present time. But he thought it a hard case when a grievance undoubtedly existed, and the town commissioners, who had to look after the peace of the town, asked for additional facilities, that no attention should be paid to them by the Government. Coleraine had an important railway station, and every one knew what an amount of confusion and disorder arose upon the arrival of trains. Now, the complaint was, that the few police who were stationed there, acted more like independent lookers on, and like persons who took pleasure in seeing the arrivals and departures. Large cities like Londonderry and Belfast had police of their own; the grievance complained of therefore did not so much apply to those places. But it was very hard, indeed, not to have extra police in places where they were absolutely required, and at a moderate expense. He was sure that his lion. Friend the Member for Coleraine (Sir Hervey Bruce) had no wish to take this matter out of the hands of the Government, nor had he any particular desire for what the right hon. Baronet designated the "Charlies." The Bill especially provided that the extra police were to be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, and should be considered as a portion of the constabulary of Ireland. It rested with the Government by altering the rules and regulations of the Irish police, which he believed was the best course to take, to render the body more efficient and more acceptable to the public generally. He had not the least objection to introduce in Committee any alteration that might be thought desirable, and was quite ready to agree to what was just and reasonable on the subject.


said, that if the explanations of the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) had been anything more than a reiteration of the imputations which he had cast upon three of the Irish Judges, he (Mr. George) should have shrunk from renewing a topic which must be painful even to the right hon. Baronet. But as a member of that honourable profession over which those learned Judges presided, he should be ashamed to sit still when he heard a Gentleman holding so high and important a position in the Irish Executive as the right hon. Gentleman, saying that those Judges had been "disporting themselves" whilst discharging one of the most important duties belonging to their office. The charge of the right hon. Gentleman was levelled, too, against three of the highest judicial functionaries of the land. He thanked God that the Judges of Her Majesty's courts of common law were independent of every Government; that they were independent of that censure which the right hon. Baronet had thought it becoming his position to cast upon them. When he recollected the eminent individuals against whom this attack was levelled, he could not avoid saying, that he believed that it came with a less grace in reference to them than to any others. He had been on intimate terms with Mr. Justice Christian, Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, and Mr. Justice Keogh, having been associated with them during many years of his legal life; and whether he considered their conduct whilst at the bar or upon the bench, he believed them to be in every way undeserving of the smallest censure or reproach. He felt he was, at all events, as qualified as the right hon. Baronet to say whether those eminent and distinguished functionaries were at all likely, in the solemn discharge of their duties as Her Majesty's Judges, to "disport themselves," as the right hon. Baronet elegantly expressed it, before any tribunal they were constitutionally addressing. But the right hon. Baronet, in his desire to divert the attention of the House from the charges that had been made against the constabulary by the three learned Judges alluded to, and also by hon. Members in the course of the debate, had misrepresented or misquoted Judge Christian's charge to the grand jury. The learned Judges were bound to call attention to the state of crime as shown in the calendar; and it had been the universal practice in Ireland for the learned Judges to refer at the same time to the amount of undetected crime exhibited by the Constabulary Returns. Mr. Justice Christian, in his charge to the grand jury of Roscommon, after recapitulating the eighty-seven offences that appeared to have been committed in that county, stated that not more than one-half of the prisoners charged had been even attempted to be brought to justice; and this he attributed to two causes—first, probably from a disinclination on the part of the parties to prosecute; and secondly, from intimidation. The former the learned Judge stated "he thought was a subject well worthy of the consideration of the magistrates and the grand jury, because the constabulary, which in other respects was a very effective body, was deficient in energy and zeal in that part of their duty which had reference to the detection of offenders—a duty which he thought was not very popular in the force, particularly in the higher grades, resulting from the high military training of the body." The learned Judge added —and this part of his charge had been misunderstood by the right hon. Baronet—"that it was the duty of the magistracy and the grand jury to consider the subject, and discover, if possible, a remedy, because they were in a certain degree accountable for the peace of their respective counties." He (Mr. George) denied that the learned Judge, in the remarks made by him, meant to impute to the grand jury or to the magistracy that they had failed in their part of public duty; but that he had merely held out to them, as he was bound to do, that they were responsible for the peace of the county, and that one of the chief modes by which they could do it was by seeing that the constabulary discharged those duties for which they were originally appointed, and not merely by the attainment of that high military character which their training had given to them. When a learned Judge found that out of eight-seven persons charged with crime, forty only had been made amenable to justice, he was only discharging his duty in calling the attention of the grand jury to that circumstance.


said, the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) had rightly interpreted his feelings with regard to this measure, and he certainly would vote against it yet. It was but right that when three-quarters of a million of money was collected from the people for the support of the constabulary, that places like Coleraine should be protected without additional cost; and he conceived that the constabulary were bound to perform that duty themselves. The conduct of the constabulary, scattered about as it was in small parties all over the country, was most exemplary; but it was not only the opinion of the Judges and the magistrates that they were not a good detective force, but the men were of the same opinion. They were not merely willing to become a good detective force, but they regretted they had not the power of becoming so. They had been formed for a double purpose—that of detecting crime, and a kind of military army of occupation. They were efficient as a military body, but that was inconsistent with their being an efficient detective body for the repression of crime. And how could it be otherwise? They were kept under stricter discipline than was adopted in the army, for they could not leave the barracks without the permission of the constable who was in command, neither could they put on plain clothes or mix with the people, and become familiar with what was going on. No one knew less of the doings of the people than the constabulary; but it was the system, and not the men, which ought to be blamed for it. From his experience as a magistrate, he had obtained more information as to the state of the country from civilians than from the constabulary, yet the constabulary wore always anxious to give every assistance he required. He complained that the Government did not support the magistrates as they ought to do. It was not until about twelve months ago that the regulations for the force were given to the magistrates. That was a step in the right direction, and he hoped the Government would go a step farther. At present, all communications about the peace of the county were made to the stipendiary magistrates, instead of to the justices of the peace. It was stated as a fact, that Government had lately, in a northern county, made an appointment of a high sheriff so objectionable, that the whole of the magistracy, and even the Lord Lieutenant, had objected, but in vain. The privileged communications of justices of the peace to the Government, relative to the police, had lately, in the case of Lord Leitrim, actually been handed over to them on which to found actions for libel, though it had ended in the signal defeat of the Government. These were circumstances not likely to increase the confidence of the justices in the conduct of the Government; and the Government would find it much more to their advantage, and the result would be far more beneficial to the country, if they would communicate with the local magistrates, instead of the stipendiaries, with reference to the peace of the counties.


thought some of the clauses of the Bill exceedingly objectionable, and such as would never be permitted to be passed in reference to England. The discussion had been entirely confined to the magistrates and constabulary, but nothing had been said about the merits of the Bill, and the poor taxpayers had been ignored altogether. Any one who had heard the discussion which had taken place might suppose that crime was rampant in Ireland, and he therefore wished to mention that, within the last month, Judge Christian stated to the grand jury of Leitrim that, taking into consideration the great distress and privations which the people had undergone within the last three years, there was no portion of Europe where so little crime prevailed as in Ireland. He hoped that the House would not allow the Bill to pass, and he moved, as an Amendment, that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.


seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Brady).

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, he gave the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) every credit for the honesty and earnestness of his opinions with regard to the efficiency of the constabulary, but he thought the right hon. Baronet might make it more efficient in one respect. The operations of the new Poaching Act had been beneficial in England, but from the open manner in which poaching was carried on in Ireland, he was doubtful if the police of Ireland had not received some instructions with regard to it which rendered its operation ineffective in that country. He thought that with respect to some parts of the Act, such as that which related to the sale of game, the right hon. Baronet might interfere, in order that the Act should be more efficiently carried out. He thought also that the police might be employed to see that no one should shoot without a licence.


had always found that the police, when supported by the magistrates, acted with great determination; but when no information was given to them, of course they could not be blamed if offenders remained undiscovered. His own county was never in a more peaceable state. Very little crime remained undetected, thanks to the efficiency of the magistrates, who generally supported the police. With regard to this Bill, a very little change in the regulations of the police would do away with the necessity for it. The police, by their regulations, watch till twelve o'clock, when the public-houses were closed. If after the public-houses were closed, two persons were appointed to patrol, the necessity for this Bill would cease. It might safely be withdrawn if the Government acted on the suggestion he had made.


concurred in what the hon. Gentleman had said as to the police of Ireland. It had lately been the fashion to find fault with them in regard to the detection of crime; but as far as his own experience went, he had always found them active and efficient, often under difficult circumstances. It would be most dangerous to alter the organization of the force. They had to deal with offenders among the classes from which they themselves sprang, and if they were allowed to mix too much with the people, they would retain the prejudices of the classes to which they originally belonged. An improvement might be made in the mode in which they were armed. They had a rifle, which they were not allowed to use, and a long sword, which, when they attempted to run, got between their legs and upset them. Of course, they had to keep hold of the hilt. The consequence was, that they could not overtake any one but a cripple, or if they did, they had only one hand available for seizing him.


observed, that the town which he represented (Kilkenny) did not require any additional police force, and he returned thanks to the Chief Secretary for Ireland for the manly manner in which he came forward to protect the rights and interests of that community. With regard to the police force, he must say that he could not understand why such continuous attacks were made on it. He believed that a more respectable force did not exist throughout the world. On his own part and on that of his constituents he repudiated the present Bill.


in reply, said, that it was a mistake to suppose that, in introducing the Bill, he wished to attack the Irish police, for he had mentioned that, individually and collectively, they were as efficient as when the late Sir Robert Peel instituted that splendid force; but he added that, owing to some rules and regulations, they were not so well able to perform the duties of police as those of a regular army. He had not the least intention of saying anything against so fine a body of men. He must take exception to what the right hon. Baronet had stated when he asserted that he (Sir Hervey Bruce) had represented the town for which he was Member to be in so demoralized a state as to require a large additional police force. The Commissioners had asked for only three men; it was the Government who said they could not do with fewer than eleven. He knew that in past times three "Charlies" or watchmen were quite sufficient force to carry out the wishes of the Commissioners. After the statement which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman, he would, with the permission of the House, withdraw the Bill; but he trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would lay on the table the instructions which had been issued respecting the watching of towns, so that the House might be able to ascertain what those instructions were.

Amendment, and Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill withdrawn.