HC Deb 22 March 1875 vol 223 cc147-8

asked the First Lord of the Treasury If his attention has been called to the charge of the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland to the Grand Jury of Baldare County on the 16th instant, and the charge of Mr. Baron Dowse to the Grand Jury of Wexford County on the 17th instant, in which those Judges deplored the recent serious increase of crimes arising from intoxication, while noticing the decrease of crime which otherwise would have been displayed in the calendar; whether his attention had been called to like declarations from many of the Irish Judges during the recent assizes; and, whether, in view of these declarations by Her Majesty's Judges and of the strong representations of the Irish Members as to the certainty of such results arising from such increased facilities for drinking as were afforded by the Intoxicating Liquors (Ireland) Act of last year, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to propose the repeal of the said Act?


Sir, my attention, and I believe that of hon. Members of the House, has been called to the recent charges of eminent Irish Judges to the Grand Juries of that country, as to the great increase of crime arising from intoxication. But I have not observed from any of those Charges that that increase has been attributed by any Judge to the Intoxicating Liquors Act of last year. Of that Act we must necessarily have a very slight and limited experience; it is similar to the Act passed in England, and therefore I cannot announce to the hon. Gentleman that it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to propose its repeal. At the same time, I must state, touching this subject, that my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, when he brings in the Prison Discipline Bill, will take care, by the introduction of a clause for enforcing better discipline and carrying out the sentence, to do that which incidentally and indirectly will have a tendency to check those excesses which proceed from drinking.