Mr. J. COWEN (for Mr. Hopwood)
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether it be true, as stated in the public papers in Ireland, that Mr. Arthur Henry Courtenay has been temporarily appointed Clerk of the Rules in the Court of Common Pleas by the Chief Justice of that Court; whether there are not several gentlemen in the office many 1154 years senior to Mr. Courtenay; whether the appointment is not one in the gift of the Crown, and whether Mr. Courtenay was recommended by his relative the Chief Justice; and, whether the advisers of Her Majesty will inquire into the matter and consider carefully the circumstances before making a permanent appointment?
§ Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
The office of Clerk of the Rules in the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland became vacant a short time ago, and it was not thought advisable to fill it up pending the uncertainty whether the Irish Judicature Bill would become law this Session. But it was necessary, by statute, that provision should be made for the temporary discharge of the duties of the office; and Mr. Courtenay, a second-class clerk in the Common Pleas, possessing a Civil Service certificate, who had been appointed a clerk some years ago by Chief Justice Monahan, was selected, by his relative Chief Justice Morris for this purpose. There are, I believe, three clerks in the office senior to Mr. Courtenay, but I know of no reason why, on this account, he should not have been selected for the temporary discharge of duties not of an ordinary clerical character, especially as this office is one which, from the provisions of the Act regulating it, was clearly not intended to be filled by seniority. The appointment is in the gift of the Lord Lieutenant, not of the Crown; and I have no doubt that the Lord Lieutenant will exercise his usual care in deciding how it shall be permanently filled.