§ MR. MELDON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to a statement in the "Morning and Evening Mail" of Friday the 25th February, that Mr. Barton, one of the divisional magistrates in Dublin, upon dismissing a charge brought by an individual for cruelty to an animal, said "he was of opinion that the police were in themselves quite sufficient to grapple with cases of cruelty in the streets without any humanity-mongering by a voluntary society;" and, if such statement is true, whether any steps will be taken to prevent the use in future of such language, calculated to counteract the efforts of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, by a magistrate?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
, in reply, said, his attention had been called to the subject only by the Notice of the hon. and learned Member's Question, and he had not, therefore, had time to inquire into the accuracy of the statement referred to. Mr. Barton was an able and efficient magistrate, and if he had made any remark such as that attributed to him, it would probably have been with reference to some want of judgment on the part of the agents of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, rather than with reference to the Society itself. It did not appear to him necessary to take any action in the matter.