§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If he would state what were the amounts paid in the case of "O'Byrne v. Hartington and others" on behalf of the defendants up to the end of the trial and the delivery of the verdict against the defendants; what amounts have been paid on account of the defendants in the said action since; whether or not any or all of these' amounts were voted by the House of Commons in Committee of Supply; if so, when and under what heading; whether the moneys spent for the defence of the police in the action were obtained in the same manner and by the same authorities as the moneys paid for the defence of the Chief Secretary for Ireland; if the expenses in this regard were voted by the House, when and under what heading; if he will supply information to the House as to the date of the commencement of the action, of the point at present in dispute, and before what tribunal the case is supposed to be proceeding; and, if he will supply similar information as to the case of "Fraser v. Hartington and others?"
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS - BEACH
Neither the events referred to by the hon. Member, nor by far the greater portion of the payments made on account of them, occurred during my tenure of office; but I have endeavoured to obtain the best information in my power in reply to the hon. Member's Question. I am informed that the amounts paid in the case of "O'Byrne v. Hartington" up to that date (November 2, 1873), 1272 when the verdict of July 11, 1872 was set aside by the conditional order of the Court of Exchequer, were £1,785 18s. 9d., and that £1,406 1s. 8d. has been paid since on account of the same case. All the sums paid, both on account of this action and for the defence of the police, were voted by the House of Commons in Committee of Supply, under the heading of "Law Charges, Ireland," and, with the exception of the sum of £89 4s. 8d. paid in 1871, are set forth in the Appropriation Accounts for the years ending March 31, 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876 respectively, under a special sub-head—namely, "Expenses incurred in defending certain actions brought against Government in connection with the Phœnix Park Riots of 1871." The action commenced by the filing of the writ in the Court of Exchequer on the 9th of November, 1871; the point at present in dispute is an appeal by the plaintiff against a conditional order of the Court of Exchequer setting aside the verdict obtained by the plaintiff, and directing a verdict to be entered for the defendant, which appeal is to be argued before the Court of Exchequer Chamber. In the case of "Fraser v. Burke and others," the writ was issued on December 21, 1871, and the amount paid on behalf of Mr. Burke was £1,065 19s. 5d. Further proceedings in this action, since the conditional order of January 22, 1873, setting aside the verdict in it, have been in abeyance pending the result of the appeal in the case of "O'Byrne v. Hartington."