§ MR. GRAY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether the New Irish Court of Appeal, constituted by the Irish Judicature Act, held its first sitting last week in Dublin to hear an Appeal of great importance; and, whether Lord Justice Christian, one of the permanent members of the Court, declined to attend the sittings; and, if so, on what grounds did he so decline?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
Sir, I have been informed that it is an error to suggest that Lord Justice Christian declined to attend the sittings of the Court of Appeal; he was merely absent from one particular case, which was heard by four Appellate Judges. I do not consider it to be my duty to inquire what 532 were the grounds of his absence. The Government do not expect from the Judges any account of their attendance in particular cases, and I should be sorry to take any action which might be construed as a precedent for interference on the part of the Government with the independence of the Judicial Bench in Ireland.