HC Deb 23 July 1878 vol 242 cc41-2

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether, since in the Peace Preservation (Ireland) Act, passed during the present Parliament, the hours during which houses may be forcibly entered are determined by the rising and setting of the sun, and that the Attorney General has pointed out the inconvenience of introducing this definition into the Criminal Code (Indictable Offences) Bill, he will amend the Peace Preservation Act, or would explain why the words between sunrise and sunset should be retained in Irish Acts?


Sir, the subject referred to in the answer of the Attorney General and the subject referred to in this Question are not at all identical. The Attorney General merely stated that he proposed, in the Criminal Code now before Parliament, to continue the definition which constitutes the existing rule as to night time; whereas, in the Peace Preservation Act of 1875, the words of limitation between sunset and sunrise are not used as part of a criminal definition, but merely a restraint on the power of such vested in the Crown. Those words of limitation from sunset to sunrise are to be found in the Act passed in the eleventh year of the Queen's reign, and continued in several other Acts of Parliament, and were introduced into the Act of 1875 by an Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick. I may add that it is not intended this Session to introduce another Peace Preservation Act. And it is intended to give instructions to the constabulary, in the absence of special directions from the Government, not to execute the search warrants at times when the people of the houses searched may be reasonably supposed to be in their beds.