HC Deb 21 July 1884 vol 290 cc1735-6

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been drawn to a letter, of which the following is a copy, which was sent by Mr. Thomas J. Crowe, agent to Mr. Acheson S. Ffrench, a landlord in the county Galway, to Mr. John O'Brien, a tenant of a holding on the estate of Mr. Ffrench:—

"Monivea Estate Office,

"16 March, 1884.

"John O'Brien.

"Dear Sir,—I am directed by Acheson S. Ffrench, Esq., Monivea Castle, to tell you to vote for Mr. Laurence Smith, as guardian for Greethill, and you will also give notice to all our tenants to vote for Mr. Smith, and try and keep down the rates in that quarter of the estate. You are now called on to see that all our tenants and yourself will vote for Laurence Smith, Esq., as Mr. Ffrench wishes to have him elected, and will take no excuse.

"Yr. friend


"I would be sorry if you put Mr. Ffrench against you. So do your best among our tenants to have Mr. Smith elected, and do all you can for him;"

and, what steps will be taken in regard to the writing and sending of this letter?


I understand that Mr. Crowe admits that he wrote the letter quoted. The letter is certainly a strong one. But I have already more than once stated, and with respect to cases occurring on both sides, that the Government are not prepared to put the Intimidation Clauses of the Crimes Act into force in such matters. I think, however, that as Mr. Ffrench is, as I understand, in the Commission of the Peace, this case ought to be submitted to the Lord Chancellor with a view to his Lordship considering whether Mr. Ffrench ought to be asked if Mr. Crowe's letter was written by his direction, as it purports to have been.