HC Deb 03 August 1885 vol 300 cc837-9

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the Irish Government are aware that in North Antrim, and in other parts of Ireland, claimants and other persons interested in the registering of Parliamentary voters find it impossible to obtain from clerks of the peace and clerks of unions the information and facilities directed by the Irish Registration Act of the present Session to be afforded; and, whether, considering the urgent pressure of time, the Irish Government will immediately direct the attention of the officials concerned to the duties cast upon them by the Statute with regard to supplying forms, and to the inspection and sale of lists, and will warn them of the penalties of fine and dismissal attending violation or neglect of duty? The hon. Member said, further, that he washed to put a further Question on the subject, which was one which concerned not only Antrim, but all other parts of Ireland. The Notices which should have been supplied on the 22nd of last month had not yet been produced; and he wished to ask, firstly, whether penalties of fine and dismissal would not be imposed upon the defaulting officials; and, secondly, whether the claims of the voters would not thereby be invalidated? He would ask also, whether, under the circumstances which he had mentioned, the period for inspection would not be extended beyond the statutory period?


In answer to the hon. Member, so far as I know, no complaints on this subject have reached the Government, and I believe the officials are fully aware of the duties incumbent upon them under the Statute. The latter part of the Question of the hon. Member clearly has reference to matters of fact, and no such facts have yet been brought before me.


As this is a matter of extreme importance, I must put a Question to the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland. Has he any communication to make as to why the lists were not published on the 22nd of last month; and, will the Irish Government take any steps to hold the officials responsible for that fault? I will also ask whether the specified time for establishing a claim will not be extended until the 4th of August—to-morrow?


in reply, said, that he would be prepared to reply to-morrow.