HC Deb 01 April 1886 vol 304 cc446-7
MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co. N.)

asked the honourable baronet the Member for Walsall, with reference to the following statement in the latest Report of the Committee on Petitions:— Your Committee have, in the case of the Petition from East Cavan (against a separate Parliament for Ireland), reported to the House the number of names appended thereto, but they are of opinion that many of the names are in the same handwriting; whether he will state the number of forged names in the Petition referred to; whether he will recommend any steps to be taken with a view to distinguishing between the signatures of adults and those of infants in Petitions against a separate Parliament for Ireland; and, whether any Petitions from Ireland against a separate Parliament for that Country have been presented this Session which have been without forged signatures? Lest it should be supposed that the Petition had been presented by the hon. Member for West Belfast, he wished to state that it had been presented by the hon. Member for North Armagh.


, in reply, said, that the signatures of 117 names to the Petition were evidently in the same handwriting, being written in 23 batches. There had not been a Petition presented in the present Session from Ireland upon the same subject and with the same object which did not contain some signatures which were not in the handwriting of the persons whose names were subscribed. As to recommending what steps should be taken in the matter, he must repeat the answer he gave a few nights ago—namely, that this was a question rather for the House than for the Committee, whose duties were purely Ministerial, and had been carried out in directing attention to the matter, as they had done in this case.


Might I ask a further Question of the hon. Baronet? I would ask, whether any Petition upon any subject largely signed is not liable to the same objection that some of the signatures would be the same?

[No reply.]