HC Deb 31 August 1886 vol 308 cc891-2

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether Mr. Justice Murphy has been communicated with in reference to his remarks in the case of the Queen v. Phair, on the action of Captain M'Ternan, R.M., and Messrs. French, Creighton, Winslow, Johnston, and Westropp, J.P's, in entering no rule in a case of a party nature in which two Orangemen were charged with assaulting a Catholic, and on what information the Government have come to the conclusion that the conduct of those gentlemen, which his Lordship described as "monstrous," and on which he "commented severely," was only "an error of judgment;" who the Resident Magistrate is on whose report the Government are acting; and, whether the Government intend to address any communication to the magistrates rebuked by Judge Murphy pointing out their duty in cases in which a conflict of evidence arises?


Mr. Justice Murphy was not communicated with on the subject referred to; and the terms of my former answer clearly show that I was stating to the House my own inference drawn from the language quoted by the hon. Member himself. The Resident Magistrate, Captain M'Ternan, had reported that the language was quoted with substantial correctness; but he did not suggest any interpretation of it. It is not intended to address any communication to the magistrates, who have already had their duty in dealing with cases where there is conflicting evidence explained to them by the learned Judge.


May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether it is a fact that the Government in this matter are basing their judgment on the report of a gentleman incriminated?


No, Sir; certainly not.