§ MR. SMALL (Down, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, for some time since until lately, it has invariably been arranged that either the district inspector or the head constable stationed at Rathfriland, county Down, should be a Catholic; whether, very recently, this arrangement has been departed from, and both these officers are now Protestants; whether Head Constable Smith attends "Loyal Minority" meetings as a partisan, although not required to attend when on duty; whether Rathfriland is a town in which party spirit runs high; and, whether, under those circumstances, it is intended to continue the present system, or revert to the former one, which worked so satisfactorily?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
For some years until quite recently the District Inspector and the Head Constable in the Rathfriland district have been of different creeds. At present they are both Protestants—one an Episcopalian and the other a Presbyterian. The Inspector General is of opinion that the work will be impartially performed under the existing arrangement; and if he sees any necessity for doing so he will at once alter the arrangement. The Head Constable attended the meeting referred to in the Question; but he did so on duty, and under instructions. I believe that Party spirit runs pretty high in that district.