HC Deb 02 March 1886 vol 302 cc1759-60

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he has inquired into the allegations made against Colonel Lloyd in respect of his action in the case of Anne Shaw, recently brought before the notice of this House?


asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Is it the intention of the Government, in reference to the charge made against Colonel Lloyd, J.P., the Monaghan Clerk of the Peace, of tampering with the records in the County and Assize Courts, in an ejectment in which he himself was plaintiff and Anne Shaw defendant, to allow their decision on his action to be influenced by the verdict which the jury may return in the suit for trespass, &c. since brought against him by Anne Shaw; if so, can he explain what light can be thrown on the charge of altering the decrees of Her Majesty's Courts, by Colonel Lloyd's defence in an action for trespass, and specific performance; has his attention been called to the fact that it must prejudice Mrs. Shaw's chance of a fair trial in county Monaghan if the impression is allowed to continue that the verdict of the jury in the forthcoming trial, on a wholly different issue, will decide the view of the Government in the matter of Colonel Lloyd's retention of office as Clerk of the Peace; has he seen the report in The Freeman's Journal of Friday, as to the mode in which the jury is being got together, it being stated that Colonel Lloyd, with Mr. Johnston, his Deputy Clerk of the Peace, attended before the Master of the Queen's Bench, accompanied by the agent of the County Monaghan Conservative Association, and struck from the panel "all Catholic magistrates and farmers, with some Presbyterians," while the plaintiff's solicitor challenged "all land agents or Orange farmers," and that "the list, after some hours' work, was reduced to twenty-four names, the majority of whom are Presbyterian farmers;" is it the fact that these twenty-four Presbyterian farmers, from whom the jury must be taken, may, in the meantime, be exposed to canvass and other influences; and, as the case has now been given a political or party complexion, can he make it apparent, with a view of securing an impartial trial for Mrs. Shaw on the issue of trespass, that the verdict of the jury will in no wise affect the determination of the Executive on the charge of tampering with legal records by an official of the Courts, which cannot be directly raised at the trial?


I have not made any inquiry into the allegations against Colonel Lloyd. I am advised that the result of the pending action may be affected by the conclusion as to which of the entries made at the hearing of the appeal is the correct version of what then occurred, and the credit to be attached to statements of Colonel Lloyd or his deputy as witnesses in the action may also be involved in the matter. On these grounds it appeared to me that any authority having control over the Clerk of the Peace should suspend inquiry till the action was determined. It is right I should point out that, inasmuch as Colonel Lloyd was appointed before 1877, the Government had no control over his retention in office or removal from it. That jurisdiction is vested in the Quarter Sessions with a power of appeal to the Queen's Bench.


Does that apply to the Deputy Clerk of the Peace?


I believe it does.