§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Mr. Coffey, Taxing Officer, Four Courts, Dublin, was recently frequently applied to by the defendant and his solicitor, in the case of M'Meekan v. Thomson, for copies of an affidavit made by the plaintiff, which said Mr. Coffey had characterised as "wilful and deliberate perjury;" whether Mr. Coffey declined to give the copies applied for; whether it is now 16 alleged that the documents cannot be found; and, whether it is the practice for Mr. Coffey to reecive, in the discharge of the duties of his office, affidavits which have not been regularly filed; and, if so, whether he will bring the fact under the notice of the Attorney General for Ireland, with a view to a change of practice in Mr. Coffey's office, so as to make persons responsible for what they state on oath?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
, in reply, said, the affidavit was made in the course of the taxation of a bill of costs, and as to the payments alleged to have been made to a witness. Master Coffey, in the discharge of his duty, considered it necessary to comment on the nature of the explanation. It was not the practice, as he was informed by the Attorney General, to file affidavits made for the purpose of vouching items in a bill of costs. The original affidavits were interchanged between the parties, and afterwards handed to the solicitor for the party who produced them. That course, he was informed, was found convenient and economical, and was followed in this case; consequently Mr. Coffey was unable to comply with the application. He was advised that the Attorney General could not interfere in the case.