§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland a Question, of which I have given him private Notice. It is in reference to the recent engagement which the right hon. Gentleman gave that the Government intended to accept in principle the recommendations of the four Commissioners who inquired into the Belfast riots, and who reported in January last. The Report of Mr. Wallace M'Hardy, the other Commissioner, has not yet been circulated amongst Members, but it has appeared in the Press. I find from it that he is directly at issue with the representatives of the authorities in Belfast and the four Commissioners upon very important points in reference to special constables, the formation of a Committee to regulate a Committee of Local Justices for control of the police, and the adjudication upon the Bench by Local Justices. I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether he adheres to his engagement that the Government 699 will accept on principle the recommendations of Mr. Justice Day, Major General Bulwer, Mr. Le Poer Trench, and Mr. Richard Adams; and, whether they will pay any attention to the individual recommendations of Mr. Wallace M'Hardy?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The hon. Gentleman sent me Notice that he intended to ask this Question, though I did not exactly understand the terms in which it is put. I hope he will understand from me that the Government have arrived at no final decision with regard to the details of their arrangements with regard to Belfast. I have not had an opportunity of studying the details of Mr. M'Hardy's Report; but no decision will be taken by the Government within the course of the next few days, and I will be glad to communicate any decision immediately it is made to the hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. SEXTON
Do I understand, in the meantime, that the Government maintain their former pledge—that they will generally adhere to the recommendation of the four Commissioners?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Well, Sir, I shall certainly withdraw from no pledge given by the Government. I will be very happy if the hon. Gentleman will communicate with me on the subject.