§ MR. STACK (Kerry, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Mr. John Hill, of Bellaghy Castle, who was adjudicated a bankrupt between the years 1850 and 1856, is still in the Commission of the Peace, and presides as Chairman of the Toomebridge Petty Sessions; whether the Bench is composed of five Protestant magistrates; and, whether, having regard to the fact that Toomebridge is a Catholic district, he will ask the Lord Chancellor to consider the propriety of providing for the appointment of at least two Catholic magistrates?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) said: I understand that the gentleman is in the Commission of the Peace, and attends the Toomebridge Petty Sessions. There is no trace in the records of the Court of Bankruptcy, which have been searched for the past 40 years, that he has been a bankrupt. It is, however, manifest, under any circumstances, that what the pecuniary position of a magistrate may have been at the remote period alluded to is unworthy of consideration at the present time. The religious denomination of the magistrates attending the Toomebridge Petty Sessions appears no be as stated. The Government have no knowledge of the proportion of the different religious 660 denominations of the people in the Petty Sessions' district. There is a good attendance of magistrates at the Petty Sessions. As regards the appointment of any additional magistrates in the district, the proper course is to apply to the Lord Lieutenant of the county.