MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is true, as stated in The Times of the 24th August, that he had an interview in Dublin Castle, on Tuesday the 23rd instant, with Irish Divisional Magistrates, who are entrusted with the administration of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act; whether it is true, as stated in the same paper, that full information was received from the magistrates as to the state of their respective localities, and that their opinions were elicited as to the probable effects of the Crimes Act; and, whether it is in accordance with Constitutional usage that the Chief Minister of the Crown in Ireland should seek interviews, obtain full information, and sound the opinions of persons discharging judicial functions, with reference to matters coming, or likely to come, before them in their judicial capacity?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I cannot admit the right of the hon. Gentleman to ask me Questions as to interviews I may have had with persons in Ireland in the discharge of my official duties; but I can re-assure the hon. Gentleman on one point. He appears to be of opinion that Divisional Magistrates are entrusted with the administration of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act; but there are no judicial functions assigned to them.
MR. MAC NEILL
asked, whether not only Divisional Magistrates but Resident Magistrates were present at the inter- 1816 view; whether that interview lasted from 2 o'clock till 5; and whether the Lord Lieutenant was also present?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
As I have already informed the hon. Member, that is not the kind of Question that ought to be put to me. At all events, it is not the kind of Question I feel bound to answer.
§ MR. CHANCE (Kilkenny, S.)
asked why, if these Divisional Magistrates had no judicial authority, they were called magistrates, and paid out of the sum voted for the Magistracy in Ireland?
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
Has the right hon. Gentleman any objection to state whether he conferred not only with Divisional Magistrates, but also with ordinary Resident Magistrates with regard to the Proclamation of the League?
§ [No reply.]