HC Deb 29 July 1887 vol 318 cc523-5
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the suppression of the Protestant Home Rule meeting at Kilkerton on the 25th May last, Whether he is aware that the information on which it is alleged the meeting was proclaimed by Lord Kilmorey and his land agent, Mr. Henry, acting together as Justices, was sworn by John Linton, of Moneydanaghmore; whether Linton is one of the leading Orangemen who were entertained in Lord Kilmorey's demesne on the 12th July, and if he is the same Linton who moved a vote of thanks to Lord Kilmorey on that occasion; whether Linton was sent for and desired to attend at Lord Kilmorey's office on the morning of the meeting; whether he swore the information in the rout office in the presence of Lord Kilmorey and his agent; whether the information was dictated by Lord Kilmorey or his agent; whether the information was made up of what was expressedly "hearsay" Reports, without any reference to the source from which such Reports came; and, whether he will direct the attention of the Lord Chancellor to the matter?

MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman also, whether the Meetings of so-called Protestant Home Rulers are largely composed of Roman Catholic priests and their congregations?

THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet) (who replied)

said, his hon. Friend must give Notice of the Question. He had no information at present as to the composition of the meetings. In answer to the Question put by the hon. Member on the Paper, he could reply that the information was sworn by John Linton. He was not aware whether it was sworn in the rent office. It was not exclusively made up of hearsay Reports. The matter was at once brought under the notice of the Lord Chancellor,


Did the right hon. and gallant Gentleman make any inquiry whatever as to where this information was sworn; and if the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has a copy of the information will he show it to the House? If he has not a copy I can oblige him with a copy, which was sworn in the rent office of Lord Kilmorey.


Yes, Sir; I have a copy; but I can find nothing in the copy to show where it was sworn, except that it was sworn at Kilkeel, County Down. The house where it was sworn is not mentioned, so far as I can see.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

Have the Irish Government inquired from Lord Kilmorey whether he sent for the man Linton, in order to procure the man Linton to swear an information upon which Lord Kilmorey subsequently suppressed a public meeting?


No, Sir; the Irish Government have made no such inquiry. I must point out that it would be manifestly the duty of a magistrate to obtain the best and most accurate information possible in such matters.


But is it the duty, or the right, of a magistrate to send for a person to induce him to swear an information to carry out a preconceived purpose of the magistrate?


It is the duty of a magistrate to take any and every step in his power to preserve order.


Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the Chief Secretary stated that the meeting was not convened by placard, and that the information said that "Placards were extensively posted;" and is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the information is signed by two magistrates—Lord Kilmorey and Lord Kilmorey's land agent?


said, he was aware that the Chief Secretary had made the statement referred to in his first answer; but he was also aware that the Chief Secretary had subsequently stated that he had been misinformed. With regard to the fact that the information was signed by two magistrates, that had been brought under the notice of the Lord Chancellor.