§ MR. LABOUCHERE(for Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the Government propose to appoint a Commission, or otherwise to institute a public inquiry, into the circumstances of the loss of life at Mitchelstown, as was done in the case of the Belfast riots in 1886?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
As the hon. Gentleman is aware, the Belfast inquiry was conducted under an Act of Parliament, and without such an Act no sworn inquiry can take place. The proceedings at Mitchelstown will probably be made the subject of judicial investigation; and it will be highly inconvenient and prejudicial to the ends of justice to have two concurrent inquiries on the same subject carried on at the same time. It is obvious that the case of Belfast is in no way analogous to the case of Mitchelstown; and an inquiry into the deplorable events which occurred at the latter place would necessarily take the form of a criminal investigation, conducted by a tribunal created ad hoc, which, I think, the hon. Member would hardly recommond.
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If the Government would consider the advisability of compensating those among the injured at Mitchelstown who have not been proved guilty of any illegal act, and also of providing for the families of those killed?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
The 480 hon. and gallant Gentleman will, I am sure, upon consideration, see that the Question is at present premature. But the Government is not aware of any precedent in the direction indicated, nor are they aware that there is any fund out of which compensation should be made.