§ MR. LALOR (Queen's County, Leix)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention has been called to the Report in The Freeman's Journal of the 16th instant of the proceedings under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act before Captain Keogh, against Mr. Donleavy, editor of The Clare Independent, on the 14th instant, in the Courthouse at Ennis, from which it appears that the constable (Watson) was handed a deposition, dated 9th April, which he 1735 stated that he had signed, and owing to which three men were charged with stone throwing; and, whether he has noticed the following question and answer of the witness:—Mr. Harrington: I have only one question to ask you. In the deposition did you say one word about stones being thrown from the buildings?—No, I did not;and, whether he will inquire into the circumstances under which this deposition was signed? The hon. Gentleman said, the last paragraph of the Question appeared on the Paper in a different form to that in which he handed it in. The paragraph as he wrote it ran—Whether it is usual for the police in Ireland to sign their depositions, prepared for them without even—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! That part of the Question was struck out by myself, because it contravened the usual practice relating to Questions.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Question was only put down last night, and I have been, therefore, unable to receive a reply from Ireland to my communication; but I may say that the report in The Freeman's Journal, as to what has been passing in the Court House at Ennis, is in no way to be depended upon.
§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the deposition contained matter which was opposed to the evidence actually given by the constable?
§ MR. EDWARD HARRINGTON (Kerry, W.)
On what information does the right hon. Gentleman state to the House that the reports in The Freeman's Journal of matters that took place in a public Court are not to be depended upon; and is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to make that statement outside the House, so as to afford the proprietors of The Freeman's Journal an opportunity of testing its accuracy?
§ [No reply.]
§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
Might I also ask whether the reports in other newspapers which reported these proceedings are not substantially identical with The Freeman's Journal?
§ [No reply.]