MR. J. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Patrick Ferriter, newsagent, of Dingle, whose sentence of three mouths' imprisonment with hard labour was on Saturday last confirmed on appeal by Judge Curran, has ever been convicted of, or even charged with, any offences other than offences under "The Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887?"
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
Yes, Sir; on five different occasions he has been sentenced for the following offences:—1. Sentenced to two months' imprisonment on February 18, 1887, for inciting a crowd to attack a Government note-taker. 2. Fined on August 5, 1887, for being on licensed premises during prohibited hours. 3. Fined £ on Novem- 593 ber 4, 1887. for assaulting a constable. 4. Sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment on December 2, 1887, for assaulting the police. 5. Sentenced to seven days' imprisonment on January 20, 1888, for assaulting police. Cases 4 and 5 were tried under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, but, of course, are offences quite irrespective of that Act. The three others were inflicted by ordinary tribunals.
§ MR. EDWARD HARRINGTON (Kerry, W.)
May I be permitted to ask the Chief Secretary whether the first case—that of February, 1887, for which he alleged two months wore given—was simply for calling out to a Government reporter at a meeting while the hon. Member for the Camborne Division of Cornwall (Mr. Conybeare) was speaking, "Take that down, Stringer;" and, whether no evidence was brought against this man; whether, I with regard to the case against the Licensing Laws, Mr. Ferriter, himself a teetotaller, was not in the house of al gentleman who was also a teetotaller, and who has since given up the public-house, and—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Gentleman is now making a counter statement. If he wishes for further information he had bettor put a Notice on the Paper in the usual way.
§ MR. EDWARD HARRINGTON
Might I not, with your permission, go through all these facts, and then ask the Chief Secretary whether he agrees with my statement or not?
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, the hon. Gentleman was making a counter statement, to which it was not possible for a Minister to reply.
MR. EDWARD FIARRINGTON
I would ask if I shall be in Order in asking this Question—whether the assault on the police was not a technical one on the occasion of Ferriter going into his own house and pushing a constable from the door?
§ [No reply.]
§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, as my name has been mentioned, whether he is aware that at the time when the first charge was brought against Ferriter last year I put several 594 Questions to his Predecessor in the Chief Secretaryship (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), and offered personally to give evidence, as I was present on the occasion, which would afford him a proof of the falsity of the statements of the police, and utterly disprove the charge made against Ferriter?
§ [No reply.]
§ MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)
I wish to put a very simple Question, which I think the Chief Secretary will have no difficulty in answering. It is this—whether the assertion that this man was a bad character arises simply from the cases he has mentioned?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think the cases I have mentioned would be sufficient; but, besides these, I believe this gentleman has been connected as a high official—as acting Secretary, I think—of two branches of the League most notorious for the worst forms of Boycotting.
§ MR. CONYBEARE
said he must press for an answer to his previous Question; but he wished now to ask, whether Ferriter had, in addition to the high offices mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman, held office as a rate collector, or overseer, or something of that kind, in the district in which he lived?