HC Deb 30 April 1888 vol 325 cc887-8
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is the fact that Mr. Patrick Ferriter, of Dingle, held the office of collector of rates, or some similar post, in that district of County Kerry; for how long did he hold that office, and whether he still holds it; whether, during his tenure of that office, any single allegation has ever been made or proved against him; whether he is aware of the fact that, during the last Session, several Questions were asked of the then Chief Secretary for Ireland, and offers were made by gentlemen, who had been present at the meeting in Dingle, to submit evidence conclusively disproving the charge made against Mr. Ferriter, of having, at such meeting, incited the crowd to attack either the police or the Government reporter; and, whether he will receive and consider the evidence so offered by hon. Members of this House?

THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.) ,

in reply, said, it was not the case that Ferriter ever held the office of rate collector; but he was elected relieving officer by the Dingle Board of Guardians towards the end of 1886, and acted as such for a short time. The Local Government Board refused to sanction the appointment. During that period there was one conviction against him, and he was sentenced to two months' imprisonment, and there was another man appointed in his place. He (Mr. A. J. Balfour) was aware that the hon. Member (Mr. Conybeare), who put a Question on the same subject in March of last year, stated that he had information which would go to prove that Ferriter was innocent. At the time he (Mr. A. J. Balfour) expressed his readiness to consider any evidence that might be put before him, and he had the same answer to give that day.


I wish to inform the right hon. Gentleman that the information I had to give him was my own personal evidence. Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the conviction was a Crimes Act conviction?


I believe, Sir, it was not.


Then what was it under?


Under the ordinary law.


Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether the only conviction against Mr. Ferriter, and that on which the Local Government Board refused to sanction his appointment as relieving officer, was the conviction for calling "Take that down, Jerry Stringer;" and, also, whether the sentence of two months was in default of bail?


I also wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether it was not in reference to this conviction that I offered my own personal evidence.


I do not know anything about the hon. Gentleman's personal evidence. The reason the Local Government Board did not sanction the appointment of Ferriter was not because of this conviction, for the conviction occurred subsequently; but because they thought that Ferriter was unfit for the post of relieving officer.


More defamation of character.