HC Deb 10 December 1888 vol 331 cc1602-3
MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, If the Crown, before prosecuting in the case of the Belfast insurance frauds, called for a Report from the Insurance Companies; if this Report implicated some persons not prosecuted by the Crown; whether one of them still holds an insurance policy without the consent of the person insured, and against his public protest; and, whether the Report can be seen and referred to by Members.


The Attorney General for Ireland, who had the conduct of the prosecution, got Reports from the Insurance Company as well as from the Sessional Crown Solicitor in reference to the Belfast insurance frauds. Every person implicated by those Reports against whom there was, in the opinion of the Attorney General, sufficient evidence to establish a criminal offence was prosecuted by the Crown, and also two persons named Press and Matthews, against whom the Counsel for the Insurance Company had advised that there was not sufficient evidence. These reports, however, the Crown cannot undertake to produce, as such a course would be without precedent, and contrary to the public interest. The Attorney General states, as regards paragraph 3, that the person referred to holds a policy on the life of Mr. Finlay M'Cance, which the latter complained in open Court was effected without his knowledge or consent. There was not, in the opinion of the Attorney General, evidence to sustain a criminal charge in this case; but the Company will have their legal remedy if the policy was obtained by fraud.


This is a grave matter; and I therefore give Notice that on the Vote for Law Charges, I will call attention to the fact that Mr. James Henderson, Town Councillor and proprietor of a Conservative organ, The Belfast News Letter, is grossly implicated in these frauds, and yet the Government have not prosecuted him.