§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
I wish to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, What has become of the Government Bill for the Better Securing of Order in Belfast? That Bill was framed on the Report of the Royal Commission, which sent in its recommendation a year and a half ago. The Bill was looked into and reported upon by a Select Committee of the House. Will the Bill be re-introduced this year; and, if not, how long will society in Belfast be allowed to subsist 79 with a condition of things which was described by the Royal Commission as a standing menace to the public peace?
§ [No reply.]
§ MR. T. C. HARRINGTON (Dublin Harbour)
I should like to press for an answer to the Question of my hon. Friend. This is a question of very great importance. When the Motion was before the House for the appointment of the Commission in Belfast, it was regarded by this House as a question of pressing importance; and it is not because we have tranquility now in Belfast that the matter should be allowed to drop. I think it is due to my hon. Friend who put the Question, that the Government should state what has become of this Bill. I am sure that if an effort is made to push forward the Bill, we, on our part, will try to facilitate its becoming law; and I am sure the right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who pose as such strong supporters of law and order, can, if they assist the Government in this matter, help easily to pass the Bill.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
It is not the intention of the Government to reintroduce this Bill this Session. The condition of Belfast is a matter of distinct importance; but there is not, I believe any ground for special anxiety at the present time. It has, I think, been found that the application of the Crimes Prevention Act and the new police arrangements have been perfectly adequate to meet any contingency of the kind referred to that might arise.