§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he can state what property qualification has Mr. Adam McClelland, of Lucan, for the office of Justice of the Peace for the County of Dublin, to which he has recently been appointed, and what was the special reason for his appointment; whether 723 Mr. McClelland is a Protestant or a Catholic; whether more than two-thirds of the magistrates of Dublin County are Protestants, though more than three-fourths of the population are Catholics; and, whether the Government intend to take any steps to secure in that county a more adequate representation of the Catholic population on the Magisterial Bench?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I am informed that there is no property qualification required by law for holding the Commission of the Peace in Ireland. But before making an appointment the Lord Chancellor satisfies himself that the candidate has a sufficient independence of means. The appointment in question was made in the ordinary way. I understand that candidates for the magistracy are not required to state their religious persuasion; and the Lord Chancellor was not informed of the religious belief of the gentleman referred to. As regards paragraph 3, I have no information other than that contained in the Return presented pursuant to an Order of this House, dated March 10, 1886. The appointment of magistrates does not rest with the Government, but with the Lord Chancellor, who states he is always glad to consider the names of any properly qualified Roman Catholics who may be recommended to him.