§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether in the Constabulary Code for 1887 there are any directions respecting public meetings similar to those contained in page 269 of the Code of 1888, as approved by the Lord Lieutenant—namely,Section 1112. Whenever any public meeting is announced. … it is the duty of the officer of Constabulary within whose district such meeting is to be held to be present thereat (or, if this is impracticable, to depute a head or other constable in plain clothes) for the purpose of taking notes of any inflammatory language that may be employed … This duty, however, is to be performed with discretion, and without anything approaching to parade or offensive intrusion on the part of the police. In cases where a shorthand writer is sent to take notes of a meeting, the promoters thereof should be asked to provide him with a place on the platform. If this be not accorded he must take the best position available;and, if so, did the Departmental inquiry, presided over by Colonel Turner, R.M., into the conduct of the police on the occasion of the three deaths at Mitchelstown, take any, and what, notice of the intrusion of the police into the meeting with their reporter without any prior communication with the promoters of the meeting, as the Code prescribes?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Constabulary Code is a Departmental publication, intended solely for the instruction and guidance of the Force. It is not issued to the public, and I must decline to discuss its contents.
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
asked, whether the right hon. Gentleman would have any objection to say, with regard to the latter part of the Question, whether the inquiry appointed into the 733 occurrences at Mitchelstown embraced the alleged non-compliance with the terms of the Code?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, that, speaking from memory, he rather thought the subject did not come within the terms of the inquiry.