HC Deb 14 June 1888 vol 327 cc96-8
MR. JOHN MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether, in cases of conspiracy under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, it is compulsory on the Magistrates to state a case if required? Perhaps I may be allowed to mention that the Question has been altered since I sent it in, and words have been left out showing that I put the Question because of certain language held by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. A. J. Balfour).


Order, order! The reason why the Question was altered was that it asked one Minister if what another Minister had stated on the previous day was true. Therefore, there was something invidious—or it might be taken to be invidious—in the form of the Question.


Yes, Sir; the statement is perfectly correct. The Justices are bound by statute to state a case on the application of any person dissatisfied with their decision as being erroneous in point of law, unless they are of opinion that the application is merely frivolous; and their judgment as to this latter matter is liable to be controlled by the Queen's Bench Division, which may order them to state a case.

MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)

May I ask the Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether, as a matter of fact, the magistrates did not refuse to state a case in the case of Brosnan, the newsvendor, of Tralee, not on the ground that it was frivolous; and also in the case of the Kerry blacksmith; and may I ask, also, whether the then Solicitor General for Ireland did not, before the Court of Queen's Bench, oppose those applications?


I am not aware of the facts of the particular cases to which the hon. Gentleman alludes; but if he wishes to get more specific information as to either case, I shall be prepared, if he gives Notice, to answer him. The Question was addressed to me as to the law, and I stated the statutory requirements; but if the hon. Member wishes information as to particular facts I will give it to him on Notice being given.


May I ask, whether there is a single case in which magistrates have refused to state a case on the ground that the application was frivolous?


I must request the hon. Gentleman, if he asks me a Question on a matter of fact, to put it on the Paper.

MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)

Arising out of the Questions put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian and by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I wish to put a Question to the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, of which I have given him private Notice, Whether it is a fact that out of the 58 Resident Magistrates who have tried cases under the Crimes Act, including cases of conspiracy, 12 only have been called to the Bar, and of these 12 how many have been practising barristers?


I wholly fail to see how the Question arises from the Questions put on the Paper, and the Question itself has only been put into my hands five minutes ago. I believe, as a matter of fact, the hon. Gentleman will find most of the information which he requires in the Return already laid before Parliament with regard to Resident Magistrates. If that Return does not give all the information, I will be happy to give it to him if he gives Notice.


I will.