§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he will lay upon the Table of the House a copy of the Report presented to Mr. Justice Johnson on the 5th instant by the Constabulary Authorities regarding the state of the County of Dublin; whether that Report is of an exceptional character, or is substantially identical with all previous Reports regarding the County of Dublin presented to the Judges on similar occasions for the past 10 years; and, whether that Report is the sole ground on which such an outbreak of crime in Dublin County as would justify the enforcement there of the first section of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act is anticipated by the Government; and, if not, on what other ground is such an anticipation entertained?
§ MR. MURPHY (Dublin, St. Patrick's)
also asked, Whether, when the right hon. Gentleman decided to proclaim the City of Dublin under the section of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, he was aware of the condition of affairs reported to Mr. Justice Johnson, which that Judge described as satisfactory, adding that only 6 or 7 per cent of crime remained undetected; and, whether he will reconsider the question of applying the most stringent provision of the Act to that community?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I will answer both Questions at the same time. The answer I gave on Friday 449 was that there was nothing—and there is nothing—exceptional in the state of crime either in the City or in the County of Dublin; and it is not in consequence of the exceptional state of crime that the Government have proclaimed the City and County of Dublin under Section 1. I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Murphy) that this provision is the most stringent provision of this Act; because the opinion has been expressed over and over again that it should be applied to the whole country as part of the ordinary law.
§ MR. CLANCY
May I point out to the right hon. Gentleman that he has not answered a single one of the three paragraphs in my Questions? He has left them completely unanswered.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I thought the information I gave the hon. Gentleman would have satisfied him; but as it does not, I may say that I will not lay on the Table a copy of the Report presented to Mr. Justice Johnson on the 5th instant. That Report was not of an exceptional character, and that Report is not theSole ground on which such an outbreak of crime in Dublin County as would justify the enforcement there of the first section of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act is anticipated by the Government.I have already stated, in answer to the Questions on Friday and to-day, that that is all the information I can give the House as to the grounds upon which the Government have acted.
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
The right hon. Gentleman justified the application of Section 1 to the County Dublin not by the existing state of facts, but by some apprehension of what may happen. I wish to ask him whether the Report of the Constabulary Authorities to Mr. Justice Johnson affords any ground for anticipating an outbreak of crime; and, also, whether it is not the fact that the percentage of undetected crime in the City of Dublin is only 6 per cent, which is less than the average of any other town in the Kingdom; and, does that circumstance afford any ground for the apprehensions of the Government?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The right hon. Gentleman must have misunderstood the purport of my answer. I did not state that it was in consequence of an outbreak of crime which the Govern- 450 ment anticipated that the Government had taken this step; and, as to the second Question, I would point out that it is not the amount of undetected crime that is the justification, or need be the justification, of using this section. The sole justification required by the Government is whether, in their opinion, the application of the section may not lead to the detection of crime which would otherwise remain undiscovered.