§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
I wish to ask the Solicitor General for Ireland, If he can inform the House whether it is true that criminal proceedings have been instituted in Ireland against seven Members of this House; and, if so, whether he will see that such prosecutions are postponed until these Members have discharged their duties to their constituents by taking part in the consideration of the Irish Estimates for the year?
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN) (Dublin University)
The hon. Member must please to give Notice of his Question.
§ MR. SEXTON
said, that the First Lord of the Treasury had probably been informed that criminal proceedings under the Crimes Act had been instituted simultaneously against seven Members of the House. He wished to ask whether the institution of those criminal proceedings and the delay of the Irish Estimates had any relation to each other; and, if not, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman to give the House an assurance, which might tend to facilitate the progress of Public Business, that the prosecutions in question would be so conducted that those seven Gentlemen should not be withdrawn from their public duties until the Irish Estimates had been considered?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
In answer to the Question of the hon. Member, I have to assure him and the House that I am personally unaware of the fact to which he refers. I only just this moment found a note from the hon. Member on my table informing me of the fact; and therefore it could not have been in my mind when I made the statement with regard to the Irish Estimates. I will inquire into the circumstances of the case; and I can only say that, so far as I am concerned, unless there is any good ground—any material ground—for haste in the business, I should certainly desire that hon. Members should be in 27 their places in this House to take part in the discussion of the Estimates.