HC Deb 01 April 1890 vol 343 c394

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland what have been the costs incurred by the Crown in the various remands of Mr. McDermott, of Clanricarde, including the cost of transporting and escorting him on each occasion from the gaol to the locality in which the secret court before which he has been summoned has been held?


The Constabulary authorities report that the expenses incurred in the matter in question amount to about £45.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

This Gentleman has been 10 times remanded for refusing to give evidence in secret, and I wish to ask the Government whether during the recess they will not allow him to give evidence in open court in order that he may be able to protect himself against defamation?


This is an inquiry under the Explosives Act of 1883. The answer given by Mr. McDermott has invariably been that he could give evidence, but that he refused to do so. In my opinion, it would be extremely undesirable in such a case to interfere with the discretionary powers of the Magistrates who are conducting the inquiry. The man does not state that he has no evidence to give, but that he will not give it, as the law requires him to give it.


Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman not see that if he were to give evidence in secret he would be exposed to imputations hereafter?


The Act of 1882 extends to every part of the United Kingdom, and the mode of conducting the inquiry must be left to the discretion of the Magistrates who conduct it.