§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Irish Executive is bound to furnish Government boats, free of charge, to the Sheriff when going to carry out evictions on islands of the Irish Coast?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
No, Sir. The object of providing Government boats in connection with the duty in question is the conveyance of the police party requisitioned by the Sheriff for his protection, and the conveyance of the Sheriff and his bailiffs in such boats is only permitted in cases where that course is absolutely necessary for the carrying out of the law. When such a course arises the Sheriff has to pay for the subsistence of himself and his bailiffs.
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that persons conveyed in Her Majesty's gunboats to the islands on the West Coast of Ireland have seized the boats belonging to the fishermen, which form their only means of obtaining a living? I wish to know whether that is not an illegal act, and what means will be taken to enable these poor people to pursue their ordinary avocations?
§ MR. DILLON
The right hon. Gentleman says that boats have only been supplied for the purpose of carrying a necessary police escort for the protection of persons engaged in executing the law. Is it not the fact that in some cases they have carried also emergency men, and agents of the landlords? I wish to know if this is legal, and whether such persons ought not to be required to furnish their own means of transit?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I believe that when Sheriffs' officers and bailiffs have been taken they have paid their own expenses.
§ MR. SEXTON
I think it is important that the seizure of the fishermen's boats, if illegal, should not be repeated, and I should like to know from the Attorney General for Ireland if it is not provided by enactment that wearing apparel, bedding, tools, and implements of trade, if they do not exceed £5 in value, shall not be liable to seizure? These boats were the implements of the trade of the fishermen, and was it legal to seize them?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN,) Dublin University
I am not acquainted with the section of the Act referred to, but if the hon. Member will put a question on the Paper I will obtain the information.