§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE
I beg to ask the Attorney General whether it was by his direction or sanction that Mr. Walsh, the editor of the Cashel Sentinel, was prosecuted on Friday, 1st August, for having inserted in his paper, on 7th June last, the report of a speech delivered by Mr. Kelly, at Bohercaheen, in which the following passage occurred:—Mr. Gladstone, a few days ago, when speaking of Mitchelstown, observed 'Why may they not use blackthorns against batons?' A voice, 'we'll be better prepared for them next time.' Mr. Kelly, 'Do, I beg you, be better prepared the next time, and let these cowardly rowdies who attack women, old men, and children in the open day feel the strength that slumbers in a Tipperary peasant's arm;whether, when directing the prosecution, he was aware that Mr. Walsh made no editorial comments whatever on this report of Mr. Kelly's speech; that there was no other evidence against him; and that other newspapers, including Tory papers, reported the same passage; whether, under all these circumstances, he proposes to proceed further with the prosecution of Mr. Walsh in his appeal from the Magistrates, who have sentenced him to three months' imprisonment with hard labour; and whether, in the event of his proceeding with the prosecution, he intends to prosecute the editors of other newspapers who reported the same speech?
SIR R. WEBSTER
The question of the right hon. Gentleman relates to a matter which is the subject of a pending appeal, and I must, therefore, decline to make any statement on the subject.