§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether the decision of the House of Lords, in the case of " Sharp v. Wakefield," overrules the judgment given in the Irish Court of Queen's Bench in 1876, in the case of " Clitheroe v. the Recorder of Dublin," in which it was held that the Irish publican had a vested interest in his licence?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN, Dublin University)
The case of " Sharp v. Wakefield " was decided by the House of Lords on a different state of facts and upon different statutes from those which were before the Irish Court of Queen's Bench in the case known as Clitheroe's case. It, therefore, does not overrule the last-mentioned decision. How far the principles on which the House of Lords rested their decision are applicable to the Irish Licensing Code, in any particular state of facts, is another and a, different question, in regard to which I ought not to do more than point out that the matter can be raised before the Licensing Authority by any person interested, and, if it is thought advisable, taken to the Courts of Appeal.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he has not now set a precedent which may be followed subsequently in answering a legal question addressed to him by a Unionist Member?
§ MR. MADDEN
I have never refused to answer a legal question which related to a matter which came within my province. I have answered the question of the hon. Member for South Tyrone, (Mr. T. W. Russell) as far as it was within my province and duty to do so; but I declined to express any opinion as 222 the question may hereafter be brought before another tribunal.
§ SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
I wish to know whether the case mentioned in the question is one which may go before another Court?
§ MR. MADDEN
The Irish case mentioned in the question arose before the passing of the Irish Judicature Act and the decision of the Court of Queen's Bench was final. If a similar case were to arise in Ireland now, it might be carried before a Court of Appeal and ultimately to the House of Lords.