HC Deb 26 February 1891 vol 350 c1707
MR. DE COBAIN (Belfast, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that the Resident Magistrates for the City of Belfast, the Local Justices of the Peace who are members of the City Corporation, and also the officers and men of the Royal Irish Constabulary have free passes, or in some cases passes at a merely nominal rate, for travelling by the Belfast Street Tram way Company's cars, although the Magistrates thus privileged adjudicate upon cases in which the Tram way Company are concerned, and whether Magistrates are permitted to accept free passes from companies over whom they have judicial jurisdiction; and if he could furnish a statement of the number of prosecutions brought by the police force of Belfast against the Belfast Street Tram ways Company for breaches of the city bye-laws before and since the privilege of free travelling has been granted to the police?


I am informed that neither the Resident Magistrates nor the officers of the Royal Irish Constabulary have free passes from the Belfast Street Tram ways Company. They have the right of taking season tickets at the cost of one guinea a year. It appears that hitherto individual policemen, if travelling on the top of a tramcar, have not been charged. The Inspector General thinks this may be open to objection, and has ordered its discontinuance. I have no official information with regard to the Local Justices; but I understand that out of the 15 who are members of the Corporation, one only has a free pass, and that by reason of a courtesy shown by the Tram way Company to ex-Mayors. During the past five years the police have prosecuted tram way officials in 27 cases.