§ MR. DANE (Fermanagh, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether when District Inspector Dagg, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, was instructed by the Irish Government that the police were not to prosecute a Nationalist named Fitzpatrick for perjury committed at the last Revision Sessions of South Fermanagh, by means of which he got his name placed upon the register, the full facts of the case were before the Irish Authorities; will he explain why, when Fitzpatrick was prosecuted at Petty Sessions by the remount Inspector, and returned for trial to and convicted at the Ulster Winter Assizes, the Crown opposed the application of the private prosecutor to be indemnified the expenses of the prosecution at the Petty Sessions Court; has he observed that the Judge, 1028 in deciding that he could only order payment of expenses incurred in the Assize Court, expressed his regret thereat, and stated that, in his opinion, it was not right to throw upon private individuals the expense of such public prosecutions; can he explain why such prosecutions are not conducted in Ireland by the Solicitor for the Treasury, as is the case in England; and will he give instructions that for the future such prosecutions in Ireland will be conducted by the local Crown Solicitors, and will he direct that the private prosecutor in the case against Fitzpatrick be recouped the expenses he was put to?
*MR. J. MORLEY
The Crown declined to take the initial steps at Petty Sessions, inasmuch as the preliminary investigation of charges of false swearing at Revision Sessions would be a large and expensive burthen on the Crown. The Crown did prosecute Fitzpatrick at the Winter Assizes and paid the expenses incurred at the Assize Court, The application for the expenses of the preliminary investigation to the Judge was made some days after the Crown Solicitor had left Belfast, where the Assizes were held, and therefore could not have been opposed by the Crown. Subsequently a Revision Agent, on behalf of the private prosecution, made a claim for the expenses of the preliminary investigation, which, for the reasons already stated, and in conformity with the existing practice, was refused.