§ MR. ROCHE (Galway, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state when and by whom Mr. Edward Shaw Tener, agent to Lord Clanricarde, was appointed to the Commission of the Peace for the County of Galway; whether he was the owner of any property in the county at the time of his appointment; whether he is aware that in his capacity of Magistrate he has issued distraining orders to his bailiff to be executed against the tenants on the estate of which he is agent; whether he is aware that upon a recent occasion Mr. Tener, with Mr. Lewis, sat on the Bench at Woodford, and granted a licence for a cattle pound to one of his emergency men for receiving cattle seized for trespassing on evicted farms and for rent due to his employer, although Mr. Hickson, Resident Magistrate, was opposed to granting a licence for an additional pound, as they had already established two in the district, one being in the yard attached to Mr. Lewis's house; and whe- 1389 ther he will direct the Lord Chancellor's attention to the matter?
MR. J. MORLEY
Mr. Tener was appointed to the Commission of the Peace for the County of Galway in 1888 by Lord Chancellor Ashbourne, on the recommendation of the lieutenant of the county. He had previously been appointed a Magistrate for the County Cavan by Lord O'Hagan in 1871. Mr. Tener had no landed property in Galway when appointed to the Commission for that county, but he had elsewhere. As regards the third paragraph, it is a fact that Mr. Tener had issued distraining orders for rent to his bailiff, but these orders were granted not in his Magisterial capacity, but as agent to Lord Clanricarde. Landlords and their agents have power to issue such orders. The facts are as stated in the fourth paragraph. It is competent to Justices under the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1851, when an insufficient number of pounds are established in a district to establish such additional pounds as they shall think necessary. Mr. Tener and Mr. Lewis seem to have taken it upon themselves to establish the pound in question in the absence of the Resident Magistrate, who was opposed to establishing an additional pound, as he believed that the two already in the neighbourhood were quite sufficient for public requirements. I shall refer the papers to the Lord Chancellor for his consideration.
§ MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)
Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the power exercised by Mr. Tener cannot be exercised under the Act of Parliament by power of attorney, and whether there have been any two cases of distraint by Mr. Tener, and that in both these cases the rent was paid immediately after the distraint and the stock released?
MR. J. MORLEY
Of course, I cannot answer the question just put by the hon. Member, as I am not acquainted with the circumstances. But this is not a question exactly of the Act of Parliament. It is rather a question of what is judicious and what is injudicious.
§ MR. SEXTON (Kerry, N.)
I wish to ask whether these distraint orders can be signed except by a Magistrate, and whether it is in accordance with the 1390 practice for a Magistrate to sign the orders where he himself is the agent?
§ MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick's)
Has it been brought under the notice of the Government that the agents of landlords are very frequently Magistrates, and use their position as such to sign these distraining notices, and otherwise to promote the interests of the estates for which they are agents?