§ MR. R. M. DANE
On behalf of the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. J. Ross), I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is aware that, at the October Licensing Sessions held at Listowel, a majority of the Bench, consisting of lately-appointed magistrates, granted a licence to a young girl called Mary Horgan, though her father, John Morgan, already held a public-house licence in the same town; (2) whether his attention has further been drawn to the statement of the County Court Judge, on the application for a transfer, that it was a gross scandal in the administration of justice that the licence should be used for such a purpose, or that magistrates should come there to put money in a man's pocket, and increase the public-houses in the town; and (3) whether any steps can be taken to prevent the repetition of such an occurrence?
THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. J. MORLEY, Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
The facts, I am informed, are substantially as stated in the question, though it is not correct to say that the majority of the magistrates who were present on the occasion of the granting of the licence at the October Sessions were appointed since the present Government entered Office. Moreover, the voting took place in the magistrates' room, and it is not known how they individually voted. As regards the last paragraph, the hon. and learned Gentleman must be aware that the matter is not one in which the Executive Government has power to interfere in any way.