HC Deb 05 March 1896 vol 38 cc197-8
MR. C. J. ENGLEDOW (Kildare, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) that having regard to his statement that it is not the intention of the Government to propose legislation this Session to amend the Grand Jury Laws of Ireland, whether he will issue instructions to the several High Sheriffs of Ireland to see that the necessary legal qualification is possessed by each person sworn in on the several Grand Juries throughout the country, and that, when arranging the names of those he wishes called on the Grand panel, due consideration shall be given to the names of those who represent the majority of the people; (2) if he will take such steps as may appear to him sufficient to guard against a land agent sitting on the same jury as the landlord for whom he acts, except when such land agent possesses the necessary legal qualification entirely apart from his position as agent to a local landlord; and also, in the case of father and son sitting at the same time on the same jury, unless the son is possessed in his own right of the necessary legal qualification; and (3) if he will lay upon the Table of the House a Return showing the names of the gentlemen sworn in on the Carlow Grand Jury during the last three years, giving their occupation or calling, the valuation of any property possessed by them in that county, and any other qualification that they may have entitling them to act as Grand Jurors?


The Government have no power to issue instructions as suggested in the first paragraph of the question. The qualifications of Grand Jurors are fixed by Statute, and the Executive has no voice or control in the matter of choosing the members. The Sheriff' is at liberty to select whomsoever he likes, provided there is one representative from each Barony, and that the individual selected is in other respects qualified. As regards the third paragraph, neither the Grand Jury nor its officers are under the control of the Government, and the Government has no means of calling for the Return suggested.


asked if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the Clerk of the Crown and Peace had the records of the Grand Jurors, and if application would be made to that official?


replied that he would make inquiries.

MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)

would like the right hon. Gentleman to answer the first paragraph of the question—namely, whether it was the intention of the Government to amend the Grand Jury Laws of Ireland?


did not at present propose to bring in a Bill to deal with the question.