HC Deb 04 May 1896 vol 40 cc442-3

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been directed to the resolution adopted by the Roscommon Grand Jury at the lust Assizes, on the report of their discharging Committee, who state that, owing to a recent decision of the superior Courts strictly construing Section 54 of the Grand Jury Act, it is impossible for the Grand Jury to make payments for the work required to be done on the roads of defaulting road contractors in order to prevent these roads from going entirely to ruin; and, whether, in view of the public inconvenience, he has any intention, of introducing a short non-contentious Bill to remedy the serious deadlock that has arisen?


I have seen a copy of the resolution referred to. The case was decided by the Court of Appeal, and the Lord Chief Baron, in delivering judgment, and with a view, as he observed, to prevent misapprehension, created in the minds of some Grand Jurors by the decision of the Queen's Bench Division, stated in the clearest way that the invalidity pointed out arose, not from any insurmountable difficulty in connection with the Grand Jury laws, but on account of the crude form of contract adopted in the particular case, which, he had no doubt, failed to carry out the common intention of all the parties.