I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce a Bill on an early date dealing with the reform of the County Court procedure in Ireland, seeing that legislation on this subject has 101 been promised for the past 15 years, and that during that time practically nothing has been done to remedy matters; and, whether, in view of the fact that the Lord Chancellor, with five County Court colleagues, met a deputation of traders from the Dublin Mercantile Association in 1895, expressed sympathy with the views submitted to them, and promised to give them consideration with a view of introducing a Bill into Parliament, he will state if anything has been done in the matter since?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR, Leeds, Central)
The Lord Chancellor and Committee of County Court Judges met a deputation of the Dublin Mercantile Association in 1895, and discussed with them various matters in connection with County Court procedure, more especially as regards the more frequent sittings of the Recorder of Dublin, and in this respect the views of the deputation have been met by the appointment of three additional sittings of the Dublin Civil Bill Court each year. Arrangements are also being made for more frequent sittings of the Recorder of Belfast. As regards other matters discussed, the Lord Chancellor and the County Court Judges were by no means in accord with many of the views expressed by the Deputation, and I am not aware that any prospect of further legislation on those matters was then held out.