§ MR. J. P. FARRELL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on what grounds a licence to carry arms has been refused to Mr. James O'Neill, vice-chairman of Longford Board of Guardians; whether he is aware that three magistrates, including the High Sheriff for 1900 for 725 County Longford, recommended him as a fit and proper person to receive a licence; and whether, seeing that he stated he only required the gun to destroy vermin on his land, an order will now be given to Mr. Kilkelly, R.M., to issue the necessary certificate forthwith.
§ MR. ATKINSON (for Mr. G. W. BALFOUR)
The discretion of granting or withholding a licence to carry firearms is vested by law in the resident magistrate, who is the licensing officer, and it would be contrary to the invariable practice to disclose the reasons which actuated him, in the exercise of his discretion, in refusing to grant a licence in any particular case. Mr. Kilkelly has no recollection that the fact is as alleged in the second paragraph, and as regards the third paragraph the matter is not one calling for the interference of the Government.