HC Deb 08 August 1901 vol 99 c74

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state the numbers of Roman Catholics and Protestants respectively in the urban district of Enniskillen; has his attention been directed to a motion before the urban council to frame and submit to the county council a scheme of wards, and an alteration and enlargement of the urban district boundary, whereby Roman Catholics, notwithstanding their numbers, are to be placed in a permanent minority so far as representation to the urban council, the board of guardians, and the county council are concerned; and what action will the Local Government Board take under such circumstances.


Until the detailed Census Returns for the county Fermanagh are published it cannot be stated what are the religious proportions of the population of electoral areas. I am aware it is proposed to alter the area of the urban district, and to divide it into wards, but I cannot say whether the proposal would have the effect alleged. The Local Government Board cannot take action at the present stage, the matter must first be dealt with by the urban and county councils.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take care that no scheme of jerrymandering is started?


No such scheme has come before the Board. If one does, and the allegation is made, the matter is certainly one which shall be considered.