HC Deb 08 March 1901 vol 90 c1042
*MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the constitution of the petty sessions bench at Gortin, in North Tyrone, which consists almost exclusively of Protestant magistrates, though the majority of the population of the district are Roman Catholics; and is he aware of the dissatisfaction existing in consequence among the Roman Catholic population; and, if so, would he be pleased to call the attention of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, in whom lies the sole power of appointing to the Irish magistracy, to this state of affairs, with a view to redressing the grievance.


My attention has not been directed to the religious composition of the Justices in attendance at Gortin Petty Sessions; but I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the statements. In answer to the second paragraph, the right hon. Gentleman must be aware that recommendations for appointments to the Commission of the Peace in this, as in other districts, should be made to the Lieutenant of the County, who will submit them, if suitable, for the consideration of the Lord Chancellor. It is not within my province to intervene in the matter of these appointments as suggested, but I will forward to the Lord Chancellor, for his information, a copy of the question and of my answer to it.


May I ask, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Lord Chancellors have conferred the commission of the peace quite irrespective of any recommendations from the Lieutenant of the County, and that it was done in many cases by the late Lord Chancellor Walker?


I am not aware of that. It is not the practice which is being followed.