§ MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the amount received annually by the clerk of the peace for the city of Belfast for the registration of the 649 licences to sell beer and spirits in that city amounts to £81 2s. 6d., or since 1874 £2,433 15s., which first-named sum is made up by his charging a fee of 2s. 6d. for each licence; and whether he will state the purpose to which these fees are devoted.
I beg also to ask Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland whether he is aware that the clerks of the peace for the county of Antrim and the city of Belfast are in receipt of a fee on the annual renewal of a publican's licence; and, if so, under what statute are such fees authorised; and whether, under the provisions of Section 17 of the Act of 1874 the payment of any fees whatever in respect to renewal of a licence to sell spirits or beer is prohibited.
§ THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. ATKINSON, Londonderry, N.)
I believe the average annual sum received in respect of fees on licences by the clerk of the peace for Belfast in recent years amounts to about £81. I am unable to ascertain what the fees amounted to so far back as 1874. These fees are, under the provisions of the 10th Section of the Licensing Act of 1833, as amended by the 15th Section of the Licensing Act of 1874, received and retained by him as part of the emoluments of his office and especially in respect of his labour in keeping a register of licensed traders. Section 17 of the Act of 1874 deals with an entirely different matter, namely, the fee paid to the petty sessions clerk on the granting by the justices of their 165 certificates. When the offices of Clerk of Peace and Crown are amalgamated the former fees are retained by the revenue officer and paid into the Treasury under the 16th Section of the Revenue Act of 1898.