§ MR. MULDOON (Donegal, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to an action brought by one Edward Carroll against Dominick Masterson and Michael Cryan, two members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, in which these defendants were mulcted in £100 damages for striking the plaintiff on the head with their truncheons; and whether his attention has been drawn to the charge to the jury of the learned Judge who tried the case, in which his lordship laid down that a policeman was not justified, except in case of extreme emergency (such as the case of a man rushing at the police with a knife), in using his truncheon on the head of a civilian; and whether, considering the number of occasions upon which the law thus explained has been broken he will communicate the learned Judge's charge to the constabulary officers and officials in Ireland.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALTER LONG, Bristol, S.)
I have read a newspaper report of the charge. It appears to be greatly condensed, and I cannot say whether it is accurate. The learned Judge does not appear to lay down any general rule embracing all cases in which a policeman would be justified in striking a person on the head with his truncheon, but confined himself to one case as an example. The force are fully instructed in the law on the point, and it would not appear to be necessary to further instruct them, even if a full and authentic report of the Judge's remarks were available, which it is not.
§ MR. CULLINAN (Tipperary, S.)
As the right hon. Gentleman declines to communicate the learned Judge's decision to the police, will he say under what law they assault the people?
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I did not decline. What I said was that the police had explicit instructions in this matter, and I saw no reason to add to them.
§ MR. HAVILAND BURKE (King's County, Tullamore)
In future cases will the right hon. Gentleman take care to ascertain if statements published as to Judges' charges are correct?