HC Deb 11 December 1906 vol 167 c149

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland whether he has given his consideration to the fact that the Earl of Annesley began only last year to pay rates on his alleged rights to the fishing in the Shimna river, Newcastle, county Down; and whether he will advise the Dundalk Board of Fishery as to the validity or invalidity of Lord Annesley's claim.


It is not the duty of the Attorney-General to advise boards of conservators as to private rights. It is open to them to take legal advice in the ordinary way. If, as I gather from the Question, Lord Annesley's title is contested, the matter can only be decided by a Court of law. I have no knowledge of the facts, and cannot say for what period Lord Annesley has paid rates on the right of fishing which he claims; but the payment of rates will not confer any right or title upon him that he would not otherwise have possessed.


Is it not the function of the Law Officers of the Crown to advise Government Departments?


Yes, privately, but not in this House.


How is it when questions of law are addressed to a Law Officer of the Crown he always answers, "It is a question of law which I am not supposed to know anything about." What is he there for?

[No Answer was returned.]