§ MR. J. MACVEAGH
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state if there is any regulation or custom to the effect that a large proportion of appointments to stipendiary magistracy in Ireland must be made from the police 552 force; whether his attention has been called to the fact that of the sixty-six stipendiary magistrates in Ireland only twenty-five have had even the semblance; of a legal training; and whether arrangements can now be made to ensure that future appointments shall be confined to practisng barristers and solicitors.
§ MR. BIRRELL
By long established practice one-third of the appointments to the Resident Magistracy is given to officers of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The present number of resident magistrates is sixty-six, of whom twenty-five were barristers or solicitors, and twenty-four were officers of the constabulary. As regards legal training, I may mention that constabulary officers who are appointed resident magistrates have necessarily acquired an intimate knowledge of the Law and procedure in Courts of Summary Jurisdiction. While not prepared to limit future appointments in the manner suggested in the Question, the Government are fully alive to the desirability of appointing gentlemen who have had sufficient legal training.
§ MR. J. MACVEAGH
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to a resolution passed by the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland urging that gentlemen appointed to these positions should have some knowledge of the law? Is it the practice in England that one-third of them should be policemen?
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
expressed the hope that the right hon. Gentleman, if called upon to inquire into the position of the County Court Judge for Clare, would not allow himself to be influenced by the jealousy displayed by those who had not been made County Court Judges themselves.