HC Deb 02 September 1909 vol 10 c558

asked the Chief Secretary whether he will state the name and address of the present lieutenant of the county of Londonderry; by whom his appointment was recommended, and the date of his appointment; whether he will state the number of Catholics who have been appointed justices of the peace in the county of Limerick since he received the appointment, and the number of other religions; whether he has refused to approve of the appointment of Catholics whose names were submitted to him either locally or by the Lord Chancellor of Ireland; if he will state the number of Catholics and non-Catholics present in the commission of the peace for the county of Londonderry; and will he state the proportion of Catholic to non-Catholic inhabitants in the said county?


Mr. John Cooke, of Foyle View, Londonderry, is the lieutenant of the county of Londonderry. He was appointed to that office by His Majesty on 24th January, 1908. Twenty-five new magistrates have been appointed on his recommendation, of whom ten are believed to be Catholics. I have no means of knowing what names have been submitted to him locally, but I am aware that he is acting in full accord with the Lord Chancellor, with whom he is in constant communication on the subject of the magistracy. The number of magistrates of the county is 180, of whom 54 are believed to be Catholics. The male population of the county in 1901 was 50,824, of whom 20,966 were Catholics.


Is it within the right of the Lord Chancellor to appoint magistrates irrespective of the recommendations of the Lord Lieutenant?


I think it is.


Is it customary to give appointments to the minority in preference to the majority in Ireland—


That matter does not come under the jurisdiction of the Law Officers of the Crown.