HC Deb 09 November 1911 vol 30 cc1809-10

asked the Chief Secretary what steps had been taken, or were intended to be taken, by the Law Officers of the Crown against William Hastings, Ballinasloe, for a gross and offensive libel upon the Master of the Rolls in Ireland in his paper called the "Western News," in the month of March or April, 1911; whether he was aware that the judge felt so outraged by the attack made upon his Court that he declined to entertain a motion for attachment, but directed that the papers in the case be sent to the Law Officers of the Crown in Ireland; whether this was done; and what action the Law Officers of the Crown proposed to take in the matter?


The Master of the Rolls in Ireland directed that certain issues of a newspaper called the "Western News," and published by William Hastings, should be submitted to the Attorney-General that he might deal with the same as he thought fit. The Attorney-General has given his best consideration to the publications referred to and is of opinion that, while they contain very disrespectful criticism of the learned judge, it is not clear that they are criminal libels which would justify him in instituting a prosecution.