§ 42. Sir JOHN JARDINE
asked the Chief Secretary whether the meetings and assemblies of persons in Belfast and other places in Ulster under the directions of a general on the Indian Army retired list for the purpose of training or drilling themselves, or of being trained or drilled, to the use of arms or for the purpose of practising military exercise movements or evolutions have received any lawful authority from His Majesty or the Lord Lieutenant or two justices of the peace, as required by the Act of Parliament, 60 George III. and 1 George IV., c. 1, to prevent the training of persons to the use of arms and to the practice of military evolutions and exercise; and whether, in pursuance of the Statute, any justice of the peace or any constable or police officer 1702 has dispersed any such unlawful meeting or assembly or arrested and detained any person present at or aiding, assisting, or abetting?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
I am unable to say whether in all such cases the authority of two justices of the peace required by the Act referred to has been obtained, and, in any event, such authority would not extend to drillings for an unlawful purpose. The answer to the final paragraph is in the negative.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
I am engaged in very peaceful pursuits in Ireland, and I must ask my hon. Friend to repeat that question to the Chief Secretary on Monday.
§ 43. Sir J. JARDINE
asked the Chief Secretary whether he has received information that any justice of the peace or person in the lieutenancy of any county has been present at or attended any unlawful meeting or assembly for the purpose of training or drilling or the practice of military exercises prohibited as dangerous to the peace and security of His Majesty's liege subjects and of his Government by the Act 60 George III., c. 1, or has assisted or abetted the same within the meaning of the Act?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
It is undoubtedly the fact that certain justices of the peace and persons in the lieutenancy of counties have been present at drillings of the Ulster Volunteers. Whether such drillings are unlawful within the meaning of the Act referred to depends upon whether their purpose was seditious or not.
§ Colonel GREIG
Was the presence of justices in pursuance of the Act under which two justices have to give their consent before such meetings take place?
§ Mr. SWIFT MacNEILL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Lord Londonderry is a lieutenant of the counties of Down and of Belfast, and that he took part in these demonstrations?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Lord Londonderry is a lieutenant of the county of Down and not of Belfast, of which Lord Shaftesbury is lieutenant?
§ Sir J. JARDINE
Will an inquiry be held as to the presence of these magistrates, in order that people who are breaking the laws may not be continued as ministers of justice?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member had better wait till the Chief Secretary is in his place. The Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture cannot answer that question.