§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Chief Secretary whether any time has 406W been fixed within which the five publicans appointed in county Mayo to be justices of the peace are to transfer their licences, and has the Lord Chancellor any control over the choice of the transferees; may they transfer to wife, son, or daughter, and continue to reside on the licensed premises, and yet sit at petty sessions and hear cases of drunkenness and other cases, connected with public-houses; will he consider whether it would be better to allow them to remain licensed and so be disabled from hearing all cases connected with the sale of drink; is he aware that the total valuation of the five public-houses, of the five justices is less than £45 altogether, and that in the case of two of them is well under £10; whether the Lord Chancellor ascertained the valuation of their public-houses before appointing them to be justices; is it intended to appoint any more small publicans to be justices of the peace; and, if there be districts where the-only eligible persons are publicans, will he consider the advisability of appointing paid resident magistrates rather than form petty sessions benches of publicans in poor districts, where most of the crime is due to drink?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No precise date has been fixed for the transfer of the licences referred to; nor have the particulars of the transfers been arranged. The holding of a licence under the Intoxicating Liquor Acts is not in itself a disqualification for appointment to the magistracy, but is a disqualification for acting in cases under those Acts, and that disqualification remains so long as the person has any pecuniary interest in the proceeds of the licensed business, whether the licence be in his own name or in the name of any other person. The Lord Chancellor is not aware of the particulars of the valuation of the premises to which the licences are attached, but he is aware that the persona referred to carry on other business to a substantial extent and are possessed of farms or house property. In the appointment of magistrates his Lordship will in the future, as he has always done in the past, have regard to the necessities of each district and the circumstances of each particular case.