§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Chief Secretary how many licensed 1143W publicans have been appointed justices of the peace in Ireland since 1st January, 1906; have any and how many of them since ceased to be licensed publicans in compliance with undertakings given by them to do so; and is it intended to appoint any more publicans to be justices and to allow them to continue publicans or assign their licences to a wife, son, or other near relative, notwithstanding the protests of the temperance societies that the publicans, whose trade causes nine-tenths of the ordinary crime in Ireland, are unsuitable persons to make into magistrates; and has he received many protests from the Irish Temperance League against such appointments?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
As I have stated in reply to a question asked by the hon. Member, the Lord Chancellor informs me that in order to furnish the particulars required it would be necessary to examine the papers connected with every appointment to the magistracy in Ireland during the period mentioned, which would take a considerable time and serve no useful purpose. He also informs me that it is the general practice not to appoint licensed publicans as magistrates, and that the number of those holding the Commission of the Peace is believed to be very small. I have received no protests from the Irish Temperance League against such appointments.