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Ireland—The Irish Magistracy—Riot At Kilrea—County Derry

Volume 220: debated on Friday 19 June 1874

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asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If it be the fact that it has transpired at the magisterial inquiry now being held at Kilrea, in the county of Derry, that in consequence of the three Stipendiary Magistrates who, with 110 extra police, were sent to Kilrea to preserve the peace on last Patrick's Day not having received any legal education, and not being aware of the powers placed in their hands by the law, a riot was permitted in which several persons were wounded; and, whether he is prepared to take any steps to provide that in future no person should be appointed as resident magistrate who should not have received a legal education?

, in reply, said, that he was not aware that in consequence of three stipendiary magistrates of Derry not having received any legal education, any of the consequences referred to in the Question of the hon. Member had occurred. On the contrary, he believed that the magistrates who had been sent there to preserve the peace on St. Patrick's Day had done their duty well, so far as they were able, under very difficult circumstances, and the persons who were engaged in a serious riot on that occasion had been sent for trial at the next Assizes. As regarded the second part of the Question, he could not quite clearly define what the hon. Gentleman understood by legal education; but, as a matter of course, persons appointed as stipendiary magistrates should have some knowledge of the law.

General Post Office—Savings Bank Department—Question

asked the Postmaster General, What Reports, if any, have been made by Her Majesty's Board of Works respecting the condition and danger from fire of the premises in St. Paul's Churchyard and Carter Lane occupied by the Savings Bank Department (General Post Office); and, whether and when it is intended to provide a suitable building for the Department in question?

, in reply, said, that no Report on the subject had yet been received from the Office of Works, but their attention had been called to the advisability of protecting the office from the danger of fire. The construction of suitable new buildings for the Department was in contemplation, and inquiries had been set on foot with the view of ascertaining what kind of building would be the most convenient and the safest for the purpose.

Customs—Promotion Of Officers


asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether a competitive examination is now held in every case to determine promotions of officers in Her Majesty's Customs; and, whether any consideration other than the proficiency exhibited at such examination is regarded in granting such promotion?

, in reply, said, that a competitive examination was not held in every case to determine promotion of officers in Her Majesty's Customs, for some of them were ruled by seniority combined with efficiency and good conduct; but one-half of the vacancies in London and the outports were filled up by competition amongst officers of good conduct who had served five years or upwards. Promotions which took place as the result of competitive examination were governed strictly by efficiency and the position attained by the officers in the examinations, which included both education and practical knowledge of their duties, 2,000 marks being given to the former, and 3,000 to the latter.

Ireland—Derry Celebration—Costs Of Colonel Hillier


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether any actions against a Deputy Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary for illegal arrests were compromised; if so, on what date the last action was so arranged; on what date the distinction of C.B. was conferred on this officer; by whom recommended to it; and if by more than one person, their several names?

, in reply, said, that was the third time that the hon. and gallant Member had asked him that Question. There was no official information in the Irish Office which would show whether any actions against Colonel Hillier in 1870 had been compromised. That officer, as he had already informed the hon. and gallant Member, was made a Companion of the Bath on the 24th of February, 1874, and he presumed that he was recommended for that distinction in the ordinary way by the late Government.

States Of The Plate—The Argentine Republic And Brazil


asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to offer their good offices at Buenos Ayres and Rio Janeiro for an amicable settlement of the differences between the Argentine Republic and Brazil, and for the maintenance of friendship and tranquillity among the States of the Plate?

, in reply, said, that up to the present time no application had been made by the Governments of either the Argentine Republic or Brazil to Her Majesty's Government to mediate between them; but if they were invited to mediate between those two Powers, and if circumstances showed that their mediation would be acceptable to both of those Powers, there would be no objection on the part of Her Majesty's Government to use their good offices in the interest of peace.

Constabulary Force (Ireland)—County Of Wicklow


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that for some years past the County of Wicklow has been required to pay half the cost of an extra Constabulary Force, when in point of fact there was no such extra force acting for the County; whether the grand jury were not compelled to present for seventeen men for the quarter ending 30th September 1873, when there were considerably less men than the free Parliamentary quota, and that, too, after frequent remonstrances on the subject by the grand jury, and after the withdrawal by the Magistrates—specially assembled in April 1873 to consider the matter—of all authority for an extra force; whether he is aware that the Law Officers of the Crown advised the late Government that the charge for an extra force was not legally sustainable, and that the late Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the beginning of this year communicated to the Lieutenant of the County, acting on behalf of the Magistrates and the Grand Jury, that the charge would not be again made; and, whether, under these circumstances, it is the intention of the Government to continue to claim from the ratepayers of Wicklow for the cost of an extra force which it has not?

, in reply, said, that it was not within the limits of an Answer to a Question to give a full explanation of the matter referred to; but he believed that the County of Wicklow had for some years past enjoyed a reduction in the cost of the Constabulary similar to the rest of the Counties of Ireland, in proportion to the number of its force actually serving as compared with the proper Parliamentary quota. In addition to the actual force there had been extra constables stationed in the county, for which the usual charge had been made and it would have been unfair to the other counties, if it had not. The Grand Jury, under these circumstances, were compelled to "present" for an extra force. The magistrates seemed to have recalled their consent to the withdrawal of the extra force, by declining to con-sent to a reduction of the number of stations that would be the necessary consequence of such withdrawal. He was not aware whether the Law Officers of the Government had given any opinion to the late Lord Lieutenant on the subject, nor did he find any official traces of correspondence between the Lord Lieutenant and the Lieutenant of the County of Wicklow. He would, however, look into the matter, and if there was any legal difficulty he would refer the right hon. Gentleman in the ordinary way to the Law Officers of the Crown.

Factory And Workshop Acts—Consolidation—Question

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, with reference to the statement made by him as to the desirability of extending the application of the Factories (Health of Women, &c.) Bill to other manufactures, and of consolidating the Factory and Workshop Acts, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to ask this House to sanction the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into and report upon the subject, with the view to legislation during the next Session?

, in reply, said, that he said the other day it was his wish to consolidate all the Factory Laws; but it was a question of some difficulty as well as of some importance. For that reason he thought it would be better to appoint a Committee to inquire and report upon the whole subject as soon as possible, with a view to legislation on the subject. He might say as well that the inquiry would embrace the question of extending the Factories Act to other manufactures than textile ones.