said, he felt it necessary to trouble the House with a Motion, owing to an answer which had been given to a Question put by himself, with regard to the arrest of Mr. Taylor, in Dublin, on the charge of drunkenness. He must ask the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Question which he had put, and to the answer which he had received from the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Mr. Taylor, on his way home, observed the police ill-using a young man, and, on remonstrance, he was arrested and taken to the station on a charge of being intoxicated. It was a fact that he was not arrested until he was seen to take out a note-book and pencil to take down the policeman's number. In the opinion of the Leader of the House, was not this a matter to be seriously answered by the Chief Secretary, and not to be answered with jeers and offensively? The charge in due time came before the magistrates, and two policemen came up and supported 679 the evidence of the arresting officer that Mr. Taylor was drunk. But, happily for him, he was able to account for himself during the entire of the afternoon up to the time when he was arrested, and the main part of the time was spent as a guest at the house of one of the superintendents of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, at whose table he had dined, and where he partook of nothing stronger than water to drink. He put it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as the magistrates had dismissed the case, whether this did not touch very closely one of the first protections which a citizen should have against the Dublin police; but because the gentleman was a total abstainer the Chief Secretary rose to say that the police naturally fell into a mistake. He resented that conduct from any one on the Treasury Bench as a gross affront. Did the Chief Secretary mean to say that because a man was a tee to taller he was to be subject more than anyone else to violence from the police, or to arrest? What chance had they in Dublin of justice, unless there were some Office higher than the Chief Secretary of State for Ireland? Being sober, what right had the police to arrest Mr. Taylor at all? He was sorry to say the answer of the Chief Secretary was a very strong encouragement to the police of Dublin to persevere in such conduct as that to which he had called attention. He begged to move the adjournment of the House.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Sullivan.)
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
said, the hon. and learned Member opposite (Mr. Sullivan) was very unreasonable in making his (Mr. J. Lowther's) reply a subject of complaint. He was asked whether the report was correct that the magistrate dismissed the charge against this gentleman, who had been a total abstainer for several years, and who it was deposed to upon oath had been drunk in the public streets. Several police witnesses deposed on oath at the trial that he was in a state of intoxication. On the other hand, for the defence evidence was called to the effect that the person charged was not only sober, but that he had been drinking, not water, as the hon. Member had just stated, but tea with 680 the gentleman who made that statement. Well, he (Mr. J. Lowther) had to reconcile that with the evidence of the witnesses who deposed that he was intoxicated, and he had made the charitable suggestion that persons who acted in the capacity of lecturers in public upon this question of total abstinence frequently acquired habits of vociferation and gesticulation which might not unnaturally be mistaken for signs of inebriety. In confirmation of that impression, he (Mr. J. Lowther) might mention that it appeared from the published reports in the newspapers that Mr. Taylor conducted himself in court in such an excited manner that the presiding magistrate was obliged to call him to order in very decided terms. He (Mr. J. Lowther), in his original reply to the hon. and learned Member, had gone on to say that a full inquiry would be made into the whole case, and he must protest against the adjournment of the House being moved on an occasion like this, for he thought the House would be of opinion that the answer he gave was, in the circumstances, a very reasonable one, and afforded no cause of complaint.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.