§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Shane O'Donnell, who has been twice committed by Mr. Hamilton, R.M., to Derry Gaol for refusing to answer the same questions put to him at a secret Court of Inquiry in County Donegal, is a poor rate collector and a relieving officer; whether Mr. Hamilton, R.M., threatened in the course of the inquiry that O'Donnell would be deprived of those offices held by him under the Board of Guardians unless he gave evidence to incriminate persons in the district in which he acted as rate collector and relieving officer; whether O'Donnell is landlord of Father Stephens, now also in Derry Gaol, and whether they resided in the same house; whether Mr. Hamilton, R.M., recently summoned three bank managers to produce the books of their respective banks, at a secret Court of Inquiry in County Donegal, with the view to ascertain the names of depositors, and the amounts of their deposits; whether he is aware that bank managers have not any authority to carry out of the bank the books belonging thereto; and, whether Mr. Hamilton had any authority for acting thus in these two cases?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Resident Magistrate replies to the first and third paragraphs in the affirmative; to the second paragraph in the negative. He summoned two bank managers before the preliminary inquiry. The Statute under which the inquiry was conducted appears to fully authorize the Resident Magistrate's action in the matter.
§ MR. DILLON
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether he ever asks for information from anybody except the individual against whom the accusation is brought?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman must be aware, when he asks the Government for information, that all the Government can do is to go to the best source at their command. That they have done; and if the hon. Gentleman is not satisfied with the information I have given, there is no reason for his asking these Questions.