§ MR. J. ROSS (Londonderry)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to a case tried at the Dublin Commission on the 18th April last, in which the prisoner was convicted, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Statutes, on the evidence of his wife, for cruelty resulting in the death of his child, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment; whether he is aware that, although the evidence disclosed a clear case of murder, the Crown Counsel stated that it was impossible to proceed against the prisoner on the capital charge, owing to the fact that the only witness of the crime was the prisoner's wife, who was not a competent witness in the case of the felony, but a competent witness in the case of the misdemeanour; and whether, in view of the circumstances of the case, the Government will consent to apply the Evidence in Criminal Cases Bill to Ireland?
MR. J. MORLEY
I am informed that the facts are as stated. It does not follow that the Bill in question would meet the case, since in trials for murder the wife of the person charged could not, under the Bill, be called as a witness without the consent of the person charged.