HC Deb 12 February 1908 vol 184 cc41-2
MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland who were the Lords Justices acting on behalf of the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland who, early on 14th January last, reviewed the sentence of imprisonment imposed on Lord Ashtown's gamekeepers late in the afternoon of 13th January at Bally macarbery petty sessions; on whose report or at whose instance did the review of the sentence take place; was the chairman of the bench of magistrates communicated with before the review of the sentence, or was any communication received by the Lords Justices from any magistrate present or from any police officer; whether there is any precedent for the rapidity of the review of the sentence in these cases; and who were the Lords Justices acting in November, 1906, who then reviewed the sentence passed on Graham, one of the gamekeepers sentenced on the 13th ultimo.


The Lords Justices sworn in for the government of Ireland during the absence of the Lord-Lieutenant from 7th January to 1st February, 1908, were the Lord Chancellor, General Lord Grenfell, and Mr. Justice Johnson. The Lord-Lieutenant himself acted in November, 1906, in the case referred to in the concluding part of the Question. As regards the remainder of the Question I can only repeat my Answer of the 5th instant, namely, that it would be contrary to practice and irregular to state the reasons which influence the exercise of the Lord-Lieutenant's prerogative in such cases. I do not therefore propose to make any inquiries as to the information upon which the Lords Justices acted in this case.


Are we to understand that the Lords Justices acted on the ex parte statement of a minority of the bench and never took the trouble to consult the majority?


I understand the Lord Chancellor had all the facts before him and upon them determined to exercise the prerogative in the manner he did.