asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he will undertake that Liberal candidates for Unionist constituencies in Ulster at the General Elections of 1910 will not be appointed to act as revising barristers in Ulster at the forthcoming revision sessions?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
I can give no such general undertaking, although if both sides would agree to a self-denying ordinance in this matter, I think there is a good deal to be said for it provided that the candidature was not of old date.
Is it not possible for His Majesty's Government to set an example to their successors in office by not appointing Revising Barristers for Ulster, where these gentlemen themselves had contested Ulster seats so lately as 1910?
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
Is it not a fact that a large number of Unionist candidates in Ulster now occupy seats as county court judges, and would the right hon. Gentleman consider extending the self-denying ordinance to them?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I think a good example is always worth setting, but sometimes it may be better to follow.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in some of the seats in question the majority is very narrow, and that it is possible everyone would not have confidence when a candidate who fought for one of these scats was appointed to act as Revising Barrister?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I thoroughly believe that the matter is worthy of consideration, but I am not prepared at the present moment to give an undertaking of that kind.
Will the right hon. Gentleman support the Bill of the Ulster party now before the House which would take away such powers from the Government?