§ 41. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that Captain James Robert White was, on 8th April, charged in Dublin on indictment for assaults on Inspector Powell and Con stable Butler, of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, and for resisting arrest ; that, after evidence had been given for the Crown, counsel for Captain White said that Captain White, believing that the whole matter was a misunderstanding, was prepared to withdraw the charge against the police, if the Crown would enter a nolle prosequi in the charge against him; and that counsel for the Crown consented to this course and Captain White was discharged; whether this course was taken by the authority of the Chief Secretary and the Irish Law Officers; whether proposals had been made, and, if so, by whom for 585 taking this course before the case came into Court; whether he will state what the nature of the misunderstanding was and who were parties to it; and whether he will take steps to ensure that in future persons are not accused of alleged offences which turn out to be mere misunderstandings?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
My attention has been drawn to this matter. There was no misunderstanding as to the facts of the case, but counsel for the accused stated in Court that Captain White had acted as he did under a misunderstanding as to his legal rights. Captain White further expressed his regret for what had occurred, and counsel for the Crown, in all the circumstances of the case, decided, with the concurrence of the Attorney-General, who was consulted by telephone, to enter a nolle prosequi. The judge expressed his approval of the course taken by the Crown. No proposals as to the case were made before it came into Court. The misunderstanding referred to was not on the part of the Crown, but on the part of Captain White, and I see no reason to take any steps as suggested in the last paragraph of the question.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
What was the nature of Captain White's misunderstanding? Did he think he was entitled to assault the constabulary?