CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - THE MAGISTRACY.

DARGHAL FIGES

To ask the Minister for Home Affairs if the Justices of Peace who had been serving hitherto, and whose services at the present moment are a benefit to the community, are empowered to continue the work that they are at present doing.

And to ask further if the Commissions that they at present hold may be exchanged for Commissions given under the authority of the Free State.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

Strictly speaking, Justices of the Peace are empowered, under the Provisional Government, to continue the work that they are at present doing until their Commissions are withdrawn. While that is legally the position, it is hoped that no Justice of the Peace will insist on carrying out functions against the wishes of his community, in view of the fact that withdrawal of the Commissions will take place quite soon and is at present in hands. As regards the second part of the Deputy's question, it is not proposed that there should be any such mechanical exchange of Commissions, but pending the contemplated reconstruction of the whole judicial system under the Free State, it is not possible to make any definite pronouncement on the future of honorary magistrates.