Local Risings (Alleged).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 22nd March 1920.

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Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

67.

asked the Prime Minister whether information has come to the Government that a rising has been planned in Ireland for the 5th April; whether information has come to the Government that local risings have been planned for the same date in Liver-pool, Manchester, and Glasgow; whether any seizure of arms and ammunition from Germany has been made by His Majesty's Navy; and whether the Government have any reason to suppose that the German secret service is behind the planned rising?

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

I regret that my hon. Friend should have seen fit to ask this question, and obviously it would not be in the public interest to answer it.

Photo of Mr Jeremiah MacVeagh Mr Jeremiah MacVeagh , Down South

I desire to ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether it is not a well-established rule of this House that any Member putting a question on the Paper should make himself personally responsible for the truth of the statement he puts into it? In view of the mischievous character of this question, I wish to ask you whether there is any means open to this House to compel the hon. and learned Gentleman to disclose the name of the official from whom he got the information?

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

I cannot make a statement. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this information did not come from an official quarter?

Mr. J. JONES:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a white blackbird was caught this morning on Hackney Marshes?

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

I think the hon. Member (Mr. MacVeagh) has correctly stated the general rule of the House. I am not aware of any method by which you can extract information from a Member who is not willing to give it.

Photo of Mr Jeremiah MacVeagh Mr Jeremiah MacVeagh , Down South

As a censorship is very properly exercised at the Table with regard to mischievous questions, may I ask whether that censorship should not have been exercised in the case of a question of this character?

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

As a matter of fact this question was held up. The hon Member was determined to put the question on the Paper, and I have no power of censoring in the sense of Stopping a question.