asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give the House any information as to how it was that Lieutenant Meade, R.A.S.C., and Quarter Master Sergeant Connolly were shot dead near Dublin yesterday; whether the officer and sergeant were armed; whether he had had any communication from the Irish Provisional Government on the matter; and whether any steps are likely to be taken to apprehend the murderers?
The information which I have received regarding this outrage shows that some persons had laid an ambush on the road between Inchicore and Baldonnell, apparaently for the purpose of attacking any military cars which might pass, and that it was by these persons that Lieut. Meade and Quarter-Master Sergeant Connolly were murdered. I do not know whether the officer and sergeant were armed. Detachments of the forces of the Provisional Government and of the military forces of the Crown at once proceeded to the spot, and I am awaiting further reports as to the result of their investigations. I am assured that the Provisional Government is taking all steps in its power to apprehend and bring to justice the perpetrators of this treacherous crime.
I may add that the British military forces have for some time past been ordered to take precautions, and to fire without hesitation if assailed; and that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War is giving further directions in this sense.
I road out yesterday that the number of attacks on police since 6th December was 82, and upon military 34, but I think it only shows that we must persevere steadily in our policy. [An HON. MEMBER: "Until all our soldiers are murdered!"]
No, Sir, I have no information. I am pressing the Pro- visional Government to get, as early as possible, the fullest information on the subject, and it will be laid before the House as it arrives.