Kidnappings.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 7th March 1922.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

33.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any of the persons kidnapped from Northern Ireland have not yet been released; if so, for what reason; whether any of the Ulster special constabulary are still being illegally detained in Southern Ireland; and what steps His Majesty's Government are taking in the matter?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

When I replied to this question on Tuesday of last week, I understood from the Provisional Government that all the persons kidnapped by the Irish Republican Army during the recent border disturbances, with the exception of the special constables arrested in Clones Railway Station on the 11th ultimo, had been released. Orders for their release had been issued by the Provisional Government, who had been given to understand that they had been complied with in every case. It has since transpired, however, that two of the persons kidnapped have not yet returned to their homes, and the Provisional Government are now endeavouring to ascertain the place of their detention, and will take all necessary steps to secure their prompt release when found. I am not yet in a position to make any further statement in regard to the case of the special constables arrested at Clones Station, except to say that His Majesty's Government are in communication with the Provisional and Northern Governments on the subject of their continued detention.

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

If I put this question down a week to-day, has the right hon. Gentleman any hope that he will be able to answer it?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I shall know exactly what my state of hope is a week from to-day.

Photo of Mr Thomas Moles Mr Thomas Moles , Belfast Ormeau

Is it not the fact that on Thursday last I handed to the right hon. Gentleman a list of the names of three men who he had previously assured the House had been released, and who were not released, and that no communication has been received from those three men for two weeks; and can he give an assurance that it will not be their dead bodies that are released?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I do not think it is necessary to draw such a sinister conclusion as that.

Photo of Mr Thomas Moles Mr Thomas Moles , Belfast Ormeau

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in every instance up to this moment in which correspondence has ceased with these detained men, it has transpired that they have been murdered?