asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the total number of outrages to person or property which have been committed in Southern Ireland since the signing of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty; how many persons have been arrested in connection with these outrages; how many have been brought to trial; and how many convictions have been obtained?
I regret that it is not possible to furnish the hon. Member with the figures for which he asks. I will make inquiry of the Provisional Government, but I presume they have not as yet been able to set up the necessary machinery for the collection of judicial and criminal statistics. I am, however, assured that they are taking—in circumstances which, as the House is well aware, are exceedingly difficult—all possible steps to apprehend and bring to trial persons guilty of outrage.
I cannot answer a question like that without notice, and I am sure that the House will appreciate that. The Provisional Government of Ireland is responsible for the government of that country—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"]—exercise responsibility for the government of that country, and there are no means except through that Government of securing statistics of this and similar matters to which hon. Members refer.