Arms (Restoration).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 30th March 1922.

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Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

8.

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he can now announce the arrangements that have been made for restoring the arms and ammunition taken from loyal subjects during the past two or three years by order of His Majesty's Government for safe custody by the Government; whether he can give an assurance that these arms and ammunition will be handed over to their lawful owners by officials of His Majesty's Government without passing through other hands; and whether compensation will be made to the owners for any of this property which has been stolen or lost while in the custody of the Government?

Photo of Sir Harry Barnston Sir Harry Barnston , Eddisbury

My right hon. Friend regrets that he is not yet in a position to make any statement on this subject.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Will my hon. Friend say when a statement will be made on this matter, which is urgent as regards many men in Ireland, who want their guns to save their crops?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

On a point of Order. There are two Ministers responsible for Ireland. Ireland is in a very dangerous state, and they should be here to answer questions, so that those questions may, if necessary, be supplemented.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. and gallant Member is aware that very important matters are now being discussed regarding Ireland, and no doubt these discussions require the attendance of the Ministers in question.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

I was asked to adjourn this question 10 days ago, and I did so, on the distinct understanding that I would get a reply to-day. Can my hon. Friend say when I shall receive an answer?

Photo of Sir Harry Barnston Sir Harry Barnston , Eddisbury

I will make representations to my right hon. Friend, but I really cannot say myself when the answer will be available.