asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the perpetrators of the murders of the police in St. Bride's Home, Galway, or the muderer of Sergeant Gloster in Cork, or the robbers who raided Ennistymon Rectory and stole a considerable amount of property therefrom, or the committers of many similar illegalities and crimes in Ireland, have been arrested and proceeded against by the administration of the Irish Free State?
My right hon. Friend regrets to state that no arrests have yet been made in connection with the Galway murders of the 15th instant, or the more recent murder of ex-Sergeant Gloster. In the case of the raid on Kilmanaheen Rectory, Ennistymon, the investigations made have resulted in the recovery of the stolen property to the extent of £111, but none of the culprits has yet been arrested. The number of arrests for various crimes made under the authority of the Provisional Government is considerable. My right hon. Friend regrets that he cannot give the exact numbers; but as the House is aware two men are being tried for the recent murder of Mr. Max Green in Dublin, and four men are in custody in connection with the murders of Lieutenant Meade and Sergeant Cunliffe.
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many murders of, and cases of assault on, private individuals by armed men have occurred in Southern Ireland since the signing of the Treaty; how many cases of compulsory levies of money and private property by armed men have occurred in Southern Ireland during the same period; what is the total amount of money, and private property, respectively, taken under such compulsory levies; in how many cases have the cattle of individuals, which had been driven off, been returned; in how many cases have the lands and houses of private individuals been confiscated by armed men in Southern Ireland during the same period; and in how many cases have the houses and property of individuals been entered upon by armed men in the same area and during the same period in order to compel the owners thereof to give in to illegal demands?
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the special constables captured at Clones have yet been released; if the murderers of Lieutenant Gronochio, Captain Meade, and Sergeant Cunliffe have been apprehended: if not, whether any steps are now being taken to catch the assassins: and whether any joint inquiry into these assassinations is to be held?
The special constables captured at Clones on the 11th ultimo have not yet been released. No arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder of Lieutenant Gronochio, and the question of holding a joint inquiry into this case is still under consideration. My right hon. Friend understands that four persons have been arrested by the forces of the Provisional Government on suspicion of complicity in the murder of Lieutenant Meade and Sergeant Cunliffe.
How much longer does the hon. and gallant Gentleman expect we shall have to wait before a decision is come to as to whether or not a joint inquiry is to be held into these deaths?
(by Private notice) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has any information which he can give to the House as to the circumstances of the murder of two men at Crossmaglen, South Armagh, the attack upon the Belcoo Police Barracks, and the kidnapping of 17 policemen; if he knows what has become of these men; and whether any arrests have been made?
(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state what took place yesterday at Belcoo, Crossmaglen, Adavoyle, Ballycastle, in Cork, at Drog-heda, and on the Enniskillen-Sligo railway at Renmore; whether four British officers in a motor car were fired upon at a point close to Dublin from an ex-military lorry; and whether a motor car belonging to and driven by General Sir H. S. Jeudwine was stolen close to Naas?
On behalf of my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary, who is engaged in the Irish Conference, I have been asked to answer these two questions. On receipt of the questions they were telegraphed to Ireland for reply, and I will read to the House the whole of the reply as received up to the present:
With the exception of the attack near Dublin on the four British officers, none of whom were injured, and the seizure of General Jeudwine's car, both of which are confirmed by the British military authorities in Dublin, I have not yet received any
official reports of these outrages, and I have no information except what has appeared in the Press. The military authorities have no evidence that the attack on the four British officers was made from an ex-military lorry.
Certainly, an official of His Majesty's Government, who is a civil servant paid by a Vote of this House. I would remind the House of the increasing difficulty of getting specific information on a given outrage from any part of Ireland. I regret that profoundly, as I am sure the House will. It makes it very difficult for my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary or myself to give more detailed answers to Private Notice questions.
Until the Bill which I hope will be before the House at the earliest date becomes an Act, certain officials of His Majesty's Government are still functioning in Ireland.
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that he has no information with regard to the outrages on officers which I cited, and which have taken place on or adjacent to the border?