Republican Army Convention.

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

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Photo of Mr Henry Croft Mr Henry Croft , Bournemouth

74.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the fact that a Convention of the Irish Republican Army was held at the Mansion House, Dublin, on the 26th March, 1922, at which were present 220 delegates, representing 49 brigades, four members of the general headquarters, officers from eight of the divisional staff, and the staffs of three of the four independent brigades, at which resolutions were unanimously passed reaffirming its allegiance to the Irish Republic, under an executive appointed by the Convention, and declaring that the Army shall be under the supreme control of such executive, which shall draft a constitution for submission to a subsequent Convention; whether it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to allow such an army to exist; if not, what steps the Government propose to take to prevent it; and whether he can state how many armed men are comprised in such an army?

Photo of Sir Harry Barnston Sir Harry Barnston , Eddisbury

The attention of my right hon. Friend has been drawn to a newspaper report of this Convention. He has no precise information as to the number of the adherents of this attempt to set up a military dictatorship, but they certainly do not amount to more than a relatively small minority of the people, and he is unable to believe that they will succeed in bringing about a situation which would call for the intervention of the British Government, which, in any event, would be guided by the wishes and requests of the responsible Government.

Photo of Mr Henry Croft Mr Henry Croft , Bournemouth

Having regard to the commandeering of motor traffic in the last few days, will he convey to the Minister my inquiry, and suggest that his attention having been called to the matter, he should make further inquiries or it will be too late?

Photo of Sir Harry Barnston Sir Harry Barnston , Eddisbury

I will convey that to my right hon. Friend.