asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can now inform the House whether the three British officers who were kidnapped in Southern Ireland about a fortnight ago are still in captivity; and what action the British Government intend to take if the Provisional Government are unable to secure their immediate release?
I regret that I have as yet received no further information regarding this matter. The military authorities are of opinion that in the interests of the officers concerned it would be undesirable at the present moment to publish their names.
They are taking exactly the steps in regard to the kidnapped officers that I have given in my main answer. General Sir Nevil Macready, the Commander-in-Chief in Ireland, is, I know, taking every possible step to find out where these kidnapped officers now are. It would be impossible for me to give details; but I shall put the questions of hon. Members before the Commander-in-Chief. So far as the British Government is concerned, we are pressing upon the Provisional Government that the matter is one of anxiety in the House.
Do British officers now go about armed when they are outside barracks; if not, how can they be expected to protect themselves if the Government cannot protect them?