asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the precise terms of the representations which have been.made to the Provisional Government for Southern Ireland with regard to the three British officers and private who were kidnapped last month; and what action has so far been taken by the Provisional Government to ascertain the fate of these four British citizens in the pay of the Crown?
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether there is as yet any news of the three officers and one private kidnapped at Macroom; if not, what steps are being taken by the Provisional Government to ascertain their fate; whether the Government have reason to think that they are still alive; and can their names now be given?
I will answer this question and No. 34 together. I regret that I am still without information in regard to the fate of these men, but it is obviously undesirable, and could serve no useful purpose, for me to disclose the precise terms of the representation made to the Provisional Government, or the exact steps taken by the Provisional Government in pursuance of their investigations. I must ask the House to accept my assurance that everything possible is being done by His Majesty's Government in the matter. The names of those kidnapped are as follow:—
I am afraid that those British authorities in Ireland to whom we handed the matter and who have been endeavouring to trace these officers, have maintained a growing depression of hope of that.
Cannot the right hon. Gentleman give the House some information as to what has happened to the motor-car these officers were in, or what was the last news the Government officials had with regard to these officers? Great anxiety is felt in the matter.
Having regard to the grave danger incurred by soldiers returning to Ireland to their homes, will the right hon. Gentleman postpone the disbandment of the Irish regiments?
I have received a letter from the Provisional Government in regard to the expenses which are to be disbursed on behalf of refugees from Ireland now in this country, in which the Provisional Government express appreciation of the fact that the British Government has undertaken this task in the first instance, and complete readiness to defray the expenses on their part. I am. certain, if no serious turn takes place in the general relations between the two Governments, that matters of this kind must be dealt with and will be dealt with, if not by one Government, certainly by the other.
They have done everything in their power, as far as I have been able to ascertain, but the part of the country in which these murders—if murders there have been—took place, is a part of the country which has been completely out of their control; they have not had the least control or authority there.