Oral Answers to Questions — Murder of Field-Marshal Sir H. Wilson, M.P.

– in the House of Commons on 26th June 1922.

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Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

44.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the revolvers with which Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson was assassinated were service revolvers; and, if so, whether he can state what their numbers were?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

The revolvers were Webley, Mark V, 147643–1915, and Webley, Mark VI, 324967–1917.

Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

Has the right hon. Gentleman made any inquiries as to whether these revolvers formed part of those handed over to the Irish Provisional Government?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I speak with very imperfect information, but such information as I have would lead me to suppose they were not. I have made inquiries, but have not yet got an answer. A large number of records have to be searched, in order to find out if these numbers are there. That is being done at this moment, to try to get the answer. I gathered what was in my Noble Friend's mind.

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

Were the distinguishing numbers of the rifles and revolvers handed over by our Government to the Irish Provisional Government recorded?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I understand that they were. I am reminded by the War Office that search is being made to find out whether these particular revolvers were among those handed over. I can only say at the present moment—and this is perhaps as far as I ought to go—that I have no reason to suppose that they were.

Photo of Brigadier-General Herbert Surtees Brigadier-General Herbert Surtees , Gateshead

100.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the name of the official who was responsible for giving the order to discontinue the police protection of Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

It would not be correct to say that any order was given to discontinue the police protection of the Field-Marshal. In November, 1921, a special officer was placed at the disposal of the War Office for the protection of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff if and when it was thought necessary. That arrangement still remains. When the Field-Marshal ceased to be Chief of the Imperial General Staff police protection had been discontinued for Ministers and others.

Vice-Admiral Sir R. HALL:

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether an arrangement was made to have a policeman on short beat near the late Field-Marshal's house?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

No, but an arrangement had been made for a policeman to be on short beat outside Lord Carson's house, which is not far away.

Sir R. HALL:

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why arrangements were not made to have a short beat outside the late Field-Marshal's house, if it was necessary outside Lord Carson's?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

Because there was no reason to suppose that the Field-Marshal was in danger.

Sir R. HALL:

Had not warning been received of possible danger to the Field-Marshal?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

101.

asked the Home Secretary whether the raids carried out by Scotland Yard, following the political assassination of Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, have revealed the existence of preparations made in this country by the agents of Mr. de Valera and the Irish Republican Army for the use of firearms and bombs against any persons who take a prominent part in opposing the establishment of an Irish Republic?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

It would be contrary to the public interest to announce, exactly what was discovered or what additional precautions are being taken, but nothing was found revealing the existence of an organised plot to use firearms and bombs against any specific person.

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

102.

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the political assassination of Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson by two members of the Irish Republican Army, any members of that army known to the police in England will be placed under observation, and steps taken to guard the ports of entry from Ireland against the entry of further members of this army?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

It is obviously undesirable to specify exactly the measures adopted, but the police will take all steps possible to prevent crime. The ports are being watched.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Is there any information to show that these two criminals are members of the Irish Republican Army?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

That is not for me to say. The evidence is there. It is for the Courts to decide.

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

Are any members of the Irish Republican Army employed in London in any public Department?

Photo of Sir John Pennefather Sir John Pennefather , Liverpool Kirkdale

(by Private Notice)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he had seen the statement issued on Saturday from the Irish Republican Army at headquarters, the Four Courts, Dublin, refusing to condemn such action as the murder of the late Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson while certain alleged causes continue, and, if so, whether he intended to take any action, or whether he intended to permit the Irish Republican Army to continue peaceably to enjoy possession of the Four Courts in Dublin?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I read with disgust the disgraceful statement issued from that quarter on this event. I propose to deal with the question of the continued occupation of the Four Courts by the Republican Executive in the course of the statement I am about to make to the House.

Photo of Sir John Pennefather Sir John Pennefather , Liverpool Kirkdale

Can the right hon. Gentleman say now whether the Irish Republican Army is maintaining its headquarters in the Four Courts in Dublin with the consent of the Provisional Government, or in defiance of it?

Photo of Captain Robert Gee Captain Robert Gee , Woolwich East

Wi11 the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of sending a British force to eject them forcibly?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I will deal with the matter in the ordinary course of my statement.

Photo of Mr John Rawlinson Mr John Rawlinson , Cambridge University

Will the right hon. Gentleman state whether Mr. Collins, or any other member of the Provisional Government, has expressed any view on the statement of the Irish Republican Army of last Saturday?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I have heard of nothing. It was only in the papers on Saturday. I have had no communication at all.