asked the Prime Minister whether any arrangement has been made with the Provisional Govern- ment of Southern Ireland for the disbandment of the Irish Republican Army, who have taken an oath of allegiance to an Irish Republic; whether he is aware that members of the Irish Republican Army as originally constituted are also pledged to obey the orders of a secret society known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood; and whether any British arms or munitions of war have been handed over to members of any Irish military forces pledged as above?
The reply to the first and second parts of the question is in the negative. In reply to the third part, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to questions addressed to me on the 16th February last by the hon. Member for Kirkdale, in which I stated that I was fully prepared to assume that the personnel of the forces of the Provisional Government, to whom, as the House is aware, a considerable quantity of arms and munitions has been handed over by His Majesty's Government, as well as the headquarters staff engaged in equipping and training it, would be drawn to some and, possibly, to a considerable extent from those who, during the period of conflict, constituted what was known as the Irish Republican Army, but that any dealings by His Majesty's Government with those persons would he in their individual capacity as accredited agents of the Provisional Government.