Provisional Government (Munitions).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 6th July 1922.

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Photo of Brigadier-General Richard Colvin Brigadier-General Richard Colvin , Epping

46.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the small arms, artillery, and other munitions of war which have been supplied by His Majesty's Government to the Irish Provisional Government will be returned when hostilities have ceased?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

As I stated in reply to questions addressed to me on 9th February last by the hon. and gallant Members for Melton and Bournemouth, arms, ammunition, transport and military and police stores generally have been and are being transferred to the Provisional Government subject to a valuation, and it will be for that Government therefore to say how much of these stores they desire eventually to purchase.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

Is it a fact that aeroplanes have been supplied to the Provisional Government?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

Yes, several have been supplied.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

Against what enemy can they be employed, unless it be this country or Ulster?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

They are to be used against the enemies of the Irish Free State, who are at present in many parts of Ireland, challenging by force of arms the authority of the lawfully constituted Government.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the late Sir Henry Wilson, when at the War Office, very strongly opposed the employment of aeroplanes even against rebels, on the ground that it would involve the making of war on women and children.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

It is very difficult to embark on a controversial discussion with regard to the opinions of a late Member of this House, who lost his life under such tragic circumstances, and I do not think his opinions should be quoted at a time when they cannot be argued and discussed with the freedom that should attach to a Parliamentary Debate.