asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that a report has reached this country to the effect that during the last few days armed men forcibly removed from a British vessel, in Waterford Harbour, its wineless equipment, and shortly afterwards returned and kidnapped the wireless operator; whether he has any official information on this matter; and, if so, what action has been, or will be, taken?
A report of these incidents has been received from the shipping company which owns the vessel referred to, and I have received further particulars from other sources. The information has been passed on to the Provisional Government in Dublin, who will, I have no doubt, take all steps in their power to defeat the consequences and prevent the repetition of such lawless acts committed by those with whom they are engaged in open conflict.
They have, I think, one or two small steamers that were connected with fisheries protection, which they have used to transport troops, stores, armoured cars, etc., to different points on the coast where they are urgently needed for the prosecution of the operations.
Of course, we can take steps by sending ships of war to these different places, but I am sure it would be very much better to give the responsible Irish Government full opportunities to make the will of the Irish people effective throughout the territory under their jurisdiction.