Republican Courts.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 25th July 1922.

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

10.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that, contrary to the terms of the Treaty, district and parish Republican courts are still operating in Southern Ireland and even in Dublin, that their proceedings are reported in the newspapers, and that they impose fines and other penalties; whether he will inquire of the Provisional Government whether this is done with their sanction; and whether he will represent to that Government the necessity of stopping such proceedings at the earliest possible opportunity?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply which I gave, on the 14th June last, to the hon. and gallant Member for Bath (Captain Foxcroft), and would, at the same time, paint out to him that, as I have previously stated, there is no provision in the Treaty prescribing what courts may or may not function within the area under the jurisdiction of the Provisional Government.

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

is it in accordance with the terms arranged with the Free State Government that Republican courts should function in Dublin, impose fines, and have their orders carried out?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

No, Sir, and the position of the Free State Government has been made abundantly clear. At this particular period of transition there is a certain amount of duality, as I have explained before, and there is a dual set of courts existing. That is a very unsatisfactory state of things to the people of Ireland, but we have every reason to believe that it will be put an end to.

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

Will the right hon. Gentleman make representations to the Free State Government that they should put an end to this dual system of courts, including rebel courts, at the earliest possible moment?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

No one has a greater interest than they.