HC Deb 29 April 1869 vol 195 cc1850-1

said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If it is the intention of the Government to take any steps or propose any measures for the better security of Life in the counties of Tipperary and Westmeath?


Sir, the noble Lord has accurately and justly framed his Question, so as to indicate that the deplorable system of agrarian outrages in Ireland is in the main confined to the counties of Tipperary and Westmeath, or to portions of them. That is, at all events, some consolation; at the same time, I am far from wishing to palliate the state of agrarian crime which exists in some districts of Ireland; and I can assure the noble Lord in the strongest language that this state of things has engaged and will engage the most serious and anxious attention of the Government, and of the Irish Government in particular. There is nothing in the power of the Government which we are not doing and are not willing to do for the purpose of repressing and detecting this state of crime. As an instance, I may say that the powers which have been conferred on the Lord Lieutenant under the Peace Preservation Act (Ireland) with respect to the possession of arms, and to the stationing in any district or locality of an extra force of constabulary, and charging the expense of that force upon the district or locality that ought to bear the burden, are now being used to an extent never before exercised. Beyond that it would be improper, as tending to defeat our object, to state the means which the Government are employing for the purpose of detecting and repressing these dangerous crimes. With respect to the report of the last crime but one, it was probably not of an agrarian character; and as to the last, I have seen the telegram in the public papers, but am unable to give the House any information as to its character.


said, that, inasmuch as the reply of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland to the noble Lord (Lord John Manners) was not consonant with the gravity of the occasion, he would, on the Motion for going into Committee of Supply on the following evening, call the attention of the House to recent events in Ireland.