§ MR. HOLT
begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland a Question, of which he had given him private Notice. He wished to know, Whether the reports contained in the " Times " of this morning respecting the renewal of outrages in the West of Ireland are substantially correct; and, whether he will take immediate steps to check these outrages, and to procure for the Protestants of Ireland liberty equal to that enjoyed by the Roman Catholics of Ireland?
§ MR. CALLAN
hoped that the right hon. Gentleman, in his reply, would distinguish between what information was obtained from newspapers and what from official sources.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
I have not as yet seen the particular newspaper report referred to by my hon. Friend, though I am sorry to say that I have, from official sources, received information to the effect that disturbances are unhappily occurring in that part of Ireland—disturbances originating in some religious feud in no way connected with the other disturbances which have been 839 referred to as having taken place in other parts of the same county. My hon. Friend asks me whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to afford to the members of one religion the same protection as in other portions of the Kingdom is given to the members of another religion? In reply, I have to say that the steps which have been taken are wholly irrespective of any religious belief, or of the part of the country to which they belong; and it is our firm intention to preserve order without regard to religious belief, and without any consideration with regard to the position of persons who may be connected with these disturbances. We have sent a very considerable police force into the district, and an intimation was given to the inhabitants some time ago that, in the event of any further disturbance, a tax will be levied on the district where the disturbance occurred to recoup the outlay of the Government in the maintenance of the additional police force sent there.
§ MR. CALLAN
Sir, in reference to the answer of the Chief Secretary, might I ask the Government to take into consideration the propriety—and, I may add, the advisability—of extending the scope of the mission of Colonel Bruce to the West of Ireland, and give him instructions so as to enable him to inquire into the causes of the religious disturbances, as contra-distinguished from those arising from other reasons, especially the question of land.