HC Deb 18 April 1882 vol 268 cc881-2

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, with reference to the late atrocious assassination of Mrs. Smythe, near Collins-town, and other similar outrages, Her Majesty's Government have had under consideration, during the Recess, any measures for vindicating the power and authority of the Law in Ireland; and, if so, if he will kindly state what measures the Government propose to adopt? At the same time, perhaps, he might ask the right hon. Gentleman if his attention had been drawn to another atrocious outrage which had since occurred in Limerick on Sunday last, when a lady, accompanied by another lady, was fired at, while returning from church, by three men with blackened faces who were concealed behind a hedge?


The hon. Member seems disposed to think that all outrages are, in the first instance, reported to me when they take place in Ireland. That is not so. They are first reported to the Irish Government, and reports are only mentioned to me in certain cases. I have no detailed information of the outrage to which the hon. Member has last referred; but I understand it is not the case that the ladies were fired at. Her Majesty's Government had under consideration, and have constantly under consideration, all measures that they can take, and they have taken the best measures within their power, within the limits of the existing law. I include, of course, the extraordinary powers entrusted to them by Parliament. With regard to other measures, it is obviously quite impossible that I should state, in answer to a Question, what will be the policy of the Government with respect to that country. And I am bound to say this—that I think we should make a very great mistake if we entered upon a discussion of the subject till we have a plan to propose, and till we see our way to ask the House of Commons to give it effectual and continuous attention.