HC Deb 24 February 1882 vol 266 cc1536-7

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, in consequence of the withdrawal of police protection from care takers in the employ of the Emergency Committee and the Property Defence Association, the Government will contribute, in cases where such protection has been withdrawn, towards the expense of providing the extra number of men who will be required to protect themselves against sudden attack, and also towards the cost of providing arms and ammunition to enable such protection to be efficient? In putting the Question, he ventured to express the hope that the right hon. Gentleman would be able to give some more satisfactory information upon the subject than he was able to do on the last occasion?


said, he would answer the last part of the Question first. The Government could not arm or defray the expense of men not in the Public Service. With, regard to the withdrawal of police protection, there was a great deal of exaggeration current about it. Two of the special magistrates whom the Government had sent down were making the best possible arrangements they could for the distribution of the Police Force, and had come to the conclusion that that protection in some cases was unnecessary. Generally speaking, police protection had been very freely afforded; and it was only due to the persons who were acting under him, and, perhaps, also due to himself, to say that in many cases they had given protection where they had not been asked for it. They had done that according to their opinion of whether it was wanted or not. Some courageous men were anxious, and, perhaps, felt themselves able to do without it when the Government have thought that they ought to be protected. On the other hand, the Government must exercise their discretion whether they should give protection; and while they could not make an absolute rule that police should be sent to give personal protection to all caretakers, and although in some cases it was afforded where it was not needed, and while they must rely mainly on the efficient patrolling of the police, they were prepared to give protection in cases where, in their judgment, it was required.


said, with reference to cases where protection had been granted when it was not necessary, he would like to know whether in the town of Bantry police protection had been granted to a magistrate, and whether the chief duty of the policeman was not conveying that gentleman from public-houses when he was drunk and disorderly?


said, that the hon. Gentleman had put him a sort of hypothetical case, of the facts of which, of course, he knew nothing. If the hon. Member would put the Question on the Paper with particulars he would endeavour to answer him.