§ MR. HOOPER (Cork, S.E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he is correctly re- 711 presented by the newspapers as having written a letter to a Mr. Irwin, in which he stated, in reference to Captain Plunkett's telegram of the 9th March to the County Inspector at Youghal—A savage attack had been made upon the police in the execution of their duty, in which many of them had been badly hurt. The Government had reason to know that a further organized attack was in contemplation. Had this attack taken place, it would certainly have led to the infliction of further injuries, and almost certainly to loss of life:The only means by which those consequences could be averted was to let it he clearly understood that such an attack would he resisted by the police in the most effective and vigorous manner possible. This method proved effectual, and the result of the telegram was to stop the intended assault and all the train of evils by which, it would inevitably have been followed;and, if he will inform the House what means were taken to give publicity to the telegram in question, and so apprise the people of the determination of the authorities?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Government had reason to know that a telegram of this character, if sent in clear, and not in cipher, would soon become public property, and they were proved to be accurate in that forecast, for the telegram appeared in the newspapers next morning.
§ MR. HOOPER
asked, whether, so far from the authorities agreeing with the right hon. Gentleman as to the publicity of the telegram, they did not hold an inquiry to ascertain how it was divulged?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, his attention had not been called to the process by which it became public.
§ MR. T. C. HARRINGTON (Dublin, Harbour)
With respect to the portion of the right hon. Gentleman's letter which states that a savage attack was made on the police in the execution of their duty, in which many of them had been badly hurt, may I ask him whether his attention was called to a sworn statement of the officer who was in charge of the men on this occasion, in which he swore that the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman in this House was utterly untrue?
§ MR. T. C. HARRINGTON
I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether 712 he has received any information as to the number of men injured on this occasion?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
On previous occasions I have given full information, with regard to this matter. I answered at least a dozen Questions, and if the hon. Gentleman will refer to them he will find the information he desires.