§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is true, as stated in this morning's papers, that the Government have decided to proclaim an anti-coercion meeting announced to be held this week in the town of Dungannon, County Tyrone?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) said: I have had no information to that effect.
§ COLONEL KING-HARMAN
Yes; I will inquire, and let the hon. Member know in the course of the evening.
§ MR. T. C. HARRINGTON (Dublin, Harbour)
Perhaps some other Irish Officer in this House will give us some information on the subject. May I ask the Attorney General for Ireland if he knows anything about it?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. HOLMES) (Dublin University)
No, Sir. A matter of that kind would not come under my notice.
§ MR. DILLON
The Question is, whether meetings in Ireland are to be proclaimed without the knowledge and consent of any responsible Minister sitting in this House? I want to know who is responsible?
§ Several Nationalist MEMBERS: Where is ho?
§ MR. DILLON
Let us know where the Chief Secretary is. We were informed last night—[Cries of "Move the adjournment!"] I do not desire to unduly take up the time of the House; but in view of what occurred last night, this is a curious illustration of the inconvenience of the obstruction offered to Irish Members. I merely wish to say, with the indulgence of the House, that I have asked this Question without Notice, because it is a matter of immediate and urgent importance. I am told that this meeting cannot be proclaimed without the consent of the Chief Secretary, and we were told last night that the Assistant Secretary answers with the fullest responsibility for the Chief Secretary. But now the right hon. and gallant Gentleman informs us that he knows nothing whatever about it, and I therefore want to find out in what way we are to get any information on the subject.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
My right hon. Friend has had no Notice of this Question, and my right hon. and learned Friend on my right (the Attorney General for Ireland) also had no Notice of the Question. If Notice had been given half-an-hour or so ago, an intimation would have been given to the hon. Member. I will take care, Sir, that in the course of the evening an answer is given.
§ [The CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. Balfour) here entered the House.]
§ MR. DILLON
Perhaps the Chief Secretary would now be kind enough to answer the Question asked in his absence.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will give Notice of the Question.