§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Has police attention been called to the following statement, which appeared last month in The Lincolnshire Chronicle, a report of a meeting of the Primrose League at Lincoln, at which a man, describing himself as Robert Martin, of Galway, said—Although, he had been pursued by the National League, although he had been followed by their assassins, and had to be guarded by the police, he had stood on every Boycotted farm in Ireland, and had taken relief to the Boycotted men. Mentioning one case at New Ross, in Wexford, where, being unable to secure a vehicle on account of the Boycotting, he had to walk 11 miles with food for starving men, and when he got there he found them without water, as the National League had poisoned the wells;can it be ascertained what wells in or near New Ross were poisoned, and did Mr. Robert Martin report the poisoning to the local police at the time; if the outrage reported, as follows, in the Irish correspondence of The Times of the 20th of February took place:—A witness, named Mick Sullivan, after giving evidence at the Coolmartin Assizes against Moonlighters, was so cruelly Boycotted that he was unable to obtain employment, and he has died for want of the necessaries of life;and, will the Government consider the feasibility of a measure to amend the Libel Laws, so that any inhabitant of a slandered community may have a cause of action, such as would lie if the same libel were published of a specific individual?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) 1073 said: I have not seen the report of the meeting referred to. The local constabulary have no knowledge of the matter referred to in the second paragraph. With regard to the third paragraph, I beg to refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply to a Question on this subject by the hon. Member for East Kerry (Mr. Sheehan) on the 28th of February last.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say that both the statements in The Times and The Lincolnshire Chronicle are lies?
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman be good enough to answer the last portion of my Question?
§ COLONEL KING-HARMAN
I do not believe the Government have any intention to bring in a measure to amend the Law of Libel. If they did it would, perhaps, seriously affect some newspapers with which the hon. and learned Gentleman is acquainted.