§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Irelend whether it was a fact that the day before the recent burning of tenants' houses at Clongorey, in the county of Kildare, District Inspector Loch went round to all the houses referred to in company with the agent of the landlord and told him which houses might be left standing as fit to be occupied by policemen, and which might be burned and levelled to the ground as unfit for occupation by the police; wether it is a fact that in one of the houses oil had been kept for several weeks to the knowledge and under the protection of the police on guard there, for the purpose of setting fire to the houses when all the evictions were completed; and whether there were any police at Clongorey on the night of 27th March, in addition to those set to guard the emergency men stationed in the evicted houses; and, if so, for what purpose?
§ *MR. A. J. BALFOUR
County-inspector Loch reports that it is not the case that he or any other member of the police force went round all or any of the houses referred to in company with the agent as alleged, nor had any of the police anything to say either to the agent or anybody else as to what houses might be left standing or what houses destroyed. It is equally without foundation that oil or any other material for the destruction of the house was kept in any house or place under the protection or with the knowledge of the police; and, as a matter of fact, it appears that no oil was used in the burnings. There were no police in Clongorey on the night of the 27th of March in addition to those protecting the caretakers.
§ DR. TANNER (Cork, Mid)
Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that petroleum was stored in the house where the police were? I saw it there myself.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It is to be distinctly understood that, so far as the police were aware, no explosives were kept under their protection, or stored with their knowledge.
§ DR. TANNER
I should like to understand from the right hon. Gentleman whether he really persists in the statement that a cask of petroleum was mot kept in one of these houses with the knowledge of the police? I repeat that I saw it myself.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I stated with extreme explicitness that no petroleum was stored in any of the houses with the knowledge of the police, under their protection.