§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can state who was the magistrate who signed the requisition asking that troops be sent to Bethesda, and, seeing that there has not been anything in the behaviour of the people at Bethesda during the past week to render necessary the presence of the soldiers, whether he intends to order their immediate recall.
§ *MR. RITCHIE
I understand that the magistrate who signed the requisition was the Chairman of the Standing Joint Committee for Carnarvonshire. I am glad to be able to say that I am informed that the state of things at Bethesda is such as will, in the opinion of the local authorities, justify the withdrawal of the bulk of the troops on the 10th instant, but I must remind the hon. Member that the responsibility for the preservation of order in the district rests with the local authorities, with whom I have no power or intention of interfering.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
Was the magistrate resident in the district? What is his name?
§ *MR. RITCHIE
The responsibility rests with them, and I am informed that they felt justified in taking this step.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that on the evening of Saturday, 3rd August, some of the soldiers now stationed at Bethesda for the maintenance of the peace created alarm among the inhabitants of the place by shouting 50 and fighting in the public street opposite the Douglas Arms Hotel, and what action he proposes taking to punish the offenders.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the cost of catering the troops sent to Bangor in anticipation of disturbances at Bethesda is an Imperial or a local charge, and by whom were the rates for catering agreed upon with the local tradesman.
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvon, Arfon)
Can the noble Lord state the exact proportition of the Imperial and the local charge?
The whole question is under consideration, and if I gave an answer now it might be misleading.