§ MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that quantities of small arms and ammunition are being despatched from Birmingham to Ireland, and that a circular on the subject has been issued to Birmingham manufacturers by the chief constable of that city; and will he state what steps are being taken, under the Peace Preservation Act of 1881, to prevent such arms and ammunition from falling into the hands of unauthorised persons.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM, Dover)
Small arms and ammunition are consigned from Birmingham in the ordinary course of trade. The Act of 1881 and Orders in Council issued thereunder, prescribe the conditions upon which arms and ammunition shall be admitted into Ireland. A few firms in Birmingham had omitted, from ignorance of the law, to comply with these conditions, and the Circular in question was issued to direct their attention to these statutory requirements. The police are aware of the names and addresses of persons in Ireland to whom arms are consigned by manufacturers and dealers, and all necessary precautions are taken to ensure that only authorised persons shall keep arms. The provisions of the Act of 1881 and of the regulations issued thereunder are clear and stringent, and there is no reason whatever to suppose that they are ineffectual for the purposes for which they were designed.
§ MR. TULLY (Leitrim, S.)
Is it not a fact that the great bulk of these arms have been sent to Belfast for the Orange rioters?